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APAC EDITION businesschief.asia

FEBRUARY 202 1

STARTUPS IN ASIA IT PR OCU R EM ENT I N 2 021 A N D B E YO N D THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF EXECUTIVE C O M P E N SAT I O N

DIGITALLY TRANSFORMING INTEGRATED RESORTS ME LCO:

Melco’s Avery Palos and Chang Lim on the ways digital transformation is becoming the differentiator in the integrated resorts industry

CIRCLES.LIFE

VA R I A N M E D I C A L SYS T E M S

SIEMENS / TENABLE

TNEX


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FOREWORD

T

his month’s cover features Melco’s Avery Palos and Chang Lim on the ways digital transformation is becoming the differentiator in the integrated resorts industry; and Kenneth Daniel Tan, President of the Asia Pacific-Japan region at Varian Medical Systems, discussing innovative cancer care and Varian’s vision of a world without cancer.

“Our advanced radiotherapy technologies can make treatments more efficient and shorter, benefitting both clinicians and patients,” says Tan. Other leaders that feature in the magazine include Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India on emerging workplace transformation trends in 2021; James Lewis, Managing Director, Africa and Middle East at Knight Frank, Aditi Gouri, Head of Strategic Consulting and Research, Cavendish Maxwell, and Robin Davies, Business Development Director at Freespace on the corporate real estate landscape. As well as GE

Digital’s Matthew Wells on why mobile apps matter in a digital strategy and how organisations can get the most value. “As with any change, the challenges are training, partnerships with knowledgeable vendors that can assist with implementation and identifying champions within the organisation to make sure the strategy is implemented completely and effectively.” Elsewhere in the magazine, our top 10 takes a look at the top startups in the APAC region based on their funding. Do you have a story to share? If you would like to be featured in an upcoming issue of Business Chief APAC, please get in touch at: georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com.

Enjoy the read! Georgia Wilson

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

03


Between hope and possible there’s a bridge.

There from the beginning to where we stand today. And to where we will go from here. One company. One promise. If you can imagine it, we will build the bridge to get you there.


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05 PUBLISHED BY

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Georgia Wilson EDITORAL DIRECTOR

Scott Birch

VIDEO PRODUCTION MANAGER

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Kieran Waite

Lewis Vaughan

DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCERS

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Sam Kemp Evelyn Huang Matthew Evans

Jordan Hubbard

DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Andrew Stubbings

CREATIVE TEAM

Oscar Hathaway Sophia Forte Sophie-Ann Pinnel Hector Penrose Sam Hubbard Mimi Gunn Justin Smith PRODUCTION DIRECTORS

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PROJECT MANAGERS

Karl Green Thomas Livermore James Richardson Michael Banyard Jo Pallister Jake Megeary Kris Palmer Mike Sadr Ryan Hall Ben Maltby Tom Venturo Stuart Irving Craig Killingback James Berry

MEDIA SALES DIRECTOR

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Jason Westgate CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

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Glen White

businesschief.asia


10 Digital Transformation is the Differentiator in Integrated Resorts

2021:

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

36


2021:

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION

64 TRENDS

GLOBAL CORPORATE

REAL ESTATE

52 xx

GE Digital: why mobile apps matter in a digital strategy

78 84 IT Procurement in 2021 and Beyond: How to be Effective

94 STARTUPS IN ASIA


130 TNEX

112 C2FO

144

156

Varian Medical Systems

Siemens/ Tenable


186 Silvercorp Metals Inc

174 Vodafone Idea Limited

214 Circles.Life

200

226

PT Biznet Gio Nutansara

McPherson’s Consumer Products


10

FEBRUARY 2021


Digital Transformation is the Differentiator in Integrated Resorts WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

KRIS PALMER

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11


MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Melco’s Avery Palos and Chang Lim on the ways digital transformation is becoming the differentiator in the integrated resorts industry

M

elco Resorts & Entertainment operates a suite of international integrated resorts, as Avery Palos, Senior Vice

President and Global Chief Information Officer, 12

explains: “The concept behind an integrated resort is a combination of hospitality, food and beverage, retail shopping, casino, entertainment and transportation. We’ve got operations in Macau, the Philippines and Cyprus with physical operating licenses to operate and manage casino facilities, and then we’ve got offices in Japan and are headquartered in Hong Kong.” As a company of only around 20 years of age, it retains a dynamism with a positive drive which Palos believes makes the business’ stakeholders more receptive to changes. “It’s a fairly young company and so is the management which has helped us to deliver the goals of our digital transformation initiatives. A lot of the challenges tend to be not about the technology, but more about changing people’s perceptions on how we work.” FEBRUARY 2021


13

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MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

“We’re lucky in that we get to see a lot of interesting stuff and develop a very cross functional view of the company” — Chang Lim, Vice President, Digital Transformation, Melco

That’s beneficial, as digital transformation in the integrated resort industry can be tricky to begin with owing to the wide-range of services offered. “We need to manage casinos, hotels, restaurants, malls, transportation and also support the back office of the entire company in Macau, Manila and Cyprus,” explains Chang Lim, Vice President, Digital Transformation, “We’re lucky in that we get to see a lot of interesting stuff and develop a very cross-func-

16

tional view of the company. But when it comes time for us to actually bring everything together, there’s obviously a lot of coordination effort.” Because of the ambition of the digital transformation project, an attendant focus on culture is a must. “To some degree there’s always a bit of a tendency to stay with what you know, and stay in your comfort zone,” says Palos. “Asking people to do things that are new or different is always a bit of a challenge.” Overcoming that has required taking a grassroots approach. “We try to get people excited about new technology, because it might make their FEBRUARY 2021


life easier, either from the products

Lim concurs, emphasising the

and services that they’re giving to

support of senior management for

our guests or the consumption of it.

the digital initiatives they have put

Our employees, for instance, have

in place. Those initiatives are many,

an employee mobile which lets them

spanning a multitude of systems

consume a lot of the services as our

and business areas. “I think we’re

guests do.”

operating over 80% on the cloud,”

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Chang Lim Title: Vice President, Digital Transformation 17

Company: Melco Resorts & Entertainment Chang Lim is the Vice President of Digital Transformation for Melco Resorts and Entertainment, a well-established hospitality and entertainment business with a strong presence in Macau and the Philippines. Chang is currently taking a lead in overseeing Melco’s overall digital transformation strategic initiatives. He and his team partner with different business leaders in Entertainment, F&B, Hospitality, Retail, and backend offices to drive the necessary changes in Melco, with close oversight by the company’s Executive Committee. Ultimately, Melco’s focus is on ease and convenience for Melco’s guests and employees, creating exhilarating and engaging digital experiences and sustainable business growth. Chang Lim is an IT and Operations Executive with over 20 years of diverse working background across different industries and countries. Prior to joining Melco, he worked for multiple General Electric businesses, Nielsen and Marina Bay Sands. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


AWS is helping Melco Resorts Transform Their Business Meco Resorts is utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help enhance the experience of guests as it looks to scale operations. By running in the AWS Cloud, Melco's casino management system setup time has gone from 9 months to just 4 weeks. "Customers expect to interact in many ways with our platform," says Martin Fuller, DX Platform Product Leader for Melco. "AWS helps us with that by providing a global presence and high availability infrastructure and services, so that our clients can have a consistent experience whether they're in a hotel room using the mobile app or enjoying some of our gaming systems."

Learn more


AWS and Melco: transformation through the cloud AWS’ Eva Wong on the company’s cloud transformation work with Melco Resorts & Entertainment Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the world’s most comprehensive and widely utilised cloud platforms, as Senior Business Development Manager Eva Wong explains: “After building and running a massive ecommerce platform for over a decade, our parent company Amazon realised that it had developed a core competency in operating large scale technology infrastructure. To that was added a much broader mission of serving a new customer set, and that’s how AWS was born.” AWS is at the forefront of cloud computing, which has revolutionised the world, not least in a business context. “Cloud computing means ondemand delivery of IT resources via the internet,” says Wong. “AWS manages and operates a technology infrastructure in a secure environment. Businesses can access these resources through the internet to develop and run their applications. Capacity can grow and shrink very quickly according to your needs, with customers only paying for what they use.” Those capabilities allow for a much increased pace of innovation, with Wong seeing more and more enterprises undergoing cloud adoption for their own purposes. That spirit is evident in its collaboration with Melco Resorts & Entertainment. “Melco started using the AWS platform to build their applications four

years ago. With AWS scalability, agility and global presence, Melco is able to expand their applications globally in weeks, compared to months in traditional on-premise data centres.” Aside from the scale, Melco is also able to deliver bespoke customer experiences to guests via the MelSuite, the Smart-in-Room-ManagementSystem built on AWS by Melco’s DX Team. “With over 175 fully featured services currently available on the AWS platform, Melco can be experimental and innovative,” says Wong. “They can test and try out new ideas with minimal upfront costs, and compute resources are readily available to them as they require.” Wong sees the close working relationship as resilient going into the future, evolving alongside key trends such as know-your-customer initiatives. “The extension of customer experience is interacting with your guests digitally. We are seeing more interest in interactive video services live streaming solutions that are quick and easy to set up and ideal for creating interactive video experiences for customers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s becoming a key focus as companies look for ways to keep the customer up to date, create a great customer experience and ultimately drive customer loyalty.”


MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

20

says Palos. “And in some places

guests,” says Palos. “We’re probably

such as Cyprus, we’re at 100%.” Lim

one of the first casino operators

adds that: “From a cloud perspective,

that actually adopted blockchains

we’re very agnostic, because we

in part of our production environ-

don’t want to depend on one single

ment.” One example is a blockchain

cloud provider. That’s why we dis-

used in the casino’s cage, to track

tribute it across the different major

all transactions for gaming activity.

players in the industry, such as AWS.”

Melco also built a prototype called

Emerging technologies play a

MelGuard for use in Japan. It uses

significant role at the organisation.

blockchain as a mechanism for keep-

“We spend a lot of our time looking

ing track of player activities, such as

at how we can apply those kinds of

how long they’ve been inside in order

technologies into our operations to

to promote responsible gaming.

help better serve our customers and

“We’re actually considering building

FEBRUARY 2021


21

“We’re probably one of the first casino operators that actually has five operating blockchains in production” — Avery Palos, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer, Melco

a consortium using blockchain in Japan to share that information with both the regulator and other casino operators, because there’s a social mandate for it in the country,” says Palos. AI and machine learning are another key focus, such as video analytics to analyse casino chips as they sit on a table and determine their colour and how many there are in order to understand how much is in the game – replacing human observers who are unable to keep up busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


Future Ready Report We set out to discover which businesses are best prepared for the future, and what those businesses are doing differently to the rest. In our report we explain what ‘future ready’ businesses look like, how they’re approaching emerging challenges in the business world and how they fared during the COVID-19 crisis.

Download the report here


Vodafone and Melco Resorts: connectivity partners Dan Beevers, President, Asia Pacific, Vodafone Business, on the partnership with Melco Resorts and the possibilities of technologies such as 5G Vodafone is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. “We’re on this journey right now of moving from being a traditional telco provider to being a tech-co,” explains Dan Beevers, President, Asia Pacific, Vodafone Business. “The purpose of Vodafone is connecting for a better future. With our expertise and global scale, we have that unique opportunity to drive positive change across society, connecting friends, families, businesses and government organizations.” Vodafone has been at the forefront of driving major technology trends in the industry, with 5G being one of the most exciting technologies to emerge of late. “Vodafone has been involved in leading efforts to trial 5G in cities across Europe,” says Beevers. “We’ve also taken a leadership role in global 5G research, for instance holding the chair of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Group.” The company embarked on a relationship with Melco Resorts back in 2015, when it addressed Melco’s need to connect global facilities across Asia and Europe to provide a consistent user experience and high quality IT network

services. “Partnerships are all about trust. We built trust with Melco by making sure service was paramount and talking in their language - now we provide them connectivity across nine countries around the world and are expanding the relationship into other areas such as Azure cloud services.” In 2018 the partnership was expanded around a VDI solution. “That’s a service which helps them acquire virtual desktop infrastructure. With that service, we provide a secure user experience, the ability to scale and also the ability to reduce costs whilst increasing efficiencies within their organisation.” With technology changing at pace, a study conducted this year by Vodafone Business, called Vodafone Business Future Ready, uncovered a number of criteria for organisations to bear in mind to prepare themselves for the future. “It’s about having a positive attitude and a mindset that you need to change with the speed of the wider world of technology, being open to new technologies within your organisation, being able to adapt your people to your customers and to your competition, while actively planning for the technological future,” says Beevers.


Digital Transformation is now tangible So real, you can wrap your arms around it Thanks to a team of over 300 business and technology consultants, each year we assist hundreds of clients in their Digital Transformation programmes, on-site. Whether it’s on premise, on the cloud, native, or hybrid; our subject matter experts have your back. Why? Because we take pleasure in doing what people say cannot be done.

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25 with the amount of activity. It helps

Casino tables, meanwhile, have

to improve the accuracy of the game

always been higher-tech than you

and reduce the amount of dispute.

might imagine, requiring multiple

“We also use a lot of facial recog-

computers stationed inside crev-

nition, as you can imagine,” says

ices and corners to operate. “But of

Palos. “To identify people who’ve

course, maintaining these comput-

been barred from the casino, and so

ers can be time-consuming and

on. We’re also starting to build out

resource-intensive,” says Palos.

algorithms for dynamic offers and

“They get beaten up as they age, and

incentives. Say we just noticed that

expose the casino operation to high

you won the jackpot. Let’s send you

failure rates and security issues.

a bottle of champagne and make you

We boiled down the essence of

an offer of a free hotel room so that

that, and now we have converted to

you’ll come back and spend some

Raspberry Pis, believe it or not, using

more money next time.”

thousands and thousands of them busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

O U R P ART N ERS

26

Intellectsoft has been an indispensable technology partner in our digital transformation journey for over three years now. During this time, the company demonstrated a high level of professionalism and agility working on multiple complex projects like multi-functional mobile system development, casino operating system, marketing solutions, and more. They helped to empower our products by adopting new technologies, untangle complex issues that always emerge during digital evolution, and play a prominent role in our ongoing innovation. Intellectsoft truly is an integral part of our digital roadmap, and we are happy to work closely with their engineering and product teams to drive innovation beyond.

FEBRUARY 2021

Digital Transformation requires rapid adaptability. The adoption of new technologies and the exchange of complex information everyday requires expertise to bring the best of digital solutions. Rich of digital-savvy experts, Melco manages to collaborate closely with KEYTEO to address the surging demand of our Business Users to facilitate our daily operations in Mobile Applications, Cloud and Business Analysis by sourcing competent digital experts whenever and wherever we need them.

KWDEZN is one of our most valuable and trusted partners in developing new electronic hardware designs for our fastpaced business. They permeate a positive and inclusive culture with a group of highly talented,


motivated team who always striving to enrich the customer experience. They understand the importance of balancing design with user needs and technology in order to add value to our product. Their open-mindedness is aligned with Melco beliefs which enable us to design one of the best kiosks in our industry. We look forward to our continued partnership with KWDEZN.

Choosing Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a no-brainer. We’ve been working with the team for over 3 years and AWS is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive cloud platform with unmatched experience and first-rated security. AWS has the most extensive global cloud infrastructure, it backs our worldwide expansion up perfectly. AWS has a huge range of service offerings and features which act as the enablers for Melco DX team to innovate and build faster, easier, and more cost-effective. Plus, they

have one of the best talents in the industry– highly skilled, forwardthinking, extremely responsive and trusted, an absolute delight to work with. We can depend upon them for our most businesscritical applications.

In our partnership with Thoughtworks, we have created an industry-leading digital journey through collaboration in a number of areas. These include designing and delivering new service ecosystem for customers on China’s most widely used social media platform WeChat, Melco and ThoughtWorks collaborated closely together to learn about diverse users’ behaviors, usage habits, and so on, ultimately delivering a WeChat Mini Program as the key customer touchpoint for engagement before, during and after the trip. Melco is the first in the resort and entertainment industry to make available direct hotel and restaurant bookings through a WeChat Mini Program. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

27


Connec Global B of Hos

cting the Business pitality

shijigroup.com


cting the Business spitality

“[We’re doing] all sorts of different things that maybe a person might have done in the past, but it’s now safer to do with less human interaction”

as IoT devices.” Those have proved very versatile, as Palos explains. “That one Pi, which is a $25 computer, takes the place of all those computers and runs the entire table, including the screens and the signage. In our guests rooms, too, we use these Pis to help control the AC, the lights, the curtains, you name it.” Partners have played a big role in

— Chang Lim, Vice President, Digital Transformation, Melco

making such a wide-ranging digital transformation possible, with Melco possessing a clear rationale when it comes to selecting those it works

Our Main Focus Is on Developing in Yokohama: Melco Resorts’s CEO CLICK TO WATCH

|

7:11

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

29


with. “The one thing that we try to

integrate them into our digital trans-

do is try to find tech partners that

formation ecosystem.”

have unique products and services”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

says Lim. “Even if it’s tangential to

has presented challenges, as with

our industry, it may not be anything

essentially all businesses around the

that’s used in our industry at all right

globe, but Melco’s technology has

now, we like to engage with them

risen to the challenge. One initiative

and see if there’s an opportunity to

which has been accelerated is the

31

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


Building the capability for the ‘next normal’ Shift

Organizational Structure

Shift

Organizational Culture

Awareness

Focusing

Executing

Shift

Organizational Functioning

GREAT DESIGNS START WITH GREAT IDEAS. We’re a multidisciplinary design consultancy specializing in industrial design, sourcing, packaging, and brand identity. Introducing the VIK kiosk system designed for Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

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Optinmizing

Strengthening

Shift

Organizational Cadence


Melco Resorts and Entertainment’s Digital Transformation CLICK TO WATCH

|

3:42

33 practice of having digital, mobile app-based digital tokens rather than physical ones. Melco is also exploring removing as much humanto-human interactions in some of the business operations, with both initiatives removing a potential mechanism for the transmission of the virus. “We also have more robots

2004

Year founded

$5.bn+ Revenue in US dollars

running around,” says Lim. “Helping with cleaning, checking temperatures, delivering drinks – things that maybe a person might have done in the past, but it’s now safer to do with less human interaction.”

21,000 Number of employees

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

34

“As we continue to apply digital to that journey, it makes us a quicker, faster, sharper operator” — Avery Palos, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer, Melco FEBRUARY 2021

Palos is clear that such initiatives mean the future is bright for the company, with a current focus on acquiring licenses for new jurisdictions in Japan, such as Yokohama. “As we continue to apply digital to that journey, it makes us a smarter, faster, sharper operator, which again


35

helps to parlay things like improv-

digital – which is why building a digital

ing our customer services, growing

presence is so important.”

revenue streams and new licensing opportunities. Our CEO has said that he believes that digital is the way out of this problem. If COVID can’t be resolved tomorrow, which nobody thinks it will, the only way forward is busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

2021: 36

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

FEBRUARY 2021


37

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

Business Chief APAC looks at how executive compensation plans are evolving in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2021

A

s we enter into the second month of 2021 still faced with uncertainty, no one could have predicted that this time last year, a pandemic was going to encompass the

world the following month, grinding most organisations to a halt. With companies searching for ways to survive and thrive in the ‘new normal’, Business Chief APAC

38

explores how organisations have been managing their executive compensation plans – both in the short term and the medium to long term – and what the future will look like for executive compensation for the rest of 2021 and beyond. E X E C U T I V E C O M P E N S AT I O N : S H O R T T E R M M A N AG E M E N T When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the crisis required immediate and decisive action from management teams with a focus on the wellbeing of the business, employees and supply chain partners. In an article titled ‘Managing executive compensation during COVID-19’ by Yong Fei Tan Director, Executive Compensation, South Asia, and Shai Ganu, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader at FEBRUARY 2021


39

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


Digital Transformation. Made real every day. Find out how big advances in AI have made it easier than ever to unlock the power of data, create value, insights and a new level of intelligent security. From Individuals, to small organizations, to the Global Fortune 100, AI and machine learning are improving businesses and lives everywhere.

40

Learn More


41 Willis Towers Watson the two explained

and companies have a better under-

the importance of channeling manage-

standing of market conditions, then they

ment’s efforts on crisis management in

can resume normal performance meas-

order to get past the survival phase of

ures and targets,” says Tan and Ganu.

any crisis.

In addition to non-conventional app-

“This may lead to some non-conven-

roaches to the virus, some boards took

tional approaches in the short term.

a voluntary fee reduction ranging from

For example, linking management’s

five to 20 per cent. Showing solidarity,

KPIs to the percentage of the workforce

some top exeucitves from high impacted

who are protected from the COVID-19

industries also volunteered to take up to

infection, or to healthcare and recu-

100 per cent cuts in their fixed salary

peration spending, or preventing job

while maintaining some form of target

losses, or encouraging social distanc-

variable incentive. Meanwhile, in less

ing and working from home protocols.

impacted industries, salary increments

Once the business operations stabilise

for top executives were frozen. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“These actions can be seen as a gesture to preserve cash. More importantly, they can make a positive impact if the funds are set aside for COVID-19/ CSR/Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts,” comments Tan and Ganu. Aside from the previous two response methods to COVID-19, many organisations have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach, which Tan and Ganu have deemed as perhaps the only time that an approach like this could 42

be reasonable and appropriate. “Rather than spending time and energy reviewing incentive plans, forecasting financial outcomes and setting performance goals, boards and management should focus their attention on human capital management.” EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: MEDIUM TO LONG TERM MANAGEMENT Whilst the above is suitable in the short term, organisations in the medium to long term should focus on the below for long term stability and returning to work, even if it is in a ‘new normal’ scenario. FEBRUARY 2021


“COVID-19 has become a human capital crisis, completely changing the way organisations manage their human capital within a short period of time” — Willis Towers Watson

43

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“Proactive and effective communication,and engagement with shareholders,employees and the publics to manage optics is paramount given the significant changes.” — Yong Fei, Director, Executive Compensation, South Asia, and Shai Ganu, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson 44 Both Tan and Ganu highlight that employees should focus on their wellbeing including physical, mental, social and financial, while boards should consider ways to conserve cash, particularly if they are seeking government assistance, and/or are deploying cash flow and cost containment initiatives. It is also important to maintain an enhanced and clear line of communication between investors and stakeholders. “Customers and the media are more likely to scrutinise pay decisions made,” comments Tan and Ganu. “Proactive and effective communication, and engagement with shareholders, employees FEBRUARY 2021


and the public to manage optics is paramount given the significant changes. We expect ongoing communication and implementation of human capital management metrics into incentive plans and/ or governance oversight to progress.” The two also emphasise the importance of documenting and analysing the outcomes of the pandemic, adjusting long term executive compensation strategies to build resilience. In addition, Tan and Ganu identify two other important long term focuses for organisations, these include talent retention and restructuring. “In times of crisis, business opportunities and talent pool becomes available, and at times, at a bargain. Development and/ or enhancement of existing talent retention program therefore becomes crucial,” comments Tan and Ganu, who add that “While long standing compensation principles (align, attract, retain, incentivise, and hold accountable) still apply, this may be a great opportunity for boards to consider shifting the focus of its executive compensation plans to take a more balanced perspective, such as the increased focus on ESG measures and on all stakeholders.” busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

45


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“Corporate boards should look at executive compensation plans as an important tool to focus management’s efforts on surviving the crisis,and protecting the health and wellbeing of all its stakeholders,including employees,customers,supply-chain partners and shareholders” 46

— Willis Towers Watson

FEBRUARY 2021


47

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“In times of crisis,business opportunities and talent pool becomes available, and at times,at a bargain.Development and/or enhancement of existing talent retention program therefore becomes crucial.”

48

— Yong Fei, Director, Executive Compensation, South Asia, and Shai Ganu, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: 2021 AND BEYOND With the potential for the post COVID19 world to provide “an opportunity for companies to thoroughly review their executive compensation plans and make changes that otherwise would have been difficult to implement before the pandemic crisis” Willis Towers Watson, in an article titled Asia Pacific incentive plans will look a bit different in 2021 by Don Delves Managing Director, Practice Leader, Executive Compensation, North America, and Trey Davis Executive Compensation Leader, the two highlight that “the timing and speed of an economic recovery is debatable, but one thing we know for certain is that we are living with much greater uncertainty and risk today than before the pandemic [...] The economy going into 2021 will be weaker than it was going into 2020.” With this in mind, Delves and Davis have outlined seven executive compensation initiatives that companies should consider in 2021 and beyond.

FEBRUARY 2021


1 | De-risk the incentives: in a high risk

make sense for organisations to place a

business environment with increased

higher weight on cash flow or EBITDA

uncertainty, Delves and Davis explain

and a lower weight on revenue.

the benefits of reducing the risk and leveraging embedded incentives. “This

4 | Strategic measures and objectives:

means less upside and less downside,

with the pandemic highlighting the

and less incremental payout per unit

need for organisation to rethink their

of incremental performance.”

operation models in order to maintain employee engagement and business

2 | Set lower performance goals:

operations, Delves and Davis note that

with the likelihood that the economy

“this may be the time to make key stra-

in 2021 will not be as well perform-

tegic moves like making an acquisition,

ing as expected prior to COVID-19,

exiting a business, repositioning assets,

Delves and Davis also highlight that

accelerating new technologies, shifting

companies will be looking to lower

costs and investments between busi-

their performance goals for 2021.

nesses, or taking advantage of market

“If companies reduce goals, they

inefficiencies and dislocations.”

should consider the total cost of the incentive plan relative to the lower

5 | Relative performance measures:

profit or other performance goal to

“In uncertain times, performance relative

make sure appropriate sharing

to peers is a good way to gauge how

ratios are maintained within a rea-

well a company is performing and avoids

sonable range.”

the difficult challenge of setting goals,” comments Delves and Davis. While

3 | Changing the performance

making direct financial performance

measure mix: Depending on the

comparisons to other companies can be

opportunities and challenges that

challenging, the two further explain that

present themselves in the rest of

relative performance is the best way to

2021, the two identify that it could

maintain relatively simple metrics.

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

49


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

“As companies adapt their 2021 incentive plans to the current reality,they should consider whether the changes are temporary to reflect these unusual times or are more reflective of longerterm changes in the business landscape and strategy.” 50

— Don Delves, Managing Director, Practice Leader, Executive Compensation, North America, and Trey Davis, Executive Compensation Leader, Willis Towers Watson 6 | Transitioning to long term

7 | Annual goals for long term per-

incentive (LTI) mix: whilst many

formance plans: with the continued

companies in Asia have begun to

economic uncertainty as a result

move to an LTI mix, Delves and Davis

of the pandemic, it is nearly impos-

cautions that 2021 may be the appro-

sible for companies to set realistic

priate time for companies to ensure

three-year goals. Instead Delves

that they are not relying too much

and Davis state that organisations

on performance vesting shares –

should consider developing three

a common executive compensation

one-year goals. “Rather than setting

initiative for Aisan companies com-

three-year cumulative goals, consider

pared to Western markets.

average performance over three

FEBRUARY 2021


51

years, or simply focus on perfor-

more permanent and reflect funda-

mance in the third year of the plan

mental shifts in the economy and how

(for example, achieve a certain level

business gets done. As a result, as

of revenue or profit by year three).”

companies adapt their 2021 incentive plans to the current reality, they

While we remain in a period of

should consider whether the changes

great uncertainty that is likely to

are temporary to reflect these unusual

continue beyond 2021, organi-

times or are more reflective of long-

sations should expect that some

term changes in the business land-

aspects of the pandemic’s effects

scape and strategy,” concludes

will be temporary, but “others will be

Delves and Davis. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


H U M A N C A P I TA L

GEORGIA WILSON

2021: WRITTEN BY

52

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION

FEBRUARY 20201


53

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H U M A N C A P I TA L

Business Chief APAC speaks to CEO of Teleperformance India, Aditya Arora on emerging workplace transformation trends in 2021

W

ith the outbreak of COVID-19 back in March 2020 causing many organisations around the world to rapidly

transform their workplace envi-

ronments, it is clear that whilst the topics of

employee experience, digital tools and remote working, as well as mental health and safety have 54

always been important factors, they have certainly been brought under the microscope since the pandemic began. As a result of this increased focus, KPMG states that with discussions “moving beyond attracting and retaining talent to enabling and supporting a fully remote workforce with capabilities and technologies that are now deemed mission-critical,” organisations that stand to succeed in the new remote workplace environment “will plan for the entire workplace ecosystem and equip employees to support business operations.” With this in mind Business Chief has asked Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India, six questions on how the working environment has transformed following the impact of COVID-19.

FEBRUARY 20201

2001

Teleperformance in India was established

190+

Number of global clients Teleperformance, provides with Omnichannel Customer Service, Process Optimisation and Automation

2019

Teleperformance was named APAC Contact Center Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year by Frost & Sullivan

CEO

Daniel Julien is the current Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer


“The pandemic enforced a need for HR functions to quickly re-align and establish social connections with employees,regardless of location” — Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India 55

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


On the Road to 5G Mr. Ian Watson, CEO of Cellcard Cambodia and Royal Group in ICT division is widely known in the telecommunications industry as a leading evangelist and thought leader for 5G and digitalization. Under Ian’s leadership, Cellcard has achieved more than 30 industry awards during the past three years including the dominant share of Ookla Speedtest and Open Signal awards. He is also a regular keynote speaker at major industry events such as Mobile World Congress, Telecom Asia, 5G Asia and TM Forum. On November 12, he was invited to give speech at the online 5G Core Industry Roundtable of the 11th Global MBB Forum 2020, hosted by GSMA and GTI. Mr. Ian mentioned that Cambodian Royal Group has a strong demands on 5G to bring ultimate and immersive experience for its customers from TV, Banking, Insurance, Hydroelectric, Railway, Security Solutions, Resort, and Mobile payment. With 5G B2B, sparks new round of intelligent connectivity revolution in all scenarios and sectors such as; wireless broadband, Campus, Manufacturing, Port, Transportation, and Public Safety. “5G, paired with AI, fast tracks digitalization, not only for us individuals, but also for industries,” he continues. “In addition, diversified business models are required to achieve the optimal return on investment so that both consumers and enterprises can enjoy the benefits of 5G.” Cellcard is on the road to 5G and have completed the first 5G SA trail in 2019. At the very beginning of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 epidemic, Cellcard supported Ministry of Health with 5G telemedicine technology for distance diagnosis. In 2021, Cellcard will launch 5G NSA network and will evolve to 5G SA Commercial Network in near Future.

THE WORK ENVIRONMENT: A TIME BEFORE COVID-19 1 | What was the work environment like prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020?

Ian Watson, CEO of Cellcard Cambodia

In the pre-COVID world, organisations were typically designing their business models based on the convention that large and flourishing office spaces were critical to success. Before the advent of the crisis, productivity, satisfaction, and corporate culture relied heavily on


57 in-person meetings and camarade-

ignored untapped talent pools and

rie, with flexible working and new

relied heavily on available human capital.

technologies adopted at possibly slower rates than now.

Having never experienced, nor planned for such complex circumstances, HR teams then used it to focus

2 | What were the core focuses for

on designing in-office employee experi-

HR functions when it came to their

ences and engagement. The pandemic

workplace strategy?

enforced a need for HR functions to

Before we were thrust into heightened

quickly re-align and establish social

virtual living, HR departments were

connections with employees, regard-

focused on increasing proximity

less of location. This new wave of

of employees to enable face-to-

thinking opened a gateway to global

face interactions. Slow uptake of

workforce alignment for organisa-

flexible working and location restraints

tions – one that was previously

also meant recruitment functions largely

unimagined pre-crisis. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


H U M A N C A P I TA L

“With business reaction to the pandemic leaning heavily on cloud, we can expect to see this technology efficiently support remote work and continue to gather pace in 2021” 58

— Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India

3 | What were the top emerging trends for the workplace environment prior to COVID-19? Expedited by the pandemic, a trend gathering pace was the adoption of data analytics to closely understand the employee experience. The role of employers and HR executives was also expanding, to better account for employees’ physical and mental well-being and extend interpersonal support to those facing difficulties. Building an engaged, gender-smart workforce, and a culture of diversity and inclusion had just started gaining momentum. This contributed hugely to an overarching trend before the crisis – increasing employee and client proximity – under the influence that corporate wellness and culture is dependent on physical location. With the advent of COVID-19 and the subsequent boom of work-from-home (WFH), these priorities did not change – rather how organisations approach them has changed. HR executives are now leveraging technology to enhance human connection, have more conversations, and create deeper connections with teams across the globe.

FEBRUARY 20201


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION: 59

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE WORK ENVIRONMENT 1 | Since the outbreak of COVID-19,

Business, tech, and HR leaders who

how has the work environment

never deemed remote working to be a

changed in 2021 compared to 2020?

priority are rolling out more permanent

The pandemic accelerated and ampli-

WFH policies. Trying new collaboration

fied the trend of digital adoption

tools and technologies is key to ensur-

and the concept of WFH. While digi-

ing organisations are connecting with

talisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

their employees and bringing together

have been drivers for disruption for

new team members remotely. As we

several years, the COVID -19 crisis

enter 2021, leaders need to continually

sharply increased the need and

reimagine and reinvent business and

urgency to transform. WFH models

workforce strategies, with an emphasis

were deployed swiftly and efficiently

on WFH models being the new business

to bring about a paradigm shift in

continuity strategy for all organisations

our end-to-end business approach.

and clients alike. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


H U M A N C A P I TA L

60

“The COVID crisis sharply increased the need and urgency to transform” — Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India

FEBRUARY 20201


2 | How have workplace strategies evolved since the outbreak of COVID-19 and how have their core focuses shifted? The uncertainty of the past year has awakened executives to the importance of ensuring predominantly geographically dispersed teams can still do their work effectively. As employees picked up their laptops and headed home to work for the foreseeable future, think tanks were set up to reimagine the workforce planning, performance management and experience – all while acting swiftly to protect workers’ safety and emotional wellbeing. Pre-existing workplace trends accelerated by years, as organisations underwent digital transformation in the space of months – if not days – starting with Cloud technology. Providing businesses with a lifeline, cloud platforms are effectively supporting remote working and have diminished the collaboration challenges of remote work – enabling employees to operate with the same flexibility, productivity, and quality. Whilst the cloud lays the foundation for effective operations, the focus is now on people, with an emphabusi ne ssc hief. a s ia

61


H U M A N C A P I TA L

sis on leaders strengthening their company culture to sustain employee motivation, engagement, and socialness in the remote environment. 3 | What are the top three trends that you see gaining traction in 2021? With business reaction to the pandemic leaning heavily on cloud, we can expect to see this technology efficiently support remote work and continue to gather pace in 2021. Combining the best of in-office and 62

WFH teams, a blended approach will help drive organisational resilience amidst such unpredictable

“With business reaction to the pandemic leaning heavily on cloud,we can expect to see this technology efficiently support remote work and continue to gather pace in 2021” — Aditya Arora, CEO of Teleperformance India FEBRUARY 20201


63

market dynamics and achieve future

bolster a resilient human and machine

disaster preparedness to continue

workforce while resources are limited.

to create consistent experiences

Technology-enabled solutions coupled

for end customers.

with effective human interactions will

Similarly, organisations will look to

deliver long-term business benefits.

ramp up their investment in robotic

The new year will also be an oppor-

process automation (RPA) to handle

tunity for businesses to reflect on

fluctuating enquiries in a more cost-

the quality of team cohesion that

efficient manner. Automating back-

they were able to achieve through-

office support will become a growing

out the pandemic. Collaboration will

priority for businesses, as leaders

persist as the cornerstone of creating

strive to streamline workflows and

a socially enriched working environment. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

GLOBAL CORPORATE REAL ESTATE TRENDS IN WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

64

FEBRUARY 2021

2021


Those participating in the roundtable include:

JAMES LEWIS Managing Director, Africa and Middle East, Knight Frank

65

ADITI GOURI

R O B I N D AV I S

Head of Strategic Consulting and Research, Cavendish Maxwell

Business Development Director, Freespace

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C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

Business Chief speaks with corporate real estate leaders from North America and the EMEA region to discuss the current landscape and global 2021 trends AFTER ONE MONTH OF 2021, COULD YOU DISCUSS THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE WHEN IT COMES TO CORPORATE REAL ESTATE? JL: The current landscape in corporate real estate 66

across the majority of markets continues to be that of uncertainty – with the pandemic greatly impacting market activity and transactions. In Knight Frank’s Africa Market Pulse Survey, which was conducted at the onset of the pandemic, office landlords indicated that only 20% of office leasing deals were proceeding normally, while a majority (40%) were experiencing delays. Overall, however, market performance has continued to be influenced by a range of factors beyond COVID-19. These have included low commodity prices in oil dependent economies, currency devaluation, ongoing recession in countries such as South Africa and hyperinflation in markets such as Harare, which are adversely impacting demand and returns.

FEBRUARY 2021


67

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C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

68

As such, we have noted that approxi-

increased number of cheques and,

mately 60% of the 28 cities in the prime

in some cases, lower headline rents

office market we track have recorded

to existing lessees. Extended rent-free

rental declines in the period to Q3 2020.

periods, increased CapEx contributions

AG: The social distancing and

towards fit-out, reductions in notice

movement restrictions brought on by

periods and early break penalties are

COVID-19 interfered with supply chains

also becoming more common. Sellers

and services in the UAE and around the

and landlords are expected to realign

world. With many business activities

asking prices towards the offer levels

interrupted in H1 2020, the office mar-

of purchasers and occupiers in the near

ket came under pressure. Businesses

term. Poorer quality assets are likely

reacted to the sudden change in market

to experience the largest decrease

conditions and vacancies began to

whereas premium stock will see a more

increase, leading to occupiers finding

evenly balanced duel between negotiat-

newfound leverage to negotiate. Now,

ing parties.

landlords are more commonly offering

However, Dubai’s non-oil private

incentives including deferrals, waivers,

sector continued to show improvement

FEBRUARY 2021


“The current landscape in corporate real estate across the majority of markets continues to be that of uncertainty” — James Lewis, Managing Director, Africa & Middle East, Knight Frank desk space as a result of social distancing rules. Despite promising news of an effective vaccine, it is not yet approved, in business conditions as evidenced

and even when experts predict it may

by an increase from 50.9 in August

take many months before we can expect

to 51.5 in September of the seasonally

social distancing to become a thing of

adjusted IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing

the past. And so occupancy levels will be

Managers’ Index (PMI). A reading above

reduced for sometime.

50 indicates expansion. The office sec-

As a result of strict quarantine meas-

tor is likewise expected to improve in the

ures and lockdowns around the world,

quarters ahead as companies return

organisations have been granted time

to full capacity in 2021.

to take a step back and to assess how

RD: The current corporate real estate

demic even when it is time to return to

landscape is challenging owners and

the office. Workplace technology exists

occupiers in unimaginable ways. As

to help provide comfort and assur-

a result, organisations have a dilemma

ances. There are solutions in the market

on their hands. Workplaces are close

that offer the ability to sense and learn

to empty and there’s too much costly

when and where spaces are in use in

unused office space going to waste:

order to keep them clean and compli-

many offices are reporting 50% less

ant. Occupancy-based data can ensure busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

69


C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

“Changes in the way that companies carry out day-to-day operations have been underway for years,COVID-19 has fast-tracked the adoption of technologies as social distancing and remote working have become more prevalent”

70

— Aditi Gouri, Head of Strategic Consulting and Research, Cavendish Maxwell

heads of HR, facilities and corporate real estate (CRE) are aware of individual and collective behaviors, allowing them to make educated decisions on optimising real estate space while reducing the risk of transmission. Technology like this can do everything from providing the usage and cleaning history of a given desk so employees know when it was last used and when it was sanitised ahead of their arrival, to helping staff plan their day at work so they are assigned a safe space with the colleagues they need to collaborate with. FEBRUARY 2021


HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE INDUSTRY EVOLVE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? JL: The pandemic has introduced a new dynamic for all types of occupiers in Africa. Hospitality, student housing and regional shopping centres are some of the sectors that have been negatively impacted so far. The office sector has also recorded reduced demand as a result of the shift toward remote working. While we are unlikely to witness an extreme shift to remote working, we anticipate that flexibility and collaboration are going to prove core values to any organisation going forward. In the short to medium term, we will probably see a change in office layouts and design, as the overall employee density remains low, and in response to pandemic containment measures across different countries. In the longrun, office premises are likely to be utilised as collaborative spaces, where talent retention and health and wellness for employees will be a key aspect of the new office-as-a-service for corporates. In a bid to attract and retain tenants, the majority of the landlords are also proving more willing to grant lease concessions and, in some cases, renegotiate existing lease terms. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

71


C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

Overall, In the longer term, we expect the majority of sectors to recover. For instance, sectors that span the entire human life cycle such as agriculture and healthcare continue to be in high demand. Niche differentiation in sectors such as office spaces and residential into grade A will also be critical, while the increasing need for connectivity will lead to high demand for data centres. AG: Dubai’s office market witnessed a paradigm shift in workplace practices to adapt to social distancing precautions. 72

The widespread deployment of virtual

“There has been much exaggerated talk of the ‘death of the office’. In reality, we have seen a relatively small number of organisations looking to reduce their office footprint” — Robin Davies, Business Development Director, Freespace

conferencing has helped many companies remain competitive and contactless,

as the professional services sectors

especially in the professional services

experienced modest demand compared

industries. The effectiveness of these

to previous quarters. The technology

tools may vary by company and industry,

sector made up approximately 15% of

but some companies will reconsider the

enquiries, and with the UAE announcing

need for traditional, or pre-pandemic,

plans to prioritise digital economies post

office space going forward.

COVID-19, demand is expected to fur-

Currently, the market situation has

ther increase in the future.

fuelled growth of the technology and

RD: There has been much exagger-

digital sectors, underscoring the stra-

ated talk of the ‘death of the office’. In

tegic goals of Smart Dubai 2021. As

reality, we have seen a relatively small

of Q3 2020, many of the enquiries for

number of organisations looking to

office space continue to come from the

reduce their office footprint, despite the

construction and related sectors while

currently low occupancy levels. Instead,

healthcare, beauty and pharma as well

they are looking at creative ways to

FEBRUARY 2021


best optimise that space to support the

business objectives are met. As such,

return to work – and real-time data from

they are likely to work closely with HR

occupancy based sensors is fuelling

and risk departments as organisations

and enabling that creative approach to

tackle the challenges of infection control

space optimisation.

along with the health and wellbeing of

However, some organisations are now accepting that the home office

their people. What technology and/or approaches

environment will be a permanent exten-

have you seen emerge in the industry

sion of their corporate estate portfolios

due to COVID-19, and how do these

and have been taking steps to ensure

compare to before the outbreak?

their staff are supported, comfortable

JL: Remote access has been the most

and productive for the long-term. One

prevalent technological shift as a result

of the key challenges for CRE heads

of the pandemic. Corporate real estate

entering 2021 will be to balance blended

has evolved, such as through the adop-

‘home and office work’ in such a way that

tion of online management platforms, to

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

73


C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

aid in client and property management during the pandemic. For instance, in the context of agency, technology adoption has evolved from online listings to virtual reality. As a result of movement restrictions imposed during lockdown, virtual viewings in the majority of markets have surged. Knight Frank Kenya’s website, for example, registered a 47% increase in users over the months of May and June compared to the previous year. Virtual tours have effectively allowed potential tenants and buyers 74

to have realistic ‘walkthrough’ tours

viewing and conferencing. However,

of the properties.

COVID-19 has fast-tracked the adoption

We have also witnessed an increased

of these technologies as social distanc-

focus on data and analytics in the corpo-

ing and remote working have become

rate real estate sector, effectively aiding

more prevalent. To facilitate transparent

decision makers to predict market per-

communication amid restrictions and

formance and plan accordingly.

social distancing, various property listing

While the transformation of real estate

platforms have launched interactive vir-

technology was already taking place

tual tours of properties without the need

pre-COVID, the pandemic has certainly

to physically visit them.

accelerated this trend, underpinning its

In terms of new approaches, the

importance, and we only expect these

Dubai government has introduced

trends to continue.

a virtual working programme that allows

AG: Changes in the way that compa-

professionals to work overseas

nies carry out day-to-day operations

while residing in Dubai. On an annual

have been underway for years with

basis, the programme costs AED1,054

disruptive technologies such as virtual

plus medical insurance with valid UAE

FEBRUARY 2021


business needs. To this end, two strategies are proving popular: • The ‘split group’ strategy involves separating employees into different weekly groups to support business continuity in the event that one group becomes infected • The ‘split desk’ strategy enables the alternating usage of desks between days, creating maximum usage of the space overall and more time for cleaning teams to react to the demand. coverage and a processing fee for each

Strategies like this require live data to

person. In addition, the Dubai govern-

be effective. Programs which monitor

ment recently declared an economic

occupancy rates will play a central role

stimulus package of AED500 million,

in enabling the most appropriate meas-

taking the total stimulus extended to

ures to be put in place at any one time.

AED6.8 billion, to support individuals

Organisations must understand their

and businesses in response to the

occupancy threshold for safe practice

pandemic. Many of these incentives

and to keep track of when that threshold

will benefit small and medium-sized

is neared.

enterprises (SMEs) and the likely

When it comes to technology, it can

trend to emerge from this will be rep-

help on all fronts. Employers will keep

resented by the increasing demand for

workplaces hygienic and allay people’s

smaller office requirements.

fears if they communicate the right infor-

RD: It is looking like the majority of

mation, at the right time and to the right

organisations will turn to a hybrid work-

level of detail – and the most effective

ing model to reduce the spread of the

way to do this is by providing employees

virus and accommodate employee and

with mobile apps and installing digital busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

75


C O R P O R AT E F I N A N C E

“The repurposing of office space to facilitate collaboration will be a trend for 2021” — Robin Davies, Business Development Director, Freespace

76

signage throughout the workplace.

reminding employees to wash their

While there will always be a place for

hands and avoid touching their face,

static posters, digital platforms allow

though that is effective. Displaying live

for the instant and dynamic delivery of

data on socially distanced spaces to

messages at the exact point they need

use, cleaned space availability and

to be consumed. Research by Intel has

cleaning regimes in place will help to

also found that digital signage captures

guide staff and reduce cross-contam-

400% more views than static signage.

ination. Facilities teams can also use the

Digital signage will encourage

technology to both deliver methodical

employees to adopt and maintain the

cleaning practices and reassure occu-

desired behaviors, including good

pants by highlighting the preventative

hygiene and social distancing. But

infection control measures that they

this isn’t limited to flashing messages

are undertaking.

FEBRUARY 2021


pre-COVID, will continue to influence the market. These include market resilience, innovation and health and wellness trends. Gardens and outdoor spaces featured at the top of home buyers wish-list in their homes of choice of at least 66% of the respondents in our Global Buyer Survey. Closer to home, we have observed buyer preference towards gated communities or developments that avail open spaces. RD: The repurposing of office space to facilitate collaboration will be a trend for 2021 because it has been proven that, for many, home working supports individual focussed work but less so for social activities. CRE heads will need to ‘sell’ the office to those who have had a positive home working experience to

WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE INDUSTRY IN 2021 AND BEYOND?

willingly get them back and maximise

JL: We anticipate that in the near-term,

carefully consider the experiences peo-

influences such as global tensions

ple have had whilst working at home.

between the US and China, the

attendance. Any office redesign must

Offices will likely be carved into crea-

Government’s abilities to effectively

tive spaces for collaboration, innovation,

tackle the pandemic, currency changes,

and will also be a place to simply wind

cost of capital and the shift to the ‘new

down and socialise. It will be important

normal’ will continue to impact per-

to ensure that the workforce is made

formance in the corporate real estate

aware of these investments now so they

sector in Africa.

feel confident that they will be kept safe

However, in the long term we anticipate that ‘big picture trends’ that existed

and supported when they return to the office. busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

77


D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

GE Digital: why mobile apps matter in a digital strategy WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

78

FEBRUARY 2021


GE Digital’s Matthew Wells on why mobile apps matter in a digital strategy and how organisations can get the most value THE ROLE OF MOBILE APPS IN A DIGITAL STRATEGY: WHY DO THEY MATTER? With the latest acceleration in digital technology adoption – driven by the impact of COVID-19 – the fundamental ways in which both customers and businesses interact with each other have significantly changed. A simple smartphone can act as not only a phone but a camera, entertainment, wallet, health monitor, social enhancer and shop. When looking to implement a successful mobile app strategy, it is important for organisations to understand that a company’s mobile app strategy is not a separate entity, a business’s “mobile app strategies can play a critical role in a company’s overall digital strategy,” comments Matthew Wells, Vice President, Digital Product Management at GE Digital. “Mobility enables information sharing across multiple locations in minutes, not days and weeks, while simultaneously reducing costs through optimisation. It can also reduce operational challenges by eliminating administration of some manual processes, enabling a smoother and faster path to efficiency.”

busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

79


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“Mobile app strategies can play a critical role in a company’s overall digital strategy” Matthew Wells Vice President, Digital Product Management, GE Digital For organisations looking to incorporate a mobile app strategy into its digital strategy Wells explains For organisations looking to incorporate a mobile app strategy into its digital strategy Wells explains that, “as

WHY PEOPLE DOWNLOAD MOBILE APPS

71% to earn loyalty or rewards points for downloading

67% to receive in app only coupons or discount

64% to receive a discount on the first order

59% they are a frequent purchaser from the company

with any change, the challenges are training, partnerships with

controls. In addition, they can facilitate

knowledgeable vendors that can assist

worker location flexibility, support

with implementation, and identifying

external monitoring and contingency

champions within the organisation to

operations, and depending on their

make sure the strategy is implemented

industry, weather-proof operations.”

completely and effectively.”

While “a mobile solution provides

However, organisations that can

industrial companies with the ability

address these challenges, those in

to support remote and mobile worker

the industrial companies for example,

access to plant monitoring and control

stand to benefit from the ability

systems as well as the long-term

to “extend operations to the field,

flexibility and cost reduction benefits,”

enabling flexibility and increasing

reflects Wells, in order to experience

productivity and efficiency, as

such benefits “they should, identify

well as ensure worker safety and

and take multiple key considerations

operations continuity with secure

into account when implementing a busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

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D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y

82

mobile strategy: Security, compliance

best approach is to focus on reducing

and reliability, access to controls and

downtime by enabling the process and

monitoring of user access, interactive

technical experts with data on mobile

permissioning, user capabilities, safety,

devices so they can effectively field

and equipment compatibility.”

questions from the workforce. More mature organisations should focus

GETTING THE MOST VALUE OUT OF A MOBILE APP STRATEGY

on leaning out their processes by eliminating fixed screens on the shop

When it comes to the best strategy

floor and enabling their workers to

and approach for digital mobile apps,

make control decisions anywhere.”

Wells identifies that it depends on the

Core aspects of a successful mobile

maturity of an organisation. “For those

app strategy include “focusing on

organisations new to mobile apps, the

optimising specific metrics like process

FEBRUARY 2021


“With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets today, a mobile app is a critical component of many digital strategies” John Zink Former consultant at Centric Consulting downtime, as well as having a good UX to reduce the training requirements.” It is also important to “keep pace with regulatory requirements, increase 83

capacity, and improve reliability when implementing an effective mobile strategy, and maintaining high levels of security and customer service, which can all have an impact on bottom line and operations continuity,” comments Wells. Ultimately to get the most value out of a mobile app strategy, Wells concludes that “transformation of any sort requires a clear understanding of your current limitations, a vision of what the future

FIVE ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER WHEN DEVELOPING A M O B I L E A P P S T R AT E G Y

1. Enterprise planning integration 2. Customer journey mapping 3. Valuable capabilities 4. Google mobile usability scoring 5. Back-end readiness

organisation looks like, executive buy-in, financial support, new organisation models, and an understanding of the

organisation, training, and prioritisation

outcomes you want to achieve by

are key to getting the most out of a

implementing this strategy. Planning,

digital mobile strategy.” busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


IT PROCUREMENT

84

IT Procurement in 2021 and Beyond: How to be Effective WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

FEBRUARY 2021


Business Chief looks at how organisations can be effective in their IT procurement strategies in 2021 and beyond

D

efined by The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) as “the processes and procedures inherent

in good, responsible procurement to acquire

technological products and services that meet the needs of business and supply chains,” the day-to-day tasks of an IT procurement executive may include market research, pricing negotiation, terms and conditions agreement for services and status of purchase communication with internal customers. “With an effective IT procurement policy in place, any business can execute its projects seamlessly,” adds Bao-Viet Lê, partner (Middle East) at Bain and Company.

BREAKING DOWN THE CURRENT TRENDS IN IT PROCUREMENT Currently in the world of IT procurement there are four key trends emerging: cognitive computing, cybersecurity, automation and the biggest being cloud. “Organisations around the world are moving away from legacy, on-premise, company-owned

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“The need to build stronger, more resilient businesses and supply chains is uppermost in everyone’s minds as the effects of the pandemic are still being felt and IT systems play an integral role” — The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

data centres to leveraging the massive computing power of hyperscalers,” comments Tony Harris, global vice president, Business Network Solutions, SAP. “With businesses having to store large amounts of data, cloud computing assists not only in storing but also in processing and seamlessly transferring data without the use of external devices,” adds Lê. When it comes to cognitive computing, Harris comments that “the second is a focus on cognitive computing, inclusive of big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning busi ne ssc hief. a s ia


IT PROCUREMENT

How an effective Procurement Strategy can deliver real business value CLICK TO WATCH

|

5:10

88 (ML) and robotic process automation

technology (60 per cent); robots (52

(RPA), given the enormous benefits

per cent); augmented reality (47 per

it can yield when done right. These

cent) and 3D printing (44 per cent)

technologies can help discover busi-

making this new digital business world

ness insights that might otherwise not

very exciting.”

be possible due to the huge volumes of

Finally, cybersecurity and risk. “As

data they can analyse quickly. These

more of our lives go online, and more

are also increasingly being used to

business processes extend beyond

automate repetitive tasks, enabling

the four walls of the organisation,

more staff to be freed-up to focus on

there becomes a heightened level of IT

strategic, value-added work.” Adding

risk. Organisations must do everything

to Harris’s comments, CIPS states that

they can to protect and defend against

“recent research highlighted that in the

cyber-attacks and data theft as this is

next five years businesses are looking

not only extremely damaging to their

at implementing autonomous vehicle

brand reputation, but can also be very

FEBRUARY 2021


“Organisations around the world are moving away from legacy, on-premise, company-owned data centres to leveraging the massive computing power of hyperscalers” — Tony Harris, Global Vice President, Business Network Solutions, SAP expensive as a result of government and industry body fines,” states Harris.

CURRENT CHALLENGES FACED BY IT PROCUREMENT EXECUTIVES When it comes to the challenges faced by IT procurement executives CIPS explains that “the market is in a state of constant flux, in which hundreds of products are launched each day. As a result prices can fluctuate widely. We’ve seen changes of 66 per cent in a day. It’s a time-consuming task to keep on top of such trends. Sometimes ‘good deals’ go quickly and there may not be enough stock to satisfy your particular need which is frustrating.” Other challenges highlighted by Lê include manual, operational activity and the capability to keep on top of

COVID-19 COVID-19 has increased the necessity to transform IT procurement. There are four key imperatives to conduct effective, f lexible and resilient operations: • Shift focus to more value-add activities: automate reporting, focusing on deep insights • Better responsiveness/speed to ‘market’: reduce timeline for contract negotiation • Improved compliance and risk monitoring: avoid overpayment or purchasing errors

• Stronger collaboration: share data in real-time with customers/ suppliers

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IT PROCUREMENT

TOP TIPS FOR BETTER IT PROCUREMENT PRACTICES Tony Harris Global Vice President, Business Network Solutions, SAP 1. E  nsure business cases focus on total cost of ownership (TCO). IT procurement can often have ‘hidden’ costs.

90

2. A  lign the solution with the needs of the business. Projects that require minimal people and process change carry less risk and tend to be more successful than those that aim for significant transformation. Where projects require substantial transformation, this is best done in phases to help ensure that each phase is successfully completed before introducing the next. 3. C  hoose solutions that can easily adapt. Businesses must now be more agile than ever before and any technology solution underpinning the business needs to be capable of the same. 4. I nclude IT experts and other relevant business stakeholders early in the process. Too often the business line makes a selection on a piece of technology and then brings IT into the process at the end only to find that the technology does not meet corporate technical standards in some

FEBRUARY 2021

way. Likewise, having IT drive the process with no early involvement from the business stakeholders can result in a solution that is a perfect technical fit but doesn’t address the needs of the business. IT procurement must be a marriage of IT and business to achieve optimal outcomes. 5. W  here possible, seek to build strategic relationships with the supplier. This will provide potential co-innovation opportunities and help accelerate issue resolution should any arise. Bao-Viet Lê Partner (Middle East), Bain & Company 1. R  ecognise IT procurement as important source of competitive advantage. 2. C  lear understanding of spend profile – transparency on past and future demand, characteristics. 3. D  emand for real-time personalisation leads to product customisation, requiring supply base with higher risk profile. 4. L  everaging latest technology to support analytics, supplier connectivity and business collaboration.


5. E  ffective process to implement strategies, allowing for crossfunctional decision-making. The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Partner (Middle East) at Bain & Company 1. L  ook at the lifecycle of the products and their total value, not just cost. 2. I nvolve all key stakeholders in product specification for not only buy-in when systems are launched, but a deeper understanding of the problem the IT system is designed to solve. 3. U  se the insights available from Value Added Resellers and business to business marketplaces so you don’t have to start from scratch. 4. B  e as clear as you can about specifications from the start but be prepared to move and re-think strategy if important information comes to light. 5. K  eep ethical and responsible sourcing in mind. The tech industry has been caught out before by using suppliers paying meagre wages or the use of slaves in the supply chain.

“With an effective IT procurement policy in place, any business can execute its projects seamlessly” — Bao-Viet Lê, Partner (Middle East), Bain & Company

digital IT Procurement transformation. “Typical challenges faced by IT procurement include a lot of manual, operational activity that take a lot of resources, large quantities of data across disparate sources; inconsistent taxonomies and KPIs, and increased need for collaboration across business partners and suppliers. In addition, many functions are advancing quickly in their digital capabilities, IT procurement will need to keep up, particularly when it comes to P2P suites, automated spend compliance tools, supplier portals for increased data sharing, and artificial Intelligence (AI) to inform decision and ID spend opportunities.” busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

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IT PROCUREMENT

92

Adding to the challenges outlined

tiers, suppliers and teams, potential

by Lê, CIPS reflects on the effects

weak points will remain hidden and

of challenges created by COVID-19.

no amount of digitalisation can solve

“The need to build stronger, more

the problem of ignorance of slavery,

resilient businesses and supply

turning a blind-eye to fraud and cor-

chains is uppermost in everyone’s

ruption or not achieving sustainability

minds as the effects of the pandemic

goals. Any digital programme must

are still being felt and IT systems

encompass the core values and

play an integral role. But without

needs of the business and align

end-to-end-transparency across all

to responsible business practice,

FEBRUARY 2021


organisations are striving to be “faster, better and cheaper, but still limit risks, with no additional funding,” while externally, “the supplier landscape is changing, sourcing of solutions not products and new ways of working are emerging.” To address this evolution, Lê adds that “A dependable procurement system is one created to improve accuracy, efficiency and speed. To ensure that the IT procurement is effective, it is essential to ensure that everything functions competently as well as cost effectively. Additionally, unclear details and specifications, lack of transparency, inflexible suppliers and team, inaccurate date, collectively, could hamper the procurement process.” Adding to Harris’s five best pracotherwise the benefits from IT systems

tices, Lê concludes that “three key

will not fully justify the investment.”

themes emerge: smarter procurement with advanced optimisation of

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF IT PROCUREMENT: THE BEST PRACTICES AND APPROACHES

faster processes, fewer errors, better

“The traditional role of IT procure-

controls and stronger risk monitoring;

ment is evolving, driven by both

and frictionless collaboration, enabling

internal and external forces,” says

increased collaboration (and agile),

Lê, who explains that internally

enhanced stakeholder experience.”

procurement spend; automation and agility, enabling greater efficiency,

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T O P 10

STARTUPS in Asia

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Business Chief looks at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, ranking it’s top 10 booming startups based on the funding raised by their entrepreneurial founders WRITTEN BY

FEBRUARY 2021

GEORGIA WILSON


95

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T O P 10

2017 YEAR FOUNDED

$20mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founder ZHAO ZICHUN

96

10

Koala Reading Beijing, China

Founded in 2017 by Zhao Zichun, Koala Reading is a data driven education company headquartered in Beijing. The company provides education products that harnesses artificial intelligence (AI), big data mining, deep learning and adaptive testing. Since its founding Koala Reading has conducted research alongside linguistics, pedagogy, and psychology experts to develop the first set of quantitative Chinese-graded reading in China Standard ER Framework, as well as creating the world’s first Chinese-graded reading platform to provide students with personalised reading solutions.

FEBRUARY 2021


09

Beijing Xizi Education Technology Co., Ltd. Beijing, China

Co-Founded in 2016, Beijing Xizi Education Technology Co., Ltd. is a key incubation enterprise of Tsinghua University. On its mission to empower education with technology Beijing Xizi Education Technology Co harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) to create virtual teaching assistants in middle and high school mathematics. Via its ‘symbol space knowledge representation model’, the AI teaching assistants can learn knowledge, understand the problem-solving ideas behind the answers, understand a student’s thinking process, locate the cause of a student’s mistakes in the shortest possible time, and match the corresponding explanations. 97

2016 YEAR FOUNDED

$20mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders GU XI, HOU YUXIN, SUN YIQIAO AND ZHOU TIANYU

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2013 YEAR FOUNDED

$20mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founder NAMKOO KANG 99

08

Ingstory

Seoul, South Korea

Founded in 2013 by Namkoo Kang, Ingstory provides career education content to 1,000 middle and high schools nationwide and more than a million students. With a mission to help communities conduct better self learning, Ingstory operates more than 300 ZAKSIM Library outlets, where students can study at its libraries – modeled after Oxford University’s Bodleian Library – as well as access free top-tier online educational content.

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T O P 10

2018 YEAR FOUNDED

$20mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders DR AENGUS TRAN & DIMITRY TRAN

100

07

Harrison.ai Sydney, Australia

With a mission “to continuously innovate and commercialise more efficient and more affordable healthcare products and services to healthcare providers and patients,” Harrison.ai was founded by Dr Aengus Tran and Dimitry Tran in 2018. The company strives to empower physicians and healthcare providers with customised AI-enabled tools that are integratable with existing clinical workflows to improve patient outcomes. Alongside its partner Virtus Health Limited, Harrison.ai has successfully developed, validated and deployed a deep learning model (IVY) for predicting the likelihood of pregnancy. “IVY is a patent-pending technology that has increased the clinical pregnancy success rate in IVF-treatment by over 30 per cent (the success rate of an average embryologist selecting a successful embryo is around 65 per cent whereas the discriminative power of Harrison.ai’s IVY is 93 per cent).”

FEBRUARY 2021


06

Mathpresso

Seoul, South Korea

With a mission to “provide the most effective education to everyone around the world,” Mathpresso was co-founded in 2015. Believing that “the most effective training is personalised training,” Mathpresso has developed customised training software to solve the challenges teachers face when it comes to providing oneon-one education. Mathpresso is a global education platform that shares and connects educational content from around the world. The platform has over five million users per month in 50 countries such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

2015 YEAR FOUNDED

$21mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders JONGHEUN (RAYMOND) LEE

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T O P 10

2017 YEAR FOUNDED

$30mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders ANISH ACHUTHAN, MABEL CHACKO, AJEESH ACHUTHAN, DEENA JACOB

05

103

Open Financial Technologies Bangalore, India

Co-founded in 2017 by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achuthan and Deena Jacob, Open Financial Technologies is a neobanking platform that strives to change the way that business banking operates. Open Financial technologies helps organisations to navigate their way through business finances with the solutions that it provides. Not only does it offer “flexible, smart features to collect payments and do payouts in a breeze,” the company also offers a business banking account for startups, SMEs and freelancers “that’s got it all - from invoicing to international payments and corporate cards.”

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T O P 10

04

BLOCK 12 Culture Beijing, China

Founded in 2016 by Cao Jie, BLOCK 12 Culture’s operations began as a designer of animated emojis. Following attracting 1.3 billion downloads the company expanded its operations into anime and other related content. Operating in both China and Japan the company has also opened physical stores for customers to purchase emoji-based dolls and figurines. Since its founding the company has received investment from the likes of Chinese VC firms ZhenFund and K2VC.

2016

104

YEAR FOUNDED

FEBRUARY 2021

$40mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founder CAO JIE


2014 YEAR FOUNDED

03

$52mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders CHRISTOPHER MADIAM, JOHN RASJID & CHRISANTI INDIANA

Sociolla.com

Jakarta, Indonesia

Founded in 2014 by Christopher Madiam, John Rasjid and Chrisanti Indiana, Sociolla.com is a leading beauty and personal care e-commerce company in Indonesia. The company offers a wide range of curated, BPOM-certified beauty and personal care products. According to iPrice Group research the e-commerce site was the most visited beauty site in Indonesia. “Inspired to be your trusted beauty advisor,” Sociolla provides an online beauty media portal “dedicated for women to explore and develop their own unique beauty style, while receiving the latest information on trends and brand developments,” states the company.

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T O P 10

OkCredit

Bangalore, India With “a mission to help small businesses grow with simple software products, and digitally empower them” OkCredit was founded in 2017 by Gaurav Kunwar, Harsh Pokharna and Aditya Prasad. Giving the traditional register book a complete digital transformation, OkCredit strives to make the daily bookkeeping task simple and effective for millions of 108

small businesses. The company’s digital app helps organisations to keep track of credit transactions (both payments and receivables), sends timely reinders and makes it easy to collect and settle balance amounts quickly and accurately. “With a vision to accelerate the need for digital transformation for small businesses in India, OkCredit app is completely free to access and ensures 100 per cent safety, data security, and accuracy,” states OkCredit.

FEBRUARY 2021

2017 YEAR FOUNDED

$82mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Founders


02 busi ne ssc hief. a s ia

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01

T O P 10

110

FEBRUARY 2021


1

2016 YEAR FOUNDED

$170mn RAISED FUNDING IN US DOLLARS

Hangzhou Qulian Technology Co., Ltd. Hangzhou, China

Founded in 2016, Hangzhou Qulian Technology Co., Ltd. is “a leading global supplier of blockchain products.” The company aims to build “a new busi-

CEO

ness infrastructure in the digital age.”

LI WEI

With a team of over 300 people, the company core products include: its international consortium blockchain platform, a self-developed distributed data collaboration network known as BitXMesh, and Inter-Blockchain platform BitXHub and a BaaS platform FiLoop. “The core consortium blockchain underlying platform developed by Qulian meets enterprise-level applicable demands. It is also the first batch of underlying platforms to pass the Blockchain Standard Test of the China Electronics Standardisation Institute (CESI) and China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) of MIIT,” states Hangzhou Qulian Technology Co.

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112

FEBRUARY 2021


113

The world’s largest platform for working capital WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

CAITLYN COLE

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C2FO

Saket Sarda and Iain Rolfe discuss C2FO’s revolutionary fintech platform, releasing working capital back into the market, and the company’s APAC expansion

D

uring times of financial hardship, the ability for companies to remain flexible, adaptable and agile is paramount. Having

ready access to the necessary liquidity in these situations is essential. Unfortunately, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March, 114

many firms have found the channels through which they access additional working capital closed off to them. “COVID-19 was a huge shock to the market system. The initial reaction was to hunker down, stop investment, and minimise risk,” explains Saket Sarda, Head Enterprise Sales for APAC at C2FO. “At the same time, the banks issued a blanket credit freeze, large scale enterprises, all the way down to small-scale operators. Nobody could get access to any working capital.” Even though that freeze has begun to thaw, its benefits have disproportionately served larger, more stable firms, leaving smaller and mid-sized companies out in the cold. Not only is this state of affairs potentially devastating for smaller firms cut off from sources of liquidity, Sarda continues, but FEBRUARY 2021


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C2FO

Saket Sarda @ C2FO CLICK TO WATCH

|

1:03

116

“Your supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link” — Saket Sarda, Head of Enterprise Sales, APAC, C2FO

necessary liquidity to make the screws, machine parts, whatever it is you need, your entire production suffers and creates a ripple effect on the other suppliers in the supply chain,” he says. “On our platform, we have close to a million of these compact suppliers. When their lifelines were taken away from them,

the impact has the potential to ripple

the only option for liquidity remaining

outwards through their supply chains.

for them was C2FO. We worked with the

“Your supply chain is only as strong

banks and the corporates to get liquidity

as its weakest link. If the small supplier

to the buyer, so that it can then make its

that makes up the farthest end of your

way to the supplier to, in turn, support the

supply chain can’t get access to the

operations of those large corporates.”

FEBRUARY 2021


Based in the US, C2FO is one of the

“The most disruptive innovations are

larger fintech firms working to revolu-

typically the most simple,” says Iain

tionise the ways in which buyers and

Rolfe, managing director of C2FO’s

suppliers of every size in every indus-

operations in Australia and New

try can access the working capital

Zealand. “That’s what we’re doing –

necessary to survive challenging

challenging this really fundamental

times and thrive in the years to come.

notion of the power dynamic between

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Saket Sarda Title: Head of Enterprise Sales, APAC

Industry: Financial Services

Location: Singapore

117

Saket has more than 25 yrs experience working in the Banking and IT industry with expertise in Business Development, Corporate Sales, Trade Product Management working in Africa, Middle East, Russia, ASEAN and Southeast Asia. Saket serves as Head Enterprise Sales, APAC for C2FO and brings a wealth of expertise to expand C2FO’s footprint in this region, where partnerships and product offerings must be augmented in innovative ways. He would be driving C2FO current efforts in India, Taiwan, China and Australia, as well as focus on new opportunities in the Asia Pacific region that are vital to global trade and corporate supply chains. Prior to C2FO, Saket was Managing Director at Standard Chartered Bank managing the Trade business regionally working closely with corporates, regulators and third-party platform providers. Saket holds a B.Eng degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM-A. Saket, his wife and two children reside in Singapore. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


C2FO

A HELPING HAND

118

The COVID-19 crisis has been economically devastating for companies of all sizes and backgrounds, but particularly for minority-owned businesses. Research done by the University of California, Santa Cruz, found that approximately 440,000 blackowned businesses in the United States (over 41%) were forced to close in response to COVID-19. In contrast, only 17% of white-owned businesses experienced the same setbacks. C2FO’s Equity and Inclusion Program is aiming to help change this state of affairs by providing diverse supplier certification, reduced rates and access to a broadening funding ecosystem. “We’re trying to help those minority segments get easier access to capital through special offers. It’s good for everyone and it addresses the impediments and biases that exist for those minority groups through no fault of their own,” says Rolfe. “That concept of economic justice and of equity inclusion is very strong in C2FO’s culture.”

FEBRUARY 2021

buyer and supplier, and disintermediating third parties that have become part of those interactions over time.” We sat down with Sarda and Rolfe to discuss C2FO’s ongoing expansion into APAC, following more than a decade of growth in the US and a successful expansion into Europe.

THE WORLD’S FIRST WORKING CAPITAL MARKETPLACE C2FO was founded in 2008, in direct


119

response to the global financial crisis,

established in response to the need

a catastrophe which cost the US alone

to get liquidity flowing out of the bank-

an estimated $22trn. The response to

ing system, as well as from buyer

the crisis, Rolfe explains, was similar in

to supplier.

a lot of ways to the market’s response to COVID-19. “Liquidity dried up and smaller sup-

Even when the world isn’t languishing in the grip of a pandemic or financial crisis, Rolfe explains that

pliers were unable to access working

there is a fundamental issue with the

capital through normal banking relation-

way that suppliers are often forced

ships, as well as through the invoices that

to acquire their working capital.

were outstanding from their customers,” he says. C2FO, Rolfe continues, was

“Lack of liquidity is a situation that our customers and suppliers face busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


C2FO

“The most disruptive innovations are typically the most simple” — Iain Rolfe, MD, ANZ, C2FO

“Going to a bank is going to be a much more painful and lengthy process to free-up liquid capital that they may need urgently,” he says, adding that the cheapest form of financing is money that the company is already owed. This is the core solution that C2FO is built on. Companies can use the C2FO working capital market platform to access funds that are owed and

120

every day. At a fundamental level,

invoiced ahead of their due date, in

whether you’re a large or small organi-

exchange for a fee, and at a price that

sation, a supplier, a buyer or both, you

they themselves determine. “It’s an

need to have access to working capi-

equalised system of suppliers and cus-

tal,” he explains.

tomers which cultivates collaboration,”

What this means is that firms are

says Sarda. “We bring price discovery,

constantly trying to thread the needle

profitability, and cash flow into our

between income and outgoings, whilst

customers’ supply chains.”

also having enough liquidity to support

C2FO onboards approximately

expansions, mergers, new ventures,

50mn invoices to its platform every

or to respond to something unexpected

day. “It’s a mammoth technological

– like a pandemic, for example.

challenge,” Rolfe notes.

“When a crisis emerges, you

In order to support this kind of vol-

either go out of business or find

ume, he explains that the company

more working capital to get through

has built a “SaaS platform that runs

that period of time,” Rolfe explains.

on the underlying compute, security

Historically, the typical response

and storage capabilities of a big cloud

has been to get a loan from a third-

services organisation. We then run

party financial institution.

a very sophisticated set of algorithms

FEBRUARY 2021


on top of that stack that allow us to

keeping a continuous interface

ingest and process that volume of

between the platform and its cli-

invoices every day at scale.”

ents. Instead, they use point-in-time

For the sake of both security and simplicity, C2FO’s platform avoids

onboarding each day. “We can pull the necessary invoices from our

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Iain Rolfe Title: Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand Industry: Financial Services

Location: Greater Sydney Area

Iain leads C2FO in Australia and New Zealand, working with multinationals and local corporations in need of more flexible solutions that provide better control and management of their financial performance. Previously, Iain held multiple roles during his tenure at Cisco, including Chief Commercial Manager for Australia and New Zealand and Chief Operations Officer for their Technical Services division. While there, he established the overall commercial management function for Asia Pacific and led the structuring of their first three direct deals in China and India. Previous to Cisco, Iain worked for Orange Business Services, France Telecom, and founded his own Internet company. Recognized as a global expert in complex adaptive business models, Iain was awarded a Ph.D. from Macquarie University and holds a Master of Commerce and Bachelor of Business in behavioral economics. He is based in Sydney, Australia.

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C2FO

C 2FO AU ST RALI A

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Rolfe has been leading C2FO’s expansion into the ANZ market since May 2019. Almost more than anywhere, he says, the ANZ market needs new ways for companies to access working capital. “Australia has gone through a period of many challenges. There’s been the financial crisis, there was a government intervention setting out the terms of engagement between big and small suppliers, and then we hit bushfires followed by COVID-19. People here are just punch drunk,” he reflects. In order to recover, Rolfe continues, the ANZ market needs to find new ways to collaborate using technology. C2FO’s role will be to work as a

FEBRUARY 2021

national working capital control centre through its platform that provides companies with multiple different avenues to generate value. “We’re going to help companies look at an invoice and think about the best way for the capital locked in that invoice to benefit the entire supply chain,” Rolfe continues. “Australia has a very special market with its own financial culture and system. What we’re doing here is taking the best of what C2FO does around the world and customising it for Australian customers. We want to be able to look back in a couple of years and be proud of our role in this collaborative recovery for the ANZ market.”


“When a crisis emerges, you either go out of business or find more working capital to get through that period of time” — Iain Rolfe, MD, ANZ, C2FO

The platform, Sarda explains, straddles the customer’s procurement and sales functions. “It means that you have a uniquely better view of your cash flow,” he says.

ENTERING APAC C2FO’s presence in the APAC market is relatively new, launching its operations in China and Australia two years ago, expanding its presence in India

customers’ ERPs into our system, do

and adding Taiwan to its portfolio in

what we need to do, and then push the

2019. Sarda’s role in the company’s

equivalent instructions back into their

expansion has several elements, each

systems,” Rolfe adds.

aimed at increasing C2FO’s APAC

Iain Rolfe @ C2FO CLICK TO WATCH

|

1:06

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

123


C2FO

2008

Year founded

$57.9m Revenue in US dollars

463

Number of employees

124

“If C2FO wishes to achieve the same market penetration it has in Europe and the US, it needs to find ways to appeal to the huge numbers of mid-market, midsized firms in APAC” — Saket Sarda, Head of Enterprise Sales, APAC, C2FO

foothold, and developing the uniquely APAC-centric value proposition it can present to its new customer base. “The first part of my role is business development, which is different from direct sales,” Sarda explains. Whether they’re with large corporates, banks or governments, the partnerships that Sarda is building are intended to fuel the local economic engine with C2FO, making the platform a more

FEBRUARY 2021


125

relevant proposition to companies in a

innovation that supports those goals.

given market. Second, the direct sale

In contrast to the US and Europe –

of services to new clients, both in the

which are fairly homogeneous markets

four countries where C2FO is operat-

– APAC is a very different beast with

ing, and beyond, initially in markets

an eclectic collection of varied rules,

like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,

taxes and practices.

Singapore and later expanding into

“In the West, the very nature of

the Philippines, South Korea, Japan.

the Fortune 500 belies how many

Lastly, he is working to ensure the

large-scale corporations there are

broader relevance of C2FO’s offerings

in that market. APAC has a smaller

to the APAC market, and driving the

percentage of large corporations busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


C2FO

by comparison. In APAC, and more

a mid-sized company that might not

importantly in ASEAN, a few high-level

have too much data of its own, we’re

corporations control large segments

able to provide a far more nuanced

of the economy - equivalent to that

view of their own supply chain that

which 500 companies control in the

they might not have had so far.”

US,” Sarda explains. Therefore, if C2FO wishes to achieve the same

COVID-19 AND BEYOND

market penetration it has in Europe

The past year has been a challeng-

and the US, it needs to find ways to

ing one for companies worldwide.

appeal to the huge numbers of mid-

As liquidity has dried up, and larger

market, mid-sized firms.

corporations and banks adopt more

“We’re looking at a comprehensive 126

conservative stances, C2FO has

offering which straddles payables

become a driving force in preserving

and receivables, creating an invoice

resilience and agility in the markets

central for a corporate, and also by

it serves.

connecting to their ecosystem of sup-

“Since COVID-19 hit, many large

pliers and customers to be more like

organisations drew down large

an invoicing intermediary between

amounts of capital through their

firms,” he says, adding that another advantage that C2FO hopes to leverage in APAC is its data. “Our existing presence in a lot of APAC countries, across numerous industries means we have a lot of data on trade,” Sarda explains. The 50mn invoices that are added to C2FO’s platform every day help generate deep insights into the wider market. “We can use all this data to give value back to our clients,” says Sarda. “For FEBRUARY 2021

“We want to be able to look back in a couple of years and be proud of our role in this collaborative recovery for the ANZ market” — Iain Rolfe, MD, ANZ, C2FO


T H E C H I E F F I N AN CE AN D I N SI GHT S O FFI CER

The nature of executive roles is forever changing, as digital transformation reshapes the capabilities and demands placed on companies’ leaders. Sarda reflects that the traditional role of a Chief Finance Officer (CFO) may look very different in just a few years. “Historically, a CFO uses past data to explain why things have happened and provide analysis. Going forward, I think that the CFO role will become far more about providing insights for future decision making,” he says, adding that the role will become about developing insights into how

one course of action will interact with other elements of the business, and ultimately figuring out how to make the company more nimble. “If the world keeps undergoing the kinds of crisis that we’ve been seeing, the companies that end up being successful are going to be the ones that manage to have more variable practices,” he adds. “Passive knowledge of things like accounting is going to evolve towards strategy, ecosystems and therefore outsourcing and the need for platforms like C2FO that can help provide good data in those areas.” busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

127


C2FO

128

credit lines, got lots of money in the

like the Equity and Inclusion Program,

door, and began tightening up on their

C2FO is working to help the world sur-

expenses. It’s the same reaction that

vive and even thrive in these challenging

they had to the financial crisis in 2008,”

times. Rolfe reflects that the past year

says Rolfe. “What’s different this time

has been one of, at times, frantic activity

around is that our customers have had

for himself and his team.

the ability to treat the crisis in a more nuanced, technology-driven way.”

“In many ways, we’re a counter-cyclical business. When the chips are down for

Through its market-based approach

the economy as a whole, that’s when

to freeing up liquidity, as well as initiatives

more people come to use our platform

FEBRUARY 2021


dilemma whether we should continue to try and expand into new markets, given that we can’t travel, recruit and train new people,” explains Sarda. “This year, we decided to double-down on the investments we’ve made in the countries where we’re already active.” Going forward, Sarda intends to continue focusing on the three main areas of his remit: developing relationships with key partners, expanding into new markets like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, and continuing to develop new products and services that are uniquely tailored to help APAC companies get the most out of every part of their balance sheet. Looking to the future, Sarda is optimistic about the potential for progress, even in uncertain times such as these. and our services, so we’ve had our hands

“I think that what C2FO did in the US and

full this year,” he says. “We’ve had a huge

Europe in a matter of five to six years

uptick, not just in our customer base, but

will be accomplished much more quickly

also in our range of products on the mar-

in APAC.”

ket. We’re iterating and releasing new products almost bi-weekly because of how fast the landscape is moving.” In ANZ, as well as the rest of APAC, C2FO has pivoted its operations in response to the crisis. “There was a busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

129


Enjoy your life

130

TNEX TRAILBLAZES NEW DIGITAL BANKING SECTOR

WRITTEN BY

DOMINIC ELLIS

FEBRUARY 2021

PRODUCED BY

MICHAEL BANYARD


131

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


TNEX

Bryan Carroll, CEO TNEX, explains how Vietnam’s first digital bank will connect 40 million ‘unbanked’ consumers with numerable small merchants

I

t speaks volumes about Bryan Carroll’s desire to break from banking convention that the first people he recruited for the

launch of TNEX – Vietnam’s first digital-only bank – were not financial or technology experts, but a psychologist and sociologist. By truly understanding customers’ needs, behaviours and emotions, 132

he feels that TNEX is in a unique position in the market to deliver services, products and features that better match their lifestyle needs and aspirations. TNEX has a clear mission “to provide inclusive, secure, free and innovative financial and lifestyle solutions for every individual and small and microenterprise in both urban and rural areas.” A quick click on the feature-rich TNEX website, which floats through “space”, endorses this against-the-grain approach and seems appropriate for a company which wants to take digital banking into a new “universe”. TNEX targets two customer cohorts; lower income consumers and micro merchants, both of which are primarily under/unbanked. The TNEX-Consumer app allows customers access to offers and products that match their daily lifestyle and financial needs e.g. FEBRUARY 2021


133

“TNEX came out of inclusion. We believe that every person in Vietnam has the right to banking, to support their lifestyle, and every merchant has a right to leverage digital commerce to grow their business” — Bryan Carroll, CEO TNEX

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


TNEX

TNEX Story CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:08

134 payments, savings, buying food, chatting,

with its customers, even going as far

entertainment etc. These are

as the design of its own set of emojis

delivered via an online marketplace or

to better reflect customer emo-

ecosystem which is supported by the

tions; payments are gamified – ‘fired’ by

fully digital bank. TNEX-Merchant app

rockets.

allows merchants to post real-time, targeted offers to TNEX consumers. It is clear that every aspect of customer

The consumer app has ‘Planets’ which customers can visit to browse and purchase products such as clothing, food,

experience is critical to TNEX. For exam-

education and travel. These products

ple, when designing its consumer app,

are placed on the planets by merchants

it did not approach a traditional

through the TNEX Merchant App.

development partner. They engaged

The whole ecosystem is fueled by ‘TNEX

with a successful gaming company out

Energy’, a loyalty currency which incen-

of Ho Chi Minh City. Every small detail

tivises a vibrant flow of interactions

has been co-designed face-to-face

and commerce between consumers

FEBRUARY 2021


and merchants. TNEX QR provides a closed-loop payment scheme, removing the current cost to consumers and merchants when making and receiving digital payments. The TNEX proposition principally targets 58 million under/unbanked consumers and the plethora of four million small merchants across the Asian country. The target is to have 3 million customers and 200,000 merchants by 2023. “The idea came to me while I was eating at a street stall and I saw consumers and merchants, but they

“Our CX team is the largest and data science, the second largest. Our smallest is operations, the second smallest is IT. We inverted the pyramid and have no end of the day.” — Bryan Carroll, CEO TNEX

135

weren’t connected digitally,” he said. “It was this interaction or ecosystem of the unbanked meeting the unbanked that got me thinking. “Our objective, fundamentally, came out of inclusion. We believe that every person in Vietnam has the right to banking, to support their lifestyle, and every merchant has a right to leverage digital commerce to grow their business.” While sponsored by Maritime Bank (MSB), TNEX is a stand-alone entity, given MSB’s focus on more affluent consumers and large SMEs and Corporate segments. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


TNEX

DI GITAL- S AVVY V IETNAM

“Our goal is to be to be profitable by June 2023 and to pay back the investment by February 2024. Of course we

• 140 million active phone subscriptions

would like to hit profitability sooner but

• 61 million internet users

Our operating costs are low and control-

• 70% internet penetration

lable and we can scale easily. Right now

• The average consumer on digital media six hours and 30 minutes every day

we have 108 staff known as ‘TNEXers’,

• The government is in the process of testing 5G 136

I believe that these dates are prudent.

growing to 131 by July 2021.” The current version of the platform delivers two top-line propositions, B2C and B2B . With regards to B2C and reverting to the central theme of connecting retailers and customers, Carroll states that “most micro-merchants know how to succeed in the physical business world but not the digital one”. “TNEX gives them the tools, knowledge and real-time data to remove most of the barriers which are preventing micro-merchants from joining in the Vietnamese Digital Revolution.” For free, TNEX gives every merchant a website, cash management capabilities, qualified, targeted campaign management and inventory management. TNEX-QR allows them to make and accept digital payments. They can even chat in real-time (TNEX Chat) with their current and potential customers.

FEBRUARY 2021


“TNEX helps merchants to grow their

advanced technology, data science,

business online with effective real-time

robots and automation which will ensure

targeted offers, using our ML and AI

products and costs to serve are, on aver-

capabilities. These may be offers to

age, 97% cheaper than traditional banks.

previous customers, anyone who is

“Most banks are trying to optimise ana-

within a kilometer of the store or to any-

logue processes and existing business

body who is likely to be interested,

models, whereas we are concentrating

based on insights provided by TNEX

on a new business model for a largely

deep analytics capabilities.”

underserved segment, leveraging a

TNEX is committed to providing ‘free

digital-only experience. Key to our suc-

everyday banking’ and a branch-less

cess is that we have zero technical debt.

and personalised, data-driven experi-

All our technology is new and is the most

ence. Carroll believes that TNEX is using

advanced digital technology available,” 137

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Bryan Carroll Title: CEO

Company: TNEX

Location: Vietnam

As well as being CEO of Vietnam’s first Digital Only SME and Consumer lifestyle banking platform – TNEX, Bryan sits on the board of two fintech firms: Xtremepush, based in Ireland, and adprov.io, based in the US. Bryan is a highly experienced practitioner in the areas of Digital Banking, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Information Security and Technology Architecture. Before joining MSB he held senior roles with many Banks, Fintechs and Venture Capital companies across Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America, including Rabobank International, Alfa-Bank Russia, Bank of Ireland, Royal Bank of Scotland and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


Mambu - the only true SaaS cloud banking platform.

When MSB chose Mambu to launch their digital-only bank TNEX, we worked closely together to bring their vision to life. Driven by customer behaviour, TNEX was built to support the lifestyle, needs and dreams of Vietnam’s dynamic and digitally adept population. Li TNEX, we believe that no single vendor Like can innovate on every front as well as a healthy ecosystem of vendors that each focus on their area of expertise. Mambu’s platform enabled TNEX to adopt a composable architecture, picking out best-for-purpose tools and services and avoiding vendor lock-in. On Mambu, TNEX was able to roll out a suite of innovative financial offerings within weeks, rather than the months or years that it would have taken using traditional core banking technology or a custom in-house platform. To find out how Mambu can help your business take a digital leap get in touch helloapac@mambu.com. helloapac@mambu.

mambu.com


Mambu - the only true SaaS cloud banking platform.

Mambu: the engine of TNEX’s digital-only bank When MSB chose Mambu to launch their digital-only bank TNEX, we worked closely together to bring their vision to life. Driven by customer behaviour, TNEX was built to support the lifestyle, needs and dreams of Vietnam’s dynamic and digitally adept population.

Myles Bertrand, MD of Mambu APAC, and Bryan Carroll, CEO of TNEX, describe how Li TNEX, we believe that no single vendor Like can innovate on every front as well as a healthy the partnership could yield a transformative ecosystem of vendors that each focus on their area of expertise. Mambu’s platform enabled banking experience

TNEX to adopt a composable architecture, picking out best-for-purpose tools and services and avoiding vendor lock-in.

“I think one of the most important aspects On Mambu, TNEX was able to roll out a suite of Mambu is that we want to be different. of innovative financial offerings within weeks, than the months or years that it would We want to make sure we bring rather a very have taken using traditional core banking technology or a custom in-house platform. customer-centric view of what we do and To find out how Mambu can help your how we tackle things,” states Myles Bertrand, business take a digital leap get in touch hello@mambu. hello@mambu.com. Managing Director of Mambu APAC. Providing the financial sector with an innovative SaaS (software as a service) banking platform, one of its closest customers in the region has been TNEX, one of Vietnam’s first digital-only bank offerings. “One of the key points is that it’s not just about technology. Fundamentally, it’s about culture and there’s no point in building phenomenal company values within your organisation if your partners don’t mirror them. Mambu’s product is all about putting the customer first, but, more importantly to me, it’s there for us when we need it. Mambu cares. Mambu goes the extra mile,” explains Bryan Carroll, CEO of TNEX.

Incorporating elements of behavioural psychology, user experience, Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and more, Mambu demonstrates very clearly that embracing digital isn’t restricted simply to technology, mambu.com but rather involves investing in a new way of operating as a business. “We use this analogy that we’re an engine and that our customer gets to build whatever car they want around us,” says Bertrand. However the solution is not only configurable but also iterative: if the client decides to pivot from their original idea, Mambu facilitates this while still remaining the immutable ‘engine’ of the project.

Culture and technology are, for Mambu, inextricably linked. Always receptive to feedback from its customers and the wider market, the company strives to stay abreast of trends and keep its development in line with them. Carroll relates that this open attitude has been particularly useful for helping TNEX navigate different regulatory environments and carry out its ‘first principles’ approach to design. “Mambu does what it says on the tin, and the team genuinely cares about my challenges and is willing to work with me.”

Concluding, Bertrand reiterates that, as TNEX continues to develop what it hopes to be one of Asia’s best banking experiences, Mambu will ensure it plays a vital part. “The fact that we can support someone like Bryan, who basically wants to do something really different and be a game changer, is super exciting for my team and for us as a business.”

www.mambu.com


TNEX

“I fundamentally believe that banking can be a force for good. Our business model is created on lifetime value not quick profit” — Bryan Carroll, CEO TNEX

140

FEBRUARY 2021


he said. “The profile of our team reflects our proposition. The TNEX Customer Experience team (CX) is the largest and Data Science, the second largest. Our smallest is Operations, and the second smallest is IT. We have inverted the traditional bank staffing pyramid of being heavy in the back-office and light in the front-office. “Customers want a personalised, almost humanised experience”, he adds. “Banking needs to evolve to meet this challenge; to become embedded in peoples’ everyday lives, rather than passively co-existing without lifestyle context. Data Science, AI and ML are a big part of this evolution, allowing us to personalise our services. But Data Science brings value throughout our bank. It allows us to better protect our customers, gain their trust and service their needs at key moments.” He believes Vietnam is ready for digital banking and foresees few barriers, given the penetration of mobile phones, the high expense of running physical branches and the rising cost of managing cash. “The Vietnamese regulator (SBV) is very progressive and is actively pushing busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

141


TNEX

142

“At this time the vast majority of traditional banks don’t want my customers as they cannot profitably serve their needs with their current technology debt and traditional operating models.”

the digital agenda in a society where 80% of its citizens prefer to use cash,” he said. Carroll extended a “big thank you” to several key partners, including Mambu, AWS, TopeBox and iConnect101. “All of our partners have been amazing. Thanks to the foundations that the Mambu core has given us we could integrate very quickly with all of our partners. Our success has undoubtedly been made possible by working hand-in-hand

— Bryan Carroll, CEO TNEX

with these partners. They really understood what we are trying to do, bought into our mission and values; they really cared about our success.

FEBRUARY 2021


143 “TNEX is a fully open API’ed platform.

customers as they cannot profitably

Over the last few weeks, we have been

serve their needs with their current

progressing discussions with partners

technology debt and traditional oper-

about allowing them to leverage our

ating models.

capabilities and to further develop

“Most traditional banks are at the early

their business models. The conversa-

stages of digital transformation. It is an

tions on our B2B product-set, Banking

expensive and complex process, so I

as a Service, Ecosystem as a Service,

think we have about two years head-

Payments As A Service and Data

start on the competition.”

Science are really getting exciting.” For now, as a trailblazer, Carroll doesn’t see any rivals emerging soon. “I really don’t see competitors biting at our heels just now. We are the first to do it. At this time, the vast majority of traditional banks don’t want my busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


144

FEBRUARY 2021


145

Together we are bigger than cancer WRITTEN BY

LEILA HAWKINS PRODUCED BY

KRISTOFER PALMER

b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia


VA R I A N M E D I C A L S Y S T E M S

Kenneth Daniel Tan, President of the Asia Pacific-Japan region at Varian Medical Systems, discusses innovative cancer care and Varian’s vision of a world without cancer

H

ealthcare has always been Kenneth Tan’s calling. Having studied biotechnology, he worked in the pharmaceutical and

medical device sectors before moving into oncol146

ogy, a field that is particularly important to him since losing his mother to cancer in 2002. He describes her journey through cancer treatment as filled with uncertainties and fear both for her and for Kenneth and his family. As a result, when he had an opportunity to join Varian Medical Systems, their vision for creating a world without fear of cancer particularly resonated. “I immediately wanted to be part of this fight to beat cancer” he says. “It’s such a clear and simple vision”. “In the future, I believe the approach we take with many types of cancer will be the same approach we take with any chronic illness nowadays – screen early, diagnose early, and treat early so patients can continue to live a high quality of life. We believe

FEBRUARY 2021


147

b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia


VA R I A N M E D I C A L S Y S T E M S

“The approach we take with cancer is the same approach we take with any chronic illness like hypertension - diagnose early, screen early, and treat early so patients can continue to live a high quality life” Indeed, some experts predict — Kenneth Tan, President – Asia Pacific & Japan, Varian Medical Systems

that by 2050 cancer will be a manageable chronic disease just like diabetes and hypertension so that a cancer diagnosis will no longer hold

148

that’s possible, and with that possibility

the fear it does today. Additionally,

the fear disappears because from the

treatment is becoming more sophis-

patient and family’s point of view, there

ticated thanks to rapidly advancing

will be treatment options available that

technology. “Cancer care is becom-

improves survivability.”

ing more “intelligent” with the use of biomarkers, personalized drugs, precision radiotherapy and proton therapy, and targeted immunotherapy” Kenneth says.

FEBRUARY 2021


149 An example of this is Adaptive

“Our advanced radiotherapy tech-

Intelligence™, which combines

nologies can make treatments more

artificial intelligence and adaptive

efficient and shorter, benefitting both

radiotherapy. Adaptive therapy

clinicians and patients” Kenneth says.

creates a personalized treatment

“Both our hardware and software

strategy guided by details about the

ecosystems enable clinicians to

patient’s internal anatomy and treat-

plan treatment remotely – this has

ment response.

been particularly valuable over the

This AI-driven adaptive therapy

past year due to COVID-19 where in-

solution can deliver an entire adapted

person consultations and treatment

treatment to the targeted tumour within

has been restricted.

a 15-minute timeslot, reducing the

“By the adoption of big data and

dosage of radiation to healthy tissue.

artificial intelligence, we will be able

AI-adapted plans have shown to be bet-

to deliver better outcomes for cancer

ter than conventional scheduled plans.

patients. We are using software and b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia


VA R I A N M E D I C A L S Y S T E M S

automated processes to help oncology

“With ICC, we will have the ability to

professionals globally collaborate and

integrate all our software and patient

develop more precise and personal-

insights in the cloud so that caregivers

ized cancer treatments, making cancer

anywhere in the world can access the

care easier to manage and deliver.”

latest information and deliver more

This is how Varian envisions

accurate treatments. Our technol-

Intelligent Cancer Care (ICC), which

ogy platforms bring different teams

combines people, data, and technol-

together, from surgical, medical,

ogy to deliver bespoke patient care.

radiation and interventional oncology, resulting in a team approach that offers the best care for each patient.” Intelligent Cancer Care enables a truly multidisciplinary approach to

150

treating cancer, which is one of the most complex diseases to manage. “All too often, the care that a patient receives is determined by the first point of interaction with the health

“Intelligent Cancer Care will democratize personalized care, augment and amplify the clinical caregiver and empower the patient as a stakeholder in his or her care” — Kenneth Tan, President – Asia Pacific & Japan, Varian Medical Systems

FEBRUARY 2021


E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E :

Kenneth Tan Title: President – Asia Pacific & Japan Industry: Medical Device

Location: Singapore

Science has been integral to Kenneth Tan’s life from a very young age. Biology and Chemistry captured his curiosity because of their relevance to daily life, and at the age of 19 he graduated with a Diploma in Biotechnology, served two and a half years of full-time National Service in the Singapore Police Force, and then went on to complete a degree in Business Administration. He describes healthcare as his “calling”. “Few people are blessed to be in careers that allow them to apply their academic knowledge in what they do daily; I have not looked back since I started my first job as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative selling cardiovascular drugs,” he says. After this he moved into MedTech, joining Boston Scientific just when Drug-Eluting Stents were about to revolutionize cardiology. Following this, he joined Covidien, who was a leader in surgical instruments; their technology drove the widespread adoption of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. Covidien was acquired by Medtronic in 2014, and Kenneth served as the Managing Director of their Thailand and Indochina business before joining Varian in January 2017. “In my 20-year career, I have lived and worked in many countries and I have learnt that ethical, fair, kind and transparent leadership transcends boundaries; be it language or culture.” he says. “The power of diverse teams is undisputed; we unlock this power when everyone is made to feel included as an equal.” At Varian, he encourages teams to go out and inspire all cancer care-providers to treat as many patients as possible with the best quality care possible. “I call this ‘Inspiring Customer Success’. We are only successful when our care-providers are successful at delivering the best possible care to the cancer patients they serve in their communities.” “Everything we do at Varian is driven by our vision, mission and culture, which includes a strong belief in people coming together and taking care of each other to achieve the company’s objectives. We put the patient at the centre of everything we do, and we measure our success by the number of cancer patients’ lives touched annually.”

b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia

151


VA R I A N M E D I C A L S Y S T E M S

152

“We put the patient at the centre of everything we do, and we measure our success by the number of cancer patients’ lives touched annually” — Kenneth Tan, President – Asia Pacific & Japan, Varian Medical Systems

-system after being diagnosed with cancer,” Kenneth says. “Specialists working together can use the latest clinical evidence to determine the best course of

FEBRUARY 2021


1948

Year founded

$3.2bn+ Revenue in US dollars (2019)

10,000 Number of employees

153 Another key aspect of Intelligent Cancer Care is ensuring that patients are active participants in sharing information and making treatment decisions. By sharing their information, not only will they benefit themselves, but they will also contribute to better clinical outcomes for other cancer treatment for the patient. We are already seeing how the accelerated adoption

patients.� Kenneth says. “In the future, we will see a prolifera-

of software systems and solutions are is

tion of patient tools that allow them

helping us move away from fragmented

to become more active and engaged

care and enableing treatment centres,

members of the care team. These

research institutions and practices to

digital tools will enable more remote-

work together to provide more inte-

care, also known as ambulatory

grated, multidisciplinary cancer care.�

care, and less in-patient care. A recent b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia


VA R I A N M E D I C A L S Y S T E M S

154

McKinsey article highlighted that ambu-

Perhaps most persuasively, costs to

latory care is often perceived as more

both patients and payers can be signifi-

intimate than in- hospital care, giving

cantly less in ambulatory care.�

patients a greater sense of personalized care and contact with their care team. FEBRUARY 2021

Kenneth says the biggest advances in cancer treatment are around early


“This future will be for leaders who do the impossible, attempt the miracle and at the same time; learn it all” — Kenneth Tan, President – Asia Pacific & Japan, Varian Medical Systems

and risk-stratify patient populations, improving treatment planning and predicting treatment outcomes. “Over the past decade we have also

diagnosis, for which technology is a

witnessed an explosion in big data,

crucial enabler. “The potential impact

particularly in our ability to collect and

of early diagnosis will have on treat-

analyze vast amounts of data points.

ment outcomes and survival will be

Our success in turning that data into

transformative. Artificial intelligence

useful decision support tools for physi-

and machine learning have both been

cians and patients will determine the

shown to improve the early detec-

degree to which we can transform

tion of cancer by more accurately

cancer care over the next 30 years.”

identifying at-risk patients, improving

“At Varian, we aim to lead the way

diagnostic test sensitivity and specific-

in integrated, multidisciplinary can-

ity, accelerating our ability to screen

cer care. “Intelligent Cancer Care will democratize personalized care, augment and amplify the clinical caregiver and empower the patient as a stakeholder in his or her care.” Kenneth concluded.

b u s in e s s c hie f. a s ia

155


156

FEBRUARY 2021


Collaboration in Securing IT/OT Convergence in the Energy Sector WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

KRIS PALMER 157

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

We examine the partnership between Siemens and Tenable amid the companies’ ongoing digital transformation journeys

T

he global pandemic in 2020 may have unleashed a host of new challenges for the energy sector – but it also revealed

and vastly accelerated the existing trends already upending how companies manage and defend their critical energy assets, particularly when converging IT and OT operations. Nowhere is that moving 158

faster than in Asia. The sudden shift to remote work forced by the pandemic has driven organisations to adopt remote access technologies overnight as opposed to what would have normally taken years. This has resulted in an expanded digital attack surface and introduced thousands of potentially vulnerable new connections to critical energy assets. “The energy sector is undergoing IT/OT convergence at an unprecedented rate driven by business demands for increased efficiencies and rapid adaptation to changing customer requirements. This all comes at a time when connectivity has become essential to continue operations as global and local travel has come to an abrupt halt,” says Mex Martinot, Vice President and Head of

FEBRUARY 2021


159

“Creating good partnerships doesn’t just happen” — Mex Martinot, Vice President and Head of Asia, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

Asia, for Siemens Energy’s Industrial Cyber and Digital Security business. “This rapid adoption of digital solutions and urgent need for connectivity to enable remote management and maintenance increases the exposure to the growing cyber threats and recent uptick in targeted attacks.” Considering the small number of countries in Asia with a strict cybersecurity mandate, he adds, many organisations do not have a mature cybersecurity program in place yet. 160

It’s important that a comprehensive

1847

Year founded (Siemens AG)

2020

Year founded (Siemens Energy)

91,000

Number of employees (Siemens)

OT cybersecurity solution is part and parcel of the transformation as it continues to evolve. The answer: “Increasing the

In 2017, Siemens Energy partnered with Tenable, the world’s first Cyber Exposure company capable of pro-

awareness of our customers OT

viding vulnerability management

Cybersecurity risk posture through

across both OT and IT environments.

enhanced visibility, security and control.”

This helps utilities and oil and gas

Siemens Energy is a global tech-

companies to securely enable IT/OT

nology leader, primarily focused

convergence. With the risk of cyberat-

on electrification, automation and

tacks ever-increasing, Siemens Energy

digitalisation. It is one of the world’s

and Tenable collaborated to help

largest producers of energy-efficient,

customers gain a better understand-

resource-saving technologies and

ing of where their OT assets may be

is a leading supplier of systems of

vulnerable, and then deliver the service

power generation and transmission

to help companies secure and protect

as well as renewables.

their critical OT environment. Since the

FEBRUARY 2021


acquisition of Indegy in 2019, Tenable

control to secure IT assets alongside

has extended its depth of OT exper-

OT systems and reduce their cyber risk

tise and intelligence, and breadth of

in converged, modern environments.

OT-specific capabilities from vulner-

“Digital transformation within critical

ability management to asset inventory,

infrastructure means that the days

configuration management and threat

of fully air-gapped OT assets are

detection. The launch of Tenable.ot 3.9

largely gone to increase efficiency

is a testament to Tenable’s continued

and efficacy. This is not without risk,”

product innovation, providing cus-

Richard Bussiere, Technical Director

tomers with unmatched visibility and

at Tenable APAC, says.

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Mex Martinot Title: Vice President and Head of Asia

161 Company: Siemens Energy

At Siemens Energy, Mex Martinot heads the Industrial Cyber & Digital Security business for Asia. Based out of Singapore he is responsible for driving the strategy and delivery of Siemens Energy’s Cybersecurity Solutions to secure the rapid digital transformation in the energy sector in Asia and helping to stay ahead of the ever-evolving cyberthreat. Mex is also leading the initiative to localise the Cyber talent within borders in Asia by driving OT Cyber enablement programs across Asia. Mex Martinot benefits from a diverse background in cybersecurity managed services and cybersecurity consulting leadership roles and has successfully driven cyber strategies across Asia.

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SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

A new chapter for Siemens CLICK TO WATCH

|

1:39

162 “The interconnectedness of digital

our customers to see and secure

infrastructure today means the secu-

any digital asset on any computing

rity of IT directly impacts OT, and

platform to thrive in today’s digital

vice versa due to an expanded attack

economy. A recent example of this

surface. Without a single, unified

investment is that Tenable.ot now

view into converged IT/OT environ-

has Nessus built-in, which provides

ments, CISOs are basically being

complete visibility into our custom-

asked to defend their organisations

ers’ converged attack surface while

blindfolded and with one arm tied

measuring and controlling cyber risk

behind their backs. It’s an inadequate

across both OT and IT systems.”

cyber strategy and it places the business at serious risk. A lot of the investments that Tenable

Tenable arms organisations with visibility to see any digital asset on any computing platform (from IT to

has made over the past three to

Cloud to OT) at all times. From threat

four years have involved enabling

detection and mitigation to asset

FEBRUARY 2021


tracking, vulnerability management,

“Technology and services work

configuration control and adaptive

hand in glove. By partnering with a

assessment checks, Tenable’s indus-

company such as Siemens, we’re

trial control systems (ICS) security

combining our leading OT security

capabilities maximises operational

solutions with their domain expertise

environments visibility, security, and

and operational knowhow to pro-

control. Siemens then leverages these

vide the customer with the desired

cutting-edge technologies to under-

outcome of enhanced security and

stand threats.

availability. It’s important we have a

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Richard Bussiere Title: Technical Director

163 Company: Tenable

Dick Bussiere is the Technical Lead for APAC at Tenable. Based in Singapore, Bussiere is responsible for evangelising the criticality of cyber hygiene and vulnerability management as a continuous process to enhance an organisation’s security posture. Bussiere is also responsible for Tenable’s operational technology offering in the region, consulting with operators of critical infrastructure on how to bolster their defensive position. Bussiere is the holder of five patents related to networking and network security. He’s also an active participant in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Internet Engineering Task Force working groups.

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SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

H O W I N F L U E N T I A L I S T H E C O L L A B O R AT I O N BETWEEN SIEMENS AND TENABLE?

164

Siemens: “Our partnership with Tenable is truly global and allows us to standardise our services. We have a very long-term agreement in place with Tenable and have that alignment. As we have this in-depth relationship, we’re also investing efforts into embedding the technology that Tenable has in its service offering and having its teams enabled to not just provide technology to a vendor but

enhanced services on top of the technology itself. If you look at our managed detection and response offering, this is where we embed the Tenable technology as one of our sensors to provide that context to the client as part of a bigger programme.”

Tenable: “The combination of Tenable’s technology with Siemens’ domain expertise and operational knowhow is a powerful solution that can help customers close the Cyber Exposure gap so they can protect their critical assets. Our

collective expertise, knowledge, depth and breadth of experience can help any customer overcome their IT and OT security challenges.”

FEBRUARY 2021

Mex Martinot, Vice President and Head of Asia, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security

Richard Bussiere, Technical Director, Tenable, APAC


symbiotic relationship with a company

change configurations on the net-

like Siemens,” Bussiere affirms.

work, and detect threats early as they

This combination of cutting-edge

come into the environment,” says

technologies and services provides

Martinot. “We leverage that with other

the necessary level of cybersecurity

technologies to see the full threat

visibility to equip the CISO, C-suite

environment. No interruptions to the

and Board of Directors with the

plant. No disruptions, not probing for

insights needed to focus on the issues

the information, just passively observ-

which matter most and enable better

ing and querying devices.”

strategic decisions. Take a control system that starts

Proprietary Siemens platforms, such as Managed Detection and

doing something unusual or unex-

Response (MDR), built and overseen

pected, or a new valve configuration

by industry-leading experts, deploy

that’s typically implemented on

first-of-its-kind software to proac-

Thursdays, but for some reason is

tively sort, understand and react to

changed on a Sunday: An inexperi-

what it is detecting at lightning speed.

enced IT team working within an OT

MDR sifts through the change data,

environment might shut down the entire plant to track this down unnecessarily. In fact, many IT firms, lacking Tenable and Siemens’ extensive experience working with critical energy infrastructure, would probe these systems without realising it could cause the site to crash. Tenable, by contrast, is constantly operating safely in the background – with Tenable.ot and Tenable.sc. “They can get vulnerability and threat data, information about busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

165


SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

166

FEBRUARY 2021


“By getting a company such as Siemens Energy involved, we’re combining our leading OT security solutions with their domain expertise and operational know-how to maximise the customer experience” — Richard Bussiere, Technical Director, Tenable, APAC

The triage team is crucial. Plenty of companies offer ostensible cybersecurity “solutions”, but have never applied them to critical energy assets, let alone the intersection of OT and IT. MDR, the team that built it, and the experts who manage it are different. “We see a lot of the IT players trying to go into this space, and it’s a common mistake: We have incidents in the region where IT players go in and cause accidents in the plants, causing significant amounts of damage. These are not cyberthreats, these are IT com-

plant activity, and billions of other

panies trying to fix things and doing

data points to rapidly and accurately

more damage,” Martinot says. “We

understand if it’s a true potential

have a very deep understanding of the

threat or mere benign anomaly.

process: How the plants function, what

“MDR becomes part of a security

the risks can be, even making virtual

ecosystem, where we have our intel-

copies of the plants, understanding

ligence, our algorithms, an AI engine

the impacts and assessing which are

behind it that captures all these assets

threats and which are not threats.”

we want to look at, this logic we want

Bussiere points out that one of the

to apply, how to make sense of these

biggest differences between IT and

different methods that we’ve pre-

OT environments is their pedigree

built,” Martinot says. “There’s a team

and approach. “In general, IT people

that triages that and picks it up and

are used to working with the latest

walks the client through the process

and greatest hardware and software.

of remediation that makes sense in the

Meanwhile, OT staff are used to work-

OT environment.”

ing with legacy technologies, many of busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

167


SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

which pre-date the internet era. These 168

often use proprietary network protocols, and lack basic security controls like authentication or encryption. They also don’t have event logs or audit trails. As a result, incident detection and response in an OT environment is very different than in an IT environment. Both the IT and OT environments must converge to address the security threats on both sides of the network.” Bussiere adds that 2021 will be the era of widespread IT and OT convergence — whether that be intentional or accidental. Unfortunately, many organisations will likely learn the hard way that their OT is no longer airgapped as cybercriminals continue to FEBRUARY 2021

“COVID has brought a unique set of changes into the environment, and people might be cutting corners due to the current circumstances. Attackers understand that people are working from home and connecting internally and see it as low hanging fruit, so it’s important to be aware of that” — Mex Martinot, Vice President and Head of Asia, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security


W H AT D O E S T H E F U T U R E O F T H E PA R T N E R S H I P H O L D ?

Siemens: “This alignment in Asia is somewhat recent. It’s important to expand that knowledge base of Siemens Energy strategy and vice versa to get a closer mutual message. From a solutions perspective, it would be to adopt further and gain deeper insight into how Tenable’s technology is provided

and get a closer collaboration on the R&D to get a more integrated offering to our clients for a quicker turnaround to get to that ultimate outcome for our clients.”

Tenable: “Innovation is the key to success in any technology business. Don’t stop innovating or creating new things. I see closer collaboration with Siemens

Energy moving forward. We make each other better.”

Mex Martinot, Vice President and Head of Asia, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security

Richard Bussiere, Technical Director, Tenable, APAC

search for attack vectors. When IT and

operated physical assets on-site to

OT converge, breaches in IT can serve

begin accessing them remotely. That’s

as a conduit to compromising sensi-

introduced countless digital entry

tive OT environments and vice versa,

points for attackers to exploit.

paving the way for more cyber threats.

“Threat actors are using this expo-

What’s driving these digital threats

sure that they’re very well aware of to

against critical energy infrastructure?

execute targeted attacks that look

COVID is a visible example but cer-

at these vulnerable points that are

tainly not the only force: It’s driven

now exposed, and then exploit them,”

nearly entire workforces that had

Martinot says. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

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SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

“Industry 4.0 is bringing the worlds of IT and OT together at an accelerated rate. This results in more IT devices being connected to or living in OT environments, sometimes without the organisation, even knowing” — Richard Bussiere, Technical Director, Tenable, APAC

tensions between countries remain high. These actors have far better funding, deeper know-how and more

170

With the rise of decentralised

potent tools, posing a new challenge to

renewable power sources like wind

cyber defenders in the energy space.

and solar, and the rapid expansion of

These dynamics are playing out as

distributed intelligent energy man-

the Asian region struggles to close its

agement devices, the energy space

cybersecurity skills gap.

itself is rapidly digitising by employing IoT technology.

“As it stands, there’s a shortage of talent possessing a combined skillset

“We see the grid changing from

of OT and cybersecurity. Previously

centralised energy production to

there was no ramp-up of OT enabled

decentralised – and with that, the

skill, so the only choice we have now is

intelligence goes all the way to the

to take OT engineers and move them

edge, and the threat attack surface is

to cyber, because that’s the quickest

increasing on the client side,” Martinot

fix. But there’s no ground-up OT skill

says. “All of that creates complexity

that exists yet, the sector is still too

on the security aspect, because as the

new,” Martinot says.

energy transition is happening, people aren’t participating in it.” At the same time, while criminal

MDR closes the gap: Compared to hiring – let alone training – a workforce, the Siemens-Tenable partnership,

actors remain omnipresent, nation-

harnessing MDR, offers a robust,

state actors are flexing their muscles

effective solution supported by world-

even more, especially in Asia, where

class expertise.

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171

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SIEMENS ENERGY & TENABLE

172

FEBRUARY 2021


“What we see are actual attacks happening in several countries this year that have created awareness and thus some fear for folks to start questioning from the top-down,” Martinot says. “With our combined Tenable/MDR offering, we can really augment the security function and bridge the visibility between the process side of the environment and understanding the impact of the threat, as well as understanding the information that the technology is providing, which is the nature of the threat.” As he describes: “You have the technology, and you have the response in place and functionally tested. And in the middle is the MDR service. That’s where we leverage the best technologies to give us the right source information to help us make the best decision.”

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173


174

Vodafone Idea: Developing a Truly Digital India WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

LEWIS VAUGHAN

FEBRUARY 2021


175

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VODAFONE IDEA LTD

Business Chief APAC looks at the digital transformation and COVID-19 trends that are driving the development of a truly digital India

E

stablished in 2018, Vodafone India Ltd completed its merger with Idea Cellular Ltd. As part of the merger, Vodafone India

rebranded to Vodafone Idea and is jointly controlled by Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group. 176

Its vision is to “create world class digital experiences to connect and inspire every Indian to build a better tomorrow.” Vodafone Idea provides the pan-India region with voice and data services for 2G, 3G and 4G platforms. The company is committed to delivering high quality customer experiences and contributing to a truly digital India. Following its establishment in 2018 Vodafone Idea has since rebranded for a second time to ‘Vi’ in September 2020 following the final completion of the merger between the two organisations. Reflecting on the creation of Vi, the company states that it was built to “be strong, ever dependable, agile, intuitive, and a brand in tune with the needs of the customers in these ever changing times.”

FEBRUARY 2021


177

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“ Like your home virtual assistant, but for work.”

Give your employees the support they need to stay engaged and on target – wherever they are In today’s digital reality, virtual assistants form an integral part of our lives at home. And now, thanks to NEVA, virtual assistants are entering the workplace too, empowering your employees to achieve their best potential

LEARN MORE


Commenting on the completion of

and agility to fast track their digital

the merger between Vodafone India

experiences programs. This solution

and Idea Cellular, Ravinder Takkar,

eliminates the need for a major transfor-

managing director and CEO at

mation of legacy systems, bringing the

Vodafone Idea commented, “Vodafone

services near to the experience layer.

Idea came together as a merged entity

In addition to changing customer

two years ago. We have, since then,

behaviours, many other digital trans-

focussed on integrating two large

formation initiatives in India are being

networks, our people and processes.

delivered by harnessing hybrid cloud,

And today I am delighted to present Vi,

artificial intelligence (AI), machine

a brand that will bring important mean-

learning (ML), robotics, neuro-linguistic

ing to the lives of our customers.”

programming (NLP), the internet of 179

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TRENDS Digital transformation is about rethinking people, processes and technology, while keeping the idea of developing a ‘simple, fast and innovative experience’ for customers. As digital initiatives grow in the region, customer behaviours evolve, transitioning from traditional interaction channels to digital channels. This change is

“It is in the times of crisis that the grit and commitment of individuals and an organisations are put through the true test of time”

driving the development of the digital experience layer (DXL), a disruptive technology which enables businesses to quickly address the customer’s

— Vodafone, Company Statement 2020

digital need and provides the flexibility busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


VODAFONE IDEA LTD

180

FEBRUARY 2021


things (IoT) and blockchain. With these technologies not only transitioning the way organisations do business in the region, they have also opened new business opportunities to create innovative products and services for both enterprises and retail customers.

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY Like so many other countries and organi­ sations, the outbreak of COVID-19 was sudden and shocking. Currently in the telecommunications industry, many

2018

organisations have been working tirelessly to maintain the smooth running

Year founded

of their operations by embracing the

$6.4 bn

by COVID-19, driving the adoption of

Revenue in dollars

HQ

Gandhinagar, India

changes and opportunities presented digital and becoming more agile and flexible organisations. Working from home is not as difficult as it was anti­ cipated, many in the region have implemented large scale migrations of office environments, to remote working overnight, which has opened the door for new digital use cases,

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VODAFONE IDEA LTD

“Vodafone Idea understood the criticality of the situation and displayed true dedication to customer service” — Vodafone, Company Statement 2020 182

new business models, cross industry partnerships, and changing consumer demands to be more digital. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 Vodafone Idea has been working to support communities to maintain safety and stay operational during these challenging times. Back in April 2020, Vodafone Idea released a company statement that began with the phrase, “It is in the times of crisis that the grit and com­mi­tment of individuals and an organ­isations are put through the true test of time.” During the national lockdown measures Vodafone Idea strive to live up to their mission to keep customers connected and served. The statement detailed the company’s reactive actions to restore connectivity to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, IGMC-Shimla, after its network went down, disrupting communication and essential healthcare services. “Vodafone Idea understood the criticality of the situation and displayed true dedication to customer service. We are thankful to have people like

FEBRUARY 2021


Stay healthy through Vi App CLICK TO WATCH

|

0:19

183

Pankaj and his colleagues at Vodafone

after the company introduced the first

Idea who have set an example of true

contactless recharges via Google

humanity,” commented the IGMC team.

voice enabled features. “As a responsi-

Jumping forward to June 2020, in

ble, service oriented telecom operator,

furthering its efforts to support those

it has been our constant endeavor to

affected by COVID-19 and to ensure

keep our customers connected on

the safety of both employees and

Delhi NCR’s fastest 4G network dur-

customers, Vodafone Idea installed

ing the Covid lockdown and enable

protective shields at its telecommuni-

efficient services to them while they

cation outlets. As telecommunication

stay home safely. With the resumption

retail outlets began to reopen in New

of commercial activities and opening

Delhi, the company strived to ensure

of our stores, we are taking full care to

safe distancing for retail personnel

ensure safe health of our retailers and

and customers. This news came shortly

customers in Delhi & NCR. We have busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


VODAFONE IDEA LTD

184

Keep learning through Vi App CLICK TO WATCH

FEBRUARY 2021

|

0:20


installed protective shields at Telecom outlets across Delhi NCR to safely and efficiently deliver services to our customers through these outlets,” commented Arvinder Singh Sachdeva, Operations Director, Vodafone Idea Limited. In addition some of the other processes implemented by the company as stores began to reopen included: hourly sanitisation practices, strict ad­herence to social distancing norms, queue management outside the stores, one customer per counter, and en­couraging and assisting customers to move from touch based transactions to fully digital transactions.

“It has been our constant endeavor to keep our customers connected on Delhi NCR’s fastest 4G network during the Covid lockdown” — Vodafone, Company Statement 2020 busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

185


Mining a Bright Future in China 186

FEBRUARY 2021


187

WRITTEN BY

DAN BRIGHTMORE PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DEANE

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SILVERCORP METALS INC

How the Canadian miner is balancing profitability, social and environmental responsibility, employee wellbeing and sustainable development

S

ilvercorp is an innovative and unique Canadian mining company with roots in the far east. Founder Dr. Rui Feng took his

early geological studies in China before completing his doctorate in Saskatchewan, where he was drawn to Canada’s mining industry. After settling in Vancouver, and working on technical reports for 188

junior mining companies that were going public, Dr. Feng fell in love with the idea of building an entrepreneurial mining company. By taking control of a listed shell company, and using his network of contacts in China, he set about finding attractive assets to put in it. Dr. Feng is a successful entrepreneur and explorer with over 25 years of global industry experience acquiring mining opportunities worldwide. He was integral in discovering Jinshan Gold’s CSH Gold Mine in China in 2002, which was acquired by China Gold International. Dr. Feng founded Silvercorp in 2003 and acquired early-stage projects in China’s Ying mining district. Through discovery and development, Silvercorp has become one of the most profitable Canadian mining companies, with multiple mines in China. FEBRUARY 2021


189

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10+ YEARS

Proudly supporting and advising Silvercorp on resource/reserve estimation processes and reporting across its operations. Industry leaders in geology, mining, and geotechnical engineering - AMC Consultants’ due diligence and feasibility studies are relied on by the world’s major investment banks and mining companies. AMC has been Silvercorp’s trusted advisor for Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimation since 2009. With AMC’s continuing guidance, we are now looking forward to yet further streamlining our estimation processes for both internal site operations and external reporting. - RUI FENG, CHAIRMAN AND CEO

MORE ABOUT AMC

amcconsultants.com


E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Rui Feng

Title: Chairman and CEO

Company: Silvercorp Metals Inc.

Industry: Mining Dr. Rui Feng is a successful entrepreneur, explorer, and mine builder with over 25 years of global mining industry experience. His passion for discovery has led him to explore and acquire mineral opportunities worldwide. He was integral in discovering Jinshan Gold’s CSH Gold Mine in China in 2002, which was acquired by China Gold International. Dr. Feng founded Silvercorp in 2003 by acquiring early-stage properties in China. Through discovery and development, Silvercorp has become one of the most profitable Canadian mining companies, with multiple mines in China. As a director and former CEO of New Pacific Metals, Dr. Feng led the company to Bolivia in 2017 and acquired the Silver Sand project which has recently led to a significant discovery. In addition to delivering value to employees and shareholders through discovery and development, Dr. Feng also believes a sustainable operation requires innovation and more effective management. He pioneered a digital information management tool for Silvercorp’s mines, which has contributed to improved organizational performance and operational profitability. Dr. Feng obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Geology in China, his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada in 1992, and received a Postdoctoral fellowship from the National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada in 1992. Dr. Feng supports many community and social causes through contributions made personally and through the actions of the companies he leads.

191


SILVERCORP METALS INC

“Mines are depleting assets but, despite the years of production, recent drilling results brought our inventory at Ying, in terms of reserves, back up to roughly the same level as in 2016, with a renewed 20-year mine life”

“The Ying Mining District was wellknown for having high-grade mineralization at surface,” recalls Silvercorp’s Vice President Lon Shaver. “But, until Dr. Feng assessed its potential, nobody had ever really cracked the code to determine how to address what were effectively nest-like swarms of ore bodies with many narrow, very highgrade veins. Silvercorp brought a new perspective to the project in terms of

192

— Lon Shaver, Vice President, Silvercorp

how to explore and delineate enough material, in substance and size, to begin a profitable, sustainable operation. And that’s what the Ying project was founded upon.”

MAXIMISING OPPORTUNITIES AT YING A joint venture was originally established at Ying in 2003 by Silvercorp making a $5m investment to kickstart operations. The mines across the property have remained selffunded ever since through operations that have delivered profits of $480m to shareholders. A recently-published technical report, completed by AMC Mining in 2020, highlights a bright future for the mining of silver, gold, lead and zinc at the Ying property. FEBRUARY 2021


2003 Year founded

$166m LTM revenue in dollars

1,200+ Number of employees

Ying 2020 Technical Reports – Highlights Effectively replacing reserves since the last report in 2017, the latest technical report (carried out by AMC Mining) re-confirms a 20-year mine life at Silvercorp’s flagship operation and shows: • 18% Increase in Measured and Indicated Silver Resources. • 4% Increase in Proven and Probable Silver Reserves, on Top of 21 Million Ounces of Silver Produced between June 2016 and December 2019 at the Ying Silver-lead-zinc Mining District. • In comparison with the 2017 Technical Report, Inferred Resource tonnes have increased by 78%, and contained metal has increased by 42% for silver,

38% for lead, 32% for zinc and 450% for gold. Significant aspects of comparison of Mineral Reserve estimates between June 2016 (previous Technical Report) and December 2019 (Ying 2020 Technical Report): • Increase in total Ying Mineral Reserve silver, lead, and zinc grades of 7%, 2%, and 11% respectively. • Increase in total Ying Mineral Reserve metal content for silver and zinc of 4% and 8% respectively; 1% decrease in total lead content.

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193


SILVERCORP METALS INC

194

Shaver notes that in addition to the

to be,” explains Shaver. “Our last report

current inventory of reserves of

was based on drilling up to June 2016,

around 12 million tonnes there is

and this report brings that forward to

also the potential for further incre-

December 2019. Mines are depleting

ases if additional drilling can convert

assets but, despite the production

known resources to reserves, as

that took place over that timeframe,

well as identify more resources.

drilling results brought our inventory

“Everything in the report ties back to

at Ying, in terms of reserves, back up

the resources and then the reserves,

to essentially the same level. We had

because it’s upon those reserves that

a 20-year mine life that would have

the mine plan was established, and

been reduced by the depletion that

that dictates the projected economic

took place, but that life has been

contribution of what the mine is going

restored to 20 years again.”

FEBRUARY 2021


“The Ying Technical Report has further confirmed our ability to define higher grades and prioritise those grades during the mine life” — Lon Shaver, Vice President, Silvercorp

the source of anomalous gold results from drilling that occurred in the past.” Silvercorp’s recent technical report also introduced the potential for a seventh mining unit and the current Ying operations have excess mill capacity. “Right now, the existing six mines are operating at sustainable production rates,” explains Shaver. “We don’t really want to push them for much higher tonnage, if anything we’re

QUALITY NOT QUANTITY

looking at creating opportunities for

Silvercorp currently operates six mines

higher quality tonnage out of those

across three of its four licences in the

mines, and pursuing the development

Ying mining district - SGX, HZG, HPG,

of a seventh mining area, the DCG

LME, LMW, TLP. The Ying Technical

Project (which would be the first mine

Report confirmed that Ying is prov-

on the fourth licence). When that does

ing to be a prolific producer. “Over the

come online it may contribute to pro-

years, we’ve established the ability to

duction growth and flexibility in terms

define higher grades and prioritise

of the overall operating plan.”

those grades during the mine’s life,”

It’s early days, but Shaver explains

adds Shaver. “This of course brings the

there was work done historically on the

production to a higher level in the

Ying property’s fourth mining licence,

earlier years, which contributes more

which shows the potential of the veins

when calculating our net present value.

that Silvercorp is looking to develop into

Recent drilling appears to have identi-

new production zones. “We’ve been driv-

fied zones of traditional mineralization,

ing a tunnel towards that fourth licence

with high grades and close to existing

and with recent drilling efforts we’ve hit

infrastructure, but also potentially a dif-

some interesting zones,” he confirms. “If

ferent type of mineralization that was

it all proves to be positive, the next steps busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

195


SILVERCORP METALS INC

196

“Given the pressures of the pandemic on the global economy, the metals markets should benefit from the fiscal stimulus being put forward. The inflationary pressures we’re seeing will be positive for precious metals” — Lon Shaver, Vice President, Silvercorp

FEBRUARY 2021


would be to develop additional access and infrastructure to develop another mining operation.”

THE MARKET “Like every other miner in the metals industry, we are in a commodities market where all the producers are price takers,” says Shaver. “The key focus then is how to create and sustain an operation at the low end of the cost curve, so that in good times when prices are high, you make money, but then when prices are low you can survive those tough times, continue to generate positive cash margins and be self-sustaining.” Shaver sees a strong future for precious and base metals: “Given the pressures of the pandemic on the global economy, the metals markets should benefit from the fiscal stimulus being put forward. The inflationary pressures we’re seeing will be positive for precious metals, and silver will benefit from that, along with the part it plays in the electrification of society and its growing use in renewable energy such as solar. At Ying there are many positives as the mining is relatively straightforward, with good ground busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

197


SILVERCORP METALS INC

“W e trust the expertise AMC brings on technical reports and look forward to their input on assessing the viability of our future projects” — Lon Shaver, Vice President, Silvercorp

The Enterprise Blog

198

The Enterprise Blog (EBlog) is Silvercorp’s social media platform for the transparent distribution and flow of work-related knowledge across multiple locations within the business. In the system, each of the mining stopes, development faces, or major pieces of equipment is assigned a blog name. Daily results of onsite inspection by responsible engineers are required to be published on their blogs. The results are listed in a structured data format in a checklist table, containing information and supporting photos. Related parties at different levels of the management team can directly access the daily blog for each workplace, for first-hand information in real time. Meanwhile, the EBlog system also records when a manager has accessed the blog to read or comment on the daily results under their responsibility. With the Enterprise Blog, information collection, assessments are fair and timely, and each team member is responsible for their work distribution, retrieval, and monitoring has become transparent and immediate. The knowledge collected by the frontline technicians or engineers freely flows throughout layers of the management structure. Management have the incentive, and tools, to make prompt and more accurate decisions that can be instantly delivered to responsible parties. The benefits of the system are that team member collaboration becomes easy, KPI assessments are fair and timely, and each team member is responsible for their work.

FEBRUARY 2021


conditions, and little mitigation needed.

A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Metallurgy is strong and our concen-

A holistic and sustainable philosophy

trates are in high demand from smelters

is key to Silvercorp’s growth strategy.

so we are in a good position to be a

From reducing waste to minimising

sustainable producer of silver, gold,

mining’s footprint on the surrounding

lead and zinc.”

environment, the company is proactive in its efforts to lead the conversation

AMC MINING

around sustainability for the mining

“AMC have been working with us for a

industry in China. “Across our mine

number of years and understand the

sites we’re continually re-greening

nature of the ore bodies, the informa-

and re-vegetating and right now we’re

tion we’re collecting, how we collect

building an aggregate plant within the

it, how it gets processed and how we

Ying mining district,” explains Shaver.

apply that picture to the operations,”

“Working with the community and local

explains Shaver. “We record some of

government we’re aiming to upcycle

these nuances on our Enterprise Blog;

waste rock stockpiles from our mines

our in-house platform allows us to

into useful building materials.”

store, share and access information

Silvercorp’s involvement with local

in real time across the business.

businesses is creating economic

AMC have made a number of site visits

opportunities in synchronicity with

and combined with the flow of informa-

its mine life plan. Setting the standard

tion we can share they’re in a great

for others to follow in China’s mining

position to chart the process and come

industry bodes well for a productive

up with what we believe are reason-

and bright future for the company.

able conclusions for this latest report. They’ve also worked with us on reports for the GC mine. We trust the expertise AMC brings on technical reports and look forward to their input on assessing the viability of our future projects.” busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

199


200

Biznet Gio: Cloud Provider with Essential Customer Experience in Indonesia WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

RYAN HALL

FEBRUARY 2021


201

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PT BIZNET GIO NUSANTARA

PT Biznet Gio Nusantara’s CEO, Dondy Bappedyanto, discusses Indonesia’s cloud computing business standpoint along with his winning strategy in the postCOVID situation.

R

eflecting on his career in the cloud industry, Dondy Bappedyanto explains that he began his career in the cloud industry in

2009. Since then, Bappedyanto has “made many changes to the cloud and hosting industry landscape 202

in Indonesia,” he comments. Looking at the comprehensive technology and infrastructure industry, Bappedyanto has more than 20 years of experience in multiple multinational companies, ranging from general management, product development, technical operations, and technical strategy. He also has been actively speaking in various IT events and joining as a mentor for startups and the IT communities in Indonesia. Taking a look at the company’s services, Bappedyanto explains that PT Biznet Gio Nusantara’s cloud operations, known as Biznet Gio, relate to cloud computing and data center solutions in Indonesia. As the demand for more agile IT services and vast network capabilities rises, Bappedyanto details that the company “has been helping customers to grow and transform digitally. Since launching in 2015, FEBRUARY 2021


203

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PT BIZNET GIO NUSANTARA

204 many companies in Indonesia have

a part of a wider group, Bappedyanto

trusted their business infrastructure

highlights the benefits of being sup-

on our cloud. We are determined to

ported with large network capacity.

assist our customers in overcoming their

“Our cloud infrastructure is available

IT Infrastructure challenges with the

to fulfill any connectivity requirement

right solutions and achieve their busi-

and offers free unlimited network

ness objectives.”

traffic to every customer.”

With both PCI-DSS and ISO 27001

Delving deeper into the company’s

certification, and SOC Type-2 by the end

infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution,

of 2020, Bappedyanto is proud to say

Bappedyanto explains that “Biznet Gio

that the company is “the first compliant

service offers scalable virtual machines,

CSP in Indonesia with the multi-region

storage, networks, and dedicated

concept with flexibility like the hyper

cloud servers. For the virtualization

scalers, and serving business continuity

platform, VMware is one of the most

planning among the industry.” By being

commonly used platforms among

FEBRUARY 2021


“Biznet Gio helps Indonesian companies to not only transform their legacy system but also to achieve productivity through infrastructure cost optimisation and provide leverage in terms of which budget to save in the long run” — Dondy Bappedyanto, CEO, PT Biznet Gio Nusantara

E X E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Dondy Bappedyanto Title: CEO

Company: PT Biznet Gio Nusantara

Industry: Internet

Location: Indonesia

Dondy Bappedyanto began his career in the cloud industry in 2009. Since then, he has “made many changes to Indonesia’s cloud and hosting industry landscape.” Reflecting on his experience in the comprehensive technology and infrastructure industry, Bappedyanto has more than 20 years of experience in multiple multinational companies, ranging from general management, product development, technical operations, and technical strategy. He also has been actively speaking in various IT events and joining as a mentor for startups and the IT communities in Indonesia. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

205


DIGITAL GAME CHANGERS Our customers are our storyline. From challenge to success, your transformation journeys reveal the innovation we can achieve through technology, people, and economics.

Learn More


enterprise businesses. Therefore, one of the enterprise products, GIO Cloud, is undoubtedly reliable and offers VMware’s well-known functionality, such as a high availability design with a robust performance advantage. Serving both public cloud and private cloud, our enterprise customers can design their system requirements, based on the scale of

“Our customer support is available to assist customers 24 hours a day and to respond in under 15 minutes.” — Dondy Bappedyanto, CEO, PT Biznet Gio Nusantara

the project.” The dedicated cloud service from GIO

SMEs, providing a one-stop solution

Cloud is the GIO Private. GIO Private

for small businesses in Indonesia to

is a ready-to-go private cloud “to fulfill

ease the digital transformation process.

the industrial demand for massive

“NEO offers a simple yet sophisticated

computing needs on dedicated phys-

infrastructure service for startups,

ical servers and offers full control of

developers, and small businesses alike,

VMware,” comments Bappedyanto.

from cloud servers, block storage, object

In addition to GIO Cloud, the com-

storage, networks, dedicated hosting,

pany offers NEO Cloud. NEO Cloud

licenses, SSL, domain, DNS manager

– launched at the end of 2017 – is a public

to website builder. NEO also comes with

cloud product designated to target

multi regions and multi availability zones busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

207


PT BIZNET GIO NUSANTARA

catering multiple services and systems

IT solutions based on the industrial

design needs,” he adds.

requirement while optimizing the entire

With a mission to simplify the management infrastructure process to eliminate

208

infrastructure cost.” While its services are certainly

the day-to-day operation complexity,

extensive with a multitude of benefits,

Bappedyanto adds that the company

Bappedyanto reflects that when it

has “multiple services such as backups;

comes to being a successful provider,

disaster recovery center; security;

“our cloud service will not be heavily

microservice management; digital trans-

considered by Indonesian customers

formation, up to the managed service.

if we have slow customer support.

Our extensive managed service offers

Our customer support is available to

end to end transformation and cost opti-

assist customers 24 hours a day and

mization. Equipped with cloud experts

respond in under 15 minutes. The fast

who are ready to identify your business

response is the key-point of our services

pain-points and deliver the best-fit

where most of the industry entrust their

Dondy Bappedyanto - Biznet Gio 1 CLICK TO WATCH

FEBRUARY 2021

|

1:55


“Our cloud infrastructure is available to fulfill any connectivity requirement and offers free unlimited network traffic to every customer” — Dondy Bappedyanto, CEO, PT Biznet Gio Nusantara

comes to the impact of legacy systems for an organization, Bappedyanto adds that “whenever a legacy system is outdated, the potential disruption on the operational level could put the company brand value at stake. At the same time, legacy renewal or expansion will need to allocate a huge amount of capital. This action will become a burden not only from the cost perspective to maintain the legacy system but also on the possibility to delay business profitability.”

mission-critical infrastructure to our cloud and data centers.”

As cloud computing advances, technology provides ways for organizations

When discussing the infrastructure

to become more agile without spending

industry as a whole, Bappedyanto details

CAPEX for infrastructure. “At Biznet Gio,

the importance of moving away from

our cloud expert team assists customers

legacy systems and its hyperscalers

in dealing with the current technological

partnership strategy.

issues. We are helping customers moving away from the CAPEX to the OPEX

LEGACY SYSTEMS

model and avoiding capacity planning

Today Bappedyanto is seeing many

upfront so they can enjoy pay-as-you-

customers move away from the CAPEX

go flexibility,” explains Bappedyanto.”

model to an OPEX model to drive cost

At the same time, he adds, “Biznet Gio

efficiencies and avoid capacity planning

helps Indonesian companies to not

investments upfront. “The business

only transform their legacy system but

approach has shifted the element of

also to achieve productivity through

investment cost towards OPEX, as

infrastructure cost optimization and pro-

many business players start to look

vide leverage in terms of which budget to

away from CAPEX,” he says. When it

save in the long run.” busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

209


PT BIZNET GIO NUSANTARA

Dondy Bappedyanto - Biznet Gio 2 CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:26

210

HYPERSCALE STRATEGY IN INDONESIA When it comes to hyperscalers, Bappedyanto emphasises the long company’s ambitions to welcome the adoption in Indonesia “Currently, we’re partnering with two hyperscalers (AWS and GCP).” In partnering with hyperscalers, he adds that the company strives “to bring an added value for our customers who want to use hyperscalers.” PT Biznet Gio Nusantara does this “by providing managed services and consultant services so customers can efficiently achieve their goals.” FEBRUARY 2021

“Businesses that have migrated to the cloud will survive and be able to compete compared to businesses that still rely on manual systems in the current hybrid workplace situation” — Dondy Bappedyanto, CEO, PT Biznet Gio Nusantara


PT Biznet Gio Nusantara’s partnership with HPe At PT Biznet Gio Nusantara, we use

Gio team to stay competitive in the

HPe servers and HPe storage, and we

cloud computing industry by

are the largest HPE Nimble Storage

providing technology updates along

deployment in Indonesia.

with their

HPE has provided serious support

SLA commitment.

over the years by providing us with reliable products, services, support,

In addition to HPE, we are also getting

and professional advice not only

support through their partner Berca.

technical but also for the business.

Berca contributes to helping us by developing strategic planning

We have been using a lot of HPE

according to our needs and meeting

products from servers and storage

the performance quality based on our

to construct Biznet Gio’s cloud

service requirements. In terms of

architecture on the products and

timeline and commercial

services level. HPE Nimble Storage

administration, Berca provides a clear

offers flexible storage management

vision of how we should deal with the

while also generating faster data

hardware and what the suitable specs

backup, excellent Recovery Time

are according to our target and budget.

Objectives (RTOs), and Recovery Point

Both HPE and Berca, through this

Objectives (RPOs). Apart from the

collaboration, share the same mission

superior performance and competitive

as us, which is to leverage local cloud

prices, HPE products are also easy to

service position and market share

maintain. HPE also supports the Biznet

in Indonesia.

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

211


PT BIZNET GIO NUSANTARA

212

FEBRUARY 2021


Biznet Gio Senior Members From left to right Standing: Cornelius Hertadi (VP of Sales Marketing) Yusuf Hadiwinata (VP of Technology Operations) Dery Irfianto (Business Operation Senior Manager) Edward Reynaldi Widjaja (Finance Accounting Senior Manager) Rangga Praduwiratna (VP of Product Engineering)  Seated: Dondy Bappedyanto (CEO) Miki Tanaka (Strategic Director)

Reflecting on the future for PT Biznet Gio Nusantara, Bappedyanto believes that “the company has a very bright future ahead, with our partnership with the hyperscalers and when it comes to an understanding of the local market. We know that we can bring more value to our customers who want to transform digitally by using our cloud computing services.”

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

213


214

FEBRUARY 2021


215

Cybersecurity transformation in telecoms. WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

CRAIG KILLINGBACK

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


CIRCLES.LIFE

Mohamed Noordin Yussuff Marican, CISO at Circles.Life discusses the company ’s cybersecurity transformation and the impact of COVID-19

W

hen it comes to cybersecurity, Mohamed Noordin Yusuff Marican, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Circles.Life has

been hooked on the concept since he was a teenager. “It wasn’t even called cybersecurity back then, it was 216

known as data security, IT security and information security. It wasn’t until more recently that the phrase cybersecurity came in,” reflects Noordin, who adds that “with internet laws being less stringent back in the 90s,” he spent his time as a teenager on his first computers fiddling with security tools such as password crackers and backdoor trojans. “Knowing that this was the career journey I wanted to take, my career began as a police officer, in the police technology department, in the IT security team. I was responsible for protecting information assets, belonging to the Singapore police force.” After five years in the police force, Noordin moved to the private sector, working at industry leading companies such as EY, Barclays, Qatar Petroleum, KPMG and NTUC Enterprise, before joining Circles.Life.

FEBRUARY 2021


217

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CIRCLES.LIFE

“Joining Circles.Life has definitely allowed me to grow my abilities to become a senior leader and have conversations with founders and C-levels. Circles.Life is already and will be even more successful than it already is in time to come. The first rule of success is to have a clear vision and that is what Circles.Life has. If you don’t have a goal of what you want to achieve, you end up drifting around and never ending up anywhere. Circles. Life’s core vision is to give power back to 218

the consumers,” comments Noordin. By nature, Noordin explains that he is a builder. “I have built cybersecurity teams in the past, but Circles.Life has given me the runway to build an information security office from ground zero, which I will be doing for many more years to come.”

INSIDE CIRCLES.LIFE “Founded on the belief that telcos can – and should – be better. Our vision is to be the go to customer brand that delights and engages customers with personalised digital services across the world,” details Noordin. With its pledge to give power to people that echoes throughout FEBRUARY 2021

“I believe that Circles.Life will be a very successful company. The first rule of success is to have a clear vision and that is what Circles.Life has” — Mohamed Noordin Yusuff Marican, CISO, Circles.Life


EX E C U T I V E P R O FILE :

Yusuff Marican Title: CISO

Industry: Telecommunications

219 Location: Singapore

Md Noordin is Global Chief Information Security Officer with Circles.Life, Asia’s First Fully Digital Telco and Consumer Company. Noordin is responsible for building and maintaining the information security program and transforming the cybersecurity culture in the organisation globally. Having worked in the government, MNCs, SMEs and start-ups, he has accumulated more than 19 years of experience in Cybersecurity, IT Audit, Risk Management, Compliance, Investigation and Forensics. He is also an adjunct lecturer for cybersecurity with various educational institutes, a board committee member on corporate governance for a non-profit organisation in Singapore and a co-founder of a phishing simulation startup. Noordin holds a Master of Internet Security Management, coupled with CFE, CFI, CISSP, CISA, CISM and Prince2 certifications, and recently graduated in an Executive Leadership Programme with the University of Oxford. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


“I have built cybersecurity teams in the past, but Circles.Life has given me the runway to build an information security office from ground zero, which I will be doing for many more years to come” — Mohamed Noordin Yusuff Marican, CISO, Circles.Life

its internal operations, Circles.Life strives to not only be the best digital telco app, but to also provide many different consumer verticals such as movie tickets, concert tickets and classes in a high quality and flexible way for its customers. Bringing the conversation back to security, Noordin explains that Circles. Life’s information security program has what the company calls its three ‘CISO pillars of cybersecurity’. “These pillars are made up of Cyber Defense, Cyber Governance and Cyber Operations functions. Our Cyber Defense function focuses on the likes of technical pene-­ tration testing, to ensure that vulnerabilities are discovered and remediated timely while our cyber governance function focuses on policies and procedures to make sure that we have the necessary cybersecurity frameworks in place and that we are complying with current cybersecurity and data protection regulations. Finally, our cyber operations function protects and defends our infrastructure against cyber threats.” With this structure in place, Noordin adds that the next element of Circles. Life’s information security program is busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

221


CIRCLES.LIFE

222

“Founded on the belief that telcos can - and should be better. Our vision is to be the go to customer band that delights and engages customers with personalised digital services across the world” — Mohamed Noordin Yusuff Marican, CISO, Circles.Life

its process. “We continuously work to ensure that we have the strong prcesses in place to defend the organisation against attacks, as well as having the right-fit security technologies. We can not only have one of these three elements, we need to have the people, processes, and technology to ensure that cybersecurity becomes an enabler for the business.” Circling back to the company’s core vision ‘to give power back to the customers’, Noordin reflects on the company’s culture. “Our customers are our key pillar when we are executing our work, each

FEBRUARY 2021


2016

Year founded

643

Number of Employees

CEO Rameez Ansar

223 and every one of us has our company

already being a digital company,

vision resonating in our day to day work.

Circles.Life was already well suited

Whilst each team has its own KPIs and

to sustain its operations. “We do not

priorities, they are all ultimately driven

have on premise server rooms or

by the core company-wide priority,

data centres,” comments Noordin,

ensuring that our company is aligned

“our workloads are in the cloud and

in the work that we do.”

so we are purely a cloud native, digital company which allow staff to work

COVID-19: MAINTAIN CYBERRESILIENCE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

from anywhere.”

It is common knowledge that digital

cloud based element of its operations that

transformation has sped up significantly

is important for becoming resilient.

as a result of COVID-19, Noordin

“You are only able to become more

explains that Circles.Life was quite

resilient if you can execute day to day

lucky when the pandemic hit due to

operations in the office from anywhere.

Noordin goes on to explain that it is this

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CIRCLES.LIFE

C IRCLES.LIFE’ S STR ATEGIC PARTNERS

“So far we are very happy with the service that Proficio provides. Proficio helps us to provide key cybersecurity statistics to management and helps to detect and respond to security threats timely.”

“Crowdstrike is a seamless tool which helps us with our endpoint protection to prevent and detect malicious threats.”

224 “We engage with HackerOne to develop our vulnerability disclosure program. So right now, it’s a private vulnerability disclosure program whereby we allow a group of hackers that have been preselected by HackerOne to carry out penetration testing and hack our applications to determine our potential vulnerabilities.”

“JumpCloud is a seamless, cloud-based domain controller. It allows us to manage all our endpoints globally.”

FEBRUARY 2021

“Our workloads are all in the cloud so we are purely a cloud native, digital company which allow us to be able to work from anywhere” — Mohamed Noordin Yusuff Marican, CISO, Circles.Life


225

Our cloud based tools provide us with

that they may not even need to have an

a hybrid function whereby we can have

office, I believe that most organisations

some people working from home and

are creating a hybrid approach to office

some people in the office.�

work as they come to understand when

While Circles.Life was well suited to sustain its operations when the outbreak

it is important to be in the office and when it is not.�

occurred, Noordin explains some of the challenges that the company faced. “Some of the key challenges I would say, included the desire to be in the office to collaborate with peers and team members. It is very important to build that camaraderie within a team. However, while I think more and more companies are realising busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


McPherson’s Consumer Products’ Supply Chain Transformation 226

WRITTEN BY

ANTHONY CARUANA PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE

FEBRUARY 2021


227

McPherson’s Limited, established in 1860, is a leading supplier of Health, Wellness and Beauty products in Australasia and China busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia


MCPHERSON’S

“Our business cannot function without the right people. I firmly believe the well-worn statement ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast” — Mark Brady, Global Supply Chain Director, McPherson’s 228

FEBRUARY 2021


Mark Brady, Supply Chain Director for McPherson’s Consumer Products, tells us about how great people, sound methodology and tools, and meeting customers where they are is the key to successful digital transformation.

Mc

Pherson’s Consumer Products (MCP) is the embodiment of a business that has adapted to

changing times. From manufacturing the nuts and bolts used to build the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, to making the railway spikes that link Sydney to Perth by rail, to now becoming a marketing and distribution company that delivers products that are found in the bathrooms and kitchens of homes across all their markets, MCP has adapted to hundreds of challenges over the years. With customers ranging from major supermarkets such as Also ALDI, Coles, Metcash and Woolworths, through to small, independent pharmacies, and big pharmacy groups such as Chemist Warehouse, Priceline Terry White etc, Mark Brady, Supply Chain Director for McPherson’s Consumer Products, says the secret to MCP’s success is people. busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

229


MCPHERSON’S

230

FEBRUARY 2021


1860

Year founded

$22.1m Revenue in AUD dollars (FY20)

600

Number of employees

“Our vision is to be bold, be brave, be better. It’s about being audacious & stretching. And being able to make mistakes in safety” — Mark Brady, Global Supply Chain Director, McPherson’s

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

231


MCPHERSON’S

A look inside The MCP warehouse... CLICK TO WATCH

|

0:27

232

We Bring The World To You MONDIALE provides a total global logistics service through our unequalled worldwide network. Our fully integrated software provides full end-to-end supply chain visibility to your business. Flexible, innovative and partnership driven, we are your true international freight and logistics provider. Mondiale Freight Services, proud of our partnership with McPhersons. MONDIALE FREIGHT SERVICES LTD

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Internet //mondialefreight.com

Twitter twitter.com/mondiale


E X E C U TIVE P R O FILE :

Mark Brady Title: Global Supply Chain Director Industry: Marketing and Manufacturing Location: NSW, Australia

Mark has led the Global supply chain area for McPherson’s for the last seven years, after being promoted from his role driving continuous improvement and quality across the organisation. Mark has been able to lead the organisation’s supply chain through structural and operational change and efficiency improvement, enabling sustainability and growth with McPherson’s. With 20 years of experience across operations and supply chain, Mark has worked within a number of industries – including pharma, FMCG, food grade manufacturing, electronics and services delivery. As an engineer by education, Mark has a robust analytical approach coupled with qualifications in continuous improvement methodologies, including Lean, Six Sigma and World Class Manufacturing. McPherson’s has performed well through COVID with the support of strategic partners in supply, logistics and of course directly with our customers. Our staff remain safe and well and the entire supply chain team functions as a whole through these unprecedented times led by Mark.

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MCPHERSON’S

234

“I f I can ensure people can see their value, know their place and have line of sight to how that value deliveries for the broader business goals & strategy– that’s the ideal” — Mark Brady, Global Supply Chain Director, McPherson’s FEBRUARY 2021


“Our business cannot function without the right people,” says Brady. “I am so very fortunate to have the right people around me, both in supply chain and other functions in the business. I firmly believe the well-worn statement ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’.” One might think that a business that has been able to evolve would be a hot-bed of employee turnover as the business looked for new ideas and innovative approaches. But that’s not the case. Brady is a relative newcomer to the business, having been there for

A look inside The MCP warehouse... CLICK TO WATCH

|

2:55

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235


MCPHERSON’S

236

A look inside The MCP warehouse... CLICK TO WATCH

FEBRUARY 2021

|

0:17


about ten years. The average tenure of personnel in his supply chain team is 19 years with three team members marking over 40 years of service. “High calibre and functional expertise is multiplied by creating the right environment for everyone to succeed,” says Brady. He says that comes by questioning and listening to everyone. While Brady has a Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies, he says through enga­ gement and leading by example he knows that when he’s not there on a night shift that everyone from the cleaning crew to warehouse staff are doing the right thing because they trust each other and the systems they have created. Being prescriptive with

“High calibre and functional expertise is multiplied by creating the right environment for everyone to succeed.” — Mark Brady, Global Supply Chain Director, McPherson’s

a methodology or set of tools is not always the answer. Rather, success comes from taking what works and listening to people.

busi ne ssc hi ef . a s ia

237


Unique, open & intelligent technology solutions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company, helping organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Visit www.hpe.com

Profile for Business Review Asia

Business Chief APAC - February 2021  

Business Chief APAC - February 2021