Braving the Year of the Tiger: Economic Forecast for MSMEs in 2022

Ayala Enterprise Circle’s “Outlook and Opportunities in the New Year” webinar provides economic forecasts and useful tips from experts to guide MSMEs.

Leaping to 2022, how will MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) land opportunities in the Year of the Tiger?

Last February 10, Ayala Enterprise Circle invited its Ayala Rewards Circle members and interested entrepreneurs to a Zoom webinar titled Outlook and Opportunities in the New Year. Invited as guest speakers were BPI’s Lead Economist, Emilio Neri, Jr., and the Principal Geomancer of Guang Ming Feng Shui, Melvin D. Sua.

The two speakers talked about how MSMEs can stay competitive, consistent, and productive in this challenging economic terrain. They also shared the following trends and tips that you business can take note of this 2022:

Anticipate, transform, diversify, train, and reimagine the better normal

When business leaders say that we need to accept the “new normal,” it doesn’t only mean adapting but also using the opportunity to both diversify and consolidate.

“A lot of people talk about scarring. I think we need to look (at this) from a pruning perspective. Pruned trees bear fruit.” BPI Lead Economist Emilio Neri posited.

The lessons learned in business resilience with a multitude of disruptions in the time of COVID-19 must be applied. “We’re not going back to normal. Things have already evolved and will continue to evolve.”

Paramount to this is to guide and equip MSMEs and their teams with new skills and technologies that can take on present and future challenges.

Recalibrate business models to cater to consumers’ new and changing purchasing behaviors

Industries that quickly adapted to how people consume things differently were able to have much-needed gains. Winners include deliveries, logistics,  programming, BPOs, and subscription-based viewing platforms (ex: Netflix).

Be optimistic and yet, take caution with adverse scenarios

Neri presented that the country’s GDP in 2022 is projected to grow from 7.3% and even close at 10%. To date, the vaccination rate is at 55% of the total population and in the second quarter, we may reach the 70% herd immunity mark. Importing of goods has grown higher than the ASEAN average and is hitting its targets.

There is an optimistic projection of a full economic recovery by the third quarter of 2022.

He cautioned that there are still downside risks (adverse scenarios) that need to be realistically addressed: energy supply and elevated prices, elections, external market volatility, and emerging Covid variants.

Create your luck; opportunity and preparedness should meet.

Principal Geomancer, Melvin D. Sua, brought a Feng Shui twist to the economic forecast in 2022.

The Year of the Tiger brings forth better clarity and a more dynamic experience, so business owners should pivot and adapt while working for a common goal—business success.

He mentioned that there will be large-scale economic reforms. COVID-19 remains the single largest potential disruptor but public health will ease; this does not mean uncertainty will be erased.

Stay healthy as the healing begins

In the upcoming months, the health situation will slowly start to improve. It will have to get worse before it gets better. “More treatments will become available from antiviral pills, antibody treatments to better and safer formulations of vaccines,”  Sua shared.

Health issues to watch out for are associated with respiratory organs; also, blood circulation, heart problems, and heart inflammation.  There may be possible flare-ups around August and November, so should you need to travel, think of possible contingencies.

Keep an eye on properties and disruptions

Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages may push up prices. As for the property market, there may be instability with lower-end properties that fall but then also recover. However, top-end real estate will perform well.

Make travel plans from A to Z

Traveling will return and become more active, however not as smooth just as yet. This will depend on a country’s restrictions and policies, such as New Zealand and Australia are more conservative with their borders and are not ready for incoming travelers.

If you must travel for business, plan it well. Ensure that you have travel insurance and come up with different contingencies, especially if you find yourself stuck in an airport or country.

Travel also means going to space! Space tourism and industry will continue to have developments and media coverage of this sector.

Expect a lot of “new” things

Sua has also put a spotlight on all things “new”, including the introduction of new forms of communication, services, people’s ways to shop, discoveries, forms of life (ex: chemistry, biology), and communities formed, driven and influenced by youth and subcultures.

This “new-ness” should be welcomed and given attention; for example, there’s a new consumer habit that has cropped up. Do your risk assessment and scenarios to save you time and ensure that your business can cater to your consumer’s needs.

Turn weaknesses into strengths

Sua listed down the industries that align with the five elements in Feng Shui. He forecasted industries that will be strong in 2022 and gave tips on how to overcome weak areas:

Earth Element: Strong

These industries will get a boost this year: construction (major works), real estate (rezoning, rebuilding, renovating), mining, general wholesale, manufacturing/trading (hollow blocks, bricks, cement, gravel and sand, tiles).

For food and meat processing, you may encounter some issues with storage or spoilage. This could lead to raising the prices of your goods.

Wood Element: Strong

Expect these industries to thrive: construction (simple renovations such as carpentry and painting, lumber, woodworks, agriculture, gardening, education (face-to-face and training and development of people), manufacturing/trading (fruits and vegetables, furniture, antique, paper, stationery).

With apparel and fashion, you may see a disruption in the supply chain and sourcing of raw materials that would lead to timeliness or delays in the delivery of your products.

Fire Element: Strong

A fiery forecast for these industries: power, electricity, health care, telecommunications, mobile phones, gadgets, tech, apps, social networks, creatives, marketing communications, businesses with relevance to culture and society, and restaurants with a kitchen.

As for oil and gas, prices will go up while dealing with green energy may pose more issues than solutions.

Water Element: Weak

There is a decline in activity for these industries: transportation, shipping, logistics, cruise, hotels, travel agency, spa, water supply, ice manufacturing, beverages, brewery, distillery, restaurants that are also bars, fisheries, seafood, aquariums, exotic fish, and frozen food.

Metal Element: Extremely Weak

Things will be a bit tough for these sectors: banking and finance, financial markets, precious metals such as gold/silver/platinum, automotive, spare parts, manufacturing/trading (metalworks and fabrication).

For steel, iron, aluminum, copper, it will depend if you are a commodity trader; if prices go up, this will be a good thing for you. Fine jewelry and household appliances will be sold at lower prices.

Sua said that these industries may be rearing to go but they should not just do offense but also defense. Be conservative when it comes to making decisions.

He also reiterated that these are general forecasts and the levels of accuracy can vary from one business to another. “When we have advanced information, we’re better prepared.”

Go beyond just doing business. Be a strong business.

MSMEs play a critical role in the country’s economy; they provide jobs and serve communities. Your business does not need to grow and be a roaring success alone. In the Year of the Tiger, 2022 begins to show a glimmer of hope.

Forward-looking entrepreneurs need to keep upgrading their skills, talent, and technologies. Globe Business Upstart recognizes this. Globe Business’ Loyalty Program for MSMEs empowers the Filipino entrepreneurs’ leap into all things digital by expanding their network, getting access to digital tools and exclusive rewards.

Leverage digital and cloud technologies that your leaders and employees can adapt and use while championing digital solutions through training, product trials, and masterclasses.Take part in the Globe Business Upstart program, exclusive to Globe Business MSME customers. Sign up now and start your journey here:

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