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Mang Inasal’s P3B success secret

By Ned Roberto, Ardy Roberto

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:43:00 10/21/2010

MANILA, Philippines—How does one go from one restaurant in his

neighborhood mall to selling 70 percent of his company for P3
billion in seven years, selling Ilonggo-style native grilled chicken?

Two weeks ago, we talked about the finalists of the 2010

Entrepreneur Magazine Entrep10 Awards program. But the
entrepreneur whose name was splashed all over the business
headlines over the past few days is Edgar Injap Sia III, the founder
of the ubiquitous Mang Inasal.

The Jr MarketingRx was one of the judges in the 2009 Entrepreneur

Magazine Top 10 Awards that gave four thumbs up (including the
“thumbs” of my feet) to Sia III during the judging process.

Mang Inasal’s success would make any entrepreneur green with


- from one store in Robinson’s mall in Iloilo in 2003 to 303 stores as

of today

- P3.8 billion in sales a year

- sold 70 percent of his Mang Inasal’s holding company (Injap

Investments Inc.) for P3 billion to Jollibee Foods Corp.

He will be paid a P200 million deposit and 90 percent within 30 days

of closing of the deal; the rest will be paid over the next three

- Sia is only a little over 30 years old!

According to the data and articles that Entrepreneur Magazine gave

us judges (we were trying to get a hold of Edgar, our fellow
GoNegosyo Angelpreneur and a recent Most Inspiring Young
Entrepreneur of Year Awardee, for his comments) here are the five
secrets, yes, I know, five again, to his P3 billion success:

1.) Ready, fire, aim!

Sia was presented with an opportunity when a slot at the Robinson’s

mall in Ioilo became vacant. He reserved the space without knowing
what to put up. His gut just told him that there was an opportunity
since he saw potential in the space. After a few short weeks, he
came up with the concept of a Chicken Inasal fastfood store. The
first fastfood, value-for-money type of Inasal restaurant.

His approach to expanding to Metro Manila and Luzon was the

same: “I was not very familiar with Manila, because I was born and
raised in the Visayas. I only visited once a year, and it was usually
for very short stays. So I knew I was in for quite a challenge taking
Mang Inasal to Luzon,” Sia said.

2.) Work your butt off!

Sia worked his butt off day and night. He wasn’t afraid of getting his
hands literally dirty. He was known to work long hours and help
mop and clean up the first store. Then he would come home and
help prepare and marinate chicken for the next day. He realized it
was going to be lots of work, but he didn’t give up. His work ethic
and attitude brought him through lots of disappointments and trials.

3.) Think innovation.

Simple innovation pays dividends. Just don’t copy, copy and add
something of value. Sia entered the Inasal scene late. But he simply
did the “positioning” game of Al Ries and Jack Trout and scored a
slam dunk. Mang Inasal was the FIRST Chicken Inasal restaurant
that offered quick service with unlimited rice. For P49, a student or
office worker can have a filling tasty, grilled chicken meal.

4.) Think BIG!

Sia started getting franchise inquiries fast, but held off for two years
before offering the first franchise. He did the right thing by
networking and getting help from the Philippine Franchise
Association (PFA) and coming up with a franchise opportunity that
was affordable.

For a start-up franchise fee of about P800,000, you can have your
own Mang Inasal franchise. (Total investment is about P3 million to
P4 million). After his first franchise offer in 2005, there are now
over 300 branches/franchisees.

5.) Think marketing.

The marketing message of Mang Inasal remains simple and

focused. All you see is a picture of a tasty-looking piece of grilled
chicken, the name Mang Inasal, (sometimes you see the price: P49)
and a bold tagline: “Unlimited Rice!”
Given the success of the business, the young Sia, aka Mr. Mang
Inasal, will surely inspire many entrepreneurs and marketers for
years to come.

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