Now no one disputes that all economic systems reflect the intrinsic self-concern of human beings. But only capitalism creates a group of people, known as entrepreneurs, who have no choice but to concern themselves with the needs and desires of others. These others are their customers.
Few economists, however, actually study the behavior of these entrepreneurs, the creative leaders of capitalist businesses. If they did, they would discover that entrepreneurs by the very nature of what they do must shun greed.
First and foremost, responding to others is the very opposite of greed.
Second, greed, in the economic sphere, is normally expressed as the immediate consumption of goods and services. I grab what I can without regard for others. But entrepreneurs must begin by saving, which is defined as forgoing consumption to achieve long-term goals. Often it takes months, sometimes many years to bring a new product or service to market.
Furthermore, entrepreneurs must collaborate with others, building teams to achieve their aims. In designing their goods and services, they must—once again—focus not on their own needs but on the needs of others. This, too, is the opposite of greed.
So, what entrepreneurs do when they seek profit is far more than self-interest. Rather, profit is a measure of how well a company has served others. Under capitalism, a business prospers only if customers voluntarily trade for its output.
And it’s only by improving its service to others that a business can thrive and grow. If the entrepreneur pursues his own interests first and his customers’ interests second, his business will fail. And sooner or later an altruistic entrepreneur will surpass him.
Capitalism at its essence, then, is a competition of giving. Of course, self-interest is involved. But the genius of capitalism, and only capitalism, is that it channels self-interest into altruism. Entrepreneurs can only help themselves by helping others.
All those who have started a business, and made great sacrifices to do so, know the drama of that first day: does the world want what I have to give? Take, for example an entrepreneur opening his first restaurant, success is far from guaranteed. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Those courageous souls, the entrepreneurs who are the beating heart of capitalism, who bring us the endless material benefits we enjoy—from smartphones to great restaurants should be held up for admiration, not torn down.
Andrew and Sandee Masigan are fine examples of those courageous entrepreneurial souls. Together, they own and operate Advent Manila Hospitality Group, a professional organization involved in restaurant operations and restaurant consultancy. Andrew has had more than 25 years experience in the food industry. He is a self-made man who built his food empire from the ground up. Sandee is a renowned food stylist.
Advent Manila’s strength lies in its extensive experience in concept formulation, market analysis, product development, back and front of the house operations, and accounting controls. The group has amassed mastery in virtually every aspect of restaurant operations and even counts food styling and food photography as part of its competencies.
Back in the 1980s, the group established the highly successful Dimsum ‘N Dumplings fast-food chain. At its peak, Dimsum ‘N Dumplings had 80 stores across the country. Simultaneously, the group conceptualized and operated several themed restaurants, among them was the highly acclaimed Struan & Tang’s Tea Salon.
In early 2010, both the Dimsum ‘N Dumplings and Struan & Tang chains were sold to make way for the group’s current and successful concepts.
The group’s flagship concept is XO46 Heritage Bistro, a fine dining restaurant that features Filipino heritage recipes, the majority of which are 40 years old and older. It is the only Filipino restaurant counted among Dine Asia’s top 100 restaurants, not to mention having been conferred awards of excellence by Trip Advisor, Esquire Magazine, and Philippine Tatler.
Arroz Ecija is an elegant rendition of the hacienda. The casual restaurant features much loved dishes from their great grandmother’s treasure trove of Filipino-Spanish recipes from a bygone era.
Arroz Ecija is an ode to the memory of the plantation—Albufera de Vèlez and a time when life was simpler and less frantic. A time when food was prepared slowly and with cariño, taking all the time for the flavors to develop. A time when dining was solely for pleasure and not a chore to be done quickly. At Arroz Ecija, they make each of their guests feel like an haciendero.
Raku Hokkaido Ramen specializes in ramen soups prepared the traditional Hokkaido way. It also carries a whole range of bento boxes and sushi.
Rajah Maynila offers a wide range of Filipino comfort dishes and desserts designed for the take-out market
Entrepreneurs like Andrew and Sandee prove that altruism is the very reason for capitalism’s existence and why it remains the hope of civilization.