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20 Best CEOs of the Year 2018

Robina Y. Gokongwei-Pe, Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. President and CEO: ‘Our Mission is to Provide Exceptional Quality Products at Competitive Prices and Excellent Service to Our Customers’

“Our vision is to strengthen our foothold as a leading and trusted multi-format retailer in the Philippines.”

We’re in a particularly exciting time when it comes to retail customer experiences, as emerging technologies present new possibilities for engaging with customers both in stores and online.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc.

Robinsons Retail operates as a retailing company in the Philippines. The company operates through Supermarkets, Department Stores, DIY Stores, Convenience Stores, Drug Stores, and Specialty Stores segments. It operates supermarkets under the Robinsons Supermarket brand that offer health and wellness, and fresh food products; and department stores under the Robinsons Department Store brand, which provide men’s, ladies', and children's wear, as well as shoes, bags, accessories, household items, and others.

The company also operates do-it-yourself (DIY) stores under the Handyman Do it Best, True Value, and Robinsons Builders and Home Plus brands that offer DIY and home improvement products; operates and franchises convenience stores under the Ministop name that provide ready to eat food; and operates drug stores under South Star Drug name that offer prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products with food, personal care, and other products.

In addition, it operates consumer electronics and appliances stores under Robinsons Appliances and Saver’s Appliance Depot names; fashion retail stores under the Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, G2000, and Burton Menswear London brands; Benefit, Shiseido, and Elizabeth Arden beauty brands, as well as The Generics Pharmacy brand; and one-price-point stores under the Daiso Japan name, as well as toys, games, learning aids, electronics, outdoor playsets, and juvenile products under Toys R Us name.

Further, the company operates coffee shops under Costa Coffee brand name; and espresso shops, as well as retail nail care, cosmetics, and healthy slush products under the Chic Centre name.

The company was incorporated in 2002 and is headquartered in Pasig, the Philippines.

Robina Y. Gokongwei-Pe, Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. President/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review.

Tell us about your company.

Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. is one of the largest multi-format retailers in the Philippines. We operate a diverse brand portfolio with the following major formats: supermarket, department store, do-it-yourself, drugstore, convenience store, consumer electronics and appliances, toys, one-price concept store, international fashion and beauty specialty stores, and specialty coffee shops.

From our beginnings with the first opening of Robinsons Department Store in 1980 at Robinsons Place Manila, we have gained presence and have established consumer trust in major cities and communities across the archipelago. In 2017, we reached a store network of over 1,700 stores alongside more than 2,000 franchised branches of The Generics Pharmacy, which we acquired in 2016.

To fulfill our part in nation-building, we strive to foster meaningful relationships with various business partners and create career opportunities for our diverse workforce. As we expand, we usher in the growth of modern retail in previously untapped markets. We engage both global and local suppliers to deliver safe and high-quality merchandise to our customers while implementing a holistic business development strategy geared towards corporate sustainability amidst a dynamic economic landscape.

We establish strong ties with leading mall developers in the country and serve as anchor tenants for Robinsons Malls which operates 47 malls in the country as of end 2017. With our 40percent stake in Robinsons Bank, one of the fastest growing commercial banks in the Philippines today, we are exploring ways to enrich synergies between the bank and retail.

Tell us about the acquisitions, mergers.

We constantly aim to incorporate new and innovative technologies into our operations. In December 2017, we acquired a minority stake in BeautyMNL. We have likewise strengthened our presence in the e-commerce space with our partners, Lazada, Zalora and honestbee. We also embraced cashless and mobile payment platforms through collaborations with Mynt and Smart as we introduced GCash and PayMaya in a number of our stores.

Data analytics has likewise become part of our business strategy, which we operationalize through our Loyalty and Financial Products Division. With over 1.2 million Robinsons Rewards Card members, we have found ways to better understand our shoppers and delighting them with products and services that are responsive to their needs and preferences.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Capitalizing on our positive growth trajectory, we at Robinsons Retail continuously strive to tackle new horizons in the Philippine retail industry.

Robina Y. Gokongwei-Pe: A Brief Background

Robina Y. Gokongwei-Pe serves as President of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. and served its Chief Operating Officer since February 4, 2002. She serves as Senior Vice President and Group General Manager of the Robinsons Retail Group consisting of Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, Handyman, Robinsons Specialty Stores, Toys R US and Robinsons Appliances. Ms. Gokongwei-Pe has been a Director of Cebu Air, Inc. since August 1, 2007, and Robinsons Land Corp. since May 5, 2005. She has been a Non-Executive Director at JG Summit Holdings, Inc. since April 15, 2009. Ms. Gokongwei-Pe serves as Director of Robinsons Bank Corporation since May 05, 2005. She has been a Director of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc., since February 04, 2002.

Ms. Gokongwei-Pe obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the New York University.

“With our 40 percent stake in Robinsons Bank, one of the fastest growing commercial banks in the Philippines today, we are exploring ways to enrich synergies between the bank and retail.”