At a young age, Chief Marketing Officer Jameson Ong manages Sailun Tire, a trusted 20-year old brand in 50 countries. This is his success story.
Doing what you love and loving what you do. Like many successful businesses, it all starts with passion. And Sailun Tire Philippines is no exception to that.
“I am really inclined to doing business and I’m also a car lover,” shares 27-year old Chief Marketing Officer Jameson Ong. “As a car lover, I’m not the type of person who wants to drive the car, but I just want to see them at our garage. Happy na ako doon.”
As a second-generation Filipino-Chinese, whose parents emigrated from China to the Philippines, Jameson attributes the start of Sailun Tire to his cousin Ruben—the brainchild of the operation. Both share a kindred love for customized cars, which led them to look into importing. And their sights immediately landed on tires—a much-needed accessory in every car.
From China to the Philippines
A global brand with 20 years of experience under its belt, Sailun Tires is trusted in over 50 countries worldwide. First established in the year 2002 in Qingdao, China, Sailun Tire quickly became an industry leader—as the 18th largest manufacturer in the world in less than 10 years. Soon after, Sailun Tire expanded, from the Chinese market to many parts of the world, including the Philippines.
When asked why Jameson and his family chose to bring the Sailun Tire brand here in the country, his answer mirrors the woes of many vehicle drivers. “[While] driving around Manila, I saw that our roads here are not that nice, so it partially gave us an idea [that] we need something affordable and in terms of quality, reliable—for our daily drive here.”
“[But] What makes [Sailun Tire] different from other brands is [that] we try to market it to the general public as affordable and good quality,” Jameson explains. “Madami kaming kalaban, there’s China, also Indonesia, India, and Thailand, so we try to market it as… in terms of pricing, competitive.”
Affordable, good quality, and reliable. Three words that Sailun Tire prides itself on. Aside from price, the brand pays close attention to the quality of its tires. In fact, Sailun Tire has a research and development team that’s dedicated to rubber and tire technology to ensure consistent and good quality output.
Sailun Tire Amid the Pandemic
All businesses go through ups and downs, and Sailun Tire is no exception. Jameson shares that one of the many challenges the business faces include running out of stock. “We’re an importer, so supply is an issue. We have to wait for production, for shipping, and for customs,” Jameson shares. “May delays, so what we do is to try to stock up more in case.”
“Syempre there are more brands coming in, so we try to adjust our prices also with the brands, as long as kaya. We try to compete with the [other] brands so that we still have the market. But even so, we try to give a message that [Sailun Tire] is reliable and affordable.”
But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sailun Tire, just like many brands here and abroad, has taken a hit. While demand used to reach an all-time high, thanks to the fast industry of taxis, the demand dwindled during the pandemic. Nevertheless, Jameson sees this as a learning process—one that he, together with Sailun Tire—will eventually overcome.
“The challenging part is having clients…who are not that liquid, [pay us]. So we adjust and try extending our payment terms. But we still try to slowly cope with the new normal. Hopefully, bumalik yung demand.”
There is, however, a silver lining and that includes the rising boom of the e-commerce industry. Sailun Tire has begun selling online, in Lazada, to be specific, as tires will always be a need for motorists, car owners, and drivers. “We also try to sell online, but we don’t compete with our retailers. We sell at SRP,” he reveals.
Key Personalities and Influential Figures
With marketing as the voice of many companies, brands today are heavily reliant on advertising to get the brand across. But with limited people outside and the rise of modernization and technology, traditional marketing has become just one of the many means of getting the word across.
But taking the non-traditional approach, Sailun Tire relies on influencer marketing and real-life testimonies to spread awareness to the general public. In fact, the brand recently held a drifting event, where key personality and thrill-seeker Raymond Ronquillo made an appearance.
“We had a drifting event in Pampanga, and with the help of Raymond Ronquillo, who has a big impact in the auto market [as] he is a drifter and buys imported cars, we were able to get the tiwala—the trust—of the general public,” Jameson shares.
On that same note, Sailun Tire partnered up with their newest ambassador: Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. “We chose Mayor Isko Moreno because ang laki ng impact niya to the Filipinos. He started from nothing, we started from nothing, too… but [even while successful] he’s still so grounded and still trying to improve the daily lives of Filipinos… that whether you’re rich or poor, he’ll provide. Pantay kayo lahat,” he says simply. “In fact, it was [Isko Moreno himself] who chose to donate his talent fee to Museo Pambata.”
“That’s something we want to show to the Filipinos—that we’re a tire brand that is affordable and yet in time, okay pa din siya. Long-term yung impact mo to them,” he adds.
Of Life Lessons and Learnings
Managing a business comes with challenges, but with it are successes and life lessons. And even more so while managing the family business (construction supplies), Sailun Tire, and his sideline gourmet grocery business, Deli Drop. Despite his busy schedule, however, Jameson stresses the importance of taking care of yourself, too.
“As time passes, it’s a learning curve na parang, syempre, there’s a lot of challenges. Like me, I manage many businesses, so it’s really draining,” Jameson says. “But don’t be overwhelmed. Try to relax… if you’re tired, take a break. Work at your own pace.”
But being the ever-so practical and business-minded person he is, Jameson shares tips for aspiring business people and entrepreneurs. “If you have any new business ideas, maybe it’s better to consult with your parents and friends for tips and ideas. And for funding, too,” he adds with a laugh.
The success in Sailun Tire is not just a one-man job. In fact, Jameson credits it to the funds, support, and help he gets from his family. In the company, for example, his cousin handles the day-to-day operations, while he has a team dedicated to ordering stock from abroad. As for Jameson himself, he handles payables and receivables, as well as the overall marketing of the company.
A good work-life balance, close friends, and more. While the pandemic still shows no signs of letting up anytime soon, Jameson and the team in Sailun Tire know that the future is still bright. With goals of expanding, still in tires, Jameson discloses that above all else, the path will still lead back to the family’s shared love for automobiles.
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Sailun Tire is available online at Lazada. For news and updates on the latest products and promos, you may visit Sailun Tire on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.