COVID-19 is 2020’s wildcard shaking up every industry with new challenges and opportunities. It’s forcing businesses to evolve and change the way they bring their products to their customers – from their physical delivery to crucial brand messaging.

You’ve learned about the IT/BPO, Education and Finance industries in our part 1 article. Here we continue to share with you more learnings generously shared by business leaders in different fast-moving Philippine industries, and how they are handling the hurdles with the help of technology, partners, and internal teams.

Retail: NAVCO

Empowering Filipinos to live better with technology

Incorporated in 2009, NAVCO is a distributor and retailer of consumer electronics with exclusive rights to sell big US brands like Garmin. NAVCO is also introducing Smart Home Automation in the country. As a retailer, they have 40 brick and mortar stores that are either single-brand (Garmin and Anker) or multi-brand (Nifty). They have been strengthening their e-commerce presence since 2015 through their online stores and partnerships with Shopee, Zalora, and Lazada. They’re one of Lazada’s selected accredited partners in the country.


Despite the strong foothold NAVCO has established in the market over the years, CEO Ryan Tan shares that COVID-19 challenged them to look at the bigger picture and reposition their brands. “We set a goal [for our brands] to be a source of hope and joy during this crisis. That to us is our lighthouse. Then we pivoted there.” They made all services, content, and product positioning act as tools against the COVID-19 crisis without being hard sell. Their initiatives include giving away free smartwatches and creating exercise challenges to promote working out at home and monitoring one’s health.

Likewise, they took care of their employees through grocery purchases, work-from-home set-ups, financial support, and offering physical and mental health benefits. NAVCO prioritized automating parts of their operations using cloud-based solutions. They use the latest cloud-based technology for their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and HR Information System. Teleconferencing tools such as Zoom have made it easy for them to work remotely even during the quarantine.

On the sales end, letting their customers know that their products are on-hand and ready for same-day delivery has given them a boost. Partnering with third-party delivery operators helped them with that. They’ve proven that with a crisis of this scale, introspection is necessary. Their audits revealed ways to simplify and streamline their processes to help them cope.

After the Crisis

Tan hopes that all efforts they’re making will help seize new opportunities in the future, preparing the company for expansion in neighboring Asian countries. He also sees NAVCO becoming a partner for other businesses wanting to be technologically savvier. After being shaken up by COVID-19, they’re formulating business decisions to safeguard against possible threats, guided by the company’s core values: integrity, magis, boldness, innovativeness, and forward-thinking.

“This is the time to sharpen the pencil. We keep working even from home. We advanced planning sessions to help us become more effective after the lockdown… and make us stronger when we reopen. Revisit [your] plans and zoom in,” Tan advises other retail businesses like his.

Restaurants, Cafes, & Kiosks: Auntie Anne’s

Meeting the demand for freshly baked treats through digitized deliveries

Auntie Anne’s hails from the US and became popular in the Philippines for the delicious taste and inviting scent of their freshly baked pretzels, natural lemonades, and coffee. Since 1995, they have grown to 65 branches with 400+ employees nationwide, occupying key locations in malls.


COO Mikkel Paris shares that they’ve experienced and adapted to closing their stores during typhoons or fire incidents, but to close all branches was a completely new scenario. They had to reallocate resources and shift gears for their deliveries quickly. They rely heavily on social media to connect with clients. Logistics partners Grab and FoodPanda helped them get back on track quickly to help fulfill customer orders, too.

The inspiring positivity of Auntie Anne’s pretzel specialists, aka their staff, who volunteered to work despite the odds, also had a significant role so they can operate and maximize the reach of the remaining 13 branches that were kept open. The company provided the employees with bikes so they can get to work due to the lack of public transportation. Constant communication through apps like Viber kept the team updated on tasks ahead and assured of each other’s safety. “You are nothing without your team. Take care of them, and they’ll look after you,” he stresses.

After the Crisis

While a pandemic of this scale is hard to foresee, Paris recognizes the need to develop their own app that will directly process delivery and pick-up orders from their customers, and be another avenue for online-based marketing. Accelerating digital transactions through GCash will also be invaluable for restaurants and cafés as Filipinos grow accustomed to e-wallets and the speed and convenience of online shopping.

Paris shares, “Take this as an opportunity to grow. Explore to [go] the next level. Sometimes a virus is what it takes to adapt. It’s difficult not to.”

Manufacturing: Desktop Bags

Pioneering manufacturing through skills and technology

Desktop Bags was born in Bataan in 2012, manufacturing high-quality fashion bags for designer brands like Coach, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade. Their core competency lies with their 6000 skilled workers who are trained and fully equipped with machinery, including an AI-powered high-speed robotic cutter. Once completed, the bags are patented in the US then sold all over the world.


Due to high-transmission risk, COVID-19 paused many factories’ operations in the country, including Desktop Bags. Mark Leo Gamboa, the company’s IT Supervisor and Head, describes that only their admin personnel are working during the Enhanced Community Quarantine to process salaries and orders for imported materials. This makes up only 1% of the manpower, leaving the rest with no regular income – save for the advanced salaries, 13th-month pay, and the grocery fund the company generously released, despite having zero purchase orders.

Unlike other industries that sell directly to local consumers, Desktop Bags services retailers abroad that are also hard-hit by the pandemic, mainly because their luxury products are not considered essential items during a crisis. Despite having specialized software to measure mass production efficiency, these technologies are no substitute for the expert human touch that creates top-quality, high-fashion bags.

After the Crisis

Pre- and post- COVID-19, Gamboa identifies stable internet connectivity as a critical ingredient for improving business communication and operations, especially in the provinces. When the factory reopens, they’ll enforce social distancing. They will half their once 70-persons per line to maintain safe distances between workers. Shifting focus to products with a higher demand seems to be the first and most viable step to combat the threats of the pandemic, which in turn they foresee will guide their marketing strategies and personnel training.

Gamboa shares that in these trying times, manufacturing companies should “be on standby.” He adds, “Ready computers or invest on laptops for remote work. Use apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex for collaboration.”

Logistics: Lalamove

Empowering MSMEs through an efficient and rapidly expanding logistics network

Lalamove started in Hong Kong, expanded to the Philippines in 2016, and is currently operating in 12 countries intending to provide reliable intra-city deliveries. Dannah Majarocon, Managing Director, recognizes the need to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with low-cost but efficient deliveries via motorcycles to light trucks that can be booked on-demand or scheduled through their mobile app or website. In her words, “Our advocacy is to empower local communities and also drivers. To provide livelihoods and uplift lives; to change the perception of ‘driver lang.'” They’re able to connect thousands of vehicle and business owners with the same desire to grow their income. Helping them succeed means financial freedom for many Filipinos.


Lalamove is highly tech-dependent and will survive so long as there is internet, but only if their team is safe and ready with a protocol to follow during times of crises. They readied their business continuity plan for Manila and Cebu offices early — nurturing talks with trusted suppliers and testing work from home long before the announcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

“Previously, we trained drivers in our offices. When ECQ was announced, we activated our virtual training program,” Majarocon discloses. The trainings come with online exams, helping them bring drivers onboard efficiently and quickly. Lalamove also purchased and deployed mobile phones, laptops, and hotspot devices in a span of 2 days to ensure minimal business interruption.

Aside from checking in on their team through Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite) and their internal communication platforms, they bought groceries for their staff’s families and will soon introduce online consultations to ensure good morale and mental health. Still, Majarocon shares that there are many things they could have done, like highlighting Lalamove as a reliable partner in their clients’ business continuity strategy which could have prepared more firms for the ECQ and helped them minimize disruption.

After the Crisis

COVID-19 will permanently reshape the economic landscape, and Lalamove’s data mirrors this with the rising demand for cashless transactions and no contact deliveries. Technology is on our side and will continue churning easier and safer ways to do business online, so a tech company like Lalamove must recalibrate plans at least quarterly, if not monthly.

“Because of the COVID-19 global impact, there’s high level of uncertainty. It’s valuable to be positive but what’s imperative is to have a highly flexible action plan to catch up on events to ensure business continuity. Lalamove is gearing up to support the evolving demand of existing and new MSME players as we enter a new normal. This is to keep clients’ trust, because there’s minimal business disruption, and to secure livelihoods,” she ends.

Hotels & Accommodation: The Henry Hotel

Enlivening the spirit of creativity, rest, and relaxation amidst challenges

The Henry Hotel takes pride in bringing an exceptional experience to its guests through carefully curated art and design, picturesque against the busy backdrop of Pasay and Cebu City. Their two boutique hotels offer modern amenities, in-house gourmet restaurants, artsy event spaces, intimate celebration packages, and photoshoot sessions in their stylized interiors – all elevated further by their penchant for warm customer service.


Before the pandemic, Brand & Marketing Strategist Andrea Agahan shares that the hotels’ focus had been on booking events like weddings, and enticing foreigners to visit the Philippines during their long holidays.

However, with all the travel bans that soon followed after the virus broke out, they quickly had to shift from the usual Hotel and Accommodations business to aid their fellow countrymen. They were able to refocus their services because they’re guided by The Henry Hotel’s core brand values, which ultimately center on providing an experience like no other.

During the ECQ, they are closed for guests other than those who are seeking a safe and comfortable place. Despite the associated risks, they give the best customer experience possible through stringent sanitation and, more importantly, offering stable and strong internet connectivity so guests can connect with loved ones. Internet is a demand that The Henry Hotel sees as essential, even more so now when guests cannot leave their rooms.

No matter the uncertainty that blankets the nation, The Henry Hotel strives to deliver topnotch guest experience that ultimately dispels worries and provide comfort to customers in these trying times.

After the Crisis

With many customers hesitant to travel or host big events, The Henry Hotel plans to tweak its target market and their marketing message, but in a way that’s consistent with their branding. First, they want to add value to domestic travelers’ staycations and make it feel like a novel holiday appreciating the local arts and culture. They will also tap budget travelers who are seeking a balance of leisure, sensibility, and safety.

Brand loyalty is key, so a digital marketing campaign with a slice of their signature hospitality will help retain their local and international repeat guests. Stricter sanitation standards and new ways of serving guests that push safety in the forefront, such as self-service methods, are their top priorities once the pandemic settles. With social distancing becoming the new norm, they aim to cater to events with 100 guests or less, turning them into intimate yet superb gatherings when given The Henry Hotel personalized touch.

“Coming from a brand that values our customers’ loyalty, my advice is for hotels to stick to their brand values. That should dictate your marketing or operation efforts. Guests should feel that sense of security and safety amidst what happened with the COVID-19 pandemic. Your brand values will also be what your guests will be sharing to their [connections,] so please your guests,” Agahan shares.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to look at the same problem but with different lenses. Adaptive technology, efficient logistics, and proactive teams are viable partners during these testing times. Pivoting your brand message is also important to show sensitivity to the situation, help your customers cope, and let them see how your products and services can help them.

Globe myBusiness can help you pinpoint what unique solutions and processes are perfect for your company’s business continuity. Get in touch with us to learn how.



Stay connected with all your suppliers. Check out Globe myBusiness Postpaid Plans with Unli Calls and Texts to ALL Networks and more data than ever before. Want to know more? Click here.

Collaborate easier with your team. Check out Globe myBusiness TRUE UNLI 799. For a minimum of 5 lines, your team gets UNLI Calls and Texts to ALL Networks and UNLI Calls to Landline. Want to know more? Click here.


Ensure that you’re able to coordinate with your employees and address customers queries at all times with Unli Internet 1899. Click here to know more.

Help the team stay connected and productive from home without the high cost with Globe Business Starter 399 with a FREE Prepaid Kit. Click here to know more.


Accept and fulfill orders from home, plus continue to send salaries to employees, with GCash and myBiz Wallet. Get the details here.

Enjoy seamless collaboration and communication with your team even when crises keep you apart with Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite). Learn more here.

Back up important company and transaction information when you can’t go to the office with Virtual Private Cloud. Be disaster-proof and find out what VPC can do for you here.

COVID-19 turned our worlds upside down, shocking our usual routines, and peppering it with a rare fear of uncertainty many of us are experiencing for the first time. Every business decision gets tougher as owners balance cash flow and profitability while protecting team morale and well-being.

Passionate entrepreneurs wouldn’t be where they are today, though, without being adaptable. Instead of accepting COVID-19 as a roadblock, they have been leading their teams carefully through viable paths to the ‘new normal’ in their respective industries.

No matter what sector you are operating in, feel free to find inspiration from these business leaders’ stories of resilience.

ICT/BPO: PearlPay

Sharing the power of digital transformation to the banking industry

PearlPay unlocks a noble solution for financial institutions, especially rural banks, to step-up from old-school passbooks to digital wallets. Sparky Perreras, Co-Founder and CEO, describes their PearlPay product line as an end-to-end banking solution that offers a cloud-based core banking system, mobile POS for digital bank transactions, PearlPay E-Wallet, and PearlPay Remit. Unlike their competitors, they charge a monthly subscription based on the number of serviced accounts or branches. With this, PearlPay is fast-growing in the country and Southeast Asia.


An industry-specific challenge they faced during COVID-19 is how regulated their customers are. “The threat is that they need to operate because they are frontliners,” Perreras shares. They are an essential part of the economy that must continue to serve the population, despite substantial infrastructure costs. PearlPay’s platform hasn’t stopped its operations, and is proving to be just what their customers need to continue their activities safely and smoothly.

“In our case, even before ECQ, we were already practicing remote working,” says Perreras. “We have tools in place with ongoing projects and supporting the rural banks amid COVID-19. There’s no need to visit sites or bank clients to install or update anything to implement PearlPay.” Collaboration is essential and Perreras shares how their team stays connected through Google Hangouts, video conferences, apps, and the cloud.

After the Crisis

While their service seems like it’s a Business Continuity Plan in itself, Perreras recognizes the need to adjust for future disturbances by applying for a faster and more robust internet connection. Further automating their service through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are in the plans so it can serve its business purpose better.

Perreras emphasizes how industries have to “survive the pandemic as early as possible.” He adds, “This is the perfect opportunity for start-ups in digital transformation because it’s now very pronounced. Seize the opportunity and catch this wave.”

Education: Ateneo de Davao University

Using technology to strengthen learning despite uncertainties

Ateneo de Davao University is among the premier schools in the country, established in 1948 for grade-school students. It eventually grew into a full-fledged university by the 1980s with rare and specialized course offerings like robotics and aerospace engineering.

Jeremy Eliab, Executive Vice President, shares that besides providing valuable education, the school has also made it its goal to improve quality of life by facilitating Bangsamoro peace talks for a more unified Mindanao. Given the sensitivity of this issue they are tackling, they centered their business continuity strategy on operating even during a time of civil unrest or war.


“Since our location is in Mindanao, we plotted out different scenarios for peace and order protocols,” he shares. “This pandemic is strange for us, but preparations are more or less the same. We prepared for this six years ago in case of war or suspensions. We modified that protocol for COVID-19.”

Ateneo De Davao University adapted by bringing all lessons online and deploying programs to support their virtual learning system for their 15,000 students. They provided prepaid internet kits for all students free of charge. Students who are unable to buy laptops are offered loans payable throughout their stay at the university. They also sent iPads to scholars for educational use.

Eliab proudly shares that student government officers volunteered to deliver equipment to their classmates, proving that the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ is not lost on the youth.

After the Crisis

This system is a new normal that the school will continue to hone as they roll out plans integrating online learning with classroom social distancing, and also extracurricular activities, once the situation settles.

It pays to rely on technology, Eliab stresses. “We’re able to automate processes. Enrollments are done online. You can apply or be admitted from anywhere in Mindanao. Students can pay online through bank transfer or GCash. Even scholarship applications and interviews are done online. It makes processes efficient and easy even in the context of ECQ.” He further explains how technology can open new doors for Ateneo de Davao University, with the possibility of admitting students from other parts of the country and in the future, the world.

Eliab advises other schools to also prepare for crises. “We’re forced to shift. For small schools that don’t have the proper IT infrastructure, use limited resources. Do classes by email or phone, or what your bandwidth can accommodate. Deal with the limitations and shift online.”

Finance: BXB Employee Solutions Corp.

Securing workers’ futures through financial education

No matter how hard we work, money still always feels short. Being a smart spender is not enough these days. This is the problem seen by BXB Employee Solutions’ CEO Chip Winternitz, and why he incorporated his financial education company in 2017 with employees in mind.

First, they offer a curriculum helping employees manage their daily spend so they can save for emergencies. Second, they partnered with several financial institutions where their clients can apply for low to no-interest loans and credit lines. “We have the rank-and-file, the blue-collar workers in mind. We do not just work on giving them access to easy, reliable, and affordable financial services. We get them into financial shape through good planning and encouraging financial habits. These will help them toward their goals no matter what stage in their life they are in.”


As a business-to-business financial coach, technology plays a big part in their functions – from disseminating loans seamlessly via GCash to developing responsive online platforms for their clients. In the time of COVID-19, when financial fears are intense, their services help to appease customer concerns directly.

They’ve also made sure to care for their clients in these trying times. “Even before Bayanihan To Heal As One Act [was in place], out of our goodwill we already held the payments, talked to partners to hold the loans, and did deals to extend payment terms. We addressed these early on,” Winternitz shares.

Technology makes it easy to pivot from in-person to digital correspondence as they leveraged this to connect with their customers. Winternitz says his company is taking this time to look at different opportunities, such as moving their training and seminars online. Above all, he reminds businesses not to lose their focus on their customers. “We sometimes forget what the customers really want. What are they telling us? Elicit their help also,” he adds.

After the Crisis

Right now, he foresees that after the crisis, customers will focus on building back their savings. Companies will also give more importance to financially educating employees. This is where BXB Employee Solutions will come in with products and services to address these demands.

“The key to the ‘next normal’ is understanding the supply chain towards your ecosystem,” Winternitz mentions, stressing the importance of assessing all your stakeholders and processes and how they can be affected. “Study what it exactly means to work from home. For startups, don’t lose the drive and the passion.”

If there’s anything all businesses have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the wildest what-ifs can turn to reality.

While the situation has affected the economy as a whole, there are unique challenges per industry and indeed, per company. PearlPay, Ateneo de Davao University, and BXB Employee Solutions have demonstrated that more than just writing a literal Business Continuity Plan document, it is more important to nurture a resilience mindset and harness correct technology to minimize the impact to operations.

Learn about more industries and how they’re tackling business continuity here.

Globe myBusiness can help you pinpoint what unique solutions and processes are perfect for your company’s business continuity. Get in touch with us to learn how.



Help the team stay connected and productive from home without the high cost with Globe Business Starter 399 with a FREE Prepaid Kit. Click here to know more.

Ensure that you’re able to coordinate with your employees and address customers queries at all times with Unli Internet 1899. Click here to know more.

Learn more about how Globe myBusiness can help your school. Download our product guide here.


Accept and fulfill orders from home, plus continue to send salaries to employees, with GCash and myBiz Wallet. Get the details here.

Enjoy seamless collaboration and communication with your team even when crises keep you apart with Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite). Learn more here.

Back up important company and transaction information when you can’t go to the office with Virtual Private Cloud. Be disaster-proof and find out what VPC can do for you here.

With the enhanced community quarantine in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses closed shop. But this does not mean that yours should also put a halt to operations. This is the time to create plans and make use of technology and digital resources to sustain your business.

At the minimum, create your business continuity plan (BCP). This should cover assessing risks, finding out how the risks will affect operations, carrying out procedures to lessen the risks, testing the procedures if they work, and reviewing the process.

For this COVID-19 crisis, your BCP may include organizing remote working plans, readying finances, creating a database for employees’ locations and well-being, enforcing hygiene and sanitation, and setting up a supply chain that will work for you.

As you go through your outline, integrate these four important tips to keep your business safe and running. These will make your plans more robust and your business resilient.

Tip 1: Work from home

Due to the new policies by the government, only a handful of skeletal workforces, those providing basic necessities and producing food and medicine, will be allowed to move about.

If your continuing business on-the-ground, your lean skeletal team must adhere to the basics of hygiene, social distancing, and other stringent measures talked about in detail here.

The rest of your workforce, and for businesses not included in the latest government quarantine guide, must work from home. Learn from how other companies in your industry or area are going about this to create the perfect scheme for you.

Make sure they are equipped with the right tools, like devices, connectivity, collaboration apps, and conference call tools, to keep them efficient and productive.

When your employees are properly set up, organize your goals. Set up a daily morning huddle to align priorities for the day. Business does not have to stop when your team works remotely.

Tip 2: Utilize third-party operators

The remote working situation opens up new opportunities to expand your business through new supply chain routes. With customers “living” in the digital world, communication, socialization, and purchasing online are becoming essentials with this pandemic.

Businesses like food, water-refilling stations, convenience stores, groceries, and drug stores can make use of third party delivery services like GrabFoodGrabExpressLalamove, and Happy Move.

Complete transactions more easily with digital banking and online payment platforms like PayPalPayMayaGCash, and the like. Advise your customers in advance if there’ll be delays due to your skeletal workforce, the checkpoints, and other strict measures you’re following and enforcing.

For those not allowed to deliver their products given the strict quarantine measures, this is the time to plan for recovery. Set up your online shops, sign up with Lazada or Shopee, and connect with your customers through social media. Make sure to pin those update posts at the top of your page. You may opt to boost posts using Facebook Ads to reach more of your target market base.

In this time of lull in sales, you can engage your followers through sharing public service announcements or sending tips, videos, and other posts that will bring value to their day-to-day experience during the crisis. It’s important to put forth camaraderie and aid at this time, even in the little things, without the pressure of keeping your business on their top-of-mind.

Tip 3: Secure your business

As the virus continues to spread, expect policies to adjust and change. Don’t join the wave of panic and plan ahead. You have to lead your business through a crisis. With offices closed, make sure your official documents are secure. Ask your skeletal team to lock their computers when they are away from their desk. Make sure everyone uses a secure line for official communication channels (the ones you agreed upon above) when sending confidential documents and information. Maximize tools that allow you to store documents online like Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite) and iCloud.

This will be a good time to look into business insurance as well. Some benefits include financial assistance, medical reimbursement, and other crisis-related coverages. If you haven’t enrolled your business with a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), start scouting for one that best fits your needs and budget.

Apply proper measures in the office. Provide alcohol and ensure surfaces and surroundings are well sanitized.

Talk to your employees individually to boost their morale. Let them know they’re taken care of even during the crisis and that their efforts to keep your business thriving won’t go unnoticed.

Tip 4: Be alert, stay informed

With how easy it is to post anything nowadays, there is so much noise buzzing through our devices – and not all of them are factual. Myths about the virus are rampantly going around on the internet. That’s why it’s all the more important that we remain vigilant against fake news.

Make sure that the information you’re absorbing and sharing with other people, especially your team, are true. Follow verified sites and reporters for real-time and factual news. Get regular local updates from Department of Health’s (DOH) Viber groupPhilippine News Agency (PNA), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Visit World Health Organization (WHO) and Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) for international updates.

Share relevant information in your business group chat to help your team know what to do. Have them turn on their emergency alerts on their phones so that they can receive official announcements via SMS. For DOH’s official COVID hotline, contact (02) 894-COVID.

Share and forward this to your colleagues and friends. Help them stay safe at home and stay informed with Globe myBusiness.

Become a Member

Get access to all our exclusive member-only content

By clicking the sign-up button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.