Updating Results

Asia Brewery Incorporated

  • #9 in Retail, sales and consumer goods
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

About Asia Brewery Incorporated

  • R&D and Manufacturing
  • Retail, Sales & Consumer Goods

What it does: Asia Brewery Incorporated (ABI) manufactures and distributes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in the Philippines.
Best known for: ABI is the Philippines’ second-largest commercial brewery.
Staff stats: more than 2,000 employees
Financials: Php591 million in net income for 2020
The good bits: Fresh grads can expect above-average salaries for some entry-level roles. For instance, an administrative clerk may earn Php20,000 per month.
The not-so-good bits: Insiders revealed long working hours at ABI. Some analysts work up to 12 hours per day for six days every week.

The Asia Brewery Incorporated (ABI) story

Lucio Tan Sr. founded Asia Brewery Incorporated in 1982 initially as an alcoholic beverage producer. Beer Hausen Pale Pilsen became ABI’s flagship product in its maiden year. Since then, it has produced well-known beverage brands including:

  • Absolute and Summit drinking water
  • Cobra energy drink
  • Nestea iced tea
  • Tanduay Ice; and
  • Vitamilk Soy Milk.

The company acquired the license for manufacturing Nestea products in 2014. It subsequently entered into a joint venture with Heineken International in 2016 to distribute Heineken brands in the Philippines.

Aside from beverages, ABI also manufactures the Pascual brand of dairy products.

The culture

ABI said that its organizational culture follows Filipino-Chinese norms. While the workplace is friendly and supportive, new hires should anticipate little to no time for themselves.

Most employees follow a six-day workweek at ABI, which affects work-life balance. Some insiders even claim to work up to 12 hours per day.

Still, the long median tenure of ABI employees implies a dynamic workplace culture driven by job security and interesting projects.

The competition

ABI’s top competitor is San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which has dominated the beer market in the Philippines. In the premium beer segment, for instance, ABI estimated that it only has a 5% market share.

Controversy

ABI already faced legal controversy six years after it launched operations in the Philippines. SMC took ABI to court in 1988 over allegations of copyright infringement.

The legal complaint involved ABI’s Beer Na Beer product bearing resemblance to SMC’s San Miguel Pale Pilsen. A trial court ruling in 1990 found no ‘trademark infringement or unfair competition against’ SMC. The latter company appealed the decision.

By 1991, the Court of Appeals ruled that ABI was ‘guilty of infringement of trademark and unfair competition.

Social contributions

ABI supported the Help Flows program of its parent company, LT Group, which allotted at least Php200 million in COVID-19 aid for front liners. The company converted some of its production facilities to produce 70% ethyl alcohol.

In terms of environmental sustainability, ABI has used broken or waste glass and recycled it for manufacturing bottles. The company also uses lahar and even powdered glass waste as raw materials.

ABI also set a target of planting 8.4 million trees between 2016 and 2020 in Ilocos Sur. The initiative has helped local tobacco farmers.

The vibe of the place

Fresh grads should be willing to work during weekends and possibly do overtime hours when they join ABI. Individuals who are already familiar with Filipino-Chinese business practices are more likely to last longer at the company.

As the second-largest brewery in the Philippines, there’s a lot to learn and experience at ABI that would be helpful to a fresh grad’s CV.

Recruitment Process

Fresh grads can expect a straightforward application process at ABI. In general, it may take up to five stages:

  1. Candidates apply for a role.
  2. A recruiter contacts qualified applicants.
  3. An exam and interview will take place.
  4. Shortlisted candidates will attend a department assessment.
  5. Successful candidates negotiate a job offer and discuss requirements.

The interview questions will be different based on the role. For example, ABI evaluates a candidate’s competency for an analyst role by asking technical questions (eg titration).

Fresh grads should expect to meet at least three people during the interview stage: HR recruiter, HR head, and department head.

The HR representatives usually ask basic questions about a person’s background and personality. Insiders said that interviewers may refer to application forms for their questions.

ABI takes 24 days on average to select the right candidates, although it can take as long as four weeks.

Remuneration & Career Growth

Remuneration

The average annual salary at ABI amounts to Php178,000 per year. Entry-level salaries may range from Php13,000 to Php20,000 per month. Administrative clerks, business development specialists, and QA analysts earn the high-end figure of the entry-level salary bracket.

Company-wide benefits include dental and medical care coverage, as well as loan assistance. ABI also provides employee shuttle services.

Career prospects

ABI doesn’t recruit as many fresh grads as it does for experienced professionals. Some of the entry-level roles may include industrial engineers and purchasing staff.

Insiders admit that there are growth opportunities at ABI. Employees, however, shouldn’t expect clear guidance on how to achieve career progression.

Other employees claim that career growth can happen at a sluggish pace. Despite the negative perception, the median tenure of ABI employees is 4.9 years.

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