Teaching an old conglomerate new tricks | Inquirer Business

Teaching an old conglomerate new tricks

Ayala Group invites young Filipinos to share their best ideas for innovation through competition
By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:01 AM June 10, 2019

Teaching an old conglomerate new tricks

Participants of the 2019 Ayala Group Summer Internship Program with MWC director, Janine Carreon (6th to 8th from left), Globe chief human resource officer, Renato Jiao, and Asticom Technology Inc. CEO, Mharicar Castillo-Reyes. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

To inject more fresh ideas into its almost 200-year-old business, the Ayala Group, the Philippines’ largest and oldest conglomerate, is looking to today’s youth for inspiration through a new competition: the Ayala Group Interns Innovation League.

The contest is part of the six-week Ayala Group Summer Internship Program (Agsip), which is now on its 11th year.


While undergoing on-the-job training in different Ayala companies, this year’s 119 interns from 15 universities will also be working on a business pitch, which they will present to key executives at the end of the program.


Interns will be grouped into 26 teams, and only one team will be chosen as winner.

These five lucky interns will then be flown to Huangzhou, China, for an immersion trip to the offices of Alibaba and Ant Financial. They will also receive a P50,000 cash prize and automatic job offers from the Ayala Group.

The winning team will be awarded at the end of Agsip on July 12.

“I’m excited about the challenge [of coming up with fresh business ideas], and also working with my groupmates,” said 22-year-old Jose Pascual, a fourth-year student at the University of Asia and the Pacific taking up Master of Science in Management, at the Agsip orientation on June 3 in Taguig City. “I’m also looking forward to the internship because it follows a program and there are target projects.”

Interns’ pitches need to fall under five categories—technology and systems, product, processes, utilities and services, and new business—and must be “implementable,” said Mharicar Castillo-Reyes, Asticom Technology, Inc. president and CEO. Asticom is a human resources shared service company under the Ayala Group.

“We encourage them to look at synergies across the Ayala Group, because that is, I think, our strength as a conglomerate,” Reyes said. “[They need to answer this:] How can Ayala use its assets across the group to provide a sustainable solution that can bring an underserved market toward a superior quality of life?”


Like Pascual, BS Management Economics students Anica Sarmiento, 20, and Geoff Justin Garcia, 20, said they were both looking forward to the challenges of Agsip and Agile.

Both decided to take on an internship during their summer break even if it isn’t a requirement under their curriculum.

“I’m excited to do actual work, to meet the success indicators that [Ayala] has put in place,” said Sarmiento, who will be working under BPI. “I wasn’t expecting to get in, so my acceptance into the program is a real confidence boost.”

As for Garcia, he said that getting into the program and being assigned to Ayala Land was something he really wanted, because his heart has always been in real estate, thanks to his dad who introduced him to it through TV shows.

“Getting into Agsip made me feel like I’m part of something else, something bigger [than myself],” Garcia said. It’s a sentiment that’s perfectly in line with the Ayala Group’s mission: to contribute to nation building.

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“I attribute [the Ayala Group’s] longevity to the values that drive us: integrity, empowering leadership and a commitment to national development,” said Renato Jiao, Globe Telecom’s chief human resource officer.


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