Makati, Philippines – June 3, 2019 Ayala Chairman & CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala shared his thoughts on the future of business, and how companies must continue to evolve amidst disruption. Ayala’s progressive leader discussed the group’s digital transformation journey in response to these changing times, noting that institutions are at risk of falling behind if they are not able to transform.
“Companies that do not innovate are in danger of becoming irrelevant,” said Zobel. “We need to be proactive in finding gaps in our current systems and areas ripe for transformation, and we need to act swiftly, even if it means we have to be the ones disrupting ourselves.”
Recognizing the need for continuous innovation within the group, Zobel noted that the “innovation mindset” is what fuels the Ayala’s ongoing digital transformation. This consists of five key components which would collectively allow Ayala to further improve operational efficiency, make better strategic decisions, and improve the customer experience. These include both digital and non-digital initiatives to transform existing businesses; investments in new business models and technologies to make services more convenient and accessible for Filipinos; a more deliberate effort in venture investing through the establishment of a new US$150m ACTIVE Fund; the launch of AC Analytics as the group’s center of excellence for data and analytics; and various initiatives to upskill and empower the group’s talent base.
On the urgency of innovation, Zobel said, “Here in the Philippines, there seems to be a pervasive mindset that industries may be slower to change or that disruption will hit us gradually… [However] you’ll see these changes are happening here as quickly as they are anywhere else. If one doesn’t accept that, then you really have a good chance of being left behind.”
Such changes are already taking place in Ayala, as its companies gear up to disrupt themselves. Globe Telecom, for example, is forecasting its future business by harnessing the power of big data and mobile technology to better understand its customers and their needs, particularly in the retail space. Secondly, the Bank of the Philippine Islands is transforming its business to make its banking services more insightful, instant, intelligent, informative, and interactive. Lastly, in the logistics space, Entrego, Ayala’s technology-driven logistics solutions provider under AC Infrastructure, aims to stay ahead of the curve by investing in infrastructure, automation, and software to create the capacity to meet its growing consumer demand.
As exhibited by these changes, Ayala remains fully committed to its digital transformation as announced at its Annual Stockholders’ Meeting last April 2019.
“Here in the Philippines, there seems to be a pervasive mindset that industries may be slower to change or that disruption will hit us gradually… [However] you’ll see these changes are happening here as quickly as they are anywhere else. If one doesn’t accept that, then you really have a good chance of being left behind,” Zobel said at the 2019 BusinessWorld Economic Forum.
He was joined at the event by other Ayala executives:
Peter Maquera, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Group, Globe Telecom, Inc., spoke on “How Big Data & Mobile Technology are Shaping the Future of Retail”
Constantin Robertz, President, Entrego, spoke on “Smart Delivery Solutions and the Future of Logistics”
Noel Santiago, Chief Digital Officer, Bank of the Philippine Islands, spoke on the “Digital Transformation of a Traditional Bank”