Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu to Businesses: Keep Pivoting and Predict New Habits

Successful companies can be born in the toughest of times when they learn to pivot, predict new customer habits, and adapt to emerging opportunities.


This comes from the man who successfully steered Globe Telecom to become the Philippines’ leading mobile operator and the purveyor of digital innovation. Businesses and start-ups struggling to stay afloat and navigate the pandemic should take this nugget of wisdom to heart.


In a recent interview for Globe Business’ newest online talkshow, Clockwork, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu cautioned that 2021 would still be a tough year for all businesses as long as herd immunity through vaccination remains to be seen. But these are also critical times for companies and entrepreneurs to retune their businesses and understand how consumer habits have permanently shifted during the pandemic.


“You’ve got to predict what the new habit is and you’ve got to be setting up your business for what you think that habit is going to become and evolve into in 2022. There are still a lot of opportunities and as they say, don’t waste a good crisis. Something will always be borne out of it and it will be big,” said Cu.


To drive home the point, he shared his insights into GCash’s journey from a small venture to what is now the leading fintech app in the country, overtaking banks and its competitors, and making strides in pushing for financial inclusion among Filipinos.


GCash, which had a “fantastic” concept, to begin with, was “initially put on ice” to await the maturity of the right technology that will make it happen. When the pandemic hit, GCash demonstrated impeccable timing, serving new consumer habits after years of persistence and studying consumer behavior.


“People still needed to transact, move money around, buy insurance, invest and open a bank account on lockdown. And GCash was ready with all those use cases when the pandemic broke,” said Cu.


Customer-first culture


Gleaning from his experience with Globe’s extensive transformation through the years, Cu also shared another winning formula to drive a successful business: put customers at the heart of it.


Cu shepherded Globe’s transformation into a customer-centric company by shifting from a supplier mindset to one that celebrates and embraces the value of the customer. This journey began by taking the first step of putting its employees first.  


“We had to change our mindset from utility to that of a consumer company and become a very customer-centric company. To get to that point, employees first also have to be happy because if your employees are unhappy, it’s hard to be a very customer-oriented company,” he said. 


Celebrating the company’s successes based on small wins and milestones is key to making employees happy and motivated to serve, Cu pointed out. “That’s important because, at the end of the day, it’s people who run the business. You need people to run technology. Technology won’t run itself. Getting people motivated, passionate, and getting them to love the company and their customers are going to be one of the essentials of success in any company.”


Clockwork: Front-row seat to business success


Cu shared his insights as a visionary in digital transformation and customer experience in an inspiring 26-minute interview on the pilot episode of Clockwork. The show gives business owners and managers a front-row seat to inspiring content from extraordinary company leaders who have shaped the country’s economy. 


Hosted by veteran TV host Edu Manzano, Clockwork lets you skip the slideshows and data charts and get the winning formula straight from industry and enterprise practitioners.


For more of Ernest Cu’s business wisdom and insightful guidance, and to learn more about the influences in his life that made him such a renowned executive and innovator, catch his full interview on YouTube and Spotify.


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PSE: GLO

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