Con­struct­ing her way up

Business World - - SPECIAL FEATURE - By Don Joseph J. De­jaresco Spe­cial Fea­tures Writer

GROW­ING UP in an en­tre­pre­neur­ial fam­ily helped de­velop Alice Ed­uardo’s busi­ness acu­men. How­ever, the move to pick up a hard hat and start a ca­reer in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try was a per­sonal choice.

Living in the prov­ince, it’s per­haps no sur­prise that Ms. Ed­uardo’s fam­ily went into the rice milling and trad­ing busi­ness. Af­ter all, Nueva Ecija is the coun­try’s top rice pro­ducer. The fam­ily en­ter­prise was thriv­ing, but she’s not one to rest on their lau­rels. When the chance to start out on her own and with a trade that she’s more in­ter­ested in came, Ms. Ed­uardo didn’t think twice be­fore grab­bing the op­por­tu­nity.

“Two decades ago, while de­liv­er­ing rice to Con­crete Ag­gre­gates, they asked me if I could de­liver steel as well. Never one to say no to a chal­lenge, I said yes and that started me on the road to con­struc­tion,” Ms. Ed­uardo, chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer and owner of Sta. Elena Con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment Corp. (SECDC), said in an email to Busi­ness­World. “I al­ways had my sights set on con­struc­tion. Next thing I knew I was fab­ri­cat­ing piles.”

Like many star­tups, it took one break for the newly founded SECDC to bol­ster the start of its growth. Po­ten­tial clients took no­tice, and the rest, as they say, is his­tory. “Our first big project and break was the pile drive or the foun­da­tion con­struc­tion of Bac­no­tan Steel Plant in Batan­gas,” Ms. Ed­uardo said.

“We fol­lowed this up with more big projects — the con­struc­tion of a power plant in Sta. Rita, Batan­gas and then in San Lorenzo, Batan­gas,” she added.

Through the years, the firm forged a long-last­ing busi­ness re­la­tion­ship with the SM Group, build­ing some of the con­glom­er­ate’s ma­jor projects. Fur­ther­more, SECDC had a hand in the con­struc­tion of prac­ti­cally all build­ings in the re­claimed area along Roxas Boule­vard in Manila.

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