1st ’Sari-Sari’ Store Chain Targets ’Bottom of the Pyramid’
Friday, September 14, 2007
Your friendly neighborhood ’sari-sari’ (mom and pop) store will soon sport a new look, thanks to Microventures Inc.’s pioneering Hapinoy Project. ANILA, Philippines — Your friendly neighborhood ’sari-sari’ (mom and pop) store will soon sport a new look, thanks to Microventures Inc.’s pioneering Hapinoy Project.
Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, president of Microventures, on Friday said the one-year old company would begin the makeover of 1,000 Hapinoy stores in Luzon next week as it deepens efforts to alleviate poverty in the country “one ’sari-sari’store at a time,” as its tagline says. The firm is targeting 8,000 Hapinoy stores by yearend.
Sari-sari stores are small village stores that allow Filipinos to buy extremely small amounts of products they consume daily like oil, shampoo, and soy sauce. Big brands like Unilever and Procter & Gamble have adapted packaging techniques in the Philippine setting by making “sachets” of their popular brands primarily to penetrate sari-sari stores as distribution outlets.
Unofficial figures show that there are approximately 650,000 sari-sari stores in the country.
The Hapinoy Project allows borrowers of microfinance lender Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. (CARD) who operate a sari-sari store to use Microventure’s system to get bigger discounts from manufacturers and thus sell at a bigger margin.
Microventure will also train store owners to help them evolve their business into, say, an Internet caf? or a public calling office among others. Hapinoy store owners are also expected to benefit from better inventory management systems, credit management, trainings on customer service ? things that owners, normally work-at-home mothers, would learn only in business schools.
Aquino said at a press conference that many of Microventure’s partners look at the Hapinoy Project as their way of doing corporate social responsibility, but under the business model, everyone will earn from the social business enterprise.
“There is a revenue stream for every transaction. This is a new way of giving where we mix business and social objectives and make this more sustainable,” he said.
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