Private sector befriends technology to survive ‘new normal’

Uncertain and apprehensive about how to save their businesses amidst the pandemic, MSMEs have gone survivor mode. In a three-part webinar series dubbed ‘innovation@ph’, the PCCI puts the limelight on the growing digital landscape and how businesses can best utilize it.

“It is a must that businesses have to invest in digital technologies,” said PLDT Category Head for Fixed Core Business Solutions, Mr. Marc Roxas. Such investments would strengthen the resilience and enable businesses to mitigate disruptions in the future, he further added.

 

With ongoing trends such as virtual meetings and work-from-home set-ups, the PLDT Enterprise emphasizes the importance of rethinking how’s of doing business while incorporating online communication to reduce the need for face-to-face contact.

 

According to We Are Social, Filipinos are ‘power-users’ of internet spending nearly ten hours a day online. Provided this fact, MSMEs can use online marketplaces to their maximum advantage by onboarding onto different e-commerce platforms. Along with other platforms such as Shopee, Zalora, and BeautyMNL, the e-commerce industry in the country is being led by Lazada with an average of two million daily users.

Eman Kazemi, the Business Developer of Persia Grill and a certified Lazada seller, shared his experiences in digitizing a traditional brick and mortar business such as a restaurant.

“One of the early stigmas in the restaurant industry was: will digitizing our food products really make people go online and purchase our goods?” said Eman.

Being one of the industries that were badly hit by COVID-19, the foodservice industry had witnessed a drastic decrease in foot traffic for dine-in. Nonetheless, Eman further stated that COVID-19 has successfully taught the F&B sector that even traditional brick and mortar businesses have the potential to go digital.

Inevitably, as more businesses hop online, counterfeit products are on the rise as well. According to IPOPHL Director-General Rowel Barba, it was reported that Q1 2020 has seen IP violations that are 66% higher than the entire 2019 – a truly alarming figure.

Atty. Anthony Bengzon, on the other hand, pitched an idea to MSMEs to conduct an audit on how their brands are being protected online. A dedicated brand marketing and protection team is also highly recommended as intellectual property (IP) threats have been escalating.

 

The PCCI’s innovation@ph webinar series is set to continue in the following months.

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