With a new distributor and double digit growth in eCommerce in 2021, we talk with our General Manager for the Philippines Mary Chris (Mac) Dang about the business opportunities ahead.
As General Manager, you have led our sales team for the past two years in the Philippines. What achievements are you most proud of?
Growing during the pandemic is an achievement in itself!
The first few months with lockdowns were tough as Filipino retailers believe in selling in ‘brick and mortar’ stores rather than online. Very few dealers had online platforms or, even if they had a website, they didn’t have payment or delivery functions. We were the first brand which encouraged retailers to go online. We ran inspiring online promotions – like a Black Friday Sale, PayDay Holideals, and a 3-Day Weekend Sale –helping the retailers to grow in eCommerce.
What are the main challenges for Electrolux in the Philippines and how are you overcoming them?
In this country, we have a geographical challenge. The Philippines is made up of 7,600 islands – 2,000 of which are inhabited. This means that we have a huge territory to cover which is not easy for a sales team of 16 people.
To expand our presence, we had to re-evaluate our distribution channels as online is not an option for remote areas with poor connectivity. In July we signed an agreement with Iontech – a large IT and mobile distributor – which now sells our Electrolux and White Westinghouse products where we do not have a sales presence. They also manage our inventory, invoicing and after-sales services so we can leverage on their experience and network. This really strengthens our operations in the Philippines.
How well known are the Electrolux Group brands in the Philippines?
Our White Westinghouse brand is very popular. This goes back to 2013 when we launched our freestanding cookers which the Filipinos loved due to their design and the fact that it is a foreign brand at a good price. We’ve leveraged on this in other product categories.
The Electrolux brand is somewhat less known but we are working to educate consumers that Electrolux and Westinghouse are two brands under the same company.
How will we continue to grow in the Philippines?
It’s about proving that we are a serious brand to reckon with, especially in eCommerce. The fact that online sales close to doubled in 2021 is a great step in the right direction.
There are also plenty of opportunities for the Electrolux brand in the residential property market which is booming across the Philippines although many projects were put on hold during the pandemic.
Despite the lockdowns and restrictions over the past year, we are seeing a double digit growth in sales in 2021 with the highest volume of sales coming from kitchen appliances. There’s plenty of room for growth especially for the Electrolux frontload washers and dryers, multi-door fridges, Electrolux freestanding cookers and stick vacuum cleaners.
We’ll also focus on Ownership Solutions services like extended warranties, preventive maintenance and an exclusive Electrolux service center to give us a competitive advantage in the market.
I want my team to continue to be proud to work for Electrolux. I always tell them ‘Whenever you see an Electrolux social media post, please spread the word. You are all brand ambassadors for our company – let’s be proud of what we do and where we work!’
How is it to be a female leader in the Philippines?
To be chosen to lead our business is really something and it speaks a lot about how Electrolux is promoting equality, inclusion and diversity. There is no gender bias here when it comes to leadership – everyone is given equal opportunities.
What would you like to tell us about the Philippines?
The Philippines has always been known for its beautiful beaches but now it is also nicknamed the “text capital of the world” (due to the high volume of text messaging traffic in the country).
But more than the epic scenery, the great thing about the Philippines is the amazing happy people who welcome you and make you feel like part of a family.
About Mary Chris Dang (Mac)
Based: Cavite City, two hours from the capital Manila
Background: 12 years in the telecom industry and 4 years in brand management.
Hobbies: “Pre-pandemic, I would do yoga before or after work and spend my weekend with my son eating out, watching a movie or visiting his favorite bookstore. I love doing grocery shopping as I find it relaxing.”
What drives me: “I am driven by visible results. Whether it’s completing a project, meeting deadlines, achieving a set target, or solving a problem, it gives me a sense of achievement knowing that I have completed something.”
Electrolux in the Philippines
Number of employees: 102
Head office: Taguig City