Business landscape changes in the midst of pandemic

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With the disruption created by the COVID19 pandemic, even when the lockdown is lifted, businesses would really face a big challenge as far as marketing their products as well as purchasing the products as everyone would remain extra careful of being contaminated by the virus.

Given this new normal and reality that not only the Philippines needs to face but also the entire world, companies and business owners should start exploring on what efficient ways to consider in addressing this imminent adjustment in doing business.

While there is telecommuting or work from home which turns out to be very helpful and productive, a good grasp of the reality and quick adjustment to adapt in the new market spaces such as online platforms, rather than geographic spaces during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are critical to surviving the business.

The big question according to Senen Perlada, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) is “Where do We Sell from Here?” 

This was tackled during a webinar held last April 22 dubbed “Market Adjustments and Sustainability: Where do We Sell from Here?” 

“If there’s one thing that the Enhanced Community Quarantine taught us, it’s that we can explore the possibilities in the digital space,” said Perlada.  

Fellow panelists in the fourth episode of #ResilienceandRecoveryPH eforum series include Roberto Amores, President of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (PHILFOODEX); Sherill Quintana, President of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA); and Janette Toral, a digital influencer, coach, and trainer. Philippine Exporters Conferederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) Assistant Vice President Ma. Flordeliza Cusi-Leong moderated the discussion. 

“We are now driven to accelerate our digital transformation. To thrive during this time, businesses should strengthen their online-to-offline platforms. Customers can buy online and then just have their orders for pickup or delivery,” he added. 

Perlada also suggested the power of a good narrative in products. He cited the viral Facebook post last 11 March 2020 that sold 1,600 kg mangoes en route to Manila for the National Food Fair. 

Aside from being present in online marketplaces, he said that all businesses should have their own website. Citing the results of a recent survey conducted by the DTI-EMB, Perlada said that only 40% of exporters have a website. 

“Not having a website is okay if you’re selling products or services domestically. But it is unacceptable if you are exporting to other countries,” he said. 

The director admitted that Philippine exports will decline due to the pandemic. “We will get there again, but the focus is domestic,” he explained.  On the other hand, he shared that sectors like agriculture, healthcare, logistics, and financial services stand to grow during this quarter.  

In terms of export markets, he said that China and South Korea are slowly getting back on track and that exporters to the US are most affected. The demand for electronics exports is still high, as the demand for healthcare devices skyrocket. 

The e-forum was organized by the PHILEXPORT, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PRDF), and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).