Entrepreneur Junel Marquez has come a long way from collecting scraps to establishing his own junk shop. His rags-to-riches story is a testament to the power of the human spirit to beat all odds.
Born and raised in Cebu, the entrepreneur-in-the-making only finished high school. His family lacked the resources to send him to college after graduation, so he looked for work. Lacking proper education credentials, he didn't have a lot of career opportunities, so Junnel decided to take a chance and find work in Metro Manila.
But lady luck wasn't on his side. Even in Manila, he couldn't land a job. It didn't help that Junel got into some vices and engaged in illicit activities. However, everything changed when he met his wife, Tessie.
A helping hand
With Tessie by his side, they both worked hard to start a new life.
“Nagsimula kaming matuto mangalakal ng basura nang tumira kami sa Tumana [Marikina] at noon ay may dumpsite pa sa nasabing lugar. Ibinibenta namin sa junk shop ang mga nababasura namin mag-asawa sa maghapon,” Junel recalled.
In 2004, Junel saved up P1,500 and used it as starting capital to operate his own junk shop. “Habang namamasura kaming mag-asawa, nagsimula na rin kaming mamili ng kalakal. Dalawang bata na taga-lugar lang din namin ang mga una kong kliyente,” Junel said. The family decided to preserve their capital investment and its earnings. Soon, more customers started to do business with them. Even smaller junk shops near their area were selling scrap materials to Junel.
Growing the business
In 2007, Junel learned about Robinsons Bank’s Super Loan ng Bayan. A friend who was a client of the bank’s Microfinance Loan saw potential in Junel and talked to him about it. Thinking he could use an increase in capital for his investment, he went to the bank and applied for a loan.
With a P40,000-grant, he bought a second-hand vehicle so he can transport more scraps he scavenged in Valenzuela. On his second loan cycle, Junel established an outlet junk shop in San Mateo, Rizal. The rest of the money from the loan went to his initial capital.
With a thriving business and a loving family, Junel was finally living a comfortable life. But disaster struck when tropical storm Ondoy hit the country in September 2009. Apart from the damages to their house and business, his son was stricken by leptospirosis. Despite the ill fortune, the hardworking patriarch managed to keep his family afloat and pay his weekly amortization dues.
Bouncing back, Junel was able to reestablish his business. He was able to get more vehicles, which allowed him to expand his business operations. Now, he owns three trucks and a house and lot in the province. He manages six employees across his businesses. His biggest achievement of all are his three children who are now college graduates. Junel knows part of his success was because of getting a loan from a reliable source like Robinsons Bank.
“Sa tulong ng Robinsons Bank at gabay ng Diyos, mabilis na lumago ang aming negosyo. Dahil sa mababait na empleyado ng bangko na tumulong sa amin sa pagproseso ng aming hiniram na pera sa Super Loan ng Bayan, marami ang nagbago sa aming negosyo at kabuhayan. Salamat Robinsons Bank, dahil sa paglago ng aming negosyo, nakakatulong na rin ako sa iba pang nagbabasura.,” he said.
Junel’s success story is one of the many of the bank’s accomplishments. The Microfinance Group has assisted more than 50,000 families since its launch. By lending capital and product support to Filipino MSME hopefuls, Robinsons Bank fulfills one of its core missions—making people’s lives better.