Gilbert P. Espiritu


HR expert is the only Filipino holding a senior level HR post across Al Futtaim

FIL ACHIEVER - gilbert 1Gilbert Pagtalunan Espiritu is the Senior Vice President – HR and Admin., the only Filipino in a senior HR level across Al Futtaim with over 42,000 employees. Orient Insurance PJSC is part of Al Futtaim.  It has been established in 1982 and the only insurance company in GCC with rating of A from Standard and Poors, and AM Best.

Orient has been a recipient of numerous awards and recently the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award for the financial sector.  In 2016, the company has posted the highest net profit in comparison with over 60 plus other insurance companies in the UAE. “The success of the company can be attributed to the following; Targeted Clientele, Prudent Risk Taking, Cost Management and highly competent and engaged team members.”

Overseas experience

“I was hired directly from Manila.  Our Group President was in Manila in 2008 and I was hired then as Senior Manager.  After four years I was promoted to my current role.  Last March, I celebrated my 9th year in the UAE and in the same company. It was my first overseas experience as such when I arrived in Dubai, I did not know what to expect.  However, it was all good and the more I stay here the more I love this country.  It gave me the opportunity to grow and achieve more.”


Growth of the business

“My task is to ensure that HR partners with stakeholders in supporting the growth of the business through human resources.  This includes hiring the right people at the right time, developing high potential employees, prepare the organization for successful planning and ensure engagement across the organization.  I am a catalyst in the organization that invents and reinvents the course of the company in reference to human strategies.

“This year, Al Futtaim introduced a new Performance Management System.  As the only Filipino member of the project team, we were tasked to write the policies, define the process flow, decide on the system to be used, and work on the project timeline.  It has been successfully implemented before the end of 2016 and now being used across Al Futtaim benefitting its thousands of employees.”

Guiding light

He was born on June 29, 1972 in Quezon City. His parents Venerando Espiritu and Aurora Gonzales Pagtalunan have passed away. He has three siblings, namely: Dante Espiritu, an accountant based in US; Ma. Theresa Atienza, a housewife, who is married to Cenon Atienza, a seaman; and, Rosielle Alvarez, who works as area manager and married to businessman Aldrin Alvarez.

He took his elementary education at the Holy Child Catholic School and his secondary diploma at Lagro High School in 1989. He obtained a degree in 1994 from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Live for a purpose

“I am currently an officer of FILHR and a member of Kiwanis Club of Dubai as well as ICP Choir.  They are now my family here and without them I wouldn’t probably survived the nine years.  At FILHR, we support the members by developing their knowledge and skills.  It is our objective that through the different training we give them, they would be able to grow and take on higher positions in their respective companies or new ones.  At Kiwanis Club of Dubai, we intend to serve the children of UAE and the world by engaging them in different activities.  We inspire its members that we can make a difference in the lives of others.  ICP Choir helps in strengthening your spiritual development that in turn will make you a better member of society.

“It has been my mantra to live for a purpose and I need to use my talent, my skills, and my strength for that purpose.  Also, I am lucky that my friends from FILHR, ICP Choir, Kiwanis, FG and others live for the same purpose. I can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Achieving new things

He is now 44 years old. “I would say that I am in the process of arriving and will always be.  If we say that we have arrived then it means it is the end.  I believe that life is a continuous process of learning new things and achieving this.  We constantly seek for the greatest achievement and it is never ending.  So far my greatest achievement is to be where I am today as the only Filipino being in a senior management HR role of Al Futtaim that helps shape the future of the company and gives value to its employees and highly regarded given my consistent high rating during performance reviews.”

By: Yul Espartero


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