Beyond Beauty Sleep: How Uratex Grew Into a Well-loved Brand, as Told by Founder Natividad Cheng

Uratex Founder Natividad Cheng shares how she and her husband built the company from the ground up—transforming it into a household brand and icon that Filipinos remember it by.

With just PHP 4,000 capital, 10 employees, and a dream born from under a santol tree of providing high-quality foams and affordable mattresses for every Filipino to lie on, Natividad Cheng and her husband, Robert founded Uratex. 55 years after, the company is now the leading foam manufacturer in the Philippines with 25 plants and 18 showrooms, nationwide.

Although Uratex is foremost known for its mattress and bedding, the brand has diversified its portfolio to include a wide range of products that cater to the growing demands of other industries—as well as other companies and partnerships under its wing, Uratex/RGC Group of Companies. The 55-year-old enterprise includes business groups specializing in automotive parts and seats, foams and mattresses, monoblock and home accessories, fabrics, and food packaging.

The success, however, of Uratex did not happen overnight. It was a slow and steady path—filled with trial and error, lessons learned, and challenges faced. But the efforts of this husband and wife duo bore fruit, as the support of their families, employees, suppliers, and friends have paved the way for many successes to come.

In this exclusive interview with The Business Manual, the family matriarch, Natividad Cheng, shares how Uratex has grown to become a household brand that is well-loved by Filipinos.

From Humble Beginnings

Back then, a working woman was unprecedented in a society filled with gender norms. However, for Natividad Cheng and her husband, growing up poor meant needing to make ends meet. "Dati pareho kami. Both of us are working. My salary was only above [the] minimum, then my husband also worked with his grandfather. [His] salary was also PHP 4 a day," Mrs. Cheng begins.