A mo­bile cor­po­rate life run by phone

PLDT-Smart’s Kat Luna-Abe­larde shares her techno-pow­ered, on-the-go rou­tine for suc­cess

Manila Times - - Business Times - BY YUGEL LOSORATA

SOME ob­servers may won­der why a lot of peo­ple more of­ten put on hold ev­ery­thing to fo­cus their at­ten­tion on their phones.

For cor­po­rate- savvy lady boss Kat Luna- Abe­larde, that is more of an un­der­state­ment. Her phone does not just make her stop, it makes her ef­fec­tively mo­bile, and at right pace with how things are go­ing in the real world.

“Without tech­nol­ogy I don’t know where I’ll be. I can do things be­cause of the app world, and my life is run by my phone,” she pointed out — rightly so.

She’s the type of pro­fes­sional who’d rather not hear laments of peo­ple com­plain­ing about how city dwellers are too de­pen­dent on a world at their fin­ger­tips. She clearly em­braces the idea that “be­hav­ior and peo­ple change and how you deal with it is the ques­tion.”

Even as a team leader in cut­throat cor­po­rate mi­lieu, Kat is never one to stick to how it was done yes­ter­day. “Lead­er­ship is be­ing open to change and can ex­e­cute things faster than ideas come,” she as­sessed. “You have to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment open enough for the team to share their ideas.”

The mother of three and wife of an en­tre­pre­neur is cur­rently FVP and group head of In­ter­na­tional Roam­ing & Car­rier Busi­ness for PLDT and Smart. That sim­ply sounds like a tall or­der. Yet she has long per­fected the art of jug­gling work and home, in­sist­ing that keep­ing the ball on the loose is her def­i­ni­tion of bal­ance.

The elo­quent, con­fi­dence-burst­ing woman ex­ec­u­tive was re­cently on hand dis­cussing with the me­dia the ground­break­ing of­fers of this week­end’s first- ever Smart Travel Sale Fair at the World Trade Cen­ter in Pasay City. The event, which brings to­gether ma­jor air­lines and over 100 agen­cies and book­ing part­ners of­fer­ing in­ter­est­ing deals, cli­maxes to­day.

Smart, for one, is in­tro­duc­ing its pre- book­ing fea­ture for data roam­ing pack­ages — a first in the coun­try which al­lows cus­tomers to con­ve­niently buy data roam­ing ser­vices ahead of their trip to stay con­nected on­line while ex­plor­ing other coun­tries.

“This is a huge cel­e­bra­tion of the Filipinos’ grow­ing pas­sion for ex­plor­ing the world and shar­ing travel ex­pe­ri­ences with loved ones,” Kat re­lated.

She’s the archetype of an out­door, trav­el­ing thinker. Hence, one of her re­cent chal­lenges for her team is to “turn roam­ing into a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.”

“The best ideas come from ev­ery­body,” she in­formed. “As group head I am around to make sure the vi­sion is clear like iden­ti­fy­ing the pain points of cus­tomers we want to fix or know­ing their pas­sion points. We’re ar­chi­tec­tur­ing the way we cre­ate prod­ucts and how we de­liver it de­pends on how we keep up with the chang­ing cus­tomers.”

Ath­letic and ag­gres­sive to a pos­i­tive de­gree, Kat Luna- Abe­larde has al­ways been in sports, first into vol­ley­ball, then foot­ball. She used to be a cheer­leader and had taken bal­let, too. Even her kids are also into out­door sports, and it is not an ex­ag­ger­a­tion that her week­ends are spent on the field.

“I’m into things you can’t achieve when you are alone. There will al­ways be peo­ple help­ing you out achieve,” she em­pha­sized.

That’s tea­man­ship de­fined while the world re­volves, yes, on her phone. PLDT-Smart’s FVP and Group Head of In­ter­na­tional Roam­ing and Car­rier Busi­ness Kat Luna-Abe­larde

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