Mr. Guillermo Choa traces his entrepreneurial roots to his high school days in Pasay. He grew up helping in the family’s construction supply business, from carrying heavy loads to sourcing inventory from all over the country. The Choa family eventually went into real estate development, and Mr. Choa and his brother formed their own property development company – Confed Properties, Inc.
Having gained experience in real estate development, Mr. Choa established Property Company of Friends, Inc., or Pro-Friends, in 1999. It is one of the lowest-cost and fastest producers of housing, and has provided 10,000 homes to mid-level families mostly in Cavite. Pro-Friends is able to capture different markets by focusing on projects using smaller land areas of about five to 20 hectares.
Dedicating 10% of its employees to research and development has led Pro-Friends to use precast technology to quickly deliver houses that meet company and regulatory standards. Pre-cast components are produced on-site to minimize storage, production, and transportation costs. The company has innovatively integrated fibers, which were originally meant to patch cracks, to its wall systems. Pro-Friends also creates its own designs and operating systems.
Pro-Friends builds and manages residential communities to ensure their continuous development. Each Pro-Friends community boasts of a clubhouse, swimming pool, basketball court, and chapel. The company even maintains a budget for community-based activities such as sports clinics, holiday parties, and cooking lessons.
Pro-Friends currently has 13 projects in Cavite and Bulacan. The company is also concurrently working on a project with Gawad Kalinga. Pro-Friends has plans to expand to urban areas, and in fact has begun developing new subdivisions in Pampanga and Batangas. However, the company will continue to cater to the housing needs market. To encourage entrepreneurship, employees are allowed to invest in the company’s projects, and part of their salary goes to an employees’ savings fund. Pro-Friends is aiming for an IPO in 2010.