CUSTOMERS' OPERATIONS CENTER with Resilience Suite powered by Komunidad. — KOMUNIDAD.GLOBAL

By Miguel Hanz L. Antivola, Reporter

EFFECTIVE disaster management requires access to real-time data and a swift means of disseminating critical information — a realization that entrepreneur Felix R. Ayque had in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas in 2013.

Fast forward to 2021, and that realization turned into a solution called Komunidad, a software-as-a-service company specializing in weather and environmental intelligence services.

With Komunidad’s resilience suite, businesses and government units can tap into real-time climate data and localized early warnings. This data and analytics software equips them with the tools to monitor and anticipate climate-related risks and natural hazards, from typhoons to heatwaves, according to the company.

The mission was clear: to confront the challenges posed by climate change head-on, armed with actionable data, Mr. Ayque, founder and chief executive officer of Komunidad, said in an interview with BusinessWorld.

Situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines faces a multitude of natural hazards.

“If you are in the Philippines, you would focus on climate resilience in day-to-day operations like typhoons and flooding,” said Mr. Ayque, an information technology developer who has worked with various weather agencies.

“It could also be for long-term reporting purposes, client risk assessment, power demand forecasting, physical risk assessments, and even sustainability reporting,” he added, highlighting various industry use cases.

“For us, it’s mostly about using what is needed and what is best available.”

For the government, support for communities is crucial as only a small portion, or 36%, of Filipino households are fully prepared for natural disasters, according to a 2017 study by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Mr. Ayque also noted that providing social impact lies at the core of Komunidad, which is reflected in its name — mapping out resilience with adaptation and mitigation through technology.

Komunidad leverages sophisticated technology, including artificial intelligence, as a backend solution to deliver information through simpler channels like predictive alert text messages.

This approach ensures that critical climate data reaches a diverse audience, including farmers and fisherfolk, empowering them to make informed decisions in the face of environmental challenges, according to Mr. Ayque.

As the sole player in an emerging market, the company faces unique challenges, he also said.

“We believe that we already have enough data to become climate resilient, but using that data is the issue — we are not connected,” he said.

“We have a lot of bureaucracy in terms of connecting that data; there is no agency bridging the gaps,” he added.

The situation highlights the pressing need for efficient data management and sharing mechanisms. To achieve this, Mr. Ayque calls for collaboration between the government and the private sector.

“This is how we see the collaboration: governments improve the science and invest in infrastructure, but the private sector tailors solutions to industries, individuals, or whoever would benefit from it,” Mr. Ayque said.

Recognizing that the ability to withstand natural disasters is a unique strength of Filipinos, Mr. Ayque saw an opportunity to export this talent.

“We believe that this is the best export of Filipino talent, being climate resilient,” he said. “We believe that we are the best to tell the world that we know all these things.”

The company has established an office in Singapore, strategically positioning itself to tap into the global market. It also plans to expand in Europe.

Presently, the company serves 24,000 villages in India and supports 1,500 farmers in Cambodia. “With that reach, we are very happy that it came naturally to us,” Mr. Ayque said.

Mr. Ayque also expressed optimism in the mainstream adoption of the climate tech market, bringing the hopeful trademark of the Filipino to the world at large.

“Having more players market even in this industry is better for the planet and for the world,” he said on embracing competition, overcoming climate vulnerabilities, and fueling public environmental consciousness.