BIZ BUZZ: SM unequalled in customer service
Not one, not two, but five companies under the SM Group were recognized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Statista, a Germany-based data and business intelligence portal, for providing exemplary customer service in their respective categories.
In the home goods category, the SM Store secured the top position in the department store rankings, while SM Retail affiliate Toy Kingdom placed first in the toys category.
Meanwhile, BDO Unibank Inc., SM Markets and SM Cinema clinched the top spots in the categories of insurance, supermarkets and movie theaters, respectively.
Landing on the inaugural list of the country’s Best in Customer Service was made more special as the SM Group received the validation on SM’s 65th year in business.
“Our communities are at the heart of everything that we do here at SM,” said Frederic DyBuncio, SM Investments president and CEO. “It’s not about making quick transactions, rather it’s a commitment to creating equal opportunities for all our customers.”
The SM Group added that providing the best in customer service was of primary importance to the late founder Henry Sy Sr. According to “Tatang,” “It’s important that I never lose touch with the pulse of my shoppers.”
Coming up: Salon, wellness super app
An emerging startup that combines financial technology, beauty and wellness in a well-manicured package is gearing for expansion after beating the odds to raise $400,000 (P23 million) in venture capital funding.
We’re talking about Parlon, co-founded by young entrepreneurs Kristine Claire Ongcangco and Miko Cornejo, which is rapidly growing its business in the Philippine and the rest of Asia.
Already present in Singapore, Parlon is targeting to expand to Thailand next since one of their new investors, 2D Ventures, is based in Bangkok, Ongcangco told Biz Buzz.
Funding is one of the key challenges facing startups given the tumultuous global economic climate but Ongcangco and Cornejo have established a respectable resumé partly thanks to their first venture, digital and software solutions agency, Concept Machine, which counts top conglomerates as its clients.
This also gave them the confidence to self-fund Parlon, otherwise known as bootstrapping, helping the company get off the ground. Funds are natural fans of these types of entrepreneurs and it most certainly helps that the company has secured an operator of payment system license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Parlon also has ambitions growth targets, similar to other startups at the beginning of their expansion phase.
“In five years, Parlon will become a lifestyle superapp. Many have been asking us if we will expand to other verticals. Salon and wellness centers are still our focus, but we will eventually expand to fitness, pets, and other verticals that promote wellness and a beautiful life in general,” Ongcangco said.