Starting a business is not always a walk in the park, especially in the middle of a global health and economic crisis. But this is when the journey of toktok began.
Launched only in December last year, toktok is a proudly Filipino-made delivery application headed by Jonathan So and Carlito Macadangdang. Its ride from the start towards growth is fueled by the determination to meet the needs of Filipinos, particularly as the crisis pushed them to get most essentials via digital ways.
But before being a top go-to delivery app serving across the Philippines, toktok’s journey first began in-house — a lockdown response to delivery challenges faced by the Siomai King business of Mr. So and Mr. Macadangdang.
With their respective knowledge of computer application programming and computer science, plus the solutions of their software development company Cloud Panda PH, the two decided to create their own delivery app.
Starting with 100 riders, toktok initiated to run in-house, supporting its sister companies Siomai King, JC Premiere, and CopperMask in their delivery needs.
Shortly some months later, upon the realization of increasing delivery demand and lay-offs, toktok was opened to the public. It provided the means to safely deliver packages at an affordable rate for customers as well as opportunities to earn extra income for a rider, franchisee, or operator.
The progress of toktok is swift since then — jumping from 100 to over 20,000 riders, having one million downloads in the Play Store and App Store, and reaching several places nationwide. But toktok’s growth also went beyond numbers.
Aside from package delivery, toktok constantly added more to its services.
Just less than half a year in the market, toktok has already expanded its capacity by offering ‘Pabili Service’ that lets users request riders to buy essentials like foods and medicines. Currently, toktok is in partnership with SM Malls and Robinsons Malls for this service.
toktok further grew by the end of May through the establishment of its online mall. A digital space for merchants, the ‘toktok mall’ is a gateway for consumers to access most of their needs, including apparel, electronics, appliances, and grocery items.
Two months later, toktok also began to deliver in four wheels ranging from sedans, vans, and trucks to cater to the heavier parcels needed by customers.
Soon, ‘toktok food’ will roll out to further satisfy a craved delivery service of Filipinos.
“These expansions of toktok is to provide more options to the customers and more bookings for the riders,” Mr. So said.
“The result in those eight months is two or three times of the expectations that we planned to have,” Mr. Macadangdang added. “We have a very good team in software development and marketing.”
Local and foreign personalities and companies also start looking to invest and join toktok in its growth journey. Some banks also push the business to go public.
Currently, toktok has yet decided on how to leverage these opportunities. Nonetheless, Mr. So shared, they are grateful for the recognition that toktok received.
“We are still studying how investors can enter. If we allow them to, we want them to be happy and at the same time be helpful for the customers, riders, and operators,” Mr. So explained. “In case it will happen, we can definitely push our ideas and development faster.”
“Whether IPO or other means, our major goal is to scale up the app in terms of development, presence, and talents,” Mr. Macadangdang added. “Having an investor or going public is an opportunity not only for the company but for all parties involved.”
While toktok has already made several improvements for its growth, its creators continue developing the platform to encompass a whole ecosystem — from online shopping and payment to delivery. The toktok executives consider that constant development, along with aggressive marketing, can support toktok in staying as a top player in the game.
toktok also continues striving for its vision to become the locally patronized app made by Filipinos for their fellow countrymen.
“Our partnership with the customers is what we continue to improve,” Mr. So said. “Since toktok is Filipino-owned, everything we do should be custom-fit for Filipinos.”
“Rest assured that all the development and features to be added on toktok, we want them to be part of Filipinos’ everyday life,” Mr. Macadangdang continued.
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