FOR any business, whether it be an upcoming or an established one, embracing technology and innovating brick and mortar capabilities are vital.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 Director Maria Elena Arbon said both tech start-ups and brick and mortar businesses have so much to learn from one another.
“Along the way, the best mix is really for brick and mortar businesses to mingle with tech start-ups and for these start-ups to do the same,” Arbon said during the recently concluded Cebu Business Month 2021 Entrepreneurship Coffee Table Discussion.
Arbon said tech start-ups are masters of technology, but they need to strengthen their business skills and obtain more funding.
As for brick and mortar businesses, there is an evident need to delve further into technology and digital transformation, especially during this business environment challenged by the pandemic.
“That’s why we embarked on a start-up island mentoring program, so we could expose them to businesses. How do you bring this idea forward and make it a real business? That is a challenge for start-ups,” Arbon said.
The DTI 7 chief added that the agency is boosting the country’s digitalization capabilities by enabling tech start-ups and launching a road map on artificial intelligence (AI).
This is to catapult the country to global competitiveness in terms of adapting to the 21st century.
The DTI launched in May the national AI roadmap which made the Philippines one of the first 50 countries in the world to have a national strategy and policy on AI.
In this pandemic, chairman and chief executive of Pages Holdings Inc. Bunny Pages said the lack of control over certain situations brought about by the pandemic had business owners changing their mindset.
“The only thing you can control is your mindset,” he said.
Pages said business should go beyond surviving. They must prepare for a post-pandemic economic rebound.
“The future will come, and we need to be part of it,” he said.
With his chain of restaurants, Pages said they continue to open in areas outside the malls and sustain the ones inside, to prepare for the time when foot traffic goes back to pre-pandemic levels.
For hotelier Benny Que, there is a need to anticipate and trust gut feeling, especially in handling uncertainties during a pandemic. (JOB)