Saturday, August 10, 2013

Reaching new heights from air to land

“Reaching new heights from air to land”
Sun.Star Davao, Aug. 10, 2013

After 19 years of traveling around the world as a flight attendant at Cathay Pacific Airways, Esperanza “Epi” Francisco-Tepoot made the big switch and finally settled in Davao for good.

“Two years before I retired, I felt depressed whenever I left Davao for Hong Kong where I was based as a flight attendant. It seemed like I had exhausted the fun out of flying, hotels and shopping. At that time, being pregnant with my youngest child also made me reflect about my career plans. The thought of having a little one again was most exciting. This time around, I wanted to make sure that when my baby woke up every day, that I was the first one she saw, unlike the case with my other children”, says Epi who together with businessman husband Alwin have three wonderful kids Bianca, Santi and Lexi.

However, Epi realized pretty soon that when she did move to Davao permanently, being in one place made her bored. “You see, I am very independent. I want things done quickly. I even walk very fast like I do in Hong Kong. Eventually, I learned to relax. My very supportive husband and a group of amazing friends who were always around at a moment’s notice helped me with my transition”, discloses Epi.
Big switch

To keep her busy, Alwin encouraged her to go to work regularly at his tire business, Servityre.

“I resisted at first but slowly, I became interested. I realized what genius goes into running a business”, explains Epi.  She began to learn extensively about tires from its production process, parts and maintenance.

"I gained confidence and met so many interesting people mostly in the tire industry. I understood the difficulties and rewards of marketing; the value of hard earned money; the challenges of sustaining growth and exceeding expectations”, recounts Epi.

When her husband saw she was ready for a new business venture, they made plans for Pitbull Tyre Center.

Not the typical tire center

Pitbull Tyre Center, which was launched last week at the Phoenix Complex in Lanang, is a result of Alwin and Epi’s intensive research of what they considered as “lacking in the market”.

“We wanted to make the customer top priority since my background was customer service. I saw how uncomfortable most car service centers were, especially to women and children. Our customer lounge offers free coffee, tea and WIFI; children's play area; and cable TV. Ultimately our goal is to make servicing the customers’ vehicles a worry-free experience. We want to provide a center that has a comfortable, friendly and modern setting”, enthuses Epi.

In addition, Pitbull Tyre Center is the Mindanao-wide distributor of Aeolus Tires. It is proudly the home of the first modern concept showroom of Aeolus Tires in the Philippines with a full line up of its passenger car tires.

Established in 1965, Aeolus Tires is a well-renowned manufacturer and distributor of radial tires. It has since proven its tire performance and durability in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Branding itself as the “The Preferred Alternative”, Aeolus Tires offers a range of high-quality tires from rim 13” to 20”.

Family in mind

“Since I started work, my husband and children have always been supportive. In order for us to have more time with our kids, we recognized our need for people whom we can trust and delegate work”, shares the busy mom.

Epi points out that when choosing key people in their business, they don’t necessarily need to be the smartest or have a degree. Instead, she and Alwin prefer people with the most will and heart. “We don’t mind the time-consuming training it takes and the patience required as long as the individual has the right attitude”, she adds.

“Having this in place relieves my worries and lets me enjoy my time with my children. I am very lucky, my kids insist on "working". They love being in the office. In fact, my son knows more about tires than I do. In retrospect, we designed Pitbull Tyre Center with our family in mind”, Epi reflects.

“Truth be told, I am busier nowadays but happier and more content. Our family’s need for self improvement and learning never ends. I am glad I listened to Alwin’s advice. Who knew I would be selling tires and loving it?”, smiles Epi.
From air to land, this seasoned flight attendant turned mompreneur continues to soar and reach new heights!

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