IT exec quits job to sell danggit,
by :Janette Toral 8/13/00
Jovel Cipriano worked for IBM Phils. for five years handling
its Visayas-Mindanao operations. Very recently, Cipriano decided
to give up his full-time job to focus on his growing dot-com
business, Pinoydelikasi.com a Web site that sells Filipino
delicacies such as dried mangoes, danggit, dried pusit, pastillas
and tuna belly, among other items, on the Internet. He realized
that his business would fully bloom if he devoted 100 percent
of his time to it.
The concept for Pinoydelikasi.com was born in March 1999;
it went online last January. Cipriano used to travel a lot
and always brought home pasalubong such as danggit, pusit,
dried mangoes, and the like. "One day, I actually found
out that I could make money out of this. My first customers
were my family and relatives," said Cipriano. "Until
one night, I could not really sleep. I thought of the opportunities
if I put up a website."
The name Pinoydelikasi.com (instead of Pinoydelicacy) was
his secretarys suggestion. It was perfect for its slogan,
"Lutong Pinoy, Delicious Kasi."
He remembered how his friends started laughing at him when
he broached the idea. "Why did you come up with an idea
selling danggit or dried mango when they are available anywhere.
But my point is, what will make me different is I can actually
offer quality Filipino delicacies, fresh from the factory.
I can actually offer items that are hard to find."
Ciprianos "x-factor" is his extensive network
which allows him to deliver fresh Pinoydelikasi items abroad.
"I have a network to help me actually generate more business
far, far away from my territory such as Hong Kong, the United
States, London and Cyprus. Im guaranteeing my products
to be fresh from the factory. Im even posting a money-back
guarantee. If you dont like the product, return it and
Ill give your money back or replace it with a new product."
From an initial nine items, the website is currently selling
more than 25 products online and the list is growing. Its
top five items are R&M dried mangoes, mangorine, danggit,
pusit and pastillas. Its new products include tuna belly,
panga and Villalonga chicharon. More than 70 people have tried
buying online at Pinoydelikas.com. Fifteen of them are now
Another advantage Pinoy-delikasi.com has is that it sells
products at a much cheaper price. Its R&M dried mango,
for instance, is sold from P95 to P110 in Manila, while one
can order it from the website for only P75.
Ciprianos payment system is still cash-on-delivery.
His business made a monthly net profit of P4,000 when it started.
Currently, he is averaging P18,000 per month, representing
both online and offline orders. With his growing list of products
and expansion activities, he hopes to generate at least P100,000
in monthly net profit soon.
The main challenge Cipriano is facing right now is his search
for a good payment solution. Although Pinoydelikasi.com has
an interim payment solution through Estore-Exchange (http://www.estore-exchange.com),
he realizes that he needs to have one fully integrated into
From B2C to B2B
Cipriano believes that he will not make a bigger profit if
he sticks to the B2C (business-to-consumer) business model.
"Id like to be an example of a dot-com who started
as a B2C and became a B2B."
He is looking forward to supplying Pinoydelikasi products
to groceries here and abroad such as in Europe, Hong Kong
and the US. "I intend to come out with my own branding
using Pinoydelikasi.com logos. Ill be selling crispy
dilis, my own pastillas, banana chips and Im thinking
of even coming out with my own Pinoydelikasi dried mango."
Like any other growing dot-coms, Cipriano is looking for
potential investors, too. But he has reservations. "Id
rather work with an angel investor who can actually shell
out a small amount of money, around P2 million, be part of
Pinoydelikasi.com, and grow with us."
He admits being scared of dealing with VCs (venture capitalists).
"Probably its human nature. Everyone thinks that
youll be eaten by these giants."
Cipriano advises that when one encounters a bright idea,
one just has to act fast. "The reason why Pinoydelikasi.com
is here, is because I acted on it fast. I could have sat down
to think and think and think. I started with nine products
just to make sure something was on the website. When people
visited the site, they could see something. Ever since, Ive
been working on improvements to make a very formal, professional
and attractive site."
He also stressed that the logistical aspect and the back-end
operations of the business should not be taken for granted.
"You really have to come out with a back-end solution
because eventually you will have to gather information and
do data mining yourself, making use of the information that
you already have."
What keeps Cipriano going are the e-mails of his customers
expressing how they really love the site. "People are
asking for more, such as items that are not available in the
US, and they want me to ship those to them. This is a challenge
for me. I hope to be the first dot-com entrepreneur to ship
dried danggit and pusit worldwide."