By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Mega Global Corp., the country’s top sardines’ brand, is embarking on its biggest expansion following exponential growth in domestic demand with the next generation of the family-owned integrated sardines manufacturing company stepping up in the leadership position.
The new company CEO Michelle Tiu Lim Chan, who succeeded his father William Tiu Lim, said they are investing P500 million in capital expenditure this year to increase its capacity by 20 percent. At present, the company has rated production capacity of 300 metric tons. Increased capacity will be felt in 2021 with the coming in of its third line. The company is growing double-digit in the past years.
“We’re going through major shifts in top leadership position,” said Michelle as she introduced her brothers Marvin as chief growth and development officer and Malcolm as chief technical and IT officer to help steer and add more dynamism and changes in the way of managing the company onwards to another 45 years. Mega Global just turned 45 years last June 1.
Going public is also part of the plan, but Marvin said that they want to be conservative to possibly go for IPO in the next two to five years citing the clamor for them to go public. He said they are professionalizing the organization, their books and hiring more people to its existing 4,000 workers in preparation for future IPO.
“We want to do it in a way beneficial to people and shareholders who will eventually buy our stocks,” he added.
During this pandemic period, Malcolm said the company’s manufacturing plant in Zamboanga experienced limited production capacity to 30 percent only but managed to adjust production to the current 80 percent capacity based on strict health and safety protocols.
Malcolm said that during the quarantine period, their sales doubled and even tripled as demand for canned products surged with higher purchases not just coming from supermarkets and groceries but from local government units, barangays and companies for their relief operations.
The company said that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Mega Global factories to the limit, producing 2 million canned goods everyday to meet not only the increased requirement of its loyal customers but more so to help in the national effort to combat the dreaded disease, feed frontliners, and care for its employees and their families, as well as the community.
Michelle also said they will also boost export in 30 countries to cater to more OFWs and offer more products stressing they have big markets in the Middle East, Canada, Malaysia, USA and Central America. Part of the long-term strategy is to strengthen the ASEAN markets where people share similar taste.
“The company is poised for further exponential growth. Demand has been outstripping supply for the past five years,” said the company patriarch and founder, who will now serve as Chairman emeritus.
“We will continue to strive to be a solid quality food provider for the Filipino.”
As the patriarch hands over the reign of the expanding family business to his children, he quipped, “They are stepping up so I am stepping down.”
Mr. William started the company with only one fishing vessel and grew it to 88 with 4,000 employees. Mega owns the largest fishing fleet in the Philippines allowing the company to keep its trademark 12-hour catching-to-canning process; and has distribution and regional distribution hubs strategically located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In recent years, Mega Global has also expanded its line of products to more categories such as Mega Tuna, Mega Prime, and Mega Creations, all of which were also included in different donations.
He cited they have been hitting their growth targets on good business with really good fishing sites. Its canning operation was a bit of a challenge but with automation and improved logistics, they have lessened the cost impact.
The chairman emeritus expressed confidence of the future of the business he founded citing there is strong demand and the only problem is meeting that demand and supplying their network nationwide.
“Succession plan is in place, directors are moving up so they are going out of their way to make succession planning a success,” said the father.
“Am very fortunate we have strong managerial backup for me to step down,” he said adding that he has to empower the second generation with ideas and innovation so we will always be ahead of competitors.
“We are in very good hands and we thank the Lord for these blessings. You have to prepare so when blessings come you are ready to accept it,” he concluded.
“Whenever there is a calamity or a national emergency, we go into overdrive, knowing that the cans of sardines we produce may be what would sustain our kababayans for days. This is the culture of malasakit (empathy) that has been ingrained in us over these four decades,” said the company patriarch.
In celebration of its 45th anniversary, Mega Global will continue to give back to the community by donating more canned goods and medical supplies to sustain the effort against COVID-19, and pursuing projects to ensure the health of their employees and their families, as well as business partners such as promoters.
To show its gratitude and support to frontliners, the Mega Malasakit Kitchen continued to provide home-cooked meals to the men and women in the trenches, especially those who operate services that serve the community during the lockdown. By far, the Mega Malasakit Kitchen has distributed more than 40,000 meals to checkpoints officers, barangay health workers and volunteers, supermarket staff, bank staff, security guards and street dwellers.