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Sari.PH is changing lives by bringing the sari-sari store online


First off, I love their logo. There’s nothing more epic than nanay doing a power uppercut with her Sari-enabled smartphone. In the digital industry, it is rare to find individuals who can look beyond merely building campaigns for brands. I’ve always championed the fact that (almost) anything you do in the digital landscape should not be campaign-focused but rather platform-focused. Analogy: Would you rather be the guy who puts money into Facebook to launch your time-bound campaign or the guy who actually runs Facebook, where all of the conversation and conversion happens?

In the Philippines, we are blessed with a very high penetration for mobile device usage mainly due to our resounding texting culture. With the influx of smartphones, the transition to using the Internet is more apparent on these small devices not only because they are cheaper than computers, but because it’s what every Filipino in every single financial bracket is used to. In fact, for most of the lower C segment, the smartphone is their introduction to the Internet.

CEO and Founder Ibba Rasul-Bernardo says that although we use our iPhones and Android device for a lot of fun things like Facebook and Instagram, in the hands of sari-sari store owners, the apps within these phones can be life changing. But why sari-sari stores?

sari app

sari screenshot

sari sari

sari screenshot app

There is no argument that a sari-sari store serves as a point of interest in every barangay. It is a meeting place, a store that sells cheap, individual sachet goods and honestly the life blood of every single Filipino. There is a sari-sari store everywhere — even within upscale subdivisions to cater to yayas, drivers and maids. The problem with sari-sari stores is that, although potentially lucrative, nanay doesn’t have the capacity for an elegant method to keep track of her sales, and ironically, just like her customers, goes about her life one day at a time.

Enter Sari.PH. Essentially, it is a capacity-building tool on your mobile phone. It empowers nanay with the financial tools used by big businesses to keep track of inventory, profit, frequent customers AND rewarding her for a job well done in the same way that Foursquare rewards us with badges for checking in to different venues. This is capacity building, gamified!

Sari.PH has the vision of putting the sari-sari store online. Imagine that during a natural calamity such as a flood, you will have the ability to donate relief goods directly to one of 800,000 sari-sari stores around the metro using the cloud-based map of sari-sari store locations. Sari-sari store = distribution center!

Sari.PH is exactly what we need — bringing technology down to the hands of the masses to give them meaningful ways to build capacity and enhance their own lives.

Want to help them? Check out:

Makati Branch:
Tao Corporate Center,
2291 Chino Roces Ave,
Makati City, Philippines.
Phone: +63 (2) 836 5888 local 7019
info (at) sari (dot) ph

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

5 replies on “Sari.PH is changing lives by bringing the sari-sari store online”


Would be great for people doing direct-selling too, I suppose.

Where’s the app?

Very interesting app but I was wondering if it is free. I can’t see the download button. I was also thinking if it is available for android platform and can this be used on food cart business too?

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