Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu represented the company at the ANVF 2023, the first international business leadership conference spotlighting Asia in the post-Covid landscape, with a focus on global, green, tech, and home visions. Gathering over 300 business and thought leaders, policymakers, and industry practitioners, the event amplified nuanced Asian perspectives within the broader business community.
During the panel discussion on Investing in Asia Pacific, Cu highlighted the nation’s consumer-driven economy, young population, and how the Globe Group's transition into a digital platform is helping drive national development.
Showcasing an array of portfolio companies, the Globe Group presented compelling evidence of the robustness of its transformative digital services which lower long-established entry barriers, especially in finance, healthcare, and education.
Its fintech platform GCash is the #1 Finance Superapp with a highly engaged user base that surpasses competition in terms of daily and monthly active users. GCash is also one of the very few profitable fintechs in the world that now serves as an indispensable companion for Filipinos in their day-to-day needs. GCash has democratized access to financial services offering options to open a savings account, investing in UITFs, getting insurance and even acquiring loans.
Meanwhile, Globe’s growing telehealth platform KonsultaMD has been providing much-needed quality medical care across a suite of services. It recently launched a SuperApp that features doctor consultations, a 24/7 online pharmacy with same-day delivery, at-home lab testing, diagnostics, wellness services, physical therapy, nursing care for newborns and elderly patients, and a concierge service for premium subscribers. It currently has a network of over 1,000 medical professionals with more than 40 specializations including mental health.
Cu also pitched the Philippines as a viable investment destination, saying: “We’ve got a very young population growing at about 3% per year and projected to be about 150 million people by 2050. The Philippines is pretty much a consumer-driven and consumption-driven economy. We don’t have much of the other industries yet, but we’ve got a tremendous base of consumers fed a lot by the overseas foreign workers.”
The country is also seeing steady economic growth. At the same time, the number of people using digital technology is set to rise by 36 million by 2030, making up over 70% of the population, according to a World Economic Forum report. While it's still developing, the Philippines’ startup scene is growing rapidly, with at least 700 active startups compared to only 100 in 2015, according to the Asian Development Bank.
Cu addressed the importance of local knowledge and partnerships when investing in ASEAN countries. He reiterated how the Globe Group, part of the Ayala conglomerate, has utilized its extensive understanding of the Philippines to provide unique and large-scale solutions.
"We wield what we call an “unfair advantage.” We understand our culture, our people, and their needs much better than any company that comes into the Philippines. We happen to live in a country where there’s a multitude of opportunities to help the population. So we started to look at large problems that exist and there’s plenty— from financial inclusion to access to healthcare, access to education, and pollution. Those areas are what we actually wanted to tackle. We started with financial inclusion,” he said.
Looking into the future, Cu highlighted the Globe Group's strategy to be the hub of technology startups through its venture builder, 917Ventures, and venture capital arm, Kickstart Ventures. Kickstart currently has 61 investments in eight countries out of three funds.
Other key decision-makers from the Globe Group joined Cu at the event, further demonstrating the company's commitment and synergy. GCash made its presence felt led by its President and CEO Martha Sazon and CFO Tek Olaño, while KonsultaMD was represented by its CEO Cholo Tagaysay.
Given the country's large population, supportive government policies, and low entry barriers, investors have an exciting market to explore with the Globe Group as a guide.
To learn more about Globe, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/.