GIGA Natural Products Specialist Corporation
GIGA NATURAL PRODUCTS SPECIALIST CORPORATION
The idea of going into the natural personal care business first came to mind when Peping and Joy de Villa visited an international exhibit in 1999 where they met an exporter of natural soaps. Initially, they bought the soaps from this exporter to test the market. With the help of the Design Center of the Philippines, they packaged the soaps as a gift items. This gave birth to their first product which was a line of aromatherapy soap bars in 7 variants.
They first sold the soaps to their friends and relatives who gave them away as gifts during the holiday season. They were pleasantly surprised when their friends started ordering soaps for their own use even after the Christmas season.
The very encouraging results paved the entry into the manufacture of these soaps the following year. After spending months on product research and development i.e., enrolling at the Technology Resource Center, researching through the internet, consulting suppliers and numerous hours of trial and error, GIGA was able to produce its own soap made with natural plant based ingredients. Their first factory was their garage and in order to maximize their financial resources, they registered their start up business as a Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE). GIGA also participated in the program sponsored by the Philippine Central Bank in cooperation with the Philippine Trade Training Center to create its own running website. This boosted GIGA's brand awareness and consequently its marketing efforts.
In the beginning, GIGA encountered difficulty in introducing their soaps through regular market channels (supermarket and groceries) due to lack of track record on their part and the abundance of similar products from multinational companies on their shelves. After much persistence and prayer, Landmark finally accepted their product on trial basis. Thus began GIGA‘s foray into the retailing business.
Soon after their soaps found its way in HBC stores, SM Health and Beauty, Watson’s, Shopwise, Cost U Less, Santa Lucia Dept Store, Ever Gotesco, weekend bazaars, specialty stores, pharmacies and a few lifestyle stores.
In 2003 GIGA started joining DTI organized trade fairs. They first exhibited their soaps at the MEGMA Trade Fair. It was during their attendance as an exhibitor to these trade fairs when they realized that they needed to add more offerings to their line of natural products. They later increased their natural product line offerings to include aromatherapy products, natural remedies, spa products, pet care products baby care products and home care products.
Eventually, GIGA qualified to join the National Trade Fair, then the Manila FAME and eventually was sent to Japan to join the ASEAN Japan Trade fair in Tokyo. GIGA has been a consistent exhibitor in the said trade fairs of DTI.
In 2005, GIGA opened its first brick and mortar store in Tiendesitas, Pasig. Soon after, GIGA opened their second and third outlets in Shoppesville and VMall respectively. The very positive results of these outlets encouraged the company to open more branches. To date, GIGA has 17 retail outlets. Thirteen of these are company owned, two on franchise agreements and two on direct purchase agreements. GIGA’s nationwide presence is boosted by its numerous resellers in the different provinces in the Philippines. GIGA's products are also offered by online resellers e.g., Lazada, Zalora, Shopee, Iprice, etc.
Some of GIGA’s products have been made available in several hotels, resorts and spas. Among them are Sitio Remedios (Ilocos), Club Spa (Pampanga), Anvaya Cove Resort (Bataan), Milflores de Boracay (Boracay), Nami (Boracay), Traviesa Hotel (Cavite), Thunderbird Resort (San Mateo), Gota Village (Camsur) Amanpulo (Palawan), Dedon (Siargao) and Pulchra (Cebu).
Internationally, GIGA’s products also found their way to be available in Singapore through a local retailer operating 4 high end retail shops in the territory under a private label arrangement. GIGA also ships its products regularly to distribution companies in Cambodia and Kuwait a retailer in Hongkong and a direct selling company in China. GIGA continues to pursue the export front by joining DTI sponsored Outbound Business Missions and International Trade Fairs, specifically in Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia, Dubai and the UK.
In 2009 GIGA was awarded the Ginintuang Yaman (Matagumpay Award) for Organic and Natural Products at the National Trade Fair. This award gives recognition to exceptional entrepreneurial performance that led to outstanding business success, contributing to the country's economic growth while inspiring similar enterprises to persevere and pursue excellence.
It also bagged the prestigious SME Star Elite Award by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2011 for the National Capital Region in the Small Enterprise Category. This award recognizes the company as an enterprise that have attained substantial domestic market penetration and have achieved export awareness.
GIGA was a finalist in the first ASEAN Business Awards Philippines in 2014 by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. On the same year, GIGA was recognized by the Philippine Marketing Association by awarding it the prestigious AGORA Award for Entrepreneurship (Small Scale). This award recognizes the company for showing exemplary growth and performance in sales, market share and profitability.
While GIGA has now grown from its humble beginnings as a micro enterprise to a medium enterprise, it continues to live up to its original philosophy, that is to embody ethical business practices and to act with integrity in all its endeavors thus giving glory to God.
GIGA is an acronym for GOD IS GOOD! ALWAYS!