The Philippines E-Commerce sector is no doubt bustling in growth and potential. One thing I often get asked is “who are the most important people driving its growth?” If Alexa will serve as basis based on the top websites in the Philippines, these people, not necessarily Filipinos or based in the Philippines, are the ones influencing its current and future state.
(Individuals are listed here in a random manner. No ranking intended. Will be discussing this further at the 4th DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit this February 22.)
Without a doubt, Facebook has stimulated the growth of e-commerce and digital marketing in various parts of the world. Its popularity in the Philippines pave the way for more Filipino small and big businesses to explore the potential of the social network to increase brand awareness, revenue, and strengthen personal brands.
With Google opening a country office in the Philippines, Narciso’s role has change from being its former head of sales and now leading its operations. I am hopeful that we can expect more from the giant in addressing various businesses and individuals concern ranging from having an online presence, generating revenues online through its publisher platform, reaching out to various Internet users with its advertising platform, among others.
It will be interesting to see once its payment and store platform becomes open as well to local merchants.
Yahoo! Philippines country ambassador and Certified Digital Marketer Arlene Aran – Amarante plays an important role in getting traditional brands embrace digital marketing and foster e-commerce transactions from consumers with its active play of content, community, and conversation.
4. RJ David
Founding and heading the number one Filipino-made site Sulit.com.ph, RJ has enabled e-commerce adoption among its members and use their site as a platform to market their products and services online. It is inevitable for Sulit.com.ph to have their own site transform in becoming a full-fledge e-commerce platform in the near future. Perhaps 2013 will be the year for these developments to happen.
Paypal has definitely boost the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines when the solution became available for both sending and receiving of payments. It is interesting to see how the new Paypal services being rolled out will benefit more e-commerce entrepreneurs this 2013. Definitely look forward to Rupert’s announcement on that soon.
6. Jack Madrid
Multipy Philippines country manager and Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines president Jack Madrid is playing an important role in setting the stage for the future of e-commerce in the Philippines. Running a site that provides full e-commerce solution to its merchants, Jack knows the pulse of e-commerce entrepreneurs – their challenges, aspirations, and needs to grow further.
As the head of the country’s top newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer had its challenging years when broadcast media embraced online as a platform to reach out to its target audience. However, instead of further lagging behind, the publication fought on and giving its competition a great fight in serving the readers’ need for up-to-date insightful content.
Leading the pack in embracing mobile as a platform for content delivery, the publication has become an important site to be seen for online advertisers and in striking collaborative online project partnership that can drive further revenue to the site.
8. Ralph Wunsch
As group buying and special deal sites in the Philippines has sprouted, it was already predicted that only a few will survive and thrive. For the past year, MetroDeal has indeed flourish – focusing on what sells for women when it started. With tight competition still expected to rise in the online retail special deals scene, it will be interesting to see if MetroDeal will be able to hold on to its leadership until the end of this year.
9. Jon Santico
AyosDito.ph was launched in the Philippines with a big bang and have executed a lot of challenger campaign initiatives. With a growing number of options for various sellers to promote their products and online, AyosDito.ph campaigns doesn’t go unnoticed. Low-profile Jon Santico is continuously driving its growth reaching out to Filipinos in a variety of ways.
It will be interesting to see how AyosDito.ph will evolve this 2013 and shall await its transformation.
10. Justo Ortiz
UnionBank‘s early investment in developing online banking services that will cater to the needs of Filipino Internet users who will need to transact online is paying off as it became one of the most popular debit card of choice for Filipinos especially when used in conjunction with online payment systems such as Paypal. Despite its limited number of branches, UnionBank has surged as one of the most popular online banking platform of choice for the Filipino online professional and entrepreneur in different parts of the country. Laying down this infrastructure, creating a special niche for the bank in the process, made Justo a continuing important mover in the field of e-commerce.
Lisa heads Summit Media who runs the country’s leading job site – Jobstreet Philippines. Considered as one of the most powerful business woman in the country by Forbes Asia, Summit Media is home to some of most popular content rich sites in the country such as PEP.ph, FHM.com.ph, StyleBible.ph, Spot.ph, among others.
BPI Express Online is one of the most proactive banking players in the country as it always come up with new products and services meant to serve its target audience. Jaime’s influence in the telecommunications and banking sector made Globe and BPI an early adopter. Although known for its pragmatic approach, hardly any negative feedback can be heard from BPI online clients for its reliability of service and up-time from active users.
Lazada.com.ph entry in the Philippine Internet scene added more fun in the online retail space and pose the challenge in offering various products at the most competitive price possible. Simply put, with Steffen’s leadership, Lazada is expected to continuously rock the e-commerce space and challenge everyone to level-up.
ABS-CBN is one of the first television stations only that has explored revenue generation through mobile and paid subscription delivered on-demand. The online news channel, banking on its popular news personalities, have also generated a following that made its digital property one of the top destination for news.
15. Lance Gokongwei
Cebu Pacific is one of the budget airlines in the country that have used the Internet effectively in disseminating information about its promotions. It set the standard on how should airlines delight customers to the point a viral effect, word of mouth, is generated. Lance’s leadership shows there’s more to come and our behavior towards online travel will never be the same again.
eBay remains to be one of the steady e-commerce players in the country and had its share of experiment in the special deals space. I am intrigued to see how the entity is being manage all the way from India (as I expressed in a meeting with them 2 years ago). Although we have seen several auction sites rose locally – trying to provide an alternative, the eBay-Paypal combination made it quite tough to beat. It will be interesting to see what e-commerce evangelist Muralikrishnan B. has in mind for eBay Philippines this 2013.
It is interesting to see how various publications are adapting, changing, and improving their presence through the years. One of them is Philstar.com, led by Juan Kevin Belmonte. Low profile as the publication may seem when it comes to its online efforts but it also opened its doors for collaboration with bloggers and the likes to publish content through its site.
If there is one mainstream media channel that has embraced social media and report developments happening in this space, that will be GMA Network. Its immediate uploading of content through its YouTube channel makes the content immediately accessible through social network. Although on the tracking and reporting, this may lead to inaccurate traffic recording as users don’t necessarily proceed to the site to access content. But definitely, exciting times ahead for GMA as it allot resources to get viewers further involved in developing and sharing content. With Atty. Gozon at the helm, it is also expected that the network will be active legally in protecting its rights and interest online and offline.
If there is one executive that has captured a lot of attention for his decision making resolution, tenacity, and aggressiveness, that will be Manuel V. Pangilinan. His leadership allowed him to attract talent that shares that same “fire”. One great example is Interaksyon. Its aggressiveness in coming up with news content so fast made the online news channel a powerful influencer for trending news and issues online. With the acquisition of Sun Cellular, one of its products, Sun Broadband, is considered as one of the most popular today as well among netizens on-the-go.
20. Nix Nolledo
Nix is one active technopreneur who pursued business interest and looked for the right people to make it happen. PinoyExchange.com, one of the strongest online forums in the country that still remains steadfast. Nix has expanded his investment as well in other business areas beefing up his tech portfolio.
Although not as aggressive online as its competing players in the past years, the strong offline infrastructure and presence of BDO made its online banking service benefit from it. Although as the online payment gateway acquirer, BDO has an interesting leverage as most e-commerce transactions locally are cleared through them. With Teresita Sy – Coson at the helm, I will watch with interest how BDO shall evolve and respond to the needs of consumers and merchants to do transactions and business online.
22. Alex Amadeo
Having a niche community is well worth it. It allowed TipidPC.com to create a distinction from all the other communities online. Alex’s passion and commitment kept the community busy and growing at its steady pace.
(article editing in progress… more names are being added..)