6th APO Grantees Forum: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in SMEs, September 23, 2011, Crowne Plaza Quezon City

Group Photo of Participants

Sixty One (61) productivity and quality practitioners, experts, advocates and champions, a great majority are Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Alumni or Grantees, converged in Crowne Plaza Galleria, Quezon City last 23 September 2011 for the 6th APO Grantees Forum themed “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in SMEs”. Hosted by the Development Academy of the Philippines through its International Relations, Innovation, and Strategic Convergence Initiatives and Partnerships Group (IRISCIP), the discussions were led by four APO Grantee resource speakers.

Carlos A. Sayco Jr., DAP Vice-President and APO Liaison Officer during the Welcome Remarks

Presentations by the speakers elicited thought-provoking discussions from the group. Mr. Ramir V. Bonghanoy, President, Bon-Ace Fashion Tools Inc., shared his company’s experience in using Product Innovation and Creativity to penetrate international market.

Ms. Julia Lorena D. Manrique, Marketing Manager, Moonbake Inc., shared their company’s journey to competitiveness using Knowledge Management as tool for Innovation.

Resource Speaker Julia Manrique, Moonbake, Inc. on Innovation through Knowledge Management

Mr. Pedro H. Delantar Jr., President and CEO, Natures Legacy Eximport, presented his company’s experience in driving innovation through Green Technology.

Pedro Delantar Jr. of Nature’s Legacy on Driving Innovation through Green Technology

Last but not the least, Mr. Rommel T. Juan, President and CEO, Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc., highlighted his company’s experience in Marketing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Promotion.

During the forum, the APO grantees learned a great deal about Innovation and how it can be applied to boost business profitability and sustainability.

Product Innovation by Resource Speaker Ramir Bonghanoy, Bon-Ace Fashion Tools

Mr. Bonghanoy recalled that during his college years, one of his professors advised him to give his best to be recognized. Social recognition, he said, is important to gain various connections, even financiers. By partnering with his various connections in the public and private sectors through CSR initiatives, his company Bon-Ace Fashion Tools made it through international market as one of the leading exporters of buttons and fashion accessories in Europe.

On the other hand, Mr. Rommel Juan of Binalot Foods shared that in business, you have to give value, and this value should relate to customers, value that the customers will appreciate and spend for. This means avoiding selling products at a low price if the quality would suffer.

Resource Speaker Rommel Juan of Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc. on Entrepreneurial Innovation

He also emphasized the importance of being able to constantly communicate with customers and know what they want. In their case, they do it through Social Media Networks like Facebook and Twitter. They get immediate feedbacks, feedbacks that they use to improve their products and services.

Maximo Ricohermoso of MCPI Corporation Cebu accepting the Token of Appreciation from DAP President Antonio Kalaw Jr.

Mr. Maximo Ricohermoso, President of MCPI Corporation Cebu, who was invited as reactor to the speakers, commented, “I want to congratulate DAP for organizing this grantees forum, because this is a great opportunity for us grantees to share our learning and experiences with each other. I hope DAP could implement more forums like this in the future”.

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