Young Guys Beat The Old Guards In Agri-Chem Business
Agriculture|September 2019
WHEN OUR ADVERTISING account executive at Agriculture Magazine, suggested that we interview the founder of a very successful company that distributes crop protection chemicals and plant nutrition products in Isabela, we readily accepted the suggestion. After all, we love to write about success stories related to farming.
Zac B. Sarian

And so on July 23, we flew to Cauayan City in Isabela to meet the founder of Tagchem Dragon Distribution, Inc. which was observing its anniversary two days after our flight. Beforehand, we were told that there would be a grand celebration with the company, inviting at least 200 distributors from Mindanao, Visayas, and all over Luzon, all expenses paid for by the company. On top of that, we were told that a Toyota Hilux and lesser prizes would be raffled off during the occasion. So we really thought that Tagchem Dragon was an old company that had made its millions through the years. In our mind, the company could have been put up by a business management expert with an MBA or a PhD appended to his name.

So it was a big surprise for us when we met the founder, a 31year-old guy who was wearing an ordinary T-shirt. The meeting was brief, over a quick lunch, because Theo Aves Garcia, the young founder, was busy with so many things preparing for the celebration. He suggested that we continue the interview in the evening together with some of his close friends over food and drinks. But we were able to ask what course he took up in college.

Theo admitted that he was enrolled in business management at the Centro Escolar University but he quit schooling when he was in his fourth year because of something foolish he had done. (‘Kalokohan,’ in his own words.) Of course, we were not able to pursue and ask what mischief, if mischief it was, that he did in college. Anyway, we were able to ask his cousin, Jo Mari Aves, the COO of Tagchem, what made Theo quit his schooling. The “foolish” thing that Theo did was making a lot of money. He placed bets on NBA games and won a lot of cash. He had at least P200,000 in his ATM account, which was a big amount for a teenager at that time. He admitted that he was rebellious and called himself the black sheep in the family. However, he swears he never used prohibited drugs. He just enjoyed betting in NBA games and winning most of the time. He had complete records of his betting transactions.

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