The more important objective of this meeting is to hear what’s in your minds.
– Erramon Aboitiz, President & CEO, Aboitiz Group
The year will not be complete without the annual ‘Coffee with EIA’ town hall meetings at the Taguig and Cebu corporate offices. As always, EIA was eager to respond to a wide-ranging questions from team members.
Q: If you were to be President of the Philippines, how will you turn the Philippines from third to first world country?
If I were to become President — that would never happen — never really thought about it but, for me, one of the things I would do, and something that you are seeing the government doing already, is improving our infrastructure. There is no downside to it. I think we should be upgrading all of our infrastructure around the country, like I said, airports, roads, MRTs, public transportation, that whole shooting match.
Q: How do we attract the best talent for the organization and be the employer of choice for new graduates and professionals?
In a nutshell, we have to be competitive in our compensation and benefits. The other things is to make this a place where people enjoy working and believe in what they are doing. We have to make sure that everybody has a future in their career, optimize their skills and achieve goals in life in our organization. This is where the BetterMe program comes in where people can take charge of their future.
Q: How will we bring the Aboitiz culture into the new infrastructure SBU?
If you see the Group, different SBUs have slightly different cultures. We don’t want to discourage people from having a unique way of doing things but we also want to make sure that it is part of the greater Group way of thinking. So, having the same values, the Aboitiz Way are things that will probably have commonality among all the team members in the Aboitiz Group.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to millennials in order to thrive in this organization or in life?
I believe in the old fashioned way of hard work and giving something everything you have. If you pour your heart and soul into something, you will achieve what you set out to achieve.
Q: What is the legacy you want to leave behind in Aboitiz?
What I’d really like to achieve is to continuously build on what we have. It’s very important that we all are able to add to what was given to us. For me, a legacy is to leave behind something bigger than what we received.
Q: How do you see creating shared value being adopted in the Group?
I think shared value is very much embedded already in a lot of our businesses, we just never thought about it that way. This is where it’s very important for us to have a common purpose of why we are doing things and once we’re able to find that real purpose, creating shared value will become clearer.
Q: After your retirement, would you consider accepting an offer from President Duterte if he asks you to join his cabinet?
I hope he doesn’t because I would have to say “no”.