We'll be there in due time

Feb 10, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology has determined that there are enough frequencies here at home to accommodate a third telco player, and that seems to be the final word on whether a third player should be allowed to challenge the duopoly of Globe and Smart. The National Telecommunications Commission says that the present 300MHZ is enough to compete with the duopoly and with the new technologies available, we can layer frequencies. It is a fact that we lag so far behind our neighbors in the region as far as this is concerned. Our internet is still so painfully slow although I must admit that the two telco companies, Smart and Globe, are now moving towards improving this and there are some results already. Still, we're years behind Singapore, for instance, and even Vietnam which has only since rebounded some years back. Truly, something needs to be done, and done fast, for us to level up with our neighbors.

E-commerce is also here to stay and it is catching up fast with the Filipino consumer. Have you noticed how many start-up entrepreneurs have launched their home business through e-commerce? One does not need to have a brick and mortar store to do business anymore here at home. The way Amazon has made all those giant department stores obsolete, those stores that have ruled the American consumers for decades, is nothing short of phenomenal. One doesn't have to go out, drive all the way to the mall to purchase something. After quick browsing on one's laptop, the purchase is just a click away and Amazon delivery brings the item to your doorstep in a day or two.

Realistically, this isn't going to happen in the Philippines for a long time yet. The Filipino consumer needs to be educated more on the benefits of e-commerce and there is also the fact that we still do not have enough safety nets to protect our consumers from e-commerce fraud. Sure, Lazada and and Zalora now have proven themselves reliable and above board but there are too many small players that have to be vetted carefully before they are allowed to do business in the internet.

Another new frontier here that is worth looking into by our young Filipino IT professionals is the internet marketing services. In one of the segments of B&L, the television show, we came across young Carl Ocab who just two years ago formed his eponymous company, Carl Ocab Internet Marketing Services. Carl says he has been techie since he was a young boy, even starting his own blog when he was just thirteen years old. Because he was into video games, his blog was all about the games he played then. He provided guides, tricks and whatever to kids his age who shared his love for video games and monetized this with Google Ad Sense, the advertising service of Google. To make a long story short, he made his first money from blogging at such an early age and this opened the doors to Carl to make his fortune in this new frontier, but not after he graduated from college.

Carl shared that big companies were impressed that a 13-year old was blogging successfully and Carl was featured on TV and on print. Even Forbes ran a feature on him. When he finally opened his own internet marketing service company, he started marketing his blogs, e-books and softwares. Now, his clients are also internet marketing agencies that outsource their work to his company. In the U.S., according to Carl, they charge as much as US$4,000 - US$5,000 per website, so much more than what our local internet companies charge, so it is logical that these be outsourced to local companies like the Carl Ocab Internet Marketing Services for much lower fees. Carl has between 6 to ten agencies as clients now, each agency with several clients to its name, so business is doing well for this upstart of only two years. On his first year alone, he grew his new company by 130 per cent, and to think that he started his company with no outside investors, just his own resources which were very limited, having just graduated from school. He bootstrapped his fledgling company, said Carl, and on its second year, it grew by 250 per cent. What this young man has achieved in such a short span is nothing short of amazing indeed.

There is much room in this new frontier, but many companies here in the Philippines still opt to go for the tried and tested, the traditional way of advertising their products through giant billboards, for instance. I don't blame them because internet marketing has not been established well enough in the country to gain the trust and confidence of internet marketers. Much has to be done to establish this trust, so Carl says he hopes more marketers will strive harder to build a reputable name for themselves by providing good, reliable and legitimate internet services to gain the trust of users. When Carl got featured in Forbes and gained a lot of visibility in the United States, he leveraged this to build a name for himself, and look where he is now.

Now, Carl wants to grow his company even more and implement the marketing strategies that are now being used successfully in the United States. He wants to improve the internet industry in the Philippines but it is not only the buying power that he has to contend with, it is also the mind set of our local companies. There is still much to be done in shaping the mind set of local companies to want to invest in internet marketing with full confidence. But I am confident we will get there in due time.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

For comments & inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com

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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)