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Tap the app, DingDong will answer

Actor Dingdong Dantes ventures into online food marketplace, delivery platform
By: - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 05:20 AM August 16, 2020

Dantes’ platform is scheduled to be rolled out in September.

The prolonged lockdown imposed by the government starting March to stem the spread of COVID-19 made multiawarded actor, director, producer and philanthropist Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III realize what matters most in life.

These are the health and safety of his family and friends and the transformative power of community, that we have to rely on each other’s strength to weather even the strongest of storms.

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That eureka moment spurred Dantes into determined action, to do what he can to help his fellow man, particularly those in the entertainment industry displaced not just by the raging pandemic but also by the shutdown of the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.

New app

And from that idea came the DingDong App, which seeks to serve the greater good by employing displaced workers of the entertainment industry as its riders and supporting home-based specialty food and beve­rage businesses by provi­ding a dedicated delivery system and auxiliary services.

FEATURED STORIES

DingDong App is a passion project inspired by what he has personally experienced over the long months under quarantine and congruent with his work in YesPinoy Foundation, which advocates community building and sustainable human development and empowerment.

As the chair, Dantes identified the pressing need for people to get back on their feet after losing their livelihoods to the pandemic. The opportunity to help came by way of harnessing technology to serve the increasing demand for delivery services and homemade food products.

“Online groups and communities helped me find food and grocery suppliers for my family and friends. There, I personally witnessed how home-based businesses and small and medium enterprises have coped with and thrived amid the crisis,” Dantes said in an email interview, “On the other side, I’ve also seen how people’s lives and work have been paralyzed by the pandemic. A lot of my colleagues in the entertainment industry have lost their jobs because television and film productions came to a halt.”

“These opportunities and challenges made this project urgent and relevant. Being able to listen as well to stories of our beneficiaries in the YesPinoy Foundation further validated the need for this initiative. Because of this, urgently reaching out to help build back better lives during this difficult time has become a priority,” Dantes added.

Fortunately for Dantes, it was not difficult for him to find like-minded individuals in his circle who were just as enthusiastic to transform his idea into reality.

“I didn’t have to look for them. They were just there all along. This was an opportunity and calling for all of us to do something together, and to align our strengths towards a purpose that is bigger than ourselves,” he said.

Dream team

Getting on board with him in the project are David Almirol Jr., head of Multisys Technologies Corp., to develop the platform for DingDong App.; lawyer Mark Gorriceta; software entrepreneur Joey Gurango; industry veteran Raffy Maramag; commercial director Sid Maderazo, who will lead the marketing team; and business development officer Ranvel Rufino, tasked with leading the business development as chief revenue officer.

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”We feel passionate and enthusiastic about working on the DingDong App because of its groundbreaking concept. It doesn’t only bring together an online marketplace and a rider fleet, but also an online community together that is backed by a socially responsive advocacy—all into a single app. They’ve assembled a powerhouse team and toge­ther, we’re developing a lot of exciting innovative features. We can’t wait to introduce this to the market,” Almirol said in a statement.

To separate itself from other apps in the market, Rufino said DingDong App was designed and developed to make user fees more competitive and reasonable, ordering easier and enjoyable and deliveries more convenient and efficient.

“Customer service is also a very important foundation of our operations. From all possible touch points, we want every partner and user to be involved in the DingDong community,” Rufino added.

The partners are just ironing out the few remaining kinks in the system and are targeting to fully roll out the app by the middle of September.

Dantes said they did not want to prematurely launch it, as they had to make sure that while they are hastening the build, they would be able to contribute to solving a “social problem” with the right solution.

As CEO of DingDong App, Dantes sees his role in the company as more of a storyteller and perhaps chief inspiration officer.

“I recognize that my first business venture is show business, and my strength lies in telling stories and realities through my craft. This time, with DingDong, I will be able to share stories of our merchants, who we intend to grow with; our riders, who we want to uplift and professionalize; and our consumers, who have been more discerning because of the new normal,” he said.

Dantes has great expectations for DingDong App, but not just in terms of profit.

“More than the figures, I envision our performance being measured by the quality of lives that we have improved, and the communities or sectors that we have empo­wered,” Dantes said.

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