PH GDH industry Mai
In photo: Dr. Mina Gabor (left) hitting the gong as a ceremonial gesture of the official launch of the Ma’i branding of the Philippine GDH industry at the Manila FAME. She is joined by CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon (right).

The Philippine gifts, décor and houseware (GDH) industry is poised to regain its foothold of the global marketplace and grow its revenues from a range of 5 to 10 percent annually until 2030, as efforts to aggressively promote the sector goes into full swing with the unveiling of MA’I, the industry’s unified brand at the recently-concluded 66th Edition of the Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design event.

MA’I : Creating Lifestyle, is the GDH industry’s singular brand name and tagline which is envisioned to create a unifying impact that will enable the sector to shift from mere visibility to credibility. The brand embodies Filipino craftsmanship at its best, representative of world-class quality and high standards while remaining committed to accountability, innovation and social responsibility. MA’I also stands for the GDH industry’s strategic foresight and imaginative pursuit to bring the Filipino and the Philippine brand to international limelight.

MA’I was the name used to refer to the Philippines and its people by Chinese traders back in the 9th century. In pre-colonial Asia , the people of the country were known as among the most respected artisans in the region and overtime, the Philippines was known to trade only the finest and most luxurious goods.

The word MA’I best represents the industry, as it is a form of paying tribute to the country’s origin as traders and defines the strength of Philippine culture. The name also signifies s divergence, which is how the Philippine GDH industry would also want to be known for.

The tagline ‘Creating Lifestyle’ meanwhile aims to show that the GDH sector is equipped to adapt to the world’s changing demands.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), together with the various GDH industry players and BSOs led by the Home Accents Group of the Philippines (HAPI) collaborated in pushing for a cohesive brand for the GDH sector with the goal of establishing a powerful platform that will enable local players to further penetrate the international market.

“The Philippine GDH branding journey is very historic and a fulfillment of a long time dream – to have a brand for our artists especially for the gifts and houseware sector. The brand, MA’I, couldn’t get any better as it represents the epitome of our quality as an artist. Through this unifying program, the GDH industry sector should aspire to become Ma’i as it will serve as their gateway to penetrate the international market”, said Dr. Mina Gabor during her congratulatory remarks at the Ma’i launching. Dr. Gabor is a staunch supporter and advocate of Filipino craftsmanship, a former Department of Tourism Secretary and CITEM Founding Executive Director.

The BOI and the Philippine GDH stakeholders have been working together to help the industry players who are mostly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME’s) establish a stronger presence in the international market by promoting the industry under one unique PH brand making the industry players more competitive when they participate in the global value chains.

In preparing for the launch, the BOI and the GDH team conducted a series of Philippine GDH Branding workshops nationwide early this year. Attended mostly by MSMEs, numerous research and discussions ensued in the search for a strong brand that will differentiate the industry from its competitors, thus, creating value to its reputation.♦