In the Philippine setting, both small and mid-sized businesses and corporations alike are realizing the urgent need to elevate their core business processes to meet international standards in order to ensure their relevance and leadership in the respective industries within which they play.
According to Emmanuel Bonoan, vice chairman and chief operating officer of R.G. Manabat & Co., the Philippine member firm of KPMG International (KPMG), it is in this regard—this movement to change and progress current economic practices—that the Philippines has made significant improvement.
Says Bonoan, “There has been greater emphasis on the part of government that, economically, we have to be part of the global ecosystem.” KPMG International, which recently released its 2015 Change Readiness Index (CRI) which ranks 127 countries in their capacity to prepare for and respond to accelerating change brought about by such factors as natural disasters, economic and political shocks, demographics and new technologies, cited the Philippines as the most change-ready country among the nations under the lower-middle income category.
“We’re currently at number 33 now, which is up from two years ago when the survey was last done,” informs Bonoan, adding that “some of the factors cited in our being able to respond to change was in terms of disaster response. I think that the Philippines has learned, especially since Haiyan, that the weather is never going to be the same as we knew it. Local governments, business groups, private groups and NGOs are now more concerned about how to respond to changes in the environment.”
This growing consciousness among Filipinos to be more change-ready is not only confined to the environmental aspect, but also in terms of the economy. “I tell our clients, had the CRI survey been taken more recently, the Philippines would’ve even improved its scores in the economic track because there’s greater awareness on the part of the country to be well prepared as the ASEAN Economic Community comes to play,” says Bonoan.
According to him, such movements by the government to open the country’s financial services sector, pass laws like the Philippine Competition Act, and amend the Cabotage Law reflect “a great emphasis on being able to respond to the economic situation, where we become more part of the fabric of international trade. We’re already very resilient in terms of the economic front,” Bonoan affirms.
Sustaining progress In further continuing the country’s economic rise, there is a need for the Philippines to develop higher numbers of world-class leaders. Being a key sponsor in the sixth Asia CEO Awards this November, KPMG places great emphasis on the role a good leadership team will play in furthering the country’s progress.
“We’ve been a sponsor of the Executive Leadership Team of the Year award for years now,” says Bonoan, adding that their decision to do so largely has to do with the nature of KPMG Philippines itself. “KPMG is a partnership, not a corporation, which means we’re rounded on real partnership principles where each partner has a say in how the firm is run. This presents its own unique set of challenges because how do you run a company where everyone should have a say or input? What we do is create a leadership team that’s representative of the partners.”
“Leadership in terms of by committee,” Bonoan avers, “can be very challenging. The group of leaders would have to be very in tune with each other. Obviously, you don’t have to think alike, but you need to have the same philosophies of wanting to grow the company, wanting the best clients, producing the best quality work, and hiring the best people in the organization. You’re bound to have diversity of views, and the challenge lies in how to make that diversity work for the organization rather than against it.”
It’s growing this particular set of leadership qualities among Philippine companies that KPMG wants to achieve in its sponsorship of the Asia CEO Awards’ Executive Leadership Team of the Year award. “All the past awardees embody this idea, and we look forward to what this year’s nominees and emerging winner will bring to the table,” he says, adding that the Asia CEO Awards’ mission is now more crucial than ever.
Since its inception, the Asia CEO Awards have continued to shine the spotlight on management teams and individuals who have made significant contributions to help build the Philippines into one of the world’s fastest growing economies. “The awards is essentially all about highlighting good business stories in the Philippines,” shares Richard Mills, co-founder and chairman of the Board of Judges of the Asia CEO Awards.
“It has been our primary mission from day one to promote the Philippines as an attractive investment destination and as a valuable source for potential leaders,” Mills says. “This year, we’re taking that mission forward by expanding the awards to include the entire ASEAN business sector. With the ASEAN coming together into a formidable economic community, we’ve been seeing excellent executive teams emerging not only in the local business scene, but in terms of the region as well.”
Now on its sixth year, the Asia CEO Awards will have 10 categories, including Oracle Technology Company of the Year; CSR Company of the Year; SPi Global Young Leader of the Year; Shore Solutions Most Innovative Company; NEC Quality Company; Jones Lang LaSalle Expatriate Executive of the Year; Smart Communications Global Filipino Executive; Meralco Top Employer Organization, and the KPMG Executive Leadership
Team. There are also two new award categories, namely the Hospitality Award and the First Carbon Solutions Green Company of the Year award.
Joining Mills in the Board of Judges are such high-profile leaders as Don Felbaum, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines; Edward Chang, president of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines; John Casey, former president of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines; Jun Palafox, principal architect of world-renowned architectural design and planning firm, Palafox Associates; and Oscar Sanez, San Miguel vice president - International, and former CEO of Business Processing Association of the Philippines.
The 2015 Asia CEO Awards will be held November 11, 2015 at the grand ballroom of the Marriott Hotel Manila. Deadline of nominations is on September 28, 2015. To nominate and learn more about the awards, log on to www.asia-ceo-awards.org.