Growth Through Learning: Nikki Briones on Championing People's Rights
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Growth Through Learning: Nikki Briones on Championing People’s Rights

Growth Through Learning: Nikki Briones on Championing People’s Rights

Business & Career | May 7, 2022
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Nicanor “Nikki” Briones takes on many roles and his next one involves promoting and protecting the livelihood of Filipino farmers. This is his story.

There are several phases in Nicanor “Nikki” Briones’ life that define who he is. As a certified public accountant, farmer, and family man, his extensive career has covered almost every base. From helping farmers and running a company with over 12,000 employees to helping out his own family and affecting change at an industry-wide level, Nikki now sets his sights on exacting more change in a way that benefits all Filipinos.

How it All Began

Nikki began his career as an accounting clerk at Combined Blue Dragon Security & Services, Inc. (CBDSSI) in 1981. On top of maintaining financial records and writing reports, the farmer from Batangas would find time to sell locally-harvested produce to public markets in Quezon City.

It wasn’t long until Nikki worked his way through the ranks. To date, he currently sits as the president of CBDSSI and the Unibond Group of Companies, where he leads over 12,500 employees—through the company’s eight security agencies and one manpower agency.

As he continued to serve as president of CBDSSI, Nikki figured that he wanted to pursue something that will benefit his fellow farmers, as well as the local agricultural industry as a whole. It was then that he sought to dive into farming by contract growing hogs—also known as the “paiwi system”—back in 1986.

The success of the project then pushed him to start Goodwill Agro-Industrial Corporation (Goodwill), along with his siblings and parents as its president and stockholder. The family-owned corporation was in full swing by 1989, having begun with just a 10-sow level farrow to fatten piggery operations and now, its current level of 500 sow farrows.

Thriving and Growing

As Nikki further cemented his place as a voice in the agricultural sector, he sought to protect the livelihood of farmers—leading him to join the Limcoma Multi-purpose Cooperative in 1992. This feed mill cooperative services its member backyard farmers and Nikki was no exception. Prior to joining, he already used Limcoma feeds for his contract growing business through his father, who was already a member at the time.

He was soon elected as Director and President in 1996 and 1998, respectively, and served in the latter position until 2007. From there, he took Limcoma to greater heights—doubling their assets from PHP 338 million in 1997 to PHP 737 million in 2007 and growing the cooperative from 70 to 5,744 members, up until he vacated the position.

During his term as Limcoma’s president, he took it upon himself to reach out to government institutions to aid farmers through their struggles—in light of excessive importation and smuggling of agricultural products. This continued on, even when he founded the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP), which aimed to promote and protect the livelihood of Filipino farmers, combat issues like the illegal and excessive importation of meat, poultry products, and other agricultural produce, which has been slowly killing the local agricultural industry.

And to this day, AGAP continuously coordinates with government agencies on issues that affect the local agricultural industry.

What it Means to be a Good Leader

So what truly is the secret to being a leader? One thing that Nikki believed in throughout most of his career was the idea of keeping everyone happy. “It is a rule of thumb for me that all employees are properly compensated for their hard work,” he shares.

Likewise, he knows that providing the right benefits and incentives—as well as security in their livelihood—makes for very motivated staff. “It makes for a good working environment and builds solidarity among the workforce.”

He also believed in putting family ahead of everything. “The obligation to my family comes first and foremost,” he expresses. As he juggles being a father, an entrepreneur, and a public servant, Nikki believes that time management is the key. We need to have time for business and public service. We attend to issues as quickly as possible to avoid additional workload piling up,” he adds. “This also helps us better address unexpected concerns as they come.”

Proper delegation of tasks also comes into play, allowing Nikki to harness the strength of his people—fully capable individuals in their own right. “[Delegation of tasks] inspires a collaborative atmosphere that encourages our employees to think independently and make decisions more efficiently.”

Wise Words of Advice from Nikki Briones

When it comes to aspiring entrepreneurs, Nikki advises something similar. “Start small and study your business by immersing yourself in its dynamics.” Diligence and focus are also two things that he encourages. “The focus, in the field of agri-business, [is] food security and job generation. With the average age of farmers at 55, we need to address the decline in people’s interest in agriculture and keep the survival of the country’s food generating capabilities thriving.”

With a hefty resume and long list of accomplishments, Nikki Briones has three decades of experience in the local agricultural and cooperative industry under his belt, During then, he has created and participated in organizations, enacted change, and made many people’s lives better.

These fruits of his labor soon materialized in the form of the AGAP Partylist, where Nikki continues to represent and champion the rights of farmers in this country in the hopes of giving them a better tomorrow.

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Pinky is the President and CEO of Progressive Laboratories, Qualibet Testing Services Corp. and KPP Powers Commodities. A chemist by profession, she is also the President of the Association of the Bureau of Animal Industry Registered Companies and Recognized Testing Laboratories (ABAIL). A humanitarian at heart, Pinky hosts a weekly online show called Grateful Tuesdays. On top of all this, she is also a wife and a mother of two.
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