After 11 years of working in a corporate company, I resigned in my post as Junior Officer because I believed that I already served my time and there is a better opportunity for me out there. I am thirsty for growth in a new environment so I went to Singapore with high hopes that I will land in a more fruitful job there. Unfortunately, what I envision did not materialized because I did not expect that I need more time when applying and I no longer want to land in the same type of work environment. At the same time, I was not informed of the numerous calls from various companies I applied with because I am already back in the Philippines. I only knew about it when the one who should relay the messages to me apologized around 3-4 years later while on her deathbed (my sister-in-law’s mother).
To make the story short, I move forward by following my heart’s desire –
COMMODITY TRADING. Although I have nothing except experience and skills, I capitalize on what I have and concentrate on my strength — computer and the internet.
Start-up: Not for the Fainted Heart
I never worked in Singapore but I took advantage of the seminars when I was still there that equipped me with much needed information which helped me with the online trading business that I have now. I was mentored by a Singaporean that I worked with daily over the net. It did not start smooth as I was exposed to all sorts of clients including scammers, cheaters and manipulators. Even with limited resources, I pursued online commodity trading by initially registering my business as sole proprietorship which I named Sembawang Trading. The word sembawang is a residential area I stayed and was first exposed to international culture and trading. I started utilizing Alibaba, Tradekey and other known commodity trading sites. I was first mentored in Crude Oil and Scrap trading but I later shifted to Cavendish Banana. I instantly get an importer-buyer from Lebanon. I easily adapted to the paper works and art requirement because I both have backgrounds in office work and creative advertising. But I did not expect that my partner will manipulate what I work hard for and cheat both me and my buyer. It resulted to legal issues because even the shipping company sued my partner. Thank God I was not included.
I have to move forward so I continued. One thing about me is I am an idea sponge. I was cheated but I make it a point to learn the ins and out of the business and was able to document some of the procedures and documents needed. Tough at first but I stood again and re-position my self and my company as temporary Agent-Company/Consulting firm. Since then I was able to facilitate numerous export of cavendish banana and other agriculture products to these countries (latest downward):
- China (pending, awaiting for the new box and label I am introducing)
- Vladivostok Russia
- Saudi Arabia
I simultaneously did other task related to product sourcing, area survey, feasibility study and business plan maker, consultant, etc.
Last year I was given the chance to establish and Farm and Export Company for an American Holdings Firms. My self and my wife literally establish everything from scratch. The American Investor just provide the initial funds. But when the company is already ready, there is no longer funds due issues the American has with his partners and his company. My ready feasibility study and business plan and the photo documentation I captured has been used to raised funds. I work-out an export deal to Kuwait that started the export. The start-up was imperfect but it became the stepping stone of the company where it is right now. Everything was so stressful that I don’t felt the Christmas spirit. What makes it harder than expected is my wife’s breast cancer — actively growing. At the same time, we were told to take care of the house and family of the Filipina wife of the American. Tough but I survive.
Balancing the equation, I decided to resign. I chose my wife over the future earnings. I decided to revive my company and now Sembawang Trading is on its feet again with high hopes and aspiration to elevate its status as Exporter from a mere agent-trading company. The rest is history but I won’t deny the fact that I am now seeking an Investor to maximize its full potential. Everybody knows that this business is a money making machine if given the funding for start-up and initial cash flow.
Cavendish Banana Plantation area where harvest are done.