COFFEE TALK: BIG GATHERING IN DAVAO
Updated: Jan 28
During the inception of our time in the Philippines, not many people showed up for our meetings. We needed to mobilize the market. The more you mobilize, the higher the sales in that market, and it is as simple as that. The leaders in Davao pronounced to hold a meeting for around 800 people. That was a stupendous number compared to the 30-40 people we used to have in Manila.
The leaders invited me to this meeting, and I happily obliged. However, as soon as I reached Manila, I was informed that the American embassy had broadcasted a red warning to those who were traveling to Davao. There were bomb threats by terrorists that were brewing in the air. This put me in a dilemma, but Davao's leaders reassured me that they would put forth the best security and make sure that the meeting takes place smoothly. Many people had advised me not to go forward with this plan as there were bombings that had already taken place in the southern regions of the Philippines. This put me in a conundrum because if I didn’t go, I would lose out on an opportunity to meet so many people, which would hurt the market. But at the same time, I knew I would be putting my life in danger.
Eventually, I decided to go ahead with the meeting since we had promised so many of our members. I requested the leaders recruit high-level security at all entries and exits and allow only those who were deemed safe. With the ongoing situation in the Philippines, I decided to cut short my stay from five days to two days. I planned to leave as soon as I was done with the meeting. After arriving in Manila, I went to register myself at the Malaysian consulate. The lady working there was visibly surprised and anxious by my arrival. She was not pleased about the fact that I came there despite the warning and red alert. I apologized to her and said that I have come to register myself and not ask for protection. She advised me to leave the city as soon as my job there was done.
The meeting started, and there were already many pf people queueing in long lines to get inside the hall. The security guards were really occupied with checking the bags and conducting thorough body searches. The leaders had estimated a meeting for around 700-800 people, but almost 1500 showed up! The meeting was a huge success, and the members were very enthusiastic. They applauded and cheered for everything that was being said. Many people also joined as new members after looking at the strength of the present crowd. A strong bond was formed between the leaders and the members of DXN in that meeting.
A couple from an American aloe Vera company had approached me during my initial visit to Davao while promoting DXN. They expressed that they faced a lot of issues with the company regarding their maintenance. They did not want to join DXN, which did not bother me since it was interesting to compare both companies' systems. DXN standardizes and synchronizes the marketing plan worldwide. Our products are mostly day-to-day products like coffee. In DXN, you also do not need to have high maintenance.
However, after hearing how our company functions, they decided to join in as members. It was them who later planned the enormous meeting that I had mentioned earlier. In marketing, you shouldn’t take rejection negatively as there is always a reason for the customer to reject it. Since the economic situation was not great at that time in the Philippines, many companies had increased their products' market price. Having said that, we produce our own raw materials, and we are not affected by the ups and downs of the US dollar. Therefore, we only increase our prices once a year to adjust to the inflation in the market.
This gathering in Davao was instrumental in making the Philippines a major market for DXN.