Aboitiz Group ventures in data science, AI business

·3 min read

THE Aboitiz Group is banking on its new business unit Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) to grow and better serve its clients across all its business units.

Sabine Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aboitiz Group, on Thursday, April 29, 2021, said this newest investment of the group will benefit the various industries they are in by boosting productivity, improving customer service and coming up with business solutions.

“Aboitiz Data Innovation represents a natural progression for us that is consistent with how Aboitiz has adopted new approaches and expertise over the years. We are taking the substantial stride in fully integrating this into our operational capacity to develop and support business models and facilitate decision making,” said Aboitiz in a press conference.

“Embracing data science and AI (artificial intelligence) opens us up to newer and bigger opportunities to accelerate productivity, drive business value and generate new revenue streams for all of us. At the same time, it is a crucial step in preparing our team members for the future of work with the knowledge and skills needed that are changing not even by the day, I think, but by the hour into a highly valued contributor to this fourth industrial revolution,” he added.

In 2021, Aboitiz introduced data science, AI and machine learning courses to its groupwide learning and development curriculum with the goal of helping its people across all its strategic business units gain better understanding of how data science and AI can move them closer to achieving set goals.

Dr. David Hardoon, managing director at ADI, noted that investments in these new technologies will have substantial direct and indirect impact on the economy.

Citing a Forbes 2019 report, Harboon said AI is expected to bring in US$15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030, “making it the biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast changing economy,” according to a recent report by PwC.

In 2018, AI contributed a whopping $2 trillion to the global gross domestic product.

Hardoon said such an estimate was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and with how the pandemic has disrupted the global economy, AI’s expected contribution may have grown higher.

“In this era, it’s either you digitize or perish,” he said.


ADI will play a dual role in the group’s operation “as a service provider and governance center.” This new subsidiary will be under AEV International.

Through the support of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, ADI will also deepen the group’s footprint in Southeast Asia by leveraging the diverse network of multinational businesses and organizations located in what is widely considered as the center of innovation in Asia.

According to Hardoon, ADI’s major responsibility is to transform data into business outcomes, exploit information to enable decision making, reinvest business models and develop high value solutions to create new processes, products and services.

In the area of banking, Edwin Bautista, president and CEO of UnionBank, said they have identified data science and AI as key cornerstones of the bank’s digital transformation journey.

“We have made great strides in the use of data science. In fact, in the past two years of acquiring customers at the rate of two million a year, the only way we were able to manage this transition is with the use of data science. We have reached a point that we know how customers are behaving. We now need to understand why they are behaving in such a manner,” he said.

Bautista said data science and AI will help the bank understand more of its customers’ behavior, especially since they want transactions nowadays to be done in one click.

“With the data that we have, we can process a decision whether it is a go or a no go with one click,” he said.

Aboitiz’s new business unit is also seen to benefit other businesses like manufacturing, power, food and infrastructure as each unit improves its processes and products during this pandemic-stricken economy. (KOC)