PLDT Smart SME Nation: Using digital to build opportunities for local businesses
(Note: The following is a press release from PLDT Smart SME Nation)
MANILA, Philippines – Now more than ever, technology and innovation are becoming more important for the business sector.
With the number of active Internet users in Southeast Asia increasing by 12% since March 2015, businesses across the region have taken notice of opportunities in utilizing digital technologies to make their services and operations more efficient.
At the recent APEC SME Summit held in Manila last Nov 2015, local entrepreneurs and students got a glimpse of how leaders from global companies like AirAsia, FedEx, and Uber used digital tools to stand out in a competitive business landscape.
One of the more discussed topics during the summit was the idea of using disruptive technology to affect businesses and social interactions.
According to David Plouffe, Chief Advisor and Board Member of Uber Technologies Inc., the disruptive digital culture has created what he coined as “The Sharing Economy.” This is the foundation of Uber and its peer-to-peer business model. Within this culture, brands and enterprises can communicate with their consumers on a more personal level, generating better results.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes highlighted that businesses must use every element at their disposal to gain edge over their competition. This includes information found online: as an example, he treats social media complaints on AirAsia’s service as "free market research." For Fernandes, innovation can be found in drastic, high-risk, but high-reward shifts in business logic.
Disruption at the roots
Digitally empowering the micro, small and medium sized enterprise (MSME) sector, which makes up more than 99% of local enterprises in the Philippines, could further boost the country’s economic and business landscape. More technology-based solutions are now readily available, catering directly to MSMEs who want to reach their audiences on a more intimate level. In fact, this is exactly the reason why PLDT decided to establish PLDT Smart SME Nation: to help local businesses step into the digital arena. Undoubtedly, these solutions help level the playing field for MSMEs, but success goes beyond just embracing emerging technology.
Head of PLDT Smart SME Nation Mitch Locsin explains, "By thinking outside the traditional entrepreneurship box, and using innovative business solutions that are highly scalable depending on demand, businesses can further close the gap and go head-to-head with multinational corporations, shaking the foundation of the global business economy.”
PLDT Smart SME Nation draws inspiration from the unique Filipino entrepreneurial spirit, formed to boost and empower the small and medium-sized businesses that form the essential backbone of the Philippine economy. – Rappler.com