The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) comprise an astounding 95 percent of the Philippine Economic backbone. This fact tells us two important things; first, growth in the MSME sector would mean growth to the Philippine Economy as a whole and secondly, this sector is a provider of millions of job opportunities to Filipinos. Because of this, both the government and the private sector must contribute in providing avenues for this sector to flourish for the benefit the country and its people.
Now on its third year, the TechIsland 3.0 by PLDT SMART SME Nation with the theme: Challenge, Change, Conquer gears up again to bring the biggest annual business convention for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). There were over a thousand participants for this year’s TechIsland including industry leaders, multinational organizations, startups and MSMEs from various industries. Unlike the previous TechIsland events, this is the first time that free slots were offered to the general public on a first-come-first-served basis. The event was held last April 22, 2016 at the Harbour Tent, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.
As a part of PLDT and SMART’s nation building advocacies, the goal of TechIsland 3.0 is to empower MSMEs and encourage them to use digital technology to solve real life problems and establish more web presence to expand their market reach. The digital world is now the new frontier for all kinds of businesses. In the Philippines alone, there are 119 millions mobile subscribers. The annual growth for mobile subscription is at 4% while the use of mobile data grows 28% annually. 50 million of these mobile subscribers on other hand are active online. Among the 50 million netizens, there are 24 million people who look for products via the internet and around 21 million of them do transactions and purchase activities online. This data shows how big the market is in the digital world. Businesses that are able to engage to this huge market will surely maximize earning capabilities.
PLDT EVP, Head of EICB and ePLDT CEO Eric R. Alberto began the series of talks by telling his experiences and stories as he led PLDT Group’s Enterprise to annual revenue of 65 billion pesos. DENTSU Jayme Syfu’s ‘chairmom’ and chief executive and one of the Philippine advertising industry’s most renowned practitioners, Merlee Jayme tackled the digital marketing trends that really help in the growth of different businesses around the globe. She also discussed about how the modern digital landscape has brought enormous success to companies worldwide. Following these talks was PLDT Chief Strategy Officer Winston Damarillo who presented the different solutions that are offered and available for the MSMEs to help them migrate into digital.
Uber Manila general Manager Laurence Cua was also present to discuss about the present challenges the MSMEs face and how to solve it using the digital technology we have. One interesting solution Mr. Cua talked about was the development of Carpooling and its integration into Sthe Uber system. In the near future, we will be able to experiences less congested roads because of this wonderful solution.
The newly established Facebook Philippines took the opportunity to present how digital technology specifically Facebook can become a useful tool for the MSMEs. Alfredo Tan, Facebook Canada Group Director of Global Marketing Solutions and Facebook Philippines Interim Country Director talked about digital exploration and digital trends that are designed to help businesses as they engage in the digital world.
There were amazing solutions launched during the event as part of the goal to help MSMEs. One was the Market Builder, a do-it-yourself campaign trigger which enables the enterprises to connect and interact with their customers who are near or located just around their stores. In this technology, the enterprise can send directly its notifications, announcements and advertisements to customers while they are around the store area.
TechIsland 3.0 is really serious in its campaign to digitize MSMEs. As part of this, there were 1200 free websites launched on that same day to accommodate all the MSME participants who are not yet actively present online. This is such a wonderful reward for the participants aside from the event being free of registration and the outstanding lineup of speakers.
After the series of talks, the participants were divided into groups during the breakout sessions design to target every specific areas of the organization.
- THE CAPTAIN: CEO & BUSINESS OWNER
Take your business beyond the map and explore uncharted digital territories in the ever-expanding global market.
- THE NAVIGATOR:SALES & MARKETING
Get in-depth information on the latest trends in go-to-market activations and take on the newest technology tools that will help you reach your destinations.
- THE TRADER:FINANCE & PROCUREMENT
Learn about the most efficient streamlining systems and how to maximize resources throughout your journey.
- THE ENGINEER: OPERATION & I.T.
Generate smooth-sailing operations and gear up to become the next game changers in the industry.
TechIsland will continue to bring relevant technologies and solutions to the MSME sector for the coming years. According to Mr. Eric R. Alberto, “we are committed to allocate resources and use all frequencies and technologies available to maximize profit for the MSMEs”. We can Expect Smart PLDT SME Nation’s TechIsland to keep on challenging the standard business mindset and give the MSMEs a new perspective in managing their businesses as well as bringing more and more high technology solutions to our real life problems .