EMMA IMPERIAL PRESIDENT AND CEO, IMPERIAL HOMES GROUP OF COMPANIES
December 10, 2014
Emma Imperial has been in the real estate sector for 31 years. She has this staying power because he positive attitude and happy disposition make doing the business with her lighter. In addition, Emma knows hoew to innovate and has the skills to know the right people with whom she could build relationships both personal and business. She concentrates in the low-cost mass housing segment where the housing backlog is more pressing. Now, she pioneers a community development that is powered by solar. This makes her Via Verde project the first in this field not just in the Philippines, but perhaps in the entire world. More than that, Emma is passionate towards her job. She believes she has a mission to provide shelter for low-income earners. She accepts that with an alacrity that is so natural of Emma. HER COMPANY Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC) was established in 1983 with the late Legazpi City Mayor Atty. Gregorio S. Imperial Jr. as chairman and CEO. Emma succeeded her husband after her death. Emma was only able to really pursue her dreams after the death of her husband. She gravitated towards work perhaps to get away from her loss. The first project was a low-cost mass housing development for teachers in Albay. The project was so successful that they have built three Teachers’ Villages already. IHC expanded into the entire Bicol region. Now, the company has projects in Cavite, Batangas ans Laguna concentrating in the low-cost mass housing segment. The farthest that she has attained was for the middle-income housing with Tagaytay Meridian, Imperial Royal and Casa California. She continues to reengineer her products and development until she ventured into a farm subdivision named Lakeside in Laguna and other concepts in San Pablo City.These farming villages have bigger cuts of a minimum of 750 square meters for each homeowner. Despite the lure to enter into the high-end housing segment, Emma says she ould remain in the low-cost mass housing bacuase that is where the housing backlog is. She also collaborates with fellow mass housing developers. The company’s housinf development expertise boosts of its partnerships with premiere real estate companies in the country. It was also in 1996, when the company had a joint venture project with Laguna Property Holdings, Inc., the mass housing arm of Ayala Land, Inc. together with the Ayala Foundation in the construction of 2,000 socialized housing units in IHC’s property in Silang, Cavite. The project, known as Buklod Bahayan, is a comprehensive model for buildinf socialized housing communities nationwide. From 1996 to 1999 the company was able to build and sell around 7,000 housing units, generating revenues of about P450 million per year. The company likewise entered into other joint veture partnership this time with Megaworld Properties’ subsidiary, Empire East and Suntrust Properties, Inc. for its 20.1-hectare property in Silang, Cavite and with Premiere Fiesta Land, Inc., an affiliated company of IHC., for various projects. Currently, the company owns about 300 hectares of land with an estimated market value of P3 billion mostly located in Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, and Bicol. Imperial Homes shall continue its thrust of creating excellent pocket-sized developments in inner cities, building communities and homes that are unique, built-to-suit and accessible. Their company has been selling housing units to Filipinos working or residing in Singapore, US, UK, and portions of Europe such as Italy and Spain. New products are likewise being developed that would cater to the needs of the OFW market and to take advantage of many different market niches. So far, the group has built around 15,000 homes of mixed economic and middle-class housing projects. SOLAR The company has become so dynamic that Emma is now developing a solar-powered low-cost mass housing project in Sto. Tomas, Batangas called Via Verde to connote the project’s thrust for green technology. “It will be the first in the country and perhaps in the world. It is solar-powered and it is for the low-income segment,” says Emma. There will be 1,000 housing units for the first project with housing packages starting from P450,000 to P1.5 million per unit. Already, 200 units have been sold. The Via Verde model has been recognized by the World Bank-International Finance Corp. as a transformational business model because of its impact to the environment and the community. Via Verde was presented during the World Banl Housing Conference in Washington D.C. and Climate Business Forum in Hong Kong. According to Emma, she started doing a research on the use of solar power for her mass housing project almost 4 years ago. She also searched for partners. She did not stop until she found Belgian group Enfinity, a company that finances, builds, owns, operates, and maintains solar power with operationd in the US, Canada, Eupore and Asia Pacific. Also lending support is CBL Group, a UK-registered and China-based company which provides green panels for pre-fab and modular housing. C.C. Buencamino Architect, a Floride-registered company which mastered light commercial and residential design-build, is also an IHC partner to design and master plan the solar powered homes and community. Equipped with a 500-watts solar solutions, these solar-powered homes will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and provide a greener environment for our low-cost housing projects. Based on its calculation, the solar panels to be established on the roofs of the 1,000 houses can power a refrigirator for 7 hours, four hours of TV and two telephone charging at one hour each, 30 minutes of ironing and five hours of electric fan. Once completed, Via Verde’s contribution to renewable global efforts will translate to $ 1.4 billion in fossil fuel consumption ans 941k tons of carbon emission elminination annually. Since the solar power cannot fully supply a househld need, homeowners at Via Verde should still be using electric power from utility firm, but its electricity usage would be reduced by as much as 40 percent. Homeownersare also assured of P200 in monthly savings in their payment for their power consumption. After 20 years, Via Verde homeowners will own the solar panels which are still good for another 10 years. Aside from the use of solar power, Via Verde house will also be using environment-friendly magnesium cement boards and paints. IHC expects to receive the World Bank’s EDGE Certificate for Green Building ehich will be first for a mass housing developer in the country. “If only all mass housing projects will use this kind of green housing model, it would be great,” says Emma. She noted if the 3.7 million unit housing backlog annually will use the Via Verde model, it would translate to $3.4 billion in fuel cost savings. “So the message is to help the low income individuals and help reduce the impact of climate change,” says Emma noting that the Belgians are not exclusive to her but is open to other developers interested in helping mitigate the impact of climate change. “With the Philippines having the highest cost in electricity in the entire Asia, this solution is right smack in our midst,” says Emma. From initial 1,000 houses, Emma says they will revamp up production to 10,000 units in 6 years with other projects in Sto. Tomas, Silang, Iriga, Cabanatuan and Legazpi City. “Solar energy is ideal for communities because it is clean, renewable(unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, and thus helps protect the environment where families can comfortable live in and children can safely grow in,” she adds. PROFITABILITY Unlike other businessmen who kind of deny how they are progressing because of fear of scrutiny by the Bereau of Internal Revenue, Imperial has no qualms in saying, “Degfinitely this business is profitable.” She, however, qualified that this business is so tedious and requires lots of handwork. “You really have to be hands on,” says Emma. She recalls that a 120 square meter house and lot project before could only cost P2.5 million but now it has gone up to 5 million. “My skill is in real estate,” says Emma, who once served as Coporate Broker Officer for Financial American Exchange (FINAMEX) in California. Emma is not only passionate about her business, she urtures friendly relations and collaborations with other mass housing developers. “I was the first to develop the socialized housing project for Ayala in Silang. I am a friendly developer with other developers,” says Emma. She vows to remain in the low-cost mass housing segment because that is where the housing abcklog is noting that there is a supply glut in the high-end housing segment. As an employer, she makes sure that her employees share in the company’s growth. Her people are happy with their work and with the company. “We take good care of our employees. If you go to our office you will know that we have a happy workplace,” says Emma noting that 70 percent of his people come from Bicol. She has 130 manpower complement. She is lenientwith her people allowing them to make mistakes and learn from it as long as they don’t repeatedly commit the same mistake. “I believe on empowering our employees and allowing them to do their own thing. I am hard worker so I also expect them to do the same,” says Emma. On top of that, Emma gives generous incentives to employees. RESPONSIBILITY Having taken on some responsibilities as a young girl has made Emma a responsible woman. Emma came from a poor big family with 12 siblings. She was the fourth child but was given the responsibility to take care of her younger siblings. “As a caretaker of my siblings I learned discipline and developed in me the character of being in control,” says Emma, an alumna of Harvard Business School’s Owner Management Program. A graduate of business economics at the University of the Philippines, Emma also had a stint as an investment analyst of Ayala Investment and Development Corporation. On top of that she was passionate on things she does. When she got married to the landed Imperial family of Legazpi, she tried her hands at addressing some of the social ills that include housing issues. When she first thought of the solar homes, everybody was trying to discourage her but she was persistent thinking why solar power is so expensive when it is supposed to be free. “When I am passionate about something, I hold oon to it especially if it means good for others. As a result, we reap fruits in a bigger way,” adds Emma. CHEERFUL Emma has always that happy disposition in life. She is always rhe life of a party. So, one day when she was asked to help entertain the guests in one of Ayala’s parties she made sure she was introduced to the country’s most succesful businessman Henry Sy. There she asked the business tycoon his secret to a successful success. According to Emma, Sy told her he can tell a person the first time he met him. That first impression will direct his future dealings with the person. Emma heeded Sy’s wisdom and developed the same skill. She tries to assess person at first meeting. Over the years, Emma honed that skill that now she only deals with people based on her first impression. She wants to deal only with people with good disposition in lifel, shying away from people with negative vibes. She applis this skill not just in her business dealings but even her personal relationships. “I’ve never been swindled,” says Emma, a licensed broker and ranked 3rd top in the Philippines Broker Board Examination, in 2000. Emma is a member of the SYLK Ladies, a group of women CEOs, mostly from BPO sector. She is the only CEO from the real estate sector, but the lady CEO are all supportive of her. On her spare time, she goes ballroom dancing. She loves to swim, too. Emma does not look her age and her well toned muscles could pass off as a teener. Her sunny disposition is what makes her only look youthful, but she acts like one. She has an easy smile. It is just so natural of her. No wonder succes comes to her naturally. – Manila Bulletin
Archive for December, 2014
PHILIPPINES’ FIRST AND BIGGEST SOLAR-POWERED SUBDIVISION, POWER PLANT TO RISE IN BATANGAS
PHILIPPINES’ FIRST AND BIGGEST SOLAR-POWERED SUBDIVISION, POWER PLANT TO RISE IN BATANGAS December 02, 2014 Batangas is going green. As one of the richest Philippine provinces, Batangas continues to attract foreign investors, and will attract more tourists once the first ever Philippine solar-powered subdivision is completed in Sto. Tomas town. Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC), a local real estate company, has collaborated with Enfinity Group, a Belgian solar power company, for the development of the first ever solar-powered mass housing project in the Philippines. The project according to source will attract more tourists once completed and the whole idea is compared to Bangui Windmills, Pagudpud in terms of tourism revenue. The 1000 units of solar-powered houses will be fitted inside the 3-hectare land according to IHC. Each house will be equipped with 500 watts solar panels that could dramatically reduce power consumption by large percent. IHC addedd that the project could make the country one step closer to renewable source of energy in coming years. In a separate news, Amrican solar company SunSolar is also eying to build a 50-megawatt solar powerplant in Nasugbu Batangas. The project will be the first and biggest in the Philippines and will be included in the lists of biggest solar power plants in the world according to SolarSun. Currently, there are 5 operating solar power plants in the world with 50-megawatt capacity, that is good for 10th place. Mojave Solar Project in US is the biggest with 280 MW. The plant will provide electricity to 75% of Batangas consumers and 20% of Cavite. SolarSun with its local partner. TransElectric said the project is the answer to Batelec and Meralco unreasonabe ans unscheduled power interruption, and high cost of electricity. The plant is expected to hire more than 5,000 employees that include engineers, line men, office workers, and beach and resort workers. Groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled on July 2015. The plant will cover 5 hectaes of undeveloped beach. The solar panels will be installed both offshore and onshore according to the source. The company will also develope another 2 hectares for resort as tourists will be epected to storm the place once the project is completed.