MANILA -- Business leaders are urged to contribute to the country's development and create a positive social impact by including societal engagement in their corporate strategies.
"I believe everyone in this room has been trained to be competitive, but I believe cooperation is more important than competition," said Ayala Corporation chief executive officer Jaime Zobel de Ayala during the Globe Business' Leadership Innovation Forum over the weekend attended by top business and enterprise leaders.
Ayala encouraged businesses to work together in addressing social development challenges, saying that the role of a private enterprise is to touch the human needs.
Globe Business senior vice president Peter Maquera said business is "not just about money".
“We have always aimed to influence our partners and clients to start looking beyond their own operations and see how their efforts can positively impact those around them and the society as a whole," he said.
While business executives continuously transform the country into a digital economy, they should also uplift people's lives, too, he added.
"There's so much beyond businesses... Purpose, empathy must always be part of the business," Maquera said.
Unilever Philippines CEO Bennie Yap shared that their company provides workshops for its employees to help them better identify their purpose.
To help Unilever employees have nutritious meals at affordable prices in their canteen, while at the same time being able to help housewives, the firm launched the "Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program".
Yap said the initiative started with the release of an advertisement for their seasoning product, which somehow tackled preparing meals to help combat malnutrition.
The program reached vulnerable communities and empowered mothers to prepare healthy meals even with a tight budget.
Unilever's 'Free to Love' commercial for its toothpaste brand also featured same-sex couples.
"(To love) someone we like is a universal instinct, but not yet a universal right. In this commercial, we make a stand," he said.
Yap shared that the ad generated 236 million impressions, 23.7 million views, and 394,000 comments.
Unilever also launched the "Tindahan Club", which enables store owners to get product stocks anytime, anywhere.
"We believe that the power of technology can help drive an impact," Yap said.
Keynote speaker, entrepreneur Kate Krukiel, said social impact is what the customers need, as she advised businesses should collaborate with the community. "Empower them. Involve them for a lasting change," she said.
"Reach out to the customers, the communities, and use the opportunity (to create a societal impact)," she added. (PNA)