Mr. Elenito Abasolo, a faculty of the College of Business and Management and MU Graduate School of Management, and Miss Dhean Ann Arcadio, a fourth year BSBA-Financial Management student, attended The 10th MAP International CEO Conference, on September 11, 2012, at the Rizal Ballroom, Makati Shangri-La. Their attendance to the said conference was made possible through the generosity of Dr. Karen Belina F. De Leon, the University President, and Madam Sonia S. Feliciano, the Executive Vice President.
The prestigious Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), in partnership with the Business World, Healthway Medical, and other well-known business organizations, sponsored the conference with the theme, “TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE: The Imperative of Inclusive Growth”.
The participants of the conference included CEOs of the business sector, both local and foreign, the government sector, and the academe. And to put emphasis to the theme of the conference, the MAP organizers invited seven speakers who are considered experts in their own fields. Of the seven speakers highlighting the affair, five were foreigners, and the two were Filipinos who are well-known personalities in the local business scene.
The main emphasis of the conference was transformation, and it was hoped that after the discussion by the speakers of the different topics, the organizers, as well as the participants, were expected to develop a certain form of consciousness that will encourage them to start working for the attainment of a “TRANSFORMED PHILIPPINES”. A transformed Philippines can only be realized if we have a transformed civil society, a transformed government, and a transformed business, according to one of the speakers.
The need for transformation and inclusive growth were underscored by the topics discussed by the following speakers:
Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao was the keynote speaker. He is presently the Chair of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and also the Chair of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia. He was once the Secretary of Finance, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, Director-General of the NEDA, and other important positions. His topic was “The Role of Business In Enabling Transformative Change And Inclusive Growth”. Dr. Estanislao pointed out in his speech that inclusive growth remains an ilusive dream not only in the Philippines but even in advanced societies. What he meant was that we continue to be challenged by poverty, inadequate educational and employment opportunities, limited access to healthcare, social inequalities, and more. He further pointed out the need for transformational change among all sectors of the society to cascade the benefits equitably and uplift the quality of life of the impoverished population. He underscored the role of business to incorporate inclusiveness as part of its corporate philosophy and social responsibility agenda. He was one of the only two Filipino speakers.
The second speaker was a foreigner, Mr. Duncan Williamson. He is presently the Vice President & Head of Education, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan. “Building Bridges for Transformation Through Education” was his topic. His emphasis was that education is a tool for development, and there is dissatisfaction with status quo because we know better is always possible. What he finally meant was that change is the norm and the challenge is for management to not only anticipate or react to it – it must embrace it or even create it. In his speech he further emphasized the use of the new technology in education, and teachers who belonged to the older generations should not reject the use of the new technology, but embrace it.
Mr. Charles Njendu, from Singapore, was the third speaker. He is presently the Senior Engagement Manager of Global Business Services, IBM ASEAN. His topic was “CAPITALIZING ON IMPERATIVE CHANGE: A Top Priority of Business Leaders”. According to him transformation is meaningful change, and such changes cannot happen unless enterprises are prepared to risk putting their strategies and structures under close and honest scrutiny. He stressed that competition and the need to survive in the marketplace are game-changers, requiring innovative ideas that get more creative every day, and meeting the demands of increasingly “disloyal” customers requires more than just perfunctory approaches; it’s either companies deliver or risk extinction in the market.
The fourth speaker, Ms. Anita Mendiratta, travelled 20 hours by plane from South Africa in order to deliver her speech. She is presently the Managing Director of CACHET CONSULTING. She initially emphasized that tourism is redefining national economic indicators as countries come to recognize its value in generating revenues, creating jobs, instilling pride and alleviating poverty. The critical importance of tourism is highlighted by the many investments governments are making to ensure that they can provide the infrastructures and enhance the destinations so that they can compete for a slice of the projected billions of tourism dollars available in the global markets. According to her tourism is the true example of an industry where barriers are dismantled; one can just jump into a budget airline and go and enjoy the sights of far-off beach resorts or feel the atmosphere of ancient culture regardless of where they are in the map. She also pointed out that tourism can create relationships, and promote peace.
Mr. Charlie Scott of Singapore was the fifth speaker. He is the founder and Creative Director of TANGIBLE Pte Ltd. His discussion was anchored on the topic, “Branding Value and Valuing the Brand”.He pointed out that brands are strategic tools that can shape and change behavior. According to him, a brand should mean something tangible in the minds of people and attempt to win the allegiance of everyone who come into contact with it.
The sixth speaker, Boy Abunda, was one of the two speakers from the Philippines. He is working as Talent Manager of BACKROOM, INC., and is presently finishing his doctoral studies in Social Development. His topic, “TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE: The Courage to Lead, the Courage to be Led”, discussed a critical factor in pushing for transformative change which is engaging the people – the ultimate beneficiaries of inclusive growth. Transformative change, according to him, will happen if all the sectors in the society will do their part. He further stressed that discipline, ethics, honest labor, good health, and responsible citizenship need commitment to pursue. His challenge was to get people to hope again and to trust anew, and the imperative is to restore confidence.
The closing keynote address was delivered by Mr. Scott Anthony, the seventh speaker. He came from Singapore, and is the Managing Director of Innosight Ventures (Singapore, India, US). His discussion was anchored on the topic, “Innovation As A Catalyst For Transformation And Inclusive Growth”. He said that turning new ideas into wealth is what business organizations do best, and business innovates because it is a key driver to its competitiveness. He hinted, in a form of questions, that innovation works, and cascades to where it matters – employment generation, affordable and quality products and services. His questions finally stressed as to whether the benefits reaped from innovation made difference in the lives of challenged communities, and contributed to inclusive growth, or should countries pursue policies in support of innovation because it promotes inclusive growth.
The conference ended at 5:30 p.m., after a closing ceremony raffle.