Archive for the ‘ASEAN’ Category

ABA Awardee Tony Fernandes’ Childhood Dream Turned Reailty — ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

“If you have a happy workforce they’ll look after your customers anyway. You can have all the money you want in the world, and you can have all the brilliant ideas but if you don’t have the people, forget it.” – Tony Fernandes

Tony Fernandes – a Malaysian entrepreneur born in Kuala Lumpur, had a childhood dream of owning his own airline. He left Malaysia at the age of 12 to study at Epsom College in Surrey, England and then graduated from London School of Economics. Fernandes, an accountant, started his career with Warner then moved to Richard Branson’s Virgin Communications only to move back to Malaysia to explore a career in the music industry. He became the youngest managing director of Warner Music, Malaysia. After his career in music industry, he decided to finally fulfil his childhood dream of owning his own airlines.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia won an ASEAN Priority Integration Sector Award: Aviation in 2015

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia won an ASEAN Priority Integration Sector Award: Aviation in 2015

As a firm believer of multiculturalism, Fernandes wanted to generate an airline that was accessible and affordable but with great style.  Instead of starting from scratch, Fernandes bought an existing airline; Air Asia. Right after the 9/11 terror attacks, Fernandes mortgaged his home to buy Air Asia – an ailing Malaysian owned airline for one ringgit with $11 million worth of debt.  After a year in business, Air Asia broke even and was able to settle all their debts.  Fernandes was able to turn an ailing airline into a profitable budget airline in a span of 2 years.  AirAsia has grown from a Malaysian domestic airline to the largest low-cost carrier in Asia in terms of fleet size and passengers carried. The story of redemption has been truly exceptional: the budget airline has been named the world’s best low-cost airline hence the tag line “Now everyone can fly”.

Air Asia is molded by culture, openness and transparency. Fernandes maintains a flat culture way of working whereas everyone plays a part in Air Asia and are all equally important. Fernandes says that to him “employees come number one, customers come number two. If you have a happy workforce they’ll look after your customers anyway. You can have all the money you want in the world, and you can have all the brilliant ideas but if you don’t have the people, forget it.” Fernandes adopts a “walk around” management style. According to his interview with BBC, he shared his experience working alongside his staff, “If you sit up in your ivory tower and just look at financial reports, you’re going to make some big mistakes.” For a few days every month he works on the ground or in the cabin crew. He says he’s learned a lot from working on the airline himself.  Fernandes turned down the idea of belt loaders at first but on his next stint working alongside staff, he almost broke his back while loading the plane. He says that without the experience, “I could have made a decision – a very wrong decision that damaged a lot of people and destroyed the morale of the organisation at that level.” Through this, Fernandes was able to create an environment for innovation.

The branding of Fernandes’s airline felt like Branson’s Virgin, down to the color scheme and logo typeface, but the bigger inspiration was the boom in low-cost flying that was transforming Europe’s flightmaps. Soon the fleet was expanding rapidly, and within a decade Air Asia was flying 30 million passengers annually. He is one of the first CEOs to harness the power of social media networks to sell tickets and market his airline. Fernandes believes in involving himself in the day-to-day functions of an airline.

While the group’s HQ is in Malaysia, the Air Asia brand has become a pillar for foreign airlines in which Fernandes has a stake. He bought 49% of the then AWAIR, an Indonesian low-cost carrier, in 2004, rebranding it as Indonesia Air Asia the following year. Similar joint ventures have brought Air Asia into the Philippines, Thailand, Japan and most recently into India. With large numbers of new planes in order, Fernandes has spoken of Air Asia X — linking Europe and Asia via low-cost long haul in the years ahead, starting with a London route.

Fernandes has also made ventures in other arenas – in Britain, he most famously bought football club, the Queens Park Rangers, and a Formula One racing team to add to his hotel, education, mobile phone and insurance ventures. Fernandes has received numerous awards from the industry observers and international press alike. Among the awards are, ‘Malaysia CEO of the year 2003’ by American Express and the Business Times, ‘Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – Malaysia 2003’ at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2004, ‘Airline Business Strategy Award 2005, the first Asian to receive the Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year award in 2010, and most recently, the 2016 EY ASEAN Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.

It’s easy to see that Air Asia is now an ASEAN champion with global recognition. One that has connected the different communities through making air travel accessible to all.


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

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Winners Circle: A Look into Previous ABA Awardees from Each ASEAN State

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Since 2007, the ASEAN Business Awards has already honoured and celebrated a diverse set of 174 outstanding businesses across the region. Every year, the awards only get bigger and grander as prosperity and awareness is beginning to grow in the region. Awardees span across different fields and represent unique and strong companies that are propelling the ASEAN economy. This year, the Philippines serves as the host of the of the ASEAN Business Awards 10th year and has introduced a new category — the Inclusive Business Award. The anticipation continues to grow for the announcement of the newest batch of ABA awardees on September 6, 2017, at the Okada Hotel in Manila. As the wait ensues, lets look back at previous winners who have made their homeland proud by exhibiting exemplary business leadership and ingenuity:

1) Anusia Ramsamy
Women Entrepreneur Award (2016) — MALAYSIA

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 1
Anusia Ramsamy is the Sales and Marketing Director of VG Offshore Containers International, the largest manufacturer of container units in Malaysia and amongst the largest in the world. A 2nd generation leader of the family business, Ms. Ramsamy joined the family business initially set-up by her father in 2006. On her first year in the business, she was able to lead the company sales to increase by an astounding 41%. To date, her leadership has grown the company’s revenue by 600% and their customer base by sevenfold.

Ms. Ramsamy’s exemplary leadership at VG Offshore Containers International has exponentially transformed the company from a medium-sized family enterprise to an internationally recognized one. The outstanding manufacturing company is poised for greater growth in the near future with Ms. Ramsamy at the helm.

2) Sunlight Foods Corporation
ASEAN SME Business Excellence Award in Employment (2016) — PHILIPPINES

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 2
Crispin R. Muyrong, the Co-founder and Vice President of Sunlight Foods Corp., received the prestigious award last year on behalf of his company Sunlight Foods Corp. Mr. Muyrong and his wife founded the food processing outfit in 2000, after years of extensive experience in the food production management and production facility structure design industry. They’ve worked for the likes of Philippine industry food giants such as Universal Robina Corp, RFM, and San Miguel Corporation.

Today, Sunlight Foods Corp. as a tropical fruits processor company — with their mainline of business being processing of fruit preserves — has effectively established itself as the leading supplier for the ice cream, bread, and fast food industries. What is more impressive is that Sunlight has been able to create quality products at lower prices than their competition by doing business sustainably and inclusively. They source their raw materials directly from farmers, provide trainings for all their stakeholders (employees and partner farmers), and have adopted Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code standards amongst several other initiatives.

3) Adventure Myanmar Tours & Incentives
AEC Priority Integration Sector Award in Tourism (2016) — MYANMAR

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Last year, Zar Ni Htwe received the ASEAN Business Award for Adventure Myanmar Tours & Incentives as the company’s Managing Director. Well-versed in the world of tourism and an employee who has risen in the ranks of the company, Mr. Htwe was fitting to represent Adventure Myanmar as their multi-lingual Managing Director and Master of Trainers for Community-Based Tourism.

Adventure Myanmar is a travel company that ensures the quality of their client’s stay in Myanmar. Established in 1993, the company has built long-lasting and trustworthy relationships over the course of two decades with local hotels, resorts and other products/service providers that will ensure a VIP experience for all their clients.

4) G Gear Co., Ltd.
AEC Priority Integration Sector Award in Electronics (2015) — CAMBODIA

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Mr. Sok Piseth is the CEO and Co-Founder of G Gear Co., Ltd, a leading electronics supplier in Cambodia. Mr. Piseth is considered as one of the most active young entrepreneurs that is helping to shape the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia and is the President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia.

His company, G Gear, is the only strategic partner of LG electronics and is an exclusive partner of Hyundai. Around Cambodia, LG shops and electronics are becoming more accessible to the people thanks impart to G Gear Co. and Mr. Piseth.

5) Lao IT Development
AEC Priority Integration Sector Award in E-ASEAN/ICT — LAOS

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The IT industry is one of the most relevant sectors poised for development in the ASEAN. Lao IT Development focuses on technical research in terms of IT and international technologies. Co-founded by CEO Thanongsack Souksavat, the company is said to specialize on software, which is of high demand in Laos. Furthermore, they translate their research into the local dialect to improve the accessibility of the information to the Laotian people.

Aside from software development, their services also include website development, providing hardware on demand such as IT accessories and equipment, multi-media and events organization, training programs, network and information security solutions and IT support.

6) Health Management International Ltd.
AEC Priority Integration Sector Award in Healthcare (2015) — SINGAPORE

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Healthcare and business is a priority integration sector because ASEAN countries are mostly  developing nations that need collaboration in order to help speed up development in certain areas. Health Management International Ltd. is a healthcare company that is considered to be an early champion of regionalism. Found in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the private healthcare provider owns hospitals such as the Makhota Medical Center and the Regency Specialist Hospital.

On average, the group is able to serve 400,000 patients annually with about 170 in-house specialists working in their various outfits. They also have established a network of 19 patient representative offices across Southeast Asia. They are a primary force in education as they own and operate the Health Management International Institute of Health Sciences in Singapore. At the helm of the company is Group Chief Executive Officer Ms. Chin Wei Ja. Ms. Chin’s family has largely controlled the business with her mother Gan See Khem as the Executive Chairman and founding member, while her brother Chin Wei Yao is the Executive Director.

7) Megamas Training Company
Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise Award in Employment (2013) — BRUNEI

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 7
Megamas Training Company was formed in 1989 as a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) training center with its first facility in Mumong, Kuala Belait in Burnei. Today, they are Southeast Asia’s leading HSE training and consultancy provider, racking up awards and honors on a regular basis.

Megamas provides consultancy services and are specialists in Safety Management Systems. Other consultancy services they may provide include noise assessment, air monitoring, and carbon footprinting. They also provide training programs for emergencies in offshore, fire, first aid, technical, materials handling and marine training, which can be conducted virtually anywhere and all up to international standards. The group is largely led by its Excecutive Advisor Mohd Roger Ainsworth.

8) Wise Concetti Limited
ASEAN SME Business Excellence Award in Growth (2015) — VIETNAM

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 8
Connecting people is one of the most imperative challenges the ASEAN has to face. While a lot of focus has been put on the physical and infrastructural connection of states, Wise Concetti has taken it upon itself to address another connection barrier — language.

The company was established in Vietnam by Wise Kim, the current President and Chairman, as a localisation service provider. Their mission is to help global clients reach the ASEAN’s developing market by providing multi-sector document translation, website and software localisation, multi-lingual DTP, and software testing and development. Today, they are one of the leading localisation service providers and employ more than a 100 in-house linguists in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Lao, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

9) Martha Tilaar Group
Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise Award in Innovation (2008) — INDONESIA

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 9

Martha Tilaar is the founder and Chairwoman of the Martha Tilaar group, a pioneering beauty company who has innovatively brought traditional Indonesian beauty traditions to suit the modern age. The company is a leading producer of high-quality beauty products and services. They use traditional herbal ingredients and other natural plant extracts and creates modern cosmetic and beauty products, which they ship worldwide.

Aside from their beauty products, the group also owns a chain of spas and salons all across Indonesia and professional training centers. As one of the first few businesses awarded by the ASEAN Business Awards, the Martha Tilaar group is best known for their active promotion of eco-friendly, natural, and eastern beauty based on their core values of culture, environment and women empowerment.

10) Chanoen Pokphand Foods Group
Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise Award in CSR (2013); ABA Award for Outstanding Business Growth (2011) — THAILAND

Past ABA Awardees Website Card 10
As one of the world largest conglomerates, it’s no wonder why Chanoen Pokphand Food Group is a two-time recipient of an ASEAN Business Award. They are Thailand’s largest meat and animal-feed producer and is the leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate across the globe. Currently, the CP Group employs over half a million people worldwide.

If that’s not impressive enough, the CP Group has also dedicated its resources to sustainability management, which focuses on society development, win-win partnerships, and supporting community livelihood. The company is praised for their efforts to direct all facets of their company to sustainability — from aiming for completely sourcing their raw materials from sustainable sources to sustainablity in the supply chain through supporting farmers and collaborating with communities. CPF Group is led by Owner and Chairman Dhanin Chearavanont.


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

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Glocal Revolution: Local Brands, Global Reach

Monday, June 5th, 2017

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As efforts across the ASEAN are focusing on making the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) a reality, talks on how local businesses can make that leap towards going global have become widespread. However, even before the launch of the AEC, several Philippine brands have already begun creating waves abroad. Here is the definitive list of Philippine brands who have taken ‘glocalization’ to greater heights.

jollibee
Jollibee

There has not been a brand that perfectly embodies all that is good about being Filipino quite like Jollibee. Hardworking, joyful and family-centered — these are the values that Jollibee continues to portray alongside providing fast-food that satisfies the Filipino tastebuds. It is no wonder that Jollibee is the most dominant fast food chain in the country.

As a homegrown brand, the jolly red bee has been able to weave itself deep into the hearts of Filipinos all over the world. Filipino communities flock to their restaurant openings whenever they launch within their vicinity.

Today, Jollibee has a global network of 80 stores in countries with big Filipino populations like the U.S., Vietnam, Brunei, Jeddah, Qatar, Hong Kong and Kuwait. Jollibee truly offers a taste of home to Filipinos, wherever they may be in the world.

potato corner

Potato Corner

Everyone’s favorite flavored fries kiosk has bolstered its way into the global arena, one corner at a time. Potato Corner has peppered Filipino malls and commercial spaces since 1992. 25 years later, the well-loved Filipino snack has successfully captured the global market with stores present in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Panama and the USA.

An interesting fact about the spread of Potato Corner to other countries is that, more often than not, their franchisees were once young Filipinos who have fond memories of having the delectable finger food during their childhood. Today, these Filipinos wish to bring that experience to their new hometowns, and with Potato Corners very appealing franchise model, it hasn’t been hard to do so.

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Universal Robina Corp.

Universal Robina Corp. (URC) is a Philippine pioneer in the food and beverage industry. With over 5 decades worth of service to Philippine families, URC has also built a presence in the ASEAN Market. As a formidable market leader, URC’s line of products have been strongly ingrained in the Filipino snacking make-up with it’s chips, instant noodles widely seen across sari-sari stores nationwide.

Today, the company dubbed as the ‘first Philippine multinational’ has established its brand of snacks and drinks in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

san miguel

San Miguel Corporation

San Miguel Corp. is considered as the largest Philippine corporation. The conglomerate’s most famous brand is the classic San Miguel Beer under its subsidiary San Miguel Brewery. The beverage has penetrated the markets of over 24 countries worldwide. To date, San Miguel Brewery has also established Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Throughout more than a century of serving cold, brewed drinks across borders, San Miguel Beer has remained the dominant brewery in the country, holding 90% of the market despite many foreign entrants trying to compete with the local brand.

Aside from breweries, San Miguel has also ventured into other industries mainly oil (Petron), power generation (SMC Global Power Holding Corp.), and infrastructure (San Miguel Holding Corp.).

penshoppe
Penshoppe

While the local fashion retail market has seen many global brands entering the market, Penshoppe is aiming to go global itself by driving its brand into international territories. Penshoppe is widely known in the country for securing globally renowned endorsers such as Kendal Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevigne and many more. In a bid to attract more regional markets in the ASEAN, Penshoppe has launched a campaign locally that features local endorsers. This move is the initial step to hopefully launch similar campaigns in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The local retail brand truly wants to embody the vision of ‘glocal’ — a homegrown brand that uplifts its local roots but also celebrates global diversity.

maxs

Max’s Group

The Max’s Group is the home of several well-loved Filipino restaurants with Max’s, the namesake of the company, at the helm of them all. Aside from the go-to family restaurant for any and every celebration (Max’s has served as the venue for birthdays, receptions, graduation parties, etc. of Filipinos for generations upon generations), The Max’s Group has acquired other foodie favorites such as Pancake House, Teriyaki Boy and Yellow Cab.

While Max has largely been preoccupied with housekeeping after its acquisition of the aforementioned restaurants, they have recently set their sights on expanding globally. Last year, they announced that they aim to open 200 international outlets by 2020. Their expansion tactics initially focused on countries with big OFW populations such as U.S., Canada and the United Arab Emirates. However, the group has already secured bids to expand to Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com
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Street Vendor Turned ‘Juice King’ Alfredo Yao is the First Filipino ABA Awardee

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Credibility is built, not given. Respect is earned, not bought” – Alfredo Yao

Alfredo Yao is undoubtedly a self-made man. After the death of his father when he was only 12 years old, Yao stepped up and became the breadwinner for his mother and six siblings. In the video above, Yao tearfully shares of his personal sacrifices such as sleeping in sidewalks as a street vendor or being the only one who didn’t get to finish school. But the tears were not from shame or sadness — they come from a place only one who has managed to overcome vast adversity in their life, knows. From a roughing it out as a street vendor, Yao is known today as the man who built the widely regarded Zest-o Corporation and an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs across the ASEAN.

Yao was featured in Go Negosyo’s first edition of Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories. There he shared that entrepreneurship is a great equalizer because the entrepreneurial spirit cannot be bought or inherited “You learn it. I don’t think it’s inborn. They consider me a Tsinoy but I consider myself a Filipino. I was born in the Philippines and studied here. The Chinese have a good side and so do the Filipinos. Ang napuna ko lang sa Pilipino, sasabihan nila sa’yo, ‘pag bata ka pa, mag-aral ka nang mabuti para padating ng araw, makapagtrabaho ka ng maigi.’ Yun na ang ultimate goal. We should instill in children’s mind na dapat huwag makuntento na maging empleyado na lang. Kahit sa bangketa yan, sariling hanapbuhay yan. At the end of the day, it’s fate. Kanya-kanyang linya sa buhay.”

Alfredo Yao is the first Filipino to win an ASEAN Business Award back in 2007. His company Zest-O won the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in the Innovation Category.

Alfredo Yao is the first Filipino to win an ASEAN Business Award back in 2007. His company Zest-O won the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in the Innovation Category.

It’s no wonder that Yao was the first Filipino, and first ASEAN entrepreneur, to win the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in Innovation Award during the ASEAN Business Awards initial run back in 2007. Innovation is truly not something one can simply buy into. In fact, it takes an enterprising and humble spirit to lead innovation that is lasting and relevant.

Yao’s Zest-o Corporation, for example, was bred from an unrelenting passion to make something out of nothing. The beverage industry leader is known for being the first to bring the tetrapack technology to the Philippines. In fact, the story behind Zest-o was that Yao brought in tetrapacks (a.k.a. doypacks) to sell them to existing beverage companies as a new way to package their products. When no one showed interest, Yao decided to develop his own juice formula to package in tetrapacks and the rest is history.

This knack for innovation and resilient spirit is truly what makes Alfredo Yao admirable. While most established and traditional business are buckling in the face of technology disruptions and changing economic tides, Yao is largely unfazed. In his eyes, innovation, disruption and persistency is what got him far and he only wishes that more and more enterprises will be able to rise from meager circumstances to become beacons of hope.

“I started this business with just 3,000 pesos — and I’m not ashamed of that. If you want know how poor I was… look for the 10 poorest in a room of people, I was probably one of those 10. So, don’t lose hope.”

True enough, Yao at the helm of the three decades old corporation, still continues to dream big for the company. In a feature in Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine back in July 2015, he shared that “We [Zest-O Corp.] still continue to improve our products, our facilities, our technology so that we can serve our customers better. I still dream of seeing Zest-O as a big global brand. I never stop dreaming. Libre naman.”


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit  www.aba2017.com

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Cebuano Social Enterprise Weaves Filipino Cultural Tradition and Business into an ASEAN-Recognized Enterprise

Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Anya Lim is among the select Philippine Entrepreneurs who won at last year’s ASEAN Business Awards under the AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Awards for Textile. Photo courtesy of Inquirer News.

Anya Lim is among the select Philippine Entrepreneurs who won at last year’s ASEAN Business Awards under the AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Awards for Textile. Photo courtesy of Inquirer News.


We support our indigenous weavers by providing market access and capacity- building programs for them to be able to sustain their businesses. We do this by preserving and promoting our weaves and turning them into contemporary designs to attract younger generations.”

Anya Lim— featured in last year’s Go Negosyo’s 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs— won big in two separate international business awards last 2016. She garnered the special prize at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Efficiency and Success Target Awards held in Lima, Peru and the ASEAN Business AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Award for Textile held in Vientiane, Laos.

She serves as an inspiration for women, social entrepreneurs and all retail business owners alike for her company, the ANTHILL Fabric Gallery. ANTHILL stands for Alternative Nest and Trading Hub for Indigenous/ Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers and it is the first creative social and cultural enterprise in Metro Cebu.

ANTHILL had its humble beginnings in the year 2010, when Anya decided to partner with her mother in establishing a textile hub that sources and promotes local fabrics woven by indigenous communities. Anya credits her upbringing, her early exposure to indigenous communities, and her realizations while travelling as her inspiration for embarking on a business focused on promoting the value of Filipino traditional culture and identity.

Beyond promotion, however, Anya dreams of Filipinos weaving local textiles into our lifestyle in all aspects such as clothing, accessories, etc.

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Some of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery's creations. Photo from ANTHILL's Instagram account.

Some of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery’s creations. Photo from ANTHILL’s Instagram account.

“I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to different parts of the world and I noticed that in Asia, we have a very rich weaving culture, but it’s only in the Philippines where we only wear woven fabrics on rare occasions like weddings, cultural dances, Linggo ng Wika celebrations or burials,” Anya shared in an interview with Go Negosyo.

Moving forward, Anya hopes to bring her Cebuano social enterprise to greater heights. By introducing a management system to further professionalize the business, she hopes that ANTHILL will be able to expand its market reach and help more communities in the Philippines.


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

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ASEAN Business Awards: An Overview

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

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(UPDATED) The ASEAN Business Awards is fast approaching and to give an overview of what the awards are all about, we’ve prepared a primer encompassing the background and objectives.

1. Background

Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

ABA was conceived to be the first of its kind in the region, with the dual objectives of recognizing outstanding ASEAN enterprises, and to serve as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In addition, ABA also brings to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming global economic players.

A dedicated Working Group of ‘National Gateways’ consisting of ten ASEAN-BAC Members (one representative from each Member State) forms the foundation of ABA.  The roles of the National Gateways are to promote the event in their respective countries, as well as to select ‘National Judges’ who will be responsible in selecting the recipients of ABA.

Since it was first launched in 2007, ABA has recognised more than 100 companies throughout the region that excel in the categories of: Growth, Employment, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2015, however, ASEAN-BAC expanded the categories of ABA to include the Priority Integration Sectors (PIS) of ASEAN element, as well as recognising outstanding young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

To ensure the high-quality and independency of such a prestigious event, ASEAN-BAC engages a Strategic Partner each year to administer the implementation of the ABA Framework; short listing nominations of companies; administering the Judges Meeting and assist in promoting the event throughout the ASEAN region.  This Terms of Reference (ToR) aims to briefly highlight the event’s objectives, categories and criteria, and tentative plan in carrying out ABA 2017.


2. Objectives

Aside from recognising outstanding ASEAN enterprises, ABA also has the objectives of serving as a platform to disseminate AEC-related information, as well as to bring to the spotlight SMEs that have the potential of becoming global economic players in their respective industries.


3. Categories

PRIORITY INTEGRATION SECTORS – EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN business owned and operated by the applicant.

Subcategories: Agro-Based, Automotive, Retail, e-ASEAN, Electronics, Fisheries, Healthcare, Logistics, Rubber-based, Textiles, Tourism, and Wood-Based.

SME EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN business owned and operated by the applicant.

Subcategories: Growth, Employment, Innovation, and CSR

SPECIAL AWARDS
Recognizes enterprises that have created massive social and economic impact in the ASEAN community.

Subcategory: Friend of ASEAN

WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Outstanding business owner who has demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Outstanding business owner below the age of 45 who has demonstrated significant success though leadership, market positioning and company performance.

INCLUSIVE BUSINESS AWARD
Outstanding business models that sustainably create social impact through the company’s core business operations.

LEGACY AWARD
The Legacy Award is for entrepreneurs who have passionately committed themselves to growth and excellence while significantly contributing positive impact to the ASEAN Community. These entrepreneurs set examples by standing the test of time, surpassing challenges, and inspiring others through their successes and triumphs.


4PROCEDURE FOR NOMINATIONS / SELECTIONS FOR ABA 2017

The nominations or selections for ABA 2017 can be made via one the following channels:

* Automatic nominations from national level ABAs;
* Application through national gateways; and
* Online applications, either through the website of ABIS or ASEAN-BAC

With regard to application to be made through national gateways, auditors in respective countries are expected to work with national gateways in determining the nominations or selections for ABA. In terms of online applications, appointed auditors’ office in Philippines will take the coordinating role to vet online applications. Auditors are also expected to formulate simple application process, preferably based on the standard of evaluation already accepted in ASEAN.

Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 20177. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

ASEAN-ABA Sponsors 170519

Why DTI Sec. Lopez Believes in Creating Smarter Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group

A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group

Department of Trade and Industry’s Secretary Ramon Lopez joined the panel discussion on driving growth for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the Prosperity for All Summit last April. A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group that comprises 99.6% of the entire business sector.

Lopez shared that under the Duterte administration and during his work as the Executive Director of Go Negosyo, the advocacy was always about making the Filipino negosyante smarter. An entrepreneur is someone who is innovative and solutions-oriented and Lopez believes that if MSMEs had the right tools and guidance given to them, growth and progress will become exponential.

Citing a product of the Go Negosyo Act, Lopez shared that the 460 Negosyo Centers nationwide has already spread the access to money, mentorship, and market. This spread of financial support, market access, skills and knowledge have effectively created better equipped and better informed entrepreneurs.

Lopez believes that the current ecosystem that is emerging wherein the public and the private are actively engaging in scaling up the micro and small is bringing to life the advocacy of smarter entrepreneurs nationwide.

Prosperity for All Summit Session 1: Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All. In photo (L-R) Dr. William Dar (InangLupa Movement), Sen. Bam Aquino, Former President and Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Rami Sharaf (The Royal Group, Cambodia) and Cathy Yang (moderator).

Prosperity for All Summit Session 1: Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All. In photo (L-R) Dr. William Dar (InangLupa Movement), Sen. Bam Aquino, Former President and Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Rami Sharaf (The Royal Group, Cambodia) and Cathy Yang (moderator).

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Be a partner for change and become a mentor for entrepreneurship in ASEAN! Visit www.aseanmentors.org and fill out the application form online.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Concepcion Establishes an Alliance Towards Prosperity

Saturday, May 13th, 2017
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion established the Alliance Towards Prosperity For All with various business chambers in the country.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion established the Alliance Towards Prosperity For All with various business chambers in the country.

After the successful Prosperity for All Summit, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion started an alliance with the country’s business chambers to create programs in creating prosperity for the micro and small entrepreneurs.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity For All is a long-term private sector-led campaign at the national level to build a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary alliance of organizations and individuals to pursue prosperity for all among ASEAN nations.

Members of this alliance are expected to participate in all upcoming ASEAN activities and help in the continuous campaign for infrastructure. They will also be part of the technical working committee which will develop a national platform for MSME development.

Go Negosyo, founded by Concepcion, will be the leading organization for this alliance in the Philippines. Go Negosyo has been in the forefront of entrepreneurship development since 2005. For the past 12 years, Go Negosyo has created a strong network of entrepreneurs and organizations from all industries helping micro and small entrepreneurs level up.

Aside from Go Negosyo, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Financial Executives of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., Philippine Franchising Association, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, and many more will join the alliance. 22 business chamber heads attended the initial meeting of the alliance and many pledged their support to this initiative.

Chairman Concepcion said, “Through this initiative, we are creating a sustained alliance to fight off poverty through empowering micro and small entrepreneurs.”

In addition, in order to create prosperity for all, the alliance aims to strengthen the 3Ms for micro and small entrepreneurs. 3Ms include Money, Market and Mentorship. Access to finance is one of the biggest problems of MSMEs. In order to sustain their businesses, microfinance institutions, grants and loans, and other government interventions must be accessible to them.

To help MSMEs scale up, they also need market linkages. Go Negosyo and several organizations promote inclusive business where large companies include micro and small entrepreneurs in their value chains. By linking MSMEs to corporations, they are given wider market access and a sustainable income.

Mentorship is widely implemented by Go Negosyo in partnership with Department of Trade and Industry through the nationwide-implemented Kapatid Mentor Me Program which is a weekly coaching and mentoring program for micro and small entrepreneurs.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council under the Philippines chairmanship also established the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which will be a pool of entrepreneurs, mentors, and experts who will share their knowledge to micro entrepreneurs across the region. Members of the alliance will also be part of the AMEN program.

Myanmar’s Finance Minister Kyaw Win Promotes Education for ASEAN MSMEs

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
Myanmar’s Union Minister for Planning and Finance His Excellency Kyaw Win.

Myanmar’s Union Minister for Planning and Finance His Excellency Kyaw Win.

H.E. Kyaw Win, Union Finance Minister of Myanmar, delivered a speech in the Prosperity for All Summit on behalf Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

During his message, Kyaw Win gave recognition to the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s initiative to empower micro, small and medium enterprises. He emphasised the agency of the MSMEs in the economic agenda of the ASEAN Community.

Due to integration, Kyaw Win said, the region has become less susceptible to crises and consequently, more valuable to the global economy. He then stated the private sector’s role in ensuring the commitment of the region to growth and cooperation. As such, an overall theme to Kyaw Win’s message was closer coordination and cooperation amongst governments and the private sector in order to drive growth and integration.

The MSMEs has been a key driver in ASEAN’s progress as they have drawn more interest to the region and account for a lot of our region’s GDP contribution  and employment. Ultimately, Kyaw Win’s message in light of Prosperity for All was to equip and educate the MSMEs in the ASEAN in order to narrow development gaps  across the ASEAN.

VP Leni Speaks on Behalf of the Last, the Least and the Lost

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

In her stirring address to the most powerful and influential in the business community of ASEAN, Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo brought up the challenge of making “prosperity for all” centered on the poor.

Echoing the statements of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion and Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, Robredo also cited the promising future of ASEAN as one of the world’s largest economies. With this promise, Robredo said, is the true challenge of making the welfare of MSMEs and inclusive growth the center of the ASEAN’s agenda.

Robredo called into attention that at the other side of the growingly prosperous ASEAN is the startling fact that we are still home to many of the world’s poorest. If prosperity is not trickling down, then the problems of our brothers from the West, such as the crumbling of the European Union, will be inevitable for our region as well. This is why creating inclusive business environments is imperative in addressing growing gap between the powerful and the powerless.

With agricultural being one of the industries that directly impacts the poor, Robredo cites inclusive programs, both by public and private institutions, that have achieved positive change in the lives of farmers and fisherfolk. Examples included the World Food Programme’s Zero Hunger Program in Robredo’s former district Camarines Sur and Jollibee’s incorporation of farmers into their supply chain.

To close, Robredo highlighted the role of convergence in the public and private sectors across the ASEAN, in order to lasting prosperity for all. In a final reminder to the business community and government leaders, she voiced out that what happens to the last, the least and the lost is what will truly matter in the long-run.