Home to a thriving business landscape, Iloilo City has come a long way in the past few years toward becoming not just a capital for business in the country, but a more digital destination as well. More than your average tourist destination, Iloilo sets itself apart by being a great place for entrepreneurs to start business.
It was no surprise that when Globe myBusiness came to Iloilo, they were received by a crowd of business owners and soon-to-be entrepreneurs who were eager to hear what Globe had to offer. In addition to the ceremonies that made Iloilo’s shift to digital official, the event was also graced by various speakers who enlightened the owners on key parts of running and digitizing their business.
Francis Kong shares key insights into the future of local businesses before a crowd of entrepreneurs at SM City Iloilo last June 28, 2018.
Chief among these speakers was Mr. Francis Kong, who discussed various innovations for business growth and success. Here are some of the top insights we picked up from Francis’ talk:
- Business planning is not always reliable, because anything can be disrupted. Everything changes so quickly, and nothing is ever permanent. This means that your bi-annual or even monthly planning can only get you so far, and you need to be prepared and flexible enough to deal with changes at every turn.
- There are nine technological changes that drive disruption in today’s tech landscape. These are networks, sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, genomics (DNA), nanotechnology, digital machines and medicines (IoT) and universal basic income. With these changes underway in a more globalized world, businesses need to adapt or they will be taken over.
- The future now belongs to platforms. When consumers watch, listen or play, they don’t own the shows, songs or games they use. As Francis says, “I am beginning to use more things and own them less.” As he additionally summarizes, access is now more powerful than ownership. Therefore your business has to be accessible in the long run, otherwise your customers will tire of patronizing you.
- Generational gaps can affect how a business is successful. In the context of family businesses, for example, the older generation should not be ignorant of its younger generation’s technology and digital knowledge. Francis identifies three reasons why family businesses fail: no technology, no professionalism, or no succession.
- Be and stay connected. Francis introduced his Facebook page to the audience, saying that he answers every message he receives. He was in awe of how far his words can reach people through the Internet, and stresses the importance of taking advantage of this connectivity and communication in business.
- Don’t waste opportunities. Use the resources you have, and invest in the resources you think are needed. Go to talks, ask questions, and listen to the speakers who are sharing their insight with you. He urged the audience that day not to just go home, but to imbibe what they had learned from his talk into their day-to-day operations.
- Don’t just buy technology; buy technology that fits for you. All technology is not the same. Certain nuances exist in tech that would fit certain businesses better than others. The good thing is that nowadays, technology providers allow you to tailor-fit your digital tech to your own specific needs. So do your research, understand how things work, and be open to learning more about technology.
- And finally, the most basic lesson Francis had to teach was this: embrace change. He says, “Change is scary, but it is scarier not to change.” He explains the need to evolve with the times, especially nowadays that change happens so quickly. He even says that if your competition has technology while you don’t, then by default, you’ve already lost.
Other speakers also took to the stage to discuss more tips, while the local government officials of Iloilo proudly shared their insights regarding the city’s booming infrastructure and thriving business landscape.
Lazadas Head of Marketplace Hussain Khalid addresses the crowd on the end-to-end e-commerce experience and how they can find success as an online seller.
According to the officials, Iloilo City was prepared to be an economic hub in the Philippines which wasn’t limited to just the Panay region, or even just to the country. They wanted to open communications between Iloilo and the world, and connectivity was very much a key to making that happen.
Additionally, Iloilo is an education hub as well, with some of the country’s best schools and universities located within the city. With connectivity on their side, then, students are better equipped to become technologically savvy and ready to face a world that grows increasingly more digital each day.
Finally, for the many businesses in Iloilo that have been booming for years, change comes in the form of globalization and the heightened use of technology. This, coupled with Globe’s push for connectivity and digitization, is what the local officials believe will bring Iloilo City right to the top.
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