‘Tech isn’t just for the nerds’ | Inquirer Business

‘Tech isn’t just for the nerds’

By: - Business Features Editor / @philbizwatcher
/ 02:14 AM May 07, 2023

Dennis Anthony Uy

Dennis Anthony Uy

BORACAY—Having connectivity is one thing, but maximizing the potential of the internet is another.

Thus says Pampangueño tycoon Dennis Anthony Uy, cofounder and CEO of fiber internet provider Converge ICT.


“Everyone must now think like a tech company,” says the technopreneur.


To mark the debut of Converge here, Uy flew in to pitch to business owners, including resort, restaurant and tour operators as well as local government leaders, at Hennan Palm Beach resort.

With its expansion to this island-paradise, a crown jewel of Philippine tourism, Uy says Converge has now covered the country’s hottest tourist destinations.

Converge is also present in Bohol, Cebu, Davao, Coron, Baler, Batangas, Puerto Galera and La Union, offering tailor-fit solutions for the hospitality industry, which has a large multiplier effect on the economy.

“Nationwide expansion and making sure we reach Filipinos’ homes is a long game. This is why we push on with our fiber deployment nationwide, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao where we are still a relatively new name. Two years on and we are where we want to be: we are securing our foothold and making a name for ourselves especially in establishing our presence in high-interest tourist destinations,” says Uy.

Although Converge isn’t the first internet provider in Boracay, his goal is to achieve enterprise market leadership in a year’s time.

Incorporated in 2007, Angeles City-based Converge has expanded more rapidly since going public at the height of the pandemic in October 2020. In less than a year since listing on the local bourse, the increase in market capitalization and brisk trading volume earned for Converge a spot at the 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange Index, the local stock market barometer comprising the country’s largest and most liquid companies.


“My wife Grace and I started Converge with the vision of giving Filipinos access to world-class connectivity—the same kind that you get in progressive countries. From a startup in Pampanga, we challenged the giants and expanded our network nationwide to reach Visayas and Mindanao,” Uy says.

“Now that our infrastructure is in place, we can create more services to help all businesses, no matter what size.”

With over 7.9 million ports as of 2022, Converge now has the broadest fiber-to-the-home network in the Philippines. It rolled out 2 million fiber ports last year alone. Internal data show that nearly 1 million ports have been deployed in Visayas and Mindanao as of April this year.

In terms of subscriber count, nearly 20 percent of the gross accounts added in the fourth quarter of 2022 came from Visayas and Mindanao. Aside from Aklan, Converge operates in nine other provinces in the Visayas, while in Mindanao, it is present in 11 major provinces.

This 2023, Converge plans to expand to new cities in Bohol, Zamboanga, Palawan and more cities in Aklan.

Knowing that the Philippines is a “sachet” market, Uy says Converge also seeks to serve the bottom of the pyramid with Surf2Sawa, the country’s first prepaid unlimited fiber internet service that costs as low as P50 for one day, P200 for seven days, P380 for 15 days and P700 for 30 days.

Uy says that in Boracay, for instance, rank-and-file workers and low-income households also need connectivity to earn a living.

A paraw sailing on White Beach with the teal logo of Converge.

BORACAY DEBUT A paraw sailing on White Beach with the teal logo of Converge. —Contributed photos

Embedding tech

While internet became a lifeline for everyone during the prolonged pandemic lockdowns, Uy says it’s time to get back to business now.

“The days when you focus on the business and let nerds think about the tech stuff are over. Technology should be embedded in your operations,” Uy tells his guests.

“From hiring to sales and marketing, finance and even security—harness the power of technology to bring you to new heights.”

In digital marketing for example, he says ads can target a very specific audience based on demographics, behavior and information consumed online. This can make advertising efforts more efficient and effective.

There are also several platforms and applications that businesses can use to streamline sales and marketing, he adds.

Yet Uy also reminds local businesses that technology is constantly evolving.

“It comes in waves. You just need to anticipate how to ride the next wave,” Uy says. “I have personally seen the transition from Betamax to cable to fiber.”

As a young man, Uy took on a janitorial job at his uncle’s supermarket and even slept on a cardboard on top of the chest freezer to guard the store in the evening.

But he was always interested in gadgets and technology, learning how to fix hardware and software at a young age. Shortly before the Edsa Revolution, he started his own Betamax and VHS video rental store. He also sold Atari, computer and computer parts.

He put up a cable TV business with his brother Jack in 1993 after the explosion of Mount Pinatubo, to bring entertainment to the people of Pampanga. By 1996, he started laying down fiber optic infrastructure that would pave the way for his entry into the broadband business.

“The key is to partner with someone who has the credibility and the experience to show you which technology will be beneficial to your business. Not all technology will be a fit. So it’s important to have someone who will tell you the truth,” he says.

On a more personal level, he advises fellow entrepreneurs to keep their passion alive. “When you are passionate about what you do, hindi ka mapapagod (you won’t tire easily),” he says.

He also reminds them to always give back to the community. He himself pledged to work further with the local government and Korean telecom giant KT Corp. by installing more CCTVs to feed the central command center of the Malay municipality.

He also intends to bring to the island new technology like artificial intelligence, alert systems and facial recognition, to deter crimes and help maintain peace and order.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“At Converge, we want to see digital connectivity in the hands of every Filipino. We believe that we can achieve digital democracy together. We will leave no one behind,” he says. INQ

TAGS: Boracay, Converge ICT, Dennis Anthony Uy

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.