Riding the Digital Wave

The heat is on and the summer is in full blast as we head on to the month of May! And the better way to enjoy the season is to enjoy the sun, the sand, and the sea! It’s definitely a great time too to bond with the family and friends.

But aside from that, summer can also be a time to still acquire knowledge and learn new skills. Kids enroll in summer programs and summer camps and learn and develop new skills such as baking, cooking and others.  But not only kids can learn, also practitioners too!

We too in the business community had a great experience as we learned emerging trends together with solid business values amidst a beautiful setting. PLDT made digital waves as they launched their Tech Island 2.0 recently in Subic. From the success of the first wave of Tech Island last November, PLDT, which is one of our valued partners in empowering SMEs, made sure that the second wave is bigger and better for digital surfers!

More than 300 entrepreneurs and business leaders and about two thousand techies and geeks joined the two day-conference opened by PLDT’s First Vice President and Head of SME Business Kat Luna-Abelarde.

In photo [L-R] Robert Garcia, Chair of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Polly Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT Group; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle; Eric Alberto, Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International and Carrier Business of PLDT Group; and Kat Luna-Abelarde, First Vice President and Head of SME Business of PLDT Group.

In photo [L-R] Robert Garcia, Chair of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Polly Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT Group; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle; Eric Alberto, Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International and Carrier Business of PLDT Group; and Kat Luna-Abelarde, First Vice President and Head of SME Business of PLDT Group.

As we all know, going digital is the new craze. We see and experience things going digital. But despite having the digital age for quite some time now, there are still a lot of ‘digital migrants’, those who are still acquiring skills in the digital age, who need to learn more about the borderless world of digital. For Polly Nazareno, PLDT Group president and CEO, we have to understand the Generation “D”, or the disruptive millenials in order to have a mind shift and adapt to the quick-changing and fast-paced developing digital landscape. Businesses must include digital technology in their business models, for their advancement in efficiencies, and market reach.

For Eric Alberto, PLDT Executive Vice President and ePLDT President and CEO, the possibilities of technology is beyond measurable. It provides an avenue for innovation on digital measures and it connects people and machines in real time. With this, businesses who will go digital can communicate to the 40 million Filipino users online. From the 40-million users, 24 million users use the internet to research for products they need to buy and 21 million actually purchase the product. We can see how active e-commerce is in the country. Many micro entrepreneurs maximize their digital presence by marketing and doing transactions online. This also provides them a channel to converse and communicate with the customers, knowing their feedbacks and their opinions in the products.

And with the power of PLDT, the leading digital dependable partner of many SMEs, businesses can definitely level up as they can also provide them with premier cloud storage and M2M solutions. Eric reminded us that when we think of digital, we should think of PLDT.

One of the key speakers on day 1 was the innovator of social media and journalism, Maria Ressa. She shared that with the advent of digital technology, the consumers of news and public affairs can also become producers as they can easily share news and information through the help of the internet. The internet provides a community of engaged people who are willing to be part of the bigger digital community thus resulting to crowd sourcing.   She shared the personal journey of Rappler and how they surpassed the barriers and limits of traditional media presentation.

His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle also graced the conference to provide his wisdom on what makes a Transformational Leader.  He reminded the participants the good qualities of a leader in order to lead their respective companies effectively in the digital transformation. Leaders in the digital world must possess vision, understanding, clarity and agility to survive the many complexity and uncertainty in the progress. He also mentioned the qualities of a good leader from Bob Johansen’s book which include physical and mental discipline, active attention, and ability to adapt to surprises, urgent patience, good story tellers, humble strength and agility. He also reminded us that despite the technological advancement, we must also include the poor and underprivileged in all our steps forward.

The knowledge-filled sessions also included a forum with MVP Bossing and Golden ABC’s President and CEO Bernie Liu, Digital5 and TV5 Head of Sports coach Chot Reyes, and PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures, Inc. President and CEO and SMART Communication’s Chief Wireless Adviser Doy Vea, which was moderated by Atty. Mike Toledo, head of MVP Group Media Bureau. They have shared their insights on how Filipino SMEs can conquer the world with their high-quality products and services through the help of digital strategies.  They all agreed that there is no template for a successful business but there is always a way to level up, to continue innovations and to make a difference in this world.

The second day provided several sessions that empowered a lot of business owners and IT practitioners on how they can master the digital wave and lead breakthrough programs.

Digital age has definitely breached the traditional and common forms of doing business. Even the way we live, the digital technologies and gadgets we use can make life easier and more productive. The internet provides and borderless and limitless area for entrepreneurs to transact, market and listen to our stakeholders and consumers. Digital will be the new platform for innovation and creativity. We must all ride the digital wave and surf through the wonders of digital era!


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