Highlights and Key Takeaways from GrowthLab #14


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


Gelo Villanueva, Assistant VP of Bicol Isarog Transport System

Breakthrough: Utilize non-operational buses and capitalize on cargo services.

Our first serving starts from 24:22 to 1:18:57.

Before COVID 19, Bicol Isarog Transport System brought passengers to the provinces from Metro Manila and vice versa. But now, they are not able to transport anyone anymore due to the ECQ restrictions.

As a result, costs have been piling up and they have been busy finding ways to minimize costs, with sustainability being the main challenge now.

Bicol Isarog’s workforce, such as the operating staff and the drivers, has to be kept despite the economic challenges brought by COVID 19 – they cannot be let go given that it is difficult to recruit, train, and onboard new drivers.

Capitalizing on the demand for shipments, they have pivoted their operations from providing transportation services to providing cargo services. Buses were reconfigured to transport all forms of cargo including perishable and non-perishable goods.

They have focused on more urgent deliveries, delivering shipments within a day, with the hopes of capitalizing on recurring customers.

Given the disparity in ECQ regulations across the country, the first dispatch of buses going to the provinces served as a prototype to determine the possible routes, locations, and additional services that could be added under certain regional restrictions.

They have invested heavily in innovation in ticketing, online services, and other payment options.

Bicol Isarog is utilizing these cargo services in order to maintain their friendly image of providing people a way to padala. Presence in social media helped them incorporate their current business model since they have an established repertoire/mindshare from their loyal customers.

They understand that it is difficult for many customers to bring their goods to the main hubs for transportation. Their breakthrough is to expand their reach and make it easier for more customers to transport their goods through Bicol Isarog.

There is also a fear of their model being copied by competitors, as they are the first in their industry to transition to a cargo transportation service.



Cholo Puno, Head of Operations at VolunTeaching.PH, World Literacy Foundation ambassador

Breakthrough: Establish a sustainable model for our educational foundation.

Our second serving starts from 1:20:00 to 2:06:11.

AlayPH, in partnership with VolunTeaching.PH and the World Literacy Foundation, aims to provide education to marginalized communities.

Their current project is to zero in on an Aeta community with 200 members as their main stakeholder because this community does not have access to education.

They intend to develop literacy kits tailored to the community’s culture, therefore they are doing their research on how Aeta’s learn. They have partnered with DepEd so that they have an idea on the curriculum and the processes needed to teach based on the DepEd’s educational standards.

Financial sustainability is important for their project and foundation in order to ensure that their educational platform is effective in a long-term timeframe since education will not be effective under a short-term timeframe.

As a non-profit organization, they have to rely on donations and subsidies from government, non-government, and charity organizations.

AlayPH’s next level breakthrough is to develop a sustainable model for their project as well as their foundation that do not require a dependency on donations and subsidies.



You may have the same ideas as your competitors. They might even copy your innovative ideas. But what will always separate you from the competition is the connection you have with your customers, the relationships you build with them. When done right, even a pandemic cannot affect the loyalty and support of your customers, as seen in the case study of Bicol Isarog Transport System.


When we are experiencing tunnel vision when falling in love with our own solution, take a step back and remember that it’s better to fall in love with our customers.


The crazy idea might be the answer.” It’s important to go beyond the confines of what is apparent and what is obvious in order to really discover the essence of a problem. This is why innovation intends to seek questions in order to go beyond, instead of merely settling for answers.”


There is no such thing as a crazy idea, especially during such crazy times. In the New Normal, a successful idea or innovation could very well be something crazy.

Mark O'neal

It’s tough to let go of a great idea or a noble cause, but what we’re really after is not the WOW! of having an AETA getting a diploma. What truly matters is how to transform the lives of the greater whole by creating more practical and sustainable innovative solutions.


Human touch and connection is the differentiator, the x factor to successful innovations.


In innovation, you need to step back to see the bigger picture. Understand your target stakeholders first, then innovate your products based on the gathered data.



As a community of practice, we learn from and with each other.
We’d love to hear your key takeaways too! 

We want to learn from you!
Please add your Key Takeaway to claim this card.