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How can countryside retail businesses stand up against big Manila-based players?

Prof. Danilo Antonio tells us how.
By Prof. Danilo A. Antonio |

Q: How can countryside retail businesses stand up to big Metro Manila-based players when they come setting up shop in the provinces?

A: Location is the no. 1 consideration, since it means access, especially in the retail industry. In property-related businesses, for example, we’re talking about the 5 As—Accessibility, Availability, Adequacy, Acceptability and Affordability. In other words, any piece of property has to contend with the 5 As, it has to have all of those features. Obviously accessibility is the most important, so that’s the number one requirement.

A local entrepreneur generally can have an advantage against locators coming from Manila. First, they would know the best properties available, and since they’re from the area, the affordability issue is an advantage for them. In other words, they can actually acquire the property ahead of time and at a lower rate because they’re there.

The only problem, really, of local entrepreneurs is the issue of availability of financial resources to acquire the land. That’s where the big guys coming in beat them because they have the big bucks supporting them. But generally, a local businessman who has done his homework can have advantage. For example, they can get local allies, local businessmen, to team up with them.

Another advantage local entrepreneurs have is their knowledge of the local market. They know its intricacies and what consumers really want. And they can actually create a particular area in their retail establishment that caters to local entrepreneurs, (like) selling local products, that distinguishes them from the Manila-based players setting shop locally.


Prof. Danilo A. Antonio is the “dealmaker” and president of the ACE Center for Entrepreneurship and Management Education Inc. (ACE-ME). He has extensive experience in real estate development starting as an executive in Ayala Land. He continued with his real estate ventures by helping form Landco Pacific, now considered one of the leading real estate companies in the country. He is also the CEO of Land Excel Consulting and the chairman of Canyon Cove Beach Club in Nasugbu, Batangas.

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