Tell us about Revolution Precrafted and achieving the status of first “unicorn” or billion startup.
Achieving this for the company is truly important to us because it validates how formidable our business proposition is. At the same time, it is a strong indicator on the level of trust and confidence of both the public and the investment community. At the same time, this status opens up more opportunities for us and it puts us in a great position financially to explore other avenues of the business, because we would naturally want to expand and avoid being stagnant. It strengthens our prospect of raising more funds in the future in case we need it.
You are one of Asia’s most successful entrepreneurs and in the Forbes Philippines 50 Richest List in 2017 and 2018. What’s your recipe for success?
It’s important to look at it in the right perspective. I was included in the list in part because of the successful ventures I’ve entered into, such as putting up Antonio Development in New York, and leading the branded residential campaign for the family company, Century Properties. But I think, the biggest contributor to my success is Revolution Precrafted. It is a landmark concept that no one has done before and I pursued it with enough preparation and determination.
I studied the real estate landscape thoroughly and I explored every niche, to see what we can do. In the process, I was able to understand the pain points of the public and I was able to identify what I can ultimately bring to the table. In a nutshell, my recipe for success was finding a creative business model, preparing thoroughly for it, and being flexible and determined about it.
As I mentioned, I put up Antonio Development in New York right after business school. Though I came from a real estate background, it was important for me to bring something new and different to the sector. I also wanted to prove that I can compete in a very competitive environment, using my own wits, network and experiences.
I collaborated with Pei Partners and I.M.Pei to develop a branded luxury residential tower. After that, I went back to the Philippines and spearheaded branded condominium projects for Century Properties. I partnered with Versace Home, Missoni, Armani Casa, yoo by Philippe Starck, and Trump Organization to name a few, to create design-driven residential space that offers premium amenities and experience.
In December 2015, I launched Revolution Precrafted, the first company that supplies branded prefabricated homes, pavilions and other verticals around the world. Since our launch, we have partnered with 81 of the world’s best architects, designers and artists. We have expanded our footprint to about 28 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, North and South America and Australia. In the next 3-5 years, we are slated to deliver 44,000 units around the world.
We are determined to make a significant mark in the MENA region. One of our biggest projects in the $3.2 Billion “World Islands” project with Seven Tides in Dubai. We also have a partnership with Property 1 of Bahrain to build 500 units of residential units measuring at least 200 square meters each. We are finalizing talks with companies with Lebanon, Morocco and Ghana. We are also talking to a potential fabrication partnership with a Dubai-based company.
Globally, we hope to expand to 55 countries by the end of 2019 and to be present in 85 to 100 countries by the year 2020. We are expanding our product portfolio to include accessories. We are also preparing to offer prefab schools, clinics, offices and other facilities that can be fashioned out of prefab structures.
We are positioning ourselves to be a global marketplace that can link developers, fabricators and customers, towards achieving cost-efficient structures whether by singular or bulk purchases.
We are currently in the process of preparing for our series C fund raising to finance our expansion.
How did the passion for the collection of international modern and post-war contemporary art begin?
I developed my passion for modern and post-war contemporary art during my late 20’s. I am reflecting this passion for art in the business. For example, one of our products are museums designed by Pritzker-winning architects such as Jean Nouvel, Christian de Portzamparc, Tange Associates and Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie architects). These museums are located in our $1.1 billion Batulao Artscapes project in the Philippines. This art venture community is envisioned to be the ‘World’s First Livable Art Park”.