He worked in the heart of innovation, where tech luminaries such as Google, Facebook, and Apple were born and developed. This gave him a front row seat to digital disruption as industry giants such as Blockbuster Video, Borders Books, and Kodak fell prey to disruptive technologies of startups like Netflix and Amazon.
As the First Vice President of the newly formed Digital Management Team, his formidable mission is to steer the Aboitiz Group through a digital transformation. Here, Jojo talks about the exciting digital projects his team has in store for the Aboitiz group, and how he is rediscovering his roots.
Can you share with us your background before you joined Aboitiz?
I worked all my life in Silicon Valley in the US working for a number of global software companies including Autodesk, ESRI and most recently, with Navagis, a Google Partner. My background is in IT Consulting and Strategy, building global IT services organization and helping global companies implement technology to bring operational efficiency and automation. I also founded a software company in San Francisco providing mapping and engineering software applications for government agencies and data centers.
What made you decide to accept the new role?
It was a long thought process. Actually, a recruiter from another conglomerate planted the seed over a year ago but did not pursue it. I was concerned in uprooting my family who has never been to the Philippines. But I got bored in the startup scene and I was looking for a new challenge. Professionally, working with Aboitiz and the opportunity to lead a conglomerate digital transformation journey is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Personally, it’s an opportunity to come home and re-discover my roots. In the past, every time I would go visit the Philippines for a business meeting, there is always this excitement to go home and now I am home!
What is the role of the Digital Team in delivering the mission of the Aboitiz Group (to create long-term value for stakeholders)?
Digital Team’s role is to understand how technology can disrupt our business and how we can use technology to add shareholder value by delivering top line growth, improving delivery of services, and optimizing cost. It will include delivering a unified digital experience across the Aboitiz group and our stakeholders. Our mission to have the group embrace experimentation on emerging technology and new business models or experiences.
Can you share with us some of the major projects that will happen next year as we fully launch the digital transformation?
We’re underway in re-launching our social media strategy across the group. We’ll leverage social media to empower our stakeholders to inspire and engage as well as enhance their online experience. We’ll be implementing analytics to make sure that we get better insights on our engagement and the effectiveness of our channels and content. A common thread in our future projects will be the need to bring analytics into the organization, so we can transform the group as a data-driven organization. Harnessing the power of data will be the heart of our digital transformation initiative. We will also start looking at a number of mobile solutions as well as Internet of things, Big Data, etc.
Also, an ongoing initiative is the launch of our Corporate Intranet. This will be a common platform across the group which will foster collaboration. It will be mobile and social. The portal will be the platform where we will build our digital culture on.
On a lighter note, what makes Jojo Guingao tick?
What makes you get up in the morning? I am a dreamer and love to inspire people. I have a feeling that I was a religious cult leader in my previous life! I love building teams, working on new technology projects, and having fun. I love competition and the joy of winning.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time/weekend?
I love the water and part of my decision to come home is to be closer to the water. So, any invitation for scuba diving or snorkeling would be a treat! As a recent migrant to my home country, my family and I are discovering the Philippines so we have a long list of travel plans to go to different islands and enjoy the abundant white sand and oceans around us.
Around the house, I go swimming with my son or occasionally catch up with my favorite SF Bay Area teams — the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers. I’m a big Netflix fan, so I’m up to speed on my favorite series like Narcos no matter where I’m at.
Who is Jojo Guingao in the social media space? What do you usually post?
I have a number of social media accounts but use it primarily to stay in contact with friends and family who are all located in various parts of the globe. I also use it to keep up with business and technology trends, which I share with my colleagues and friends. I’m definitely not a social butterfly or selfie-nator like a lot of Filipinos!
What’s your most memorable personal experience?
There’s a few – the birth of my son made me realize the supernatural bond between a child and a parent. Professionally, traveling to Tibet as a guest of the Chinese Government while getting a firsthand look at the temples such as the Potala Palace and the life of Buddhists were amazing experiences. As a global traveler, the 9/11 incident made a significant impact on me as my United Airlines flight was about to land at New York JFK Airport when the attack happened. We ended up traveling back to Vienna, Austria without refueling!
Lastly, can you share some trivia about yourself?
In the late 90s, I wrote a book called “Inside AutoCAD 14” with some of my industry colleagues in the US. It was published by New Riders Publishing and translated into 18 languages.
Watch our interview with Jojo below: