Ultra Bio feeds Philippine Livestock Industry!
Castañares’s Brand of Success.
Castañares reveals his formula to achieving business success. Aspiring and beginning entrepreneurs, you might want to consider these five experiential approaches of his:
Treat Yourself Special. “We are all special in the eyes of the Lord; each one has a purpose in this world. We are gifted with talents. It is just a matter of discovering and developing it.”
It starts with a Dream. Remember you must dream as well as act or it will remain a dream. A journey begins with a 1st step and a quest begins with a first dream!
Be Awake, Patient and Persistent. “Open your eyes wider you might not see them today but if you are persistent and patient soon you'll see it.”
Giving up is a No-No! “Chin up! In every adversity there is an equal opportunity. One door is closed, many will open. No need to migrate to other countries to look for ‘gold’ because it is just always in your backyard.”
Sincerity Counts the Most. “Be sincere with your dealings. Whatever you committed, always deliver it even if it would mean losing some money. The catch is you promise less and you deliver more.”
The Philippines being an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia and with a population of almost 89 million, farming is its main source of income for 75% Filipino people. Most marginal farmers are practicing crops and livestock system of farming at their backyards. These livestock help the families of farmers augment their farm income and dream of living a better life. Pig-raising is one of the popular livestock industry, but more and more marginal farmers raise exotic breeds and resort to the use of whatever they have on hand like agricultural and kitchen leftovers as substitute feeds. Due to nutrient insufficiency of these feeds’—it produces low quality meat and low market value as well. Through importing and distributing, Ultra Bio Corporation is a company that contributes wholly in the production of high market value animals through its advance and high-grade quality of animal health and nutritional products to its clientele—the commercial livestock farms and commercial feed-mill operations.
Also, a ‘threat’ after the Maritime Vessel Princess of the Stars mishap, which capsized in Sibuyan Island, Romblon in June caused by typhoon Frank, consumers are wary in purchasing and masticating any sea crop from the said nearby marine areas. They turn to other food stuff, which assure them of not being fed by the sea tragedy corpses and this is where livestock produce come in and are much preferred.
Started with No Capital, but Banked on Trust Alone.
In mid 1997, Cesar Castañares was a Sales Representative in a certain veterinary company that experienced an internal crisis and it forced him to resign voluntarily. Armed with his experience in the industry and coupled with his partners’ thorough technical understanding about the products they are going to sell, they started the distribution business in Cebu with no initial capital since no bank granted him a loan.
Ultra Bio products in Exhibit. The company’s booth showcases its products at the Inahgen Exhibits, held on February 2008, SMX convention.
“They (the banks) required tons of documents on properties as collaterals, which I don’t have. Remember, I have no money and no job,” Mr. Castañares admits.
“I have tried some partnerships, but at the same, I failed … but God is really good because he used an instrument when I met Mr. Jose Reano of Broadchem Corporation. He entrusted my company to sell his products on a consignment basis in VisMin (Visayas and Mindanao) area. I paid him back when I was able to collect.
“He lent his car to me to be used in my operations. In return, I did my best to sell his products in VisMin. After a year of persistent promotion and marketing of the products, customers started calling me to inquire about the stuff we were selling,” he shares about his early, humbling start.
Though the main supplier in the US sold its company to a huge group, again with another door closed before them, a window of opportunity came.
Various Swine Breeds
Today, there are many imported breeds in the country. Here is a list of swine breeds that will help you select what breed to raise; it is dependent on your purpose, money, and experience.
Pietrain is a very meaty-type of pig with spotted black and white color. It has well-shaped hams, loin and shoulders with erect ears. The carcass has a high lean meat percentage, but it has a poor body constitution. Feed efficiency is not really good and they are a little bit slow grower. This breed is also highly susceptible to stress. Thus, Pietrain is only worthwhile in crosses but not as pure-breeds.
Poland China is bred in Ohio, by a man of Polish descendants. The pig's original name was "Big China". A Poland China hog is usually black, but some are spotted with white and ears are lopped. This breed is lean, sturdy, and adaptable—it shows efficient weight gain.
Philippine Native swine is extensively distributed throughout the Philippines. Its best commendation is its ability to withstand the rigors of a tropical climate and to subsist on roots and farm waste, only a scant amount of purchased feed being served to prevent the animal from going astray. The color is either solid black or black with white on the underline. The breed is small. The face is straight, the snout long, eyes are large and with erect small ears. The jowls are neat, neck is big and shoulders are smooth. The back is low and the belly low and paunchy. The hindquarters are short, drooping and spare, the hams flat. The legs are strong. Its litters are small, but survival among them is high. Sows breed regularly. The breed is wild and hard to keep in confinement. The back fat is relatively thin therefore the percentage amount of lean is high.
For more breeds, click here.
Ultra Bio Corporation was born. It was Ultra Biologics Supply before, a sole proprietorship venture. For a year with no product(s) to sell, Castañares group refocused. Through an extensive research online, he landed on the Web pages of Pig International Magazine. He invited a technical person to join him and help assess potential products to carry for his company. It took him a year before his firm could finally complete legal documents, e.g., importation papers and our distribution agreement, but after that, everything went on smoothly.
Sustaining the Business via Customer Benefits.
A Souvenir shot with a Client. Cesar Castañares, Ultra Bio’s president and general manager warmly welcome his client, Mayor Gue of Quezon, Bukidnon.
His company, however, in 2003 made some refocusing as it ventured into direct importation and entered into exclusive Philippine distribution and have its imported and locally manufactured products.
For eleven years now, since its inception, Ultra Bio Corporation is still not exempted from challenges and money is a primary issue still.
“Though I already established my name during the time I was still working with other companies, putting up your own company is a different thing. To me, it is a matter of make or break. It is an issue on how to sustain the business,” Castañares imparts how he keeps his business afloat.
“Every time I visit a customer I always pray that they will consider using or purchasing my product.”
He adds that the biggest challenge his company is facing today is the global crisis, “Everything is increasing tremendously. Oil, raw materials, exchange rates, what have you? There is really an imbalance with the economic situation right now. No matter how I would like to increase the rates of my staff due to high cost of living, but we still cannot afford due to the inability to raise the prices of our products.”
To augment the company’s income, increasing their client base is one way of making new businesses.
Also, Ultra Bio Corporation does not stop finding means to provide customer benefits through its products.
Growing its Venture with His Wife.
The Proud Ultra Bio Team. Taken at Ultra Bio’s exhibit boot an shown from left are: Adam Julius Palacpac, national sales supervisor; Irwin Melo Technical, manager for animal nutrition division; Cesar Castañares, president and general manager; Mildred Castañares VP for finance and admin.; and Dr. Dante Tuyay, technical manager for animal health division).
Cesar along with his wife Mildred were a husband and wife team in the early days of Ultra Bio Corporation. His wife was his cheerleader and a stanch supporter. She handles the company’s financing and accounting matters even up to this day.
“She is the mother of my two children and at the same time a good wife to me. Right now, she is still handling the finance and administration aspect of the business and I am in charge in sales, marketing, and product development,” he narrates proudly.
Mildred was able to balance their business and their personal life.
Today, Ultra Bio Corporation has grown its staff to 20 members, including sales people. The secret to keeping their employees is through good salaries, benefits and incentives.
Mr. Castañares takes pride in the fact that the company he started a decade ago is helping to contribute to the country’s economic growth. As good citizens, they pay their taxes diligently, provide jobs and sell products that are both beneficial to their clientele and their clients’ buyers as well.
He adds, “We carry high-quality, innovative products and use scientific approach in assessing our clients’ farm operations. Quality and performance is our main concern since we put premium on ‘Maximum Performance’ or MP that equates to ‘Maximum Profitability’.”
“MP is a Western technology adopted in raising farm animals that help our clients do quantifiable and pre-determined approach. It will guide them forecast the growth of their livestock’s performance and its projected profitability.”
Ultra Bio’s Best-selling Products
Palbio is porcine digestible peptides. It is a highly digestible protein, Highly-palatable and it very safe to use. It is manufactured in Spain (Bioiberica S.A.). It sells at Php 165 per kilogram (25kg per bag).
Nucleoforce piglet is a balanced concentrate of free nucleotides. Adding nucleoforce to creep feed diets and during two weeks prior to weaning will help the animals to properly develop the immune system and intestinal mucosa. This results into healthier and stronger animals that are more resistant to different diseases, especially those of digestive nature. It sells at Php3,600 per kilogram (1kg per tin canister).
Nucleoforce aqua is a balance concentrator of free nucleotides with a minimum concentration of 24%. When supplied in a free, balanced manner, nucleotides promote optimum development of the defense and digestive
system of fish and crustaceans. Nucleoforce is a diet supplement that makes animals more resistant to disease and stress. It sells at Php 3,600 per kilogram (1kg per tin canister).
Bronchimax is both a powder and liquid plant extract additives, which is made especially to ensure efficient respiration for indoor pigs and poultry. It acts as expectorant containing component Eucalyptus to assist the discharge of mucus. Tussilagofarfara is for its antitussive action and demulcent effect. Other components, Echinacea purpurea stimulates activity of white blood cells and Pimpinella anisun increases the animal’s appetite. Such combined properties maintain immunity, improved liver function, optimizing feed conversion. It sells at Php678 per litter (5liters per plastic canister).
Another shot with a Client. Benjohnson Siao, a client gamely poses with Cesar Castañares.
To most traditional livestock growers, its feeding philosophy is that maximum intake equals maximum performance, but the truth is, ‘maximum intake’ is associated with less than ‘maximum performance’ due to off-feed problems. The best feeding is through ‘limit’ or ‘programmed’, which refers to the practice of limiting intake to some percentage (typically 90-95%) of intake. Research proves that this scientific approach maintains average daily gain and concomitantly improves feed efficiency in the process.
Part of their business expansion is the plan to set up a piggery for their research and development (R&D) department or as model farm. They are also in the process of developing their pharmaceutical distribution business, which they see coming to reality at the start of next year.
Boosting the company’s image, they also created a Web site, which is accessible by their clients, prospective market, and suppliers. The site’s URL is http://www.ultrabiocorp.com/.
Broadchem Corporation’s confidence on Mr. Castañares to sell an estimated of one million pesos worth of products on consignment basis was a great break for Ultra Bio Corporation. In its early beginnings, the company only rented a warehouse, but today, it has acquired its own warehouse in Cebu with 1,800 square meters in land area.
Despite the sad reality that the livestock industry in the Philippines particularly that of marginalized farmers is lagging behind in the international market, the company’s bid to expansion is still ongoing.
“We have already rented an office and warehouse in Manila. Our operations are reaching as far as whole province of Luzon. We have sales representative in these areas. Although we are expanding rapidly, we still have big rooms for more. We do not stop in terms of innovating the business for our clients’ benefits,” Mr. Castañares beams with pride as he envisions the growth of his venture.
He is optimistic that Ultra Bio Corporation will further contribute to the country’s growing commercial livestock farms and commercial feed mill operations. Also, Cebu sparked the confidence on its pork quality that it gained entry to its neighboring country, Singapore in 2007.
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