Rosales envisions his local product to compete worldwide
Mae Escartin

OLONGAPO CITY, ZAMBALES—It was an itch he wanted to scratch; finding the most suitable bag for his travel accessories. For Gian Carlo Rosales, having to find the right bag for his numerous devices and travel equipment was a serious problem. Tired of searching, he instead put up his own, a company he called CarrierPro.

A natural adventurer, Rosales always wanted to carry a bag that is hassle-free but he could bring his essentials particularly his cameras and his favorite GoPro cameras. These tough, water-proof devices are popular among sports enthusiasts and spelunkers. Rosales was going to great lengths to secure his “toys.”

He searched every GoPro stores to no avail. He even went online for that one bag he needed, again to no avail. Tired of searching, he instead decided he’ll just build one for his needs. His first one was called ZIG.

After almost eight prototypes, he finally developed a suitable organizer bag for GoPros. He then showed his designs to bag makers of Mariveles, Bataan, which are known for producing top quality bags and luggage for most of the local and international bag companies. By going to these bag makers, he is also helping out small-time bag makers of Mariveles.

Rosales developed a 8.5 X 4.5 inches bag with all of these features: a camera pouch (a detachable pouch that fits up to two GoPros), mount organizer (houses most of what you need to set up your GoPro anywhere), accessory pouch (for bulky mounts and other accessories), mesh pockets (for memory cards, cables, and other electronics), pole mounts (allows you to attach up to two GoPro poles), mounting slots (enables the bag to be mounted to backpacks, bicycles, motorcycles, etc.), and an earphone slot .

But finding money to fund his project wasn’t easy. Still, he took to the Internet and submitted his design sometime early this year to The Spark Project, a local crowdfunding website that uses the power of social media to encourage backers to invest in a project with a promised reward. Rosales marketed his product and in 31 days, was able to raise an initial Php 80, 000.

“Early this year I messaged Patch Dulay of The Spark Project to ask if I could avail of their service because I have a new and local product and I need funding. Fortunately, he accepted my product and helped me out so I could launch it. I didn’t have much expectations when I joined the project except that hopefully people would also like my product as much as I like it,” Rosales said.

Joining The Spark Project fuelled him to continue the innovation of his product. He also admitted that he was really challenged in terms of marketing his product. He often encountered difficulty in explaining the product even to his family. According to him he would take an entire day campaigning. Sometimes backers would contact him in the night time.

Rosales also shared that joining The Spark Project gave him an affirmation that people do like his products. Sometimes he receives messages from his backers extending their appreciation and support for developing his products. Also he was surprised that most of his backers were abroad, proving that Filipino-made products can compete side by side with internationally-made products.

According to him, after found out that an international bag brand was actually made in the Philippines, he asked himself why these companies would choose the country. He hopes to change the perception that the Philippines is only offering cheap manufacturing labor and that Filipinos can also design bags that at par with other international brands.

“You would know somehow if you’re really called to do something like this or to be involved in entrepreneurship. It gives you the excitement to create something new and innovative. Just follow that itch of entrepreneurship,” Rosales said.

After the campaign, which ends October 31, Rosales hopes to launch his products via an online store and other consignment.

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