Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) continue to be the backbone of the Philippine economy, comprising a vast majority of local businesses.
As the country continues to move towards a post-pandemic world, this sector remains vulnerable and requires support from the public and private sector.
Among the companies pledging support is leading quick-commerce platform provider foodpanda, who made the commitment at the sidelines of the recent GO Negosyo MSME Summit 2022. For this year’s edition of the annual summit, organized by GO Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, the theme was on the digitalization of MSMEs, including the usage of and support coming from digital platforms.
As the country’s leading online quick commerce platform, foodpanda has thousands of partner merchants and shops in their food delivery and grocery services, a majority of which are MSMEs. “The use of digital technologies is here to stay even in the post-pandemic world, so businesses across industries – particularly small and medium enterprises – should learn how to adapt in order to survive. That’s where we can come in and help,” said Daniel Marogy, foodpanda Philippines Managing Director.
In the Philippines, more than 99% of enterprises are MSMEs. At the Summit, Concepcion also shared that MSMEs also account for the majority of the local jobs at 63%, noting that the Philippines should capitalize on digitalization to elevate the businesses and drive robust growth in the lives of MSMEs.
“At foodpanda, a huge chunk of our vendors and merchants includes up-and-coming, high-potential small restaurants, local mom-and-pop stores, and home-based online businesses and our goal is to beef up our partnerships with them and turn that potential into reality,” foodpanda’s Managing Director assured. “Through the use of online channels, we are creating added income and revenue streams for them.”
The event was also graced by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who underscored that supporting MSMEs is among the top priorities of the current administration. Helping the government with this endeavor is the United States Embassy headed by Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson.
She shared in the summit that the US supports the growth of the country’s digital economy and encourages more MSMEs to participate. “While the pandemic has brought plenty of challenges, many MSMEs have also discovered opportunities to improve their businesses. An encouraging trend is the rapid digital transformation of businesses and the growing move to e-commerce.”
However, while the growth of MSMEs may indicate an uptick in the economy, small businesses still face a serious problem with lack of financing and capital, which Marogy noted can be answered by digitalization. “By joining a digital platform like foodpanda, entrepreneurs with little capital will have an affordable yet competitive alternative to start their business because they can think less about the cost of rent, utility expenses, and other traditional business expenses,” he explained.
“On the other hand, stores and restaurants looking to scale further can have both a physical presence through their retail storefront and an online presence through our platform,” Marogy said. According to him, this type of evolution is the marriage of online and offline commerce.
Several digital platform services also came together at the event to emphasize the importance of MSMEs being linked to the value chains of bigger corporations, which is how their business models are designed. Marogy also supported this idea, saying that inclusion is achieved by making it possible for MSMEs to participate in the digital economy.
He mentioned how foodpanda is helping many local restaurants in the country to earn additional revenue through online channels. In the same way, he added, consumers will have access to faster and convenient delivery of their goods while delivery partners will have the opportunity to make a living. “It is an effective and helpful cycle that will continue to exist as long as digital platforms like us operate. As a platform, it is our role to bring all these sides of the market together and connect them to each other.”
Marogy also agreed with several leaders of digital platform services who are encouraging MSMEs to shift to digital channels. “MSMEs need to be present where their consumers are right now – and that is in the digital space.”
“These small local businesses can leverage existing digital platforms like us to build an online presence. As an essential quick commerce platform and digital enabler for vendors nationwide, we are here to help your business scale so that together, we can all prosper and succeed,” he added.