Integrated platform targets to bring PH exports to 60 countries

Published July 28, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

A homegrown integrated online platform for exporters expects to bring products of small and medium enterprises exports to 60 countries by next year from the current 23 export markets.

In an online briefing, 1Export Trade and Services said that since they started operating in 2016 the products in their platform already account for 0.2 percent of the country’s total exports. 

The tech-enabled exporting company has distributed a total of 3,000 tons of products to 23 different countries, generating around $500,000 or P25 million in export sales as of June 2021. Because of this, 1Export accounted for 0.2 percent of the total Philippine exports―and the company isn’t planning to just stop there.

“It goes without saying that the pandemic has and continues to significantly affect the Philippine economy. But as we move forward and accept the business landscape in the new normal, 1Export is happy to contribute to the country’s recovery by circulating business transactions through exports and helping businesses expand their horizons,” said Mel Nava, founder and CEO of 1Export.

To further fulfill its mission of helping micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines reach more markets, 1Export plans to export products to 60 countries by the end of 2022. With the help of its business-to-business-to-consumer venture, Caravan, 1Export is ready to take on the world and empower more Filipinos to resell products proudly made in the Philippines to other markets.

Founded in 2016, 1Export promises to help MSMEs in the Philippines to grow their business and expand in different countries using digital tools and platforms. The company currently has markets in the US, Australia, Canada, UAE, Kuwait, UK, and more.

What makes the company unique is that it’s more than just an e-commerce or logistics platform―1Export takes third-party exporting to the next level by vetting local products to be cross-border compliant, allowing local businesses to follow the laws of the market they want to explore or expand to. Compliance is often one of the most difficult steps to accomplish when expanding to other countries with different policies and laws, so having a reliable partner to handle export compliance can lift some burden off of the shoulders of Filipino business owners.

“When you’re a business owner, you want to be working ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business as the saying goes. We enable Filipino entrepreneurs to achieve just that―instead of spending so much time and effort learning about the complexities of importing in different countries, they can focus on the core business activities that will enable them to scale,” said Nava. 

Nava explained that what differs them from the other e-commerce platforms is that they extend services to entrepreneurs including the processing of documents from the barangay level and even their registration with the Food and Drugs Administration. Exporters will have to pay for these services, but registration is free.

1Export also facilitates compliance of exporters of different requirements of other countries.

1Export offers all-around exporting services, covering compliance documentation, product labeling, logistics, export facilitation, and marketing services. The company also provides its clients with intensive business matching services to determine which of their products fit certain markets. 

By doing so, local businesses can seamlessly expand abroad, boost their brand awareness, reach their target market, and grow their sales. Through its comprehensive services, 1Export has been able to reduce time and costs by 80 percent for exporting.

So far, 1Export ships 4-5 forty-footer containers a month. 1Export earns through commissions from the sales made from their exporters. 

A lot of producers come from different parts of the country able to export remotely. About 60 percent of exporters are from the National Capital Region and nearby provinces, and the remaining 40 percent from other regions.

1Export also introduced Caravan, which provides aspiring Filipinos entrepreneurs living or working abroad a catalogue of unique and authentic Filipino products―ranging from food to clothing to beauty products―which they can choose from to start their own business where they are. If entrepreneurs want to sell items not available on the catalogue, Caravan by 1Export is ready to assist them in finding their preferred goods, as long as they’re export-compliant.

Entrepreneurs need only to sign up on 1Export’s website as a supplier partner to kick off their journey in business.