Do you employ leverage?
Oh, it’s a finance question. When you’re asking about leverage, there’s a lot of ways to look at it. There’s the negotiation method. So do I use leverage when I negotiate in business? Or you can look at it from a finance standpoint, which is, do I use that or options or futures, or do I have any leverage from the brokerage platform that I’m using, meaning, I kind of borrow from them and then I pay double afterwards? So double the win, but also double the loss.
In terms of finance, I don’t employ leverage because I’m not really that amazing as a trader. I think I suck as a trader to be honest, and I’m not that good as an investor. Marvin Germo is a brilliant trader and investor, and I learned a lot from him. But in terms of practice, you need to practice. If you don’t practice anything that even a master could teach you, you’re not going to really learn it, you’re not going to experience it and it’s not going to stick. So I guess in my case, I haven’t practiced that well. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to use everything that I’ve learned from Marvin. So I don’t employ leverage because it’s too risky for me. I think I’m just going to lose money.
In terms of negotiation, do I employ leverage? Yes, definitely. We have negotiation points and we have leverage points that we always use. I always say, during negotiation, you have to gather data about your negotiation partner. Take note. I say, negotiation partner, not your opponent, or you’re not trying to fight it out or slug it out. When you’re at the negotiating table, you’re a businessman. That’s why you are literally called “negosyante” in Filipino by business people.
When you negotiate, you are trying to get to a win-win solution. If it’s going to be a win-lose, I say better, no deal. Let’s just not make the deal if it will be a win-lose one. So it has to be a win-win situation. And I do employ leverage that way, either relationship leverage. I have done something for this person before, or I know the owner, that’s a big deal. Especially here in the Philippines where network is critical. Referrals, it’s very, very important.
What is the next big thing for e-commerce? Do you think after the pandemic, people will return to malls or e-commerce will change this behavior of Filipinos?
I think e-commerce is getting bigger and bigger. That’s what I think. I don’t think it’s going to stop, even if we’re back to normal, after the pandemic blows over. I think that we have already gotten into that lifestyle. It’s no longer a habit. A habit forms in 31 days. So it’s already a lifestyle because it’s already 10 months. That’s a lot more than 31 days that we’ve been buying e-commerce. That we’ve been having groceries delivered to our door steps. That we’ve been paying via bank transfer, Gcash, GrabPay, or credit card. So I think people are used to buying online.
If we’re going to the mall, I don’t think that we’re going to buy a lot there anymore. That’s what I think. I think malls have to be a lot more competitive in terms of their price point versus e-commerce because a lot of choices are available now in the e-commerce platforms. And a lot of people are also getting more stuff here from China, which improves selection and price.
So if ever that people are going to buy stuff from the mall, it should be something that is really not in the e-commerce platforms or it shouldn’t be something that’s super expensive in the e-commerce platforms. That’s what I think. But in terms of, are people still going to be buying through e-commerce platforms? Definitely. I don’t think it’s going to slow down. I think it’s going to be maintained or it’s going to curve up. That’s my opinion.