I met Secretary Ramon Lopez sometime in the late 2000’s when he was still the Executive Director of Go Negosyo. I checked Facebook entries and was reminded that my daughter Tricia Gosingtian was part of the Most Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs of 2010. Secretary Ramon Lopez was the nominator. Later, Tricia and husband RG Gabunada would tap him as one of their wedding godparents.
I interviewed Ramon Lopez twice for my blog and Inquirer – – Once as Go Negosyo Executive Director when we had a Q&A on how to get things done and another as DTI Secretary when he shared his 12 priorities, they were both cross-posted in Inquirer Business.
During his early days as DTI secretary, I recall his request for me to brief one of his incoming undersecretaries on how to readily spot pyramiding. Perhaps, he may have remembered we spoke together in an event where I shared the 8-point test I authored to determine a legitimate network marketing company now adopted by the Direct Selling Association of the Philippines (DSAP), and as one of his promises, there is now the DTI Administrative Order 21-09 of 2021 requiring all network marketing and direct selling companies to apply for a DTI Seal of Legitimacy to ensure consumer protection as pyramiding companies often proliferated for many years.
Ramon Lopez has always been amiable, approachable, attentive, accommodating, actionable and more importantly, a good human being. You never hear him get angry, raise his voice, or talk ill of others. He is always asking how he can assist. It was never about him, it has always been about uplifting others. Whether it be to appear in his past radio show, do videos for Go Negosyo, help produce free marketing videos with Markprof (arranged during RG Gabunada’s time), to create educational marketing videos for MSMEs for DTI, give talks in GMA or in the provinces, or mentor MSMEs, he was so easy to give support to. Always thinking of win-win, always secure and welcoming new concepts with an open mind, looking at the good side of what is being shared. I am happy for any little achievements I shared with him as a Filipino author and entrepreneur.
He also launched the Go Lokal Official Concept Store in 2018 – a platform for micro, small and medium (MSMEs) to launch, test and grow their products. To do this, he personally presented to key private enterprises that are now their partners. Because of his efforts, there are almost 400 MSMEs that have been launched and grown by the platform. Initially starting as a government initiative, GoLokal and its carefully curated brand offerings are now able to stand on their own, generating enough revenues through their business model.
He was extremely supportive when Chiqui and I launched our own Entrepreneurship book using the 4 Gates of Prosperity model and cited over 500 Philippine examples. This became a National Book Store bestseller, as well as a widely prescribed book in many schools, which enabled Chiqui and I to help, among others the cleft lip operation of some 80 children, as well as donate 32 homes for the homeless, together with proceeds from our other books.
(Entrepreneurship by Josiah Go and Chiqui Escareal-Go is officially endorsed by both DTI and Go Negosyo)
He was proud and supportive when we also launched our 55-video Business Model Course in 4K quality during the pandemic, now hosted in Continuum Academy, a first in the Philippines and in Asia, using our own 11 building blocks (to include value chain and innovation as standard in business conversation,) instead of the 9 building block popularized from the West. To these, he readily gave his blessing for DTI’s official endorsements. I was more than happy to share the frameworks to businesses (organized by DTI) and patent holders (organized by DTI’s IPO office) in various talks.
He also realizes the need to supplement the training of DTI own 1,300 Negosyo center counsellors nationwide, so my consulting firm, Mansmith and Fielders Inc is inspired to have donated last June 1, 2022 an unprecedented P5.59 million worth of free training and mentoring services to DTI mentors focusing on their understanding business as an activity system with 11 interconnected building blocks, the Mansmith Business Model Map, with sub sections on learning about the offering model, the operating model, as well as business model innovation. Within three years, it is estimated some 1 million MSMEs willbenefit from this training and mentoring combination through the help of the DTI Negosyo center counsellors who will view a business from a building block perspective, with guided starting and ending points.
(From Left to Right: Mansmith Program Manager Kat Moreno, Mansmith Chairman and Chief Innovation Strategist Josiah Go, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, and DTI Negosyo Center’s Lyka Lim)
We thank DTI outgoing secretary Ramon Lopez for his service to the nation and congratulate him for a job well done. May God bless Sec Ramon on his continuing journey of blessing others.