“I am hoping to meet Japanese companies who intend to join the Build, Build, Build Program.” --Interview with a president of a construction company in the Philippines--
RSP Lim Construction Co., Inc.
Mr. Rogelio San Pascual Lim (President/ General Manager)
Many business people from abroad including the emerging countries have participated in AOTS training programs. Positions of the targeted participants vary with the programs. Some programs are for the top executives.
We interviewed a president of a construction company in the Philippines.
“Boni Tower” was awarded for the Success Story Contest 2014.
RSP Lim Construction Co., Inc. is a family corporation. It was established in 1994 and started off as a general building and general engineering company, and this June, we were upgraded to category “AA”. Also last week (July, 2018), our company secured ISO 9001:2015. We have been doing business with the private sector since 1994 but this year we ventured aggressively to do construction projects with the government. The government has been recently promoting large-scale development of infrastructure in the Philippines, just like Japan, such as railways and airports.
Our strength is primarily built up by the individual strength of the members of my family. For a start, I am a civil engineer by profession and so is my wife, who is also the vice president and treasurer of our company. She is also a licensed Real Estate Broker (REB). My eldest daughter is a lawyer, a REB, and also a licensed Real Estate Appraiser (REA). My second child is an architect and REB, and my youngest son is an IT expert. They are also real estate developers as well. We constructed and are currently marketing the “Boni Tower”, an epoch-making green building which was the subject I presented and was awarded for the Success Story Contest in 2014.
I would like to offer employees lifetime work.
Our company stands on a tripod of core values: punctuality, honesty and integrity. We put emphasis on our human resources as we believe they are the foundation of our company. We are proud that most of our founding employees at a startup are still physically fit and still working with us in my company although they are assigned to a much lighter load than when they were younger. They engage in their work based on the relationship of deep trust we have established in the long term. Recently, however, because of the Build, Build, Build Program of our government, the turnover rate of our technical people has increased dramatically which is so sad. Along with this, there has been the scarcity problem of skilled manpower. More construction companies in the Philippines are paying competitive salaries to attract skilled construction workers, which increases operational costs so much that a profit margin is no longer attainable in most instances.
Motivating the employees was the challenge for us, but I have found a way from the lessons I learned in the AOTS program this time. After I go back to my country, I will try to give questionnaires to my employees asking their vision in the next 10 years, their dreams, expectations for the company to realize their dreams, what they are giving up for the company and so on. I would like to offer them lifetime work, so I need to know their wish.
Increasing the government projects
In recent years, the construction industry in the Philippines has been booming more than ever and it is expected to grow even more in the future. Our government is aggressively pursuing infrastructure projects all over the country, and this is the main reason why we decided to upgrade our company to capture a fair market share of the government projects. With the upgrade of construction and the ISO certification we recently obtained, we are expecting to increase the volume of our projects not only in the private sector but also in government projects.
The government is also aggressively inviting foreign construction companies, mostly from China and Japan, to do business in our country. Personally, I welcome this development since I believe we can learn more from this technology transfer. At the same time, however, we need to continuously improve in order to compete with these new entrants in the market and I am hoping to form a business partnership with Japanese companies to become even more competitive. Since I have been doing business with Japanese companies for such a long time and I was also a former president of PCA (Philippine Constructors Association) Metropolitan Chapter, I am sure I can help Japanese companies to do a business with us.
We can be worthy of forging an alliance with Japanese investors.
There are three challenges our company is facing right now: the lack of skilled manpower, which is an industry wide problem, the expected entry of foreign constructors, and the corruption in the infrastructure projects of the government. For the first challenge, I forged an alliance with the local anti-drug agency and the police to work on the program for training drug users as construction workers for rehabilitation. I signed the program not only to make up for the lack of manpower, but I wanted to send them back to school and society again. Out of the 26 who passed the screening, 5 of them graduated as welders. We are now working on the second batch of trainees. Secondly, I am hoping that we can prove ourselves worthy to be a partner of foreign investors, particularly Japanese companies that intend to join the Build, Build, Build Program of our government. For the third, our company will acquire PCA National membership in August 2018. I am hoping to make a difference there as I did when I was a chapter president of PCA Metropolitan.
Currently we are not yet looking to expand our business overseas. We are focusing more on expanding our business in the local market which is already a plateful. We are working on tooling ourselves well so we can be worthy of forging an alliance with foreign investors particularly Japanese companies doing construction projects in our country.
Hoping to meet Japanese companies that join our government program
During my short stay in Japan as a trainee this time, I am hoping to meet Japanese companies who intend to join the Build, Build, Build Program of our government. Our expertise in the local scene will greatly help in charting strategic and operational direction to any foreign companies to do business in our country.
To apply what I have learned, I am promoting punctuality in my country, which I define it as coming ahead of time. This should be one of our core values. Procrastination is also one of the attitudes that we need to correct. In the management meetings of our company, I always say to the managers if you will do it anyway, do it right away.
This is my third trip to Japan and I was impressed with the discipline and the love of country and fellowmen that I observed in your country. I have been telling these observations to everybody in our country who cared to listen. I was past president of the Rotary Club in the Philippines, past president of a PCA Metropolitan Chapter and the current Executive Vice President of Philcultaros (the AOTS alumni society in the Philippines). All of these organizations are trying to imbibe all the good attitudes and mindset to transfer it to people in the Philippines for human development.
Thank you very much for your kind understanding and cooperation.