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Supporting Philippine MSMEs with Digital Solutions

The vast majority of businesses in the Philippines are classified as Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). While many people are still trying to find their place in the large market, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have made things more difficult for them. Brick-and-mortar stores are particularly hard hit, as they must now take their operations online to stay afloat.

Going digital and the complexities that come with it are one more problem that many MSMEs do not need. Particularly when they have other aspects of the business to focus on to gain market access and grow, such as funding, production, supply sourcing, and skill training. The Philippine telecommunications provider understands MSMEs’ needs and encourages them to invest in ICT solutions capable of meeting the digital demands of the next normal.

Businesses that fail to stay current risk falling behind and being overshadowed by more aggressive competitors who pay attention to their target market and capitalise on emerging trends, primarily using digital platforms. The telecommunication provider says these include:

  • Live selling or vending of products using the live feature of social media apps
  • Story ads or video marketing usually creates a relevant storyboard to capture the audience, and
  • Influencer marketing

Studies show that video marketing is one of the most important marketing trends today and is expected to remain so for the next 5 to 10 years. Survey results from the research also show that among Filipino respondents, 93% said they highly consider convenience alongside price when deciding what to purchase online; 87% said they are willing to spend more for ease of access to products or services, and 90% said mobile payments should be widely available.

The telecommunications provider is prepared to provide MSMEs in retail, manufacturing, and logistics with cutting-edge ICT by enlisting the assistance of several of its most valuable business partners: a logistics firm that specialises in parcel collection and door-to-door delivery, one of the country’s leading e-commerce platforms, and another firm that assists businesses in exporting to new and exciting markets followed by a one-stop online shop for everything fashionable.

OpenGov Asia reported that COVID- 19 shutdowns have greased the digital runway, and as some new virtual habits take hold, the shift to a more digital world for those who can afford its tools and experiences will become more pronounced. This evolution will further divide customers into those with digital resources or aptitude and those who do not. MSMEs’ innovation and digital transformation are critical to their growth and resilience in the face of uncertainty.

Furthermore, the telecommunications provider is also prepared to assist MSMEs in gaining the necessary skills, knowledge, and perspective to help their businesses grow. As part of this campaign, the company launched a three-part web event series to provide MSMEs with more business insights and knowledge.

The guests who were featured in the web event series shared real-world challenges and how ICT and digital solutions will be invaluable tools in facilitating business operations. One of them highlighted how digital solutions play an important role in advancing one’s business and said, “the best time to be online was yesterday, the second-best time is today.” She acknowledges that businesses, as a community, can contribute to the economy’s growth. More than any other sector, she believes that entrepreneurs and MSMEs will propel the country forward.

Although the new normal brings new challenges, she also believes that these defining moments can also bring new opportunities. She explains that the first barrier to overcome is for MSMEs to recognise that technology adoption is more of a long-term investment with long-term benefits. The telecommunications company, as their staunchest ally, is ready and able to provide MSMEs with digital information, connectivity, and made-for-business solutions that enable market penetration, base expansion, and rapid growth, allowing these entrepreneurs to own their future success today.

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