MANILA, Philippines – Rey Calooy, founder and president of RNC Marketing, is popularly known in the south as the “Iron Man of Cebu.” Such a moniker may be rightfully attributed to the man who managed to get out of the shackles of poverty.
“For an entrepreneur to succeed, one must have perseverance, diligence, intelligence, and the ability to rise up to the challenge at any given time,” Calooy says.
Calooy firmly believes that a positive attitude and financial discipline are two of the most important aspects of the equation. “It takes 99 percent of failure to attain one percent of success,” he adds.
Calooy didn’t have much financial muscle when he started his manufacturing business.
“With a meager amount, a lot of effort, time, and a little imagination, I managed to make the business grow,” he enthuses.
Calooy now oversees a trading firm and a company that manufactures instant hot chocolate drink, ginger tea, and noodles. He also manages a repacking business.
From rags to riches
When he was still a student at the University of Cebu, Calooy was a regular fixture in the office of university president Augusto Go especially during examination week.
“I would go to his office to personally ask him to let me take the exam even without permit. My parents just couldn’t pay my tuition on time. Mr. Go motivated me to go on despite the odds,” Calooy recalls.
After graduation, he worked as a news reporter at the local radio station dYla. But a year later, Calooy got laid off from work.
“Life was tough. But that incident didn’t dampen my spirit. I mailed application letters to more than 50 companies,” he notes.
A Manila-based pharmaceutical firm was impressed by Calooy’s credentials. At 24, Calooy became its youngest sales manager. But Caloy wasn’t satisfied with his career so he resigned.
Using the P20,000 cash bond from the company, Calooy started selling dust rags in 1994. Realizing that there underserved market for the product, Calooy approached the manufacturer of the dust rags, bought all his stock for P15 a kilo, and sold them for P25 a kilo. He was surprised that he actually earned more from selling rags than when he was still working for the pharmaceutical firm.
Calooy is grateful for the support he got from Plantersbank, especially at that time when he was just a fledgling entrepreneur.
“During those times when I needed to buy new equipment, only Plantersbank had given me a higher credit line. It was more than enough to augment my resources and to improve my company’s productivity,” he says.