Young entrepreneur Hero Go, eldest son of Elizabeth Go, didn’t have second thoughts when he decided to launch his adult and baby diaper company in the midst of the pandemic on online shopping sites. He saw an opportunity during the lockdown and his guts didn’t fail him. After all, he is a Business Management graduate of Ateneo de Manila University and a tireless board member and treasurer of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Philippines. He was the president of the Alumni of Youth Group of that association, too.
To his parents who told us that “We waited five years for his arrival and when he finally came, we called him, Hero!” And so it is Hero, to family and friends, and a hero to babies and adults who want to buy dry diapers.
Today, the diaper company, which he founded and called “Assure,” has exponentially grown. Next month, it will be launched at Robinson’s and Shopwise supermarkets. It is remarkable achievement for a 28-year-old entrepreneur who chose a product close to his heart.
‹Go recounted that he was stunned at the influx of orders online. “We were not prepared. It was me and my family, and it was the middle of the lockdown. There were too many orders online, but we’ve eventually managed all the orders,” Go said.
Go knew they had a good product in their hands when they first launched it on online stores and eventually at a physical store in Royal Subic. What makes the product really stand out is its quality. Although it has the same quality as other established brands, it is more affordable.
“With Assure diapers, you can ensure dryness and discretion by locking the urine and odor away from the body, assuring the customer of freshness, good hygiene, and priceless comfort,” said Go. “The product speaks for itself. We really developed a product we can be proud of.”
When he could chose other products to build, why did Go choose a diaper line for adults and babies? “I connect with my childhood experience of ‘angkong’ (also known as paternal grandfather) changing my and my siblings diapers to the period I was the one buying and changing diapers for angkong. I choose a brand name that conveys and denotes care, focus, protection, and most of all, love,” Go said.
Developing this product, a 100-percent Filipino product, has not been easy. It took him years to finalize and establish the business. But they saw the opportunity of launching it online during the pandemic.
Go chooses the best materials for the diapers. The cotton is sourced in Indonesia because they don’t want to compromise on the quality of the diapers. Today, they have a bunch of local factories here.
Launching his business was definitely not a walk in the park. There were many times Go failed and had to revise, but that was ok because he knew that was part of the process.
“When I was putting up plans to start the business. I remembered my college lesson about making a five-year plan coupled with a great deal of market research. The magnitude and scope of those exercise intimidated me. Fortunately, I have the support of my parents and siblings. Together, we studied our target market and the needs and behavior of the consumer. After which, we formulate a shorter time horizon of planned activities, execute them step by step, always mindful of whatever feedback, negative or positive, and then go back to the drawing table, make the necessary adjustment, launch it again. For me, to change plans is not a sign of weakness. It is being sensitive and receptive to the market in order to adapt and serve our market better,” Go said, recounting his journey in building his company.
When asked about his short-term plans, Go said he is bent on making the brand popular in the Philippines. His long-term plan would be for Assure to become the leading brand in the Philippine market. In building his company, he also realized that it is not good making profit at the expense of others.
“If the sole purpose of doing business is geared solely on making a profit, then it is bound to fail. Yes, maybe you can be rich and successful, but if you abuse your competition, your customers, your employees, in short, making a profit at the expense of others, the party will end soon and fortune can reverse,” Go said.
It is indeed remarkable for someone, who is only in his twenties, to be able to launch his own business and compete with the giant brands. But Go is unfazed. With a good product, he knows he already has a win. To future entrepreneurs, he has this to say: “Life is not a zero-sum game. Bring out the best of your good selves. Never stop dreaming but don’t just dream, do it step by step. There are no shortcuts to success. In every step, count your blessings.”
His siblings are Hannah Lyn and Harvey, and they, like their parents, are proud of their Hero!
(Reprinted from Manila Bulletin)