(Source: Entrepreneur.com.ph | May 7, 2018)
Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, the president and CEO of listed home improvement retailer Wilcon Depot, is one of the 25 women included in business magazine Forbes Asia’s inaugural Emergent 25 list. The only Filipina to make the list, she joins an exclusive group of female business owners, leaders and executives making sizable impacts in their respective markets.
“This group of 25 women, chosen for the money they generate, the influence they wield and the ideas and trends they are advancing, bring fresh perspectives to Asia-Pacific’s growing business world,” wrote Forbes Asia.
Before becoming Wilcon’s president and CEO in 2016, Belo-Cincochan started out as a trainee in 2000. She steadily moved up the ranks in the following years, becoming the head of the company’s IT department in 2002, a Depot manager-trainee in 2003 and the executive vice president for operations in 2005. She was then appointed as the company’s chief finance officer in 2006, a position she held for 11 years until becoming CEO.
The 39-year-old is credited by Forbes Asia for her leadership in the company’s “most aggressive expansion yet.” In 2017, Wilcon opened five new branches, bringing its total network to 41 stores—in line with the company’s target of opening five to six branches each year until 2021. Forbes Asia also credited Belo-Cincochan for having “computerized Wilcon’s manual systems and guided its stores from traditional to big-box format.”
As well, 2017 marked Wilcon’s debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the year’s first initial public offering (IPO). It remains the stock with the highest return among the four IPOs last year, with Wilcon shares hitting Php10.78 apiece as of end-April. That marked a 103-percent increase from its opening price of Php5.30 when it listed its shares last March 31, 2017.
Wilcon was established in 1977 by William Belo, Belo-Cincochan’s father and current chairman emeritus. The company traces its origins to a 60-square-meter location in Quezon City. It has since grown into the country’s largest retailer for home improvement goods, commanding over 50 percent of market share in the industry’s “bigbox” segment.
Belo-Cincochan is joined by seven other Southeast Asian women in the Emergent 25 list. Among them is Tan Su Shan, managing director of Singapore-based DBS Bank, Southeast Asia’s largest bank by total assets; Supamas Trivisvavet, president and CEO of CH. Karnchang, Thailand’s second largest construction firm; and Dang Minh Phuong, chairman of Minh Phuong Logistics, who founded and grew the company into one of Vietnam’s leading logistics providers.
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