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About a month ago, the Concepcion clan had our annual planning conference and shareholders’ meeting, which is something that we have been doing for the past 10 years. This year we decided to go back to Cebu, as we enjoyed our stay when we held the conference there three years ago. This time, there was a twist to our trip, because the clan decided to see the whale sharks of Oslob, which I personally did twice last year. I have convinced the non-swimmers in the family to go as well, including my mom, who is now 76 years old. My father opted not to go, but most of the third and fourth generations of Concepcions decided to join the trip. They all woke up at 4 a.m., and as they occupied five vans, our clan traveled along the beautiful coastline of Cebu to Oslob, just to be able to swim, dive, and snorkel with the whale sharks.
Not all my cousins are physically fit, as you can see from their sizes. Some do not even know how to swim. But since the water was so pristine, they decided to wade into the sea and observe the whale sharks up close. They enjoyed every minute of it. Compared to the last time that we visited, I was told that the whale sharks are much bigger, and there are new ones, too. Even the drive along the coastline was really nice. They also got a chance to stop over and admire the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, which is probably the newest church in the province.
On a more serious note, I am happy to say that Concepcion Industries is the market leader in air conditioning and refrigerator appliances, carrying the brands Carrier, Condura, and Kelvinator. My cousins have been doing a great job of running the company, which is led by my uncle Raul as chairman, his son Jojo as president, and my cousins Ton and Renna Angeles as the ones running the ref business. In fact, they were responsible for the successful turnaround and market leadership of the Condura Negosyo ref brand.
In family corporations such as ours, the key is to maintain peace within the family. We take our annual family shareholders’ meeting seriously, and it is always a must for everyone to attend. We have encouraged the younger generations to attend the conference as well, so we can be assured that they understand the business and its values, and keep the bond between the generations. Maintaining a healthy family relationship is the secret to a successful family business, especially now as we prepare to take the company public either this year or the next. This is the vision that I am sure will make the founders of Concepcion Industries happy: to see that other Filipinos will be able to be the shareholders of this company one day. Eventually, this vision will also further strengthen the level of governance and passion in the company.
The company today is owned equally by my Tito Raul, Tita Mely, and my dad Joecon. Their other sibling, Tito Rene, passed away at a very young age due to dengue, and his family moved on to other businesses. But the closeness of the Concepcion siblings has somehow filtered down to the next generations. We cousins grew up together in a compound, and even as we have our own families today, the concern for each other is still there, especially in times of need. Our parents are now all in their 80s, and I am sure their vision is for the family to preserve the bonding even after their time. This will eventually lead to a stronger Concepcion Industries, continuing the great legacy that its founder Jose Concepcion Sr., started in December 1961.