TECH FIRM Zoho Corp. is targeting to expand its footprint in the Philippines by helping more local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) shift towards digitalization.
“Zoho is definitely planning to expand our presence in the country as the Philippines presents an important opportunity for digital transformation and competitiveness,” Zoho Corp. Vice-President and General Manager for Asia-Pacific Gibu Mathew told BusinessWorld in an e-mail interview.
Mr. Mathew said MSMEs, which make up 99% of all businesses in the Philippines, should adapt to changing market trends such as using advanced digital tools to run their businesses.
“According to the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), adoption of digital technologies is very low with only 6% having a purely online business model or using advanced digital tools. As more Filipino customers plan to continue using digital channels in the future, MSMEs should adapt to the changing market trends if they want to capture more customers,” Mr. Mathew said.
Zoho, which is based in India, has over 400,000 customers in the Philippines as of this year, according to Mr. Mathew.
He said Filipino firms are experiencing challenges in running their businesses amid the increased use of digital platforms following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Despite the increase in use of digital channels, Filipino companies are facing challenges such as talent shortages and strengthening demand in global marketplace platforms as well as their own websites. These have resulted in Filipino companies struggling to harness data insights for impactful business transformation and slowing marketing creation processes,” Mr. Mathew said.
He said that digital solutions for businesses can only be fully utilized if they have employees with the right skill set.
“To narrow the digital skills gap, training programs that build digital literacy can maximize their potential,” Mr. Mathew said.
He said Zoho also offers various software as a service (SaaS) applications that can help Filipino MSMEs with their digital transition.
“With Zoho’s SaaS applications, users will find best practices have already been configured as default settings and the built-in guided onboarding process greatly help to explain various functions. With more than 50 applications in the ecosystem, Zoho is uniquely positioned as a growth partner for MSMEs as there are solutions on hand to assist businesses as they grow,” Mr. Mathew said.
“Start-ups are also able to try out Zoho’s solutions for free and scale up their use as their business expands. Most Zoho solutions have comprehensive onboarding guides to help businesses get started with best practices to make adoption an easy process. There are also local implementation partners to provide additional assistance,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave