One of the most amazing entrepreneurial stories of the past decade has been that of Edgar “Injap” Sia II.
Injap’s DoubleDragon Properties, formerly Injap Land Corp., was listed at the stock exchange in April 2014, with an IPO price of P2 per share. DD gained 50 percent on its first day of listing, valuing the company at P6.687 billion.
Yesterday, Jan. 4, 2018, DD closed at P40 per share, 20x its initial offering price in 2014, and valuing the company at P89.16 billion.
Injap owns 37 percent of DD, through his holding company, Injap Investments, Inc. Jollibee’s Tony Tan Caktiong owns a similar 37 percent of DD.
With 37 percent of DD, Injap is worth P32.98 billion.
DD’s share price hit its highest, P56.60 on March 21, 2017, which valued DD at P126.2 billion of which Injap owned P46.69 billion, making him a US dollar billionaire. So from nine months ago, Injap is “poorer” by P13.7 billion.
But then three years and 10 months ago at the IPO price of P2 per share, DD was worth only P4.45 billion of which Injap owned P1.64 billion. In 46 months, thus, Injap’s wealth increased 20x, from P1.64 billion to P32 billion as of yesterday. The boy and college dropout from Iloilo was creating wealth at the rate of P14 million a day. More if you use the peak DD market cap of P126 billion.
Indeed, DoubleDragon Properties Corp. is the hottest publicly owned Philippine company today. It is Injap’s dream is to make DoubleDragon Properties one of the largest, if not the largest, and one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable, realty company in the Philippines.
Injap plans to be the biggest mall developer in the country, with 100 malls by 2020, by building malls at the rate of 25 malls per year.
His DoubleDragon has become the Philippine’s fastest growing property company—in revenues, profits, and acquisitions.
Less than three years from it’s April 2017 listing, DoubleDragon became more valuable and a more desirable stock than its much larger and older rivals.
In capital gain yield to investors, DD is the second-best after Henry Sy’s SM Prime. Barely eight years old, DD clearly now is in the Big League. It is disrupting businesses once dominated by the Big Boys—malls or retail leasing, office space leasing, hotels, and even a new area, the wholesale rental of factory buildings and warehouse sites.
DoubleDragon Properties Corp. is a narrative of unprecedented growth and sharp focus. And if you believe investors and analysts, it is the best company to invest in—today and in the coming years.
When he was 32 and an emerging businessman from Iloilo, Injap saw an ad in a newspaper for a nationwide contest—the person to send the most number of text messages in reply to survey questions will win a brand-new car.
“That contest taught me many lessons that I still carry with me,” Injap says now.
First, “I learned how to look at things one notch deeper, to analyze situations thoroughly and approach it from different angles. Do this, and you already start from an unbeatable advantage.”
Second, “I learned how to anticipate and provide the tools that Ernie needed—in that case, food and energy drinks—that would help us successfully hit our goal.”
Third, “I learned how to audit: Every day, I would set my alarm for 3 am, when I would call Ernie. By listening to his voice, I would know if he slept or not. I learned how to audit because there wasn’t too much of a margin for error.”
Fourth, “I learned to deliver on my commitments.”
Lesson One was the same with Mang Inasal. Recalls Injap: “When I set it up, I tried to scan for opportunities in the universe of fast food, and saw that there were no modern fast food barbecue chains yet in the Philippines at that time. It made sense to focus on inasal, the local specialty in Western Visayas. By looking deeper and analyzing the situation closely, I realized that it was a gap that had long been open but was not filled in yet.”
On Lesson Four, says Injap, “when I won the contest and the car, I gave Ernie the exact cellphone I promised.”
There is a fifth lesson though. Reports Injap: “When I got the car, I didn’t keep it. I had other priorities at the time, so I sold the car. I liked it very much, but that experience taught me how to be practical, and how to sacrifice.”
Finally, a very important lesson: “Winning that contest was a very important turning point,” Injap points out. “Before then, I was so intimidated by the thought of competing on a nationwide scale. Over time, I increased my confidence by paying closer attention to details, analyzing everything possible, and looking at situations in a far deeper way, beyond what was conveniently obvious.”
Inajp built from scratch the Philippines’ biggest chicken barbecue chain and the second largest restaurant chain, after Jollibee Foods Corp. and ahead of McDonald’s. He later sold Mang Inasal to Jollibee, making for himself at least P5 billion. Today, Mang Inasal has 470 restaurants, behind Jollibee’s 1,005, McDonald’s 520, and Chowking’s 496.
In 25 years of serial entrepreneurship, Injap put up no less than a dozen enterprises, a bakery at 17, a photo developing shop at 18, a hotel at 19, a laundry shop chain at 21, the first Mang Inasal restaurant at 26, acquired and grew the Deco’s Lapaz Batchoy at 32, all in his native Iloilo.
At 33, Injap was a multi-billionaire when he sold 70 percent of Mang Inasal to Jollibee; at 35, was awarded an honorary doctorate and the TOYM award for entrepreneurship. In 2016, he became the Philippines’ youngest dollar billionaire, per Forbes, with wealth of $1.2 billion.