Technology to push family businesses to the future

CEBU. (From left) Andrew Staples, global editorial director of The Economist Corporate Network, Edler Panlilio, Managing Director of SAP Philippines and Ricardo De Vera, author and management consultant, (fourth from left) were the panelists for the Economist Corporate Network's family-owned business breakfast roundtable at the Seda Ayala Center Cebu, Wednesday, February 27. (Johanna Marie Bajenting)

FILIPINO family businesses in the country are faced with the challenge of generation gap in digital transformation but are the most assured in Southeast Asia about their future-readiness, a study said.

With government efforts to catch up with the innovation wave, family businesses in the country report the highest levels of confidence or readiness in Southeast Asia with an average of 8.29 on a 10-point scale.

A SAP-sponsored study by The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that Filipino family businesses are positive to their capabilities to deploy the latest technology.

Because of the administration's Build, Build, Build program and the entry of the third telco in the country, an economic consultant urged businesses to start catching up to their processes.

"Technology is a capex. It's an investment so the paradigm that if it's an investment, it's supposed to be moving you towards the future, not today," said Ricardo De Vera, an author and management consultant.

Andrew Staples, global editorial director of The Economist Corporate Network, said the Philippines is not the only country that is challenged by the lack of infrastructure.

"All the countries in the region investing in the physical infrastructure to support a digital economy face that challenge. And that can be coming through connectivity through a fiber optic network and you could also be thinking about human capabilities, human capital and so on," he said.

There is a big upswing in gross fixed investments in the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) and this is all represented with the thrust of the government as well to be investing in infrastructure, he added.

"The Economist see very positive movements in investments in infrastructure to support it," Staples said.

Family businesses in the country also placed the highest in the likelihoods to adopt new business models and enter new markets.

Managing director of SAP Philippines, a cloud company in enterprise application software, Edler Panlilio, said the optimism in family business confidence towards the future-readiness will benefit the country's growth.

"These high levels of confidence for family firms in the Philippines just shows how savvy they are for technology and continue to look forward to grow further in innovating products and reach new markets," he said.

Local businessman, Bunny Pages of the Pages Group said he is optimistic in terms of using technology to drive their business forward.

"We can really make use of the technology by providing us on time information that we can use to manage our businesses better. We're in the restaurant business where managing cost is very important," he said.


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