Being poor is not a reason to give up on life. Work hard and strive and you will get what you want.
This is what Demetrio Perez, a 53-year-old man from Davao Del Sur in the Philippines believed in, who did not finish school and was a scrap metal collector before he realized that he could make more out of his living.
Perez only finished elementary so the only source of income for their family was the money coming from the bottles and iron he and his wife collected.
They earned Php300 to Php500 daily, which was enough for them to be able to save money for three years in order to rent a space and collect more scrap and sell them.
Until they saved enough money, with the help of the country’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST), his family business, which had a capital worth Php15,000, has now become worth Php20 million.
Perez’s Rags To Riches Story
In 1990, he and his wife started their DP Fabrication and Machineries, where they only started with Php 15,000 capital.
DP Fabrication and Machineries is a business that makes and markets machineries for farmers.
By 2012, he moved up to fabricating machineries for farmers and focused on this aspect.
In the same year, he ventured with the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the DOST.
It was a program in the Philippines that assists micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in technological innovations in order to improve the business owner’s current products or operations.
Perez bought only one machine for starters and his business grew from there. Now, DP Fabrication and Machineries produce farm-related equipment such as rice and corn mills, hand tractors, heavy duty trailers, rice threshers, corn shellers, feed mixers, and many more. Perez sells these at affordable prices in order to help farmers.
Image Credit: www.dpmachinery.com
The products of DP Fabrication and Machineries are highly rated by the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) in University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Perez products are made with quality that it could easily compete with other more expensive brands. The company also provides free after-sales services and on-call technical assistance when needed. Most of their clients are from the government but they also have small and mid-sized farm owners.
He soon expanded to agricultural equipment needs.
With the cheaper alternatives that his company offers, farmers will be able to afford it and will be able to produce more crops, which in turn will send more of their children to school.
Struggles Before Attaining Success
Image Credit: www.dpmachinery.com
Before he had a successful business, Perez experienced a lot of setbacks. He shared in one of his interviews that he was asked one time to deliver a bulk volume of recycled bottles to Davao City, which he collected him itself just to be able to reach the target number.
He then hired a truck and assistants to deliver the order but the vehicle got into an accident that all the bottles got broken.
Perez said he was so frustrated that time but he had nothing to do but wake up earlier the next day in order to collect more bottles to be able to stick with his commitment.
He pointed out that:
“When you’re poor, you have no time to waste on frustrations. Giving up was never an option for me”
As he had a family to feed and children who were already in school.
Doing charity is one thing he loves to do as he wants to give back to children. He celebrated his birthday earlier this year through buying 500 bags and school supplies then distributed these in remote areas in his province.
SETUP’s Best Adopter Award This Year
With such an inspirational story, Perez won this year’s Best Adopter Award for SETUP earlier this year.
There were a total of 17 finalists and Perez was quite surprised he bagged the award.
On winning, Perez said that it helped them “Gain exposure and expand our customer reach.”
The most important, however, was that the award inspired them to do more in order to serve the farmers and the country better.
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