Mang Inasal

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How can Mang Inasal sustain its success? 

Your column on Mang Inasal?s success secret is still the continuing topic of our group?s conversations. We?re a foursome of Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Master in Entrepreneurship (ME) graduates and you taught our batch. There?s one question raised during our past two weekly gatherings that we all tried answering. But we heard as many different answers as there were members. So we thought we?d pass on the question to you: ?Assuming it?s true that the five secrets you identified as responsible for Mang Inasal?s Edgar Injap Sia?s P3-billion success were correct, would these be the same five secrets that will sustain Mang Inasal?s future success with Jollibee Foods Corp. as its new owner?? A: Conventional wisdom prescribes that to do a good job at managing the future do so via the success of the past. But experience tells us that navigating the future with this mindset has proven to be a recipe much more for disaster than for success. For a more enlightened answer, we need a more enlightening framework. Because we?re talking about the future, we need a better foresighting basis for diagnosing what can sustain Mang Inasal?s success under Jollibee. A particularly appropriate foresighting framework is in micro-economics and another one in the literature on sustainable competitive advantage. We diagnose by taking each at a time. It?s about ?complementarities?

Stanford University professor of micro-economics and ?auctionomics,? Paul Milgrom, coined the term ?complementarities? to explain synergies from combining compatible business practices. In the case of Sia?s Mang Inasal, its sustained competitive advantage over the seven years when it scaled up to 303 stores came from not only repeating each one of its five secrets of success. The more significant factor was its maintaining the five practices? complementarity role for one another in the mix. In fact, it?s more the mix that counted in the success than the...
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