Ed Chua is currently a member of the PhilDev Board of Trustees. It was during Ed’s term in Pilipinas Shell that the 100 million seed funding for the Shell-PhilDev Scholarship was granted.
Ed was the Country Chairman of the Shell Companies in the Philippines from September 2003 to October 2016. He had worked in the UK and Cambodia and had also taken on regional and global roles.
He is currently an independent director of the Integrated Micro Electronics Inc, Metrobank and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC). Ed is also on the advisory board of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. He is the Chairman of the Makati Business Club and is a member of the board of several universities and foundations. He is also CEO of De La Salle Philippines Inc. Ed is a Chemical Engineer by profession, with a Bachelor’s degree from the De La Salle University and has attended senior leadership courses at INSEAD France.
Ed has been the recipient of a number of awards and recognition including the MAP Management Man of the Year and an Honorary Doctorate Honoris Causa from De La Salle Araneta University.
Can you tell us more about your experience in your industry and how your work experience contributes to the goals of PhilDev?
I provide inputs to the education curriculum and also advise on the needs of various industries now and in the foreseeable future (i.e. competencies required for workforce). On a management level, it requires competencies like working as a team, motivating, and mentoring. Normally there are people who are good at doing things but are not as good when it comes to managing people. So it’s really all about learning to manage people.
What do you love most about working for/advising an organization like PhilDev?
Working with the youth and helping our country become more competitive and productive. I had the experience of working with the scholars through the scholarship program which is in partnership with Shell. It was during my time as Chairman that PhilDev was granted the seed funding of Php100 million. I also attend the leadership camp for the scholars held every year, and it’s very interesting to see the youth and how passionate they are, how this is making a difference in their lives.
PhilDev [scholarship] program does not only provide financial support but also emotional support, especially for students coming from the provinces. I think this support system that PhilDev provides is unique.
How can the education system in the Philippines further improve?
There needs to be closer academe industry collaboration both in terms of curriculum and courses required for the future. They need to realize that we need to improve our offerings [in schools]. The world is changing, the needs of the industry are changing, and therefore we need to be proactive. We should be open to new ways of teaching, capitalizing on technology to make education more effective and broader in reach. We cannot be preparing for the past. These insights will help important stakeholders to realize the need for changes and implement these changes required for the future.
What advice can you give new graduates in the Philippines?
As you hone your professional, technical and leadership skills, always keep in mind to be a servant leader whose aim is not just for self-advancement but to be able to help others and make this a better world.
We need to inculcate in the youth that we are placed on this earth, not just for our self. Being selfless is a universal value. You cannot isolate yourself and not think of others. As you improve and as you achieve, you should also consider how you can help contribute to make others better.
What do you think of the quality of the innovations produced in the Philippines?
Very good and world class but fewer than what we have the capability of producing.
We are a population of 100 million, there is some encouragement, but I don’t really see a structured way of promoting innovation in the government, except for DOST. In the private sector, there are a lot of innovations from larger companies, but not so much in smaller companies. We could do more.
The two barriers to innovation that I see are funding and mindset. I think our starting point is one wherein we are in a catch-up mode. Our needs are at a basic level, and people usually think that innovation will just happen eventually. You don’t have to follow the same path as other country when it comes to development. We can leapfrog. But the government needs to help the private sector more in order to enable that and encourage more innovations. Our environment in the country tend to regulate and not enable. We need to have an enabling environment so that’s where the mindset comes in.
Where do you see the future of technology in the Philippines and what would be its impact worldwide?
There is now a growing awareness about the potential of technology to the country’s development. We need more groups working with govt to foster an ecosystem that will promote a tech savvy country.
How do you envision the Philippines 15-20 years from now?
A country with poverty levels at less than half where they are right now. With education quality that is above the median globally, a society that is more affluent but retains the spirituality that it has right now.
What does success for PhilDev look like to you?
One goes back to PhilDev’s stated mission which is success through education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Each one of these programs should have KPIs and measures of success. But from a qualitative point of view, it is when PhilDev has made positive impact on the education curriculum and programs to make it suited for the future. When it has catalyzed the creation of a culture that promotes innovation and when it has assisted the development of an ecosystem to encourage entrepreneurs resulting in a significant number of successful entrepreneurs over a short period of time, e.g. 100 entrepreneurs over 5 years.