Science, the secret to a business’ success
“From the technology, the choice of lot, the layout of the plant, the training of our personnel and staff and marketing of our products, we owe everything to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST),” Alejandro Florian Alcantara, head of Raw Brown Sugar Milling Company in Igbalanac, Pamplona, Negros Oriental, tells the DOST’s S & T Post.
Today, the company exports its muscovado products to Japan and Korea.
As part of this month’s national celebration of science and technology, we discussed how DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) has vastly improved the services and operations of thousands of enterprises, many of which are family businesses, since 2002.
Through Setup, entrepreneurs have acquired better equipment, undergone training, improved marketing strategies in food processing, metals and engineering, aquaculture and agriculture, furniture and houseware. Today, Setup also focuses on health products and pharmaceuticals, electronics and information and communications technology.
Jamla Corporation in Barangka, Mandaluyong, increased sales by 78 percent and decreased losses to 0.25 percent from 5 percent after availing of Setup assistance. The company makes tablea for chocolate powder and processing.
The Kerobee Farm in Benguet diversified its products from honey to organic vegetables and herbs, made its greenhouse more efficient, and invested in a machine that transformed tea packaging from a manual rate of 11 to an automatic rate of 35 bags per minute.
Laguna is the home of several Setup beneficiaries. Napoleon Dator Jr. and wife Josephine acquired incubators in 2013, and increased production of duck eggs from 400-600 percent. In their Victoria farm, Itik Pinas ducks account for 70 percent of their annual egg production, up from the usual 55 percent. Their eggs are ideal for quality balut.
Zenaida Corcuera improved the quality and shelf life of her food products, including peanuts, banana chips, chicharron, cashew nuts and camote chips, and increased the production of her Los Baños shop.
Reysons Food Processing in Calauan produces Tita Ely’s sweet preserves and halo-halo ingredients like sweet beans, garbanzos, kaong, coffee jelly, nata de coco and ube. Setup has helped them improve production volume, quality and packaging.
Maurico Mariñas asked Setup for help in 2012 to reduce waste and improve quality for his metals equipment facility, which builds large capacity rice mills and dryers. Since then, Mariñas Technologies Inc. in Pila has increased sales by 10 percent.
In 2015, to help micro, small and medium enterprises with their wares, former DOST Secretary Mario Montejo Jr. initiated the online site oneSTore.ph, which features thousands of products done by Setup recipients.
Physical oneSTore hubs, where people can walk in to buy products and entrepreneurs to showcase their wares, can be found in Quezon City, La Union, Pangasinan, Batanes, Quirino, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan, Cebu and Tacloban.
OneSTore has partnered with Landbank, Air 21, 2Go Express and the Filipino Inventors Society Producer Cooperative to improve services and transactions. To date, oneSTore has accumulated total online sales of P1.2 million and walk-in sales of P39.2 million.
Those who benefit must also give back, and in 2015, DOST in Mimaropa launched a local mentoring program, where successful entrepreneurs coach startups.
“The Balancanan Multisectoral Credit Cooperative increased sales by 54 percent after the program,” says S & T Post. “Their product, vacuum-fried dilis, showed potential to penetrate international markets. The Batayang Pamayanang Kristiyano-Holy Cross Parish Chapter and the Mogpog Vegetable Growers Association improved the marketability of their respective products, candles and coconut candy.”
Visit setup.dost.gov.ph and onestore.ph.
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