The COVID-19 pandemic has not only uprooted people’s lives and shaken our society’s moorings at its core but is changing our world in ways that my generation would not have foreseen way back when we were about to graduate from college to enter the workforce. This month is graduation time for many of our colleges and universities and I suppose that our young men and women who are now joining our the different industries are still wondering what road to take and the life that they would like to achieve from hereon. My suggestion is to make use of the knowledge they have gained and the skills that they have acquired and go into business. Yes, entrepreneurship has become more than just a catchword but a welcoming opportunity as technology and communication systems have evolved to make it easier for people to go into business for themselves.
Retail business for example has never been as democratized as today compared to let’s say a decade ago. What we have now is a mass of retailers, home businesses, cottage industries, etc., that are now reachable by our masses of consumers at the click of a mouse or simply by pressing an icon. According to Global Newswire, “Rising working populace because of high urbanization, industrialization, and migration particularly in the metropolitan areas is likewise energizing the business development throughout the next few years. Also, absence of time among the people to prepare their own food and eat it consistently is significantly provoking interest for the Global Online Food Delivery and Takeaway market in the coming years. In addition, rising internet business area, developing individuals’ reliance on cell phones to do their everyday exercises, for example, shopping for food and for purchasing garments, food things over the snaps of a cell phones without truly visiting the spot, from anyplace across the globe are likewise setting out open doors for the market development in the coming years.”
Simply stated, anyone could be a seller, reseller or retailer of goods, food and commodities without the need for the red-tape of securing permits from city governments, commercial certification, etc. They only need to harness the vast networks of home delivery companies that are enabling people in Luzon for example, to buy and sell to Davao customers at a fraction of a cost that it would take the transport the product to the buyer’s home or area. Carousell, Shopee and Lazada retailers are all doing it through this pandemic and their numbers have grown exponentially as more and more buyers are becoming comfortable and feel secure in transacting their business on-line. And even non-traditional purchases are creating a considerable market in themselves for popstar picture cards (BTS, IKON, Black Pink, etc.) which are constantly traded, sold and exchanged throughout the country from Ilocos to Davao, if I may draw a picture of how “a mobile marketplace” or entrepreneurship on wheels is changing the face not only of the Philippines but the global market as well.
These transformations are not as intense or varied as in the food delivery service as our family, whenever we get tired of home-cooked meals or want to treat ourselves after a busy week, would order some “fine dining” delivered at home. My daughter has become an expert sleuth in finding the best DIY Ramen or cheesiest baked mac or yummiest mocha cake. Even produce from as far as Baguio and the famous raisin bread of Baguio Country Club can now be ordered online and delivered to your front door. I, myself, get some of my home decors from Cebu. And these are transported by the different couriers like Grab, LalaMove, Mr. Speedy, Transportify, TokTok, among others, who make it easier for us to do and receive business.
One example of how these online businesses are thriving is Kodawari.ph. Owned by my daughter’s Ateneo colleague, it is basically a home-based kitchen specializing in Japanese dishes (his gyudon is something my daughters rave about and it does ran out if you order late in the day. Food orders are coursed through the available couriers mentioned above and has been gaining customer loyalty because of his quality of food, speed of delivery and overall efficiency. The shop is home-based and since everything is online, it is very easy to order as it is technologically seamless in terms of payment and ordering procedures. This is the brave new world of the Pinoy entrepreneur and our young men and women are all welcome to it.