Small beverage dealers expand in new cities, provinces

The wholesale industry abounds with opportunities as the economy gradually reopens. Many business owners are back on their feet. They are employing new strategies to enhance the way they conduct their businesses as the country transitions to the next normal.

This is true for Alfredo Calma, an exclusive distributor of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) and owner of Alvi Store in Pateros. He is now focusing on adjusting his approach to maximize his earning potential.

“Nakita ko na bumabalik ang competition ngayon. Ang labanan ay good service. Pinapasyalan ko ang mga outlets ko para alukin ng mga bagong products. Ang mga tao ko tini-train ko rin nang maigi,” said Calma.

His financials are starting to improve as he works double-time to cover 10 areas under his route and to supply products to more than 400 outlets. He plans to augment his inventory and bump up his sales quota in the coming months.

“Gumagawa ako ng magandang system. Meron kaming contact numbers ng lahat ng outlet namin para kapag absent ang isang tao ko, ite-text ko na lang yun mga outlet owners,” he said.

“Baka sa susunod lalakihan ko pa ang quota ko kasi nakikita ko ang magandang trend. Bukas na ang lahat, ang mga eskwelahan to follow na. Kaunting sipag lang at maayos na system, palagay ko lalaki pa ang benta natin.”

For his part, Gregorio Coling—who is also an exclusive PCPPI distributor and owner of Diwata General Merchandise in San Jose, Bulacan—started his business in 2020. This was the time he returned to the Philippines after working in Rome for 22 years.

Like Calma, he had to improve his sales strategy during the early days of the pandemic. Now as more players entered his area, he started to expand his routes to look for more outlets.

“Minsan humihina ng kaunti ang sales kasi madaming kalaban na pumupunta rin sa area ko. Ini-instruct ko na lang sa mga tao ko na bawat tindahan daanan kaya lahat ng nagbubukas dinadaanan namin,” he said.

Relatively new in the business, Coling said that he encounters many challenges when it comes to managing the store’s daily operations. But he is grateful that PCPPI guides him to learn the ins and outs of the business. His goal? To maintain this source of income so that his wife, who is still in Rome, can also come home and retire.

“Pangarap ko na mapabalik ko ang asawa sa pamamagitan ng Pepsi nang hindi na naghihirap sa ibang bansa dahil may edad na rin kami parehas,” he said.

Coling’s Diwata General Merchandise currently delivers products to more than 300 outlets. They are located in San Jose, Lipa, Ibaan, Rosario, and Taysan in Batangas.

“We are happy to report that majority of our distributors are enjoying sustained growth these days. Business performance, they say, is better versus the previous year. We remain dedicated to help them drive sustainable and profitable growth by continuously providing them with incentives and marketing support,” said PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong.

PCPPI is the exclusive manufacturer of well-known beverage brands in the Philippines including Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Gatorade, Sting, Tropicana, Lipton, Mug, Premier, Milkis, and Aquafina.