USING TECHNOLOGY FOR GOOD 2nd Opinion September 14, 2019 Lifestyle, News GrabFood’s success continues to soar in the Philippines, as shown at #PHDigicon2019 Given the penchant for celebrating almost every occasion, Filipinos have come to be known as big lovers of food and eating. Studies show that the Philippines’ food service market is highly driven as it continues on in its upward growth trajectory. While there are staples for the Filipino palette, diners are constantly on the lookout for new establishments as choices continue increase in the local culinary scene. According to EJ dela Vega of Grab Philippines, introducing GrabFood delivery to the Philippine market was met with much enthusiasm—so much so that it remains the leading online food delivery service, according to research conducted by Kantar. Such topic was among discussions at the recently concluded Philippine Digital Convention 2019, where industry leaders and key stakeholders gathered to discuss industry trends and digital innovations. The retail breakout session of the said convention imparted the following digital facts: there are 70 million Filipinos online, and 65% of Filipinos have smartphones. By the year 2025, there will be 75 billion connected devices worldwide. With these numbers in mind, Grab Philippines continues to find more reason to utilize technology for good—branching out from being the Number 1 ride hailing platform across 14 cities in Asia, to offering an efficient delivery system, and providing a user-friendly pay scheme through its Top Up service. PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan, who was the Keynote Speaker at the event plenary, shared his story of “Standing on the Edge,” where he reiterated the company’s commitment to “convey what is going on in the IT world and develop a conversation that could be useful to Filipinos.” This is precisely what Grab has been doing: creating an ecosystem of connected solutions that solve everyday problems and leverage on innovation for business growth. GrabFood, for example, encourages inclusive development for small and medium establishments. Sisig sa Rada–one of the many Jolly Jeep stalls in Makati–has been on the list of food choices for the platform’s delivery service. Not bad for a simple kiosk business in the city’s central business district. Aside from Grab Philippines, Richard Sanz, President of the Philippine Franchise Association, Toby’s Sports President Toby Claudio, Naz Sabih of Nokia, Mat Mizrachi of Decathlon PH, and Brian Chung of Cisco also joined the said industry breakout session. They all agreed that even brick and mortar businesses have potential for growth, given the advent of digital innovation. The personalized retail landscape also shows the sector as being on the edge of revolution, as it equips retailers with practices that will protect their businesses in the long run.