The recently held Arangkada Philippines Forum talks about disruptive technologies and how large enterprises and startup businesses could join forces to build continuous growth while adapting to the changing economic environment and mounting social pressures.
Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), bots, and robotics, among other technologies, that have massive potential to disrupt entire industries, with many jobs at risk of being replaced by technology solutions that can be trainable, predictable, and easily controllable. In the previous year, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 49 percent of all labor in the Philippines is at high risk of automation in the next two decades.
“The key is the early preparation and the re-orientation of businesses to take a broader view, investing in AI while retraining people to do higher-level jobs that require human insight and judgment”.
That is not a guarantee that there will be no disruptions. But through collaboration especially between enterprises and startups, they can accelerate ecosystem-wide innovation that improves business performance while continuing to develop and invest in human capital, a view that was further emphasized by panelist Erika Legara of the Asian Institute of Management’s Department of Analytics, Information and Operations.
According to Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc. – the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom, established industries have the necessary scale and momentum. Large enterprises are good at driving innovation through a controlled environment but they are less successful when there are higher, often unquantifiable degrees of uncertainty and risk and where the innovation development process requires experimentation and rapid iteration.
On the other hand, Smaller companies and startups, while initially lacking scale, are faster to harness the potential of new and emerging technologies to create new businesses. Business and consumption models such as Uber and AirBnb which created the sharing economy, are changing the way assets are used and how industry players compete.
Navarrete said there is a way to marry the resources of large corporations and the risk-taking nature of startups just like what Globe did with Kickstart.
“At Globe, we take the perspective that we are not the only smart kids on the planet. We accept that innovation both inside and outside the company are important. We work together across ecosystems, to create value that improves the company’s business results while helping Filipinos achieve their dreams, and build up the nation as a whole,” Navarrete said.
She added: “Kickstart itself operates like a startup — independent, experimental, disruptive, personal. Our grassroots presence and hands-on approach helps build a robust startup ecosystem in the Philippines, bridging into large corporations here, and across the Southeast Asian region. We are disrupting Globe from the outside-in, and the industry is beginning to understand that that can be a very good thing for business.”