Saturday, July 29, 2017

Aiza Diuco: On the Pursuit of Excellence


“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious,” said Albert Einstein. The same can be said about Aiza Diuco, founder and CEO of Age Defying Solutions. Not that she has no special talent, far from it, but that she is and has always been passionately curious. 


As a young girl, Ms. Diuco excelled in school, thanks to her mother who was a school teacher. “Every afternoon, when my siblings and I got home from school, my mom would make sure that we did our homework first. We would still be wearing our school uniform. There would be no merienda for us. It was homework first.”


This brand of discipline sure paid off for Ms. Diuco graduated from Miriam College in the top 10% of the graduating class, with a degree in International Studies. As a graduate student at U.P. Diliman, she was a consistent university scholar with a QPA of 1.25. Also, the discipline that her mother had taught her helped her finish her masters in only two years. 

Ms. Diuco, however, did not always want to become an entrepreneur. As a child, she wanted to have a career in the medical field. “I wanted to be a doctor. But I was so squeamish so my family discouraged me from pursuing it. They said, ‘How can you become a doctor when you can’t even stand the sight of blood and you’re afraid of needles?’ Eventually, my ambition changed,” she said. 

During her late teens, a close aunt wanted her to enter the world of beauty pageants. She was even introduced to iconic Filipino designer Renee Salud, who mentored would-be beauty contestants.  However, when her aunt immigrated to Canada, her father told her that it wasn’t the career path he had envisioned for his daughter. 


Her father saw in her the potential for greatness and the hunger for excellence which would not have been quenched had she gone down that road. He did not want his daughter to settle for something good when she deserved only the best. 

Ms. Diuco was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her father worked for a big chocolate manufacturing company for sixteen years as a plant engineer before he decided to start his own chocolate factory. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs. All my brothers are entrepreneurs and we owe it all to our dad who’s a very good provider.” She went on to recount how her father had given her brothers the capital for their respective businesses. 

Ms. Diuco, however, worked for other companies before working for her father. In Sara Lee Philippines, she worked as a sales training supervisor. She was also in charge of marketing and then later was assigned to the department which handled cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries. She eventually joined her father and worked in his company for ten years.

When asked how she felt when she left the company, she said, “Actually it was difficult for me. I love my dad, I love our company. It’s a family corporation.”

But the burning desire to create something she could call her could not be ignored that she made the difficult decision to leave. Her father’s entrepreneurial spirit was so great that he had passed it on to her. 

Ms. Diuco credits her education, work experience, and her deep love for research for the success of her business. She proudly told me that Glupa is her baby, and that everything about it was personally researched by her. Theirs is the only company that has the patent for the glutathione and papaya combination. 

The kind of discipline her mother had instilled in her she still applies in her life today. “In everything I do, even with time management, how I take care of my things, or my company, it all boils down to self-discipline. If you know how to handle yourself, then you can handle everything. It really has to start from you.”

Ms. Diuco’s goal is not to be the wealthiest and most successful entrepreneur. Her son, whom she considers her inspiration, motivates her to always strive to do better. “More than providing for my son, I also want him to be proud of me as a mother.”

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