His over decades-long showbiz career has opened many doors for actor Enchong Dee throughout the years, including the opportunity to delve outside the world of entertainment as he knows it and into entrepreneurship, which is what has been keeping him even busier nowadays.
But not too busy for Star Studio to talk about his unheard life as a businessman, apparently. In this month’s special feature, the 30-year-old star revealed that he has been on the hustle for seven years now, thanks to his mother, Theresa Dee, who proposed to him a possible business venture which involves putting up their own establishment right where an old building used to stand in Quezon City.
“Sabi niya, ‘Luma na siya. Ang gagawin natin, titibagin natin, ‘tapos papatayuan natin ng bago, pang-residential at commercial.
“Sabi ko, ‘Okay, May pera ba tayo, Ma? Sabi niya, ‘Meron tayong pambili, pero ‘yung pangtayo, ‘yun ‘yung kailangan nating utangin.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige na, pikit mata,” he said.
The bank that agreed to lend them money gave them 10 years to return the loan, but it only took the mother-and-son duo two years to do so. This alone is an indication that the Dees were onto something promising. Today, Enchong is proud to say that their first-ever business project — the building they’ve since named E23 — is still in operation even after all these years.
“It pays for my taxes. It pays for my credit card. Kumbaga ngayon, everything that I get from ABS-CBN would just go straight to savings,” he said.
Inevitably, Enchong would later find himself showing a growing interest in other kinds of business, among these being his prior investments in billboards, cement, dragon fruit farming, and more properties to serve as build-and sell business model for townhouses.
“As much as possible, I want to learn. I want to re-use my brain. I want to enhance kung ano man ‘yung pinag-aralan ko nung college. My course is politics, but hybrid kasi siya na course na it involves talking, socializing with people,” he said.
One important takeaway from his own experience as an entrepreneur is to always educate yourself prior to taking a risk in a business venture.
“Even if you have the money to invest, you really don’t just dive into it. You really have to research. Mauubos at mauubos ‘yung pera mo kapag hindi ka marunong at hindi sa tama i-invest ang pera mo,” he said.
Enchong, whose latest endeavor is franchising three branches of home-grown restaurant chain Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken with his business partner, said that being a businessman taught him to be wiser and more responsible in life.
“Akala ko no’ng bata ako, pera, pera, pera lang. No. It’s self-fulfillment. Parang, ‘May purpose ako.’ Kailangan ko alagaan ang mga empleyado ko, mga employees ng aking mom. It’s not only me who’s gaining from the businesses, but I also help people,” he said.