Driven Success: Keith Haw’s Prosperous Journey 

Keith Haw on how sharing happiness with others stems from cultivating inner joy and contentment

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s July 2023 Issue.

The paper brand Advance Paper Corporation is a household name in the Philippines. From bond papers to notebooks to sticky notes that we all needed growing up, Advance Paper has accompanied us into the world of work.

The brand’s founder Connie Haw passed the company to her sons and one of them is Keith Haw: an entrepreneur, car enthusiast, DJ, club, and resto owner. Keith confessed that they grew up grounded, “Growing up I was a normal child, my parents were always busy because they were focused on the business.” According to Keith, since Advance Paper Corporation (APC) was established in 1983, he has seen it grow from just the idea of producing mainly papers to manufacturing paper bags, venturing into printing and packaging, and finally expanding to other materials like correction fluids and pens. “It’s nice to see the business grow. My parents started with just notebooks only, then expanded to paper bags. My brother and I try to find different ways to expand the business every year; we want to continually evolve the product,” Keith shares.

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The Support That Created The Dream

Has it always been Keith’s dream to become an entrepreneur? “Yes, ever since I was a kid. The teachers would often ask ‘What do you want to be?’ and all my classmates would be like ‘a policeman, a doctor, lawyer’ but for me, it has always been to become a businessman. That’s my dream and I stuck onto it,” Keith proudly declares.

Keith Haw
Photo by Excel Panlaque

He goes on to speak about how his mother was very hands-on with the business and that she never coddled nor spoon-fed him and his siblings, “In some businesses, the CEO just hands it over to the kids, my mom is different, she really trained us to be good and work hard for the business.” 

Keith is just simply amazed by his parents and admits that both of them are his role models, “I have gratitude for both of them; that’s why I care so much about the family business. Some businesses fail because of the second and third generations, I don’t want to be like that.”

How Passion Started It All

After graduating from college, Keith wanted to start a car business as it has always been his passion, “So ever since college, my passion has always been to start my own car business, but I have to stop doing that to focus on the paper company.” He states that after knowing the nuts and bolts of the company, at the age of 27 years old, he became the vice president. “I promised my mom that I will focus on the paper company and so I did exactly that, when I became the vice president, I restarted the car business again and regained my passion,” he declares.

Keith owns the car shops Titan and Import Hookup and his passion for cars started when his mom gave him a second-hand Honda Civic, “I really want to have my own car, my mom gave me her Civic and I still didn’t have money during that time to customize it, I guess that’s where I started my love for customizing cars and selling car parts.”

The entrepreneur admits that his mom just provided him the basic things back then and that pushed him to work hard for the things he owns now. “I’m really thankful my mom didn’t give me that money, if she did maybe I wouldn’t start my own car business, that’s what inspired me to start this business,” he proudly states. He acknowledges the fact that it is hard to make a business nowadays and that he is beyond grateful to be a part of the company and to have a business to run on his own.

Turning Passion To Business Ventures

When asked about his life purpose, he states “It is to bring happiness to myself, if I’m happy and content, I can bring the best out of me and make the people around me happy. If you cannot work on yourself, you cannot work on other people, you cannot love. Everything comes from within. If you focus too much on giving to other people without giving it to yourself, you’ll be burned out, uninspired.”

Keith Haw
Photo by Excel Panlaque

Most of Keith’s businesses are well-known not just in the country but also worldwide, he mentions how happy he is that he has suppliers from Europe, the US, Japan, and is distributing his car parts to different areas abroad as well.

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia July 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Banner photo by Excel Panlaque of KLIQ INC.

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