Elevator Pitch: Gen Z Entrepreneur Angelo Advincula of Protek Philippines
by: The Beat Asia
July 07, 2023
Gen Z entrepreneur Angelo Advincula's Protek Philippines is out to put a lid on a stinky crisis: the bad odor that lingers in helmets due to constant use and sweat absorption. This may seem like a trivial problem, easily solved with tools you can find in your kitchen cupboard. But Gelo's mindset hinges exactly on finding solutions to problems that others may consider boring.
At Protek Philippines, a family business, the solution is swift and specific. Through a long-lasting product, they help riders deal with the bad smell found in a helmet's inner lining and padding due to sweat and smoke.
The Beat Asia caught up with Gelo to talk more about his startup, his entrepreneurial journey as a Gen Z, and his advice to people his age who want to foray into building a business.
Please walk us briefly through your backstory: How did you start your business and what led you to it?
When the pandemic hit, the importance of health and hygiene became even more pronounced. Consumers became more conscious of their buying choices, leading them to adopt a "healthier for longer" approach by buying "better-for-me" products.
As we know, cars and motorcycles are big in the Philippines. I, myself, use a motorcycle to drive to work. But the common problem for us riders is helmet maintenance. Our helmet gets smelly because of the sun, rain, and sweat. There are other solutions, like using a spray, but that isn’t long-lasting. That’s when we came up with Protek Odor Buster, the first and only deodorizing pad for helmets and other sports gear developed by the riders, for the riders. It uses activated carbon that quickly absorbs and removes unpleasant odors. It can work 24 hours a day and last as long as three months.
What is your business' unique selling point and what is your advantage over potential competitors?
Aside from using premium organic ingredients and offering an affordable price point, we focus on customer service. Additionally, Protek Odor Buster is patented. While most of our competitors’ products are spray-based, ours is the only one that comes in pad form as studies have shown it is longer-lasting and more efficient.
Can you share any significant mistake you've made in your entrepreneurial journey and your takeaway from them?
Collaboration is key. We did not take full advantage of the power of social media when we launched our product. But eventually, we learned to market our brand better here and abroad by consistently maintaining an active presence online and offline. It is also important to have mentors whose drive and passion will guide you through your own journey.
What do you think are the common misconceptions about Gen Zs in terms of careers?
Gen Zs are often perceived as unmotivated or underqualified for work in higher levels. But I think Gen Zs’ proficiency with technology make them an asset in the workplace.
Please share three pieces of advice to Gen Zs who want to foray into entrepreneurship.
1. Find something you are passionate about. 2. Set yourself up for success with the right education. 3. Be willing to take risks.
What's your vision for Protek?
Our vision is to revolutionize the way people perceive and use a deodorizer pad. We also hope to encourage both customers and other brands to eliminate the use of harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances, even in daily miscellaneous items like a helmet-maintaining product. We are committed to using sustainable materials and innovating to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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