BUSINESS NEWS | enterprise

Former DTI Chief Lopez and key industry leaders join Packworks to fuel MSME development

By Icon Executive Asia
Published September 28, 2022

Packworks, a local startup that provides a business-to-business (B2B) open platform to sari-sari stores, announces the addition of former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. 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 CEO Simon Paterno, who is also a former President and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines, and former Executive Vice President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Integrated Microelectronics, Inc. CEO and Vice Chairman Arthur Tan, who is also President and Chief Executive Office of AC Industrial at Ayala - View.

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 (MSMEs) 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 noted.

“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 changemaker, 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 added.

Packworks’ Sari Superstore App provides a free one-stop app for “sari-preneurs” where they can process their 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 Ibba Bernardo, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Packworks.

Packworks announced last August that it raised US$2 million in a seed round. The funding will be used to improve their platform for sari-sari stores, enable the value chain, and empower all stakeholders within the sari-sari ecosystem.