Published online by the Business Mirror, October 23, 2019
What do successful businesses have in common? While a great amount is attributed to the efficiency of the business model and monetary investment, no business or company can truly prosper without a core team of talented and dedicated managers as supportive “teammates.”
For industry-leading enterprise Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC), it attributes 7-Eleven’s flourishing franchise business success to its strategic stewards—the high-level managers behind the store opening, expansion and franchise operations. Commendable for their knowledge and experience, Business Development Division’s (BDD) unit manager and section managers maintain a strong focus to deliver critical company objectives in the service of all stakeholders—from franchisees, corporate partners, to the ultimate consumers of 7-Eleven.
According to PSC Business Development Division head Ulysses Borral, trustworthy managers are vital to running an effective and profitable franchise or enterprise. Besides overseeing operations, a manager’s professional contribution to the business and organization helps ensure that both the franchisor’s and franchisees’ business plans, operations and growth goals are mutually aligned, implemented and achieved.
“As a forward-thinking company, PSC’s leadership, corporate culture and innovation in the industry relentlessly motivate everyone to strive for the best. This commitment to pursue excellence for our employees helps us maintain our undisputed edge over competitors, creating an organization that is focused on only doing what is best for all stakeholders and for the achievement of both near and long-term success of the company,” said Borral.
Beyond improving branding, Lee Gonzalo Perez, Franchise Marketing, Lease Management and Special Projects section manager, is tasked to oversee and lead the franchise expansion team in promoting the 7-Eleven franchise brand, as well as recruitment and awarding of qualified applicants to the system. For him, a manager’s crucial role involves making “balanced” assessments. “We represent BDD’s interest and efforts for PSC, and act as spokesperson for both sides of the divide—the shareholders and the employees. We are tasked to look after both the interests of the PSC and the people who work in them,” he said. Perez’s leadership style is mentorship, which he said is more relationship-based, rather than performance-based. “I share personal experiences, insights and knowledge with the staff to aid them in achieving their goal. I don’t zero in on a specific skill and action to improve them—it’s more about overall development,” Perez added.
Strong, strategic leadership
Janice Castillones has been with PSC since 2005. Initially a site acquisition specialist, she eventually made her way up to managerial level after she exceeded management’s expectations on her performance and deliverables.
Together with her four supervisors, Castillones is currently handling the Metro Manila areas since the start of this year. Aware of the new challenge to transact with Metro Manila lessors, Castillones is described to be confidently up and ready for the tasks ahead. Prior to this assignment, Castillones is credited for pioneering the North Luzon expansion, specifically in Nueva Vizcaya province which started last year. To date, there are more than 15 stores serving Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya.
Ellen Amancio, meanwhile, is credited for the historic openings of two 7-Eleven stores in Mindoro located in Sabang and Calapan.
Described by colleagues as “very hands-on to her job,” Amancio is always out and about to evaluate sites presented to her by her supervisors. Currently, she is handling the north areas and has been progressing in getting to know new sites and new lessors in the North.
Francis Joseph Gonzales, who joined PSC as BDD Design and Construction manager in 2017, meanwhile, take on the lead in store construction process (from design phase to construction phase). “My team supports the franchisee’s goals by completing store construction and opening the store as soon as possible. Teamwork is essential; each one has a part to play in the completion of every project. As a manager, I believe that maintaining a healthy working environment and promoting camaraderie among team members are part of a true leader’s responsibilities,” stressed Gonzales.
Edgar Gabriel started working for PSC from 2002 to 2007 as plannning manager of Business Development Division. He was also given positions under Store Development Acquisitions. Currently, he handles the South provinces wherein he oversees and lead site/province expansion team in terms of questing for new sites that is feasible for a 7-Eleven store in the South. Some of his key contributions to PSC is pioneering the successful expansion of 7-Eleven in Panay and Mindanao.
“As a section manager handling expansions of 7-Eleven, I am tasked to make sure that the locations that we will get for a store, would be profitable. With that, it is very important for a section manager like me to be data driven. We can only acquire good sites out of facts that our people gather. We have to learn how to segregate data, what is beneficial and what is not,” he explained.
For a manager to be truly effective, he or she needs to espouse strong leadership and strategic management skills to be able to genuinely engage stakeholders from both inside and out of the organization.
By having a dependable team of managers in place, 7-Eleven has cemented its top position in the C-store category. To date, 7-Eleven’s network is spread across 52 provinces in the country, now with more than 2,500 outlets, 46 percent of which are company-operated and 54 percent franchise-owned.
“Having a great team of managers that understands and cares about the company and its stakeholders as much as the owner do, and proudly embodies PSC’s brand of corporate culture indeed create a huge difference. They have helped led the PSC to many milestones and optimized investment potentials for the 7-Eleven brand, as well as opened up income-generating opportunities for Filipino entrepreneurs,” Borral concluded.
This article is originally published by the Business Mirror which can be accessed online at https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/23/psc-bares-strategic-management-team-behind-7-elevens-franchise-success-in-luzon/