Why This Logistics Company COO Focuses on Entrepreneurial Opportunities Outside of Manila
Behind every great corporation is a reliable logistics company. One of the many logistics companies that helps ensure the success of others is RDAK Transport Equipment Inc. The Cebu-based transport and logistics company was recently awarded the Corporate Excellence award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2019, one of the most prestigious business awards in the region held by Enterprise Asia.
RDAK Transport is in the business of helping others succeed in theirs, providing the foundation for other corporations to build on—literally. The transport and logistics company deals with providing hardware, trucks, machinery, and heavy equipment for various industries in the Visayas and Mindanao. RDAK also happens to be the Harley-Davidson dealer in Cebu and Davao.
RDAK is one of the many all-Filipino companies that built its way to the top from the ground up. A homegrown enterprise from Cebu, RDAK’s chief operations officer and general manager Regan Rex King talked to Esquire Philippines just before he went on stage to receive APEA’s award on RDAK’s behalf.
ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES: What has been the secret to RDAK’s enduring 30-year legacy in the transport and logistics industry?
REGAN REX KING: First of all, you have to have a very good team. I’ve witnessed how, from my father’s time to today, the difference in how you do business. You have to be keen and very sensitive to changes. That’s why you have to put your ear on the ground and observe how technology has changed. You have to adapt as well.
Aside from that is our commitment to our customers. We don’t regard them as customers—we regard them as business partners. Because there’s a thing [called] specialization. Today, there [are so many opportunities] in business for everybody, so you just have to focus on your core business. You have to be the champion in that business.
ESQ: What can you say about the opportunities outside Metro Manila?
RRK: There are so many opportunities outside of Manila now. The Visayas and the southern part of the Philippines are not as developed yet as Luzon, [which] is highly urbanized now. But that’s where opportunities arise—when there’s so much yet to do [and so much] to catch up on. The action now is actually in the Visayas and Mindanao.
ESQ: How has your philosophy, “Your Success is My Success,” set RDAK apart from its competitors?
RRK: We don’t regard our customers as just plainly dealing with business. We regard them as business partners. We make sure that [we assist them in] whatever their needs are, in terms of our products like the transportation and equipment, for them to be able to succeed in their core business, be it in construction or mining. We partner with them for them to succeed in their businesses, as well. It’s interlinked.
ESQ: Where have you seen the most growth opportunities for your company?
RRK: Well there are two now because of the Build, Build, Build program of the President. There’s a lot of construction, [considering that] real estate is booming in the Philippines, especially in the southern part of the Philippines. Number two is logistics, because the future of business is in logistics. We see a lot of companies engaged now with third party companies in logistics, so we see a lot of opportunities in providing the trucks needed for very specific logistics jobs. It could be for meat distribution, dry goods distribution, etc.
ESQ: What challenges has the transport industry and logistics industry faced in recent years, and how have you been able to overcome them?
RRK: The change in how people do business. Before, the traditional way [was to] retail heavy equipment and trucks. But because of technology, it’s very easy nowadays for people to purchase trucks and heavy equipment. They just search on the Internet. That’s why we need to innovate and differentiate ourselves from just buying from the Internet. We have to have an added service. That’s the reason why we’re closely in touch with our customers on their needs.
ESQ: What has been your company’s greatest accomplishment in recent years?
RRK: The shift from used equipment (from Japan, Europe, U.S.) to brand new [equipment], wherein the Philippine market is now mature enough to appreciate buying brand new [products]. Before, when we tried to introduce brand new [products], people would be very hesitant because they would not see how the economy was going. But now we see most of our customers are confident in buying more expensive, quality products for them to deliver their core business as well.
ESQ: How integral has corporate social responsibility been to your company’s DNA?
RRK: Over the course of time, from my grandfather’s time to my father’s time, we have always been reminded to give back to the community. It’s not purely just profit and business. I myself am a member of several organizations such as Red Cross, rescue foundations, and those institutions that are in rescue, which is also in tandem with what I do. So every time there are [natural] disasters in our [area], like typhoons and earthquakes, we provide them the equipment and trucks they need for the rescue, like with Yolanda.
We also introduced a special division in our company specifically dealing with rescue and equipment devices. These are very highly specialized equipment that can be used by private and government institutions in rescue operations.