BIZ BUZZ: DongYan for DITO

BIZ BUZZ: DongYan for DITO

/ 02:03 AM April 15, 2024

Show biz royalty and real-life power couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera are headlining the newest marketing campaign of third telco player DITO Telecommunity, which was recently acknowledged as the top mobile network in the country by market insights firm Ookla.

“As we all know, Dingdong and Marian are not just big names in the Philippine entertainment industry; they are icons that inspire positive change and growth across diverse communities,” DITO brand and marketing director Jasper Evangelista.

Dubbed “DITO sa Puso Ko,” the campaign captures the journey of the company toward its goal of providing reliable connectivity among Filipinos.


“Our newest campaign isn’t just about showcasing our products and services; it’s about celebrating the mutual love that we have with our millions of DITOzens,” DITO chief revenue officer-consumer Evelyn Jimenez said.


DongYan clinched this endorsement deal just after topbilling “Rewind,” the highest-grossing Filipino film. It was shown in 270 cinemas here and abroad. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Sweet deal: Lester Yu will ‘let them eat cake’

After taking over noodle house Ling Nam in 2022 and cloud kitchen Fly Kitchen in 2023, businessman Lester Yu won’t let this Year of the Dragon go by without another legacy brand on his plate.

We hear that in the coming days, Balai ni Fruitas, the bakery-driven subsidiary of Yu-led Fruitas Holdings, may announce a new purchase. It’s a “small but pivotal” acquisition, a reliable industry source told Biz Buzz.

It’s a bakeshop brand that has been operating for about four decades—one that used to be a lot bigger but is now left with only two branches, another source explained. However, it enjoys name recall and a cake commissary. Therefore, this acquisition is seen to accelerate the expansion of Balai ni Fruitas into the cake production business.

It has the technology as well and the infrastructure for Balai to build a new growth driver out of a higher value-added product beyond pan de sal, which is a low-margin but high-volume business.

Balai ni Fruitas, which now has about 80 shops, will still offer its own cake products catering to the more affordable segment. The new brand, on the other hand, will be positioned toward the “premium” cake segment.


And while the legacy brand only has two stores left, we hear that once the deal is finalized, Yu intends to not just bring back its old glory but bring the brand to new heights—in the same way that he grew Ling Nam fourfold in the last two years. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Asialink gets love, money from Taiwan

Asialink Finance Corp. is again getting more funds, this time from a third Taiwanese financial institution.

Cathay United, which recently lent Asialink P300 million, follows Yuanta Savings Bank and the state-run Small Business Corp. which together gave P1 billion to Asialink last year.

Local banks are not too far behind. Around P2 billion via corporate notes was lent to Asialink by RCBC Capital, SB Capital, Security Bank, East West, PBCOM and Union Bank last year.

This explains why Asialink has been lending more than a billion pesos a month recently to small and medium businesses, the largest component of the private sector that generates the most number of jobs but unfortunately is largely unbanked.

This irony is not lost on Asialink founder Robert Jordan, a former bank loan officer, who saw the opportunity and grabbed it with a P3-million starting capital in 1997.

Malaysia’s Creador also sees the growth potential of Asialink and bought 18.08 percent of Asialink for P4 billion a few months ago. —Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Conti’s to open more stores in 2024

Good news for people who can’t get enough of Conti’s sweets and other delicacies as the bakeshop and restaurant chain is set to open five more stores across the country this year to bring its food products closer to loyal patrons.

“Our expansion for Conti’s [is] mainly in provincial key cities. So, our recent opening was in Batangas City,” Eight8ate Holdings Inc. president and chief executive officer Joey Garcia told reporters during a chance interview in Pasay last week.

Eight8Ate Holdings, Inc. manages and operates Conti’s, as well as popular food chain Wendy’s.

Garcia said that another store will open in Bataan over the weekend, concluding that these six stores that have or will open this year would push the number of their branches to around 80. —Alden M. Monzon

Atayde joins DA

Finally, the appointment of Daniel Alfonso Atayde—brother of businessman Arturo Atayde, the husband of actress Sylvia Sanchez—as a Department of Agriculture (DA) official has been formalized.

In a statement over the weekend, the DA announced the inclusion of two undersecretaries and two assistant secretaries including Atayde to its roster.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin released the appointment papers of Nora dela Cruz Oliveros and Allan Quimson Umali as agriculture undersecretaries.

Umali is now the DA undersecretary for administration while Oliveros is the undersecretary for finance.

Atayde, who has been helping the agency craft its logistics strategy, and Philip Chan Young, now in charge of handling exports, were named assistant secretaries.

Since Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.’s appointment in November last year, the DA has put together 13 undersecretaries, one OIC undersecretary, one undersecretary-designate, six assistant secretaries and three OIC assistant secretaries, including the new appointees. —Jordeene B. Lagare INQ

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