Converge Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy was hailed as the Entrepreneur of the Year and Master Entrepreneur at the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines (EOYP) 2022 Awards held Monday night for his pivotal role in bringing digital connectivity to more Filipinos across the country.
The EOYP Awards is organized by EY Philippines through the SGV Foundation.
“It is my distinct honor to receive this top entrepreneur award. We believe, at Converge, that digital access is not a privilege of a few but a right of everyone. Thank you for recognizing our mission and what we’ve been doing to make this a reality for Filipinos,” said Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy during the awards banquet at the Grand Hyatt Manila.
“We operate in an industry where access to technology means more opportunities for growth and wealth. We strive to broaden this access and achieve inclusive digitalization because we believe that businesses should serve a higher purpose, not just to expand their bottom line,” Uy added.
With this recognition, the Converge chief will represent the Philippines at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which will be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023. The last and only time that a Filipino won this global award was in 2004 when Jollibee Foods Corporation President Tony Tan Caktiong was named World Entrepreneur of the Year.
Uy together with his wife, Grace, founded Converge in 2007 at his hometown in Angeles, Pampanga with a vision to provide world-class ICT services to Filipinos. Using the latest fiber optic technology, Converge started providing internet services in 2012 and eventually expanded from Central Luzon to Metro Manila.
In 2021, at the middle of the pandemic, the Pampanga start-up built its own national domestic fiber broadband network that linked Luzon to the major islands of the Visayas and Mindanao. Today, Converge has the biggest fiber to the home network in the Philippines with 6.7 million fiber ports deployed, serving 1.85 million customers.
With the theme of “Undaunted.Unstoppable.”, EOYP 2022 gathered 18 finalists who have exemplified excellence in management and leadership amid an increasingly challenging business environment. Supporting the program as co-presenters are the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange.
SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner and SGV Foundation President Wilson P. Tan emphasizes the importance of resilience in the face of constant change, saying that, “The current business environment is filled with immense challenges and opportunities, allowing us to see our country’s entrepreneurs transform with unprecedented speed and scale despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our finalists are examples of the undaunted and unstoppable individuals who thrive in this age of disruption. Mr. Uy innovated to stay ahead of the competition, putting his company in a perfect position to continue growing while many others struggled to survive during lockdown.”
Six category awards were handed out in the same evening: Young Entrepreneur (Leandro Antonio Leviste), Small Business Entrepreneur (Francisco Magsaysay), Technology Entrepreneur (Steve Sy), Woman Entrepreneur (Lisset Laus-Velasco), Emerging Entrepreneur (George Royeca) and Master Entrepreneur. Dennis Anthony Uy also took home the latter award before winning the top prize.
The panel of judges for this year’s awards was chaired by Asian Institute of Management President, CEO and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang. Other panel members were Trade Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona; Antonette C. Tionko, former Finance undersecretary; Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner McJill Bryant T. Fernandez; and SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Benjamin Yao, who is also the 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines.
Aside from Yao and Tan Caktiong, other past recipients of the EOYP award were National Book Store Founder Socorro Cancio-Ramos, Cebu Air CEO Lance Gokongwei, La Frutera Chairman and President Senen Bacani, Alaska Milk Corp. CEO Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Former Planters Development Bank Chairman and President Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, Bounty Fresh Foods President Tennyson Chen, Aboitiz Power Corp. CEO Erramon I. Aboitiz,Hybrid Solutions Founder and CEO Jaime I. Ayala, Suyen Corp. Chairman Ben Chan, Xurpas Chairman and CEO Nico Jose Nolledo, and Multiflex RNC Chair and CEO Natividad Cheng.
The Entrepreneur of the Year was founded in the United States by professional services firm Ernst & Young in 1986 to recognize the achievements of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2001, Ernst & Young expanded the program and launched the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards. In the Philippines, the SGV Foundation, Inc. established the Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2003.