Jollibee, Mercury Drug owners awarded

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Jollibee Foods Corp. Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong and Mercury Drug Corp. President Vivian Que-Azcona were named Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman Entreprenuer of the Year, respectively, in the 2015 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA)- Philippines on Friday.

Jollibee, which started as an ice cream parlor in 1978, is now Philippines’ biggest restaurant chain. US magazine Bon Apettit recently hailed the homegrown food store as “the McDonald’s of Asia” and a foreign restaurant to watch in the US.

The iconic fast food chain that mainly caters to children is in an aggressive globalization mode, targeting the US, where it now has 30 stores, aside from around 3,000 stores worldwide.

On the other hand, Mercury Drug is the Philippines leading drug store, with over a thousand branches nationwide.


APEA was formed to give recognition to outstanding entrepreneurs in Asia Pacific. Non-government think-tank Enterprise Asia organizes the event, which aims to inspire and develop entrepreneurship in the region.

In his acceptance speech, Tan-Caktiong emphasized the importance of recognizing small companies.

“The success of my team was largely driven by being able to trust inclusive growth, micro, small, and medium enterprises, and building resilient and sustainable communities at the forefront,” he said.

Meanwhile, Que-Azcona dedicated her award to the whole Mercury Drug team and to her family, whom she hopes will continue to run the drugstore business in the future generation.

Both of the awards were under the special category.

Business group Enterprise Asia hosted the event, which also recognized several other entrepreneurs from various industries.

Cited as outstanding entrepreneurs were: Carolina Osteria, managing director of ACM Landholdings; Joel Santos Cruz, president and CEO of Aficionado Germany Perfume; Rosanna Vergara, president and CEO of Cabanatuan Electric Corporation; Fernando Martinez, chairman and CEO of Eastern Petroleum Group of companies; Dr. Milagros How, executive vice president of Universal Harvesters Inc.; and Esther Vibal, chairman of Vibal Group Inc.

Cited under the most promising category were: Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr., president and ceo of Aidea Inc.; Jose Maria Zabaleta, chief operating officer of Bronzeoak Philippines Inc.; Melecio Mallillin, president of Charter Ping An Insurance Corporation; Rajan Komarasu, group director, building and industrial solutions, Concepcion Industrial Corporation; Beverly Morales Dayanan, founder and ceo, Contempo Property Holdings Inc.; Ramon Garcia Jr., Ceo and president of DFFN Inc.; Haile Pargad Biteng, chairman and chief operating officer, Fountainhead Technologies Inc.; Leonora Salvane, vice president and chief operating officer of GTCosmetics Manufacturing Inc.; Normita Lansang-Villaruz, founder and managing partner of Villaruz, Villaruz & Co, CPAs; and Glenn Estrella, board member of Yondu Inc.

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