A Salute to Innovation, Excellence & Contributing Toward Shared Success

The Gokongwei Group recently held the 11th edition of its annual recognition program

The Gokongwei Group once again recognized its strategic business units that made a significant impact during the past year at its 2021 Pride in Performance Awards. The 11th edition of the awards saluted the group’s business units that have made exceptional strides in the following categories: Business Outperformance, Customer-Centric Culture, Digital Transformation, People Focus, and Purpose/Sustainability.

In the program’s opening remarks, JG Summit Chief Human Resources Officer Gully Go noted how this years’ 86 entries, more than the previous year, are “driven by your enthusiasm to share the great work we've been doing, the work that matters to our sustained sense of growth and connectedness despite the circumstances. The entries are the stories we tell each other on how we innovate and evolve our service to our customers. More importantly, it makes us reflect on our shared success, but also on the further possibilities yet untapped.”

The proceedings continued with an inspirational message from JG Summit President and CEO Lance Gokongwei. “Today, we recognize the outstanding work that each of us can do. All of our PIP entries speak to our purpose, our unrelenting commitment to provide our customers with better choices, creating shared success with our stakeholders. It's also about who we are, and it's in our core values. With entrepreneurial mindset, we dream big, take bold, brave steps and simply get it done. For me, the awards are there to show how much we've already learned, and as we evolve, there is a lot more that we will continue to discover. Our worlds will keep changing, and so will the ways we serve our customers. Let's continue to soldier on together and stay resilient in the face of these challenges.”

The first winners presented were for Purpose/Sustainability, which recognizes the business units that best fulfill JG Summit’s purpose of creating shared success with all its stakeholders while ensuring sustainability and care for the environment. Universal Robina Corporation’s packaging sustainability project Ragnarök justifiably earned the top spot. Ragnarök aimed to significantly reduce its packaging footprint which it was able to achieve with substantial changes in its manufacturing, QA, and production processes. Upon implementation, Ragnarök yielded material savings of 6% (579MT of resources).

“The new structure enabled the reduction of packaging weight for finished goods without compromising on product quality or production efficiency, while maintaining product shelf life. Overall, Ragnarök was implemented across 34 SKUs, covering seven top brands and yielding a 6% decrease in packaging footprints. It became a springboard for other packaging sustainability studies initiatives in the Philippines and internationally,” said Pia Calip, group manager for URC’s Packaging Division.

In the second spot was Robinsons Land Corporation with its Solid Waste Management of Robinsons Malls program in partnership with USAID, while Robinsons Bank placed third with its Ubuntu—Heeding the Call of the Community initiative.

The next set for the People Focus Awards recognizes initiatives that strengthen organizational effectiveness by engaging, enabling, exciting, and evolving leaders and talents to support business strategies, drive productivity, and maintain industrial peace, among others.

Cebu Pacific’s Headstrong Over Headwinds (CEB Transformation Journey) earned the top spot, with URC’s Enhanced Line Productivity Through People engagement in second, and ASPEN’s Employee Care During the Pandemic (HR & Payroll Delivery & System Enhancements) in third.

Jam de la Vega, CEB Talent Management and Employee Experience director, said that with the headwinds faced in 2020, “Swift, deliberate, and well thought of action had to be taken to ensure that Cebu Pacific as a business can adapt and survive through the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an HR team, we had to make sure the thousands of employees who continued to bravely work for you, our customers, are well taken care of as well. As we brought the said philosophy and framework to life, we expanded our communication reach and deepened our employee-listening strategies. We enabled agility and adaptability by enforcing a work from home strategy immediately. We brought the best of Filipino spirit to life by ensuring and providing support programs to our affected employees to transition well into the next chapters in their lives and their careers. Because at the heart and center of a transformation journey, is our people.”

In keeping with past practice, the Customer-Centric Culture award had two sub categories, one for Internal customers and the other for External customers.

In the Internal category, the Employee Experience Project: Employee Service Portal development of JG Summit’s Corporate Center Unit and Aspen Business Solutions, Inc. got the nod of the judges. In second place was the URC BCFG Philippines Manufacturing Meeting Customer Needs On-Demand program, while CEB’s Automated Travel Requirements Notifications Master placed third.

The Employee Service Portal (ESP) was launched by a cross-functional team composed of the Aspen, Corporate Human Resources, Corporate Information Technology, and Digital Transformation Office units to make the conglomerate’s employees’ lives better by delivering HR services more efficiently. Through ESP, the company saved approximately 3,210 man hours per month for back-end processors, which led to more efficiency in HR operations while addressing employees' pain points effectively. “We are very happy and proud to observe that our employees embraced the digital platform for them to raise their HR concerns and also find answers to their simple queries on a daily basis,” said Anisa Enriquez, JGS Employee Experience Officer. She also noted that the internal survey on the ESP system yielded an impressive 90% satisfaction rate.

For the external category, Robinsons Retail Holdings’ Southstar Drug took first place with the Southstar Drug Online: Delivering Meaningful and E-COMparable Customer Service project. Initially scheduled for launch in September 2020, the outbreak of the pandemic necessitated the fast-tracking of the program, which was launched almost 6 months ahead of schedule in March 2020. According to Vien Jaimee Ramos, e-commerce manager at Southstar Drug, “What matters for us is delivering utmost satisfaction to our various customers. We will continue to show that at Southstar Drug we always care a little more.”

In second place was RBank’s RBank Sign Up program, and in third was the joint project between Data Analytics Ventures, Inc. (DAVI) and RRHI, Precision Marketing: Winning with Loyalty Customer Data.

Another successful online offering enabled RRHI to also earn the top spot in the Digital Transformation category, which recognizes initiatives that future-proof a digital, data-driven, and agile organization. RRHI’s Accelerating Digital Transformation in the New Normal (GoRobinsons) project was launched at the height of the lockdown in April 2020 to address the need for an alternative grocery delivery service. By leveraging data and ecosystem synergies, GoR created a more convenient, personalized, and rewarding shopping experience.

“A year after launching, we now deliver products from Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, Shopwise, No Brand, Toys “R” Us, Handyman, and True Value. We have served over 30,000 customers, and delivered 81,000 orders. Aside from being able to serve our customers when they're forced to stay at home because of the pandemic, one of the best things about this project is that it is proof of what we can achieve if we break down silos and cross-functional team working towards a common goal,” said Edna Belleza, General Manager of Go Robinsons.

Other impressive entries in the Digital Transformation category were Cebu Pacific’s Cloud Native IT Infrastructure Modernization: Enabling Charlie Chatbot 2.0 which took second, and DAVI’s NEXUS 360 Customer Data Platform, which placed third.

The final category of Pride in Performance 2021 was for Business Outperformance, which recognizes business unit success based on measurable criteria, such as market share and profit growth.

For the Rising Star award, Robinsons Bank was a deserving winner, after a year of stellar performance that solidified its reputation of one of the fastest-growing commercial banks in the country in terms of capitalization and asset size. More importantly, it has made banking easier for its customers, offering innovative financial products and services as well as flexible financial solutions, all with the convenience of modern technology. All these combined are enabling RBank to achieve its goal of becoming the country’s bank of choice.

The top honor went to RRHI’s Supermarket Division, with RLC’s Office Buildings Division in second, and URC Sugar and Renewables in third. 

RRHI's Supermarket division, which includes Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, Robinsons Easy Mart, and Shopwise, was at the frontline of serving Filipino consumers throughout the pandemic, providing them with better choices through both physical stores and online channels.

Along with JG Summit President and CEO Lance Gokongwei, this year’s PIP steering committee included Gully Go, Chief Human Resources Officer; Brian Go, Chief Finance and Risk Officer; Macel Estavillo, Senior Vice President and General Counsel; Renato Salud, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability; BJ Sebastian, Senior Vice President, Strategic Investment; Mike Liwanag, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Chief of Staff to the CEO; and Rya Aissa Agustin, Chief Audit Executive. Together, the steering committee had the challenging task of selecting winners from the long list of impressive candidates.

Congratulations to all the winners!