2023 Grand Chamber Awards (GCA) Socially Responsible of the Year Mr. Pio Castillo, Jr.

Pio Castillo, Jr.,

President, International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (IPI)

In the world of business, Pio Castillo, Jr. stands as an emblem of wisdom and resilience. His story is a narrative of perseverance, encapsulated in a simple yet profound truth: “Anyone can start a business, but there is no shortcut to success; it takes hard work and patience.”

Pio is not just a business leader; he is a steward of compassion and a beacon of ethical leadership. Shaped by the exposure to business dynamics during his formative years, he describes himself as strict and straightforward, yet a loving presence to his peers, family, and employees. Having evolved alongside contemporary business executives, Pio recognizes the transformative shift in leadership styles and emphasizes that effective leadership is not transactional but relational.

In the realm of leadership, Pio assumes the role of a cheerleader, fostering motivation and guidance within the workplace. He envisions a work environment that is conducive to learning, firmly believing that a sustainable business is one that can be passed down to the next generation. This philosophy underpins his commitment to nurturing both the professional and personal development of those within his organization.

Pio’s journey with IPI, which began as D Drugstore, embodies a remarkable commitment to growth. Established in 1959, the company evolved from a modest manufacturing entity to a major industry player, introducing flagship products like Efficascent and Bioderm soap. Initially serving the VisMin market, IPI’s expansion into Luzon marked significant growth. In 2022, the move to the expansive Tingub facility in Mandaue underscored their dedication to meeting escalating market demands and now in India reflecting their forward-thinking approach.

The challenges faced by IPI, particularly during the founder’s passing in 2006 and the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, were met with resilience and strategic maneuvering under Pio’s leadership. Navigating the transition to the second generation and addressing limited manpower during the pandemic showcased Pio’s adept management skills. The decision to house employees due to community restrictions demonstrated a commitment to their well-being and a proactive approach to sustaining production amidst challenging circumstances.

For Pio, being in the pharmaceutical business is not just about profit; it’s about ensuring Filipinos have access to trustworthy health and wellness products. Recognizing that employees are the driving force behind the company’s growth, he places a premium on their well-being. IPI’s commitment extends beyond business success, evident in the existence of the IPI Foundation which has been in existence for 25 years as it began as Don Go Lam Foundation in 1989 until it changed name in 2006. As the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the company, the foundation is created to support vulnerable communities in improving access to health, environment, aid services and community-based livelihoods, supporting policy initiatives to foster public wellness.

As a seasoned and accomplished businessman, Pio emphasizes that the path to success is characterized by the absence of shortcuts. His advice is grounded in dedication, hard work, and a genuine passion for the business. Above all, he emphasizes the intrinsic value of the workforce as the lifeblood of any successful enterprise, underlining the importance of recognizing and nurturing the human element within an organization.

In Pio Castillo, Jr., we witness not just a successful entrepreneur but a socially responsible leader whose vision extends far beyond the balance sheets, making a positive impact on the community and industry he serves.