E-commerce is growing rapidly in the Philippines. How does this affect you as a consumer? What are the opportunities you can explore as an entrepreneur?
These were the big questions discussed in Xend’s EDTalks (E-Commerce Development Talks) held at Penbrothers. The people behind Beebeelee, FundKo, First Circle, and Penbrothers came together for an evening of insightful discussions.
Xend’s Bjorn Pardo
We’ve moved from storing thousands of MS Word files in our diskettes and USB to having Google Docs online. From owning DVD’s to accessing Netflix. From songs in our MP3’s and iPod’s to having Spotify accounts.
We live in a world where it’s less about possessions and more about access. He shared a personal anecdote about his 17-year old son. During Bjorn’s time, most 17 year-olds would be excited to drive and own his own car. But not his son. Instead, his son uses ride-sharing apps. This shift towards the sharing economy is something that has affected the way Xend’s business works. Two years ago, Xend hired drivers to pick up and ship deliveries from the seller to the customer. Now, they have neighborhood partners.
Entrepreneurs can explore the opportunities and also watch out for threats that the sharing economy brings to their businesses.
Beebeelee’s Ronald Rodriguez
Ronald shared that by 2030, the traffic situation in the Philippines will be costing our economy at least 6 billion pesos a day. This can be an area of opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in e-commerce. Instead of people having to go out of their homes and brave the traffic to shop for an item, they can order online and wait for the package to arrive.
Beebeelee is an online shopping platform that aims to transform communities and bridge opportunities through a trustworthy marketplace. They are quality-conscious, and their goal is to have a seamless process, to screen all the products well, and to have well-curated items on their website.
FundKo’s Dexter Lee
Dexter talked about how technology has made being an entrepreneur much easier. He talked about the main elements of a successful online business: the product, marketing, and shipping. Marketing can now be done through social media. Shipping can be done through platforms like Xend.
Most of the innovations we hear about recently are in marketing and shipping. But there’s room for growth and innovation in the product itself–and that’s something FundKo can help entrepreneurs with.
Entrepreneurs who have ideas for products or businesses but don’t have the funding can get the help they need from FundKo. Aside from funding, they can also receive training from FundKo’s Side Hustle Academy.
Penbrothers’ Gui Faria
Gui reminded the attendees that as entrepreneurs, they have to know how to take a step back and see how their business would later make profit–instead of being caught up only in the day-to-day marketing and problem-solving.
He also talked about how B2B, compared to B2C, may seem less glamorous. For example, a restaurant or a co-working space get their chairs from a chair supplier. Many times, that chair supplier won’t often make media. But that doesn’t mean they’re not making a profit.
He shared his own businesses’ failures and the things he learned from them. “You might find yourself with a big white elephant,” he shared.
First Circle’s Alex Capulong
First Circle is Southeast Asia’s leading digital SME lender. Alex talked about a common struggle among SME’s. Let’s say a small business comes across a golden opportunity: a big client wants you to provide them 100 chairs. That big client has the potential to give your small business huge profit–but your usual capacity is to provide only 25 chairs. That’s where First Circle comes in. They help small to medium enterprises scale up their business through fast and simple business funding. First Circle gives them access to more capital to take on larger orders and meet increased demands.
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