"Bridging Businesses. Capitalizing Growth." This is the theme of PhilCham SH's private inaugural event held last Jan 19, 2019 at Ascendas Innovation Place, The Bridge, Shanghai. This event was the first of its kind for the Filipino business community; it was well-attended by the Filipino expats, business people, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Foreign chambers and business organizations came as well.
Watch Carol's video, tap here
"Our vision is to rebrand the Filipino. We wish the Filipino will be known for our business acumen. People don't realize, many multinationals and companies in China are led by Filipinos," points out Carol Ong, one of the founders. "There are also brands in China that are "surprisingly" Filipino; such as Oishi, Century Tuna, Metrobank, PAL, Dai ichi, SM, Jollibee Foods Corp that owns Mister Donut and Yonhe. Someone was even insisting to me that Bebebalm, my brand, is not Filipino. Why is that? It's because we Filipinos are highly adaptable and resilient. We can quickly blend in, we can easily stand out. We've become Citizens of the World. It's about time we come together and get to know one another, help each other in bridging businesses, and capitalizing growth."
Working Committee (L to R). Michelle Nocom, Eric So, Raquel So, Carol Ong, Jun Gonzales, Geoff Lim, Joe Santiago
"There's AmCham and business chambers that's beneficial for other nationalities, how come there's none for Filipinos in Shanghai? So we created one. This was made possible because our community shares a common vision; and we wish to promote the growth mindset to our fellow Filipinos in Shanghai," added Michelle Nocom, one of Philcham Sh's founders. "This event gives a taste of Pinoys in business. We have more events and projects in store for the community. We have a community-powered digital hub, Philcham.org , we can get updated there and contribute as well, " remarked Joe Santiago, a founder of Philcham SH.
The event poses three questions: Where to invest? How to get investors (in China and the Philippines)? Who can inspire? A powerhouse of speakers and panelists were invited to share their points of view.
Part 1. Where to invest: The Philippine Potential
Watch Gayia's video, tap here
"There is no one homogeneous Filipino," explained Gayia Beyer, Director of Anthropological Studies, Havas Ortega Media. She gave a sneak peak on the evolving Filipinos from varied groups, from middle class Homemakers who lead secret double lives, to Millennials, to how the Global Filipinos spend and invest, to the desires of Golden Millennials.
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"The Philippines is one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world; and in the top 5 in Asia. We have many industries at their infancy, that's where the most opportunities lie." Consul Mario Tani, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry's trade attache in Shanghai, showcased the industries the country is good at, and the industries with the most growth potentials. He also shared the entrepreneurship programs of DTI such as Negosyo Centers and Mentor Me.
Part 2. How to get Investors: Expert Group Think
Watch the Investors Panel video, tap here
A panel of investor experts from China and the Philippines shared their POVs on how to get investors interested in your company. It was moderated by Nike Jordan VP Eric So. Stanley Chan, a partner at Ernst & Young, advises to "Put your idea in numbers" to see if it makes financial sense. He also advised to study businesses that failed and why they failed, because you will learn a lot more from them than the success stories.
Chris Lim, Philippine Franchise Association director, shared that many investors look at the team, before looking at the product or service. He also advised to find ways to make your business easy to teach and easy to replicate, in order to accelerate growth. He recounted SM's Henry Sy's advice, "Dream big. Start small. Act fast."
Iannique Renaud, founder of Renaudair and founding partner of www.smartrade.com, advised to make as many mistakes fast. He also advised to think of the worst case scenarios and have viable plans for it.
Part 3. Who can Inspire: Entrepreneurs' Journey