Packworks, a local startup that provides a business-to-business open platform to sari-sari stores, announced the addition of former Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and three other industry leaders to its board of advisors.
Joining ex-DTI chief Lopez to the pack are Angkas founder Angeline Tham, ZQR Corp. founder and chief executive Simon Paterno, who is also a former president and chief executive of the Development Bank of the Philippines and Integrated Microelectronics Inc. vice chairman and chief executive Arthur Tan, who is also the president and chief executive of AC Industrial.
Lopez, who chaired DTI institutions such as the Board of Investments, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the Export Development Council, Anti-Red Tape Authority Advisory Council, Philippine International Trading Corp., CITEM and the Halal Board, will draw on experience in the trade sector to further push his advocacy to support micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises that provide development and ease of doing business to the retailers.
“It is my intention, after my stint at the DTI, to pursue my advocacy on MSME development through technology and innovation, to take their business to the next level and improve their efficiencies,” Lopez said.
“I believe digitalization of MSMEs is a great equalizer, bringing prosperity for all. Packworks is a great business and model aligned with this advocacy. It is a change-maker, improving the lives of others. The success in scaling up the community of MSMEs through digitalization is the success of Packworks. It is an honor to be a part of Packworks, a business with a purpose,” Lopez said.
Packworks’ Sari Superstore App provides a free one-stop app for “sari-preneurs” where they can process business inventory, bookkeeping and data collection. The app also offers delivery services for store owners when their supply is low.
“The inclusion of these distinguished leaders in the industry will greatly help us in achieving our goals to provide an open platform not only to our million sari-sari store owners in the country, but also to other huge brand companies. Digital inclusion will help these ‘sari-preneurs’ to accelerate their game in the retail industry,” said Packworks co-founder and chief marketing officer Ibba Bernardo.
Packworks announced in August that it raised $2 million in seed round. The funding will be used to improve their platform for sari-sari stores, enable the value chain and empower stakeholders within the sari-sari ecosystem.