Cebu’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) learned about new tools and technologies as well as proven strategies to grow and make their businesses globally competitive during the 3-day Go Cebu Grand Expo and Exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu from Nov. 4-6, 2022.

The event, organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) as one of the activities of Cebu Business Months 2022, gathered together industry professionals in the ICT-BPM, Tourism, and Creative sectors for a weekend of sharing and learning.

Charles Kenneth Co, CCCI President, said during the opening ceremony that the expo highlights what local companies in these industries can offer to the world.

Saying the event was aimed at providing local entrepreneurs with the means for continued development, Co added it is part of CCCI’s vision to serve as the engine of Cebu business growth.

Technology solutions for brands

If there’s any lesson for business from the pandemic, it is that companies must embrace technology to better serve and connect with their customers, said Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. Regional Enterprise Sales Head for Visayas and Mindanao Christine Marie Ilagan-Gohetia. She listed the products and services that Converge now offers to businesses.

The pandemic has also caused changes in customer behavior and they want convenient means of communication with and faster responses from brands, according to Rakuten Viber Sales Manager for Asia Pacific Karla Banua. She added that customers are on the Viber messaging platform, one of the fastest ways to communicate, and brands can link up with them in various channels.

Another speaker during the three-day expo pointed out that AI is important for companies because it offers options for providing a smooth customer experience. VP and Head of Innovations and IoT Business Development of PLDT Enterprise Melvin Jeffrey Chan said he believes that AI will be essential to 72 percent of businesses in the near future.

Amazon Web Services Territory Account Manager Femee Quizon Cruz said MSMEs don’t have to invest in big supercomputers, adding that AWS has a lot of solutions for brands that are starting small and adding on as the business grows.

Spotlight on local industries

Mayor Michael Rama, in his message during the opening, lauded the close cooperation between the City and CCCI that has contributed to Cebu’s economic prosperity.

Expo exhibitors include around 50 businesses from various sectors. The Go Cebu Grand Expo and Exhibit, one of the activities of the Cebu Business Months, serves to shine the spotlight on local industries, added CBM Chair Brigitte Carmel Lim.

She added that the 3-day event will also feature talks by business trailblazers as well as exciting and interactive activities.

Lim urged companies to attend the business presentations, check out the wide range of goods, services, and cutting-edge technology on exhibit, and take time to network and collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs.

Digital, financial solutions

Mikal Rallonza of SB Finance shared tips on how to build financial resilience through financial literacy, while Maya Business Regional Business Head Carl Bryan Enerio said one of the ways that brands can scale up digitalization is through their company’s financial tech solutions.

Other speakers include:

  • CBM 2022 Creative Entertainment Chairman Lawrence Panganiban, on Cebu Creative Entertainment,
  • Eastern Communications Segment Marketing Manager Juan Carlos Vincent Suarez, for Conquering Convergence: A Roadmap for Security OT and IT Infrastructure,
  • Rakuten Viber Business Development Specialist Lerick Elipe, on A Amplifying Your Business with Viber Channels,
  • Rakuten Viber Marketing Manager Dana Prado, on Going Behind-the-Scenes with Viber Channels,
  • Mata Technologies, Inc. Chair Ryan Tan Yu, on the Role of Technology in the Future of Tourism,
  • Jump Jet Comics Co-Founder Jeff Velayo, on Comic Illustration
  • Xeleqt Technology Innovations, Inc. CEO and Co-Founder Engr. Norman Martinez Curato, on How to Manage the Productivity and Engagement of a Distributed Workforce in an Age of Hyper Disruption using Advanced Technology
  • Seaversity, Inc. CEO and President Ephrem dela Cerna, on Gamification that Goes Beyond, and
  • AtoX Business Solutions Human Resources Director Arlyn Abellana-Pizan, on Organizational and Human Resources Essentials. works with the top brands in the country to reach out to the Cebu market. For inquiries, please send an email to [email protected].