By Patricia B. Mirasol, Reporter
KONSTRUK, a community-based e-hardware store, is looking to make it easier for small businesses and homeowners to get their construction and home improvement needs directly from manufacturers and suppliers.
“I have seen the pain points of the trade and how it suffered during the pandemic,” said Rommel T. Bulalacao, CEO of Konstruk Tech Corp., and also a construction industry practitioner for over three decades.
“Konstruk was a dream conceptualized during the first lockdown,” he said at the company’s launch. “There is no similar concept yet in this industry that uses e-commerce.”
The Konstruk platform includes construction material manufacturers, community hardware stores, home furniture distributors, local artists and tradesmen. Its advantage over the bigger hardware players is that their consumers have the freedom to canvass different products, Mr. Bulalacao told BusinessWorld in a Zoom call.
“We’re a community-based marketplace,” he said. “You can canvass 5-10 similar products within a city, select a price range or a particular material [you need], and then add to cart.”
As of March 14, it has already onboarded Republic Cement, Smart Options, BMG Enterprises, Arnie Furniture, and RN Wholesaler Hardware, among others. Mr. Bulalacao said merchant registration and verification in their platform takes 4 hours.
The platform can also be used by overseas Filipino workers, who can order construction materials and have them delivered to where they are building a home in the Philippines.
Local artists, on the other hand, can use Konstruk as an alternative platform to sell their artwork.
“I’ve been into the art trade for 12 years, and have good friends in the art scene,” Mr. Bulalacao said. “Before, sa gallery ka [artists sold in galleries], and the gallery prices are too high. Unlike kung sila mismo. Direct na sila sa consumer [Unlike if the artists sold their artworks directly].”
The e-hardware platform’s business model is closer to the online food delivery service Foodpanda, added Nicolas R. Yuseco, Konstruk’s business development manager.
“We are point-to-point (P2P),” he told BusinessWorld in the same Zoom call. “From the merchant, the products will be delivered straight to the client. Our [on-demand and scheduled] delivery ranges from motorcycles to 16-wheeler trucks.”
Toki-Toki, Transportify, and Lalamove are the platform’s logistics partners. Konstruk uses Metrobank for the payment gateway system.
In the post-pandemic e-commerce space, Konstruk targets to corner 5% of the home improvement and construction industry.
“We also want to help the small businesses that suffered from the lockdowns,” Mr. Bulalacao added. “We are humbled to aid them, especially the MSMEs [micro, small, and medium enterprises].”