Businesses told: leveraging digital tools a must to beat pandemic

Exporters and entrepreneurs are called to innovate and leverage digital tools towards meeting changing customer expectations and survive the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Director Senen Perlada said the pandemic has accelerated continued digital transformation across almost all sectors.

“In general, our market changed because of digital transformation,” he said during the National MSME Week e-forum. ”Under the new normal, if you don’t innovate, you evaporate.”

Perlada said the transformation process refers to analog information; the way one collects, stores and transmits information electronically; creating digital businesses; and creating digital strategies.

He added the EMBÂ’s digital transformation recognizes changes in the markets at the same time makes export trade data available.

“We are helping exporters reach new markets. DTI-EMB is supporting omni-digital channels in promoting their exports using platforms. We have to come up with platform indications even for exports and participating virtual business matching events and trade fairs,” the DTI official said.

Perlada further said since the enhanced community quarantine last March, the EMB has moved all its events online to continue connecting Filipino exporters to overseas markets.

“We held webinars for various sectors –construction, creative industries, halal markets, among others. And there are others lined up for the rest of the year,” he said, adding it is conducting online business matching platforms.

Perlada said they are also helping exporters adjust to new regulations amid changes brought about by the pandemic, and assisting them find financing.

Mark Joseph Panganiban, e-commerce head at Globe Telecom, said MSMEs should not be afraid of digital transformation.

“Because at the end of the day, ecommerce is not about technology itself, itÂ’s about business leveraging technology,” he said during the same event, underscoring the need to learn various technology platforms and determine what actually works for customers.

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