PH poised for leapfrogging in tech and start-ups in 2022 – Manila Bulletin


IMMAP DigiCon co-presenter Angkas charts the roadmap for industries and tech players in the years to come.

Despite the global pandemic, the Philippines is poised to be one of five ASEAN countries to become tech powerhouses in the next fifteen years, according to the Center for Economics Business Research (CEBR).

George Royeca, CEO of Angkas, believes that the country is ready for a big leap forward in the technology and startup sectors. These industries and their continued growth over the past few years will be in focus this year. IMMAP Valley DigiCon 2022, which will be co-presented by Angkas, the first motorcycle taxi and delivery platform.

“While the pandemic has been the worst global crisis in the millennium, it has undeniably opened new avenues for rapid growth in the country, particularly in the technology sector. Overnight, e-commerce, online payments , e-wallets, telemedicine, online employment, digital banking as well as delivery and logistics services grew exponentially which then had to be supported by faster internet speeds,” Royeca points out.

“The pandemic and the restricted mobility it has necessitated has primed the market in terms of technology literacy and willingness to adopt technology-based solutions. There are products and services that the market is ready for now that would not have been viable before the pandemic, and would otherwise have taken another 5-10 years for the country to be ready,” adds Royeca. “We have had and continue to have an ideal and unprecedented climate for the development and funding of tech startups. The kind of companies that offer innovative products and services that we couldn’t even have imagined before the pandemic,” he concludes.

The road less traveled

Angkas was in itself an innovation, much less conventional than it seems at first sight. Motorbike taxis were already widely used for public transport throughout the region when Angkas was established in 2015. Despite the crippling traffic in Metro Manila and its staggering economic cost, motorbike taxis were not a solution considered by anyone at the time. , because motorcycles had an abysmal safety record.

The Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System (MMARAS) Traffic Accident Report for 2015 indicated that motorcycle accidents accounted for 39.6% of all vehicle accidents and 33, 6% of all fatal accidents in Metro Manila. In each case, they were by far the main contributors. Filipino motorcyclists were considered too unruly for such a service to be reasonably safe.

Angkas’ innovation was to believe that with training, motivation and support, Filipinos could be the backbone of a safe and professionalized app-enabled moto-taxi service. “We take care of the training of all the candidate riders, then we carefully select only the 30% most successful. We also host regular company events that serve as refresher courses and venues for more soft skills training, and even things like sexual harassment education,” says Royeca. “The result is that after literally millions of journeys booked, our safety record is 99.997%,” he concludes.

Sense of purpose, resilience

“I think the first thing potential startups should start with is to look at the big picture: Are you solving a real problem?” Royeca asks. “Any business venture will always have a profit aspect, but these days it’s the businesses that have an innate sense of purpose and offer real solutions to real problems that are embraced by the public,” Royeca points out. ,

Royeca had specific advice for potential startups on failure: “Don’t be afraid of failure or adversity, these build courage. As long as you are imbued with a sense of purpose, you will overcome failure and adversity and emerge stronger and more courageous.

In the short history of Angkas, they were twice ordered out of business, their runner pool was capped, and just when they seemed in the clear, the pandemic hit. Showing true resilience, that’s when Angkas launched a courier and shopping assistant service, enabling more people to shop and shop safely from home. Angkas has also formed a partnership with the Red Cross to assist in the delivery and administration of COVID-19 test kits. When it became reasonably safe to do so, Angkas also offered free rides to medical frontliners.

Co-creation breeds innovation

Community building begins when everyone contributes to each other’s well-being, and that’s exactly what prompted Angkas to sign up and be a co-presenter for this year. IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022one of the industry’s most anticipated digital conferences that brings together professionals from the marketing, advertising and digital industries to hear and learn from world-renowned local speakers.

Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) is an organization that strives to educate and provide the digital tools necessary for advertising and integrated marketing professionals to make better communications decisions. One such effort is the annual DigiCon.

Royeca explains: “When you have a company that serves the greatest number, it is impossible to innovate without co-creation. Angkas would not have been possible without the coming together of technological innovations, government regulators, customers and of course our cycling partners, to create a “winnovation”, an innovation in which everyone has a stake and in which everyone the world is a winner.

(Left to right) Brian Go, Marketing Director of Angkas; Denise Haak, IMMAP DigiCon Co-Chair; Janelle Barretto, IMMAP DigiCon Ways & Means Manager; and Trish Elamparo-Esteban, IMMAP DigiCon Co-Chair

After two years of purely virtual connections, this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 will finally bring back face-to-face networking through the DigiCon After Hourswhich will run during parties across the city, promising to offer cocktails and entertainment, and allow delegates to physically reconnect with other industry players.

“I think what Angkas is excited about is this live interaction; a lot of the best collaborations and partnerships happen because of these more spontaneous, in-person things, and the human interaction is what makes all the creativity and innovation flourish more,” muses Royeca.

As a co-presenter of this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022, Angkas hopes this can be a great model to induce new SMEs into the tech and startup sector, while introducing a community mindset. which hopefully can solve the daily problems of Filipinos.

DigiCon Valley 2022 happens on October 10-14 of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST using the ViVYD platform, with all new tracks that address the different stages of innovation: Launchpad, Hypergrowth, Breakthrough and Enterprise.

Among this year’s high-profile speakers are one of the world’s most influential women and founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington; Rappler founder and the first Filipino Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Maria Ressa; internationally renowned marketing expert and academic, Mark Ritson; co-founder of Character ventures and inventor of the Design Sprint, Jake Knapp; and Dole Sunshine Company Global Marketing Director, Rupen Desai.

Buy tickets now and learn more about IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 at and follow their social pages on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 is co-presented by Angkas and would like to thank Platinum Sponsors: Manulife Philippines, Share Treats and TikTok; Gold Sponsors: Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, Grab Ads, Kroma Entertainment, McDonald’s Philippines and Meta Philippines; and Silver Sponsors: Digital Turbine, Hepmil Philippines and Metrobank.

Special thanks to IMMAP event partners: Creators and Influencers of the Philippines (CICP), Endeavor and Kickstart Ventures.




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