Diosdado Banatao was born to a rice farmer in an upland faming barrio in Cagayan Valley and to a plain housewife; hence, one would have hardly envisioned him as a Filipino version of Bill Gates,. As a child, he used to walk barefoot just so he could acquire an elementary and high school education. Determined to pursue a college education, he went to Manila, took up electrical engineering and eventually graduated cum laude.
Due to his excellent academic performance, he was able to land a job as a pilot trainee of Philippine Airlines. This paved the way for a job offer as a design engineer coming from Boeing Co., which brought him to the U.S. Thereafter, he pursued and completed a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University.
It was while working with some of the leading-edge technology companies that Diosdado Banatao had the opportunity to design the first single-chip 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator. In 1981, the inventorEthernet was looking for a more efficient method of linking computers and Diosdado was assigned by Seeq Technology to do the task. This was how Diosdado Banatao came to develop the single-chip controller that provided the data-link control and the transreceiver in the first 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS.
Diosdado saw the opportunity of setting-up his own company by designing chip sets; in no time, he was able to raise $500,000 as seed capital to put up Monstroni 1985. His company’s determination paid off after they successfully developed the first system logic chip set that lowered the cost of building personal computers that were more powerful. He then went on to build another company called Chips and Technologies, which created another chips set for enhancing the so-called graphic adapter.
In less than a year, Diosdado’s company realized sales of $12 million in the first quarter alone, thus creating a tremendous response from investors when the company went public. In 1996, Diosdado sold the Chips and Technologies Co. to Intel for $430 million.
Diosdao Banatao went on to invest, oversee and sell companies by assuming the role of master investor and master capitalist. In all these successes, Diosdado never forgot his roots and Filipino heritage. His “Banatao Filipino American Fund” provides assistance to Northern California students who are of Filipino heritage, to help them build a future by pursuing a college degree in engineering. The elementary school he attended in Cagayan Valley is the only public school in the region with the most modern computer system.
These ten great Filipino entrepreneurs worked their way through different challenges in order to succeed. They succeeded by keeping their sights focused on goals that are governed by the values of business ethics and social responsibility.