Ever Bilena eyes Duterte infra projects in business makeover

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2017 12:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2017 12:01 PM

MANILA - Ever Bilena wants to leverage its lipstick business to roads and flyovers as it plans to participate in President Rodrigo Duterte's P8-trillion infrastructure program, its chairman and CEO said Thursday.

The 34-year-old Filipino cosmetics company has dabbled in real estate, partnering with Ayala Land for its Arca South development.

Ever Bilena president and CEO Dioceldo Sy said he hoped to raise the share of property to total revenue to 20 percent, with cosmetics accounting for 80 percent.

"We have to keep on evolving, innovating, learning what the market needs, what the market wants," Sy told ANC's The Boss.

Sy started Ever Bilena in his 20s with a staff of 4, including his sister. From lipstick, the company steadily built its cosmetics line, tapping popular movie and television stars in the 80s and 90s as endorsers.

To keep in touch with trends, Sy said he would consult his girlfriends, who were also in their 20s.

"I asked them what they loved, what colors they liked. I was practically the R and D (research and development) and product development," he said.

Ever Bilena president and CEO Dioceldo Sy (L) and his daughter, Denice Sy (R) speak to Cathy Yang (center) for ANC's The Boss

Sy said his daughter, Denice, helps him manage the family business, helping Ever Bilena keep in touch with the millennial generation.

The company's current endorser is Loisa Andalio, who starred in ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother.

Sy said the company was open to mergers and acquisitions, citing recent talks with a prospective Indonesian partner.

He also rejected suggestions of an additional levy or "vanity tax" on cosmetics.

"It's not jewelry. It's a basic thing. i don't think vanity tax will be done in cosmetics," he said.

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