Edwin CoSetengEdwin CoSeteng, president of First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) as of April 2013, brings to his work a wealth of experience and the benefit of multiple perspectives.
As former head of a Hong Kong-based international logistics and freight forwarding business from 2007 to 2011, he developed a business with operations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, the US and the UK serving global multinationals in the apparel, cosmetics, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), footwear, pharmaceutical, and wine and spirit industries. Previously he was president of Mariwasa Manufacturing, the country’s largest ceramic tile manufacturer, from 1993 to 2006.
His extensive exposure to global supply chains and manufacturing allows him to appreciate and anticipate the needs of FPIP locators competing for market share and driving for operational effectiveness. He has a deeper understanding of how various industries in the consumer goods and industrial products segment manage their respective supply chains and interact with their channel partners in serving their ultimate customer.
Helping locators succeed
“Our mindset is: How can we enable our customers’ growth? Business has its ebbs and flows. There’s a time for expansion. There’s a time for contraction and rationalization. We want to offer a menu of services that help our locators succeed, in line with their strategies and specific stage in their development. We have a wide range of customers. Some are multinationals with extensive experience and significant corporate resources and fixed systems in place, while others are first-time locators that do not have as much expertise or resources. They may be suppliers to the bigger locators. We want to understand the main concerns of all kinds of companies setting up business in the Philippines and either directly help them ourselves or introduce them to subject matter experts who can provide solutions,” says CoSeteng.
By addressing the varied needs of locators and offering a comprehensive menu of service offerings to match, CoSeteng believes the industrial park is headed for a deeper and longer-lasting engagement with existing and prospective locators, making FPIP a haven for manufacturers and their workers. “The ideal is to create a thriving city anchored on an industrial estate. We want a city that is seen as a good place to work, live and play.”
Increased investor interest
With the country’s youthful English-speaking workforce and reasonable infrastructure, as well as global corporate demand for multiple factory sites as a means to manage risks, CoSeteng sees increased investor interest in the Philippines.
“When I considered coming back (from working abroad), I wanted to contribute to a better Philippines. The vision of FPH (First Philippine Holdings Corporation, the parent company of FPIP) of ‘uplifting lives through key industries and infrastructure that advance national development’ resonated with me,” says CoSeteng. “It was clearly an overriding purpose and priority that came across in my initial meetings with the company’s senior leaders.”
He also found that the Lopez Values, which form the company’s basic ideology, are already “ingrained across the different companies within the FPH Group at all levels.” We have great entrepreneurial and business skills but we are not the kind of people who will get ahead by taking shortcuts. Integrity is very important. It’s nonnegotiable. It’s a given.”
Interesting growth opportunities
For FPIP, he has chosen ‘business excellence’ as the next most important value. “The country has a lot of interesting growth opportunities and FPIP wants to contribute and participate in the resurgence of the manufacturing sector. This requires hard work and being the best at what we’re doing. We need to be single-minded, act as one team and be coordinated in our efforts to sustain a continuous improvement in FPIP’s competencies and performance.”
His own message for LopezLink readers?
“We are living in a time of great transformation and opportunity for our country. The Lopez Group has a distinct, unique and important role to play in this critical juncture of our country’s development. We all have the ability to do something within the Group that is both meaningful and significant—and to have fun while we’re doing it.” (Story by: Carla Paras-Sison)