The Torch Bearer
Tatler Philippines|November 2020
A brilliant business move did not go by unnoticed but recently earned for Olivia Limpe-Aw another award to add to an already long list of recognitions
Chit L Lijauco

As the scare over the deadly coronavirus spread fast in the first quarter of the year, so did sanitisers and disinfectants quickly disappear from the market shelves. A forward-thinking business mind saw the fast-rising demand and immediately went into action. For her foresight, Olivia Limpe-Aw joined the prestigious list of Asia’s Power Businesswomen for 2020 by Forbes, a shortlist of 25 across the region and one of only two Filipinas.

“I believe our Covid-19 response was what the Forbes Asia people focused on in making their final decision,” said Limpe-Aw, chairman and CEO of Destileria Limtuaco.

What the oldest distillery in the Philippines did under the leadership of this fifth-generation would most likely be a case study in business schools from hereon in. Even before the declaration of the community quarantine in mid-March, Limpe-Aw already began to allot some of the company’s resources to the production of disinfectant alcohol. Licenses, permits and registrations were obtained in record time, ensuring that Destileria Limtuaco would be able to operate even if it could not manufacture its principal product line, liquors. It meant that it could retain a skeleton workforce and help ensure the availability of disinfectants in a desperate consumer market.

On the first week of April 2020, Consumer Protect rolled out. Developed just a month before, it is the proud and latest addition to the distillery’s portfolio of products.

This quick-witted response to a pandemic problem was probably just a deal-breaker. For Limpe-Aw had already made her mark when she took over the reins of the 168-year-old Destileria Limtuaco in 2004, receiving the torch passed down through four generations prior.

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