Mr. Noli D. Hernandez on success, excellence, and fulfilling a higher purpose

Inside World sat down with NDH, who has been with the company for more than two decades, to find out about his most cherished Megaworld moments.
INSIDE WORLD: How long have you been with Megaworld? Can you share with us your Megaworld story?

NOLI D. HERNANDEZ: I’ve been with Megaworld for 25 years now. I started back in 1993. I dropped out of law school. I was looking for a job—a temporary one that could allow me to make a little bit of money so I could go back to law school. One thing led to another. I never expected that I would last this long [with the company].
Of course, when the opportunity to go back to school came along, I wasn’t quite interested anymore. I continued with my job because there was a real estate boom at that time. Life was good. We were happy. The economy was humming along especially back in 1994, all the way to 1996. And then the Asian financial crisis happened, and the rest is history.
I’ve seen a couple of economic and business cycles, and I got one promotion after the other. Now, I’m here. I always say: “This is my last job.” I like saying that because I’m turning 50 next year. I’m very happy here.
IW: Looking back at your Megaworld career, can you share with us your fondest moments and memories with the company?

NDH: In our lives, there are a lot of highs and lows. I think going through a lot of lows truly makes for exhilarating highs, right?
Throughout my career at Megaworld, I’ve had a series of highs, except when the Asian financial crisis happened and the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse hit us. Other than that, it has been a series of very good highs for me. If you plot these on a chart, on a graph, you can also see the trajectory of the company. It essentially mimics the economy in general, and it has been a long, fantastic ride so far for the past 25 years that I’ve been with the company.
IW: What is your measure of success?

NDH: For me, the measure of success that I look at is the number of relationships built and the number of lives we were able to touch positively.
That’s the reason why I’m very proud and very happy to be working at Megaworld because I know I’m part of something that’s really touching the lives of Filipino families. We’re making a huge difference—not just in the lives of our employees, or the lives of our communities, but also in the life of our country. That is something to be proud of, something that I always look forward to being a part of. I come to the office knowing and thinking that every day is another day for me to touch the lives of other people in a positive way, and in so doing also positively affects the economic development of our country.
IW: Please share with Inside World readers how you and your team practice the values of creativity and innovation, integrity, excellence, and love for the company.

NDH: The organization managed to reach this level of success precisely because it has always been on the lookout for ways to develop itself, improve itself, and innovate not just in its products and services, but also in the way it does business and develops a culture of innovation. That’s exactly how creativity has always been ingrained in the DNA of everyone in the company.
We’ve introduced a lot of great innovations along the way, like the payment schemes that we’ve been known for, and the concept of townships—the pioneering LIVE, WORK, PLAY concept.
The value of integrity I would say is also ingrained deeply into the very being of the organization. The mere fact that our chairman had been very consistent in articulating this particular value has helped us in a very big way to accomplish what we have accomplished so far.
If you look at the history of the company and the long list of our projects and developments, I think the word “excellence” is one thing that will always come to mind. Of course, like every organization, like every individual, we have our flaws. We’re not perfect. Excellence is something that we always strive to accomplish. It’s something that we always keep pursuing.
It’s so hard not to love the company, I think, especially where I sit.
For me, love for the company goes way beyond just “love.” It’s love coupled with great pride, extreme affection, and terror at the thought of being away from that experience. [Being part of this company] is one of the best things that ever happened in my life. It was really worth leaving law school for.
IW: Personally, how do you intend to take part in helping fulfill Megaworld’s vision of uplifting lives, impacting the society, and helping shape the nation?

NDH: By doing what I’m doing the best way I know how: to create maximum impact with maximum effort, love and dedication.
That’s the only way. There’s no other way. You don’t need a manual for that. You just need to feel it in your heart that you know that you’re making a difference. I just can’t imagine myself not being part of any of this.
IW: What is your message to the Megaworld community as you welcome this new chapter in your career?

: I always say, and I’m fond of saying this: At the end of the day, we’re not really working for Megaworld. We’re working with Megaworld, in Megaworld, for ourselves, for our families, for people that we love, for values that we hold dear, and the values of our community. If you love your community, you’d like to see it develop, you’d like to see it better, right?
I’ll never forget what Mr. Tan said during the first Christmas Party of Megaworld that I attended. I heard him speak there for the first time, and what he said in that short, memorable speech stays with me and has guided me until today. He said, if you’re going to be a janitor, be the best janitor you can be. If you’re going to be an accountant, be the best accountant you can be, or a manager, or an agent, or whatever you set out to be.
The privilege and honor is the fact that we’re able to do our job within a great company that multiplies our efforts. What do I mean by this? Because we are each other’s multipliers. My efforts are multiplied through your efforts, the same way that your efforts are multiplied through my efforts.
A company is a group of people sharing the same ideals, sharing the same dreams, the same goals and values. We’re a community, and if we want to build better communities, I can see no other multiplier of efforts or a more empowering organization than Megaworld. The company encapsulates everything that I have held dear to my heart—building better communities, seeing better neighborhoods with families that are safe within, families that are able to enjoy life to the fullest. I can see no other higher calling than this.

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