Constructing her way up
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.