Even if the past two years challenged tried-and-tested business practices, industries found ways to adapt to the new normal. Last September 18’s Globe Business conference, G Summit: Opportunities Unlocked, intended to uncover these key learnings so micro, small, and medium enterprises can discover and take opportunities to grow their businesses. Opportunities relevant to the business topics Leadership, Productivity & Remote Work, Practical Marketing, Human Resources & People Engagement, and Technology & Digitalization were the highlight of the conference.

Inviting over 20 industry experts and acclaimed entrepreneurs, the G Summit aimed to empower and inspire event attendees to take charge of their growth through in-depth talks vital in today’s business climate. Here are insights from the event every MSME should be aware of.

#1 We succeed as one

A critical highlight of this year’s G Summit is recognizing that businesses succeed better when they work as one. Surviving challenges wouldn’t have been possible if not for local businesses helping, sharing, and collaborating with each other. This was at the core of the plenary speakers’ messages, hosted by Sonjia Calit. Issa Cabreira, KD Dizon, USec. Bles Lantayona, and Fernando Zobel de Ayala share G Summit’s goals of reclaiming success and sparking social good to uplift communities, unveiling ongoing programs that highlight the same objectives.

Renowned analyst and international speaker Brian Solis drove this point further, sharing, “As a community of entrepreneurs, we can move; we can do things that others can’t. This is your time to unlock opportunities and explore new ways to grow your business. Your customers were disrupted in this time too. They were also digitally-transformed. Let’s look at it from their perspective. That’s a growth mindset. We have to be human-centered, digital-first, and technology-enabled. As an entrepreneur, this is your time. You are the architects of the future that didn’t exist before the pandemic.”

Famous actor and entrepreneur Marvin Agustin reminded participants that resilience is inherent in our culture, inspiring them to embrace the Filipino characteristics: sipag, tyaga, diskarte, kapal ng mukha. “Either we grab the moment and put all of ourselves into it, or else we cannot turn a crisis into an opportunity. New models for businesses will emerge very quickly. How best we adapt to these emerging trends will determine our success,” he said.

#2 Leadership is about mapping out a path through uncertainties

True leadership is tested when business owners and managers must navigate unfamiliar situations with limited resources, and a team needing their guidance. Spring Valley CEO Jonathan De Luzuriaga covered the ways to do so in his talk Engage for Impact: Leadership in Times of Crisis. He left attendees with this important thought: “Anyone can lead when the plan is working. The best leader is when the plan falls apart.”

Head of Business Banking for Bank of the Philippine Islands Eric Luchangco followed this up in his talk, Leading in a Transitional Period. Luchangco mentioned, “Don’t rely purely on past experiences to solve current problems or identify new opportunities created by the change in the environment.” This encapsulated his talk on helping transform key personnel into decision-makers who can steer their businesses towards further growth.

In Role of Digitalization on MSME Growth, Mynt Head of Product Ferdie Perez discussed how technologies like GCash have helped communities bounce back from the pandemic’s economical hit. Introducing GCash Pro for businesses, which features easier access to merchant loans, attendees learned how to use tech like this for productivity, profitability, efficiency, and competition. “Regardless of your size, your skill, whether you’re formal or informally doing it, we want to offer the solutions. We want to offer the answers to the pain points that businesses are experiencing today,” Perez mentioned.

#3 See productivity in a new light as you embrace changes in work setups

In times of a shifting workforce setup and economy, maintaining the same level of productivity is the priority. This is tackled in Employee Experience and Hybrid Work headed by Vett Watson, Modern Work & Security Business Lead at Microsoft Philippines. He gave tips on efficiently maintaining workforce performance and keeping team morale up, saying, “When we invest in people and we invest in the employee experience, we can directly impact engagement, retention, employee satisfaction, and profitability.”

Stephen Liu, Carrier Channel Sales Leader APAC at Zoom, touched on these themes as well in his session Remote Work and Changing the Game for Business in the New Normal. He shared, “Providing the workforce the autonomy over where, when, and the amount of work can actually increase the number of high performers.”

With minimal experience in distance management and remote work, finding the right way to handle people is often confusing and stressful. Squadzip VP for Business Development Raymond Villanueva helped participants identify what their businesses need to focus on in Making Remote Work Productive. “It’s not that we do not communicate [well] digitally, it’s just that we need to adapt to work digitally — and to do this we need the right equipment for our teams and giving them the proper tools,” he said.

#4 Embrace news ways to connect with your market

Among the most fundamental tools and strategies for any business is marketing. But has marketing evolved differently in the pandemic? And how can business owners adapt to this change strategically? Gino Pineda, Vertical Lead at Facebook, answered these concerns in Facebook Advertising 101. “It’s really critical that small business owners meet their customers where they are. As a business owner, you want to be able to connect with your customers wherever they are.”

“Any of our platforms [can] be made more useful this year when it comes to sharing optimism,” said Wunderman Thompson Executive Strategic Planning Director Pam Garcia, in Game-changing Business Trends in the New Normal. In this talk, participants were informed of top trends that can inspire business owners to create or reinvent their products and services.

When it comes to influencer marketing, Cathy Pumarega and Jhenice Alana, VP for Business Development and Account Director of GetCraft Inc., respectively, gave the rundown on choosing the right partners for your business, including a free Influencer Brief Template, in Influencer Marketing: Why Does it Matter to your Brand? “Creating a personification of influencers is important as they would have to match your brand’s values and ultimately represent your brand amongst their target audience or followers,” stressed Pumarega.

In order to help attendees understand how to go about establishing their brand and choosing influencers, Alana walked them through the Influencer Brief Template, which ensures teams are aligned with goals and executions to achieve successful campaigns. “As to anything, and much like how you do it with your businesses, you always need a proper foundation for everything,” she said.

Canva Philippines Community Manager Chris De Vera challenged businesses to think about their purpose and values and how best to communicate these to their markets through design in Branding for your Business. “Don’t risk watering down your brand’s personality. Sino ba ang brand ninyo? Think of your brand as a person. What connects you to it?” he asked. De Vera established this foundation before delving into design elements that will resonate with customers.

#5 Prioritize human resources and people engagement

The Employee Experience During the Pandemic session with Globe Telecom Inc. Employee Engagement Manager Mark Dimaisip helped business leaders learn the ideal ways to care for their people. Understanding what employees — any company’s greatest asset — are going through in these challenging times benefits businesses as a whole. “There is not one program that will work for everyone. That’s why empathy and employee listening are very important. The more you listen to them, the more answers you get,” suggested Dimaisip.

In Leadership and Employee Engagement for the Future Normal, attendees learned that effective human resource management begins with an internal change in company culture. Mark So, CEO at Business Maker Academy, talked about keeping an open mind to help identify pain points within businesses’ workforces and ways to help. “Be inclusive. You cannot have fans as leaders. But friends — true friends can really be your fellow leaders.”

Atty. Kesterson Kua, Partner at SKY Law, pointed out the five emerging business shifts in Philippines HR Trends in the New Normal, which arevirtual work, digitization & technology, social media regulation, mental health, and compliance. He stressed that “digitization and technology will be [the] key. Data will be driving the new world. Your competitors will be data-driven. Their employees will be technology-savvy. What about you? Are your employees and systems ready to take on this challenge?”

#6 Don’t get left behind: grow your business with technology & digitalization

First, businesses must cover their bases. Protecting virtual storefronts is paramount as competitions moves to the digital realm. The talk Jumpstart your Security Journey provided a roadmap for MSMEs to get started.Speaker Albert Dela Cruz, Founder & Director at Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PHCERT), emphasized how all businesses should take cybersecurity seriously. “There is a paradigm shift in terms of information security. Before we had a saying ‘trust but verify.’ Now, we say ‘never trust, always verify.’ Because of today’s cybersecurity threats, it’s not if you’ll get attacked, it’s when and how severe.”

In Business Continuity and Solutions to Boost Operational Efficiency, Globe Business Solutions Architect Timothy Genato discussed how technology and digitalization powers business continuity plans to mitigate crises and improve business resilience. He leaves attendees with an important thought: “We cannot afford to think and pretend that [companies] will never ever face a disruptive event or incident.”

For owners who’ve felt overwhelmed by the increasing business demands and changes, and felt frustrated about coping with technological advancements, Yashua Group General Manager Ron Bayron shared ways to aid MSMEs overcome challenges and promptly respond to new opportunities in IT Trends, Digital Transformation, and Critical Tips for Success in the New Normal. “You succeed by knowing, not ignoring,” he mentioned.

CEO of HYBrain John DueƱas talked about technology’s impact on the healthcare industry in Journey of Healthcare Institutions Towards Digitization. “In this kind of digital journey, your traditional digital house model, from being focused on security, will now be moving towards having created a network of trust,” he said.He also touched on how HYBrain’s partnership with Globe Business in forming a Hospital Information System helped facilities improve overall patient care.

Gauging if Your Company can Safely Collect Data led by NADPOP Founding Chairman enlightened attendees on data collection’s do’s and don’ts. The two-time president of the Philippine Computer Society goes through every detail of data privacy, leaving attendees with this instruction: “What gets measured, gets improved. When you don’t measure anything, you don’t get to improve it. So you have to use measurement to be able to make sure that you understand where you are in this current time, and how you progress to the next level.”

Leaving no stone unturned, G Summit participants unlocked vital opportunities to persist, move forward, and uplift each other in the new normal through these vital insights.

You, too, can still learn from these seasoned industry experts! Just visit glbe.co/GSummit to register and get your ticket. Watch the videos on demand until October 18, 2021.

Enjoyed the tracks discussed at G Summit? Get invited to more Globe Business events and masterclasses by signing up to the Globe Business Upstart loyalty program here. The learning never stops, and neither does the success with Globe Business as your trusted partner.

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