Philippine Daily Inquirer
Biz Buzz: Injap’s consumer tech foray
With gadgets and other home appliances becoming essential for consumers these days, especially during this prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, young tycoon Edgar
“Injap” Sia II is exploring fresh opportunities in the consumer technology space.
Recently, the board of MerryMart Consumer Corp. approved the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary to be called MM Consumer Technologies Corp., which will serve as a vehicle for consumer technology-related ventures.
“MerryMart believes in the importance of consumer-related technology businesses to complement and deepen its market penetration and ensure its relevance in the consumer market. With how fast the world is changing now, we know the vital importance of being able to properly identify and fulfill both the current and the future needs of consumers,” Sia said.
This is seen in line with MerryMart’s plan to grow its current business through a mix of organic expansion and acquisitions.
This latest move is also seen to allow MerryMart to capitalize on the “sunrise” sectors in the Philippine consumer space, adding value to its portfolio of consumer-related businesses for the long haul. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
Dito vs. Chinese expansionism
The latest diplomatic flashpoint involving Chinese maritime militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea has led major business groups to publicly call out Beijing on its behavior and imperialist ambitions.
It’s remarkable for big organizations, such as Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines and Makati Business Club to weigh in on what is essentially a political issue.
The two often mix in the Philippines but rarely in plain view of the public.
More remarkable is how deep sentiments here run in the business community, even among those whose professional interests are inseparably linked to the Chinese.
Take the case of Dito CME Holdings president Ernesto Al
berto, who said via his personal Twitter account he supported his colleagues in the business sector.
“Territorial expansionism must no longer have a place in the modern world,” Alberto said in a tweet while sharing the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s front page story carrying their joint statement.
Of course, Dito is the holding company of telecommunications startup Dito Telecommunity, whose major foreign shareholder and technical partner is China Telecom.
Since its establishment two years ago, Dito has come to symbolize the Duterte administration’s warm embrace of Beijing and its attached promise of multibillion-dollar investments into the country.
Alberto later told Biz Buzz he stood by his words, which was a personal opinion and distinct from his sentiments toward colleagues from China Telecom, whom he described as respectful and professional.
“This is a very personal expression of my views and priorities as a Filipino,” Alberto said. “Business and investments are welcome but colonizing moves are not.”
It takes courage to speak out publicly, especially for someone with something to lose. This is that rare occasion when businessmen share their thoughts so candidly on issues outside the bottom line. Those running the government might do well to pay attention. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
Jabs at the malls
As the country started the rollout of its much-awaited COVID-19 vaccination program, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. has committed more of its shopping mall properties as a venue for local governments to conduct their inoculation program.
The malls are seen to offer a safe and convenient alternative given the stringent social distancing requirements at this time. Ample parking, comfort rooms and other facilities are likewise assured.
The latest property to join the vaccination program is Robinsons Place Antipolo. Located at the Mall Atrium, the vaccination center has prioritized senior citizens, health workers and front-liners. Over 1,000 constituents have been vaccinated so far.
RLC likewise has an existing partnership with the local governments of Imus, Cavite for a drive-through vaccination program. Recall that the cities of Imus and Tuguegarao earlier partnered with Robinsons Malls to smoothly conduct simulation activities.
The vaccination simulations were conducted ahead of the arrival of the COVID-19 jabs. Assigned barangays can avail themselves of the vaccination program at the mall. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
About 70 percent of homeowners and contractors deem water protection as an important consideration in undertaking any project. Concrete walls and foundations with poor protection are prone to cracks after steel rebars rust and expand as water seeps in. Painted walls may also develop flaws due to water seepage. If unaddressed, these can cause serious damage to any structure.
With these in mind, leading cement-maker Holcim Philippines Inc. has brought to the local market what it touts as the first-ever water repellent cement in the country. Called Holcim Aqua X, the new product is designed to protect structures, such as homes, from damage and deterioration caused by water.
The company said Holcim
Aqua X, which contains Active Water Repellent Boosters, make it easier to build water-resistant structures compared with current practices, where builders apply a repellent on walls or include a water-proofing compound to the concrete mix.
“This new product highlights our great advantage in developing exciting products. It also shows that we listen to our customers to understand what they need so we can develop innovative products that help them build better,” Holcim Philippines president and chief executive officer Horia Adrian said.
“Being a blended cement, Holcim Aqua X is more environment-friendly than others in the market because it uses less clinker thus having lower carbon footprint. This continues our proud legacy of producing sustainable products that deliver superior performance,” Adrian added. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA