In a year riddled with worry and setbacks, Alvin Hing comes through the door more self-assured than ever and ready to give back.
As a business owner who hails from the Queen City of the South, Alvin Hing always knew that he would start his own business in Cebu where he was born and raised. Even after his university years, he has made Cebu his home—by raising his own family with his loving wife in the same city.
Farming Success in the Agri-Business
Prior to his venture in the agri-business industry, Alvin had an illustrious career as an executive in different industries and companies. Being an entrepreneur, he understands that challenges as part of the learning process and embraces them as growth opportunities. In fact, he credits his growth as an entrepreneur through his experiences and learnings from his previous bosses and mentors—with whom he maintains great relationships up to this day.
In 2012, Alvin ventured into the agri-business and found his niche, gladly crediting the people that helped get him there. This first business was established with the help of his wife and was followed by his first foray into the swine industry with business partner Paul Holaysan.
Eager to grow and knowing that they needed to learn more, the first challenge was the unavailability of information to make sound decisions—during the set‐up of the nucleus farm. For that, they had to travel abroad to equip themselves with the right knowledge and skills.
Of Trials, Tribulations, and Taking Charge
As it turns out, 2018 was a great year. In March, Alvin broke ground on a new venture: EGGcelsior Poultry Farms, Inc., which was co-managed by his other business partner, Valiant Ngo.
Heading the team towards efficiency and its expansion program, Alvin and his team were able to achieve some milestones. That being said, with larger success also came larger challenges—never mind the additional challenges that also came with a changing world, which meant that their response to these matters was absolutely critical.
“The most recent challenge was in 2019—with the [African Swine Fever] ASF outbreak in the Philippines,” he shares, adding that the hurdles only grew bigger with the ongoing pandemic and rising cases of bird flu on the poultry front.
However, Alvin isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Instead, he saw everything as an opportunity to step up. He declares, “All these gave a rise to our learning curve. We gained knowledge on how to face obstacles with a calmer and firmer approach.”
Stronger and Closer than Ever
By having a proactive mindset, Alvin was able to beef up his strategy and protocols for smoother sailing—no matter what came their way. “We not only put a high alert on biosecurity for our livestock but had also done so for the entire organization since the onset of COVID-19,” he explains. “The simultaneous and continuous spur of crisis has sharpened us into a better organization and [has] united us further.”
This, of course, would not have been possible without teamwork and determination. Alvin credits his management team’s sheer grit, discipline, and perseverance. He shares, “I’m blessed with having good people. [Although comprised of] a fairly young crew, we are working towards building a more solid organization as the company continues to grow.”
It was also important to Alvin that everyone was on board. “We understood the importance of coordination, resilience, and teamwork. I have personally observed how we try our best to adhere to our corporate core values,” he adds.
On Family, Love, and Marriage
With all the ongoing developments of his many businesses, time and energy remain a finite resource. But that doesn’t stop Alvin from being a good friend and family man. One would describe him as a very generous friend who values good relationships. Similarly, this principle applies to everyone he knows, be it in his personal or business circle.
When it comes to marriage, Alvin has guiding principles that put him on the right path. “Having been married for 23 years, I believe that a good and lasting marriage should be built on a foundation of love, respect, trust, and friendship,” he says proudly.
He and his wife strive to achieve a balance—by setting their priorities in their faith, family, and business. With that being said, they have centered their parenting towards ensuring that their children have a supportive environment for them to grow. In turn, they can carry on fulfilled lives and equip themselves with the best, well-rounded education that Alvin and his wife can provide.
Sustainability Practices Amid the Pandemic
With his internal affairs in order, Alvin now sets his sights on sustainability. Excelsior Farms now supplies high-quality local pork through a distribution channel that expands to Metro Manila, whilst continuing to cater to the Cebuano market. On the other hand, his younger venture EGGcelsior, is changing the landscape by serving farm-fresh eggs directly to the consumers, while keeping a growing number of retail outlets.
Considering everything Alvin has built and bred, it wouldn’t be a shock to hear that he now hopes to rest on his laurels. But being the go-getter that he is, he believes that he’s just beginning and even hopes to be joined by fresh blood in the future.
By encouraging more people to join the industry, it allows for more perspectives and skills to come together and make something great. This is why Excelsior Farms, Inc. launched SWINEnovation, a program designed for the younger generation to get into modern farming, which will, in turn, help uplift the country’s standards for the industry and help in the sustainability of locally produced meat products. He does, after all, believe in the power of Filipino pork farmers and is a staunch advocate of Support Pinoy Pork, which aims to help our agriculture industry, especially in this pandemic.
His advice to young entrepreneurs boils down to understanding the depth of the industry. “Modern farming is a humble but rewarding venture, and one needs focus and perseverance, like any other business, to succeed.”
But the most important quality, as Alvin already established, is to have a good head on your shoulders. “Young entrepreneurs should always have faith in themselves,” he ends. “With God, the right mindset will enable one to move forward through any challenges inevitable in any business.”
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