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    Mekeni powered through the COVID-19 crisis with Bayanihan and malasakit

    Mekeni Food Corp. turned challenges brought by the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic into opportunities to uplift communities and innovate their services.

    At the onset of the pandemic Mekeni was able to navigate through the challenges of the supply chain and retail distribution. It came up with several long-term solutions to augment the livelihood of those who have been displaced and crippled by the economic crisis brought by the pandemic.

    Among these programs include the Mekeni Home2Home Delivery, reseller programs for distributors and employees, and the Bayani product line.

    The company also continued to deliver donations to select beneficiaries through various non-government organizations (NGOs) since mid-March when the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon was implemented. Mekeni has donated to several organizations all over Luzon. They’ve assisted frontliners in Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) Quezon City, Saint St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC in Taguig City, and Lugud Balen, a movement initiated by Kapampangan chefs, restaurant owners, and private individuals.

    Mekeni also helped non-medical frontliners in Pampanga and has partnered with Caritas Manila and pledged food donations to over 700 families until year-end through its program Mekeni Bayanihan Pack.

    PDRF discusses next steps in recovery

    The Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation (PDRF) Board of Trustees recently held its first virtual Annual Board Meeting where it discussed Foundation’s involvement in several disaster response and recovery efforts of the Philippine government. During the past year, PDRF has been actively providing support to communities affected by the Taal Volcano eruption, Typhoons Rolly & Ulysses, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This year, PDRF continues to support the government in the preparatory stages of the vaccination program, particularly in the logistics of vaccine distribution by mobilizing the resources of the private sector.

    PDRF is also looking forward to launching several initiatives supported by grants from Conrad Hilton N. Foundation, GHD, International Organization for Migration, and Telescoop – a PLDT Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

    Present in the meeting were PDRF officers and board members and PDRF co-chairs Ayala Corp. CEO and chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, PLDT/Smart Communications chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

     Shopee makes going online easy for MSMEs

    Shopee continues to expand its workable digital platform to help retailers future-proof their businesses, embrace digitalization, and establish a successful online presence through the Shopee Seller Education Hub

    The Hub hosts modules on how to cultivate an online presence and boost sales. It helps micro, small and medium enterprises ease their way into the digital world through seller masterclasses tackling various e-commerce topics.

    These include sharing how-tos on running effective campaigns and growing the business, proper guidelines on handling return and refund requests, managing listing assets, boosting sales using available marketing tools, and creating awareness of the target market through activity and business insights.

    With in-app features such as Shopee Live and ShopeePay, sellers can enjoy a smooth and engaging selling experience on the platform.

    Shopee Live added three new features to make online shopping more engaging:  ‘Mine’ Feature , The Poll Feature Guide and Co-streaming Feature 

    Pandemic posts real opportunity to tech up

    Union Bank of the Philippines vice chairman Justo Ortiz shared how the bank has  adopted innovation in financial services in the Philippines in his recent talk on “Brand Digital Pilipinas: The New People’s Revolution” at the Singapore Fintech Festival recently.

    Ortiz discussed how UnionBank successfully transitioned from a medium-sized bank a decade ago to one of Asia’s best digital banks today.

    The bank’s transformation was anchored on customer centricity rather than product centricity. Its process was founded on five pillars: culture and values, people and organization, changed strategy,data science, and collaboration.

    Ortiz also said the bank has a few collaborations with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It includes the API Exchange which allows fintechs across Asia going to a central platform which allows them to connect one another.

    There is also a platform where small and medium enterprises can join an integrated hub and immediately explore both supply and market side. UnionBank is also in discussions with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) about joining a network which is one of the options of the BIR to digitize invoicing and receiving 

    Ajinomoto opens applications for postgraduate scholarship

    Ajinomoto Philippines Corp. (APC) is opening its application for its 2022 postgraduate scholarship in Japan.

    The annual program is open to deserving Filipino students who require financial assistance to pursue higher education in the field of sciences.

    The Ajinomoto Postgraduate Scholarship Grant will fully fund a student’s master’s degree at top universities in Japan, including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ochanomizu University, Waseda University, and Kagawa Nutrition University.

    Selected scholars will receive financial support for a maximum of three years so that they can fully focus on their research and studies. The grant also provides full coverage of two-way airfare, admission, tuition, and other costs such as Japanese language training and the student’s monthly allowance.

    HR platforraises $15M

    Darwinbox, one of Asia’s leading enterprise HR technology platforms, has announced the closing of its $15-million funding round led by Salesforce Ventures, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

    With the new funding, Darwinbox aims to accelerate digital HR adoption, deepen product offering and further their mission to become the market leader in the Human Capital Management (HCM) space.

    The company has grown 300% since its last funding round in 2019, and has observed a massive surge in adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 180 implementations done remotely during the lockdown, Darwinbox recorded high revenue growth and cemented its place as one of the most preferred HR technology platforms in the Asia Pacific region.

    Darwinbox is trusted by 500+ global enterprises with 1 million+ employees spread across 60+ countries. Several leading companies like JG Summit Group, Zalora, Zilingo, EM services, Fave, Tokopedia, SPI Global, Inmobi, Indorama, Alodokter, Funding Societies, 99.co, Mekong Capital and global brands like Nivea, Tokio, Puma, Axa, Wework in the region digitize their HR with Darwinbox.

    Netflix memberships cross 200M

    Netflix reported  8.5 million paid net addition in the fourth quarter of 2020, thus crossing the 200-million paid memberships mark for the year.

    The company said for the full year, Netflix added a record 37 million paid memberships and achieved $25 billion in annual revenue, an increase of 24 percent year over year. It grew its operating profit 76 percent to $4.6 billion.

    Netflix said the average paid streaming memberships increased 23 percent year over year in the fourth quarter while average revenue per membership was flat year over year both on a reported and foreign exchange (F/X) neutral basis.

    For the full year, the 37 million paid net additions represented a 31 percent increase from 2019’s 28 million.

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