It was a tough and brave decision to make, but Amanda Battad quit her fulltime job because she wanted to run her own business.

Amanda resides in the province of Bataan where fish is one of the main sources of income, so she wanted to try her luck in the marine business industry. There were already several competitors in the market, but Amanda remained unfazed and stood up to the challenge.

Right at her own backyard, Amanda established Amanda’s Marine Products—a food processing industry in Bataan selling a wide range of processed marine products such as dried fish (tuyo), smoked fish (tinapa), sautéed shrimp paste (ginisang bagoong alamang), and bottled products such as milkfish (bangus) in corn oil and smoked fish flakes, among others.

Amanda Battad, owner of Amanda’s Marine Products

Swimming to Success

Amanda was already familiar with this retail business as her mother was also into selling fish. She grew up observing how her mother did well in selling fish in the market.
While she already had the basic knowledge, the road to success was not easy.

Amanda started in 1984, and she was just selling fish in the town’s wet market. She also asked other sellers to become her re-sellers. This enabled her to have a good source of income while helping others earn extra income as well.

She then realized that competition was really stiff, and she had to step up for her business to survive. She tried selling smoked fish outside the market and reached out to buyers directly. Amanda did not mind the extra legwork since she really wanted to succeed in this business.

After some time, she decided to try selling tinapa and shrimp paste in the market. “I only had Php3,000 then, but it was enough to introduce additional products,” she said.
“The competition was tough, so I had to strategize. I decided to sell the big kinds of tinapa I bought from the local fisherfolk to make my products different. I sold it per kilo unlike the other vendors who sell it per piece,” she shared.

Fish ready for drying

Customers easily noticed her products, and everything she would sell each day was sold. Amanda knew that despite the good sales, she still needed to gear up since competition is becoming stiff each day. It was then when she raised additional capital and venture into drying and processing fish to officially set up Amanda’s Marine Products.

Learning to grow

For decades, the business kept on growing. But Amanda knew that her enterprise could still improve and expand.

As a backyard industry operator, she did not realize that registering her enterprise could open great business opportunities.

In 2002, Amanda was invited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to attend their seminars and trainings. “I was hesitant at first, but they told me my business had a potential to grow. It was then I became willing to learn everything for my business to grow.”

Employees of Amanda’s Marine Products processing bagoong alamang

Apart from learning events organized by DTI, Amanda also attended training sessions conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

After seeing the great potential of her own enterprise, Amanda was convinced to officially register her business. It was the start of more opportunities for her enterprise. She registered her business with DTI and became part of its trade fairs like Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair and International Food Exhibition (IFEX). Her label, packaging, and logo significantly improved, and eventually her products became known even outside the province of Bataan.

“All the trainings and seminars I had to attend every day back then for almost a month all paid off and gave the business a lot of opportunities. I remember during the first time I participated in Likha, I gave out more calling cards instead of selling my products,” Amanda recalled. She added that word-of-mouth really helped a lot and enabled her to have a solid base of loyal customers.

mployees of Amanda’s Marine Products

As the business grew, Amanda widened her network. She also had a clearer understanding of the industry.

Despite these, she knew that there’s still a lot of things to improve on.

Amanda’s Marine Products have also been consigned in various supermarkets. She also supplies bagoong for fast food chains and restaurants all over the Philippines such as Chowking, Goldilocks, Cabalen and Serye.

These achievements were not Amanda’s alone but includes the local fisherfolk that supply the fish and her employees who work all day to ensure that products are of high quality.

Amanda knows how to take care of her people, too. She makes sure that her employees have work-life balance, which is necessary for all of them to be more productive at work.

Stronger and bigger

Amanda’s Marine Products, including dried fish or tuyo, smoked fish or tinapa, and sautéed shrimp paste or ginisang bagoong alamang

The business that only started at her own backyard is now stronger and bigger, according to Amanda.
“I’m lucky because the companies I’m supplying for are also growing bigger. When it comes to customers, I always give them the satisfaction by providing them with quality products at an affordable price,” she said.

Amanda shared that they strictly follow Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), which give her clients an assurance that their products are safe and of high quality. She recently upgraded her bagoong and got accredited for the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Amanda works hard each day to fulfill her big dream of further expanding the business and providing quality products to customers.

“When it comes to business, profit is just secondary. What’s important is you’re enjoying what you do. And never stop learning and don’t follow everything in the book–study it first–and be practical on your decisions,” she stressed.