URChoice Awards 2024: Honoring the Exemplars of Excellence at Universal Robina Corp.

The winners embodied the company's core values and shared its vision, enabling URC's outstanding results

Celebrating teams and business units that are shining examples of Univeral Robina Corporation’s core values in action, the second annual URChoice Awards program was held at the Blue Leaf Cosmopolitan on May 20, 2024.

In total, 16 awardees were recognized this year for their exemplary achievements in the Business Excellence, Game Changer, Organizational Transformation, and People Focus categories. 

Delivering the event’s opening remarks, URC Chairman Lance Gokongwei said that he was happy for the “wonderful opportunity to be with individuals who share our vision and common values for success.”

Lance Y. Gokongwei, President and CEO of JG Summit and Chairman of URC, delivered the opening remarks at the second URChoice Awards held at the Blue Leaf Cosmopolitan. IMAGE URC

Speaking about the multiple honorees and nominated teams, Gokongwei praised how they truly exemplified URC’s core values of Put People First, Own It, Dare to Do, and Move Forward Fast, which “consistently delivered outstanding results, even in the most trying times.”

Starting off with a bang, the first set of awards were under the Business Excellence category, recognizing business units that perform exceptionally and exceed sales expectations. Under its umbrella are the Emerging Business and the Core Growth Business sub-categories, which honor business units within the Php10B sales mark and those that have surpassed the Php10B mark, respectively.


URC Vietnam, the winner in the Emerging Business category, received the award from Lance Gokongwei; Irwin Lee, URC President and CEO; and Atty. Lisa Abalajon, URC Chief Human Resource Officer and Agile Transformation Lead. Also presented with awards were runners-up Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Joint Ventures – DUBRI and Vitasoy and URM Malaysia.

For the Core Business Excellence in Growth category, the Agro-Industrial Group took first place, while the Snacks division under BCFG Philippines Snack Foods and URC Sugar and Renewables (URC SURE) were runners-up.

The Agro-Industrial Group was another big winner, taking the Core Business Excellence in Growth award as it surpassed the Php 10B sales mark last year. IMAGE URC

The next main category, the Game Changer award, lauded innovative approaches that benefit the business and its customers. All nominees this year impressed with their ability to deliver value rapidly to meet customer needs through continuous improvements and innovation. Because of these outstanding accomplishments, the Awarding Committee decided to have two sub-categories under the Game Changer category: Game Changer for Growth and Game Changer for Efficiency. 

Presented by Rene Cabati, Managing Director for Sugar and Renewables, and Jesselyn Panis, Vice President for BCFG Supply Chain, the Game Changers for Growth award was given to the Pet Food Squad for its entry Building Top Care, Value to Pet Dogs and Cats. The Myanmar Build Squad 2023 under URC Myanmar and Exploring Untapped Horizons: Success in Unlocking Proximity Channels initiative under BCFG Philippines Sales were runners-up. 

Next up, Ellison Lee, URC Flour Managing Director, and Karen Salgado, URC Chief Information Officer, presented the Game Changer for Efficiency category. This was topped by URC BCFG Philippines Integrated Supply Chain’s Project MYDAS: Crushing the Stone, Harboring the Gold. The runners-up were URM Marketing’s Project U – URC Munchy’s Manufacturing Integration and URC Thailand Research and Development’s Saturn Cost-saving Productivity Project.

The following category, Organizational Transformation, recognized initiatives that strengthen organizational effectiveness (in sales, production, and performance) through continuous improvements and innovation. This year, the Digital Workplace Transformation program under the URC Main Human Resources and Information Technology team emerged victorious, closely followed by BCFG Philippines Finance’s Plant Finance Transformation Journey project. The awards were presented by Vincent Go, Managing Director for Agro-Industrial Group, and Dr. Shirlyn Reyes, URC Vice President for Corporate Quality and EHS.

Rounding out the awards ceremony was the People Focus category, which honored highly effective teams that manifest URC values and people initiatives that champion employee experience while delivering outstanding business performance. Fittingly, the award was presented by the “people champions” who teach, coach, and build the capability of the company’s employees: Evelyn Ng, URC Chief Financial Officer, and David Lim, Vice President for Operations in Supply Chain and Technology.

The URC Vietnam Human Resources team, with its entry Championing Employee Experience and Outstanding Business Performance: URC Vietnam’s Journey in Building a Values-Driven Culture, deservedly won the People Focus award, having epitomized how employees are the foundation of a sustainable organization. The URC Main Agile COE was similarly impressive, with its Unlocking Potential: Cultivating People-Centric Capabilities to Sustain Agile Transformation program securing the runner-up spot.

Congratulations to all URChoice Awards nominees and winners! May you continue to inspire others in becoming gamechangers, organizational transformers, and people-focused employees. 

For more information on URC, visit urc.com.ph