- Source : The Philippine Star
- Date : 4 Jun 2018
- Author : SHEILA HINAUT
Martin Pascual is not your ordinary corporate executive. When asked how he de-stresses, the 44-year-old says that he runs up and down the 57 flights of stairs in the condominium where he lives. He also takes off once or twice a year to run ultramarathons in exotic places like Chile.
“I’m a risk-taker. It’s my personality. My legal training though has helped me manage risks in a calibrated way. But in general, I’ve always enjoyed trying new things and that of course, involves risks,” Pascual said.
Pascual recently took charge of his family’s legacy business. His new venture, the Pascual Total Health Group, is a spin-off of one of the largest Filipino-owned pharmaceutical companies.
“We wanted to grow the company faster and more aggressively and the best way to do that was to acquire ADP Pharma Corp. The company is now a subsidiary of Pascual Total Health Group,” Pascual explained. Pascual Total Health Group took full ownership of ADP Pharma Corp. and Seville Pharmaceuticals Inc. in December last year.
“I wanted to build on the legacy started by my grandparents. They were classmates at the University of the Philippines, both studying chemistry, and after graduating from UP, founded the business in 1946 selling vitamins and other medicines from their house,” Pascual said. The second generation further grew the company until it became one of the largest local pharmaceutical companies in the country.
After several reorganizations in the past few years, Pascual acquired control of a portion of the group of companies. The result is the Pascual Total Health Group, a new venture whose name offers a clue to where the company is headed in the near future. Martin and his executive team plan to expand the business to a more holistic and innovative view of healthcare with a technology-enhanced platform of services and products such as medicines, natural supplements, personal and beauty care products, data analytics services, and diagnostics.
“I envision our company to have become a lot more diversified in 10 years, engaged in other industries and not just healthcare. The healthcare business is evolving with technology so we’ve been upgrading internally through implementing an ERP system, cloud storage services, and automation, and externally, through seeking partners and learning the latest technological innovations. Currently, we’re looking at getting into various artificial intelligence and R&D technology platforms and we’ve been making investments in technology companies that are not exclusively healthcare-related,” Pascual said.
One of Martin’s imprints as the new chief executive officer was to move the company’s headquarters to a high-tech space in one of the newest buildings in Bonifacio Global City.
“We wanted to move to this new space to influence people to change their mindset, and adopt a way of thinking that is more entrepreneurial – so they are more comfortable in trying new things and taking risks,” Pascual said.
The CEO himself relocated from the US 10 years ago when he realized that working 80-100 hours a week as a corporate lawyer was not the life he wanted.
“There were times when I would leave home and it was still dark outside and I would come home and it was also dark outside. I barely had time to see my wife and my daughters, who were six, four, and two at the time. I decided I want to set down roots somewhere else. In the US, it seems the importance of your career is emphasized more than the importance of your family. I did not want my children to grow up with those values. So when the opportunity came to come home to join the family business, I didn’t hesitate,” he said.
Pascual shared that it was a relatively easy transition from law to business as he was already trained in corporate law and thinking in business terms. “What’s challenging was learning about a particular industry -- learning about the pharmaceutical industry and the details of the business and its context locally and worldwide, as well as industry specifics such as sales channels, distribution, and manufacturing,” he said.
Although Pascual has high hopes for Pascual Total Health Group, expecting to grow double digits every year through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, he shared that his family keeps him grounded.
“My grandparents were my biggest influence in business with respect to the guiding principles in business and how to work and treat people. From my mother, I learned to be conscientious. I still consult with her. She is the guiding spirit of the company,” Pascual said.