COMMUNITY | MVP Bossing Bobby Claudio shares journey of Toby’s Sports amid pandemic
MVP Bossing now takes form as a digital campaign which intends to inspire businesses to bring fresh ideas to the table and impart the idea that the pandemic offers meaningful opportunities for change and innovation.
PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the country’s largest integrated telecommunications company PLDT, recently launched the MVP Bossing 2020 campaign with the theme “Rediscovery. Reinvention” to give recognition to and show appreciation for local business owners who are overcoming the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, instead of the usual awards night gathering, MVP Bossing now takes form as a digital campaign which intends to inspire businesses to bring fresh ideas to the table and impart the idea that the pandemic offers meaningful opportunities for change and innovation. One of these inspiring stories is that of Toby’s Sports, the Philippines’ largest store for sports and fitness, which managed to pull through by adapting and changing to the new normal.
“I guess when we say new normal, there is nothing really normal with what we went through,” said Roberto Claudio Sr., chairman of Quorum Holdings Corporation.
The start of the lockdown in the country proved challenging for Toby’s Sports. What they initially thought was a 30-day lockdown became three months of uncertainty. Yet the company understood its role in helping the people deal with the pandemic.
“Fitness and health are very important,” said Claudio. “We felt that this was not being projected much. People were getting lonely, people were getting anxious. They couldn’t get out. They couldn’t trust the person beside them. They couldn’t go out running or jogging. We need to address the needs for people to remain fit and healthy. Our argument then was if people were fit and healthy, they would be less prone to infection.
“We saw this realization of what was changing so we could come up with how we could reconfigure or reinvent our operations,” said Claudio, sharing that the pandemic has changed the way we live, specifically how Filipinos manage their health during these times.
Toby’s Sports then sought to recalibrate their methods of serving their customers, while ensuring the safety and security of everyone. They began offering curbside pick-ups of orders in selected store locations, opening virtual stores in Lazada and Shopee, then coming up with online live stream sales on certain Saturdays of the month.
“If the customers could not come to Toby’s Sports, then we should be the one to bring these products to the people. We gave the option to the customers. In these times of pandemic and where retailing is not all about in-store but it is about how you can serve the customer,” Claudio said.
With Toby’s Sports having successfully reinvented its operations, Claudio shared that business owners must continue to be fearless and constantly anticipate the challenges in the business landscape in order to thrive in the future.
“Fearlessness is necessary today,” said Claudio. “It’s not about recklessness or being too aggressive. It’s about being an optimist. Leaders, especially our bossings, have exercised this optimism in being able to pursue this business. We need to expect that these changes will be the new normal and these changes will be the future. It is imperative that the leaders of any business remain optimists, and plot the course where the company wants to go.”
In the middle of all the anxiety brought on by COVID-19, Toby’s Sports continues to focus on its goal. “We firmly believe that Toby’s Sports is not just selling sporting goods. We are selling a healthy lifestyle. We need to keep the people fit. If the customers could not come to Toby’s Sports, then we should be the one to bring these products to the people. By working to keep people healthy and fit will help the government manage better the pandemic medical issues.”
“We highly commend Mr. Bobby Claudio and the rest of Toby’s Sports team for showing agility to reinvent their ways of working during the height of the pandemic,” said Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT president & chief executive and senior vice president & head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups, expressing his admiration for Toby’s Sports in handling the pandemic’s challenges. “Their flexibility enabled them to deliver their products amid the challenges they faced, which highly contributed to ensuring the healthy lifestyle of Filipinos today. And we at PLDT Enterprise are committed to assist them in sustaining their growth with our technology solutions.”
For more information on PLDT’s MVP Bossing Awards, visit pldtenterprise.com.