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Joseph Calata Success Story - New Youngest Billionaire in the Philippines

In 2012, Forbes listed Edgar Sia as the youngest billionaire in the Philippines. He is the 35-year-old founder of Mang Inasal, a fastfood-chain company in the Philippines. But recently, someone reached the billionaire status younger than him. Who is he?

He is Joseph H. Calata, a 31-year-old Chairman and CEO of Calata Corporation, fast-growing agricultural company in the Philippines. Let's take a glimpse of his success story.

Joseph Calata

Early Education

Joseph Calata was born on July 31, 1980 in Bulacan, Philippines. He finished a Bachelor of Science in Management of Financial Institutions at De La Salle University in 2001.

Parents' Roles

Joseph's father, Eusebio was long-time trader of agricultural products. His mother, Isabela was a working student before she married.

Joseph was nurtured in an entrepreneurial environment.

Entrepreneurial Endeavor

Entrepreneurial in spirit, he joined a network marketing company (MLM) that sells food supplements and multivitamins. He recruited people, oriented them, trained them about the products, the business, and how to sell.

In a networking business, 95% of those who joined will fail and only 5% will succeed.

Did Joseph really achieve success and earn from his MLM venture? Yes.

In just five months, he earned a massive money amounting P400,000 from commissions.

In this case, we can notice the level of his persuasiveness, patience and hard work in earning that amount of money in just a short span of time at his young age.

After he finished his college in De La Salle University, he actively engaged in the family's business - J. Melvin's, a small agricultural business in Plaridel, Bulacan.

His parents managed this small business until it gradually grew into a corporation.

Early Period of Calata Corporation

J. Melvin was established by Joseph's parents in 1978. It was named after Joseph and his older brother Melvin. It was later incorporated on July 23, 1999 as Planters Choice Agro Products, Inc.

Joseph have this ability to spot problems in the business, implement some changes or improve the systems.

Joseph observed that his parents run the business like a traditional sari-sari store. The main products such as the the animal feeds were weighed on the spot and handed to customers.

The money was kept either in a drawer or in a money pot. The hired helper or assistant could easily steal the money whenever his mother went to the CR (comfort room).

No audit, no inventory head and no point of sale (POS) checkout in the store.

At the end of the day, the assistant could lie and say "ma'am, we earn P20,000 worth of sales" instead of "ma'am, we earn P30,000 worth of sales".

Joseph also observed that the business was run Binondo-style. His mom was the cashier and purchaser. She deposited the money in a bank.

Joseph realized that this business would not expand with that kind of system.

The Vision and the Changes to Implement for Business Expansion

The small enterprise started as a backyard business. But Joseph has a vision.

He begin to dream big. He viewed the small enterprise as a professional and big corporation.

What did he do to the small business?

Joseph bought an accounting software for the business. He wanted to computerize the sales transaction.

He didn't want to pile up those unrecorded transactions. He just wanted to make sure how much was the profit every day.

In his own words, "I wanted to perfect the system".

But it wasn't easy at the start. It took a year to master the usage of the software.

He encountered critics of his innovation including his customers and his mother. His customers were complaining that the system was too slow.

But honestly, it was just slow at the start because Joseph had to encode the transactions. His mother told him to stop the system.

Joseph was not shaken by the criticisms. He continued to implement the innovation.

He automized the company's operations. He also developed a strong sales and marketing program.

Soon enough, his hard work paid off.

Continues Expansion and Success

With Joseph at the helm, the company earned PhP1.8 billion in 2009, the biggest in its history.

Due to further expansion, Joseph and the management decided to change its company name. In February 22, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its change of name into Calata Corporation.

Calata Corporation became the biggest distributor of agricultural products (agrochemicals, feeds, fertilizers and VetMeds) in the Philippines.

It is a proud distributor of B-Meg feeds of San Miguel Corporation, agrochemicals from Syngenta, Bayer, Jardine distribution, Dupont and Monsanto, among others.

It also distributes fertilizers from Viking, Swire, and other fertilizer companies, as well as seeds from East West Seed Company and veterinary products from San Miguel Corporation.

Calata has been a long-time partner of San Miguel Corporation. It has a breeder farm partnership with Monterey (San Miguel's meat product brand).

The company produces 80,000 chickens every month. Joseph planned to expand in Davao and raise 500,000 chickens.

The company diversified in other investments outside agricultural business such as logistics, airplane leasing, construction and transport.

His business partners, San Miguel Corp., Syngenta, B-Meg and Bayer Crop Science appreciate his professionalism and sound corporate organization.

Joseph put emphasis on his integrity and being straightforward in his business relationships.

He said in the Calata Corporation website, "We were steadfast in our belief that the only way to success is to continue working hard and serving our clients the best way possible."..."Let us continue working hard and improving ourselves for the good of everyone. Together nothing is impossible".
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