Blending sustainability with tech
At the moment, the business is sometimes profitable, but they're doing a lot of investment and experimentation with data, infrastructure, and materials. His goal is to be as sustainable as possible: "I don't want to be a hypocrite; I want to be a beacon of how things should be done environmentally." So they're trying out things like building with different local materials, using solar power, water catchment and implementing sensors to determine what plants grow best in what environment. He even has an environmental scientist on board to advise on how to do things better. The end goal is, of course, to turn a profit, but he insists not at the expense of the environment.
His background in tech leads him to be a little savvier and open-minded than many traditional farmers in the Philippines. He observes that hardly anyone is using technology to grow food there. Unsatisfied with products on the market, he is building his own vertical farming setups and hardware using iot (which he says is otherwise unheard of in the Philippines). Creating a proprietary setup allows him to scale faster, be more nimble, and continue to adhere to his environmental and local philosophies. Looking down the road at another use for tech, he hopes to skip over the stand-still traffic in Manila and use drones to deliver his produce. He feels like the lack of regulations in Manila is helpful to him because it allows him to dream big and experiment without a lot of big brother problems.