Big Talks

“It all starts with a dream,” PLDT Smart SME Nation declares in their new brand campaign, Make it BIG.

The PLDT Group, as a whole, believes strongly in its responsibility towards nation building, being ideally positioned to do so as an industry leader. Through their new campaign entitled Make it BIG, PLDT Smart SME Nation continues and further strengthens its mission to empower and enable the Philippines’ micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, no matter what stage their businesses are in.  

“Filipino entrepreneurs deserve to dream big, and be empowered to make these dreams come true. We at SME Nation are committed to reach business owners in the country, strengthen them and prepare them to go global. In so doing, we hope to help them give back to their family, their employees, and their community,” said PLDT Vice President and Head of PLDT Smart SME Nation, Mitch Locsin at the launch of the MAKE IT BIG campaign.

Make it BIG speaks to the dreams and aspirations of the Filipino Entrepreneur, motivating them to aspire for success as they venture into the world of business. Communicating this message are five pillar ambassadors that each represent different stages in the journey of entrepreneurs: Bernie Liu of Penshoppe and Golden ABC Inc., Kim Lato of Kimstore, Krie Reyes-Lopez of Messy Bessy, Joseph Calata of Calata Corporation and finally, Rudy and Rosiell De Leon of Bianca’s Ice Candy.

To launch Make it BIG, PLDT Smart SME Nation hosted BIG Talks last Thursday, June 2, at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

BIG Talks engaged the five pillars of the Make It Big campaign in panel discussions on "Going Global" and "Inclusive Growth." Joined by Filipino entrepreneurs Laura Verallo de Bertotto of VMV Hypoallergenics and Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, the brand ambassors shared insight on how micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can grow in their respective industries. 

On the topic of "Going Global," Bernie Liu of Penshoppe explained that passion is the fuel to success. Liu emphasized that Filipino entrepenuers should continue their efforts in developing and growing their businesses. In order to make it big, he encouraged entrepreneurs to maximize opportunities and make mistakes.

De Bertotto elaborated on her own journey in entrepreneurship, highlighting the mistakes she experienced along the way. When VMV Hypoallergenics expanded to Singapore, she explained the initial move of setting up a retail store was not successful. Instead, VMV Hypoallergenic thrived in Singapore when they moved their operations online, stressing the importance of adapting to the digital culture.

The panelists continued bringing to light the significance of technology in businesses competiting in the today's digital world. Pedro spoke about the impact of the Internet and how to harness its capabilities to enable growth. He shared how social media connected Hapee to its consumers, allowing them to build a sustainable relationship.

In line with the empowering Filipino entrepreneurs, a forum on "Inclusive Growth" was led by host Issa Litton, bringing the brand ambassadors of SME Nation together to tell the stories of their companies.

Krie Lopez and Joseph Calata of Messy Bessy and Calata Corporation, respectively, discussed their efforts to uplift the Filipino community through their businesses. The audience learned about Calata Corporation's commitment to education and Messy Bessy's mission to empower at-risk youth. This focused on the importance of inclusivity and community as a way to strengthen MSMEs around the Philippines.

Rudy and Rosiell De Leon of Bianca’s Ice Candy shared how their neighborhood and alma mater's support helped their business grow into what it is now. From their own personal refrigerator, the De Leons were able to support their family and eventually grow to have three factories. Like the De Leons, Kim Lato of Kimstore told the story of how her own community allowed her business become a trusted source for electronic gadgets. 

The first of a nationwide series that will continue throughout the year, BIG Talks provided attendees with the inspiring stories of the established entrepreneurs and the chance to put their own businesses in perspective. PLDT Smart SME Nation brings BIG Talks to Cebu in July next, in partnership with GoNegosyo in hopes to continue empowering and enable MSMEs from northern Luzon to Mindanao to make it big in their respective industries.



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