Transformative Leadership in a Digital World

Schneider Electric Philippines Country President Ireen Catane highlights how transient advantage spurs professional growth and culture of innovation

Newly appointed Schneider Electric Philippines Country President Ireen Catane believes in transient advantage, which acknowledges that all competitive advantages are short-lived.

“Applying this to my professional life, this means continuously learning to grow, adapt, and evolve,” she says. This mantra has taken her to various leadership positions in the information and communications technology industry, including stints with Hewlett Packard, Dell, IBM, Samsung Electronics, Voyager Communications, Microsoft, and NTT, before being named as the first female President of Schneider Electric Philippines. 

Schneider Electric is the global leader in energy automation and management, and Catane emphasizes the company’s crucial role in the world today.

“There are profound shifts happening in the world today. Whether businesses are hastening their digital transformation journeys because of the pandemic, or managing the impacts of a global energy crisis, what is clear is that companies and industries must rethink the way they manage energy,” states Catane. “Whether these are power industry players, water supply providers, or manufacturers looking to run more efficiently, or companies that need data centers to support operations, or even buildings that need to have smarter processes, Schneider Electric has the combination of systems, services, and software to address varying energy management needs.”

Leading a company that addresses clients’ most pressing energy needs also means being a step ahead of emerging needs, and Catane’s belief in transient advantage comes to play. 

“Acknowledging that competitive advantages are short-lived is the foundation of innovation. I’m proud of Schneider Electric’s culture of innovation. The work done by our teams showcase what the future could be like, from homes and buildings to data centers, to infrastructure and industries,” Catane explains. “Not only is Schneider Electric innovating for a secure, reliable, and clean energy future for everyone, but we’re also aligning our strategic priorities to better serve our clients and markets.”

A key component of delivering Schneider Electric’s products, systems, and services is the company’s continued push on enhanced digital citizenship. 

“We’re conducting a significant amount of internal transformation to enhance the way we deliver our solutions to clients, including increased automation, better analytics, and enhanced quality of data delivered to clients. We’re also enhancing our capabilities to engage with customers in new ways and to sell via digital. With e-commerce on the rise, we’re also helping companies make sure they have the infrastructure and systems to deliver on data-driven businesses,” Catane shares.

Schneider Electric’s innovations have led to flexibility and agility in business models. Beyond providing hardware that may be considered as capital expenditures, the company’s solutions can also form part of operational expenditures.

“Our EcoStruxure platform is the perfect example of how we can best address any client’s energy management needs. It’s a digital platform that combines the best of operational technology solutions with the latest in information technology to enable clients to make informed decisions. By combining systems, services, and software, we’re able to offer comprehensive and customized solutions for clients,” Catane shares.

The range of solutions that Schneider Electric offers is as diverse as its client base. These range from residential unit owners to commercial, industrial, and institutional organizations (C&I), to power utilities. “The C&I segment is particularly underserved when it comes to their power requirements. Our GreenStruxure entity allows our C&I customers to transition to cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable energy resources with the development and operation of renewable energy microgrid systems,” explains Catane.

At the heart of Schneider Electric’s innovation and transformation is sustainability. The company has consistently been named as one of the world’s most sustainable companies, and this is an advocacy that its Philippine office takes to heart.

Catane states, “Coming out of the pandemic means that there is an opportunity to build the future as it should be. We’ve long recognized that it’s no longer business as usual, and we try to do good on our sustainability commitments. This includes: acting for a climate positive world by developing innovations that lead to decarbonization; being efficient in resources by behaving responsibly and making the most out of digital technology; living up to our principles of trust by holding ourselves accountable to high ethical, social, and governance standards; creating equal opportunities and making sure that our environment enables our employees to contribute; harnessing the power of all generations through learning and upskilling programs; and empowering local communities and our partners to make sustainability a way of life.”

The current business landscape may appear to be challenging, but Catane is optimistic about the opportunities in the market, as well as what Schneider Electric has to offer its current and prospective customers. 

“Schneider Electric’s differentiated value proposition is clear. We’re combining energy management and automation with artificial intelligence and analytics, backed by a competent team of professionals, which leads clients to realize energy efficiency and cost management. We understand that the current landscape demands so much from companies, and it’s our focus on innovation and sustainability that will enable us to deliver value for those who most need transformation,” Catane emphasizes.

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