COMPANIES around the world are undergoing some kind of business transformation. The world is changing at fever pitch pace and there’s simply no turning back from the next industrial revolution; the need to transform, create long-term positive impact and move towards a sustainable and inclusive society has become more than a strategy, but a business imperative.
Thus, in its 50th year, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), the country’s leading national organization of finance professionals and practitioners, saw it fit to embrace the theme, “Transform for a Sustainable Future. Today.”
“FINEX has been contributing to the advancement of financial knowledge and expertise,” said incoming President Ma. Victoria Españo.
But how do financial executives and business leaders navigate change? Here are lessons from leaders who are at the helm of their organizations’ business transformation.
Embed your organization into the social fabric of society
Businesses cannot survive when inequality is rife. Operating on this philosophy, Ayala Corporation has entered into new spaces to address the need for affordable and accessible healthcare and education by investing in Generika pharmacy to emerge as the dominant provider of high-quality, affordable medicines through generics, and the APEC schools focused on giving quality, yet affordable senior high education for students gearing up for college or a vocational career.
To remain agile amid its sheer size and rapid transformation, Ayala has also become more entrepreneurial in its approach to building businesses.
“While we still look at financial returns as an important metric, we also consider the effect of our actions on all stakeholders,” said 2017 ING FINEX CFO of the Year awardee Jose Teodoro Limcaoco.
Create a culture of accountability
Dennis Uy, chairman and president of Phoenix Petroleum Holdings Inc. and head of conglomerates that include Chelsea Logistics and Udenna, has always been hogging the headlines for his aggressive business strategies.
His flagship firm, Phoenix Petroleum, has just celebrated its first decade as a listed company at the Philippine Stock Exchange, while Chelsea made its initial public offering debut in 2017. Through Phoenix and affiliate firms, Uy controls Enderun Colleges as a foray in the hospitality sector, the local Family Mart convenience store franchise, the development of a $1-billion logistics hub in Clark in Central Luzon, and an integrated resort and casino in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu.
More than improving capital access, Uy said public listing also enables his companies to forge new synergies and venture into other industries.
Be ready for the digital future now
For FINEX President Maria Victoria Españo, chairperson and CEO of P&A Grant Thornton, technology is the biggest game changer for industries now.
Her firm—Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A), the Philippine member firm of Grant Thornton International—has survived 30 years vying against generations-old industry leaders and landing among the country’s top five auditing firms as of 2017.
“We’ve seen the local economy make bold leaps. Our clients echo concerns over new regulations, and how automation is taking over many manual processes,” she said.
Digital automation, the emergence of artificial intelligence and new paradigms, and the dynamics of increasingly global relationships are reshaping talent, operations, and strategy in the auditing industry.
As published in The Manila Times, dated 19 January 2018