Alice Eduardo, President and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction
Ask anyone around her, and they would all agree that the name Alice Eduardo is synonymous to steel; she is a Woman of Steel. Her journey, however, isn’t all paved. Regardless of all the challenges including those that she faced penetrating a male-dominated industry that is construction, she displayed the true grit of any steelman.
The making of a woman of steel
Back when Alice Eduardo is younger, she had her heart set on becoming an engineer, the type who wears a hard hat and surveys a dusty construction site. Her passion about roads and bridges and buildings grew in earnest. She rescinded, however, because her parents didn’t want her to what people in the 80s thought as a man’s job. Her mother, more specifically, dreamt of the young Alice Eduardo as a doctor or nurse when she grew up.
She took up a degree in Management as a compromise. She was able to use her educational background in dealing with family businesses in Nueva Ecija such as rice milling and trading and garments exporting. Alice Eduardo had been exposed to the ins and outs of doing business, which she used as a stepping stone in handling her would-be company soon.
While she was delivering rice on an elf truck that she was driving herself on one fateful day in 1995, one of their clients, Concrete Aggregates, which was handling a construction project in Malolos, Bulacan, asked her to supply steel for the said project. What she felt was a sign that she needed to fulfill her lifelong dream of partaking in the construction industry, Alice Eduardo delivered the materials personally.
She founded Sta. Elena Construction and Development, now an AAA and Large B firm which means the firm has a capitalization of at least Php300 million and qualifies to bid for any billion-peso project. Her first big projects were plants in Batangas namely Bacnotan Steel Plant, Santa Rita Power Plant and San Lorenzo Plant. Moving forward to become a construction magnate, her construction company was mostly recognized for its foundation works.
Her road to success isn’t always smooth. She faced the lowest point of her career when the construction industry was hit by the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. She had just taken out loans so she can buy high-end, brand new heavy equipment which she refused to sell at a loss. Sacrifices are made until the economy recovered, and more opportunities knocked on her door once more.
Her determination and dedication paid off
Going beyond structural integrity, which is Sta. Elena Construction and Development’s tagline, there are one factor that separates her and her team from any other construction companies in the Philippines: quality service. Mediocrity is not in her vocabulary, meeting standards and beating deadlines for all of Sta. Elena’s projects.
Along these lines, she and her team were able to earn the trust and respect of its ever-growing list of local and international clients. No one can deny quality, and no less than Henry Sy took notice. Her company built the foundations for the following major projects:
SM Mall of Asia,
SM Seaside City Mall (Cebu),
SM City Cabanatuan,
SM Olongapo City,
SM City Tarlac, and
SM Bay Arena.
Other companies and investors also hired Sta. Elena to provide services for projects within the Entertainment City in Para?aque. To name a few, Alice Eduardo and her team pile-drove the foundation for the following projects:
Solaire Resort and Casino,
City of Dreams Manila,
Belle Grande Casino and Resort, and
Manila Bay Resort.
Of all these, she was extra proud of the First Gen-Siemens San Gabriel Power Plant project in Batangas. The modern natural gas-fired power plant would cost $600 million. Siemens is a meticulous company, but Sta. Elena was able to outbid international construction firms and win the project. Sta. Elena was the first contractor to build a power plant for Siemens. This only proves the dedication of her and her team in meeting international standards.
The woman of steel has a soft spot too
As compassionate as she is, Alice Eduardo also extends help and guidance to people in need. She has passion projects on the side. One of her dearest projects is the Hematology-Oncology Isolation Ward at the Philippine General Hospital’s (PGH) Department of Pediatrics. The pediatric ward is a 320-square meter ward that can accommodate terminally ill cancer patients.
She is also one of the most ardent partners of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship’s Go Negosyo, a program that targets aspiring entrepreneurs. She shares her entrepreneurial journey to other people during summits and conferences, hoping to inspire them to find their own passions and pursue their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.