There is no question that the global coronavirus pandemic has hit every business hard. Everyone is looking for a little relief or a silver lining in what feels like a bad situation that never seems to end.

This is why the G Summit is highlighting the stories of its Diskarte Heroes: eight inspiring small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have come up with the diskarte necessary to survive the uncharted business territory brought about by the pandemic.

How to survive and thrive

Whether it’s through strengthening the core of their business or fully utilizing the reach of social media, these heroes have managed to find their footing, survive, and even thrive. Even better, what they’ve done is something other SMEs can replicate as well.

Read about the inspiring diskarte stories of these heroes below.

Dannah Majarocon, Lalamove managing director

Lalamove may be one company that knows what it means to bring disruption. Since it started operating in the country in 2016, it has slowly but surely disrupted the local logistics industry, showing Filipinos the merits of on-demand delivery.

However, Lalamove faced a disruption of its own when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Because of heightened security around the metro, partner-drivers and clients feared for their safety and delivery services were hampered, impacting Lalamove.

Instead of buckling under the pressure, Lalamove instead focused on this diskarteto build and sustain trust. They pushed for the safety of their partner drivers, and customers, through daily safety reminders and contactless transactions. Dannah says this support is essential since partner drivers make up the core of their business and enabled them to survive the pandemic’s economic impact.

Lalamove was able to assure both partner drivers and customers that their welfare is the company’s top priority through purchasing and deploying mobile phones, laptops, and hotspot devices in a span of 2 days when the pandemic hit. As an internet-based company, they knew that strengthening their digital capabilities was vital to reduce business interruption.

Jana Bunagan, The Good Trade PH founder

Jana Bunagan founded The Good Trade PH in 2018 with the intention of giving back through promoting purpose-driven brands that offer products created in a sustainable manner. Since its founding, the community has steadily grown and even held a three-month pop-up last year.

When it became clear that the community quarantine was going to extend beyond a month, Jana realized it was time to adapt. They relied on their diskarte to lead with empathy and stay rooted in their purpose. Leveraging the trust she earned from merchants that participated in last year’s pop-up, Jana was able to quickly transition the offline event into The Good Trade Online Marketplace, seeing that going digital in these times is the way for retail to go. The online store even offers a 15 percent discount to all Globe postpaid subscribers until the end of the month, redeemable via the Globe Rewards app.

Mark del Rosario, Let’s Eat Pare founder

Let’s Eat Pare started out as a Facebook group in 2016. Mark says he initiated the group as a way to help the growing number of restaurateurs in the country through the sharing of best practices, the creation of food festivals, and building a community to collaborate with.

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic made that collaboration even more important, especially when it came to helping out hospitals and frontliners. Social media helped in mobilizing and galvanizing support. For instance, when Let’s Eat Pare posted a thank you note from the Medical City, more and more people started offering their services. Mark shares that their diskarte to stick together as a community and as an association helped them rise above the pandemic’s challenges.

According to Mark, the technology available now means there’s no better time to start a small business. Just like Let’s Eat Pare, today’s aspiring entrepreneurs can use social media and tools like Facebook Ads to drive up help and support. Tools like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite), and Zoom have also made it easier for them to conduct business wherever they may be.

Paco Magsaysay, Carmen’s Best founder

Carmen’s Best started out as a true family affair – this famous homemade ice cream was named after Paco’s daughter. Paco grew the business through grit and determination, visiting restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and resorts and building relationships with them.

While 2019 wasn’t the best year for the business, 2020 had started out looking good, with sales in the first two months exceeding those of the same period in 2019. But just like everyone else, Paco found himself blindsided by the pandemic and the quarantine it brought with it. He knew he needed to stick with his diskarte, which is to make the product so good, it would speak for itself.

Technology proved to be the help he needed during these trying times. He learned how to do mobile banking and fully utilize Facebook and Viber groups. Now, he is setting up an online shop together with Globe’s 917 Group called the RUSH e-Store.

Andro Baluyot, GameOps founder and CEO

GameOps was started in 2010 by Philippine video game publishing industry veterans and has since grown into a consultancy and service provider for international publishers of online video games.

As a BPO company that needs to ensure the security of their clients’ information, GamesOps performs most of its work on phones that can only be securely accessed in their office. The company had to find a different way of doing this when the pandemic brought about a metro-wide lockdown.

Thankfully, GamesOps had been preparing for this as early as January after hearing about the spread of the coronavirus in China from their partners. Thanks to a stable and consistent internet connection, like the Globe pocket WiFis provided by his Globe myBusiness account manager, as well as partners who followed their lead and sense of urgency, the company was able to work at 100 percent capacity 48 hours after the lockdown was announced.

Von Montilla, Rosemont Hills Montessori founder

Danao City’s Rosemont Hills Montessori has been in operation since 2007, and right from the very beginning technology had already played an important part in their growth. Rosemont Hills Montessori founder Von Montilla says that aside from house-to-house visits from teachers, the school also utilized Danao Cable as an advertising tool and a way to introduce themselves to the community.

The global coronavirus pandemic, however, pushed them even further towards the use of technology. As soon as it became clear to Von that the class suspension in March would extend much further than that, she knew it was time to pivot.

As early as April, Von already had her teachers try out Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Edmodo, and Google Classroom. This made it easier for them to transition to their own LMS they have dubbed as VirtRAiLS (Virtual Rosemont Academic i-Learning System). They then advertised on Facebook and used its analytics to help find their target market.

It became clear to Von that the necessary diskarte to make it in the pandemic is a willingness to try out new technologies. Just some of the new tech that Von and Rosemont Montessori so willingly welcomed include Globe’s Campus Link School Management System and Brightspace. Globe myBusiness has been their ever-reliable partner in these trying times, even for administrative needs. And you can find out how by getting a digital consultation with their experts here.

Julie Ortuoste, HairMNL CEO and Co-founder

When one thinks of the connection between a salon business and technology, the immediate thought is hardware directly related to haircare: blow dryers, barber-grade hair trimmers, and other similar tools.

But for four-year-old salon HairMNL, the technology they use in their business also includes the internet. Thanks to a Facebook message from a customer in Zambales inquiring about Argan oil, HairMNL CEO and Co-founder Julie Ortuoste realized that an online selling channel would be a great addition to their business.

With the salon business being such a high-touch enterprise, having that infrastructure in place proved incredibly helpful once the pandemic struck. The staff’s openness to technology made it even easier to adjust to the situation. The business and its willing staff went all-in with regards to tech, utilizing Messenger, Whatsapp, and Viber to communicate, Basecamp for project management, and Zoom for training sessions.

On the administrative side, GCash for Business has also been a godsend for the company, facilitating on-time payroll that employees can easily use. It is safer, convenient, and minimizes the need to handle cheques and cash. Julie explains that with most of HairMNL’s employees without a bank account, GCash for Business allows them to easily withdraw their money from convenience stores and other GCash partners. Learn how you can also easily manage payroll and payments by signing up for GCash for Business.

It turns out the diskarte Julie needed to pivot during this pandemic is the courage to take calculated risks. Taking the initiative to be visible online a few years back has now helped them weather the storm brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.

During these uncertain times, these Diskarte Heroes have been able to pivot and adapt, thanks to swift thinking, good relationships, and fully utilizing the business technologies available to them. With help from partners like Globe myBusiness, today’s SMEs can also find themselves better equipped for the new normal. You, too, can unleash your inner diskarte! Be guided on how to do so with our Diskarte Kit.

Ready to pivot your business? Our business and tech solutions are just what you need to find your diskarte. Schedule a consult with us!

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