Giga Natural Products Specialist Corporation (GIGA) started as a garage business established in 1999 by husband-and-wife tandem Marcos Jose “Peping” and Rowena Joyce “Joy” de Villa. With an initial capital of Php30,000, the pair developed a variety of products which soon became a hit to consumers from here and abroad.
Before GIGA, the couple was into selling ladies’ ready-to-wear clothing and accessories from 1986 to 1999. This grew to be a lucrative effort for some time until they decided to close the business and embark on a new industry line. Thus, the establishment of GIGA (which stands for “God is good always”): an enterprise that manufactures natural personal care products made from plant-based and locally sourced ingredients.
Since its inception, GIGA has developed a variety of natural products such as soaps, scalp conditioners, massage oils and rub cream, baby soaps, body sprays, and dog shampoo bars which generated a generous amount of revenue at the company’s participation in the recently concluded 63rd Manila FAME at the World Trade Center last April.
The company’s best-selling product, the Massage Rub Cream, was a hit among local and foreign trade buyers visiting the company booths at the Department of Agriculture (DA) Pavilion, which was supported by the DA-Agribusiness Marketing Service (AMAS).
Using virgin coconut oil as base, the company boasts of a wide array of plant-based natural ingredients used in its products such as peppermint, tea tree, lemongrass, ginger oil, virgin coconut oil, beeswax, and seaweed.
“Our products are composed of 99.5 percent natural ingredients which make them really effective. We do not advertise in TVs or in magazines. The effectivity of our products speaks for themselves,” said Jocelyn Bacay, sales coordinator of GIGA.
The company’s partnership with DA and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) gave GIGA an opportunity to touch base with its regular local and foreign clients as well as introduce its new products at Manila FAME.
“I am amazed by the comments made by our regular buyers; those who already used our products. I am also overjoyed to introduce them to the first-timers. As a sales staffer in GIGA, meeting these people makes me so proud!” exclaimed Bacay.
From being a single proprietorship company, GIGA has already expanded and built its presence in the local and international market. The company has established several retail outlets in select supermarkets and contracted a number of resellers nationwide, including the locally based online shops Lazada and Cudsly.
GIGA also has arrangements with foreign distributors in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia and is seeking distribution to countries particularly in the Middle East.
“The company stood strong not just because of its products. It’s also about the people behind GIGA, who are Bible-believing Christians who have a heart in managing their staff,” added Bacay.
Bacay shared that she is a survivor of the super typhoon Yolanda that hit the country back in 2013. A month after the disaster, she moved to Manila and found refuge at GIGA, where her career as a sales coordinator blossomed.
“I started at a low salary. But after three months, my superiors noticed my performance. They let me visit the different branches of the company and appointed me as an assistant in their office. Now, I am here and I am thankful that they are giving me their full trust. I am truly blessed to be part of GIGA!” said Bacay, who solely manned GIGA’s booth at the DA Pavilion in Manila FAME.
GIGA won an auspicious award at the 35th Agora Awards for the Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship in the small-scale business category held at Manila in 2014.
Chilean designer Nelson Sepulveda takes part in DCP workshop at Manila FAME
Renowned Chilean designer and stylist Nelson Sepulveda (left) actively participates in a design workshop on palm frond weaving held recently at the lobby of the World Trade Center during the 63rd Manila FAME. Organized by the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), the workshop was led by young industrial designers on materials, who also organized workshops on handmade paper filigree making, paper lamp making, and lamination of raw materials. DCP also presented pop-up settings on paper lamps, architectural baskets, and the Philippine bamboo as well as a raw materials gallery featuring bamboo and coco coir. Sepulveda is currently in the country to develop product designs for Philippine handicrafts, as part of his commitment to stage a special setting in the forthcoming Manila FAME October 2016 show edition, in close coordination with international trend consulting company Edelkoort Etc.
The DA Pavilion at Manila FAME showcases gourmet gifts and health & wellness items
The Department of Agriculture – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) partnered with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in setting up the DA Pavilion in the 63rd edition of Manila FAME at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. DA-AMAS and CITEM organized the participation of the food as gifts as well as the body and wellness sectors in the trade show through a well-coordinated presentation of Gourmet Gifts and Health & Wellness items. The products featured in the pavilion were manufactured by select grassroot communities supported by DA-AMAS.
GIGA’s natural products featured at the DA Pavilion
GIGA Natural Products Specialist Corporation, a manufacturer and retailer of natural products, recently participated in the 63rd Manila FAME as one of the select MSMEs in the DA Pavilion. Manila FAME visitors raved about the company’s all-natural set of personal care products such as tea tree oil soaps, shampoo bars, virgin coconut oil soaps, body sprays, scalp conditioners, massage oils, baby soaps, and dog shampoo bars. GIGA seeks to expand its client base through active participation in both local and international trade shows. In photo: GIGA Sales Coordinator Jocelyn Bacay holding a sample of a tea tree oil soap, one of the company’s best-selling products in Manila FAME.
Yakan weaving products a hit at Manila FAME
Visitors to the 63rd Manila FAME flock to the booth of the Yakan Weavers Albarakkattu Multi-Purpose Cooperative, represented by member Angie Ilul (third from left). Featured in this One Town, One Product (OTOP) booth were a variety of Yakan products such as intricately woven table runners, place mats, shawls, slippers, espadrilles, purses, and travel kits. Ilul, a weaver-turned-entrepreneur, said that the cooperative’s participation in the Manila FAME April 2016 edition helped promote Yakan products in both the local and international markets, which would greatly benefit the Yakan weavers in Basilan. The Yakans are exquisitely known for the vibrancy of color in their cloth and their exceptional weaving techniques. The OTOP program of the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is a priority program of the government that aims to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in the country’s various regions.
Silya, Elektrika atbp. promotes sustainable design
A family-run business based in Nueva Vizcaya, Silya, Elektrika atbp. designs and handcrafts products made from reclaimed wood and other materials and turns them into one-of-a-kind conversational pieces. In the 63rd edition of Manila FAME, the company’s well-designed and unique creations – from stools and benches to torch lights and wall arts — were a sure hit among OTOP visitors. Silya, Elektrika atbp. provides a distinct form in each product design, plans to open a shop in Manila soon for environment-conscious shoppers who are into sustainable design. In photo: Silya, Elektrika atbp. Manager Gariel Peros and Industrial Designer Manolet Africa showcasing their products at their OTOP booth.