A Matter of Pride: Recognizing Excellence in the Gokongwei Group

Now on its 12th year, Pride in Performance is the group’s annual recognition program

The extraordinary achievements of business units in the Gokongwei Group (composed of JG Summit Holdings, Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc., Summit Media, and their respective affiliates) were recognized at the annual Pride in Performance Awards.

The 12th edition of the awards took place on August 19, 2022, being held face-to-face for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic two years ago. Around 200 Gokongwei Group officers and employees attended the ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. Being a hybrid event, thousands more watched the live proceedings unfold online.

As JG Summit President and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei observed in his opening remarks, combining the onsite event with a virtual one was “a testament to how we as a group continue to evolve. Ever since the start of our journey, the Gokongwei Group was born out of a desire to adapt to changing circumstances.”

Acknowledging the challenges the conglomerate had to overcome due to the pandemic, Gokongwei mentioned that “the past hurdles really required us to seize breakthrough opportunities and get it all done together.”

These exemplary efforts and initiatives to fulfill the group’s purpose – an unrelenting commitment to provide customers with better choices, creating shared success with stakeholders – were recognized and celebrated through the following award categories: Purpose & Sustainability, People Focus, Digital Transformation, Customer-Centric Culture, and Business Outperformance. This year, more than 80 entries were evaluated by the PIP committee and external evaluators.

The first award to be announced, Purpose & Sustainability, recognized projects that manage and improve the Group’s Environmental, Social and Governance efforts in the communities where it operates. Taking the plum was URC’s “Improving Resource Utilization: Ingredients for a Healthy Planet and Sustainable Businesses” initiative.

In a video message, Shirlyn Reyes, URC vice president for Corporate Quality, Environment, Health & Safety, said, “URC’s sustainability strategies have been transformative over the years. In 2021, this sustainability transformation has become more clear and consistent in strengthening the six sustainability focus areas of URC, mainly People & Communities, Climate Action, Water, Product, Packaging, and Sourcing, anchored to the United Nations’ SDGs they uphold.

 URC also took first place in Pride in Performance's People Focus category. 

The next award, People Focus, which recognizes initiatives that strengthen organizational capability and effectiveness by attracting, developing, engaging, and retaining talents to drive productivity and support business strategies, went to URC’s Human Resources Agile Transformation Office.

By implementing the “Agile@Scale” operating model, URC was able to focus on critical business priorities and have its employees make empowered decisions and use the right tools to solve issues. Susan Tayag, Director of Agile COE & Talent Management at URC, said that in the year since using the Agile model, “We've seen amazing results, not just in our outcomes but who we are as an organization. As we look back on this journey, it's really not just about what we have achieved, but who and what we have become. URC, we are Agile.”

Next up was the Digital Transformation award, which honored efforts that future-proof a digital, data-driven, and agile organization, maximize productivity through digitalization, and the pursuit of new business opportunities using technology and data. Taking the award was Data Analytics Ventures, Inc. for its successful launch of the Go Rewards App. 


As explained by Sally Garcia, Loyalty Product Head of DAVI, Go Rewards is an all-in-one lifestyle rewards app “combining the ‘earn and burn’ rewards points of Robinsons Rewards [of Robinsons Retail Holdings] and [Cebu Pacific’s] GetGo in one super loyalty rewards program. The GoRewards app also provides the best rewarding and engaging experience.”

The next PIP category, Customer-Centric Culture, salutes best-in-class products, services and processes, that are responsive to customer needs. There are two awards in this category, one for Internal customers and the other for External customers.

The Customer-Centric Internal PIP award winner, Robinsons Supermarket’s Automated Cash Management Solutions—Retail Systems initiative, was lauded for addressing cashier pain points and increasing security and efficiency.

“The automated cash management solution is a process of accepting, counting, detecting counterfeit notes, and tracking cash through a specially designed hardware, which is the cash deposit machine, and a customized software we call CMS Portal. Robinson supermarket engaged the project to improve productivity of both the cashiering officer and the cashier. This improvement in checkout not only impacts the cashier, but at the same time, allows them to serve more customers, providing a better customer experience,” said Rosalyn Lualhati, Front End Systems Manager of Robinsons Supermarket.

The Customer-Centric External PIP Award, meanwhile, went to Cebu Pacific for its CEB Super Pass promo, a single-use voucher (starting at the base price of only Php 99) that provides customers added flexibility when planning their trips.

“In 2021, the CEB Super Pass stood for hope and positivity amidst the shared experiences of uncertain and trying times. But more than the numbers, CSP proved you can win when you focus on the customer and not on the competition,” said Kristina Pauline Obra, CEB Marketing Specialist.

There was a pleasant surprise for the Business Outperformance category’s Rising Star award, as three business units had earned the evaluating committee’s approval. These up-and-coming units achieved remarkable growth in terms of market share and revenue in 2021: Robinsons Retail’s Rose Pharmacy, which posted Php 8.2 billion in revenue, Php 458 million in EBITDA, and Php 246M in EBIT; BOPP and UFLEX of URC Packaging Group, which had Php 1.6 billion in revenue, Php 407 million in EBITDA, and Php 228 million in EBIT; and Robinsons Land Industrial and Integrated Developments, which had Php 3.3 billion in revenue, Php 1.8 billion in EBITDA, and Php 1.7 billion in EBIT.

Earning the ceremony’s final award, the highly coveted Business Outperformance title, was URC Sugar & Renewables. Composed of two groups, URC SURE has a Sugar Division with mills and refineries across the Philippines, and a Distillery Division which engages in the production of renewable bio-fuels suitable for gasoline blending. In 2021, URC SURE posted an impressive Php 16.9 billion in revenue, Php 4.7 billion in EBITDA, and Php 3.7 billion in EBIT, a testament to its commitment toward achieving positive business results and serving its customers.

Closing the Pride in Performance event on a high note, JG Summit Chief Human Resources Officer Gully Go led employees in giving a warm round of applause to all the winners. “Our group is so full of diverse possibilities, making us rethink and reshape how we address not just customers but also our own organizations. Some of these you've seen are digital, while others are expressed through person-to-person interactions. We are so encouraged by how many of us have retooled our current ways of working,” said Go, praising the various initiatives that contributed to the group’s continued success.

He added, “The performance of these exceptional teams really shows how we build connections. These connections are not just about the people we serve, but the markets where we operate in, as well as the communities that we are always a big part of. Performance that isn't about only proving ourselves, but more importantly, improving everyone around us.”

Congratulations to all the Pride in Performance winners!

Business Outperformance
1st Universal Robina Corporation SURE (Sugar and Renewables)
2nd Robinsons Land Corporation Office Buildings Division
3rd Robinsons Bank

Rising Star
Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. – Rose Pharmacy
Robinsons Land Corporation Industrial and Integrated Developments
URC Packaging Group (BOPP & UFLEX)

Customer-centric Culture (External)
1st Cebu Pacific – CEB Super Pass
2nd Corporate Center Units & URC BCFG – Business Data-driven Actions for Improving Supplier      Experience (B-DA Suppliers or Suppliers ang Bida)
3rd RRHI Rose Pharmacy – Welcome Back Rose Pharmacy: Recovery by Refocusing on Customer Needs

Customer-centric Culture (Internal)
1st RRHI Robinsons Supermarket – Automated Cash Management Solutions - Retail Systems
2nd Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. – Electronic Approval for Request for Payments (RFP) for Non-Trade Transactions
3rd Universal Robina Corporation – Agile Team: Back-Office Optimization for Sales Team (BOOST)

Digital Transformation
1st Data Analytics Ventures, Inc. – Launch of Go Rewards App an all-in-one lifestyle rewards app
2nd Cebu Pacific – Refunds Reengineering
3rd Robinsons Land Corporation – Robinsons Malls is Future-Proofing the Malling Experience through Digital Services

People Focus
1st Universal Robina Corporation – Human Resources, Agile Transformation Office
2nd Corporate Center Units – Creating a Culture of Learning, Growth and Psychological Safety
3rd Cebu Pacific – Celebrating Every Hue: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Purpose & Sustainability
1st Universal Robina Corporation – Improving Resource Utilization: Ingredients for A Healthy Planet and Sustainable Business
2nd Cebu Pacific – Neo Way to Fly
3rd Robinsons Bank – Building Bais: Equipping Planters Thru Access To Financial Services