Jaja SuarezAs business unit head of SKY Consumer Products Group (CPG), Claudia Veronica Suarez has to find ways for its wired services, SKYcable and SKYbroadband, as well as SKYdirect, the company’s direct-to-home satellite service, to remain relevant in the age of on-demand viewing on mobile devices.
The Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) graduate and P&G Philippines alumna is not daunted. Her early working years at the Brand/Advertising division of P&G, handling brands like Rejoice, Pantene, Whisper and Pampers, trained her to begin every project with clear objectives, strategy and measurement of success.
Smaller bits of goals
“I think this helps me organize complex and overwhelming tasks into smaller bits of goals to accomplish,” she says.
In addition, she has learned a lot of disciplines over the years, since she moved to the Lopez Group in 1999, first as managing director of SKYMall.
“I’ve learned…strategic thinking, problem solving and analytical skill sets, which are not really technical, but crucial in managing product operations. There were also many soft skills (like) teamwork, collaboration and conflict resolution…They are very practical skills to help manage day-to-day tasks. I think in ABS-CBN, we have a lot of synergies across divisions, hence learning how to work well with (different) personalities and teams is important,” Suarez says.
Having moved around the group with posts in ABS-CBN Interactive and later returning to serve SKY in various roles while also raising a family, Suarez finds most important that the value of integrity espoused by her alma mater AdMU and P&G, which is aligned with her own values, was also reinforced further in her years with the Lopez Group.
Most important ingredient
“For example, when I went back to SKY as Programs Acquisition head in 2008, I wouldn’t think that negotiation skills were my key competence. But I still recall CLK (ABS-CBN president and chief executive Carlo L. Katigbak, then head of SKY Cable) telling me that the most important ingredient was simply to be fair and honest and to stand by it with the people I negotiated with. Negotiation skills were to be learned, but integrity is a lifetime value,” she narrates.
Beyond work, Suarez wants to build a strong, successful and loving family fabric founded on her particular values set.
“I am happy that SKY and ABS-CBN are an extension of that family and maybe that is also the reason I and thousands of Kapamilyas stay in this organization. And then from a strong family foundation, my goal is to go outside and be of meaning to other people. That is also very much aligned with the group’s service orientation—to be in the service of the Filipino and (to give) ‘Wow at Saya.’”
More to give
Suarez adds: “I am still in the beginnings of making real positive contributions to this company because there’s still so much more to give. I don’t want to have end goals with legacies built around successful product launches or achieving revenue targets or hitting margins, although all those count. When the accomplishment is built around changing lives every day and in bigger ways through a product or service, that, for me, is the real end goal. That, for me, is the life goal that really matters.”
With the rise of multiscreen viewing, or watching TV while also using the computer, tablet or mobile phone, Suarez believes broadband is the way to get SKY into urban homes.
“That’s why we launched One SKY plans that already bundle high-speed broadband, HD (high-definition) cable TV and mobile internet. It also means we need to have a content OTT (over the top) play in the pipeline. Additionally, it is also being able to provide content nationwide and not just in urban cities. People in less urban or rural areas are also aspiring to quality feed and variety of cable channels. That’s also why we launched SKYdirect in th
Indeed, the possibilities of values-laden services are endless under One SKY.
Her message to LopezLink readers: “One of the strongest points of the Lopez Group is its strong set of values. I believe we are very blessed to be in one of the few groups today that run business this way. I am happy that the people I work for and the people I work with embrace the same. And that really matters because if you have to make hard decisions, it’s those set of values that you will have to pull in. It’s something worth appreciating.”
Suarez also requests all Lopez Group kapamilyas to “find out about the benefits SKY is giving to Lopez Group employees availing of the One SKY broadband and cable plan and/or a SKYdirect service.” (Story/Photos by: Carla Paras-Sison)
The SKYdirect LOB team
The Converged Products LOB team