Q&A with CoreProc President Jojo Liao on Choosing Your Beach Head Market 

CoreProc, an IT company, created the brand drybrush, an e-commerce website for artists to sell their paintings, sculptures, and artwork at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This not only helped artists, but also gave CoreProc substantial revenue growth, without the continuous customization burden of their old IT business model. In this interview, CoreProc President Jojo Liao shares about their digital transformation and why they have chosen to use an e-commerce platform to cater to artists. 

Mr Liao will be speaking at the 2nd Business Model Forum, organized as a public service by Mansmith and Fielders Inc., scheduled on February 8-11, 2022. 

Q1: As an IT company, you helped many clients with digital transformation. What were the insights behind your own digital transformation through drybrush?

A1: Digital transformation requires to go beyond IT.  It must provide significant benefits to customers, stakeholders, and operations – powered by a strong IT infrastructure. Customers today expect only superlatives – best customer experience, hassle free transactions, fast delivery, and responsive-solution driven customer service at all times. drybrush Gallery’s business and operating units together with Coreproc’s IT development teams have constantly and continuously focused on these customer wants – non-stop.  

Q2: E-commerce for artists is not as big as for other categories, such as groceries. Why choose artists as your target market? Is this your first stop?

A2: The brunt of the pandemic is on our economy – it has put businesses on an indefinite hold and artists selling their works were not spared.  We personally know an artist who sold his artworks in exchange for a kilo of rice. For us, the artist’s efforts put into one piece of work is not given due credit, also it is not a sustainable way to earn a living. 

It reminded me of what I’ve learned through my Jesuit professors – “Work provides dignity”. Being an IT company that develops websites and apps for MNCs, large companies, and startups, we thought why not create a website selling artworks of these artists to provide assistance and wider reach for them to continue earning a living. Thus, we created drybrush Gallery as a lifeline to artists for them to continue their passion during this difficult period.

drybrush Gallery was created out of passion to help artists and we pour our professional knowledge in providing world class customer experience to the local market. Through its initial success, we are on the lookout for other underserved markets.

Q3: There are other e-commerce sites promoting works of artists? How is drybrush differentiated?

A3: Through Coreproc’s expertise in IT, drybrush Gallery is one of the fastest websites in the market.  By browsing drybrush.com, you can conveniently access, view, and purchase from an extensive selection of over 900 well curated artworks of more than 170 local artists. This, fused with competency, passion, advocacy and fair trade, is the quality of service that drybrush provides.

We operated drybrush Gallery on the cornerstone of providing the best service. We focused on what is beneficial for our local artists and our customers.  Allow us to share what our customers have said:

“I received the painting with proper protective wrapping and in good condition! Thanks so much drybrush Gallery team! One happy customer here.”; 

“Great flawless transaction with your gallery. Thank you.”; 

“Hello drybrush Gallery! I just received the painting I ordered online from your website.  Thanks to your gallery, I got my first artwork!  It looks better in person plus the frame is also nice.”; 

“I have always been intimidated by art galleries so I never thought of buying. There are pieces pala that I can afford. Having the prices there and information about the artist really helped plus very convenient.”

“I hope your Christmas was great. I purchased a painting from drybrush Gallery by Rolando Zaballero. Saw the post about him needing help. Hope our small contribution can help in a way.”

Our goal is to continuously wow our customers and providing the best customer experience, while our duty to our local artists is to represent them with the utmost professionalism and care of their works.

Q4: Why do you consider the revenue model of drybrush better than CoreProc?

A4: As a software development firm, CoreProc’s business model relies on providing world class IT development and software maintenance support service to clients for their custom applications and digital transformation. On the other hand, drybrush Gallery’s business model is retail – to showcase and sell well-curated art works made by local artists on a strong e-commerce platform powered by CoreProc.

drybrush Gallery is a product having its own website, created by CoreProc. Going retail enables us to serve more customers, not just B2B but also B2C. Through drybrush Gallery, we found out that we are more than capable of creating world class products to underserved markets. With its backbone built on Coreproc’s IT expertise and experience, drybrush Gallery is able to focus more on having strong business operations, such as marketing and sales, inventory handling, artwork curation, and order processing. It’s the synergy between drybrush Gallery’s operating units and Coreproc’s IT expertise that made drybrush Gallery perform better.

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the market accepts the gallery’s offerings with open arms. Because of our passion to help Filipino artists, we run the gallery like a social enterprise.  The artist-first approach gave us the opportunity to expand faster, offering more artworks and adding more artists in the gallery.  

Q5: What will be the new role of CoreProc in drybrush-type businesses? 

A5: CoreProc’s resources are centered on our expertise in IT and software development. New technologies come out at an increasingly fast rate and our organization has a strong ability to adapt to the changes and gain new knowledge on software development, deployment strategies and use of automation tools. The pandemic forced us to rethink our strategy and see beyond known and available opportunities. With the success of drybrush Gallery, we have proven that CoreProc can successfully create its own products, thereby creating new avenues for growth while continuing to provide outsourced software development to its clients. With existing IT software development teams, CoreProc can now focus on learning and operating the other aspects of drybrush Gallery’s business and other products what we may develop in the future.

Q6: Your IT core competency is a big resource to expand from your core to your adjacencies, what do you see in the latter for the future of CoreProc – drybrush?

A6: drybrush Gallery is positioned for further growth and expansion. Every week, new artworks are added, new artists onboarded, and new website features are launched to enrich customer experience and further extend our brand of service. We are also opening our physical gallery at SM MOA by Q2 2022 as an added channel to showcase our artists works and allowing them to hold art exhibits both physical and online stores concurrently. 

***

Josiah Go is Chairman and Chief Innovation Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. The full transcript of this interview is available at www.josiahgo.com 

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