Roger Florete is the Mediaman of Bombo Radyo Philippines.
“We could have built a box,” exclaims Roger Florete. “A box would have meant more space for revenue generation, easier electrical and plumbing installation, and faster construction.
Most malls in the Philippines are boxes. But we didn’t want a box. Instead, we built this.”
This, is about Roger’s newest project, the intricately-designed shopping complex Plazuela de Iloilo, along Benigno Aquino Avenue. “I do believe Iloilo is ready,” he says. “There are many SMEs if given the right environment and the right atmosphere would gladly do their best to promote Iloilo; and if we can contribute in some small measure for both local and outside entrepreneurs to invest in Iloilo, then we will have succeeded.”
Indeed, the Plazuela may seem like a homecoming of sorts for Florete, who began his career as a trader by the provincial bus terminal along Mabini-De Leon Streets. By turn both colorful and controversial, he soon found himself transplanted to Manila after being asked to take on the reins of the newly-acquired radio network his father had bought into. “I didn’t have the faintest idea how to run a radio network as I have no prior involvement in the media industry. I was already running a flourishing business as a trader of agricultural products (rice, sugar, salt, etc,) so why go to an uncharted area? However, that was the marching order of my father hence I obliged. It was “learn as you go.”
To date, Bombo Radyo Philippines has 43 stations spanning the archipelago and is recognized as the No. 1 Radio Network in the country. Yet Roger refuses to take the credit head-on, proffering but a knowing smile even as we enumerate his accomplishment for the business. “Your words, not mine,” he simply says.
It may seem ironic that the man who grew the network famous for the banging of drums would choose to be silent at this moment, but perhaps Roger Florete had already revealed the secret of his success: creative thinking, focus, unimpeded by constraints despite resistance. In other words, thinking outside of the box.
Today Roger Florete sits at the helm of the Florete Group as president/chairman engaging in media, banking, water, property development, agribusiness, real estate, pawnshop, and jewelry.
Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)