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Getting to know the “Mother Eagle”

Getting to know the “Mother Eagle”

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

Sophia “Pia” B. Mirasol has been known in the motoring industry as the strong lady president of Aguila Auto Glass, the country’s leading authority in selling automotive replacement glass. All in all, they have more than 20 branches with over 300 employees nationwide.

Like any alpha female, she exudes a stern persona, presenting a commanding presence everywhere she goes.

She may seemingly be strict and carries an assertive demeanor, but beneath it all lies a kindhearted soul, anchored on a character teeming with family values.

On this special Mother’s Day occasion, we get the rare chance to get to know deeper, not just the “Mother Eagle”, but “Pia”, the 48-year old dedicated wife and mother of two teenage boys.

Sophia “Pia” Mirasol (third from right), together with her brother, cousins and relatives, who are all part of their one big Aguila family. All in all, they have more than 300 employees, whom Pia “mothers”.

Q: “How long have you been working?”

P: “I have worked in the automotive industry for 28 years. Before that, I worked in entry-level jobs in financial investment and associations, promoting Asian small business.”

Q: You’re the president of a family-owned business. What do you do on daily basis?

P: “A family-owned business is very centered on family values. Not just for my blood family but our team, as well. We are understanding with health and well-being but we balance it with hard work and discipline. Each team member must be well-rounded and knows to apply themselves fully. Being family-centric keeps us focused on our goals. We keep going no matter how tough.

On a daily basis, my mornings are structured. I wake up with the kids and have breakfast. I prepare for our dinner. Then, I head off for work. I read reports, prepare notes to communicate and bridge various departments. In the afternoons, I have meetings and group discussions that help us check status and re-strategize. At the end of the day, I sign and review reports or policies and prepare for the next weeks schedules.”

Q: “How do you manage time between family and work?”

P: “I’m fortunate that I can compartmentalize. At home, it’s family time and at work, I’m focused on work. My husband and kids understand work is work and that we all have our roles to play. No time for any drama and that keeps us all happy. I have to make sure that the family’s needs are well taken cared of so that I can be focused on work.

I always plan ahead for family meals and weekends or school events. In the early evening, we do our workouts together. I find that as long as you fix your schedule and leave room for some unexpected things, it should be fine.”

Q: “As head of your company, how do you overcome challenges? How do you inspire or encourage your employees?”

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P: “I find that every year that I have worked, it gets tougher. Whether it’s because of government regulations, competition, international events or internal issues, overcoming challenges is a way of life. I pray a lot for guidance, wisdom and strength. You do your best, you surround yourself with other people with the same values and goals. And you work through everything together.

I try to develop personal relationships with my team. You need to understand each one and their needs. You need to relate well with everyone because if you want them to be there for the business, the business needs to be there for them. When you trust each other, you have the best team. Your team will be built to last and you will overcome any conditions in the market.”

Q: “What do you think should be the habits of a successful company?”

P: “Discipline is number one. With self-discipline, you are able to manage any difficult situations.”

Q: “Finally, any words of inspiration that you want to share?”

P: “Always know your role. Know your strengths and weaknesses. You can overcome anything knowing your self, applying yourself to the fullest and having faith in God’s plan.”

Incidentally, their grandmother, Mrs. Maring Aguila, was the original “Mother Eagle” whom they all looked up to.