How would you celebrate the 50th anniversary of a company you built from scratch?

Being in business for 50 years is a milestone to beat. Only a handful of businesses survive even its first year.

We are known as the “mahangin family”. No, we don’t sell electric fans. We are in the business of compressed gases and chemicals. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. (SUGECO) was established by my great grandfather, the late Don Jose Tiosejo (Lolo Pepe). He was an entrepreneur at heart, establishing several businesses during his time. My grandfather Januario “Frondy” Frondoso took over and now my father’s brother, Manuel “Lito” Frondoso, leads it.

The late Mrs. Concepcion Lua, a pharmacist, responded to an ad looking for distributors of compressed gas products in the Visayas. Superior Gas and Equipment Co. of Cebu was established in 1957. Operations started in a small office in her rented house. SUGECO Cebu is now a multi-million business, a testament to her dedication and commitment, and to the management skills of her son Alvin, the President and CEO. It is a key player in the gas industry in Visayas and Mindanao. Mr. Alvin Lua paved the way for a major milestone, the establishment of a hydrogen plant in Lapu Lapu City in 2003. SUGECO Cebu is in the process of attaining ISO Certifications.

The anniversary party was held at Pacific Grand Ballroom of the newly renovated Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City. I am very honored to take part in the celebration. It was a sumptuous dinner buffet with lechon (roasted pig) and roast beef. They raffled off a lot of prizes with a 21” plasma TV as the grand prize, and the audio-visual presentations and musical entertainment were great! There were cakes on each table and the souvenir was a nice memo pad holder.

I accepted my father’s invitation (he is one of the directors) to accompany him and I looked forward to a great learning opportunity. It was also a good chance to visit Cebu again. The last time was in 2004 with my husband and we stayed in Plantation Bay. I travelled with my father Mr. Eddie Frondoso, uncles (Jay Frondoso, Chito Frondoso, Dr. Tony Tiosejo) and aunt (Tessie Tiosejo).

Lolo Pepe died before I was born and I feel the connection in spirit through this experience. The success of the company to me is as close as I can get to get a glimpse of what he was like. His ideals are carried on to those whose lives he touched. He was a man of great vision and foresight. He surely wanted to leave a legacy for the future generation and the details will follow. I can play the scene in my mind on how Lolo Pepe and Mrs. Lua would strategize on making the venture a success.

Congratulations to SUGECO Cebu and may the next 50 years be even greater!

Would you want your business to last as long? What major step will you take to make this happen? Do you have what it takes?