Innovation Council of Cebu to focus on ICT’s small players

By Victor Anthony V. Silva April 17,2017

DIGITAL entrepreneurs, technology startups, homegrown business process outsourcing firms, freelancers and animators will get a boost from the Innovation Council of Cebu (ICC) and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

These are the subsectors of the Information Communication Technology-Business Process Management (ICT-BPM) industry that the ICC and the CCCI will want to help develop, despite Cebu being focused for a long time on the big players in the industry.

The ICC, which was only organized last month upon the initiative of the CCCI, was meant to become the “bigger voice” of smaller players from Cebu’s local ICT scene.

Michael Cubos, ICC president, said that developing big players in the industry is understandable because they bring big revenues and generate employment by huge numbers.

“These are the players at the tip of the pyramid. Those at the base of the pyramid are what the ICC wants to help,” he said on Tuesday during the launch of the Cebu Digital Innovation Summit 2017, a project jointly organized by the ICC and the CCCI.

In the Philippines, the ICT-Business Process Management (BPM) sector was seen to have generated $25 billion in revenues in 2016, making it one of the country’s strongest economic drivers.

The sector employs more than 250,000 in Cebu alone, where big players with clients from all over the world are present.

But Cubos said the ICT industry is composed of many other competencies including digital entrepreneurs, tech start-ups, homegrown BPO firms, freelancers, and animators, among others.

He said that these were the people who go through trial and error without anyone ever holding their hand.

“These are the ones that don’t even last for one year,” said Cubos.

CCCI president Melanie Ng, meanwhile, said that as businesses become more competitive, there also comes a greater need to innovate.

She said she saw this event as an avenue for CCCI members as well as ICT players to come together to discuss how to leverage on one another’s strengths.

The chamber presently has around 760 members, 75 to 80 percent of which are small and medium enterprises that could benefit from future partnerships with the local ICT players.

“We (CCCI) are the bridge. If there was a time to emphasize the importance of innovation and technology for the growth of business, it would be now,” she said.

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