Page 1

ASIA EDITION APRIL 20 19 asia.businesschief.com

TOOLS FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Bringing innovation to manufacturing in Japan

DIGITAL DISRUPTION IN THE TELCO SPACE Exclusive interview with CDO Jacqueline Teo on staying relevant across a changing landscape

City Focus

Asia’s fintech hub

TOP 10

Smart cities


FOREWORD

W

elcome to the April issue of

World-leading sugar manufacturer

Business Chief Asia.

AB Sugar, which has significant oper-

HGC Global Communications, one of

ations in China, is harnessing digital

Hong Kong’s top telecommunications

technology to drive increased sustain-

firms with a significant international

ability across its global supply chain

presence, is committed to deploying

and its own internal operations.

disruptive technologies to remain

Andrew Woods spoke with Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy at

competitive in the rapidly

the firm, to find out more.

evolving industry. Dale Benton caught up with Chief Digital Officer

The city-state of Singapore

Jacqueline Teo to dis-

is both the subject of this

cuss the firm’s ambitious transition into

Jacqueline Teo, CDO at HGC Global Comms

a new digital era and how its operations are always

month’s City Focus and number one in our exciting rundown of Asia’s top ten

smart cities.

driven by a focus on the customer. “I look at technology as a means that

Don’t forget to check out our in-depth

will provide a positive experience to

company profiles for SoftBank, Sun-

the user, and having an understand-

Life Financial Asia, Sumitomo

ing of the importance of that return

Chemical, Apollo Tyres and more.

of investment allows me to think differently,” says Teo, discussing her

Enjoy the issue!

strategy in this month’s cover story.

Marcus Lawrence marcus.lawrence@bizclikmedia.com.

a s i a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

03


ASIA EDITION EDITOR IN CHIEF

MARCUS LAWRENCE MANAGING EDITORS

ANDREW WOODS OLIVIA MINNOCK

Click the home icon (top right of page) to return to contents page at anytime

PRESS PLAY! WHEN YOU SEE THE PLAY BUTTON ICON, CLICK TO WATCH OUR VIDEO CONTENT

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

DANIEL CRAWFORD CREATIVE TEAM

FRAZER JONES LUCIE MILLER HOLLIE CROFTS–MORRIS ERIN HANCOX ALICIA LOLOTTE

Wherever you see these icons in the magazine click to be directly connected via social media

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

GEORGIA ALLEN PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

DANIELA KIANICKOVA DIGITAL VIDEO DIRECTOR

JOSH TRETT

05

DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCER

EMILY AMOS SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

CALLUM RIVETT ASIA MANAGING DIRECTOR

CHARLOTTE CLARKE PROJECT DIRECTORS

ALEX PAGE MIKE SADR KRIS PALMER RICHARD DEANE

CLICK NOW TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

ALEX BARRON GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR

JAMES PEPPER CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

ANDY TURNER

Visit the BusinessChief.com website and sign up to receive exclusive access to one of the world’s fastest growing business news platforms.

PRESIDENT & CEO

GLEN WHITE

IF YOU LIKE US PUBLISHED BY

FOLLOW US!


CONTENTS

10 HGC Global Communications:

Remaining relevant in the digital era

30 AB Sugar: driving sustainability through efficiency

40

THE DIGITAL DISRUPTION OF DELIGHT


50 Equality, diversity and respect: How Marian Salzman is defining the business conversation

PEOPLE POWERED: SIX THINGS I LEARNT FROM CREATING A SUSTAINABLE SOURCING MODEL

60

70 City Focus

SINGAPORE

82


CONTENTS

96

SoftBank

112

Sumitomo Chemical


124 138

Apollo Tyres

Valmet

154

Coupa Software


10

HGC GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS:

REMAINING RELEVANT IN THE DIGITAL ERA WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

K RIS PA LMER

APRIL 2019


11

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


H G C G L O B A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

How a digital transformation allows HGC Global Communications to leverage core technologies, infrastructure and services to enhance connections among people and businesses on both a domestic and international scale

T

he digital era is upon us and organisations all around the world are investing more than ever before into technology and innovation

to improve their operations and stay relevant for an evolving customer base. HGC Global Communica12

tions (HGC), a telecommunications company based in Hong Kong, owns an extensive fibre-optic network within the city and has five cross-border routes integrated with three of mainland China’s tier-one telco operators. This is on top of housing a world class international network and the first interconnection on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, linking HGC to the Greater Bay Area. The company’s main mission is centred around leveraging core technologies, infrastructure and services to enhance connections among people and businesses on both a domestic and international scale. A ‘new’ HGC was formed in 2017 and Andrew Kwok, the new Chief Executive Officer, began to embark on HGC’s journey of digital transformation. “I remember when we met,” recalls Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Jacqueline Teo. “He had a firm view APRIL 2019

HGC headquarters in Hong Kong HGC owns an extensive fibre-optic network within Hong Kong


13

about the need for HGC to transform itself as a business in order to be relevant in the new digital world. The role of CDO was created to lead us on this crucial journey and define new paths for growth and success in the digital era.� Teo joined the business back in 2018 and brought with her extensive global experience in digital enablement, disruption and transformation. Over the course of her career, she has played key roles in product innovation, managed complex technology busia si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


“The role of HGC’s Chief Digital Officer was created to lead the digital journey and define new paths for growth and success in the digital era” — Jacqueline Teo, Chief Digital Officer at HGC Global Communications

me to think differently,” she says. “What are people really looking for the technology to do? Then, how do people make decisions around technology that are not only based on the technology? How many ROI factors can I satisfy with this technology? These are multi-faceted questions and my experience has allowed me to empathise and be curious about financial, emotional, human, intellectual and rational aspects of the decision. Adding another layer that takes into account

nesses and their expansions in the

the diverse backgrounds of people

Asian market, and led multiple signifi-

whether it be age, gender, experi-

cant organisation wide transforma-

ence, nationality etc – this completely

tions. She also led the global technol-

applies to HGC’s digital journey.”

ogy integration and transformation

HGC’s digital transformation fo-

of a US$697mn acquisition, and has

cuses on two key areas: an internal

led the ground up establishment of

transformation of culture, technol-

several billion-dollar telecommunica-

ogy and process; and an external

tions startups in Asia and Australia.

transformation of brand, services

For Teo though, the most valuable

and experience that will see tech-

experience she has gained is an

nology as an enabler for its cus-

understanding of the “business of

tomers own digital journeys. Teo’s

technology”. “I look at technology as

remit covers digital businesses and

a means that will provide a positive

services, cybersecurity, data, cloud,

experience to the user, and having an

operations support system (OSS)

understanding of the importance of

and business support system (BSS).

that return of investment (ROI) allows

Teo describes having open, agile a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

15


H G C G L O B A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘HGC GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATE PROFILE’ 16 platforms as key to what a telecom

end, she immediately enhanced HGC

provider is capable of offering to its

with agile and scrum, multi-cloud

customers. “As we evolve more in this

management, DevOps and site

digital world, things collide and interact,”

reliability engineering skills. “Our first

she says. “You can’t look at one thing

major project as the new HGC was

and not look at others simultaneously.

extremely agile, cloud native, set up for

For example, you need to enrich cyberse-

continuous integration and continuous

curity with data and core OSS or BSS

delivery (Devops), and supported by

needs. To help our customers transform,

hybrid cloud methods from the start.

we need to transform ourselves. My

The team didn’t know any different, so

role is therefore to balance all these

we set up a culture of continuous

competing and sometimes conflicting

learning and agility to fail and fix quickly

demands, and ensure we have incorpo-

and everyone just got used to the pace

rated the right technology at the right

of speed and change. This first project

time for the right outcomes.” To this

was the establishment of our API and

APRIL 2019


Microservices hub with Axway to

approach, fail fast with HGC and have

open up our platform and it took us

the courage to push the boundaries

just three months to achieve. A year

of their technology.

in, this is the only way we will launch any new capability.”

In order to bring about change, Teo looked at where technology could be

To support HGC’s digital journey,

successfully implemented and that

Teo also sought partners who can

in itself required a rethink about the

work flexibly with HGC within a

value of technology to HGC. She notes

fast-paced environment, and remarks

that the current global perception of

that “it was more important they fit us

digital technology shows businesses

culturally first than have the cheapest

don’t really understand the depths and

price or the fanciest technology”. She

breadths of modern technology capabili-

cites partners like Enxoo, Axway and

ties. “They think it is easy because of

Cloudsmartz who have a ‘can-do’

own their digital experience, and they

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

Jacqueline Teo Jacqueline Teo is Chief Digital Officer, responsible for technology and digital capabilities in the service of customers and internal staff. Her remit covers strategy, roadmapping, architecture, delivery and support, as well as accountability for P&L, and she has led significant technological transformation projects for large and complex organisations. During a career that stretches back 25 years, Jacqueline has held a number C-level posts in the global telecommunications, media and entertainment industries, and has earned a reputation for spearheading game-changing initiatives on behalf of customers.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

17


“Smart cities, smart workplaces, smart cars, etc... Those areas all need thought leadership in the technology space to actually understand how the enablement of these technologies can support meaningful business models” — Jacqueline Teo, Chief Digital Officer at HGC Global Communications

19

just want it and they want it fast,” she

space to actually understand how the

explains. This is where her experience

enablement of these technologies can

comes into play, as she is able to marry

support meaningful business models.

her background in finance with her

A good digital leader has to know how

business knowledge and understand-

to use technology as a progressive

ing of technology to optimise the

enabler and a disrupter – yet advocate

benefits to HGC and its customers.

for the customer while providing

She adds that thought leadership

universal benefit and work all positions

is crucial in achieving any form of

seamlessly to grow. You don’t always

success in a digital transformation.

need to be the smartest person in the

“Everything is smart these days,” she

room, but you do need to know who is

says. “Smart cities, smart workplaces,

and then create the environment

smart cars, etc. Those areas all need

where each strength has a voice to

thought leadership in the technology

shape the outcome.” a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


H G C G L O B A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

20

A staff walkathon was organised. For every two employees who finish the walk, HGC will donate a 12-month free broadband service plan to a local grassroots student

Such leadership is fundamental

of this evolution,” she says. “A consum-

for a business like HGC which serves

er for a telecommunications service

a wide range of market segments on

has a different set of needs to one of

a local and international scale. With

the large corporates we serve, and

such a large mass market, Teo recog-

the way they’re perceiving things can

nises that transforming and digitally

be at very different extremes. Staying

enabling each and every facet in order

relevant to a customer that continues

to remain relevant is a challenge. She

to be empowered and has more

is keen to stress the need to have

access to information than ever before

empathy for those going through such

requires an understanding of just how

transformations and the challenges

much that customer has changed and

they face. “They’re at different stages

will continue to change.” HGC’s varied

of their own journeys of relevance and

market segments creates an incredibly

they’ve got customers at different cusps

diverse set of demands that it has to

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘VOLVO OCEAN RACE HK STOPOVER RECAP’ 21

be aware and ahead of. “People are

change management innovatively

changing at different rates, in different

to enable a new way of thinking, asking:

ways,” says Teo. “My take on this is to

“Where is that shift that will make our

put your customer in the middle of eve-

people look at and think about things

rything you do and start from the idea

a little differently?” and “How do I create

of ‘what is going to make my customer

a safe environment for our people to

successful today, tomorrow, next year,

collaborate and stay genuinely focused

in 10 years?’ Next,work backwards

on the customers’ needs?” Challenging

and challenge the way you think about

the company’s own thinking bias and

making your customer happy. Then

allowing people to be openly uncom-

and only then, how and which technol-

fortable about the impending change

ogy can enable that.”

has been essential. “It’s about having

In order to overcome this challenge, Teo approaches education and

different conversations, looking at how our customers and our partners will be a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


Innovate to accelerate digital transformation Customer-obsessed innovators are tapping into the power of data to invent new digital experiences that transform the business. They are the “unicorns” that change the world and reach new heights of success.

Easier integration, faster innovation AMPLIFY™ is a hybrid integration platform that helps you master modern APIs and microservices, so you can link more systems, people, and things faster and easier than ever before. Without the traditional integration roadblocks in your way, you can speed the creation and delivery of brilliantly convenient experiences that provide access to any data, from anywhere, by any user.

Read our white paper to learn how to master APIs and microservices, so you can be a unicorn, too.

DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER

axway.com/api


“I made a strategic decision to enable AI capabilities to drive our sales from day one. This includes chatbots for the consumer market and AI driven sales for all our direct sales teams” — Jacqueline Teo, Chief Digital Officer at HGC Global Communications

frictionless engagements with its customers, suppliers and partners. Teo looks at artificial intelligence (AI), virtualisation and infrastructure as the key technologies defining this journey. “Data becomes much more meaningful with AI,” she says. “I made a strategic decision to enable AI capabilities to drive our sales from day one. This includes chatbots for the consumer market and AI driven sales for all our direct sales teams.” The next set of digital functions to benefit from AI are already in progress and Teo would like to see this extended to its customers as well.

affected and how we can tackle these

Additionally, Teo believes that the

challenges in different ways,” she says.

edge will become increasingly impor-

“Change is a certainty in this digital era

tant to all segments as we enter a world

and we must continuously look at where

of high volume, micro transactions

the dial needs to be in order to remain

driven by our growing love for all things

meaningful as a business and ultimately

‘smart’, the internet of things and 5G

to our customer.”

services. Functionality and intelligence

HGC’s customer requires an increas-

at the edge will increase and drive how

ing number of touch points with more

HGC continues to virtualise access

direct connectivity and access. In

to cloud and network resources while

response to this, HGC is exploring

enabling customers to virtualise their

ways in which it can build out from its

processes, prioritise their usage and

open platforms and leverage its data

dynamically use edge to optimise

capabilities to better create true

efficiency. a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

23


Data Center ConneX™

Enabling Data Center Transformation Interconnect

Cross Connect

Cloud Connect

Enterprise Customers Want Flexibility & Control – TODAY Data Center ConneX™ is powered through CloudSmartz’ Acumen360 LSO & DCX foundational platforms – enabling Data Center Interconnect, Cross Connect, Cloud Connect for the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) CloudSmartz enabled Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) with point-to-point connectivity and Cloud Connect in Q1 2019. “CloudSmartz utilized its Acumen SDX platform to design and develop the HGC ‘network-on-demand’ products. Everything from initial design to hardware deployment and service launch along with 24X7 support was completed in record time”, says Manjeet Dhariwal, Co-founder & CTO, CloudSmartz. “Multiple network-on-demand services are available to customers today and this platform will serve as the launchpad for all future SDN and on-demand, zero-touch provisioning services." CloudSmartz enables digital transformation for Next-Generation Service Providers to deliver the benefits of flexibility and control with the self-service consumerization of network services.

ENTERPRISE

PARTNERS

DCX Portal

OSS/BSS

Analytics

Inventory

Multi-Tenant

Orchestrate

CloudSmartz Data Center ConneX™ Metering

OpenFlow

Telemetry

OpenKilda SDN Controller Programmable Data Plane

SERVICE PROVIDER BENEFITS: 1

Enable on-demand products to be offered to customers via Data Center Interconnect

2

Create a marketplace between customers and the DC via automated Cross Connect

3

Offer automated self-service cloud connectivity to customers via Cloud Connect For more information please visit our website www.cloudsmartz.com or email info@cloudsmartz.com.


1995

Year founded

1,500

Approximate number of employees

New HGC celebrates its first anniversary with a HK$1mn broadband donation to grassroots student

25

Software enabled infrastructure

service providers (CSPs) to enable this

(software defined networks or ‘SDN’,

part of its digital transformation journey.

known as virtual data centres ‘SDDC)

“CloudSmartz SDN development teams,

or infrastructure as code, is a key area

using CloudSmartz SDxSuite platform

for HGC to unlock operational efficien-

and OpenKilda SDN Controller, worked

cies though sellable, flexible and

closely with Jacqueline’s HGC teams

reconfigurable infrastructure. HGC can

to develop and globally launch SDN

also optimise availability and perfor-

network-on-demand products within 6

mance as well as automate provision-

months,” says Manjeet Dhariwal, CTO

ing and activation, allowing its custom-

and Co-founder, CloudSmartz. “This

ers elastic infrastructure and networks.

kind of speed and agility is unheard of

The company partnered with

- Congratulations to the SDN teams

CloudSmartz, a global provider of

and the leadership.”

software solutions for communications

Noting that while there are many a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


H G C G L O B A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

26

“It takes personal courage and organisational courage to stand up and say that we are happy to disrupt who we are and we are happy to take the first steps in evolving our business today, tomorrow and beyond that” — Jacqueline Teo, Chief Digital Officer at HGC Global Communications

SDN services companies in the world, Teo adds that CloudSmartz’s culture and shared goals set it apart from any other. “If you look at the culture that we built to thrive as being digital, CloudSmartz stood out for us for two reasons: one was their thought leadership. They know the software defined space, and they knew how to lead us to that space. The second was that they understood the diversity of APRIL 2019


our customer base and are aligned to the empathy we have for our customers and customer focus of this journey. Plus it helps that thy work at our pace.” Teo uses the word ‘journey’ liberally, for she feels that transformation suggests a process of moving from one stage to another, whereas for HGC it is a continuous evolution to stay relevant in the fourth industrial revolution. Technology will continue to redefine the telecommunications space, and HGC has had to continue to redefine itself too. “HGC is courageous in the way it disrupts its own ways of doing business,” she says. “It takes personal courage and organisational courage to stand up and say that we are happy to disrupt who we are and we are happy to take the first steps in evolving our business today, tomorrow and beyond that.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

27


Covering every angle in the digital age The Business Chief platforms offer insight on the trends influencing C and V-level executives, telling the stories that matter

CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE

w w w.bu si nessch ief.com


LEADERSHIP

30

AB Sugar: driving sustainability through efficiency WE SPEAK TO KATHARINE TEAGUE, HEAD OF ADVOCACY AT AB SUGAR, REGARDING THE COMPANY’S EXTENSIVE SUSTAINABILITY DRIVE ACROSS ITS GLOBAL OPERATIONS WRITTEN BY ANDRE W WOODS EDITED BY M ARCUS L AWRENCE

APRIL 2019


31

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


LEADERSHIP

W

hen it comes to sustainability, AB Sugar is quite clear as to its objectives. “Our commitments are ambitious,” says CEO

Dr Mark Carr, “but represent the next step of our journey towards becoming the world’s leading sustainable sugar business.” Managing sustainability across such a large corporation, including its significant business in

China, can be as tricky as it is rewarding. Spread across 10 territories and with a 30,000+ strong workforce producing 4.5mn tonnes of sugar annually, AB Sugar – part of the Associated British Foods PLC – is a massively challenging operation 32

when it comes to implementing genuinely sustainable change. AB Sugar China itself operates two sugar beet plants in the country, with an output of 180,000 tonnes of sugar each year. With a company as large as AB Sugar, small changes have dramatic effects across its end-to-end supply chain and the associated communities. Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy at AB Sugar, is instrumental in realising the company’s ambitions in this space. “From an AB Sugar perspective, sustainability is how we’ve always run our businesses,” Teague explains. “We’re always looking to do more with less. We don’t actually talk about sustainability as an overall word. Instead, we look at it through the framework that we’ve established around ‘Global Minds, Local Champions’. We have broken sustainability into three pillars,” she explains. APRIL 2019


33

“One of the key areas AB is looking at concerns the mapping of data on crop growth and water usage” — Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy at AB Sugar

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


LEADERSHIP

34

PILLAR #1

prosperity of those people while, at

The first pillar of AB’s sustainability

the same time, actually partnering with

strategy centres around developing

them to make great changes in our

rural economies and its commitment

supply chain, and ultimately in some of

to building vibrant and diverse supply

our locations? How can we make sure

chains. Through this pillar, AB aims to

our farms are the best and sustainable?”

increase the prosperity of local

In each of its operational territories,

communities, changing the influence

AB is eager to bring small hold farmers

of its supply chain from an agricultural

– through cooperatives, associations or

base. “We’re looking at the kind of

in block farms – into its supply chain to

people we work with, whether they’re

ensure that it has sustainable cane for

out-growers, or from distribution,

the future. Governments and interna-

logistics, services or suppliers and

tional donors can then partner with AB

thinking: How can we increase the

to create real change on the ground,

APRIL 2019


35

“We wish to ensure that all our plastics within our supply chain will be reusable, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable” — Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy at AB Sugar

according to Teague. “We can then enable smallholder farmers and work with them on improving their yields. The way that they’re farming now gives them greater food security and a profit share from the business. Those kinds of projects at the base of the supply chain are exceedingly ambitious, very rewarding and show how our supply chains are changing. It’s not just about us, it’s also about the communities where we operate.” Each of AB’s businesses runs as a ‘local champion’ with a managing a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


LEADERSHIP

1935

director who makes local decisions around what works for their market,

Year founded

customers and supply chain in the longterm. “Dealing with an issue like modern slavery,” Teague explains, “requires cultural understanding. We’ve come to a point now after nearly five years of working with international donors, experts and INGOs where we’ve

32,000+

Approximate number of employees

established land champions in each business and worked with our communities to make sure they understand 36

what land is, and that they have the

there is an understanding of diet, as

right to own it. In Mozambique, there

well as the wider obesity crisis and the

are now 1,200 people who three years

complexity that surrounds it and our

ago didn’t own their land.”

ingredients. We’ve made a commitment to educate 25 million people by 2030.

PILLAR #2

We have a big footprint in Africa where

The second pillar of AB’s sustainability

our businesses there provide health-

strategy is concerned with nurturing

care, education, schools and clinics.”

thriving and healthy communities. AB and Teague are obviously aware of

PILLAR #3

recent scientific and public discourse

As for the third pillar in AB’s sustainabil-

regarding the effects of sugar and

ity drive, the company is increasing its

rising levels of obesity, but they’re not

focus on using resources responsibly.

avoiding the elephant in the room. “You

Its sustainability strategy aims to reduce

know, sugar… you either love it or hate it

its end-to-end supply chain water and

at the moment. But we are really, really

CO2 footprint by 30%, while ensuring all

understanding of the fact that we need

plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable,

to educate around our ingredient so

biodegradable or compostable. “We

APRIL 2019


37

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


LEADERSHIP

have a large land footprint where we

factories because that’s where we’re

operate,” says Teague. “We also have

focused on reducing CO2 and energy

input. We use water and have factories

input, as well as how we use water.”

which obviously emit CO2. So, one of

38

AB Sugar China is a key example of

the things we’re always looking to do is

the company’s progress in this area.

make sure we only use what is needed.

AB’s Chinese operations employ more

We make sure we have really substan-

than 2,000 people and partners, and

tive conversations about reduction, and

11,000 growers. In its March 2018

I’m sure you’re aware that whatever

‘Global Minds, Local Champions’

goes in costs money and whatever

whitepaper, AB Sugar China hailed its

comes out at some point was something

18.5% reduction in water consumption

that went in. We’re constantly looking at

over the previous season that was

that balance and ensuring that at every

driven by an ongoing modernisation

point along our supply chain now, we’re

initiative that began in 2007. In addition

looking to reduce that impact. We’ve

to its progress with water usage, the

done a phenomenal job in each of our

firm has invested over RMB200mn

“AB’s sustainability strategy aims to reduce its end-to-end supply chain water and CO2 footprint by 30%” — Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy at AB Sugar

APRIL 2019


(around US$30mn) in agricultural

islands in the ocean. AB is keen to outline

machinery to maximise efficiency and

its efforts to reduce its reliance in this

mitigate labour intensity for its Chinese

area. “We are a biomass,” says Teague.

operations, as well as working exten-

“We could be used to make plastics,

sively with local farmers to educate

which are obviously more sustainable

them on the most sustainable growing

if you want to call it that, but we also

methods. In the same whitepaper, AB

have plastic in our end-to-end supply

Sugar China noted that growers’ net

chain from the carton and bags we

income has risen by 166% over the five

send out. We’re looking at how we

years preceding publication, another

reduce that down and ensure that all

direct result of the company’s intensive

our plastics within our supply chain will

modernisation programme. Yield has

be reusable, recyclable, biodegrad-

leapt up significantly as well, with an

able and compostable.”

increase of 35% between 2011 and 2018. One of the headline-grabbing news

39

stories of recent times involved plastic

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


TECHNOLOGY

40

THE DIGITAL DISRUPTION OF DELIGHT Business Chief sits down with CEO Vinod Muthukrishnan to explore the ways in which his startup CloudCherry is using predictive data and analytics to disrupt the customer relationship management space WRITTEN BY

APRIL 2019

HARRY MENE AR


41

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


TECHNOLOGY

T

here aren’t many CEOs that can look back on as eclectic a career as Vinod Muthukrishnan, the man at the helm of

consumer experience startup CloudCherry.

From nine years in the Merchant Navy, where he served as a navigation officer, he pivoted to Market Simplified, a fintech startup providing mobile solutions to financial institutions worldwide. He founded CloudCherry in 2014, which has since grown into a disruptive, Cisco-backed customer experience management company. CloudCherry is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with offices in Singapore, Dubai, Bengaluru and Chennai. 42

Muthukrishnan, reflecting on the challenges and benefits of moving from sector to sector, notes that “a fresh perspective shows you things that being stuck in the weeds for the last six months doesn’t.” Conversely, “there’s nothing that compensates for a deep awareness of a domain,” he says. “Every time I’ve been in an alien environment, I’ve done two things: initially, I have taken a first principles approach to the problem. Then I surround myself with people who know that domain really well.” The combination of expert advice and fresh eyes is, he maintains, a winning strategy. “It gives you an advantage because you’re not weighed down by the baggage you accumulate when you’ve been in a domain for 20 years.” In retrospect, he says: “I’ve always APRIL 2019


43

chased problems I believed were worth solving.” Today at CloudCherry, Muthukrishnan is using data analytics and machine learning to disrupt the customer relationship space on behalf of a diverse roster of brands spread across multiple markets. The genesis of CloudCherry was a conversation between Muthukrishnan and several of the company’s founding team. “We tried to count on two hands how many brands we loved and would never leave,” he says. “And we realised that we were generally having fairly a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


TECHNOLOGY

“We tried to count on two hands how many brands we loved and would never leave, and we realised we were generally having subpar 44 customer experiences” — Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO & Co-Founder, CloudCherry

subpar customer experiences.” Muthukrishna and CloudCherry’s other founders saw this as puzzling, given the emphasis placed on customer experience by so many leading brands. “Like true techies, we believe that there’s a software to solve every problem in the world.” Muthukrishna was certain the issue lay with the technology being used to process and analyse customer data, which was resulting in the efforts of companies and the needs of the customer becoming lost in translation. He laughs, “We naively assumed there was no software that truly helped brands understand the customer experience. Obviously, down the line, we realised that such software was out there, but the problem persisted.” The two issues remaining, they realised, were that the

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘B2B CJM GENERAL’ 45 majority of customer data was gath-

ience is all about journeys; it’s not just

ered through surveys, and that, once

a point-in-time survey or an app store

customer data was collected, compa-

review. A deep understanding of cus-

nies had little guidance to act upon it

tomer journeys, understanding where

efficiently without engaging expensive

customers are coming from, where

consulting firms. Now, in 2019, Cloud-

they’ve been and where they’re going

Cherry specialises in both the collection

is at the heart of understanding cus-

and analysis of customer data, turning

tomer experiences. So CloudCherry

it into efficient, actionable insights for

offers complete customer journey

the client company. “Our whole quest

understanding for a brand.” Secondly,

is to find the causal relationship between

Muthukrishnan stresses the idea that

factors,” says Muthukrishnan.

the customer’s journey is a subjective

“There are three very simple ideas

experience. “It’s very important that we

upon which CloudCherry is built,” he

know what happened on a customer’s

continues. “Firstly, the customer exper-

journey,” he says, explaining that “if you a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


TECHNOLOGY

46 were to go to a store, it’s very important

utilisation of cutting-edge technology

to know how often you come in, how

comes to the fore. “We put a lot of emp-

much you usually spend, what products

hasis on our machine learning to make

you like, who you are. Often, all this

sure that we’re actually able to tell brands

data sits in siloed systems throughout

ahead of time what they’re supposed

a company.” By bringing together all

to do,” he says.

available data on its clients’ customers,

Despite the data-driven precision with

CloudCherry can create a complete

which customer behaviour is dissected

picture of its customers’ habits and

by CloudCherry, Muthukrishnan insists

wants, which can then be turned into

that, far from reducing them to a coll-

solutions. The company’s third core

ection of inputs, “digital is supposed

tenet, Muthukrishnan explains, was to

to make the interaction more human.

“move away from a retrospective way

I actually believe we’re going back to

of looking at data towards a more

the times where experiences, because

predictive, proactive approach.” This

of the lack of technology, used to be

third pillar is where a lot of the company’s

personal. Businesses used to make

APRIL 2019


eye contact. They used to call you by your name because you were one of their 100 customers. They knew you.” By using machine learning, bots, numerous data inputs he suggests, modern brands are recreating that “back to basics” service, but at scale. Of course, different markets value different elements of service, and the needs of customers vary on a case by case basis. Between markets, Muthukrishna demonstrates, different technologies might be key to providing good service. “In Malaysia, QR codes are a huge hit. In North America, they are not. In Singapore, reliability and predictability are very important

“All of our focus and energies are on making sure our predictive analytics are ahead of the curve” — Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO & Co-Founder, CloudCherry

to customers, whereas, in India, customers want to be wowed.” Helping Muthukrishnan and CloudCherry navigate these global markets is the

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

47


TECHNOLOGY

48

“We put a lot of emphasis on our machine learning to make sure that we’re actually able to tell brands ahead of time what they’re supposed to do” — Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO & Co-Founder, CloudCherry

APRIL 2019


company’s diverse cast of investors. “We have Pelion Ventures from Salt Lake. We have The Chennai Angels from India, Vertex Ventures from Singapore and obviously Cisco,” he says. “Cisco is very interesting because they are a strategic investor. They’re hands on. They understand what’s happening. At the same time, they have great respect for who runs the business.” Within their own region, each investor brings a different skillset to the table. For example, our Singapore business has hugely benefited from the introductions that Vertex has made for us. They’re a very well-known name in the region.” Looking to the future, Muthukrishnan is excited about both the rising tide of the customer experience market and the course CloudCherry has plotted. “All of our focus and energies are on making sure our predictive analytics are ahead of the curve,” he says, noting that, more and more, we are heading for a survey-less world. “What do you do in a world where the customer isn’t really telling you what they want directly? We’re optimising for a world where the standards of customer listening are going to be radically different.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

49


PEOPLE

50

Equality, diversity and respect: How Marian Salzman is defining the business conversation MARIAN SAL ZMAN, SENIOR VP OF COMMUNICATIONS AT PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSES CONVERSATIONAL CURRENCY, THE BATTLE FOR EQUAL PAY AND RESPECT, AND THE FUTURE OF PHILIP MORRIS AS A SMOKE-FREE COMPANY WRITTEN BY

APRIL 2019

HARRY MENE AR


51

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


PEOPLE

M

arian Salzman, Senior Vice President of Communica-

tions at Philip Morris, the world’s largest tobacco company, doesn’t smoke. As a veteran of three decades at the highest level of PR and marketing, Salzman has shaped the lens through which the world perceives some of its most iconic brands. From

Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign to the digitalisation of Rolling Stone Magazine, and from the popularisation 52

of the word ‘metrosexual’, to her latest role in transitioning the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer into a smokefree future, she has always been a bold wielder of conversational currency.

and then Chief Marketing Officer. And then I worked at Havas for almost 15

“I’ve led a marketing communications

years.” Since April 2018, Salzman has

and PR life,” says Salzman. “I’ve had

served as the Senior Vice President of

something like 38 job titles over the

Communications at Philip Morris

years, but very few employers. I had my

International and she can look back on

own company, which sold to Chiat\Day,

a career spent at the highest levels of

which became Omnicom. I worked at

media communications and public

Omnicom twice over the course of

relations, the battle for equal pay and

six or seven years. I worked at WPP,

equal respect, and the future of Philip

I worked at Y&R as their first in-house

Morris as a smoke-free company.

Futurist, and then later on worked at J. Walter Thompson as Chief of Staff APRIL 2019

“I think Philip Morris spent a long time searching for somebody who had my


53

“I’ve led a marketing communications and PR life… There aren’t many people out there who have a combination of global PR and bigger budget experience” — Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President of Communications, Philip Morris International a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


PEOPLE

“I have never seen a company that cares more about getting it right on this topic of inclusion and diversity” — Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President of Communications, Philip Morris International 54

kind of background, and there aren’t many people out there who have a combination of global PR and bigger budget experience,” says Salzman. “It’s easy in the PR world to do a lot on a budget, it’s only at the CEO level where you’re going to have enough experience with big budgets – and obviously Philip Morris has the luxury of working with big budgets.” In 2017, the US Federal Trade Commission reported that marketing and promotional spending by the nation’s largest tobacco companies was just shy of US$1mn per hour. From her role as the CEO of global PR firm Havas, Salzman certainly has the necessary experience. On the other hand, Salzman is no

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL – CREATING A SMOKE-FREE FUTURE’ 55

stranger to creating cultural paradigm

and the rise of designer vodkas for

shifts on a budget. Philip Morris was

men.” Salzman found the word in use

also interested in the fact that she had

by the New Zealand media. Armed with

“done a lot of things that had gone viral”.

a research piece entitled The Future-

“I wanted to prove that you didn’t need

less Gender, Salzman was featured on

money to make news,” she says. “You

the front page of the UK newspaper

needed conversational currency.”

The Daily Telegraph explaining the

Salzman proved that point in 2003

term. In 2003, the American Dialect

during a campaign for beverage giant

Society named metrosexual its word of

Miller Beer. “I was the person who

the year, “and the rest is sort of buzz

publicised and promoted the word

marketing history”. While her success

metrosexual. It was 2003, and we

as the propagator of metrosexual is an

needed a place for Peroni to live in the

undeniable demonstration of Salzman’s

market in adjacency to Stella Artois

ability to shape the global conversation a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


PEOPLE

$29.6bn Approximate revenue

1847

Year Philip Morris was founded

along with equal pay comes equal respect and recognition and notes the challenge of being a top-level female executive at the firm: “I’ve never really been iconic. I’ve always just been someone who worked hard. I feel now, as one of two women on our Global Executive Committee, an extraordinary burden on behalf of all women to get it right.” In addition to

80,600+

56

Approximate number of employees

fighting for women in the boardroom, Salzman is applying her ideals to the business of cigarettes. “One of the things I’m most passionate about is that we need to do a better job making sure women get information about

– on a budget no less – she emphasises:

harm reduction,” she explains. “Because

“I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life

of regulatory restrictions on things you

trying to come up with something to

can and can’t do with women in media,

wipe that off my tombstone.”

it’s tougher to bring smoke-free

In her new role at Philip Morris

information to that demographic.”

International, Salzman believes she

Philip Morris is currently organising

has found exactly that. “I have never

a women’s initiative in order to mitigate

seen a company that cares more about

the health risks placed upon half the

getting it right on this topic of inclusion

world’s population. “You’ll see us

and diversity,” she says. Philip Morris

launch communications campaigns,

International is an Equal-Salary compa-

over the course of the next several

ny, ensuring that it remains committed

months that will include women who

to equal pay for men and women.

quit, woman who smoked themselves,

Salzman is devoted to ensuring that

and make themselves into role models

APRIL 2019


“The fact men are becoming smoke-free at a much higher rate than women makes it a feminist issue” — Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President of Communications, Philip Morris International

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

57


PEOPLE

as a consequence.” However, the creation of a smoke-free world is more than a gendered issue for both Salzman and Philip Morris. “We are a company committed to dramatic transformation; we’re taking people from combustible cigarettes, either to quitting or to move over to something in our smoke-free portfolio,” Salzman says. According to Philip Morris, 6.6mn people have already begun using the company’s flagship 58

smoke-free device. The IQOS heats tobacco up to 350°C (in comparison to the often-higher than 600°C produced by combustible cigarettes). As a result, “the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke”. Salzman’s experience at the helm of companies and PR campaigns with high budgets will, she expects, prepare her to orchestrate this monumental shift in strategy for the company that owns Marlboro, Chesterfield, Benson & Hedges, Virginia Slims and L&M, a collection of some of the most iconic cigarette brands in the world. “This year is the APRIL 2019

“I hope my tombstone says: ‘She helped the planet become a land of nonsmokers” — Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President of Communications, Philip Morris International


year we re-enter civil society with a smile,” Salzman says. “I hope we will be able to turn the conversation towards getting people to give up their conventional combustible tobacco and move towards safer alternatives.” Looking to the future, Salzman believes that 2019 is going to be the year she helps lead Philip Morris into the next phase of its evolution. “This is the year I champion more women being hired in more roles where they can make a difference for the company, and then for themselves and their families. By the time we get to 2025, I think the most important job of someone in my position is to be sure I have a successor, and that she is ready to step in and lead.” Salzman can look back across a career filled with hard work and undeniable results. She concludes: “I hope my tombstone says: ‘She helped the planet become a land of non-smokers’.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

59


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

PEOPLE POWERED: SIX THINGS I LEARNT FROM CREATING A SUSTAINABLE SOURCING MODEL 60

As sustainability becomes a pertinent topic in boardrooms across the globe, Suranga Herath, CEO of English Tea Shop, examines how businesses can create a more sustainable sourcing model SURANGA HERATH, CEO of English Tea Shop

WRITTEN BY

APRIL 2019


61

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

62

T

oday more, than 1.66mn farmers

While a proactive commitment to

and workers are in Fairtrade-

sustainable sourcing is to be ap-

certified producer organizations.

plauded, setting up an entirely new

In my view, no other organisation

sourcing model – and doing it well – is

has done more to make consumers stop,

no mean feat. I speak from experience

consider and care where their food,

of converting English Tea Shop to run

drink, clothes and jewellery come

on a Creating Shared Value model

from than Fairtrade.

throughout our supply chain from

Inspired by Fairtrade and consumer

seed to cup. The impact of creating

demand for ethically-sourced products,

and implementing our own sourcing

there is an emerging trend for manufac-

model has been profound not only for

turers to develop their own sustainable

the farmers but for our business and

sourcing models – even the likes of

all those in our community, or our

Tesco and Sainsbury’s are following suit.

Prajāva as we like to call it.

APRIL 2019


“While a proactive commitment to sustainable sourcing is to be applauded, setting up an entirely new sourcing model – and doing it well – is no mean feat” — Suranga Herathn, CEO of English Tea Shop

63

So, based on my experience over

because ethical sourcing is important

the years, I wanted to share some of

to your customers? Is it to be better for

the key things I’ve learnt about setting

the environment? Is it all of the above?

up a sourcing model.

What’s important is considering what long-term outcomes you want to achieve,

1. BE CLEAR ON YOUR MOTIVATIONS.

both for your business, and for those

The very first step should be asking

in the supply chain.

yourself why you’re setting off on this path. Is it to help support and share

2. START SMALL AND SCALE UP.

value with those in your supply chain?

Unless you’re starting a new business,

Is it to improve transparency? Is it to

it’s probably best to take a long-term

have a more secure and reliable

approach to sourcing. Having direct

supply chain? Is it so you can source

relationships with producers is both

increasingly high-quality produce? Is it

essential and time-consuming, and a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

when trying to do the right thing. That’s why close relationships are so important – you have to have an innate understanding of what people want and need, rather than just doing what you think they need. The stronger your Prajāva, the better placed you will be.

4.BUILD A BUSINESS OF BUSINESS PEOPLE. This is one of the absolute best ways of sharing value through your supply chain. For us, this means helping our farmers to improve the quality and

64

quantity of their yield through support education and a trusted route building close relationships even more

to market rather than just paying a

so. It may be best to start working with

minimum price. For those who work in

one producer or co-operative under

our factories, we have a profit-sharing

your model, or on one project, and to

initiative called ‘Big Game’ which

grow from there.

involves them in programmes such as open book management, knowledge

3.YOUR BUSINESS MODEL IS ONLY EVER AS STRONG AS YOUR PRAJAVA.

goal of making English Tea Shop a

Prajāva is the Sri Lankan word for

significantly employee-owned busi-

community and taking a wide view of

ness. This ultimately drives employee

who this includes is vital. Creating

engagement and increases produc-

shared value throughout a supply chain

tivity too – there has now been a 31%

takes a great deal of thought – and it’s

increase in value added per employee

surprisingly easy to do the wrong thing

since the Big Game initiative was intro-

APRIL 2019

sharing and budget games with the


65

“Unless you’re starting a new business, it’s probably best to take a long-term approach to sourcing — Suranga Herathn, CEO of English Tea Shop

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

“The impact of creating and implementing our own sourcing model has been profound not only for the farmers but for our business and all those in our community” — Suranga Herathn, CEO of English Tea Shop 66

duced. Without wanting to be too trite

a framework for measuring social

about it, helping people help them-

and economic impact for your invest-

selves is much more sustainable and

ments and efforts and then tracking

powerful.

how business is directly and indirectly impacted as a result of such social

5.FIGURE OUT THE MEASURING AND MONITORING SYSTEM.

progress.

If you’re going it alone, you need to find a robust way of benchmarking

6.MAINTAIN A LASER FOCUS ON CREATING SHARED VALUE.

the outcomes of your model. Failing

Creating a sourcing model is not

to do so could cause more harm than

without its ups and downs and there

good. This could involve developing

are times when commercial realities

APRIL 2019


come knocking that can put you in difficult positions. My advice would be to focus your sourcing model on creating shared value that is, value for people throughout your supply chain, but also for your business. For me, this is what makes a model truly sustainable in that it is then protected from short-termism during leaner periods. As our society becomes even more ethically-minded, it will soon be the norm for businesses to adopt and drive growth through sustainable sourcing models. We’ve already seen a good selection of early adopters make their mark, and I hope that the fruitful results produced will encourage others to take a leap of faith.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

67


CITY FOCUS

City Focus

70

INGA SINGA S APRIL 2019


Business Chief takes a look at the world’s smartest city and the hotspots that draw millions of tourists to it each year WRITTEN BY

MARCUS LAWRENCE

AP APORE ORE a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

71


CITY FOCUS | SINGAPORE

72

T

he island city-state of Singa-

Singapore is also renowned for the

pore is located off the coast

depth of its multiculturalism, and repre-

of Malaysia, and its 721.5 sq

sents the most religiously diverse

km are home to around 5.7mn people.

population in the world. Considered a

Becoming a sovereign state in 1965,

global hub of practically every industry

having previously been a colony of

and sector, the country hosts the

the British Empire, Singapore is famed

regional offices of some of the world’s

for its progress from developing nation

largest and most valuable companies,

to developed in a single generation.

including: Cisco, Facebook, Bosch,

In modernity, Singapore is considered

Hewlett-Packard, Chevron, Google,

to be both the world’s smartest city

Unilever, Sony, Rakuten, Apple, Disney,

and nation.

Microsoft and more.

APRIL 2019


‘The Smart Nation project is driven through three key pillars: digital economy, digital government and digital society’

73

SMART CITY

“The wide array of solutions developed

Singapore took the top prize at the

by the government from dynamic pub-

2018 Smart City Expo World Congress

lic bus routing algorithms to real-time

in recognition of outstanding achieve-

parent-teacher portals, or even predic-

ments made in urban innovation and

tive analytics for water pipe leaks, have

digital transformation. The Smart

proved that Singapore systematically

Nation project seeks to make Singa-

pursues the application of innovative

pore not only the leading smart city but

digital technologies to improve peo-

also the benchmark for other nations

ple’s lives.” Complementing these

and cities to aspire to. In a press

smart city successes, the Smart City

release announcing the results, the

Awards jury added, “Singapore has

Smart City Expo World Congress said:

undoubtedly become a global beacon a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


CITY FOCUS | SINGAPORE

74

APRIL 2019


1965

Year of sovereign state

17.4mn

Visiting tourists (2017) Nearest airport

16km

Changi Airport

75

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


CITY FOCUS | SINGAPORE

76

of the urban transformation and how

ety, which focuses on ensuring digital

to implement smart urban solutions in

inclusion for the entirety of the popula-

a meaningful manner that not only

tion and providing the educational

enhances the city’s functioning but

materials required for digital literacy.

also improves the services provided

Singapore’s government has rolled

to its citizens and through them their

out a host of smart city initiatives that

quality of life.”

have driven its success on the interna-

The Smart Nation project is driven

tional stage. In 2020, the government

through three key pillars: digital econ-

is set to issue a national digital identity

omy, which seeks to digitalise

system that will enable citizens to

industries to enhance and optimise

authenticate themselves and their

business efficacy; digital government,

businesses for government and private

which aims to simplify and streamline

sector transactions, and the govern-

citizens’ and businesses’ access to

ment has also developed Virtual

government services; and digital soci-

Singapore, an open, dynamic 3D digital

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘VIRTUAL SINGAPORE, THE DYNAMIC 3D CITY MODEL AND COLLABORATIVE DATA PLATFORM’ 77 platform. Virtual Singapore has revolu-

17.4mn visitors from around the world.

tionised experimentation for data

With Singapore’s 2017 population

coverage, architectural planning, and service validation, and sets a

reaching 5.6mn, this means that visitors represent

benchmark for open plan-

more than triple the

ning resources for cities

number of people liv-

around the world.

ing in the country. The figure continues to

TOURISM A major part of

grow, with the Singapore Tourism

Singapore’s

Board’s Q3 2018

thriving econ-

report highlighting

omy is its

a year-on-year

tourism industry, which in 2017 saw

increase in visitor arrivals of a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


CITY FOCUS | SINGAPORE

‘Offering incredible panoramic views of the vibrant cityscape, the Singapore Flyer is arguably the best way to take in the city’s sights’

7.1%, with the value of tourism receipts jumping by 3.1% over the same period. Among the city’s most popular attractions are its Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre sprawl divided between three stunning waterfront gardens. Besides the verdant beauty of the space that represents a tranquillity less often found in one of the world’s most bustling metropolises, the Gardens, Cloud Forest, and Supertree Grove are also marvels of modern architecture. The iconic Grove, along with the OCBC Skyway connecting two of its trees, offers tourists the ideal

78

platform from which to survey the gorgeous flora and surrounding buildings. The 165m tall Singapore Flyer is another popular tourist destination and a key component of the city’s skyline. Offering incredible panoramic views of the vibrant cityscape, the Flyer is arguably the best way to take in the multifarious and unique sights of the city at large. For those seeking more commercial diversions, Orchard Road is an excellent choice. The area houses 800,000 square metres of shops and restaurants, with a pristine and tree-lined street binding it all together. Another unique experience for SinAPRIL 2019


79

gapore’s tourists is the River Safari, the

for a naturalist experience few could

only river-based wildlife park in Asia and

ever forget.

an incredible opportunity to see some

With its plethora of booming indus-

of the rarest and most fascinating

tries, a forward-thinking approach to

river creatures from around the world.

city design and citizen life and some

Manatees, giant river otters, alligators,

of the most exciting sights to be found

snapping turtles, and Chinese soft-

in any of the world’s cities, it is no

shell turtles are joined by non-aquatic

wonder that Singapore is one of the

animals such as giant pandas, green

world’s top destinations for both

anacondas and crab-eating macaques,

business and pleasure. a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

82

TOP 10 Smart cities in Asia Pacific In its 2018 Top 50 Smart City Governments report, the Eden Strategy Institute ranked the world’s top smart cities. We take a look at the Top 10 APAC cities from the report. WRITTEN BY

APRIL 2019

MARCUS LAWRENCE


83

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

10

84

Tokyo JAPAN Tokyo is in the midst of a 2020 action plan that involves the application of smart technologies to solve the real issues facing one of the world’s largest metropolises. Chief among the issues that the city seeks to resolve are traffic management and pollution. The city’s government is hard at work promoting the use of zero-emissions vehicles, and has introduced a ratings system to identify areas for improvement in the environmental sustainability of urban buildings. Tokyo is notably home to some of Japan’s most prolific tech companies.

APRIL 2019


Photo Š Hemant meena / CC BY-SA 3.0

09

85

Surat INDIA Surat’s progress as a smart city has seen the establishment of the Smart City Centre (SMAC) which oversees the administration of technologies around the city. Sensors and other systems autonomously collect, compile and send citywide data from each key department to the SMAC. The city aims for 10% of all electricity used to be sourced from renewables, while usage has been cut by the introduction of efficient LED street lamps. The city also employs renewable water sourcing to mitigate water waste.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

08

86

New Delhi INDIA Amidst its transformation into a smart city, New Delhi’s residents have thus far benefitted from the launch of the 311 app, a unified platform for governmental services that enables citizens to view and amend their information, access government information, pay their taxes, raise concerns and complaints, and register birth and death certificates. Additional plans include the introduction of smart traffic technologies, cycle tracks, vertical gardens, smart poles that transmit Wi-Fi signals, as well as 3D zebra crossings.

APRIL 2019


07

87

Hong Kong CHINA Hong Kong’s key areas of focus for launching smart city technologies and policies include mobility, environment, people, government, economy and living. The city has a free public Wi-Fi network, smart parking sensors, unified traffic and mobility services housed within a single app, a 5G infrastructure poised for the launch of compatible smartphones, and an open data initiative to increase corporate transparency and public access to information. Over the coming years, the city will introduce electronic ID systems for all residents, an automated tolling system, and smart traffic systems to manage congestion and mitigate vehicle-related carbon emissions as a result.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

06

88

Taipei TAIWAN Taipei’s citizens have so far enjoyed the introduction of smart traffic systems, smart recycling initiatives that remunerate citizens for their recycling efforts and the establishment of online training courses to increase digital literacy both within and outside the city. On top of this, the city has introduced mobility as a service programmes, automated public transport and real time air quality monitoring. Taipei places a focus on citizen participation and the fostering of close public-private ties. The aim of this focus is to facilitate corporate responsibility and positive action from the city’s top tech firms, driving technological advancement in the public sphere.

APRIL 2019


05

89

Shenzhen CHINA Aiming to become a world-leading smart city by 2020, the city’s government has devised and is in the process of enacting an action plan that seeks to digitally transform education, housing, healthcare, social security, transport, and more. Shenzhen is China’s leading city for implementation of smart traffic solutions, including lights, shared mobility and parking grids. Through smart parking, Shenzhen aims to take 330,000 vehicles off the road each year, incorporating Big Data and AI to improve road safety and communications. The city is home to 11,000 tech companies, including industry giants Tencent, Huawei and DJI.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

04

90

Shanghai CHINA Shanghai’s Citizen Cloud doubles as a mobile app, aggregating over 100 government services to make it easy for citizens to update official information, access healthcare records, find relevant local information and more. Shanghai’s array of smart technologies includes cameras, sensors, and other data-gathering technologies which record masses of data. Firms can purchase this data via the Big Data Exchange Platform and subsequently develop information-based tools and services. Huawei has been heavily involved in the implementation of smart technologies in the city, namely Shanghai’s smart parking network which enables drivers to locate, book, and pay for parking spaces in real-time.

APRIL 2019


03

91

Melbourne AUSTRALIA With a focus on community-driven development, Melbourne’s CityLab offers a forum for discussion of community issues and a space to develop and test prototypes for city services. Melbourne’s citizens enjoy access to a citywide free Wi-Fi network, smart litter reduction initiatives, and 24hr pedestrian counting technology aimed at managing congestion and highlighting areas of concern for public safety. The city has deployed an open innovation competition focused on positively influencing accessibility, conducts regular hackathons to foster community-driven problem solving and the advancement of digital literacy.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

02 Seoul

SOUTH KOREA Seoul’s mayor Park Won-Soon has sought to solve the South Korean capital’s issues with pollution, limited affordable housing, traffic congestion and unsustainable population growth through citywide digital 92

transformation initiatives. These include an array of digital education programmes to foster digital literacy within the city’s population, and the enforcement of an open data plan to ensure corporate transparency. The city established the Seoul Innovation Bureau to facilitate civic cooperation, oversee public-private relationships that drive positive corporate impacts on society at large, conduct innovation planning for citywide infrastructure, and develop active community projects.

APRIL 2019


93

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


T O P 10

01

Singapore

SINGAPORE Singapore’s smart city project is conducted through three key pillars: digital economy, digital government, and digital society. This strategy has manifested in an array of excellent digital solutions across the city, with 94

apps consolidating municipal services, a Virtual Singapore for collaborative planning, and the installation of smart elderly alert systems. Smart metres are joined by the gradual rollout of autonomous vehicles, contactless fare payments, a National Digital Identity service and smart sensors throughout the city to ensure an efficient and green urban landscape. Singapore is the leading example of the heights of digital excellence that can be reached through dynamic, forward-thinking city management.

APRIL 2019


95

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


96

Providing the tools for digital transformation success WRIT TEN BY

M ARCUS L AWRENCE PRODUCED BY

K RIS PA LMER

QR Code-based mobile payment platform, a joint venture with Yahoo Japan, using Indian Paytm’s technology APRIL 2019


97

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SOFTBANK CORP

SoftBank has established itself as one of the world’s leading digital transformation providers, driving the uptake of disruptive technologies with a comprehensive offering

T

he SoftBank Group, founded and led by renowned business leader Masayoshi Son, is one of the country’s largest and

most prolific companies. The conglomerate is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world, and has become a regular and signifi98

cant tech investor for firms globally. Its US$100bn Vision Fund, for example, has invested heavily in companies around the globe to drive technological advancement. SoftBank Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., is also one of the leading providers of digital transformation services and solutions, and has become a go-to for companies worldwide for products and solutions including including its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, cloud technology, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, robotics, data analysis, cybersecurity, Fintech and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). SoftBank believes that data should be the key driver in all business decisions, and as such offers a suite of solutions that APRIL 2019

Ken Miyauchi President & CEO


99

Softbank provides a coworking space in Japan at WeWork Japan, through a joint venture with The We Company

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


We are pleased to be partnering with Softbank, a marquee wireless carrier. Tupl automates the most critical and complex tasks within network operations and engineering. We have gone beyond Big Data insights and built the world’s first use cases with complex automation all the way to closed loop level. Our live deployments are showing 100x improvement in resolution speeds, 90% level of automation, 4x improvementin accuracy, with 100% consistency.

The Tupl approach is unique: operators provide their most pressing manual work problems, and Tupl automates those processes. Use cases range from customer care to network optimization, automated alarm handling, even to construction management and prediction. Tupl is the leader in operations automation by AI. We are headquartered in the United States, with presence in Spain, Mexico and Japan.

Visit our Site


Digital Transformation Case Study: TUPL Network Advisor Get ready for 5G by Automating Your engineering & Optimization work by AI. There is a simple reason why certain high-complexity repetitive work has not yet been automated; it has been considered too difficult. Case in point: armies of engineers continue to do complex and exhausting troubleshooting and optimization tasks, day in day out. To make matters worse, this manual way of working will not be possible when you throw in another “G”, namely 5G, with network slicing and IoT complexities to boot.

ENTER TUPL NETWORK ADVISOR Award-winning Tupl Network Advisor helps network engineering teams unlock the power of AI to automate processes and scale up accumulated human expertise. This is accomplished by helping engineers do root cause analysis and actions which are dependent on the network operators’ overall strategy. This is the approach to use AI technologies to turn accumulated engineering knowledge into digital knowledge for scaling, speed and consistency.

Tupl has been running Network Advisor implementations with several major wireless carriers from the US, Europe, Latin America and Japan with very successful results that show not only efficiency gains, but significant side benefits from Intelligent Process Automation: 1. 90% Machine Learning accuracy, with intuitive and fast data labeling (supervised & unsupervised). 2. 80% overall automation. The remaining 20% are the most complex problems and should stay in open loop. 3. Performance gains of 50%-80% when executing the recommended actions by Network Advisor. 4. Enabling Customer Experience data to drive network optimization tasks, automatically. Might just be first time in the world these two domains work seamlessly together. 5. 100% consistent, and reducing human errors. This proves the power of Network Advisor’s capability as the perfect Staff Augmentation solution for any advanced operator. Based on the early results in one major operator, staff augmentation was calculated to a level of 40%, creating an annual value of $20M for the efficiency gains alone. Furthermore, consistency in AI decision making enable unique analytics for strategic decisions across the network, and frees engineering time for the most complex and important issues. For more information on Tupl and their Network Advisor, please see www.tupl.com.


SOFTBANK CORP

102

© Taka – Fotolia

enable firms to harness the latent insights of their data sets. Data centres form a core part of SoftBank’s digital transformation offerings, providing colocation and hosting services for firms looking to offload operations to stateof-the-art cloud environments. Its White Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) provides the hosting capability for enterprises: a dedicated server platform that provides web, mail and database functions. Outside of the data centre, White Cloud ASPIRE is SoftBank’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution APRIL 2019

‘SoftBank enables its customers to leverage the strongest cloud offerings from around the world through its Cloud Access service’


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SOFTBANK TVCM – “SPEED ​​L IMIT MAN”’ 103

that offers flexible on-premise cloud

and relationships within and between

environments for customers.

their data sets whilst offering a straight-

A joint venture (JV), called SB Cloud,

forward user interface (UI) to minimise

formed in 2016 between SoftBank and

disruption to businesses adopting the

Alibaba saw the launch of Alibaba’s

technology. DataV also displays and

cloud capabilities in Japan, leveraging

monitors data simultaneously, maxim-

Alibaba Cloud technology in a partner-

ising the efficiency of its analysis, as

ship that continues today. SB Cloud

well as offering a strong degree of

enables SoftBank customers to take

immediacy. SoftBank also enables its

advantage of a host of capabilities to

customers to leverage the strongest

make the most of their data, including

cloud offerings from elsewhere around

the DataV visualisation and analysis

the world through its Cloud Access

platform. The tool enables firms to id-

service, providing a direct gateway to

entify and interpret trends, patterns

those offerings through its own secure, a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SCALEABLE DENSIFICATION SOLUTIONS TO EXPLOIT THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE 4G/5G EVOLUTION Monetize your 5G business case today at a fraction of the cost.

With more than half a million cells deployed worldwide, Airspan allows operators such as Sprint, Reliance Jio, SoftBank, APT & Turkcell to disrupt the way their networks are deployed. Airspan offers the most comprehensive 4G/5G densification toolkit in the industry, which includes the new Air5G portfolio, the multi-award-winning AirUnity, AirDensity, AirSpeed, AirStrand, and AirHarmony. These products, tightly integrated with Airspan’s iRelay and Self Optimizing Network (SON) software allow operators to revolutionize deployment economics and maximize spectral efficiency.

airspan.com MONETIZING FUTURE 5G NETWORKS AirspanNetworks

airspan-networks


A complete toolkit to assist operators to monetize their 5G future Airspan’s 5G portfolio includes the new Air5G Virtual-

market. AirUnity and AirDensity cells with integrated

RAN (V-RAN) Macro platform that will allow mobile

5G Backhaul will help operators monetize their 5G

operators to reduce the cost of network densification

assets and services today by taking advantage of the

by up to 50% and still address the wide range of 5G

massively deployed 4G ecosystem that is already out

business opportunities, thanks to its revolutionary

there while improving overall user experience and

all open architectures. Airspan offers the perfect

existing macro performance. It will take a few years

toolkit to exploit advanced technologies including

according to even the most aggressive forecasts for

AI, mmWave, Sub 6GHz, Massive MIMO, and open

the proliferation of 5G device ecosystems. Therefore

V-RAN architectures.

solutions that can be shipped in a matter of days and installed in a matter of minutes that offer 5G

Airspan has always been about disrupting the

capacity and ultra-low-latency today will truly make

economics of network deployment. Operators can

the difference of who will be the operator to come

benefit from a 5G open V-RAN platform that can

out on top and monetize their 5G assets.

interact and interface with 3rd party equipment and software over open standard interfaces. Airspan’s

Over the next couple of years, 5G will be deployed

Air5G utilizes 3GPP, ORAN and Small Cell Forum

in Sub 6 GHz Spectrum and in mmWave for

interfaces to interact with off-the-shelf servers (COTS)

applications from Fixed-Wireless to Connected &

running L2 and L3 software. This open ecosystem will

Autonomous Vehicles, as well as industrial and venue

allow for Airspan to disrupt the deployment costs all

settings. Airspan’s 5G will add high-capacity, ultra-low

over again as it has done with the Sprint Magic Box

latency services that will truly enable operators to

and Reliance Jio’s greenfield network.

monetize their 5G business case.

Airspan’s multi-award-winning small cell portfolio

Contact Airspan today at airspan.com/contact/ to

of integrated access and backhaul solutions also

find out more on how you can monetize future 5G

allows for a phased approach and faster go-to-

networks.

MONETIZING FUTURE 5G NETWORKS airspan.com/5g solutions


SOFTBANK CORP

106

Mobile stock trading app, with simple UI enabling all smartphone users to start from small amount of money closed network. Through SoftBank, customers can use Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services platforms, ensuring that clients can tailor their selection to the needs of their business or to align with existing technologies used in their operations. In keeping with its commitment to advancing the


ÂĽ3.6bn+ Approximate revenue

1981

Year founded

17,300

Approximate number of employees

technological capabilities of Japanese

management, and generation of action-

infrastructure, SoftBank announced on

able insights for enterprises countrywide.

20 March 2019 that it has entered a JV

In addition to the cloud services and

with Cohesity, the market leader in the

platforms that SoftBank provides, it

hyperconverged secondary storage

offers a variety of cybersecurity solutions

space and a member of the Vision Fund’s

to ensure the platforms have appropri-

portfolio. The JV is set to facilitate the

ate measures in place to keep data in

advent of a modern data infrastructure

the right hands. One example of these

in Japan that will drive backups, storage,

solutions is the Cybereason security a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

107


SOFTBANK CORP

platform, which detects threats in real time and ensures administrators are informed immediately so that action can be taken before the breach causes harm. Automated processes within the platform enable it to assess the severity of threats independently whilst actively following movements across the network that could develop into malicious activity. The Cybereason solution is designed to minimise input from the client, enabling smooth deployment with little disruption. Cybereason can be integrated 108

into clients’ cloud platforms alongside Dome9, a visualisation service that presents the cloud environment’s settings to boost compliance as well as identify and rectify human errors. SoftBank says that around 40% of companies are considering IoT for advancing their data collection capabilities, irrespective of industry, and it is working hard to both encourage and cater to this trend. Harvesting data from myriad sources can be achieved through SoftBank’s rich catalogue of (IoT) solutions and its tailored offering to APRIL 2019

Providing a coworking space in Japan through WeWork Japan, a joint venture with The We Company


each client. Gateways and sensors required for data collection are lined up against cost, power consumption, and long-distance communication, and are tied together with its low cost IoT platform capable of supporting an array of networks securely. SoftBank’s IoT devices collect information pertaining to facility operation, facility usage and vehicle usage statuses. This data is collated and housed within SoftBank’s secure IoT platform which includes its API and API management technologies that facilitate linkage and cross-referencing between data

Truck fleet auto-control experiment by 5G network

sets, enabling customers to leverage powerful data-driven insights like never before. The firm divides its solutions between manufacturing, transport and social infrastructure, meaning its offering is broad in scope and applicable for the majority of companies undergoing digital transformation. The company is also dedicated to maximising the value of staff by revolutionising internal processes. SoftBank’s SynchRoid solution enables automation of simple administrative tasks and processing procedures, freeing up a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

109


SOFTBANK CORP

‘SoftBank has established itself as a leading digital transformation solutions provider’ 110

APRIL 2019


employees’ time for increased focus on more skills based tasks. This boost to operational efficiency not only ensures work is done sooner but also mitigates labour costs. The technology is also more accurate over the long term, eliminating the risk of human error for important tasks such as data input, counting and processing, and ledger management. SynchRoid is capable of functioning in myriad departments and roles, including finance, general affairs, human resources and sales. In sum, SoftBank has established itself as a leading digital transformation solutions provider. Through a host of innovative solutions, products and strategic partnerships that transcend borders, companies can leverage integrable technologies that both minimise disruption and enable the seamless flow of data from collection through to actionable insights within secure, tailorable and flexible cloud platforms.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

111


112

Sumitomo Chemical:

INNOVATION AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

K RIS TOFER PA LMER

APRIL 2019


113

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SUMITOMO CHEMICAL

Takashi Shigemori, Senior Managing Executive Officer of IT Innovation, explores Sumitomo Chemical’s digital transformation

T

he Sumitomo Chemical Group was established in Japan in 1913 as a manufacturer of fertilisers to eliminate pollution

from copper smelting facilities and help increase crop yields. Fast forward to 2019, and the Group includes more than 100 subsidiaries and affiliates that operate in five key sectors: petrochemicals; 114

energy and functional materials; IT-related chemicals; health and crop sciences; and pharmaceuticals. Masakazu Tokura, Chairman of the Board, strives to continue to “contribute to solving problems facing the global community” through technological prowess and the trust of Sumitomo’s stakeholders. In order to remain relevant in the increasingly digital world, Sumitomo Chemical has had to digitally transform its operations, renaming its own IT Department to IT Innovation Department in 2016 to redefine its responsibilities. One of the main aims of this rebranded department is to promote digital transformation across the entire organisation through a number of proof-of-concept (POC) projects. Overseeing the department is Takashi Shigemori, Senior Managing Executive Officer for APRIL 2019


115

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SUMITOMO CHEMICAL

116

Finance, IT Innovation, Corporate

everybody’s imagination and is

Business Development and Corporate

impacting all fields of our business,

Planning. Having worked for Sumitomo

including R&D, production, supply

Chemicals for more than 30 years,

chain, corporate administration and

Shigemori has extensive experience in

management,” he says. “Digitalisation

corporate and business planning,

allows analysis of a large sum of data,

working mostly on projects across

and so the quality of the analysis

finance, supply chain and marketing

depends on the quality and quantity of

divisions. He candidly admits that he

data, the scope of the data and the

does not profess to have a wealth of

methods in place. It qualifies the quality

experience in the technology space

of our decision making.” Despite the

but recognises the disruptive affect

recognition of the significance of data,

technology has had on the company

and in turn, digitalisation, as a project

and its customer base. “I feel that

manager Shigemori values human

technology is advancing beyond

engagement more than ever and notes

“Digitalisation allows analysis of data… it qualifies the quality of our decisionmaking” — Takashi Shigemori Managing Executive Officer IT Innovation Dept, Sumitomo Chemical

APRIL 2019


that, while it does help identify key

training engineers and scientists with

areas of business growth, the ‘hunch’

skills in new technologies such as

and ‘insight’ based on the real business

artificial intelligence (AI) and material

activities are still needed to turn data

informatics (MI). “Our approach is

into true value.

somewhat different from others,” says

In 2019, moving from the stage of

Shigemori. “We believe that the digital

PoC to that of corporate-wide deploy-

transformation will be most efficiently

ment of the digital transformation, the

and effectively implemented by

company will establish a new depart-

researchers, engineers, marketing and

ment focused on big data utilisation as

finance staff know the real business

a means of increasing the company’s

needs and constraints and are

competitiveness in its core activities

equipped with essential AI knowledge.

such as R&D and manufacturing. This

Until a sufficient number of data

new department will take the lead on

engineers are developed and until

future digital transformation projects,

sufficient momentum is created, the

E XE CU T I VE P RO FI LE

Takashi Shigemori With a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Tokyo, Mr. Shigemori joined Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. in 1983. His career centres on planning, project coordination, marketing and supply chain. He has worked in the Corporate Planning Office and Petrochemicals’ Planning & Coordination Office. Shigemori has also worked in overseas affiliates including The Polyolefin Company (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. ­— Petro Rabigh (Saudi Arabia). He is currently Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Chemical and is a Board Member of Petro Rabigh. a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

117


119 two departments will play key roles to

In Japan, once momentum is created,

promote the digital transformation

the entire company will adapt and

programmes.”

move faster.” The key to creating and

Sumitomo Chemical launched its

maintaining this momentum lies in

first digital transformation programmes

communication and collaboration.

back in 2015. Shigemori is keen to

Shigemori is not the only person with

stress that although these did not

limited experience in the technologies

come early in the global digital

disrupting the business, and so the IT

conversation, in Japan they represent-

Innovation Department must be able to

ed the first initiatives in the industry. “It

break down and verbalise the true

is important that we change the

value of what technology can bring and

mindset of all members of the compa-

how each facet of the business can

ny and change its culture in order to

utilise it. “We are an enabler for

have a true impact,” he says. “We

business functions,” he says. “It’s a

believe that this is the fastest approach

huge risk to not realise the true impact

to materialising digital transformation.

of technology. The technical function a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SUMITOMO CHEMICAL


“In Japan, once momentum is created, the entire company will adapt and move faster” — Takashi Shigemori Managing Executive Officer IT Innovation Dept, Sumitomo Chemical

121 must assist and sometimes guide the

a limited talent pool and change

business with advanced digital

management. Data scientists are in

solutions, based on their contacts with

short supply across Japan and this will

the IT service providers and observa-

be a key role in the upcoming years. He

tion of the competitors’ moves. For this

points to the significance of learning

purpose and mission, close collabora-

for both the IT and business profes-

tion with the business and a deep

sional, and feels that the company’s

understanding of their practices and

global footprint will prove to be key in

needs are indispensable.”

overcoming this challenge. “Our staff

A digital transformation of any

outside of Japan, the ones who have

business is a challenge, particularly

expertise in certain areas will be

one like Sumitomo Chemical with its

required to take charge,” he says.

subsidiaries and affiliates around the

“But we also need to supplement our

world. Shigemori recognises that the

knowledge and skills by getting input

key challenges for the business will be

and help from our business partners a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


SUMITOMO CHEMICAL

who have global coverage. As a business we have over a hundred group companies around the world.” Sumitomo Chemical Group has struck a number of key strategic partnerships with technology vendors to deliver solutions and training to its employees. One of the company’s long-time partners is Accenture. “Accenture is a strategic partner and is familiar with our business practices, key elements of the business, corporate culture, management system and 122

style,” says Shigemori. “They are able to make propositions that are to the point

“It’s a huge risk for the business functions to not realise the true impact of technology” — Takashi Shigemori Managing Executive Officer IT Innovation Dept, Sumitomo Chemical APRIL 2019

$19bn+ Approximate revenue

1913

Year founded

31,837

Approximate number of employees


123

and that work. Their guidance has

a chemical manufacturer, we play a

been essential for our journey to date.”

key role in fostering a new sustainable

Sumitomo was founded on the princ-

society. So, we need to continue to

iple of finding solutions to solving the

recognise and prepare for the advent

problems facing the global community.

of a new era where digitalisation

As that global community continues

technologies present both opportuni-

to evolve, so do the problems. “We will

ties and threats.”

need to contribute to society by providing solutions that has been developed based on our technologies,” says Shigemori. “As

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


124

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT APOLLO TYRES WRIT TEN BY

SE AN GA LE A-PACE PRODUCED BY

K RIS PA LMER

APRIL 2019


125

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


APOLLO T YRES

LISA ZINN, GROUP HEAD OF GLOBAL IT & BUSINESS SERVICES AT APOLLO TYRES, DISCUSSES HOW HER COMPANY IS LEVERAGING NEW TECHNOLOGY IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR AMIDST INDUSTRY 4.0

W

ith the fourth industrial revolution redefining the way manufacturing companies operate, many firms are

embracing technology to speed up processes in a bid to stay ahead of rivals. 126

As one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers, Apollo Tyres has begun to digitalise its offering as the firm seeks to transform its production line. Lisa Zinn, Group Head of Global IT & Business Services, believes that due to the world constantly evolving, it has become vital that the company adapts to the latest trends. “We’re living in a world of inter-connectivity which changes the way we live, work, produce and consume,” she comments. “Through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), high-speed networks, open architectures and intelligent infrastructures we are witnessing an environment that intelligently communicates at a rate we have not seen since the first Industrial Revolution. As this revolution continues, it becomes increasingly critical that we are able to leverage the reliable communication and APRIL 2019


127

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


APOLLO T YRES

128

“WE’RE CONTINUOUSLY WORKING ON WAYS TO BETTER ACCESS, CONNECT AND LEVERAGE OUR DATA” — Lisa Zinn, Group Head of Global IT & Business Services

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MANUFACTURING EXCELLENCE AT APOLLO TYRES’ 129 seamless interaction between

become more data and fact driven,”

systems to produce business

Zinn recalls. “We’ve been able to

and customer benefits, as well

predict and plan more, as well as

as cost effectiveness in the tyre

utilise our ability to scale and forecast

manufacturing industry.”

an improvement.” In order to ensure Apollo Tyres

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY

implements technology progressively,

Motivated by the emergence of new

Zinn believes that it’s important to

technologies, Apollo is becoming more

understand which new developments

data driven as an organisation, having

will provide the most value to the

incorporated new processes into

organisation, as opposed to introduc-

everyday use which enables the

ing the latest technology for the sake

company to better predict the future.

of it. “We have a system of prototyping

“Since I first joined in 2016, I believe the

and tooling selection which assures

way we conduct operations has

we make conscious and informed a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


APOLLO T YRES

$2.3bn Approximate revenue

1972

Year founded

16,500

130

Approximate number of employees

APRIL 2019


131

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


Enabling Apollo Tyres to become an Intelligent Enterprise Our journey together, that began in 2002, has matured into a robust partnership spanning across various lines of businesses, multiple geographies and manufacturing locations. SAP Suite on HANA forms the core business platform for Apollo Tyres and a key enabler for enterprise wide digital transformation. With its industry leading intelligent technologies and design thinking led approach to innovation, SAP is proud to be a trusted advisor for Apollo Tyres in their journey towards becoming an Intelligent Enterprise.

Start Building an Intelligent Enterprise with SAP today:

Redefine the end-to-end customer experience

Deliver a step change in productivity

Transform workforce engagement

Predict demand, procure the best suppliers, design and manufacture customised products and deliver personalised experiences.

Harness data-driven business processes to fuel new growth and revenue streams, adapt faster to change – and direct scarce resources where they’re needed most.

The latest technologies can give you the flexibility you need to attract, hire, contract, and retain top talent in a market that needs new skills.

For queries, please reach out to: 1-800-266-2208 | sapindiamarketing@sap.com


133

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Lisa Zinn, Group Head of Global IT & Business Services Lisa is an energetic, decisive, structured and objective orientated leader who believes in strong partnering with business and IT to ensure stability and sustainability across the organisation whilst constantly striving to explore new technologies and ways of working to ensure growth, competitiveness and contribution to society as a whole. With two decades of experience across multiple industries spanning all phases of intiatives she has led individuals, teams and partners to achievement of tangible results and successful change implementation both from a process and technology point of view.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


APOLLO T YRES

134

KE Y CO N T RI BU TO R

Martijn ter Haar, Head Manufacturing Planning and Services Most of my professional life has been spent working in tyre development and manufacturing. Within Apollo have had the opportunity to develop myself across the numerous roles related to this core competence. I consider myself a blend of developer and operations manager, alongside which I consider myself to be more or less a ‘Datanaut’ in Apollo Tyres. I look forward to exploring and learning more from our data and creative ways to leverage it in a new and changing world.

APRIL 2019


choices prior to applying technology,”

mutual success is fundamental. Zinn

explains Zinn. “As an organisation

recognises the significance of

we’re continuously working on ways to

partnerships, highlighting a number of

better access, connect and leverage

key relationships on the company has

our data across the supply chain and

formed as part of its digital transfor-

manufacturing operations as well as in

mation journey. “We have a number of

our product development. This

key partners, from the Big Five to

leveraging of digital services has

smaller niche partners who we

enabled more visibility, better control

collaborate with on initiatives. We have

and overall efficiencies, and has

more recently moved towards a model

improved value throughout the supply

where we actively engage our part-

chain.”

ners, not just on individual projects but

Establishing a market leading

on longer term roadmaps to digitise as

position is a key strategic goal for

well as sustain,” she says. “We are

Apollo Tyres and Zinn reflects

working with our partners as part of

how important it is that her company

the journey and thinking process.

continues to innovate digitally in order

We have also moved towards a more

to stay ahead of its rivals.

active engagement between software

“Our greatest challenge is ensuring a

and hardware OEMs (Original Equip-

high speed of innovation whilst

ment Manufacturers) alongside

maintaining the continued operation of

implementation partners ensuring that

legacy systems. A changing business

our initiatives not only take into account

environment across the organisation

project delivery but also longer-term

has challenged us to

product roadmaps of OEMs.”

reexamine how we function and develop as a business partner.”

FUTURE PLANS In an industry as dynamic as manufac-

FORMING KEY PARTNERSHIPS

turing, it’s key that companies look to

The importance of developing and

diversify and accelerate their busi-

maintaining key partnerships with

nesses in order to remain leaders in

other companies in a bid to achieve

the field. Zinn affirms that her company a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

135


APOLLO T YRES

136

“WE’RE DRIVEN BY FAMILY VALUES, A HUNGER FOR GROWTH AND A SENSE OF EMPOWERMENT IN OUR EMPLOYEES WHICH ENSURES WE MEET AND EXCEED OUR OBJECTIVES” — Lisa Zinn, Group Head of Global IT & Business Services

APRIL 2019


can’t afford to rely on previous success and must remain eager to grow in the sector. “Apollo is a strong family brand, with good roots in India and an ever-expanding global footprint. We’re driven by family values, a hunger for growth and a sense of empowerment in our employees which ensures we meet and exceed our objectives,” says Zinn. “It’s vital we never stand still and ensure our core is stable whilst always exploring and taking on new challenges, including geographies where we believe we can make our mark.” Looking ahead to the future, Zinn has clear ideas on how Apollo Tyres can remain sustainable and continue to achieve success in the region and beyond. “It’s important we continue to achieve strong growth in the OEM market in Europe as well as attaining sustainable growth in Asia, the Middle East and Africa despite rising raw material prices and external threat factors,” she explains. “In the near future, our immediate focus is on safety, people, technology and brand building. At all levels we have personal targets related to each of these regardless of where we are placed in the organisation and we all have a role to play in these focus areas to ensure our growth.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

137


138

Proactive supply chain management and procurement principles WRIT TEN BY

HARRY MENE AR PRODUCED BY

CHARLOT TE CL ARK E

APRIL 2019


139

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


VA L M E T O YJ

We talk to Manish Sharma, Director of Supply Chain, Asia Pacific, at Valmet, about ensuring sustainability principles are maintained across the company’s global supply chain

S 140

panning more than 130,000 miles of impenetrable coniferous forest, rugged coastal fjords and over 160,000 lakes,

the country of Finland is among the most northerly nations in the world. The entire country lies within the boreal zone, characterised by its brief, warm, balmy summers and its dark, snow-blanketed winters. Its capital, Helsinki, is the second most northerly capital city on Earth, and 78% of its land is blanketed in forest. It is no surprise then that the nation’s economy is intrinsically linked with the production of lumber, pulp and paper. In the 1970s, pulp and paper production accounted for over half of Finland’s total exports. Although the industry’s share has decreased over the past 50 years, as the nation’s economy has diversified and highskill industrial, chemical and engineering jobs have gained prominence in the workforce, the manufacture of pulp and paper still accounts for over 22,000 jobs in the country, according to a Statista report. APRIL 2019


141

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


VA L M E T O YJ

142

APRIL 2019


“We often receive very positive comments from suppliers, who say something we’ve put in place has improved their productivity and performance” — Manish Sharma, Director of Supply Chain, Asia, Valmet

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

143


LOGISTICS MADE EASY

Martin Bencher

PAPER MILL In 2018, Martin Bencher delivered equipment for a paper mill from South China to a place deep inside Siberia, Russia. The biggest units were four heat body units measuring 56 tons each. The project was successfully executed and delivered under extreme weather conditions; a temperature difference of 70 Celsius degrees from the warm factory in China to the cold site in Russia.

www.martin-bencher.com


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘EXPLORE SUSTAINABILITY AT VALMET’ 145

With industrial roots reaching back

South East Asia, Korea, Japan,

as far as the 1750s, Valmet is synony-

Australia and New Zealand. We sat

mous with sectors like manufacturing,

down with Director of Supply Chain,

energy and the production of paper

Asia Pacific Area, Manish Sharma, to

and pulp. Its offerings include pulp

explore the expanse of supply chain

mills, tissue, board and paper produc-

operations and the ways in which

tion lines, as well as power plants for

these operations ensure high stand-

bioenergy production. In 2017, the

ards of sustainability in the area. . “We

company reported net sales of

are always looking at ways to design

US$3.5bn and employs over 12,000

our operations to be cost competitive,”

people across more than 30 countries

says Sharma, “as well as working to

and 150 locations. The company has a

improve our suppliers’ operational

significant presence across the Asia

excellence, while ensuring that health,

Pacific region, with operations in India,

safety, environment & quality occupy a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


VA L M E T O YJ

“Health, safety, environment and quality occupy the top spot of our agenda” — Manish Sharma, Director of Supply Chain, Asia, Valmet

ISO 9001:2015 AND OHSAS 18001: 2007”CERTIFIED COMPANY

Constructing Industries since 1954...

Successfully installed these machines and they are in commissioning stage now Corp Office: T 418-423, 3rd Floor, ‘A’ Block, Palam Corporate Plaza, Rezang-la Marg, Gurgaon – 122017, HR, INDIA. www.sfeinfia.com


147 the top spot on our agenda.” Sharma

cuses, Sharma explains, is ensuring

has been in the procurement space

that, across all its operating regions,

for over 23 years, and has spent a

its products and methodology adhere

large portion of that time in the paper

to global standards. “Whatever we

production supply chain. He joined

do, we do it to the degree of quality

Valmet four years ago and works to

that Valmet is known for, which is ac-

ensure that Valmet’s Asia Pacific

cepted globally. We ensure that our

business interests operate in accord-

best practices are in-line with global

ance with the company’s industry-

quality standards and are followed in

leading practices. “My core responsib-

spirit,” he reiterates. For a global indus-

lity is to ensure the implementation of

trial firm, Valmet places great impor-

Valmet’s core principles and practices

tance on agility in an ever-changing

throughout the company’s value chain,”

marketplace. Sharma’s role is also

he explains.

focused around the goal of keep-

One of the company’s main fo-

ing Valmet’s Asia Pacific operations a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


VA L M E T O YJ

proactive. “We are a very proactive organization and a lot of good work is being done from the view of strategic, operational and tactical procurement,” he says. Valmet’s forward-looking approach focuses on identifying upcoming changes in the market: “What are the mega-trends? What are the upcoming environmental regulations that will require us to make changes to the way we run production? That’s one of the reasons the company is investing so heavily in R&D.” Currently, Sharma notes, the trends Valmet is 148

working on, to address range from the increasing digitisation of media to the growth of e-commerce. “Printing is disappearing, but e-commerce companies, which use large amounts of boards for packaging, are on the rise,” Sharma says. “Also, in Asia there’s a lot of urbanization, so more people are going to college, which creates demand for things like textbooks. Furthermore, the growing population in the Asian sub-continent provides demographic dividends for such industries to thrive. Nonetheless, there are always prevailing market dynamics or needs that we must be privy to, to strategize our supply chain operations. APRIL 2019


The need to adapt, while maintaining a global standard of product and sustainability practice is also “embedded in our supplier selection, evaluation and management process,” says Sharma. Over the course of his role at Valmet, Sharma has worked with “basically three types of supplier: suppliers who manufacture standard commercial items, suppliers who manufacture their own designs, and those that produce Valmet-designed products and technology. That’s the supplier segmentation that we’re looking at. However, the top spot goes to suppliers who manufacture according to our designs and work as per our practices,” he says, due to the fact Valmet’s products are manufactured to that global standard and can therefore be sourced globally. “When we select a supplier, we evaluate their social, economic and environmental strength. Where do they stand on social best practice? Do they have quality management systems? How about safe working environments that keep their workforce intact? Basically, do they adhere to their principals?” Sharma continues, noting that “there are mature countries, there a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

149


VA L M E T O YJ

are medium-risk countries and there are high risk countries”. A supplier from a mature country, like Finland or Sweden, Sharma says, can be evaluated for compliance via a self-assessment questionnaire. “It’s an exhaustive questionnaire that covers every aspect of our sustainability guidelines. As for a medium or high-risk country, we do a physical audit through a third party who inspects the supplier based on our sustainability guidelines. If we’re buying something from Thailand or Vietnam for example, we make sure that we do 150

a physical audit.” Potential suppliers who do not meet Valmet’s standards are provided with feedback to improve workplace practices, safety and efficiency. “We help our suppliers improve their operations, which they very much appreciate. We often receive very positive comments from suppliers,

“You definitely have to have to respect one another and understand one another’s cultural role to be successful when working across borders” — Manish Sharma, Director of Supply Chain, Asia, Valmet

APRIL 2019


$3.1bn+ Approximate revenue

2013

Year founded

12,000

Approximate number of employees 151

who say something we’ve put in place

expectations and can’t be successful

has improved their productivity and

in that region if we’re not meeting their

performance,” Sharma says. “They

expectations. So, when we approach

realise that sustainability is not merely

things like delivery at Valmet, we need

an exercise in compliance.”

global acceptance.” He maintains that

The cultural diversity between the

the key to meeting these challenges is

different Asian regions presents a

having good communication within the

unique challenge for Valmet’s supply

Valmet team to ensure standardisation.

chain. Offering standardized global

He continues, “you definitely have to

services can become challenging

have to respect one another and

when dealing with a disparate roster of

understand one another’s cultural role

clients and suppliers. “You have Japan,

to be successful when working across

which is very conscious about on-time

borders”. Given the diversity across

delivery, and we need to match their

Asia Pacific markets, Sharma is a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


VA L M E T O YJ

152

APRIL 2019


confident that things have progressed very well. “Definitely with every supplier you’re going to find gaps, and the number of noncompliances is higher in Asia, but with fewer “serious” violations. Things are improving a lot and one of the reasons for that is that we are continuously educating and engaging in a dialogue with our suppliers.” Valmet’s procurement journey in the Asia Pacific region is one of constant adjustment and improvement. “We are always looking at the mega trends of the market,” says Sharma. “We constantly renew our products and technology, while putting emphasis on operational excellence and the people we work with and serve. Those pillars allow us to constantly improve.” On the future of his role and that of Valmet in the region, Sharma says: “I see a great future for Valmet. Since we are one of the leading companies in the world, we have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to maintaining a level of excellence. That’s why we have high standards and the need to constantly improve. That’s the key to success.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

153


154

MARCH 2019


155

Coupa Software: Empowering businesses to spend smarter with Value-as-a-Service WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

CHARLOT TE CL ARK E a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

Customers including Unilever, Salesforce, and Airbus look to Coupa’s business spend management platform to empower their businesses with visibility, control their spend, and unlock measurable value

156

F

or businesses striving to win in the global marketplace today, every competi-

tive advantage matters. More and more

businesses are looking internally to drive value,

starting with their spend strategy. From procurement to expenses, organizations are trying to spend smarter and realize value from every investment, as well as mitigate critical risks across the supply chain. Business leaders know that profitability and growth are achieved not only by increasing revenues, but also by looking inside their organizations to cut waste and deliver value. To ensure that value is delivered, business leaders are turning to the latest technology that empowers them with the visibility and control they need when it comes to business spend. These technologies, grouped under the category Business Spend Management (BSM), offer comprehensive cloudAPRIL 2019


157

based spend solutions for companies and organizations of all sizes. Unlike spend management technologies of the past, these solutions not only centralize all spend in one place, enabling unprecedented insights, they also address business software’s age-old issue of usability—after all, software, however great its feature set, cannot deliver value if it’s not used. Additionally, for finance leaders in regions where tax compliance is complex, modern BSM technology implementation offers an easy and a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


Transform Procurement with Contract-Centric Sourcing Accelerate

www.icertis.com

Protect

Optimize


streamlined solution to an increas-

and financial services organization

ingly difficult challenge. Along every

based in Singapore, selected Coupa’s

step of the supply chain and across

procurement and compliance invoic-

the globe, software should automate

ing solutions and digitized 92% of

tax compliance and keep up with

$400mn. The company also reduced

ever-changing regulations and

the time spent on procurement by

policies at scale.

employees by 70% to increase

Coupa’s Business Spend Management Platform delivers a comprehen-

operational efficiency. The value Coupa delivers for its

sive, open, and user-centric solution

customers – including leading

for source-to-pay, travel and expense

businesses such as; Airbus, Unilever,

and risk management, offering value

and Sanofi – has earned the company

from day one. For example, Coupa

top recognition from leading analyst

customer DBS, a multinational banking

groups who frequently place Coupa

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Gabe Perez Gabe Perez, Vice President, Asia-Pacific, has been an instrumental player in Coupa’s rapid growth for almost nine years. From being a key speaker at Coupa’s first-ever Analyst Day at Nasdaq to a presenter at mainstream industry events to the leader of Coupa’s strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, Perez is a forward-thinking SaaS evangelist, advocating for how Value-as-a-Service is changing the way companies do business. Before Coupa, Perez was a business consultant and earned an MBA in global supply chain management.

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

159


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

“What Salesforce is to sales, Coupa is to spend” — Gabe Perez Vice President Asia-Pacific, Coupa Software

into the ‘top right’ for procure-to-pay, expense management, contract management and other BSM processes. The company also achieved a coveted spot on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 ranking list and the Great Place to Work list by Fortune magazine. Gabe Perez, Vice President Asia-Pacific, shares more about Coupa and the company’s focus on delivering “Value-as-a-Service” as it works to ensure customer success. “Regardless of size, every company in the world manages spend. Your

160

APRIL 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘COUPA INSPIRE ‘19 – SPEND SMARTER TOGETHER’ 161 end-users, or employees, may need to

point in time, you can show how the

spend money in order to get the

service, people, platform and the

products and services they need to do

partners Coupa provides have driven

their job and companies will also have

measurable outcomes – something

procurement teams working strategi-

that is unique for a technology offering.”

cally with suppliers,” observes Perez.

Coupa has made a name for itself

“Today, business leaders are continu-

in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

ally looking for ways to drive value, to

space, becoming a ubiquitous tool in

move faster on mergers and acquisi-

any CFO and CEOs toolkit. Indeed,

tions, to scale their companies and to

Perez enthuses that “what Salesforce

get greater visibility regarding spend,

is to sales, Coupa is to spend,” allow-

and Coupa helps fill this need. The

ing customers to gain greater visibility

reality is that Coupa, unlike other

and control of their finances. One

business software, gives a measurable

such client that has benefitted from

return on investment (ROI). At any

this approach is global financial a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

“Since day one, Coupa has always focused on customer success and delivering value” — Gabe Perez Vice President Asia-Pacific, Coupa Software 162

APRIL 2019


services company Aon. During one of its earnings calls, Perez notes how Aon’s CFO talked “about the US$30mn marginal expansion they were able to increase with Coupa.” Similarly, Rolls-Royce has been an advocate of the software firm. On one of its market days last year, Perez highlights how the automotive giant “exceeded the 5% industry benchmark for savings by bringing its spend down from $2.7bn to $2.3bn, all with 23% less resources” in a cost control initiative supported by the Coupa BSM Platform. The past few years have represented an exciting chapter in Coupa’s history. Having launched its IPO in 2016, the firm now stands as a billion-dollar unicorn. “For us, going public just showed the start of what we could do,” reflects Perez. “It was a great point in my career and an exciting moment for the firm because it brought us into the open market with a level of credibility that has allowed us to work with some of the largest companies in the world.” Now, headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, the company offers its cloud-based business spend managea si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

163


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

ment platform to hundreds of organisa-

Mondelēz and Procter and Gamble

tions globally.

start to use this platform across APAC,

As it extends its reach across the

local companies are beginning to turn

Americas, EMEA and APAC, Perez

their heads and realise the value that

says the firm has its eyes set firmly on

their peers are getting from managing

up-and-coming geographies. “Emerg-

their spend effectively.”

ing markets are seen as a key growth

As software tools saturate the

driver for us,” Perez says, highlighting

market, it’s easy to get swept on up in

how, in his current role, he’s “trying to

the tide that is digital transformation.

bring that same level of acceleration

Instead of focusing solely on technol-

and value to customers in the Asia-

ogy, Perez urges businesses to really

Pacific.” “I think there’s a really big

think about the business outcomes

opportunity to create value,” he adds.

they hope to achieve. “Digitalisation

164 “As well-known Coupa customers like

APRIL 2019

and transformation are a critical part


of any modern business but at times,

but numbers and measurable out-

people may resist change. If you make

comes are a global language. That’s

the process one that adds value for

what Coupa has done – we’ve been

them as a stakeholder and is simple

able to make it simple for end users

and easy to use, they’re more likely to

and suppliers to engage with a

engage,” he says. It’s a simple concept.

digitized business.”

He contends that businesses should

As a cloud-based platform, Perez

start with a measurable outcome that

contends that Coupa can enable

they hope to achieve and work

customers to “move quicker, bring

backwards, striking partnerships with

acquisitions into the platform easily

firms that can deliver demonstrable

and add more functionalities.” With this

results. “The business outcome should

speed, Perez says that the Silicon

be the focus of your conversation,” he

Valley-based company has been able

adds. “Change can be hard for people,

to create a “trillion-dollar data set that

“The value you can drive for a customer’s business should be the focus of your conversation” — Gabe Perez Vice President Asia-Pacific, Coupa Software

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

165


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

2006

Year founded

1,300

Approximate number of employees

166

APRIL 2019


167

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com


C O U PA S O F T W A R E

is growing rapidly every quarter.” It’s this community data – Coupa Community Intelligence – that has enabled the company to launch innovative, AIbased capabilities across its platform, including risk mitigation and fraud prevention. “We can use this community data and apply machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to it to deliver meaningful, prescriptive insights that empower businesses to make smarter spend decisions,” adds Perez. “We 168

can also provide benchmarking that enables businesses to look at what peers are doing, and what you could be doing to reach your goals.” User centricity and continuous innovation are key values at Coupa. For example, Perez points out how “between 30-50% of our releases are features that were requested by the Coupa Community.” As well as having a community of enthusiastic customers to rely on, Coupa has formed a rich ecosystem of partners to help business adopt Coupa to deliver business value. “Early on, we looked to build a team of subject matter experts who would enable and co-implement spend APRIL 2019

“Coupa gives a measurable return on investment” — Gabe Perez Vice President Asia-Pacific, Coupa Software


management solutions. We have global leaders like KPMG, Accenture and Deloitte and we also have regional partners that help users across the globe.” A robust financial function is the backbone of any successful business. Recognising this, Perez says Coupa will remain laser-focused on driving business value for its customers over the coming years. “Since day one, Coupa has always focused on ensuring customer success and delivering outcomes – that’s never going to change. I see our technology continuing to play a greater role in driving even more strategic spend decisions that deliver something many other software solutions can’t: measurable return on investment.”

a si a .busi ne ssc h ief. com

169


Why is the best digital strategy a human one?

Š 2018 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. EYG no. 00711-185Gbl. ED None.

ey.com/digital #BetterQuestions

Profile for Business Review Asia

Business Chief Asia Magazine – April 2019  

Business Chief Asia Magazine – April 2019