From Bricks to Clicks — meet the speakers



Ernest L. Cu

Ernest Cu is the President and CEO of Globe Telecom, Inc., the leading telecommunications company in the Philippines. Under his visionary leadership, Globe has outperformed industry growth with the company breaking records across all key product groups, brands and market segments, catapulting Globe as the number 1 mobile brand in the country.

Prior to Globe, Ernest was President and CEO of SPi Technologies. At the cusp of the new millennium, he spurred the beginning of the BPO business model for the Philippines, earning him the recognition as one of the founding fathers of BPO in the country. Lauding his pioneering spirit, Ernst & Young named him ICT Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

In 2017, he was hailed as the Philippines’ Best CEO by Finance Asia. A second for Cu, he first received the award in 2010. Also in 2017, for the fifth straight year, Cu was recognized as one of the 100 most influential telecom leaders worldwide by London-based Global-Telecoms Business Magazine Power 100. Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific has also named him CEO of the Year twice, first in 2012, and again in 2017. Ernest was also named as Asia’s Best CEO by Corporate Governance Asia at their 10th Asian Excellence Awards in 2020.

He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Management Engineering from De La Salle University in Manila, and an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University


Alfredo S. Panlilio

Al Panlilio is a dedicated family man and a basketball and golf sportsman – both as an athlete and an avid follower. He is a veteran Executive and has been a strong force in the world of business, in the telecommunications, information technology and energy service industries. He started his career with IBM Philippines, rose through the ranks to eventually become the Senior Vice President of Meralco. He later became the President of Smart Communications and Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT Inc. Ever since assuming his position, Panlilio has been able to significantly improve Smart and PLDT’s performance and group equity.

With customer-centricity as his driving force – his true north – he built a strong culture of teamwork, camaraderie and real concern for people, which drove sustainable improvement and growth. By setting the right example and realigning the company’s standards, Panlilio succeeded in breaking silos, synergizing different teams and driving real collaboration among the groups within the two companies. More than the financial results, Panlilio’s leadership steered the company well into the growth path, gaining headway on market share against the competition – significantly moving the needle, in terms of profit or revenue.

Al Panlilio’s brand of authentic leadership is evident in PLDT-Smart’s new environment of leadership and excellence.

Even in times of uncertainty such as this global health crisis, his vision remains clear and undaunted, resilient no matter how difficult the conditions are. He is equipped with all he needed to succeed – his true north and his people.

It is not just in the corporate world where Panlilio made a mark. In sports, as the Team Governor, Panlilio helped transform the Meralco Bolts from cellar-dwellers to contenders while also leading the country’s basketball federation, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, where he was elected President on August 8, 2016. He is also the President of the MVP Sports Foundation. Panlilio looks to do more for athletes being recently elected as the First Vice President of the Philippine Olympic Committee.


Hans B. Sicat 

Hans Brinker Sicat is the Country Manager of ING Bank N.V. Manila, Philippines. He joined ING in August 2017 as Managing Director. Prior to joining ING, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Philippines Stock Exchange from 2011-2017. Hans is the Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO Gold Philippines), a global leadership community of Chief Executives.

At present, he is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) and the Chairman of the BAP Legislative Committee. He is also a Director of the Investment House Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corporation. He was a Member of the Board of Director of the Philippines Stock Exchange and also the Bankers Association of the Philippines from 2018-2019.

A trained mathematician & economist, Hans has been involved with the Global Capital Market for about three decades. He also served as PSE Chairman & Independent Director for about 18 months, since 2009 while concurrently President and CEO of the Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines (a subsidiary of the PSE). For over two decades, he was an investment banker with Citigroup and its predecessor firms (Salomon Brothers & Citicorp Securities) in various roles in New York, Hong Kong & the Philippines. Hans finished his coursework for Ph.D. Economics Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and earned his Master of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of the Philippines. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the Western University in Thailand.




Ray Alimurung

Ray Alimurung is the CEO of Lazada Philippines, playing an instrumental role in growing the brand’s reach across the archipelago. As its Chief Commercial Officer from 2016 to 2018, he deepened Lazada’s partnerships with major global brands. Today, his vision for eCommerce in the Philippines continues to shape the Group’s strategic direction.

He has 11 years of consumer internet and eCommerce experience with stints as Product and Vendor Manager at Amazon US, and as CEO of aCommerce Philippines.

He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in BS Biology, and completed his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Paolo Azzola

Paolo Azzola is currently the Chief Operating Officer of PayMaya Philippines, the digital payments arm of Voyager Innovations. 

Prior to joining PayMaya, he was the Managing Director for Rocket Internet AG, where he was responsible for financial technology. He helped grow Rocket’s influence in the alternative lending and mobile payments verticals, covering fundraising, idea generation and acquisitions. 

He graduated with a degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.  


Martha Sazon

Martha Sazon is the President & CEO of Mynt, which operates GCash. Previous to the role, Martha was a Senior Vice President at Globe as Head of the Broadband Business. With more than 20 years of experience in various industries like food, OTC drugs, personal care and telco, she is highly experienced in transforming organizations and businesses.

In her 12 years in Globe, she has led various businesses such as postpaid mobile, small and medium business, and broadband. She has pioneered and executed breakthroughs, all anchored on addressing important customer needs such as the customizable plans in postpaid, introducing tech solutions for SMEs, even creating a new industry category in prepaid via the highly successful Globe Home Prepaid Wifi, while building agile and digital capabilities.

Martha has attended and finished IMD and INSEAD executive programs and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting (Cum Laude), from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Grace Vera Cruz

As Country Head of Grab Philippines, Grace Vera Cruz oversees and creates deeper synergies across Grab’s suite of services – from transport, deliveries, as well as e-payments and financial services, to better serve the customers, driver-partners, merchant-partners, and corporate partners in the Philippines as OneGrab. Grace is currently leading “Grab for Good” – Grab’s social impact agenda of leveraging technology and innovation to contribute to the Philippines’ longer-term socio-economic recovery and development.

Before joining Grab, Grace was the Managing Director of Seawood Resources, a Philippine-based investment company with a global footprint, and has held key positions in McKinsey & Co., CLSA Exchange Capital, and Shell.



Maria Victoria C. Españo, CPA, CMA 

Maria Victoria C. Españo (Marivic) is the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A Grant Thornton), one of the Philippines’ leading professional services firms providing audit, accounting, advisory, and tax services and a member firm within Grant Thornton International Ltd.  

Marivic brings to her post extensive experience in taxation and organizational management. She joined P&A Grant Thornton in 1997 and was admitted to the partnership in 1999. Before joining P&A Grant Thornton, she worked with the Department of Finance, Senate of the Philippines, and Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific.

Marivic is a Philippine Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Account (Australia), Associate Certified Coach of the International Coach Federation and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She was recognized by the Philippine Professional Regulation Commission as the 2020 Outstanding Professional in the Field of Accountancy.

In addition to her role at P&A Grant Thornton, Marivic is a member of the Board of Governors of the Management Association of the Philippines for 2020–2021, Trustee of Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines for 2019-2022, and a Fellow and Trustee of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Previously, Marivic was the 2018 President of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines. From 2018–2019, she also served as Chairperson of the Metro Manila Regional Council of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants. From 2015 to 2019, Marivic was a member of the Board of Governors of Grant Thornton International Ltd.

A true believer of continuing learning and development, she completed her Master’s Degree in Accountancy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and has attended various executive programs at the Asian Institute of Management, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and SaÏd School of Business, Oxford University. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Mathematics for Teachers from the Philippine Normal University under a national government scholarship.