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On the House is a series of casual interviews with Philippine real estate leaders about the stories behind their personas. Lamudi’s very own CEO, Bhavna Suresh hosts the dialogues over a drink or two. Today’s guest is Gian Carlo Valerio, Vice President of Solanaland Development, Inc.
Carlo believes that change must start from within, which in turn has a ripple effect in the lives of others. Inspired by his travels across various continents, he has become a frontrunner in advocating sustainability in the Philippines.
Carlo is a pioneer in creating communities equipped with sustainable technologies like solar panels in the Philippines. Believing in the strength and promise of renewable energy in the Philippines, he incorporates most of this in the housing structures they build.
As a young entrepreneur and CEO, Carlo places importance in allowing things to unfold on their own without losing a handle on important things that matter. Stressing on the importance of an individual’s capability to create change, he believes that everyone has the capacity to succeed in life given that they continue to possess a growth mindset. Having a pre-determined path is fine, but finding the bliss in experimenting and learning new things from what one already knows is what makes a person a better version of himself.
Carlo also encourages everyone to keep an open mind and listen to other people. Having these traits creates meaningful opportunities for everyone to collaborate. New ideas and possibilities will open up by listening and learning from other people.
Lastly, Carlo encourages everyone to stay true to their vision despite the absence of support from others and even the government. Things will work out and all efforts will pay off in the future. Most especially in the field of sustainable energy. While the public sector is lagging behind tremendously, this does not excuse everyone from making small steps that can contribute to a bigger, significant change.
- He expressed his ambivalence in being asked when he will get married. He pointed out that his busy schedule does not allow him to meet people, much less date. He finds happiness in being alone and doing the things he wants. [0:32]
- He revealed that he is a travel jerky. Doing occasional diving in various diving spots in the Philippines, he spends most of his free time exploring new things. [1:41]
- “I like not having a plan,” as a spontaneous person, Carlo is keen on spending his time trying out new things during his travel and observing different people while enjoying a good cup of coffee. [2:00]
- He pointed out that the concept of global citizenship is becoming more real and profound given the prevalence and increasing significance of social media platforms. People consume a lot of content that provides a general outlook on life across the world. [3:03]
- Priorities and financial discipline are keys to becoming successful towards financial wellness. He further explains that despite the differences between the mindset and prioritization of the older and younger generations, it is normal as the latter has a huge propensity to explore and test new waters and experiences that can improve them. It is part of who they are. [4:01]
- Learning new things has shaped his perspective on doing business and life. Unpredictability is what keeps him going. He strives to maintain a growth mindset where he can improve himself day by day. [6:12]
- Renewable energy has been an area of interest for Carlo even in his collegiate years. He has always believed in the capacity of renewable energy to address the deficiency of the Philippines. [8:06]
- During a wedding, he talked to one of his friends who has inspired him to go renewable. He realized that the process of building a solar power plant is actually very similar to real estate, but instead of building houses on your property, you build solar panels. Having the background and familiarity, he used his experience to push for it. [9:21]
- Renewable energy is increasingly becoming a buzzword in the Philippines. SMEs are yet to see their fair share of green technologies. [10:21]
- Investment in solar panels is not exclusive to affluent companies and people; even SMEs and middle-class can afford to have them. It’s a matter of looking at it in the long-term savings it generates and gathering the right amount of information. [10:58]
- He is exploring alternative ways of making water. However, it is not affordable as of the moment. Further research is needed to ensure that the technology is safe, accurate and can be accessible to all walks of life. [12:19]
- Carlo reflected that he easily gave up on the whole desalination-water creation project. Instead of brushing off an idea, listening is an important asset to have as it can pave the way for fruitful collaborations which can add more value to products and housing structures that they build. [14:17]
- He further pointed out that Filipinos must start looking at the discussion of sustainability not in a perspective of dependence. It must come from someone else or some other country. It must start from small steps and significant decisions that can alter the quality of life in greater proportions. [14:41]
- Despite the lack of incentives and political backing from the Philippine government, Carlo pushed for it. Currently, he is at a position where he can say that he has achieved more than enough of his initial goal. And this is the message that he wants to send to every aspiring entrepreneur: learn to help yourself even if the world is against you. [16:23]
- Awareness is key to starting the ball rolling for the Philippines in sustainable discussions. Business owners can take the initiative by banning single-use plastics and straws in the office. By doing so, people are becoming more aware that a problem exists and everyone must make their own baby steps. [18:33]
Solanaland Development, Inc. is Pampanga’s premier developer of affordable, high-quality houses and communities. The team behind Solanaland has been in the business of providing homes since the 1990s.