Only almost three years since then-fresh graduate Llander Simon Cham joined Primer Group of Companies, the 23-year old millennial KaPrimer has already brought great pride and recognition for the company, as he recently became one of the 12 winners of the Mansmith & Fielders Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA). Not only is he an awardee, but he also made history as the youngest ever to be given the said award.
KaPrimer Simon Cham wins this year’s Mansmith Young Market Masters Award
The prestigious award is given to honor young achievers 35 years old and below who excel in marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship, and whose achievements encourage and inspire young people to be innovative entrepreneurs and outstanding brand builders.
Simon is among winners coming from notable companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Smart Communications, Union Bank of the Philippines, Sanofi Aventis Philippines, Inc., Golden Arches Development Corp., Unilab Inc., Villa Socorro Farm, and Squadzip.
For this year’s YMMA, Simon’s entry was dedicated to how Quiksilver was able to turn-around its business, even when everybody thought it was impossible to do so. However, Simon, along with his mentor Tiffany Batungbacal, Assistant Vice President for Kenrich International Distributor Corp. (also a recipient of YMMA in 2015), did not lose hope for the brand. Through their faith in Quiksilver, together with the entire Quiksilver, Roxy, DC (QRD) team and Shared Services’ focus and hard work, they were able to bring the brand back to the lime light– and made it even better!
Simon with the QRD team. (From L-R: Claribel Castro, Harlene Mella, Abigail Guansing, Eirielle Casiguran, Amanda Taguiang,
Tiffany Batungbacal, Gerrylyn Ocampo, Marron Villapando; Middle: Llander Simon Cham; Not in photo: Charlie Escaller and Marilyn Lopez)
“There were definitely a lot of challenges that our team faced: excess inventory, unprofitable doors, poor team morale, and many more. Overcoming these problems were not easy. It did not happen overnight. It took a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice from everyone in the team. We made sure that we all stepped up and were accountable for the task that was assigned to us. If I would sum up how we overcame the challenges, two words would be enough: teamwork and dedication,” Simon, Brand Executive for Kenrich International Distributor Corp.’s QRD, shares.
“The journey was definitely tough. It made me realize that there will always be problems and challenges, but with teamwork and the right mindset, we can surely overcome any obstacle thrown at us.”
Simon attributes the victory to everyone at Primer who supported QRD, and most especially to his parents who’s been there for him throughout.
Simon with Primer Group Managing Director Johnny Thai, his parents, friends, and the QRD team
“I would also like to thank the Primer Group of Companies. Thank you to our Board of Directors for all the support they gave us. Big thanks also to our Sales and Operations team, Marketing Services Division, Shared Services team, Union Inks & Graphics Philippines, Inc. Finance and Accounting team, Information and Communications Technology team, and Key Accounts Division.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents. From day one up to now, whenever I feel upset, sad, or down, they are always there to listen and encourage me to keep moving forward. Mom, Dad, I love you both.”
Simon with his parents
OWNERSHIP MINDSET AND GREAT VISION
Simon’s ownership mindset and positive outlook brought him to his recent achievement.
Upon stepping foot in the Primer Group of Companies, the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Entrepreneurial Management graduate Simon already had a clear vision in mind: to be able to work in a company that would challenge and teach him to how to manage and grow a brand and business.
“The great thing about Primer is that it is a dynamic company, so there is always something new and different happening,” he says on why he chose and continues to choose to work at Primer Group of Companies. “I really like the fact that as a brand person, you are exposed to all the facets of the business, from financials to merchandising to marketing. Somehow, it is like you are the owner of the brand you handle.”
Simon is also a member of Primer’s millennial group, where he contributes ideas to make working at Primer fun for employees.
Today, Simon has grown into the entrepreneur and individual he saw himself to be, thanks to Primer. “Primer has been able to help me in many different aspects. I would like to think that I am now better in decision-making. I am forced to think out-of-the-box ideas on different scenarios so that I can manage the business better. There are so many things that I have learned to appreciate and practice ever since I started. I believe I have matured both as a person and as an entrepreneur in the process.”
With his love and dedication for the brand, he now has a bigger goal in mind, “I see myself with the team growing the business (QRD) to half a billion by FY 2021-2022.”
He plans to do this through adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls’ famous words: “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.”
Text by Mia Lauengco, Photos by Mon Cruz