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Photo of Filipino kakanin

Photo of Filipino kakanin

NARRA General Merchandise & Trading Inc.

Business Consultant in Manila Teams with Friends to Expand His Successful Online Kakanin Business and Form the NARRA Corporation


Photo of Nelson Guillen

Nelson Guillen is a marketing consultant and business instructor in Manila, Philippines who is also pursuing his Ph.D. in business. In October 2020, Nelson took the MOBI Quick Start Entrepreneur course to enhance his business knowledge. The course inspired him to start his own online business reselling rice cakes, or “kakanin,” to earn extra money during the pandemic when teaching and consulting slowed due to shut downs and restrictions. In 2021 when Nelson was able to return to work, he found it challenging to maintain a full-time job and run his successful online business at the same time. That’s when his friends suggested joining together, expanding the business by offering more products, and establishing the venture as a true corporation. They founded NARRA General Merchandise & Trading Inc., establishing a company that was formally recognized by the Philippines security and exchange commission in February 2022. 


NARRA Corp logo


How it got startedKakanin is an integral part of Filipino food culture, made with rice, sweet rice, or root vegetables and slow-cooked, typically with coconut or coconut milk. Kakanin is beautifully prepared and enjoyed as snacks or desserts. After taking the MOBI Quick Start Entrepreneur course in 2020, Nelson was inspired to start his own online business reselling kakanin to his friends and colleagues to earn extra income during the pandemic shutdowns. He began with an investment of just 200 pesos. His business was doing well until he returned to work as a business instructor and consultant in 2021. “As a sole proprietor, business consultant, and Ph.D. student, I was having difficulty balancing my business and my full-time job,” Nelson describes his challenges at the time. “My friends noticed the change in my business and suggested we pursue this venture together, as a true merchandise and trading business, establishing a corporation and expanding our product offerings.” He decided to move forward with his friends, launching NARRA, named for the five co-founders: Nelson, Ace, Richard, Rene, and Adams. In preparation for growing his business, Nelson also took the MOBI Business Expansion course to learn more advanced business topics. “We started with a series of meetings on obtaining permits and necessary licenses from the local government and the securities and exchange commission. With my background in marketing and sales, I was appointed to the role of Chief Marketing Officer in February 2022,” Nelson says of the transition to establish a formal corporation. Today NARRA offers a variety of products, including foods, such as kakanin and coconut oil, bicycles, bike parts, bike accessories, handbags, and more.

How MOBI helped: Nelson recalls that the Quick Start Entrepreneur bonus sessions “Adapting in the Midst of Change” and “Business Storytelling” were particularly helpful when he first started his business. “Customers’ needs may remain the same, but ways of satisfying them can change. Brands should be more sensitive in terms of advertising narrative, and entrepreneurs must continuously learn, unlearn, and relearn their best practices with the evolving customer decision-making process,” Nelson says. “We should gradually and continually adapt to these changes in the marketplace.” NARRA utilizes several purchase sites, including Facebook, Shopee, and Lazada as well as payment options for its customers and fast delivery service.

About his experience with the Business Expansion course, Nelson says, “I went back to MOBI because I felt the need to revisit my skills and knowledge about business. My favorite topic in Business Expansion was 'Digital Marketing and the Marketing Funnel.’ We have to understand the pains and gains of our customers and their journey to develop social media marketing content that will continuously attract, engage, and delight them. And when doing a paid Google search campaign, we use a combination of short phrases and long-tail keywords, a tactic we learned about in the Business Expansion course.”

What’s next: When asked what lies ahead for him and NARRA, Nelson says, “We are still in the pandemic, and it won’t be over soon as our country needs to immunize a large percentage of the population. Still, businesses are uniquely positioned to innovatively and creatively foster customer relationships. Coping with disruption continues to be a challenge in 2022. However, it can also provide unexpected opportunities to grow our business. The business potential knows no bounds.”

To learn more about NARRA and its affiliated brands, please visit:

Rich Bicycle Accessories: 



MEGH Manila:


MOBI Success