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The Andaman family values.

THE ANDAMAN family, led by Dr. Potenciano Andaman and Dr. Elvira de Leon Andres Andaman, both 71 years old, do not just practice medicine. The couple and their six children, Dr. Anna Andaman Villanueva, 43, Dr. Jane Andaman Villasenor, 42, lawyer Jade Andaman Recio, 40, Dr. Jasmin Andaman Garcia, 37, Dr. Caroline Andaman, 35, and Gregorio Andaman III, 34, work together in their family business in Lucena City, which includes health services, education, finance, retail and real estate.

Doctors can become business people, but business people find it hard to become doctors, says Elvira. Our children have seen their grandparents as entrepreneurs. Their uncles and aunts are professionals, but still they have their own business. In the past, they saw me working as cashier in our hospital.

We emphasize the importance of love, says Potenciano. Even if my wife and I were busy with the business, we never forget quality time. On weekends, we would go as a family to Manila to relax.

The children have different personalities and often express diverse viewpoints, but they remain close to each other. Early on, the parents made a conscious choice to inculcate values into the family.

We have raised our children to care for each other, says Potenciano. If there is conflict, they communicate openly and work things out. As their mother tells them, 'Ang pinanggalingan ninyo ay iisa at ang inyong umbilical cord ay sama-sama.'

The Andamans have seen other family businesses failed because of generational conflicts. If siblings do not talk to each other, how can problems be solved? says Potenciano.

Analyze the problem to get the solution. Honesty and courtesy are important, and so is genuine communication.

While problems are still small, says Elvira, you already have to address them.

Not afraid to fail

People are afraid to fail, says Potenciano. But failures can be stepping stones to success. You learn a lot from failure and you improve your skills to make things better the next time around.

Being a doctor and a businessman has its advantages. If our family business fails, we still have our fallback as a doctor. This is not the case if you go into other fields. For instance, if you take up commerce and then go into business but do not succeed, it is not easy to immediately earn a living in another way. But if you are a doctor, then right there and then, you can pick up your stethoscope and do patient consultations or do surgery. You don't need a lot of funds or other kinds of know-how to start all over again.

What about doctors who want to start their own business? First, invest sufficient capital, says Elvira. Second, decide what kind of business you will enjoy. Third, choose a good location for your business.

Plan well. Where will your business be? What will you do? How will you do it? Will you enjoy doing it? If you do not like what you do, then you will just be forcing yourself, and in the end, you will lose your motivation. If you love your business, even if you just earn just a little, you will still be happy.

You need to be on the battlefield, says Potenciano. The soldier who triumphs fights in the battle himself. Subaybayan mo ang iyong negosyo, or else, you will fail.

If you have the chance to have a family business, do it. Imagine how gratifying it is for family members to discover their talents and pool their efforts in working together! You can also coordinate with experts to guide you in family governance.

Be honest with yourself, and you will be honest in dealing with others. Have faith in God, for He will not abandon you.

The extra mile

In the Andaman family business, constitution is a defining value: pasobra. Papa says that when we do things, we should go beyond [the norm], says Jane. Go the extra mile when we help people, when we practice medicine, when we take care of family.

We are putting the proper policies and systems in place, says Potenciano. We are preparing the next generation for the future, showing them how to value partners and employees.

The Andaman patriarch and matriarch have won numerous awards, including that of Ulirang Ama and Ulirang Ina. In 2006, Potenciano received the Quezon Province Medal of Honor, and in August 2015, he was recognized as Outstanding Lucenahin in Entrepreneurship.

Even at our age, with moderate know-how, we continue to create businesses to help people, says Potenciano.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 11, 2015
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