SMEs urged: Use technology to expand market reach

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz March 20,2019 - 04:26 PM

Cebu entrepreneurs attended the first-ever Digibeez Summit held at Seda Hotel, Cebu Business Park. /Irene R. Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines—E-commerce is a way to go for Cebu-based small and medium companies (SMEs) who want to expand their market reach.

Dick Chiang, chief operating officer of Dragonpay, said SMEs have to tap various technologies, whether its financial technology (fintech) for accepting payments, as well as logistics companies to enable companies to deliver their products.

Chiang expressed hope that Digibeez would empower the Cebu business sector through the help of the digital players.

Seven companies engaged e-commerce and social media platforms came to Cebu on Wednesday, March 20, for the first Digibeez Summit with the goal of encouraging small and medium companies to tap technology.

He explained that he chose Cebu as the venue of the first-ever Digibeez because he sees Cebu as a center for e-commerce and fintech in central Philippines.

Chiang noted the rapid growth in entrepreneurs going online as business process outsourcing registered rapid and sustained growth.

To have an online presence, SMEs could join an online marketplace like Shopee or they could put up their own website, Chiang said.

Through Digibeez, with its theme ‘Growing the hive of finance technology,’ Dragonpay could provide linkage between Cebu businesses and fintech’s best practices, he pointed out.

One of the services needed by SMEs that plan to go online is a safe payment platform that can be used by customers. Dragonpay, a local finance company, offers alternative payment schemes for online shoppers without bank accounts or credit card, Chiang explained.

Founded in 2010, Dragonpay can be considered a trailblazer in the local fintech, having completed 118 million transactions.

Ash Mandhyan, client solutions head of Facebook, noted that social media has enabled entrepreneurs to expand their market access.

Samuel Jeanblanc, market lead of Google Philippines, explained that the company can also help businesses build their online presence.

Meanwhile, Ron Baetiong, chief executive officer of Chatbot PH, urged businesses to consider using artificial intelligence, including automation of repetitive tasks.

For his part, Itamar Gero, chief executive officer of Truelogic, said entrepreneurs have to open their minds to using the different technology available to them.

Gero urged them to choose which technology fits their business and requirements./dcb

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TAGS: Cebu‬, Digibeez, e-commerce, SMEs, Summit

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