“Our Rotary partners are very passionate and helpful… They’re one reason I accepted the Rotary presidency for the second time (2019-2020), They are the real heroes. They give time and cook for the children everyday.”
Archie Reaño had his heart set on working in air-conditioned environs of the Makati financial district after graduating from San Beda College with a diploma in marketing management entrepreneurship. Instead, the 21-year-old joined Broadchem Philippines Biopharma Corp., the company his agronomist father Jose Reaño established in 1990. He was assigned to the lower Bulacan area, particularly in Sta. Maria, Marilao and San Jose del Monte to promote swine vaccines to the farmers.
“At that time, we were the only local company importing and distributing vaccines for pigs,” Archie recalls. “Most farm owners kept telling me to return when I had new products. The vaccines I was selling were basic and programmed. They couldn’t just be replaced unless there were problems.”
After two years, Archie switched career plans. “I realized this was the company that sent me to school and provided for my comfort and needs. I made a powerful choice to work and (to continue to) do the job. My father told me to try (working in) other companies. But when I would started applying elsewhere, he’d change his mind and say: ‘Stay here so you can learn,’” says Archie, now 41.
After handling Bulacan for three years, Archie was tasked to look after Rizal, Laguna and Cavite provinces, learning more of the market. His fellow sales representatives eventually discovered that he was the son of the owner, a secret he managed to maintain until someone asked his employees: ‘Where’s your boss?’” He became national manager of the company and then president and chief executive officer (CEO) in 2013.
“The good thing my father did, while he is still strong, was entrust the company to me,” Archie says. But his other siblings also pull their weight like eldest sister Sally, who looks after the finances; elder brother Ferdinand, who runs logistics; and youngest sister Maria Ceres, a veterinarian, who heads product research and development. His second eldest sister is in the military. Professionalizing the company is currently Archie’s main priority.
Broadchem Philippines continues to make its name in the vaccine arena.
“Not cheap, but good vaccines,” the CEO stresses. “We introduce new vaccines. We are very strong in swine and companion animal (pets like dogs and cat) products.”
Archie is required to go on business trips overseas three or four times a year to meet suppliers and attend animal industry-related expos. He usually frequents Eastern Europe, making side trips to new places. “I give good tips in other countries, so they will change their views about Filipinos. This is my commitment to make an impact on others. I want to touch and inspire them, and make make things workable for everyone.”
Despite cases of African swine fever detected since late last year in some provinces, Archie remains convinced Filipinos will continue to eat pork, although at higher prices. He has noticed, however, “that we are learning to eat beef regularly.”
“The animal companion (industry) keeps growing,” he adds. “Filipinos prefer dogs, which are cheaper (to keep) and more tolerable. Game fowl (fighting cocks) is a big market. Raising pigeons is another big market we’re entering.” The International Farmers Summit, scheduled from February 12 to 14 at SMX Convention Center, is organized by the Philippine Veterinary Drug Association, where Archie heads the suppliers, vaccines and feed groups.
But it’s his involvement with Rotary Club Makati North that you hear the obvious enthusiasm in his voice. He assumed the presidency of Rotary Club Makati North for the first time in 2011. Among the civic group’s most successful projects has been the 200-day feeding program for 225 Grade 1 students at F. Benitez Elementary School in Makati. The school nurse evaluates the malnourished children, and deworms them. Hot lunch of rice, vegetables and meat are cooked by Rotary community corporate partners. Monitored quarterly grades of the feeding program students have showed improvement, Archie says.
“Our Rotary partners are very passionate and helpful, and they inspire me. They’re one reason I accepted the Rotary presidency for the second time (2019 to 2020). They are the real heroes. It’s not just the amount of money. They give time and cook for the children every day.” He says the club is looking forward toward assisting in the rehabilitation of Batangas residents following the eruption of Taal volcano in January. “I look at the positive side. It’s not about the challenges and struggles. It’s how you deal with them.”
A life of challenge
Archie is married to Kristine, who is involved in the essential oils business. They are parents of four children: three boys, 18, 16 and 7 respectively; and a girl, 14. The elder siblings are football fanatics, while their sister is a gymnast and dancer.
“I have tattoos about my body in baybayin (ancient precolonial Philippine script)…a form of self-expression,” Archie reveals. “These tell stories about me. Deus. Patria. Familia. (God. Country. Family.) My wife’s name and children’s names are tattooed on my rib cage. The Philippine map, with three stars and a sun, are tattooed on my upper left arm.”
Believe it or not, but Archie admits that his first ambition was to join the priesthood. He describes himself as “a jolly, unorthodox, chill guy. I never go with the flow. I see things from the other side.” Born January 19, Archie loves when it rains on his birthday because he regards it as a blessing. On his birthday last year, he joined his first Spartan obstacle race. He likes to try new sports.
“I’ve tried skydiving because I want to challenge myself with the things I’m scared of. My first jump was in Miami, Florida, three years ago. I jumped with a professional skydiver. It costs $300. I’m planning to do a solo jump in Pangasinan.” Archie attempted underwater hockey in 2009. Swimming is his first love.
Archie’s original name would have been Eustaquio, after his great-great-great grandfather. “Tacky would have been your nickname,” his parents told him. But his maternal grandfather insisted that he be named Archimedes, after the scientist who discovered that the weight of a body submerged in water is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced. Hence, his nickname, “Archie.”
Dad Jose, according to his son is “a visionary who sees good products, not ordinary ones.”
The older Reaño, who learned the science of soil management and crop production at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, was the agriculture undersecretary on livestock during the term of Secretary Proceso Alcala. To provide for a growing brood of five, he started a disinfectant business. He discovered vaccines from referrals and contacts from his Germany supplier. He founded Broadchem Philippines in November 1990, helped by Archie’s mom Maria Socorro, who managed finances.
Now retired, Jose, 66, transformed an 18-hectare marginal and barren upland area in Barangay Atisan, San Pablo City, Laguna into a thriving ecosystem. The berries of his bignay trees are used to make wine to sell. He built the 181-step Saint Ambrose Chapel on top of a hill overlooking the mythical Mount Banahaw. Maria Socorro, 66, is incoming chairman of Inner Wheel Cubs of the Philippines, a civic organization working with the Rotary Club.
“My parents showed me that given a chance, people will help,” Archie observes. “It’s not the amount; it’s the impact. That’s the legacy I want to give our children and the people around us, the gift of a good quality life.”
Dad Jose Reaño (former Agriculture undersecretary for livestock) taught me how to live life. I love Steve Job’s practically. I practice (John) Gokongwei’s business policies involving families.
To give our children, the people around me and others a good quality life
FIRST PAYING JOB
Sales representative, promoting swine vaccine to Bulacan piggery owners
Drinking a glass of water, listening to meditative music and avoiding hearing bad news
Communicating with people. Understanding where they come from. Delivering the message the way they want to hear it
TIME SPENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Not more than two hours on Facebook. Posting on Instagram the food I’m eating are automatically shared on Facebook