Divisoria is one of the city of Manila’s most popular destinations and recognizable landmarks. For many, “Divi” is the marketplace for everything from food to electronics, all at bargain prices. For resourceful and money-savvy entrepreneurs, it’s a suppliers’ haven. Whatever you need for your business—fresh ingredients, raw materials, finished products, peripherals and accessories, among others—Divi surely has it.
Divisoria is also an experience in itself: an unpredictable adventure for the newbie, a thrill that never grows old for the experienced. The adage “no pain, no gain” is an apt description for it—while there are air-conditioned spaces, there are also dimly-lit areas with narrow and almost airless passageways. Expect to walk a lot, break into a sweat and possibly get lost in Divi’s labyrinth-like, crowded streets. Keep your belongings close to your body, and be on constant alert for suspicious-looking or overly friendly strangers. Chances are, they’re interested in your wallet (not you).
To find the best buy, throw yourself into the grand Divi tradition of haggling. And if that doesn’t work, don’t worry: you’re bound to see that item in another stall or store, at a price that suits your budget. Remember that it pays to be a regular customer or to buy wholesale or in bulk. That’s how you get fat discounts and preferential treatment, Divi-style.
For our annual Divisoria issue, Entrepreneur Philippines put together useful information that every ‘trep should know. We talked to four Divi-based suppliers and discussed how their businesses are vital links and resources for countless Pinoy ‘treps across the country. From payment terms to best practices, we tell you all.
Tutuban Center and 168 Mall—two of the biggest and busiest commercial complexes in the area—are undergoing major redevelopment. While these improvements are bound to change the face of Divisoria, the challenge is to retain its distinctive nature and ways. We also listed down other bustling marketplaces in the Greater Manila area, noting what selections await you at each stop.
Want to read the whole article? Grab a copy of the August 2011 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.