Edgar “Injap” Sia II is the Magician of Injap Investments, Inc.
The story of his success has been chronicled in all forms of media, and he has already become a celebrity of sorts, a benchmark for marketing genius and entrepreneurial spirit. But even with the undeniable success he has brought to the Mang Inasal franchise, Edgar ‘Injap’ Sia II may have barely begun to scratch the surface.
Injap’s foray into what might already be considered a saturated chicken barbecue market in 2003 was built on the simplest of ideas: “Sure, you could find your favorite paa, pecho, or pakpak at any restaurant or even street corner,” he admits. ” But despite the inasal’s ubiquity, no one had thought of taking it into fast-food territory. The quick and efficient service, combined with the flavors that the market already knew and loved, was our innovation. And it became our competitive edge.”
Still, there were birth pains. Mang Inasal’s Day One saw the crew pacifying customers who were not used to the new self-service process. The ventilation system failed, engulfing the area in smoke. Purchases had to be made purely in cash out of a server’s cap on the counter. And the restaurant ran out of chicken.
If you happened to pass by mid-afternoon of that fateful day you would have witnessed a forlorn Injap sitting on the steps across the street from his restaurant, wondering what he was doing there and if he had made the right decision. But as his eventual accomplishments have proven, he could not have been in a more appropriate place. In barely seven years, Mang Inasal has become the fastest-growing fast-food chain in Philippine history.
The Mang Inasal phenomenon has meant success not only to Injap but to the community as well, A partnership with Iloilo Kawayan Marketing has employed thousands of bamboo farmers in Maasin who have been commissioned to manufacture the chicken barbecue sticks. A small church community in Leganes builds the lighting fixtures for every restaurant. And a 19-hectare reforestation project has just been developed on Guimaras Island.
With the recent sale of Mang Inasal’s majority sake to the Jollibee Food Corporation, Injap has turned his eye to property development projects in Iloilo City. With the innovations Edgar he has brought to the table, one can only begin to wonder what Sia’s magic will do to the home.
Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)