Extra 'raket', anyone?


Posted at Aug 05 2010 06:05 PM | Updated as of Aug 06 2010 09:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos who need additional sources of income can try venturing into side businesses or 'rakets' like creating smartphone applications and personalized wristbands, and mostly cater to an American market.

Sherwin Sowy, an applications developer with Globe Philippines, found a side business in creating applications for iPhone and has been earning extra bucks on the side.

“When it (iPhone) came out, I had my hands on it and I was playing around with it. There were some features that were lacking that I wanted the phone to have. That got me thinking on what kinds of apps I could actually develop for the iPhone,” he shared in ANC’s "Shop Talk" on Tuesday.

With numerous apps developers venturing into creating applications for Apple iPhones and a legion of success stories of developers turning millionaires, Sowy decided to pay the $99 Apple apps registration fee and create applications for the phone.

His market strategy was simple: add applications that make daily use of the phone easier.

Currently, 3 of his applications are bringing him dollars: the SMS template, the Quick Ping, and the Profiler.

Quick Ping is one of the iPhone applications Sherwin Sowy has created. Credit: ANC


Unlike most popular phones in the market, iPhones do not have an embedded SMS Template, shared Sowy. As he had to literally send the same messages to his driver, he thought of creating a template for the iPhone.

Aside from the SMS Template, he also created the Quick Ping, a phone application version of the Quick Ping web feature, which enables status updating to as much as 40 social networking sites in one click.

Sowy’s favorite, the Profiler or what he called “Stalker Application,” is a people-search application. The application automatically searches Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Whitepages.com for a person’s public details.

“In the States, it will pull the address and the number of the person. Apparently it’s public information there in the States,” he said, adding that most of his clients are US-based. “The data I pull are only public information naman. [I do] not infringe privacy because it is publicly available.”

There are, however, limitations to the application business. For one, Sowy shared that Apple does not allow developers to create an application that will allow iPhones to automatically send messages.

Ballers, anyone?

Those who are not developers can also venture into personalized wristbands or ballers, which became popular freebies during the May 2010 election season.

A few of the ballers made by Kulayful. Credit: ANC


According to Chris Angeles, owner of Kulayful, their usual target in the US market are institutions who give it out for causes, business promotions, advocacies, and fund-raisings.

“So a lot of schools, they order bracelets for fund-raising, for basketball teams, sometimes for causes like [when] somebody is sick, as support. Those are more of our customers,” Angeles said.

Most of Kulayful’s clients are in America but the production is based in China. Only the sales and marketing arm are in the Philippines.

Angeles said they have yet to infiltrate the Philippine market, especially with the popularity of personalized wristbands after the elections.

The prices, however, might be more expensive in the Philippines than in the United States.

“In the US, it’s slightly [cheaper] because shipping to the US from China is cheaper than shipping from China to the Philippines. Here, we do a minimum of 500. In the US, we do as low as 20 bracelets and as many as they want,” he explained.

A baller will roughly cost around P20 each with a minimum of 500 bracelets, summing up to around P10,000, a price that is higher than the average wristband prices.

But unlike the local counterparts, Kulayful’s ballers are made of silicon and texts and designs are either debossed or embossed and meticulously colored, making it a notch sturdier and attractive. -- Leilani Chavez, abs-cbnNEWS.com, with ANC

For more information on Sherwin Showy, visit http://www.mobilefutures.blogspot.com or follow his Twitter account: ssowy. To know more about Kulayful, visit http://www.kulayful.com or contact 09064448880.