The potential that the Philippines holds to become Asia’s data centre hub and the need for digital companies to embrace disruption were among the topics explored by Jovy Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of PLDT & Smart Enterprise, in a wide-ranging interview he gave recently to Oxford Business Group’s online broadcasting channel,Global Platform.
In the interview, which is now available to view in full at https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/video/jovy-hernandez-senior-vice-president-pldt-enterprise Hernandez said that data-driven decisions and solutions would be instrumental in determining the future success of any digital business.
“Data is now the new currency for any business,” he told viewers. “Those data-driven decisions are the ones that are going to disrupt current business models and put the Philippines on the map for Asia.”
Hernandez said that digital transformation would undoubtedly play a key role in driving growth for the Philippines’ small and medium-sized enterprises, which still make up 99% of the national economy. “We have seen over the years that the most successful companies have made ICT part of their ecosystem,” he said.
He also highlighted the attractions that the country offered global digital companies, which he said included its sizeable population of around 105m, high rates of connectivity and capable workforce.
“Companies have realised that the Philippines is not just about a labor arbitrage any more,” he noted. “A lot of US companies learn from customer service in the Philippines.”
On the subject of new growth opportunities, Hernandez said developing cities were fast becoming hubs for the business process outsourcing sector, while rural areas offered plenty of openings for digital companies, especially those providing fintech services.
“I’m seeing a very bright future for 2019 and, I think, up to at least five years from now,” he told Global Platform.
Marc-André de Blois, OBG’s Director of PR and Video Content, said the fact that many of the major international digital companies had already established a presence in the Philippines suggested its efforts to carve a niche as a global contact centre hub were gaining momentum.
“While the Philippines has faced several challenges over the years, its strengths, which include a strong business community and a young, tech-savvy workforce, have helped it to consistently outpace its peers when it comes to economic growth and generate widespread interest among international players in segments such as outsourcing services,” he said. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to share the country’s achievements in this important area of business and expectations for the coming years through this important interview.”