The Makati Business Club (MBC) showcased ride-hailing app Angkas as a model Philippine startup and digital leader during the recent World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, which is WEF’s foremost meeting for the world’s leading innovators and disruptors.
In partnership with the WEF, MBC selected Angkas, the first motorcycle ride-hailing app in the Philippines, through its founder and CEO Angeline Tham, to represent the Philippines and discuss during the forum their view on globalization in the age of digital transformation.
MBC Executive Director Coco Alcuaz says Angkas is the ideal startup to showcase alongside digital frontrunners. Calcuaz says, “Angkas was one of the startups MBC invited on behalf of WEF because of its impact on mobility and job creation, two of the country’s biggest issues, via technology. We fully supported WEF highlighting Angkas by featuring CEO Angeline Tham in the Digital ASEAN discussion and are excited about the attention she’s brought to the Philippine tech and startup scene. We are proud to have them as a member.”
Tanah Sullivan, Community Lead, Asia Pacific Business Engagement of the World Economic Forum, on her part, chose Angeline Tham to speak at the annual meeting for the following reason: “We invited Angeline Tham, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Angkas, not just because of Angkas’ achievements thus far, but also for its potential and future impact at both national and regional levels. She was invited to speak at the ‘Connecting with Digital ASEAN’ session due to Angkas’ success in engaging the Philippine Government to improve mobility for society in the Philippines—a true demonstration of public private collaboration.”
For her part, Tham believes that ASEAN countries, particularly the Philippines, should make sure that they keep up with the fast pace of digitalization happening in the world today.
Speaking at the WEF, Tham talked about the global challenges of digitalization and the role of Angkas in re-shaping the systematic structure of the Philippine digital economy. She addressed these issues along with other international company leaders during the forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions.
With this year’s theme “Leadership 4.0: Succeeding in a New Era of Globalization,” the forum saw discussions circulating around the fundamental changes in the global economy that reshaped companies, communities, and countries.
Discussing the opportunities and challenges the ASEAN is facing with the digital economy, she believes that there is a lot that that the ten ASEAN countries can learn from one another—from data-sharing and knowledge-sharing. Cross-border issues are what Angeline believes to be the greater challenge for the ASEAN nations.
“Change is happening so fast.” Tham noted, “The governments can’t keep up on legislation in the Internet. How do you regulate things you can’t see?”
Mentioning Angkas, the app-based motorcycle ride-hailing service she developed, Tham stated that motorcycle taxi operators, as entrepreneurs, were not considered a part of the formal economy. But with the help of the Angkas platform, motorcycle drivers are now empowered as they get to make a living triple the minimum daily wage.
She also said that ASEAN countries must also know how to deal with the rising economic powerhouses with digital platforms, as she believes this is a big challenge that the governments are going to face.
Tham recommended connecting digital industry players to come up with meaningful discussions and thought processes in coordination with the government.
She says that these things just can’t be left either to the private sector nor the government. What is needed is to establish a close, unified collaboration to move faster through the times.