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Startups are challenged to think beyond profits and make a positive social impact

LAGUNA – Former Grab Philippines country manager and co-founder of Zalora Brian Cu has pushed companies to look beyond value and profit and consider how their businesses may improve society.

Creating a firm solely to rank among the billion-dollar earners, according to Cu, is a “false purpose.”

“I never started a business with the intention of creating a unicorn. At the official launching of Supah, a business branch of Cu’s most recent venture SariSuki, he declared, “I think those are the wrong motivation(s) for an entrepreneur.

Startup businesses known as unicorns have a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Cu launched Supah in March of last year after starting his e-commerce business SariSuki in May of 2021.

While Supah provides rapid commerce by delivering groceries in 15 minutes, SariSuki uses a communal group buys the concept.

Through the Supah smartphone app, customers may order groceries. These products come from “dark markets” that are only accessible to Supah riders, where consumers can select goods for their grocery orders.

More than half of the goods at the dark stores are acquired locally, particularly veggies from nearby farmers, according to SariSuki Chief Commercial Officer Bam Mejia, who spoke to the Philippine News Agency.

Mejia stated that the business is partnering with local farmers so they may offer agriculture items to both SariSuki and Supah due to farmers throwing their harvests away due to excess and “extremely inexpensive” farmgate prices.

Eight dark stores in Metro Manila are serviced by Supah’s central “dark warehouse” in Muntinlupa.

It intends to gradually spread outside of the National Capital Region in places like Cavite and Bulacan.

new objective

Cu said his current priorities include assisting local farmers and individuals who have lost their jobs in the last two years after leaving the transportation and fashion retail industries.

He stated, “Now I want to do it in agriculture, in supporting some sectors, of people who just so happened to be unemployed or underemployed during the pandemic.

A total of USD 11 million has been raised for this purpose from both domestic and international sources, including businessman Lance Gokongwei, president and chief executive officer of JG Summit and member of the board of directors at SariSuki.

“Supah has a lot of potentials as it aims to meet consumers’ changing grocery shopping needs by striking the right balance between a number of important variables, including speed, assortment, pricing, and convenience. According to Gokongwei, this ground-breaking technology will influence how the nation shops for groceries in the future.

According to Cu, a business is successful if it has a significant positive social impact and provides investors with a good return on their investment.

“I think you might realize your unicorn dream if we accomplish these things correctly and you remain focused on the objective. If you don’t, you can rest easy knowing that you gave your early adopters and investing partners a good return and made them happy.

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