The Gokongwei Group Launches Its Master Brand & Celebrates 30 Years of GBF

The event underlined the Group’s commitment to the Philippines and improving lives

On August 24, 2022, the Gokongwei Group marked not one, but two milestones: the official launch of its master brand and the 30th anniversary of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.

In the event’s opening remarks, Robina Gokongwei Pe, president and CEO of Robinsons Retail Holdings, shared that the dual celebration highlighted “the shared mission of our business and our philanthropy. Both are forces for good that complement each other to help achieve our Purpose – to create great products and services that serve our customers and the nation.”

Gokongwei Group officers at the "Celebrating Meaningful Breakthroughs" event. From left: Antonio Go, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation trustee; former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, JG Summit Holdings independent director; Robina Gokongwei Pe, president and CEO of Robinsons Retail Holdings; Lance Y. Gokongwei, president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings; James L. Go, chairman of JG Summit Holdings; Wilfrido Sanchez, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation trustee; and Renato de Guzman, JG Summit Holdings independent director. IMAGE Gokongwei Group

The importance of having a master brand or umbrella brand name to encompass all the companies in the family’s diversified business portfolio was communicated to guests as JG Summit President and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei took to the stage for a quick fireside chat with Michelle Barretto, CEO and founder of Vitamin B, an award-winning brand consultancy that specializes in creating and elevating brands crossing different industries.

Gokongwei explained that after taking the reins as CEO in 2018, he led the group on a massive transformation journey, revisiting its purpose, values, and ambition, and then defining the enablers to achieve the goals. Embarking on this transformation were businesses including JG Summit Holdings, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified Filipino conglomerates, with subsidiaries including Universal Robina Corporation, Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land Corporation, Robinsons Bank, and JG Summit Olefins. Also forming part of the Gokongwei-led conglomerate are Robinsons Retail Holdings, Summit Media, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, and other privately held companies of the family.

It soon dawned on company leaders that due to the diversified nature of the organization, it was known to the general public by a variety of names. “Some people call us the Robinsons Group, some call us the Gokongwei Group, some people call this the JGS group, but there was no common name that we used to enumerate or mention all the wonderful businesses and talented people that we have in this collective business.”

Barretto’s brand consultancy firm was brought in to lend their expertise. After a process that involved in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and thorough research, Vitamin B presented their recommendation: the Gokongwei Group. “At the end of the day, to us, the brand was about reputation, and reputation here was really the family. We couldn't separate that. There was no point in reinventing the wheel and coming up with this new thing that would need explaining,” narrated Barretto. “Everybody knew you [the Gokongweis] as a family and the reputation of the family was so well respected. We wanted to honor that, and we also wanted to be authentic to you.”

Besides encapsulating what the various companies in the group’s ecosystem stand for, the master brand embodies the Gokongwei Group’s commitment to carry on the legacy of its founder, John Gokongwei, Jr., hallmarked by disruptive business innovations and building companies that improve lives and provide better choices. It also highlights the scale, culture, and integration of the companies in the Gokongwei Group.

In the new corporate logo, the colors of dark blue and green symbolize trustworthiness and growth. The tip of an arrow is incorporated in the first G to represent an upward trajectory and forward thinking. 

be part of the learning journey of 10,000 educators and 1 million learners by 2025 and to build local communities through collaboration with multiple sectors. "We see this synergy as a strong driver in building an ecosystem for improving education," said Cheng. 

This joint launch of the Gokongwei Group’s master brand and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation 30th Anniversary Kick-Off underscores the essence of our identity, said Lisa Gokongwei Cheng, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation General Manager and Summit Media President and CEO. In the Gokongwei Group, we are the stewards of the resources entrusted to us—our businesses and our people. We manage them well and we make sure that they are cared for. In the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, we are the stewards of our youth, helping them receive quality education and giving them a chance to succeed in life."

Three Decades of Championing STEM Education

In 1992, industrialist John Gokongwei Jr. and his brothers Henry, Johnson, and James established the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation with the goal of making a lasting impact on our nation’s education. Three decades later, the foundation is the Philippines' largest private sector provider of STEM scholarships.

The foundation has always believed in the role of good education in building a strong Philippine economy. In a heartfelt toast to close the joint celebration, JG Summit Chairman James Go explained how this came to be. “We chose education because we believe that it is the most effective, the most efficient way of transforming resources into something good for an individual. It enables them to have a better quality of life, it enables the individual to have a higher standard of living. And when the individual is gainfully employed, having a good life, he helps his family; the family will help the community, and the community will help the country,” said Go.

Staying true to this noble vision of significantly contributing toward nation-building, the foundation for the past three decades has equipped learners with the tools they need to grow and develop as well-rounded members of the community. GBF has also provided the content and technology teachers and other stakeholders need to develop their skills as educators.

GBF focuses on elevating educators' professional development to meet current and future learning needs through a number of projects. This includes the TeachSTEM Scholarship program, a partnership with the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED) for the KaSaMa Teachers Community; and Project Future, an educators’ development program developed in partnership with IDEO, a global design-thinking consultancy firm.

Programs that support STEM and digitally enabled learning have also been developed. Marking the foundation's 30th anniversary is the Juan Community for Education, with Juan Brigada Eskwela and Juan Kapatid Tutorial under the said program.

This year alone, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation projects to have 913 scholars, learners, and educators from various programs, such as Iskolar ni Juan, GBF Nex Gen Scholarship for Excellence, GBF Gokongwei Group STEM Scholarship for Excellence, and STEM Agri Scholarship for Excellence, under its wing. The foundation has 1,841 lifetime scholars to date.

 "I hope that our partnerships’ outputs, outcomes, and impacts cultivate more enthusiasm so that we can reach our ambition of fast-tracking the learning journey of 1 million learners and 10,000 educators by 2025," said Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Executive Director Grace Colet.

During the fireside chat, Gokongwei expounded on how the business and foundation are inextricably linked. “One of the hallmarks of the group is a commitment to the Philippines and improving the country. The Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, which was founded by Mr. John and his siblings through a major bequest 30 years ago, is the formal manifestation of this commitment. It is the largest funder of STEM education in the Philippines, and it is our means of really demonstrating our love for our country and our commitment to continue serving our people.”

The resolve to build on the founding generation’s legacy was reiterated in the closing remarks: “It is our fervent hope that this legacy will live on to succeeding generations of the Gokongwei family, so that we can continue to make lives better and, yes, to make our forefathers proud,” said Gokongwei.

For more information on the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, visit