Highlights of the Webinar:
Prescriptions for Business Survival and Sustainability in a Pandemic

Episode 2:
Building a Sustainable Business Model to Overcome a Pandemic
8 May 2020, 3:00PM – 5:00PM



The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), in partnership with the Wadhwani Foundation, launched a program called “Prescriptions for Business Survival and Sustainability in a Pandemic”. The program aims to equip start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs with skills that will eventually help them create and develop opportunities for new business ventures especially during challenging times.


The webinar series touches on four (4) key main topics, namely: 1) Starting and Redesigning your Business during a Pandemic: Using Design Thinking Principles and Applications, 2) Building Sustainable Business Model Opportunities During Times of a Pandemic, 3) Building an “A” Team for your Enterprise: Getting the Right People to Do the Job, and 4) Getting Venture Capital for your Enterprise: Finding Capital to Start your Business.


Episode 2 notably presented ideas on how businesses could become more successful with their products and services. It has been mentioned that delivering outstanding value to the identified target segment would efficiently maximize the profits of a business. The identified target segment pertains to the effort of the employer to take the time and define his/her customers in a way that he/she will know how to cater to the latter’s needs. Moreover, the episode also discussed how the pandemic is shaping business models in an unprecedented way. Business owners must be able to provide solutions to the problems faced during the crisis in order to rise up. The discussion brought to the surface the reality that business owners face during the crisis and how it challenged them to cope up with its negative impacts.


Such proactivity of following a sustainable business model allows business owners to have enough elbow room in any given circumstance. This is crucial in ensuring the resiliency of businesses and its profitability even at trying times. Relevance of a business in a certain situation is key in keeping the business alive.





  • Practise Head – Entrepreneurship Education , Wadhwani Global University at Wadhwani
  • A popular speaker and teacher in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India .





Governor, Employers Confederation of the  Philippines (ECOP)



President, Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PALSCON)



Senior Vice President, Big Boss Cement Corporation



Owner/Proprietress, Casa Nieves Corporation/Kampai Sushi Bar





Director-General, Employers Confederation of the  Philippines (ECOP)


On Conquering Challenges and Discovering Strengths

The panelists shared their experiences during the on-going pandemic and how they were able to transform their businesses to accommodate the tides of change:

    • Business owners should look inward first, look at the strength of his/her people as well as the relevant skills needed; the skills must be developed further.
    • Most businesses rely on manual workforce, therefore it is necessary to look for solutions that will minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic to the workforce.
    • Business owners should exercise empathy towards their employees and assist them throughout the transition to the new
    • Business owners should expect massive changes in the conduct of business after ECQ
        • Shift to digital is imperative
        • Diversification of business activities to remain relevant
        • Search for novel and actionable business models
    • Business owners must be able to balance the need for automation of operations and need for security of employment.
    • The crisis compelled owners of MSMEs to stretch their capabilities and explore on uncharted areas
        • Online transactions
        • Product selling through a website/social media
    • Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place plays a big part in the contingency plan of businesses.
        • Some of the businesses that managed to quickly react are those that have plans and programs in place.


Highlights of the Presentation:


Delivering Value in Your Enterprise: Unlocking the Mysteries Behind Successful Products and Services

  • The core function of entrepreneurship is being able to deliver outstanding value to the identified target segment efficiently to be able to maximize the profits that may be gained.


Identified Target Segment

  • An approach to identify your customers’ persona by drawing your own vision of a customer
  • Define your customer through:
    • Demographic Profile
    • Geographic Profile
    • Psychographic/Behavioral Profile
    • Identifying the best channels to reach out to customers
    • Immerse/empathize with customers
  • Understand value
    • Understand what the customer really wants.
      • Look for the needs of the customers and then offer products/services that respond to those needs.
    • Seller products and buyer needs must be matched.


Where are Business Models Used?

Traditional Business Models:

    • Trading
    • Manufacturing
    • Distributing
    • Retailing
    • E-tailing / e-Commerce
    • Click and Mortar – Company running a website for products/services advertising
    • White labelling – Company relies on third-party supplier
    • Outsourcing
    • Network Selling

Newer Business Models:

    • Utilization of Online Platforms
    • Aggregator – A firm organizes multiple services providers under one brand name
    • Hyper local – All business activities are local – from producing, selling, and buying
    • Cloud – “Pay as you go” model
    • Mashup – Hybrid / Combination of various business models
    • Crowd sourced – Customers turned resellers of your products
    • Philanthropy/social impact – Companies leverage their social impact to market their products


What is this New Normal?

    • Securing identity of digital persona
    • Contactless contacts
    • Remote collaboration


Key Learnings

    • Customers pay for value
    • Value means Utility + User Experience
    • Identifying the right ‘Customer Persona’ is very important
    • Clearly define the jobs ‘customers want to be done’
      • Jobs are functional, social, and emotional


Reactions and Takeaways from the Panelists:

Mr. Anton Sayo:

You have been involved in various businesses – agriculture, manufacturing, and restaurant – in retrospect. Did you see the elements, principles, and practices contained in the various business models explained by Dr. Raj?

  • It is really important that business owners are able to come into agreement with the clients about how the pandemic has affected them and find solutions on how to address the changes that it has brought.
  • During this situation, business owners are also dealing with other business deterrents:
    • The costs of an impending recession towards their business
    • That employers are likely to reject the fact that they need to shoulder the expense of testing their employees
    • That the burden of preventing employees from the fear of going to work must be carried by the employers
  • The reason why there is a need to identify certain industries as essential is because they are crucial in rekindling employment as well as addressing concerns vis-à-vis food security.
    • e. Agriculture and manufacturing industries



Dr. Ishmael Ordonez

Dr. Raj emphasized the importance of having a business model that is resilient and flexible, so that we will be able to survive, get ahead of the competition, and see opportunities despite the challenges. In the case of your company, what is the possibility of changing your business model and making it more resilient and flexible to the changing circumstances?

  • For our industry, because it is very traditional, it would be difficult to initiate macro-change on the industry itself. But I think, the way we do business is what will matter. We really have to look at technology in terms of IT and how we do transactional business. But perhaps with cement – which we think is only powdered rocks which will harden into something that will provide a structure for us to live in – there are things that we could look at. Our business model is to make cement more relevant to the world today in terms of the damage that it can prevent from happening by using our cement. Other than that, I do not see the whole industry really changing in terms of a macro perspective.


Ms. Michelle Lucas

You classify your restaurant under the category of MSMEs. Your business existed on a day-to-day basis because you had to deal with various problems and challenges. Would the presented business models make sense for MSMEs despite their limitations when it comes to technical know-how and skills to even consider formulating or putting in place a business model for the businesses?

  • What Dr. Raj discussed has been more of a reinforcement of what I have been doing. For the rest of the MSMEs, you cannot be an entrepreneur if you do not see opportunities in a situation like this. Try to embrace entrepreneurship and accept the reality that this is what is happening. The business models introduced to us is something we can digest, come up with new products and services, and create allies (i.e. Angkas drivers for delivery). Everyone is badly hit with no resources. But, if you are willing to work with people in a crisis like this and willing to take risks, we can all work around the situation. As for my business, of course, food is a necessity and people will still look for the tastes they have been accustomed to. We just have to change the way we deliver it to them. We put in so much capital in setting up a nice place for customers. Unfortunately, this is not a necessity at this point. So, we just have to accept the fact that there is always an opportunity out there to grab. If it does not work out, try something else.


Ms. Rhoda Caliwara

What is in store for the outsourcing industry?

  • Service outsourcing is one of the most affected industry. While the purpose of a business model to some is how the business will generate revenue, my understanding of a business model is how a company will operate. This will help us understand on how to operate, how your products or services will get to your customers. With all my experiences for the past 26 years, what problem am I trying to solve? The ability to answer this basic question gives you clear ideas of how you may innovate and integrate in your current business model. Every entrepreneur should identify first the customer proposition.


Starting and Redesigning Your Business During a Pandemic

Join us at the episode 2 of ECOP's webinar series entitled "PRESCRIPTIONS FOR BUSINESS SURVIVAL AND SUSTAINABILITY IN A PANDEMIC".Episode 2's topic is "Starting and Redesigning Your Business During a Pandemic".Tune in and comment your questions down below!

Posted by Employers Confederation of the Philippines on Friday, 8 May 2020


Click here to watch the recorded video