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Converge’s Dennis Uy named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines

DENNIS ANTHONY H. UY, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. (Converge), was named the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 in an awards banquet at the Grand Hyatt Manila on Monday evening.

Mr. Uy will represent the country in the prestigious World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023.

Mr. Uy was recognized for his passion for technology, his desire to bring internet connectivity to Filipinos and his visionary ability to stay ahead of the competition. He had the foresight to invest in fiber optics and micro-trenching while the industry was still using older technologies, leading to Converge being one of the first to offer fiber-to-the-home fixed broadband services in the country.

Mr. Uy also received the Master Entrepreneur Award for maintaining management excellence over a sustained period of time in key areas of the company including finance, marketing, human resources and sales. He co-founded the company that would become Converge as a small provincial player offering dial-up connections during the internet’s early days. Converge is now the fastest-growing fiber internet provider in the Philippines.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual delivered the keynote address at the awards banquet, where other awards were presented for the Young Entrepreneur, Technology Entrepreneur, Small Business Entrepreneur, Woman Entrepreneur, and Emerging Entrepreneur categories.

Leandro Antonio L. Leviste, CEO and president of Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc., received the Young Entrepreneur Award for establishing one of the largest solar energy production companies in Southeast Asia. The company is now building utility-scale solar farms in multiple provinces and a large-scale solar-battery baseload project, with the goal of generating cheaper and more reliable electricity to Filipinos.

Steve S. Sy, CEO of Great Deals E-Commerce Corp., was named the Technology Entrepreneur for establishing the leading e-distributor in the Philippines which carries multinational brands and offers various services such as digital content production, digital marketing, warehousing and fulfillment, inventory, and marketplace listings management.

Francisco D. Magsaysay, CEO of Carmen’s Best Dairy Products, Inc., received the Small Business Entrepreneur Award for best demonstrating management excellence in a business with assets (excluding land) of less than P100 million in value. He started Carmen’s Best from his garage, and now it is the first artisanal ice cream brand to become a household name, distributed through 400 channels and served on multiple airlines.

Lisset A. Laus-Velasco, chairman and CEO of Global Cars Philippines, Inc., was named the Woman Entrepreneur. She spent years in various business units before taking over leadership of the company and the many dealerships under its portfolio, and always measures success by the happiness of its customers and its people.

George Royeca, CEO of DBDOYC, Inc. (Angkas), was named the Emerging Entrepreneur for establishing and leading the first Philippine app-based motorcycle ride-hailing platform. Through his passion and perseverance, Angkas has survived shutting down thrice and has become a vehicle for his advocacy to legitimize and professionalize motorcycle taxi service and provide a livelihood and vital skills and safety training for many motorcyclists.

The recipients of the category awards were chosen from among 18 outstanding finalists representing enterprises from diverse industries from around the country.

Other finalists were Ricardo D. Abelardo, Jr. (Artemisplus Express, Inc./Kitchen City), Roberto J. Chan (Atlanta Industries, Inc.), Allyxon T. Cua (Accent Micro Technologies, Inc.), Ana L. de Ocampo (Wild Flour Bakery + Café Corp.), Jacqueline Jade Y. Gutierrez (Beauty Refinery, Inc./BLK Cosmetics), Raymond G. Jarina (INTECO Isuzu Group of Dealerships), Robert Lo (RDF Feed, Livestock & Foods, Inc.), Jeffrey T. Ng (Cathay Land, Inc.), Ibrahim M. Nuño, (Metro Stonerich Corp.), Aileen Y. Suy (Ana’s Breeders Farms, Inc.), Maria Francesca Tan (MFT Group of Companies), and Antonio D. Ynoc (Prime Movers Total Logistics, Inc.)

SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner and SGV Foundation President Wilson P. Tan emphasizes the importance of resilience in the face of constant change.

“The current business environment is filled with immense challenges and opportunities, allowing us to see our country’s entrepreneurs transform with unprecedented speed and scale despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our finalists are examples of the undaunted and unstoppable individuals who thrive in this age of disruption. Mr. Uy innovated to stay ahead of the competition, putting his company in perfect position to continue growing while many others struggled to survive during lockdown,” Mr. Tan said.

All nominees went through a strict financial data ranking system used by all Entrepreneur Of The Year participating countries. The finalists were further evaluated by an independent panel of judges composed of distinguished business personalities.

The panel was chaired by Asian Institute of Management President, CEO and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang. Other panel members were Trade Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona; Antonette C. Tionko, former Finance undersecretary; Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner McJill Bryant T. Fernandez; and SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Benjamin Yao, who is also the 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year was founded in the United States by professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) in 1986 to recognize the achievements of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2001, EY expanded the program and launched the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.  In the Philippines, the SGV Foundation, Inc. established the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in 2003.

Jollibee Foods Corp. Chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, the first-ever Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines, went on to win as World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2004 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Socorro Cancio-Ramos, founder of National Book Store, was named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines in 2005, followed subsequently by Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Air, Inc.; Senen Bacani, chairman and president of La Frutera, Inc.; Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp.; Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, former chairman and president of Planters Development Bank; Tennyson Chen, president of Bounty Fresh Foods, Inc.; Erramon I. Aboitiz, president and CEO of Aboitiz Power Corp.; Jaime I. Ayala, founder and CEO, Hybrid Social Solutions, Inc.; Ben Chan, chairman of the Board of Suyen Corp.; Nico Jose Nolledo, chairman and CEO of Xurpas, Inc.; Natividad Cheng, chairperson and CEO of Multiflex RNC Philippines, Inc.; and Benjamin O. Yao, Chairman, president and CEO of SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp.

Supporting the program as co-presenters are the Asian Institute of Management, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange. Media sponsors are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Gold Sponsors are SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., Uratex, and Navegar. Silver Sponsors are Intellicare, OneWorld Alliance Logistics Corp., and Regan Industrial Sales, Inc. Banquet Co-Presenter is PMFTC, Inc. Banquet Sponsors are Uratex, MerryMart Consumer Corp., Robert Blancaflor Group, Inc., International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Joy-Nostalg, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc., and Universal Harvester, Inc.

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