Nadj Villaver | ExecutiveChronicles.com
From an ice cream lover to an innovator of one of the best ice cream in the Philippines. Francisco ‘Paco’ Magsaysay has made a mark not in the politics and public service industry, but in the entrepreneur world. The Magsaysay scion found euphoria in crafting the best possible product to offer to the people — Carmen’s Best Ice Cream.
Paco as an innovator
Paco started the ice cream business, wayback 2007 when his, Jun Magsaysay, together with his friends, bought a farm in Bay, Laguna. The farm produced 100% fresh milk from the hundred dairy cows in the farm. Having abundant milk production is both an blessing and a problem. Since it’s really pasteurized at the right temperature for fresh milk pasteurization, their milk products have a shorter shelf-life compared to those milk available in the market. With this, his dad said asked him “Paco, can you help me sell the milk or do something with it?”
Because he loves ice cream, he thought of making one our of their fresh milk. From zero background in making ice cream, Paco didn’t give up on achieving his goal.
“Last 10-15 years I travel and I try different ice cream in every countries I have an idea what I want or what I’m looking for or what I feel how good is ice cream that’s why when we first made the ice cream for Carmen’s best alam ko na yung gusto kong mangyare sa ice cream in terms of quality and flavor profile and so on. Going into it I wasn’t totally blind coming in parang alam ko na yung standard na hinaharap ko alam ko na kung anong klaseng flavors gusto ko sinundan ko lang yun kung ano yung gusto ko and kung anong klaseng falvors yung interested to try,” says Paco to ExecutiveChronicles.
Technology also helped him achieved his goal, like how to make ice cream videos in Youtube. “I was saying that the children today was so lucky because they have access in this information because when I was in college I have to go to library to have research. Now if I need new flavors, I used the internet and visit all the sites of ice cream companies and get ideas for flavors I don’t have to go to library and start looking to all index and books. I think also the time made it easy even social media has made it easy for us to reach our target market just advertising in Facebook.”
Paco as an entrepreneur
Just as how Paco is hands-on in raising his children, he’s also working closely with the operations of the business from logistics, productions, to sales and marketing.
“I’m not a food tech so we have to get a really food tech to supplement yung pagkukulang ko doon. Even in running the company I’m very hands-on I always tell the production or even the delivery driver that were in this together this is a team and if the company sinks we all stock if the company succeeds then we need to take the next step and I don’t know where the companies go let’s all work hard together and if it’s hopefully growing that will all grow to it mahirap naman kasi na you and your managers making a bulk of a the salary and then all the workers complaining about their wages and bad working conditions for me how you treat your employees is so important how you deal with the company and it’s the same how you deal with your customers or even your suppliers,” he says.
Paco makes sure that even though they hire food tech consultants, he still makes the final recommendation for their products, like what ingredient he wants or what type of flavors. He doesn’t want to adapt the structured process just like what big companies do when they have consultants. In this way, the distinct Carmen’s Best flavor is still in tact.
Asked how he is as a boss, Paco says he gives advice and share his experience so that they can learn as well. He respects the differences of every person and don’t expect them to like him.
Paco as a father
Paco managed to balance work and family. He spends his weeknights having dinner with his children. As much as possible, he tries to have a quality time with them 2-3 times a week because they have different schedule in the University.
He enjoys talking to different people getting feedback about the ice cream. He asks them about their experience with the ice cream, how they eat it, or how they hide it in the back of the freezer not sharing with other family.
Having the brand named after her daughter not only shows how much he loves his children but says it all on how he manages the business.
“The fact that it is Carmen’s name I will never shortchange the quality of the ice cream because it’s the name of my daughter. I will not cut back on ingredient to save or to earn even for a bit of money because that means I am not being true to Carmen. Another brand name would have made a sense of detachment. You can do whatever it is you want but not in this one. When it is your only daughter’s name there is a different attachment to it. It is more personal.”
The best ingredient to success: Quality and Proactiveness
When you bake a cake you make sure that you follow the recipe. You don’t cut your ingredients short. When it says 5 cups of skimmed milk, you can’t just use any type of powder milk or lessen the number of cups in the recipe. It’s the same with making an ice cream.
The main component of making an ice cream is fresh milk; which, is not a problem with Carmen’s Best. It’s highly guaranteed that they use fresh milk ‘fresh’ from the dairy farm.
Paco and the team takes their ice cream business seriously. They make sure that the taste of their ice cream is of high quality to avoid disappointing their customers. No cost-cutting in ingredients to save on expenses.
“We choose it based on taste not on profit margin. Normally some companies say ano kita natin dito sa A o ano kita natin dito sa B, ano kita natin sa C. Pipili sila based on the profit margin kami pumipili kami based on the taste wag naman sa naglalabas na kami ng pera na its gonna cost as more than the selling it would be more expensive than the less expense of the cost of the ice cream but we try of course the margin still there but if you know how we choose our ingredients we don’t have the normal margins that big companies have would their products. For us quality is number 1 and up to now I think that’s how we feel about it.”
There a lot ice cream brand available in the market. How does Carmen’s Best maintain their customers?
“We can be flexible about flavors, we can be flexible our ingredients but we really have a certain standard that were trying to follow.”
Inspired now to start your own business? Here’s some insights from the man behind Carmen’s Best:
EC: What are the lessons that you have learn when with your business?
Paco: It’s important to do something you enjoy that’s for one because if you don’t enjoy what you are doing you will not work 7 days a week. I think it’s not all about the money, as I mention our profit margin are very small but I love the fact when I talk to people and they say that their children gave it to them as a birthday gift nakakataba ng puso it so part of many people lives.
EC: Do you consider yourself successful now?
I think success is relative like I mention about having a group of owners wanting a certain type of return maybe if I had owners like that maybe thus say I may not successful because they’re not getting the returns they want and maybe for me it’s more about emotional reward when I talked to people about it and I get the feedback and so on, I guess success is relative in terms of is it for many people it’s money for some people it’s health or for some people like me it’s getting involve in a company or a new business that goes past 3-4 years and I think more than 95% of businesses that start they end up close at 3 years so we are able to passed that so in that sense we are successful because we passed the 3-4 years but for other people they may feel that it’s not successful because it’s not probably giving the type of return they would want so it’s really relative what is success for me. Depends on each person.
EC: What would be your advice to young entrepreneurs there na medyo hesitant pa na magtake risk to going into a business?
Paco: Well it’s common to many people that they chase the money. San ba yung malaking sweldo? And that’s where they go. For me naman, I think money is important. You can’t live without it but at the end of the day if you get a descent salary and you’re doing something unique you really enjoying it doing I tell you it will grow up your company really fast.
If your bosses see [that] you have so much passion on [what] your doing and you’re committed to your work, you will grow up your company really fast. So even when you start maybe smaller salary than that of the call center, you’re happy that even you take a lesser offer, you love what you’re doing. You’ll be manager in no time [because] they see how committed you are. They see that hindi ka nagbibilang ng oras pati Saturday morning nasa office ka and you’re not rushing to go home at 5:30 afternoon and then you’ll be happy [all over]. So I always say don’t chase money. You chase your passion, [and] you’ll go much further.
Many people think na okay lang, I need to have this watch, I need to travel, [but] that’s not important. At the end of the day you’re healthy, you’re working, you’re paying your bills, you have a good relationship, you guys look after each other – that’s what life is all about.