Angkas: PHL is poised to make a leap forward in tech and startup space in 2022

From left to right: Brian Go, Chief Marketing Officer of Angkas, Denise Haak, Co-Chair of IMMAP DigiCon, Janelle Barretto, Head of IMMAP DigiCon Ways & Means, and Trish Elamparo-Esteban, Co-Chair of IMMAP DigiCon

Angkas, co-moderator of IMMAP DigiCon, draws the roadmap for the tech-enabled industries and players in the years to come

Despite the global pandemic The Philippines is poised to become one of five ASEAN countries become technology powerhouses over the next fifteen years, according to the Center for Economics Business Research (CEBR).

Angkas CEO George Royeca

Angkas CEO George Royeca believes the country is poised for a major leap forward in the tech and startup sectors. These industries and their continuous growth in recent years are the focus of this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022, co-presented by Angkas, the leading motorcycle taxi and delivery platform.

“Although the pandemic has been the worst global crisis of the millennium, it has undeniably opened new avenues for rapid growth in the country, particularly in the technology sector. Overnight, e-commerce, online payments, e-wallets, telemedicine, online gig employment, digital banking, and delivery and logistics services saw exponential growth that then had to be supported by faster internet speeds,” emphasizes Mr. Royeca.

“The pandemic and the associated reduced mobility have bottomed the market in terms of technical proficiency and willingness to adopt technology-based solutions. There are products and services that the market is ready for now that would not have been viable before the pandemic, and which the country might otherwise have taken another 5 to 10 years to be ready for,” adds Mr. Royeca. “We have had and continue to have an ideal and unparalleled climate for developing and funding technology startups. The kind of companies that offer innovative products and services that we couldn’t even imagine before the pandemic,” he concludes.

Drive less on the road

Angkas itself was an innovation far more unconventional than meets the eye. Motorbike taxis were already widely used for public transport throughout the region by the time Angkas was founded in 2015. Despite Metro Manila’s crippling traffic and its staggering economic cost, motorcycle taxis were not a solution contemplated by anyone at the time because motorcycles had a terrifying safety record.

The Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System (MMARAS) Traffic Accident Report for 2015 showed that motorcycle accidents accounted for 39.6% of all vehicle accidents and 33.6% of all fatal accidents in Metro Manila. In any case, they were by far the largest single contributors. Filipino motorcyclists were considered too undisciplined for such a service to be reasonably safe.

Angkas’ innovation was actually believing that with training, motivation and support, Filipinos could be the backbone of a safe and professional app-enabled motorcycle taxi service. “We shoulder all driver applicants and then carefully select only the top 30%. We also host regular corporate events that serve as a refresher and venues for more training in soft skills and even things like sexual harassment awareness,” explains Mr. Royeca. “The result is that after literally millions of trips booked, our safety record is 99.997%,” he concludes.

determination, perseverance

“I think the most important thing that potential startups should start with is to see the big picture: Are you solving a real problem?” asks Mr. Royeca. “Every business will always have some aspect of making money, but these days it’s businesses that have an innate purpose and offer real solutions to real problems that the public embraces,” said Mr. Royeca.

Mr. Royeca had specific advice for potential startups on failure: “Don’t be afraid of failure or adversity, these build courage. As long as you are imbued with purpose, you will overcome failure and adversity and come out stronger and more determined.”

In Angka’s brief history, they’ve twice been ordered to cease operations, their rider pool has been limited, and just when they seemed clear, the pandemic struck. Angkas showed real resilience, back then launching a courier and shopping assistance service that allowed more people to run errands and shops safely from home. Angkas also partnered with the Red Cross to help deliver and manage COVID-19 test kits. When this became reasonably safe, Angkas also offered free rides to medical frontliners.

Co-creation breeds innovation

Community building begins when everyone contributes for the good of all, and that’s exactly what convinced Angkas to register and be a co-moderator for this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022, one of the industry’s most anticipated digital conferences, bringing together professionals from Marketing, Advertising and Digital to hear and learn from world-renowned and celebrated local keynote speakers.

The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) is an organization working to educate and provide the necessary digital tools for advertising and integrated marketing professionals to make better communication decisions. One such effort is the annual DigiCon.

Mr. Royeca explains, “When you have a business that serves many, it’s impossible to innovate without co-creation. Angkas would not have been possible without the coming together of technological innovations, government regulators, customers and of course our rider partners to create a “winnovation”, an innovation where everyone participates and everyone wins.”

After two years of purely virtual connections, this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 will finally bring face-to-face networking again through the DigiCon After-Hours, taking place across the city in the evenings, promising cocktails and entertainment as well as allowing delegates to reconnect physically with other players in the to connect industry.

“I think what excites Angkas is this live interaction; Many of the best collaborations and partnerships come from these more spontaneous, personal things, and human interaction is what fuels all the creativity and innovation,” muses Mr. Royeca.

As co-moderator of this year’s IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022, Angkas hopes this can be a great model to attract new SMEs in the technology and startup sectors while introducing a community mentality that can hopefully solve the daily problems faced by Filipinos.

DigiCon Valley 2022 takes place from October 10th to 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST use ViVYD platform, with brand new tracks tackling the different levels of innovation: Launchpad, Hypergrowth, Breakthrough and Enterprise.

This year’s renowned keynote speakers include one of the world’s most influential women and founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington; Rappler founder and first Filipino Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Maria Ressa; internationally recognized marketing expert and academic Mark Ritson; Co-founder of Character Ventures and creator of Design Sprint, Jake Knapp; and Global CMO of Dole Sunshine Company, Rupen Desai.

Buy tickets now and learn more about IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 at www.digicon.com.ph and follow their social pages Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 is co-hosted by Angkas and thanks platinum sponsors: Manulife Philippines, Share Treats and TikTok; Gold Sponsors: Investing in Women, an Australian Government initiative, Grab Ads, Kroma Entertainment, McDonald’s Philippines and Meta Philippines; and Silver Sponsors: Digital Turbine, Hepmil Philippines and Metrobank.

Special thanks to IMMAP event partners: Creators and Influencers of the Philippines (CICP), Endeavor and Kickstart Ventures.

This event is also brought to you by our media partners: Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC), rapplerABS CBN, CNN Philippines, Manila BulletinOne Mega Group, Inc., Podcast Network Asia, the Asian parent, business world, Inquirer.NetKroma entertainment and The Filipino STAR.

Become an IMMAP member today! To learn more about IMMAP, please visit: www.immap.com.ph or contact us at [email protected], SMS/Viber: 0917-631-0206 / 0918-577-2357.


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