For most people, hitting 30 is just the start of their prime years, finally leaving behind the growing pains, the learning curve and getting a grip on their identity and what they ultimately hope or aim to be.
Even for big corporations, marking their 30th year as a viable endeavor is a significant milestone to celebrate.
For Andrew Tan-led Megaworld, celebrating its first 30 years is a testament to its goal of leaving a long-lasting legacy and contributing to nation-building as it continues to grow.
Township development and being the first to espouse the “Work, Live, Play” concept is Megaworld’s most significant contribution to the Philippine property sector, with even the more senior real estate developers now adopting the same development template.
Andrew Tan, way back in the late 1980s, already had the foresight of integrating office, residential and commercial spaces in the Philippines, as the growth of information technology in California’s Silicon Valley showed the changing trend toward a more relaxed and integrated approach to work-life balance.
The booming IT sector was an opportunity to attract investor-locators to the country and provide employment to an ever-growing population of educated youth.
Mr. Tan did the initial spade work of sending teams to Bangalore, India and Silicon Valley in the US to study the booming IT sector and was, thus, the first to bring back that knowledge to the Philippines.
Mr. Tan was also the first to apply with the Philippine Export Processing Authority or PEZA for incentives to develop the country’s cyber ecozone.
By 1999, Megaworld had started on its first township—Eastwood City in Quezon City, the first PEZA-accredited cybercity.
The country’s first live-workplay township Eastwood City, has set the trend in urban communities.
What initially started on 15 hectares of land that housed former factories and warehouses, has now evolved into an 18.5-hectare township, with a flourishing 24/7 community that embodies the “Work, Live, Play” legacy. Eastwood now houses several residential condominiums and office towers catering primarily to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) offices.
There has been no turning back for Megaworld since then. It now has nine townships in Metro Manila covering 300 hectares, and a total of 215 hectares in provincial townships in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
However, the company continues to expand as it has over 6,000 hectares in landbank all over the country.
Next year alone, Megaworld has already slated the development of five more new townships in Luzon.
In the Visayas, it has six townships, but only one in Mindanao, specifically in Davao.
The property giant continues to change the landscape of communities where it is present. This includes its upcoming sprawling lakeside community, The Hamptons Caliraya by its subsidiary Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI), rising soon in Lumban-Cavinti, Laguna.
However, Megaworld has more in store for Mindanao — covering about 2,000 hectares in the next few years.
Just recently, Megaworld’s chief strategy officer Kevin L. Tan announced that the group is increasing its outlay for capital expenditures to P300 billion for the period 2020 to 2024 to further expand its townships and integrated lifestyle developments across the country.
According to the younger Tan, “Megaworld has secured significant coverage of land in the areas we want to be in. Our focus now is on developing the land in order to sustain and further propel our strong earnings moving forward.”
Based on Megaworld’s 2018 annual report, its consolidated revenues increased 14.6 percent in 2018 to P57.4 billion, while its net income of P15.8 billion that year posted a 15.6 percent growth.
Those revenues came from the P38 billion real estate sales recorded in 2018 and rental income of P14.3 billion, as well as hotel operations of P1.5 billion.
PIONEERING LIVE-WORK-PLAY TOWNSHIPS
Megaworld’s Metro Manila townships include the Newport City in Pasay City, which houses two of the property giant’s homegrown hotel brands, Savoy and Belmont. It also hosts Resorts World Manila and other international hotels brands under the Travellers International Hotel Group, which include the Mariott, Sheraton, Hilton, Holiday Inn Express (formerly Remington), Maxim’s, and soon Hotel Okura and the country’s first-ever Ritz-Carlton.
Along with its development of homegrown hotel brands, Megaworld subsidiary Global Estate Resorts Inc. or GERI has ventured into lifestyle resorts with the recently opened 126-room Twin Lakes Hotel located inside the 1,200 hectare Twin Lakes development in Laurel, Batangas.
Other well-established townships in Metro Manila include the five hectare Forbes Town in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City which was its first development in the area, but has since expanded to its 15.4 hectare crown jewel — the Uptown Bonifacio.
Uptown Bonifacio is the cosmopolitan development of Megaworld comprised of premium residential towers and office spaces. These include the Alliance Global Tower which consolidates Megaworld’s subsidiaries under one roof.
Integral to the development of the townships are the lifestyle malls of the group which was first pioneered by the Eastwood City Walk which set the template for subsequent mall developments, including one of its latest provincial lifestyle mall — the Iloilo Festive Walk Parade.
Apart from providing a world-class retail shopping experience, it also has a wide selection of dining outlets and entertainment venues.
Megaworld has also begun to address the cultural aspects of leisure through its first ever museum venture in Iloilo — the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art or ILOMOCA which opened without much fanfare in 2018.
More recently, Megaworld also opened its first Chinese culture museum at its latest Hotel Lucky Chinatown located at its Lucky Chinatown Mall in the heart of Binondo, Manila.
To date, Megaworld now has 24 townships and is present in 30 cities/municipalities all over the country.
NURTURING THE ENVIRONMENT
The company propagates a culture of responsible stewardship by promoting a number of environmental sustainability initiatives.
While it continues to expand its residential communities, commercial and office towers, and integrated lifestyle malls, Megaworld never loses sight of its commitment to help protect and nurture the environment.
The property giant has spearheaded close to 70 green projects, protected 1,500 hectares of forestlands, and built 19 green buildings all over the country.
Among these office towers is the 25-story Global Service Centre of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N. A.
The building, which is currently being constructed in Uptown Bonifacio is in line for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification, with its interiors up for LEED platinum certification.
Many of Megaworld’s developments are also now incorporating either LED streetlights or solar-powered lights, while green roofing is used for office buildings.
It has integrated smart technology in its townships to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste production.
The Newtown School of Excellence at The Mactan Newtown provides a holistic education to the young generation of Filipinos anchored on deep core values.
All of its development, of course, involves and harness human resource.
In a recent speech of Mr. Tan, he revealed that the workforce of the Megaworld Group is nearly 8,200 employees.
The Group’s various development, he said, has resulted in employment opportunities for about 2.5 million direct and indirect hires.
For Megaworld alone, the company offers continuing training for its employees through workshops, seminars, exposure trips, online learning modules and various activities to hone the skills and competencies of its people — allocating an average of eight hours of training per employee.
But looking further into the future, Megaworld has also ventured into education, opening in June 2018 its Newtown School of Excellence in Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.
The school’s curriculum is supervised by the Lasallian Schools Supervision Office. It offers primary education starting from Nursery 1 and 2 and Kindergarten 1 and 2, and just this year began offering Grades 1, 2 and 3.
Megaworld hopes to eventually expand its education arm and replicate it in other developments and, hopefully, will be able to harness its graduates to serve the community and corporation.
PAYING IT FORWARD
As the company continues to grow, Megaworld has also been giving back to the community by providing access to quality education to deserving Filipino students.
As of today, Megaworld—through its socio-civic arm Megaworld Foundation — has granted more than 5,000 scholarships to young Filipinos to over 50 colleges and universities all over the country. Some of the scholar graduates have also been employed in several companies under the Alliance Global Group, Inc.
ILOMOCA serves as a platform for local Filipino artists to showcase their artistry.
After 30 years of having successfully established Megaworld as a cornerstone of the Philippine property sector, Andrew Tan is now focused on moving forward further to contributing to the task of nation-building.
The company is helping provide the much needed connectivity of a growing metropolis. These plans include a planned railway system from Uptown Bonifacio up to the EDSA thoroughfare connecting to the Metro Manila Subway system project.
As Megaworld celebrates its 30th year, Mr. Tan admits, “Looking back, I can only say that perseverance puts you on the path to your purpose. Without this company, I would not have been able to do my part to make people’s lives better.”
Written by: Marianne Go | The Philippine Star