Keeping and passing on the business

An MSME’s story of surviving the pandemic and sharing his legacy to his son

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are among the hardest hit sectors of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the imposed lockdowns, several MSMEs struggled for their modest businesses to survive.

Amid these challenges, MSMEs worked harder than ever to save their livelihood. Mario Dacaymat, a beverage distributor and a father of four, is one of the many entrepreneurs who kept the business going for his clients, employees, and family.

“Mahirap mag negosyo at maging isang tatay sa panahon ng pandemic. Katulad nga ng isa kong anak, umuwi dito dahil walang klarong trabaho sa Manila. Sa akin umaasa ang buong pamilya ko," he said. (“Being both a father and an entrepreneur is difficult during the pandemic. For instance, one of my kids went home from Manila because of uncertain job opportunities in Manila. My entire family relies on me,” he said.)

Weathering the storm

Even with his decades-long experience, Dacaymat admitted that the pandemic is his most challenging experience yet.

“Medyo naapektuhan talaga ang sales at tsaka income namin dahil may mga tindahan na nagsarado katulad ng mga school canteen at mga karinderya,” narrated Dacaymat. (“Our sales and income dropped when schools and local eateries closed,” narrated Meredor.)

Dacaymat also had to follow strict protocols and get necessary permits to pass through checkpoints in their area. “Sumunod lang kami sa mga protocols ng gobyerno at kumuha ng mga kailangan na permits upang makalabas pasok kami sa borders. Ayan ang mga ginawa namin para mapagpatuloy ang business namin." (“We complied with the government-mandated protocols and applied for necessary permits to be able to cross borders within the province. We followed all these requirements for our continuous operations and distribution.”)

These challenges became Dacaymat's drivers for improvement and growth. "Pinagbutihan pa namin 'yung serbisyo namin. Strictly follow the daily route schedule, para makuha namin 'yung customer satisfaction. Kailangan satisfied ang customer," he added. (“This pushed us to improve our services. We became stricter in following our daily route schedule to secure our customers’ satisfaction. The customer should be satisfied,” he added.)

To help his business cope with the pandemic, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) provided additional product support to exclusive distribution outlets and newly-opened outlets covered by Dacaymat.

Dacaymat’s hard work and sacrifices paid off. He is now aiming for additional routes to cover more outlets and areas in the province.

“Ang sakin, (kailangan ng) kaunting tiyaga at sakripisyo, at pag-iingat sa pandemic upang patuloy ang ating negosyo,” he said. 7(“For me, during this time of pandemic, we need to be more careful, and have a little more dedication and sacrifice to sustain the business,” he said.)

From Employee to Businessman

Dacaymat first joined Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc.’s (PCPPI’s) distributor network in 1999 after resigning from the company. He now covers Ormoc City in Leyte.

“Nagsimula ako (sa Pepsi) binata pa ko hanggang ngayon na may mga anak at apo na ko. Parte na ang Pepsi-Cola ng pamilya ko. Itong business ko, sa akin talaga ito at ishe-share ko ito sa mga anak ko dahil sa pamamagitan ng mga sakripisyo ko, nakapag-aral at nakapagtapos sila,” he continued. (“I started working at Pepsi when I was still a bachelor until now that I have my own family. Pepsi is a part of my life. Now that I have my own business, I want to share my story with my kids. Because of my sacrifices, I was able to send them all to school,” he continued.)

Being a business owner gave Dacaymat the opportunity to train his eldest son, Wilfredo. In 2015, Wilfredo also became a Pepsi distributor. "Mga 90% ng abilidad nya ang nakuha niya sa akin. Iyon ang ipinamana ko sa kanya. Kailangan mag-focus sa pagbebenta ng produkto para lumaki ang income ng pamilya niya." (“I’d like to believe that my son got his skills in business from me. That’s the only thing I can pass on to him. He just needs to stay focused on selling his products for his business to grow.)

From being a former employee to becoming a businessman to passing on his legacy to his son, Dacaymat succeeded because of his strong desire to grow his business.

PCPPI, the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country, helps distributors meet long-term growth. As of 2021, PCPPI has more than 1,000 members under its Entrepreneurship Distribution System (EDS) network of exclusive distributors. For years now, the EDS has created a livelihood for the company’s partner MSMEs and their employees.

For PCPPI, EDS network operators, like Dacaymat, are business partners. “We help our partner MSMEs cope through incentives and marketing support. We also provide guidance for their businesses to recuperate and get back on track. Their success and growth is also ours,” said PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong.

Interested and potential partners may reach PCPPI through their website, e-commerce website or call (02)888-PEPSI (73774).

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