Call James To Provide Solar Power For Your Home Or Business
What’s your story?
I was 20 years old when I did my internship at Monaco Suites de Boracay, our family-owned 5-star resort in the Philippines. We were looking to lower our electricity bill and thought of solar, which was common in Germany. After hours of research, I couldn’t find a supplier in the entire country. It was then that I decided to drop out of college and start my own solar power company. The hotel was our first commercial project. That was eight years ago. Today, Buskowitz Energy is one of the biggest rooftop solar companies in the Philippines with ISO certification for quality management.
What excites you most about your industry?
Being able to provide cheap and sustainable power to everyone. Whether it’s for someone who wants to purchase their own system to produce their own power, or wants us to provide the solar system for free, and just purchase the power at a significant discount. Solar power is cheaper than coal, and it feels great to be in a profitable business that saves the environment while saving people a lot of money.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My heritage connects me to Asia. I am 50% German and 50% Filipino. I learned the ropes on how to run a business from my father, who started our luxury resort on the island of Boracay, Philippines. I moved to the Philippines when I was 17 years old and the differences between Germany and the Philippines made it quite apparent that there were tons of business opportunities here. A few years later, the headquarters of Buskowitz Energy was established in the business district of Makati city.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
While I would love to explore business opportunities in other Asian cities, such as Tokyo and Singapore, my current businesses are based in Manila and Hong Kong. I enjoy working in Manila for its proximity to most of our customers and Hong Kong for its very efficient and business-friendly environment.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never forget the macros. It is easy to get caught up in daily issues, whether with operations or finance, for example. However, to run a business, a leader should not just react to issues, but must continuously plan ahead to remain relevant and be ready to pivot or steer the business in fast-changing markets.
Who inspires you?
I aspire to build an empire like that of Elon Musk’s one day. Tesla is without a doubt an industry leader and innovator. And it is not afraid to push beyond the norm.
A personal inspiration of mine is my dad who has been my role model since I was a kid. He really taught me the basics of how to run a business, and to this day, he advises me as to the new directions that Buskowitz will take.
What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
I was surprised to learn that I actually enjoy Fortnite.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
There is nothing I would do differently.
How do you unwind?
CEO by day, gamer by night. I unwind by playing video games, going to the gym or participating in other activities like tennis, squash, and badminton. Weekends are usually spent wakeboarding, kiteboarding, or on a new adventure trip. I also enjoy trying new things. Lately, I’ve become an avid golfer.
Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Definitely Japan for their food, friendly people, their great mix of huge culture-filled cities, and the beautiful scenery. I also enjoy snowboarding in Sapporo.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The book I’m going to write about. It’s a work-in-progress, so let’s keep it on the down-low for now.
Shameless plug for your business:
Buskowitz Energy is one of the biggest one-stop-shop rooftop solar companies in the Philippines. It is one of the only companies with an ISO certification for quality management. We provide solar panel systems of the best quality at extremely affordable rates, whether you want to purchase your own system, lease one, or just purchase the power at a significant discount. We cater to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 1000 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.