HR Champions: Mharicar Castillo-Reyes’ people-centric leadership


  • Title: CEO
  • Organisation: Asticom Group of Companies
  • Office headquarters: Philippines
  • Company operations: Philippines and USA
  • Industry: Shared services and outsourcing
  • Employees: 5,000+

When Covid-19 hit the Philippines with a lockdown announcement, Asticom went into a remote setup within 72 hours. Work-from-home essentials were provided to employees, and the leadership team, with Castillo-Reyes at the helm, developed a guide book for the new normal that included financial assistance to staff members who tested positive for the virus. The team’s wellbeing was consistently prioritised over company financials.

This was just one of many demonstrations of Castillo-Reyes’s people-centric and purpose-driven leadership style, geared at not only achieving results on an organisation level, but also fostering an empowering, inspired, and connected environment for employees. Castillo-Reyes takes great care to offer talent reviews and succession planning for top performers, training strategies to help workers advance, and holistic wellness programmes. She meets regularly with the employee engagement team, playing an active role in Asticom’s people management. The company is also among the few that provide employees with health maintenance organisation (HMO) and telehealth facilities from their very first day.

“People are our greatest and most valuable asset,” says Castillo-Reyes, adding that HR plays a crucial role in creating the best environment for Asticom’s people. The CEO is especially keen on HR’s role in change management and upgrading employees’ digital dexterity. She says: “I believe in transparent communication, involving employees in the change process, and providing the necessary support and resources to navigate change effectively.” Combined with learning and development for digital competencies, Castillo-Reyes’s vision is for Asticom’s workplace culture to be supportive and motivating, while skillfully embracing technology and adapting to change.

Just this year, she was named Thought Leader of the Year at the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. 2023 also marked the launch of ‘Best of Both Worlds’, Asticom’s employee value proposition (EVP) for balancing office productivity and employees’ freedom to work from the comfort of home. Castillo-Reyes exemplifies compassionate leadership, determined to see company success rooted firmly in a healthful and thriving workforce, and nothing less.

Bold and compassionate; proven resilient and intensely mindful of their own humanness, these HR Champions are being revealed one-by-one. The full report, featuring all 15 Champions, is now available for subscriber download.

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Chief of Staff Asia