De­sign stu­dents urged to help small busi­nesses in pack­ag­ing, brand­ing

Sun.Star Cebu - - BUSINESS -

The Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try-Cebu (DTI-Cebu) is call­ing on stu­dent de­sign­ers to link with the cre­ative sec­tor to boost their de­sign skills and ex­tend their ex­per­tise to the mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs).

Speak­ing be­fore the cre­ative crowd of Cebu, DTI-Cebu Ma. Elena Ar­bon urged ex­port com­pa­nies to ab­sorb stu­dent de­sign­ers and train them to im­prove their craft. She said skills en­hance­ment of stu­dents will ben­e­fit Cebu as it aims to step up its de­sign ad­van­tage.

She noted that DTI-Cebu has started to hire de­signer in­terns from the Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines-Cebu and sought their help in the agency’s One Town, One Prod­uct (Otop) pro­gram in the prov­ince.

These stu­dents help MSMEs un­der the Otop pro­gram im­prove their pack­ag­ing, brand­ing and vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing.

“We need to men­tor these young de­sign­ers, and ex­pose them to the real work,” said Ar­bon.

Butch Carun­gay, chair­man of Euro­pean Cham­ber of Com­merce in the Philip­pines (ECCP) Cebu Busi­ness Coun­cil, said the cre­ative in­dus­try has long been men­tor­ing de­sign stu­dents while some of the firms ac­cept them for on-the-job (OJT) train­ings.

With the com­ing to­gether of var­i­ous in­dus­tries to strengthen Cebu’s de­sign ecosys­tem through the Cebu De­sign Week this June, Carun­gay said stu­dents mas­ter­ing in this pro­fes­sion are highly con­sid­ered and en­cour­aged to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate.

Carun­gay pointed out that one of the ar­eas that con­trib­uted to the lack­lus­ter per­for­mance of some in­dus­tries in the last 16 years is in the de­sign as­pect.

He said Filipino de­sign­ers are not as tech-savvy and many have shifted to other in­dus­tries.

Other coun­tries, on the other hand, have vastly im­proved, as sec­ond gen­er­a­tion own­ers run fac­to­ries or put more em­pha­sis on de­sign.

To re­main rel­e­vant in a hyper-com­pet­i­tive and chang­ing global land­scape, Carun­gay said Ce­buano en­trepreneurs need to level-up their op­er­a­tions and start col­lab­o­rat­ing.

“Cross col­lab­o­ra­tions ac­cel­er­ate prod­uct de­vel­op­ment,” he said dur­ing the sec­tor’s re­cent launch­ing of Cebu De­sign Week, a launch­pad to re­assert Cebu’s de­sign rep­u­ta­tion and re­claim its cre­ative city sta­tus.

He re­in­forced Ar­bon’s stance to de­velop a pool of de­sign­ers in Cebu who are will­ing to ex­tend their ex­per­tise to new and ex­ist­ing busi­nesses. /

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