The Economist Corporate Network Holds Roundtable on Family Owned Businesses in the Philippines

Last February 27, 2019, The Economist Corporate Network held a special breakfast roundtable here in Cebu City. During the event which was held at Seda Hotel Ayala Center Cebu, the results of a new study by The Economist Intelligence Unit was discussed. The lively, informative, and enlightening exchange also centered on other relevant and equally-important issues related to running a family business here in the Philippines.

Read on to know more about the study, the result, and other key points discussed during the roundtable.

The Study

The Economist Corporate Network recently did a study in which family business leaders from Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia rated their future-readiness across five different categories. The categories include environment, people, technology, and processes.

According to the study, out of all the family firms in Southeast Asia, the ones from the Philippines have the highest level of confidence or readiness across the categories. The Philippines averaged 8.29 on a ten-point scale with 10 being most confident. The country also faired well when it comes to skills development tying with Thailand on the first spot with 8.6 points.

The study also revealed that Filipino family businesses are positive towards their capabilities to make use of the latest technology like cloud computing and automation. Family businesses in the Philippines also have a huge chance of adopting new business models and enter new markets.

Despite being positive about the future, however, Filipino family businesses report the highest concern in the region for regulatory and regional geopolitical risks.

The Roundtable

Before the discussion began, the Economist Corporate Network’s Global Editorial Director Andrew Staples presented the results of the report.

According to Mr. Michael Gold who was the EIU editor of the report, “This strong level of optimism among family businesses in the Philippines will greatly help in supporting the country’s growth agenda.”

Mr. Edler Panlilio, Managing Director of SAP Philippines, said that, “these high levels of confidence of 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. With majority of businesses in the Philippines being family-owned, intelligent technologies such as analytics, machine learning, and cloud computing can help support these businesses to become intelligent enterprises and create experiences that matter for Filipino consumers.”

The presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion with the following panel members:

Mr. Edler Panlilio
Managing Director
SAP Philippines

Mr. Jonathan A. Ramos
Premier Family Business Consultants

Mr. Ricardo de Vera
Author and Management Consultant

Jacob Cabochan
Director for Finance and Operations
Pandayan Bookshop, Inc.

Some of the key points discussed during the roundtable include:

• How family businesses in Philippines can stay competitive, and at the forefront of innovation in their industry

• How to overcome the unique challenges family firms face in leveraging disruptive technologies

• Finding the right entrepreneurial talent and joint partners to drive business growth in line with family values and structures Opportunities and risks in regional business expansion plans

• Let us explore the dynamic of digital transformation, identify practical steps to overcome roadblocks, and chart the future of the family business in the Philippines.

Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a global leader in business intelligence, is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group. It helps executives come up with better decisions by providing timely, reliable, and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.
To know more about the EIU, visit or


SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software. A cloud company powered by SAP HANA®, SAP helps companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best. SAP helps give organizations deep business insight and fosters collaborations that help them stay ahead of their competition. Their machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. For more information, visit

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