Hottest Philippine business trends for 2014

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Jan 12 2014 08:43 PM | Updated as of Jan 14 2014 02:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Aspiring entrepreneurs will have their hands full in 2014 as more doors are being opened in various industries, the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine Kristine Fonacier said.

Fonacier said for tech-related businesses, the focus must be on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices.

“The big word in tech right now is mobile. All the tech experts are saying that we are entering the post-PC world and everything is happening on mobile,” she said on ANC’s “Shoptalk.”

Because of the rising demand in mobile, Fonacier said more Filipino app developers will have the opportunity to showcase their talents at a global market.

Start-up ideas will also get much needed support from business organizations, which are now looking at local start-ups with products that focus on applications “for Filipinos, by Filipinos.”

Aside from mobile development, other tech trends this year are cloud computing, bigger storage space, and, of course, social media.

Fonacier noted that tech companies and consumers may soon be looking for “the next big thing” in social media.

Another line of business that may see a boost this year is the franchising of convenience stores.

Fonacier said the demand for convenience stores have seen to rise along with the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

“It’s a 24-hour business all of a sudden and they find the need to find services 24 hours a day,” she said, adding that some convenience stores are now moving from just selling the traditional retail goods to providing high-end food.

Online retail is also expected to gain traction as more online establishments have figured out a way to work around the fear of credit card payments on the internet.

Fonacier said some online sellers are now allowing payments through ATMs, convenience stores, over the counter banks, and even mobile phones.

Fashion and electronic goods are still the top choices of online shoppers, said Fonacier.

Food-related businesses, meanwhile, will remain as strong business opportunities in the country.

Fonacier said 2013 saw the popularity of the Filipino cuisine rising and becoming an international favorite.

She added that there is a potential growth for more Filipino fine dining restaurants.

Fonacier said that while there are countless business opportunities in the market today, timing and a bit of good luck will still be key in being a successful entrepreneur.

“You have to hit that sweet spot that blends your passion and your skills. You also have to pray for a little bit of timing and luck, that’s all you need,” she said.