Efraim V. Serrano, invested his earnings from working abroad to open Grandeur Water in 1998. For the past 22 years Grandeur Water has been  the regular supplier of a number of offices and residential condominiums.

“ We are conveniently located in the business area of Mandaluyong. Our biggest clients are BPOs, corporate offices, condominium residents, boarding houses and even walk-in traffic. Sales was good and the business was steadily growing,” Efraim related.

Although considered as an essential business and was not forced to close during the lockdown, Grandeur’s corporate accounts declined or were totally suspended during the lockdown.

“ The offices and the BPOS were closed and the boarding houses were unoccupied. We have to rely on our residential customers. Sales was down but I did not downsize my operation. I kept all my seven employees on board and on the payroll,” he added.

Efraim has to tapped on his and  his wife’s savings to  continuously pay the salaries of his employees. His efforts and sacrifices did not go unnoticed by his employees. To help him, his employees went around looking for new corporate accounts.

“ They helped me look for new customers and even helped me sell other products to supplement our income. I did not give up because they also won’t give up on me. Marami sa kanila taga probinsya. Sa simula ng lockdown, tinanong ko sila kung gusto na lang nilang umuwi. Pinili nilang magtrabaho na lang,”  Efraim explained.

Efraim applied for the Bayanihan CARES in anticipation for the return of his corporate accounts now that the economy is re-opening.

“ Ang bilis pala. I received a call for loan document signing when I was anticipating for a call for a site visit schedule. Pinalinis ko pa naman ang  building. Yung mga tao ko pinaghanda ko in case may mag site visit,” he quipped.

“ I never lost hope. Alam ko babalik lahat sa dati. Maaring di pa ngayon pero unti-unti. Closing our doors permanently may not be our only option,” Efraim shared in closing.