Business Review Asia magazine - March 2017

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Asia on the world stage HELLO AND WELCOME to the March issue of Business Review Asia. Our opening feature this month explores what the Presidency of Donald Trump could mean for Asian countries. Always quick to cause a Twitterstorm, Trump’s rhetoric can be difficult to unpick when it comes to gleaning what policies he may be suggesting. Read with caution and perhaps compare what has been speculated now with how events actually unfold. We also examine the growth of one of the world’s largest mobile applications developers. Starting out as a PC software company, Cheetah Mobile now has offices across the world, including Silicon Valley. This month’s top 10 explores Japan’s biggest brands – a mixture of both global and local players has made the list.

Enjoy the issue! Nye Longman Editor Join the debate on Twitter - @MrNLon @BizRevAsia


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What can Asia expect from Trump?






22 Top 10

br ands in Japan 5



Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Technology



Valiram Group Technology 6

March 2017

YES Bank Technology


Dr. Zubin Daruwalla Healthcare


Manipal Hospitals Healthcare


Supply Chain

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WHAT CAN ASIA EXPECT FROM TRUMP? With the TTP in tatters and tensions mounting with China, what certainty is there for Asian businesses? I try to cut through the complexity and take a look at what is possible in one of the most unpredictable periods in recent political history Writ ten by: NYE LONGMAN


PROFILE WHETHER IT WAS a coincidence or not, Donald Trump’s first postvictory meeting with a foreign leader was none other than Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Having promised fundamental change to the Washington political establishment and its politics, Trump’s Asia strategy is sure to profoundly affect how domestic policies are enacted. Faced with the unavoidable rise of the controversial premier, Abe, like many world leaders, has signalled initial support in spite of Trump’s rhetoric. But whether this optimism will last remains to be seen. And what of Trump’s attitude towards China? Let’s take a brief look at what challenges – and opportunities – could arise from a Trump Presidency. Obama’s legacy Hillary Clinton and outgoing President Barack Obama together engineered what has become known as America’s military and economic ‘pivot’ towards the Asia Pacific region. The US adopted a multilateral approach, aiming to develop trade relations, promote democracy and develop military installations. While China was included in the strategy, its participation has been muted. 12

March 2017

The culmination of these efforts led to the Trans-Pacific Partnership - which Trump has now withdrawn from. Under the proposed plan, signatories (in Asia: Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam) would agree to wide-ranging economic reforms. The bulk of which intend to promote economic growth through job creation, innovation and competitiveness and, generally, to reduce trade barriers and tariffs. The TPP has been a frequent scapegoat for Trump, who sees the deal as a means for companies to export US jobs and production abroad. He said as much following his election victory in November: “I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.” So what does this mean for Asian countries? While it remains to be seen whether the US will renegotiate trade deals with the countries involved, its departure from the agreement could well mean that the TTP – and the pivot to Asia – both take a potentially irreconcilable hit.

W H AT C A N A S I A E X P E C T F R O M D O N A L D T R U M P ?


But that’s not the whole story. As with so many policy grey areas (and we can expect more of those) a Trump Presidency could very well negotiate its own Asia pivot. Recent commentators, along with sources close to the President, have indicated that there may be a stronger focus on military expansion. Ostensibly absent from the TPP negotiations (and playing an ambiguous role in the Asia pivot) China’s future relationship with the new Government remains as unpredictable as ever.

Trump has withdrawn US support from the TPP – a key free trade deal and legacy of Barack Obama. Here are the Asian countries involved: - SINGAPORE - JAPAN - BRUNEI - MALAYSIA - VIETNAM Other Asian countries that have shown interest in joining over the past few years include South Korea; Taiwan; the Philippines; Thailand; Laos; Indonesia; Cambodia; Bangladesh; and India.

China, Duterte, and others “China? I love China!” Has been Trump’s mantra throughout his campaign, usually before saying something controversial about the 13

PROFILE world’s second largest economy. The cornerstone of his Presidential bid has been to bring home what he sees as US jobs that have been moved to China and, to a much lesser extent, countries in Asia Pacific. But how much can be interpreted as meaningful policy amidst the deluge of campaign promises and Twitter rants? The stakes could not be higher. According to the United States Trade Representative, “China is currently our largest goods trading partner with $598 billion in total (two way)

CHINA-US TRADE • $598 billion two way goods trade (2015) - $116 billion - US goods exported to China (2015) - $482 billion - Chinese goods imported to the US (2015)


March 2017

goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totalled $116 billion; goods imports totalled $482 billion”. Most analysts agree that Trump will not be rushing to start a trade war with China anytime soon. But the certainty ends here. Some point to his isolationist posturing as an indicator that he will not become embroiled in the South China Sea disputes. Others will point to his recent tweet following China’s seizure of a US subsea drone as evidence to the contrary. His stance on human rights is generally more

W H AT C A N A S I A E X P E C T F R O M D O N A L D T R U M P ?

relaxed than that of Obama, which should also stand Trump in good stead with Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. His controversial meeting with the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen has drawn much criticism from China, which says threatens the ‘One China’ policy of mutual respect. If Trump’s policies stimulate the

and China, it is likely Trump’s Presidency will see, if nothing else, a cooldown in rhetoric from the new Philippine leader. But American isolationism could see other countries in the region follow suit – playing directly into China’s hands as it continues to fortify the South China Sea.

American economy as promised it could very well be positive for Asian economies. Spiking American consumer demand would inevitably lead to more work for Asia’s manufacturers, although this depends on how many industries will be reshored to the US. His appointment of the markedly anti-China Dave Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council has caused much concern at home and in China itself. Although Duterte ostensibly vowed to turn his back on America and move towards closer integration with Russia

A more uncertain world? Having explored Trump’s potential impact on the region, one is left with more questions than answers. The only certainty is uncertainty. Trump’s posturing has mainly centred on being an isolationist, but whether the shadow finds substance in any solid policies, only time will tell. At the time of writing, the world has just borne witness to his inauguration, and even the most politically disinterested will be wondering what exactly will happen next. For Asian markets, the stakes are high and the outcome no less clear. 15




How a small company in China grew to become a global applications software developer Writ ten by: NYE LONGMAN

STARTING OUT SIX years ago in China as a PC software company, Cheetah Mobile has grown to become the world’s top Android tools app provider and the second largest provider of internet security applications in its home country. One of the first Chinese app developers to consider serious global expansion, Cheetah now has significant R&D operations in Silicon Valley, a top 16

March 2017

position in the US applications market, and ambitious plans to expand in Europe via entry into the UK. Business Review Asia speaks to Cheetah’s VP of Global Marketing David Wu about how the company has grown to achieve its unique position and how it plans to fulfil its aspirations, as well as how the company as a whole is moving from utility applications to content-driven apps.

David Wu, Cheetah’s VP of Global Marketing Wu explains, “Six years ago Cheetah provided one of the biggest PC antivirus software programs in China. There were a lot of Chinese players still focused on domestic markets and competing with each other. Our CEO and Founder Fu Sheng made a very advanced decision to give resources to overseas markets. We now have over 3 billion mobile users and 600 million active users. “Cheetah grew to become a global

applications developer. Other Chinese players, such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu are big - but over 90 percent of their users are still in China. Tencent might have a bigger size of active users but most of them come from WeChat which is only used by Chinese people. Cheetah took a different approach - and now 80 percent of users come from overseas and most products are only available overseas.” 17

TECHNOLOGY Operations Cheetah has gone global; alongside nine offices in China and one in San Francisco, its footprint spans Singapore, Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, and the UK, as well as three offices in India. Wu adds, “Each R&D site has a different mission. Our sites in Silicon Valley are focused on developing cutting edge AI technology because that is where the talent is. The R&D in Taipei is focused on security. We have photography and advertising experts in Hangzhou, China.” Originally, the company’s sole offering was Clean Master for PCs and mobiles – an application that improves system performance through deleting junk files and optimising memory usage. Today, the company’s portfolio includes a further 12 apps, as well as six mobile games. Even before it was listed on the NYSE in 2014, Cheetah’s place in the global applications scene was well established, particularly through its work with over 100 smartphone OEMs, including big names like Samsung, and HTC (whose new phones have Cheetah apps built-in), LG and Aesus. Cheetah also has partnerships with 18

March 2017

“Our CEO and Founder Fu Sheng made a very advanced decision to give resources to overseas markets. We now have over 3 billion mobile users and 600 million active users” – David Wu, Global VP Marketing Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. Building on this strong partnership model, Cheetah has been able to diversify its offering in a number of exciting ways. At the end of 2015, for example, the company entered into a partnership with Yahoo that merged the search engine’s advertising and search functions with Cheetah’s apps. The company also acquired French news aggregator News Republic for $57 million in early 2016 which now enables Cheetah to bring together over 1,600 media organisations into a customised, user-friendly flow. Last year, the app won ‘Best News App’ and ‘Best Mobile App User Interface’ which indicates that the money was certainly well invested. Wu adds, “News Republic has a


Different ways to get credits



VIDEO: An introduction to Cheetah Mobile


March 2017


global news license, but one thing it didn’t have was big data. You can either download standalone news republic app or have a news app in Clean Master, which has increased its stickiness. This is a good example of how we transformed a utility app to become a hybrid app – by providing content. This increases the period users stay on Clean Master and gives them the information they want.” Innovation “Cheetah is investing in and incubating a lot of start-ups around the world, including many in Silicon Valley,” Wu explains. But acquiring start-up talent is only part of the company’s innovation story. By leveraging advances in big data, and with a potential reach numbering in the billions (data doesn’t come any bigger!) Cheetah is able to deliver relevant advertising accurately to mind-boggling numbers of people. “How do we leverage user labels?” Wu asks, “We connect to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo advertising systems. We work using

their advertising offer and our big data systems; we can then feed advertising to the right users.” Cheetah is also working on deploying AI technology. By investing in start-ups, the company is developing an intelligent system that will continuously learn from user behaviour to improve the accuracy and relevance of both its advertising systems and content feeds. Yet again, its massive user base will make a significant contribution to this development. Having the courage to step outside the comfortable confines of the Chinese mobile market, Cheetah set a precedent for thinking and acting differently. The company has shown that it is not afraid to grow its capabilities through both strategic acquisitions and in-house R&D; its decision to bring content into the mix has further demonstrated its commitment in this regard. With European markets now firmly in its sights, Cheetah’s position as one of the world’s top app companies is assured for years to come. 21

TOP 10

TOP 10

BR ANDS in Japan Writ ten by: Nye Longman

Business Review Asia brings you Japan’s biggest brands, with a mixture of local and international companies making it to the top

With the third largest economy in the world, Japan has a rich, mature and highly nuanced consumer culture. With a constantly evolving retail landscape, the country hosts a number of leading global brands that compete with its local consumer leaders. Using data compiled by Campaign Asia and Nielsen that measures in-country advertising spending, Business Review Asia explores each brand in depth, taking note of any unique points of interest concerning Japan-specific operations.

TOP 10

10.CHANEL web:

Founded by the iconic Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1913, the now New Yorkbased couture company has a global presence spanning 120 boutique stores and is a mainstay of quality fashion, perfume and cosmetics. Japan is host to around 50 Chanel stores; the company’s adspend for 2016 stands at around the $40 million mark.

$40m Chanel’s ad spend for Japan

“There is a time for work, and a time for love. That leaves no other time” – Coco Chanel

Chanel store, Tokyo 24

March 2017

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

T O P 1 0 B R A N D S I N J A PA N


The first Japanese-grown company to make the ranking, Lotte is a diversified conglomerate primarily concerned with food processing, with interests in retail, financial services, electronics, and petrochemicals. Lotte has a footprint covering the greater Asian continent, North America, and Europe. It also owns two Japanese baseball teams - Chiba Lotte Marines and the South Korean Lotte Giants. Its adspend for Japan in 2016 was over $56 million – its highest market spend, besting both India and China.

Lotte Young Shopping Plaza, Daegu, South Korea

$56m Lotte’s ad spend for Japan

Lotte World, Seoul Chiba Lotte Marines


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Toshiba – one of the world’s leading tech companies – has interests in information technology, communications equipment, components, and a number of similar lines. On the consumer-end of its product offering, the company is well known for its laptops and computer technology, as well as its home television systems. Its 2016 adspend in Japan stands at $16.8 million – down from over $239 million in 2015 following a recent contraction in the business after an accounting scandal.

$16m Toshiba’s ad spend for Japan


March 2017

Toshiba Global Head Office, Tokyo, Japan

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The RK-F2 has Canon’s advanced 3D full auto alignment and measurement system

$50m Canon’s ad spend for Japan


Ever since the company produced Japan’s first ever 35-mm camera in 1934, Canon has been at the forefront of the country’s photographic industry. Over the years, the company has diversified to produce printers, medical equipment, and photocopiers. Canon has a 2016 adspend of around $50 million for Japan, which comes second to China, where it spent just over $55 million.

The Canon EOS 7D 27

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Morinaga & Company has been a staple of the Japanese confectionary scene since 1899 and has profoundly affected how the Japanese observe Valentine’s Day. A marketing campaign in the 1960s dictated that women buy men the chocolates – a trend that is only now starting to reverse. Its 2016 adspend was $112.7 million.

Morinaga has been on the confectionary scene since 1899

$112m Morinaga’s ad spend for Japan


March 2017

T O P 1 0 B R A N D S I N J A PA N


Shiseido is one of the oldest beauty cosmetic companies in the world. Alongside this main offering the company also sells hair and skincare products, as well as fragrances. Notable for its work with worldleading brands such as Jean-Paul Gautier, it has recently purchased Golce & Gabana. Shiseido has a 2016 adspend of around $175 million.

Shiseido is one of the oldest beauty cosmetic companies in the world

$175m Shiseido’s ad spend for Japan


TOP 10


Meiji Seika Kaisha is perhaps one of the most interesting companies to make it to our list, since its main business activities are divided between confectionary and pharmaceuticals. One of its most famous product lines is the Hello Panda biscuit collection. Its 2016 adpsend is just shy of $140 million.

Meiji’s product ‘Hello Panda’


biscuits are world famous


March 2017

Meiji’s ad spend for Japan

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Apple opened its first store in Tokyo in 2014


A player as influential as Apple needs no introduction but the world’s largest publically listed company has not had a completely straightforward growth journey in Japan. It only opened its first Japanese store in 2014, which possibly indicates the tough competition it faces from local brands. Its 2016 adspend for Japan stands just shy of $130 million, with its China spend representing almost double that number.

$130m Apple’s ad spend for Japan


TOP 10


$233m Sony’s ad spend for Japan


March 2017

One of Japan’s premier entertainment and technology companies, Sony remains at the forefront of international gaming innovation. Alongside its well-known PlayStation enterprise, the company also produces semiconductors and medical equipment and even has its own financial services division. Its adspend for 2016 stands at around $233 million.

T O P 1 0 B R A N D S I N J A PA N


Another of Japan’s mighty tech giants, Panasonic has long been a key player in its space and is set to remain. In recent years, the company has invested in the likes of Tesla in order to accelerate the growth of electric cars, and has also looking to grow its AI capabilities through acquisitions. Its adspend for 2016 is $122 million.

$122m Panasonic’s ad spend for Japan




TRANSFORMATION Written by Adam Turner Produced by James Pepper


Helping businesses embrace new technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Rohit Dixit says digital transformation is a journey rather than a simple IT checklist


here was a time when a Chief Information Officer’s job was more about keeping the lights on in the IT department, but that is shifting towards the IT team now becoming a key partner and in some cases being the business itself in driving the digital transformation in the enterprise. As a result of this shift, the world is changing rapidly for CIOs, says Rohit Dixit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Vice President and General Manager for Technology Services Consulting across Asia Pacific & Japan. Formed from the enterprise hardware, software and services arm of technology giant Hewlett-Packard, HPE helps businesses navigate through digital transformation.


March 2017

How is the role of the CIO changing? Three major technological trends have reshaped the role of the CIO, Dixit says; the consumerisation of IT, the adoption of cloud & mobility powered by analytics, and the need for IT to enable businesses to address the digital disruption than just react to it. The consumerisation of IT refers to the fact that people expect technology in the workplace to be just as flexible, powerful and empowering as it is in their personal lives. “This issue extends to the cloud, mobility, and analytics,” Dixit says, “which not only grants small businesses access to enterprise-grade services



Number of employees at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

but also lets large businesses be more agile – leveraging cloud services while also offering their people a mobile first environment to stay productive anywhere, anytime through real time information. These three together combined are the largest disruption in IT architecture since the client/server model of 20 years ago. “The CIO needs to be at the centre of driving this disruption and support the business through these changes – the IT department can no longer afford to operate in a siloed and inflexible ‘long pole in

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ROHIT DIXIT VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER, TECHNOLOGY SERVICES CONSULTING, ASIA PACIFIC & JAPAN Dixit centers his efforts on addressing customer needs in the New Style of Business through the use of Advisory, Transformation and Integration consulting services. He is a seasoned technology and consulting executive with multiple years of experience across many countries and companies including HP Enterprise Services and APJ. Dixit’s started his career at HP as part of the Corporate Strategy team and was HP’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy, based in the company’s Palo Alto headquarters. Prior to joining HP, Dixit was at A.T. Kearney providing consulting and advisory services to Fortune 500 companies. Dixit holds an MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Computer Engineering degree from University of Pune, India.


March 2017


the tent’ approach which hampers change, instead it needs to lead the way and drive the change.” What challenges does this present for the modern CIO? These challenges present a series of crucial questions for CIOs who have to balance on the one hand of “making the Big Change with disruptive innovation” and on the other in “sustaining the innovation“ to help businesses drive top line and bottom line. It is about managing this creative tension between the two to create new possibilities for the business. How do CIOs therefore adapt to this new normal? How do they drive this transformation, upskill themselves, their people, their processes and operating model as a whole? The first step is understanding that digital transformation is a journey rather than a simple IT checklist, Dixit says. While each journey is unique, the steps when planning a successful journey tend to be consistent. It starts with defining the business outcomes

that you’re trying to achieve. “Start with the ‘why’ question first; Why am I doing this? What business problem am I trying to solve? Answering this often requires a solid assessment of your current state and capabilities, asking whether or not these are suitable for the business outcome that you’re trying to drive,” he says. “From here you need to define the end state which would actually provide the business outcome you’re chasing or solve the problem you’re struggling with. That’s your nirvana, you will not get there in one leap but you need to have a clear picture of what it looks like before you can start to take steps towards it.” How can CIOs find the right digital transformation financial models? Rather than just relying on Infrastructure, software and services, at HPE we take a “solution aggregation” approach based on open standards and working with a large ecosystem of partners

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To help you make the journey to digital transformation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Red Hat created a partnership that brings together the best of both companies.

HPE is the leader in hardware and enterprise software. Its hardware incorporates industry-standard technologies that are configured to accommodate any performance and scalability needs.

Red Hat is the leading developer of enterprise Linux.* Its participation in open-source communities goes far beyond its operating system, extending to cloud technologies such as OpenStack (cloud management), OpenShift (platform-as-aservice), and Gluster and Ceph (storage). | Tel: +65 6490 4200 | Fax: +65 6490 4201 *Red Hat client data and Fortune Global 500 List


March 2017


including Microsoft, VM Ware and Red Hat and some of our OpenStack partners like Docker, Mesosphere, SCALR etc. We top this up through a commercial model leveraging HPE Financial Services which enables IT to be consumed as a service through subscription and pay as you go. “It’s important to integrate a flexible commercial model into this process from the early stages, given the CIO’s pressure to become the digital supply chain provider for business to consume IT as a service,” Dixit says. “CIOs might have a clear picture of the pressures that they’re under and potential solutions but without the right financial model their proposed solution often ends up being unaffordable.” As digital transformation advisors, Dixit’s team also helps businesses determine the financial models and Return On Investment calculations for the various stages of that journey. This includes looking at cash flows, the timing of investments and the balance between Capital and Operational expenses.

$52bn Annual revenue of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Procurement processes also need to change when businesses start to buy new systems and services and are looking to do new things in new ways. “The IT procurement process can end up being a big hurdle,” Dixit says. “We can have a very fruitful business requirements discussion, but when we put the wheels in motion and go through a procurement process there is a tendency to slip back to traditional buying processes. They have to realise that reassessing procurement processes is key to bring in IT innovations for that business transformation.”

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How do you navigate the obstacles to digital transformation? Of course, even the best-laid plans can sometimes go the other way, with many businesses coming to HPE for help after their initial digital transformation efforts were less than successful. Part of HPE’s planning process includes identifying potential risks along the journey and helping businesses navigate these through mitigation plans. Many businesses tend to underestimate the need to incorporate a Management of Change when implementing new IT systems, Dixit says. This is to deal with the human angle of improving adoption to the new platforms, applications and service delivery which is key to drive this digital transformation. “The management of change is definitely underestimated more often than not which means, more often than not, it’s a significant point of failure in a lot of business transformations,” Dixit says. “Behaviours need to change, but that involves bringing users to the solution and then training them


March 2017

appropriately.” The other key element is on the failure to upskill in both your internal talent as well as your outsourced resources since your new environment can be very different from the traditional infrastructure skillsets that you might have. “If you’re introducing cutting edge then it calls for a fair bit of trial and error,” Dixit says. A recommended approach is to create an innovation environment with a sandbox approach that helps risk mitigation and also early adoption with better success with businesses. In summary, as Dixit says: “The key to success lines in balancing the twin objectives of making the big change and sustaining the innovation to ensure businesses stay invested in the CIOs Digital Transformation Agenda.


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The Valiram Group challenging the status quo Written by Catherine Rowell Produced by Mariana Lee



March 2017

Chief Financial Officer for Valiram Group, Szilard Brenner discusses how his dual role in managing the company’s financial and supply chain operations is leading company growth in emerging markets


he Valiram Group has come a long way from its humble beginnings and has grown remarkably, representing over 200 brands in nine countries, effectively becoming the largest distributor in Southeast Asia. With half a billion-dollar turnover and around 3,500 employees representing over 25 nationalities, the company is highly diverse and has huge potential for growth. Valiram has experienced a cumulative annual growth rate of 30 percent over the last 10 years, bolstered by the group’s human capital, passion and drive, and facilitated by its supply chain and financial processes developed by Chief Financial Officer Szilard Brenner, which ensures the company remains competitive while

utilising sophisticated technologies in exploring potential markets. The company represents over 200 brands and operates over 340 stores, with products ranging from fashion and accessories, timepieces and jewellery, perfume and cosmetics, to confectionary and dining concepts. Working in a multitude of companies has allowed chartered accountant Brenner to gain worldwide experience and expertise within major brands, such as Tesco, Central Group, Eurogate Logistics and multinational professional service firm Deloitte, strengthening his knowledge of financial reporting and budgeting, alongside the control of supply chain operations and essential corporate governance frameworks. Originally

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from Hungary, Brenner is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). He has worked in the UK, Hungary, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia. His involvement with Tesco’s biggest acquisition in South Korea back in 2009 fully cemented his passion for finance, business partnering and managing teams, in addition to traditional accounting tasks.

Duality Brenner’s dual responsibilities has allowed him to make the role his own while bringing in best practices, in addition to implementing risk management and control access systems across all financial and supply chain operations. Brenner explains: “It’s a good story to hear, that a CFO is in charge of supply chain operations. There is a huge advantage in being involved in operational decisions, adding value to the organisation.” However, Brenner consistently reviews all purchases and challenges all


company procedures to ensure they are not only efficient, but simple for staff and deliver on costs and quality. “I am in charge of supply chain but in terms of the finance perspective, it’s all about making sure I implement feasible internal infrastructures and processes. I call them the three As: attitude, awareness and action. This should bring the company to the next level, challenge everything we do and ensure that the business is successful in terms of growth and profitability, with streamlined processes in place.” Brenner’s leadership and involvement in Valiram’s supply chain and effective hands-on approach has seen the company’s warehouse costs reduced by five

percent, relationships between internal teams (merchandising, regulatory, logistics and local country management teams) and external partners strengthened. A number of financial controls have also been implemented. For example, the company now makes use of new reports when looking at shipping costs, enabled by the implementation of a new ERP system which has simplified financial processes with regards to month-end closing. Brenner comments: “I go into the details and look at the invoices and



FASHION • • • • • • •

Seasonal floorset planning and analytics Inventory control & reverse logistics GOH & Flat Pack handling, storage, & logistics Full service e-commerce fulfillment menu Turn-key door-to-door air and ocean transport Local storefront delivery anywhere on the globe One stop visibility platform Some of the many reasons that JAS Worldwide is one the best-in-class, privately held freight forwarders in the industry since 1978.


analyse total cost of freight and and increase speed to market. logistics. I visit our international Managing stock control and directly markets and empower staff to attributable costs can be a complex control their KPIs. I take people with process, and Brenner explains the me on this journey to ensure their implications if these are not handled personal success and Valiram’s.” appropriately: “For instance, we It is clear that Brenner feels know the receiving capacity of a strongly about the importance for DC is two containers a day. If my individuals to leave their comfort supply chain’s inbound volumes are zone. With regards to his own not managed appropriately and say personal challenges, we receive five containers a Brenner explains day, the stock handling “Because the role costs will unnecessarily of CFO is ever increase due to changing, the overtime, causing challenge is to strike potential late deliveries Number of a balance between to our stores.” Different Employees at the traditional role Standard Operating Valir am Group of a CFO and being Procedures (SOPs) are a business partner”. implemented for every single brand in order to receive, pick and Distribution pack, then deliver each shipment to With plans to develop a distribution be ready for sale to our customers. centre close to Valiram Group’s head Valiram Group must take into office in either Malaysia or Singapore, account cost per item, or CPU, the company aims to manage fulfilment rates, utilisation trucks distribution more centrally and and storage space in addition to strategically with regards to stock warehouse dollar cost and details control. This will also enable it to of value-added services, where reduce the amount of stock handled there are associated handling costs


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of each item touched. Brenner comments: “We do some very smart analysis which helps the business and our merchandisers, as well as the top management to see how much we spend per unit on each brand, whether it’s beauty, healthcare, luxury fashion or accessories. I think this transparency and visibility drive efficiencies for the company and the bottom line.” The company has various thirdparty warehouses with plans to link its ERP with the warehouses’ own management systems. Technology will be key for Valiram’s operations to have real time visibility when a warehouse selects, allocates and labels products. However, Brenner adds: “Innovation is key, thus with such enablers, our merchandisers can see what we do with our stock and we can be more effective, knowing what has been received, tagged, and what products are ready to be delivered.” Combining volume and cost data has proved beneficial not only for Valiram but also its vendors, resulting in the ability to serve consumers better.


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Partner power In garnering strong partnerships with international freight suppliers and warehouse teams in the countries the company operates in, Brenner regularly meets with service providers to share the company’s business plans for growth. In some countries such growth is predicted to be nearly as much as 50 percent. He explains: “They need to know our plans in order to appreciate our company, understand our brand, ensure their plans align with ours and how we can work better together. The culture here is to be very close and open.” The company has a number of major suppliers, one of which is freight company JAS Worldwide, which has ensured the delivery of core operational services, providing key flexibility and high quality results. Brenner explains: “We’ve been recognised because they are delivering on time in countries such as Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Merchandise arrives and we are able to


“It’s a good story to hear, that a CFO is in charge of supply chain oper ations. There is a huge advantage in being involved in oper ational decisions, adding value to the organisation”

open our new stores on time, making sure we satisfy our brand principals and our customers. We couldn’t have done this without JAS Worldwide, so I think it’s a successful relationship.” Managing exceptions is also important, such as reverse logistics, where stores occasionally send products back to the warehouses due to season change or potential oversupply. This has an associated cost


not only to transit and receive items back to the warehouse, but also to send the products off to another store. “Reverse logistics need to be monitored item by item, cubic metre by cubic metre, store by store and kept to a minimum,” comments Brenner. However, with such company processes, Valiram Group’s KPIs incorporate effective product delivery and handling, labelling, last-mile transit, covering both cost and time taken. Brenner explains: “We look from the order pick-up, arrival of stock and the expected time frame, which can vary between three days and a month, depending on the location of our brand principals’ factories.” He explains further: “With Michael Kors, the supply chain cost is not too high because it’s being shipped from Hong Kong, whereas Victoria’s Secret is being shipping from America so the shipping costs are going to be higher. When our logistics executives verify shipment charges, I want to know freight cost per kilometre, the freight cost versus cost of goods as a percentage.”

Investing in people To support the continual running of supply chain operations and likely growth, the company has invested in the recruitment and placement of warehouse executives in every single location the company operates in. Brenner reflects: “It’s a good investment – we’re investing in people as well as our systems.” Investing in staff and not solely company operations is something close to Brenner’s heart, which can be linked to his appreciation of Tesco’s development programme which helped drive his career forward to where he is today. Brenner was previously responsible for developing a graduate programme in Malaysia for Tesco employees in partnership with CIMA to develop and train the next generation of leadership. The programme was highly successful for Tesco and the Institute in 2011 and, subsequently, Brenner became a non-executive member of CIMA’s Southeast Asia Regional Board. Brenner comments: “Finding talent and retaining talent is not an HR issue. It’s a business

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issue; it’s everybody’s issue.” Valiram Group’s strength is in its relationship with landlords and delivery of service operations but as it continues to expand, factors such as finding premium retail space prove to be a constraint for future growth. Regularly approached by new brands, the company evaluates each one, remaining selective on the basis of resource and investment which need to remain in line with the Group’s strategy. Brenner adds that company growth is not possible without the right staff

and attitudes. He concludes: “Our commitment to people and their development is crucial. We have invested in performance management systems and will soon implement a new and advanced human resource information system to support this.” Nonetheless, Valiram Group’s long term vision is to be renowned as the “Ultimate Brand of Brands” in the market. States Brenner, “Our aim is to be wanted by customers, needed by landlords and brands and to be the preferred brand partner in the Southeast Asian region.”

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Written by Dale Benton Produced by Mariana Lee






s one of the best, safest and fastest growing banks in India, YES BANK is a company with a vision – to be the finest quality large bank of the world in India by 2020. This vision also incorporates the technology side of the company, with the goal of becoming the most efficient unit of the bank by enabling state-of-the-art technology services and solutions to deliver superior stakeholder experience. To put it simply, YES BANK wants to “make life simpler for our customers and colleagues”. Spearheading this vision is Anup Purohit, CIO of YES BANK, and his role is critical in the rolling out of technology initiatives. “Through my role, I have driven innovation and been developing IT strategy in accordance with the business strategy of the bank,” says Purohit. “Innovative Technology forms one of the five pillars at YES BANK, along with Platform & Services, Resource


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Management, Governance and Compliance and a Business Leader.” YES BANK was founded in 2004 by Mr. Rana Kapoor who has lead the Bank as Managing Director & CEO since inception. As a Full Service Commercial Bank, the company has a number of business lines across India, including Corporate and Institutional Banking, Financial Banking and Wealth Management. Transformative nature Most recently, Purohit has been leading two major upgrades to the company’s Core Banking System of Flexcube & Flexcube Corporate Platforms as well as a Treasury Application Upgrade of Murex platform. The need to upgrade the core systems of the company was a prescient one. “As we are growing at the fastest rate, it is critical for us to plan for our core IT applications upgrades to handle our growing needs efficiently,” he says. Naturally, with any technological revamp of a core system, challenge


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is inescapable. With a company the size of YES BANK, the core system is a large scale complex IT program. “It’s like changing the tyres of a moving heavy duty vehicle,” says Purohit. Purohit identifies that with a change of this scale, some of the biggest hurdles along the way have been the availability of resources and commitments from critical stakeholder’s groups to be dedicated to the project along with handling their Business As Usual (BAU) activities simultaneously. But with all transformation challenges, there will be undoubted success and achievement. In 2015, YES BANK introduced API Banking, a software program that enables a company to automate its Refund Processing System in real-time. YES BANK, ever the trailblazer, was the first bank in Asia to introduce API Banking. “During the implementation, there were no industry standards to rely on and this was a journey that involved iteratively through consistent learning,” says Purohit.

Key driver Technology is a key driver of the banking and finance industry and YES Bank must respond and stay ahead of the latest trends in order to maintain its market-leading position. In Asia, non-traditional players such as Fintech companies are increasingly disrupting profitable banking frontiers. More and more banks are focusing on innovation and with that comes a sharpened focus on cyber security and data management. “The world is witnessing a tectonic shift in business dynamics. With the rapid proliferation of Internet, handheld devices and social media, the focus of business strategy has shifted to innovation— continuous innovations, discontinuous innovations, and the Holy Grail— disruptive innovation,” says Purohit. Naturally, data is a significant element of the make-up of YES Bank and Purohit ensures that the company recognises the importance of data management and the sensitivity of its nature. “We are increasingly adopting Big Data Analytics as part of our core strategy. We have already built the Big Data platform on Hadoop technologies

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YES BANK and we are looking to use the analytics to help our business by providing us with customer segmentation, fraud detection and prevention, and enhanced compliance,” he says. Cloud-based storage is playing an ever-increasing important role in Big Data storages. Through cloud platforms YES BANK has been successful in resolving a number of IT issues, be it rising infrastructure costs, the maintenance of IT infrastructure and the need for agility and scalability. “Cloud services help the bank access technology at the pace and intensity it needs,” says Purohit. The key in collaboration The technology space is large and no company can do it alone. YES BANK has successfully collaborated with FortyTwo42 Labs, a Global Cyber Security Research Lab setup in India (Vizag and Pune) and Israel (Tel Aviv) as a co-innovation partner for developing next generation Fintech and Cybersecurity Solutions. Through this collaborative effort,


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one of the first innovations has been the PI-CONTROL Platform which will be rolled out in the near future. This platform is a solution which has the capability to provide “real time cryptographic digital transaction signing” at a massive scale. “A solution that is the first of its kind,” says Purohit. Looking to the future, the digital transformation of YES BANK is recognising the focus on a digital economy and the company is following a “DIGICAL” strategy. DIGICAL is a blend of an online and offline forward way of banking. This will consist of YES Bank continuing to have physical locations where customers can get assistance from human touch points. It will also focus on digital touchpoints, building enterprise mobility solutions and equipping the sales force with these solutions to be ready to conduct “business in motion”. “This will empower and increase the efficiency of the sales and service staff, thereby contributing significantly to the bank’s productivity,” he says.


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India’s Doctor Watson Written by Jackie Cosh Produced by Mariana Lee



Technology is moving fast, and nowhere more so than in the healthcare industry where Manipal Hospitals is ensuring that the healthcare it provides is firmly in the twenty first century


eople fall sick, they go to see a doctor and if really ill they will be admitted to hospital. It is what we are all used to, but is it the best way? “For the past century the healthcare model has not changed,” says managing director and CEO of Manipal Hospitals Ajay Bakshi. “We are challenging that and suggesting a new model, which is that patients should be able to get a lot of information before reaching the hospital.” A trained neurosurgeon, he has also worked in scientific research in the USA, before moving into senior management and returning to India. Today, as head of an organisation which services nearly two million patients a year, across 10 hospitals it


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owns and – five it manages, he is well placed to know what will make life easier for both patient and doctor. “I understand that at the heart of the healthcare businesses is the doctor patient relationship. That has not changed for the last 1,000 years,” says Bakshi. “We are looking to improve that in several ways. Firstly, a year ago we bought Watson IBM technology. At that time we were the second hospital in the world to have it.” Watson originated in the mid-90s when IBM built a computer system called Deep Blue, which was the first time a computer system had defeated a human at chess. IBM then took up the challenge to build a system which could master general knowledge, which it did. Healthcare providers


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saw the potential and between 2012 and 2014 IBM worked with partners to make Watson an expert in cancer treatment. During that experience IBM Watson read and understood nearly 15 million pieces of scientific information. Today it reads papers and extracts intelligent information before it presents options to the doctors. Bakshi explains: “Working on a cloud based system, it reads the patient’s data in order to understand the patient and then it compares that patient with the best oncology treatment available anywhere in the world. The oncologist is given first, second and third options and what the likelihood is of that treatment working.” In many ways it works in a similar

way to the way senior doctors think and behave, so just as a senior consultant might ask a colleague his opinion, here the Watson provides that second opinion. “It took us about six months to integrate the technology into our own IT system and we went live late October. It is a very expensive multimillion dollar technology, but we are giving it away to our patients for free. It allows an improved quality of treatment of cancer in all of our seven cancer specialist hospitals. It allows the hospital doctors to provide the same standard of care across the sector. Our thinking is that we want to provide the best cancer care in the world to our patients. Obviously there is an

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M A N I PA L H O S P I TA L S expectation that because our quality is better we will get more patients.” Doctors are delighted with the quality of discussions they are having with their patients now. “It has improved the quality of care they are giving,” says Bakshi. “In addition interest is coming from abroad for people interested in getting a Watson opinion. As you can imagine there is a lot of excitement in the world around what Watson can do for a patient.” Can we rephrase the highlighted part as “In addition there is interest coming from people abroad who want to explore getting a Watson opinion” Just a suggestion. The present line is also ok just that “interest” word is coming twice in one sentence


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Remote access But not all patients live near a Manipal hospital, so in addition it is available online, and this is one of several ways Manipal Hospitals is using the internet to communicate with patients. “Patients should be able to get a lot of information before arriving at the hospital, and we have launched a product which is called healthlibrary. in which is similar to WebMD, but better. This is not used as a product in itself but is part of a broader offering for when they have a problem and want to know more,” says Bakshi. The Manipal Hospitals app downloadable from Apple & Android App stores has the Healthlibrary already integrated into it and it enables the patient to search for his or her symptoms and learn more about it. Then, if the patient needs to make an appointment, the downloadable app can facilitate this. Following


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Our data management and integration platform, along with our powerful healthcare solutions, keep healthcare providers, application vendors, payers, and device manufacturers all on the same page. Because connected care is the best care. Learn more at

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that, when patients go to the hospital and are downloadable on a mobile they don’t have to wait in the lobby phone. We are trying to make the library and fill out forms because all these content more accessible to the modern forms are on the app and website. generation which is more comfortable Bakshi compares it to checking into watching videos than reading.” an airline nowadays – you don’t need to be in the airport to check in. Convenience Manipal is ensuring that it keeps Waiting on prescriptions can be a up with the younger generation, time-consuming business – with a communicating with them in a way 20-25 minute wait at the pharmacy which is comfortable not unheard of. Manipal to them. “We have Hospitals now sends seen that the younger these directly to the generation don’t want pharmacist so that to read too much,” they are ready when says Bakshi. “They the person walks in the would rather watch door. The patient is also Number of employees videos, so we have emailed the prescription, at Manipal Hospitals made nearly 400 should they want to videos of us asking take the prescription to doctors specific questions and them a pharmacy nearer to their home. answering these questions in three to Content that it is improving the five minutes. So this might be questions patient doctor relationships, Manipal like - What is the road to recovery after is moving forward with the idea breast cancer surgery? What should of enabling patients to have video the patient be aware of? What are the consultations with doctors once options for ovarian cancer? What are they have had an initial consultation. the treatment options and what are the Taking into account that sometimes pros and cons? These are then put on patients do not need to be seen our health library website, on YouTube physically by a doctor - he or she


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just needs to organize blood tests or discuss how he or she is feeling - all of this can be achieved on a video chat, which the doctor gets paid for. This should go live in the next couple of months. Everything is going to plan, with Bakshi finding that his background makes him ideally placed to liaise with doctors. He says: “Our doctors are very excited about these innovations. If you go to any other country the biggest challenge of implementing technology in healthcare is that doctors resist it. By virtue of me being a neurosurgeon, as well as a CEO, I understand the doctors very well and I am able to carry them along and get them excited about it. This I think is a big success of our organization, because if doctors don’t like it you can’t make it work.”

Transformative Digital HR Leverage Comprehensive HCM Technologies to efficiently deliver Quality Patient Care 8 M a r c h 2 0 1 |


“Patients should be able to get a lot of information before reaching the hospital” Our engagement with Intersystems on a Unified Healthcare Information System In current days, it is no longer an option for a major hospital group not to have a HealthCare Information Systems that it relies on for running the Clinical and Revenue Cycle work streams. Operating at a paper light or paperless environment has been proven in so many studies that it improves the quality of care, reduces adverse event and enhances the ef ficiency of a hospital. TrakCare Hosptial Information System (HIS) has been at the leading edge in delivering these benefits to Manipal Hospitals. TrakCare’s comprehensive clinical, administrative, and depar tmental modules share a single data repositor y and have a common user inter face. Data entered once is immediately available to all authorized care providers, enriching the patient record with each interaction. Manipal Hospitals wanted a strategic HIT par tner like InterSystems that can align with the long term digital hospital journey that Manipal has set. Manipal has looked for such par tner based on the below strategic imperatives. • A global leader with geographical presence that aligns with Manipal footprint. TrakCare has been ranked best in KL AS globally for the past two years. • A n HIS that has deep clinical best practice that can enable our clinicians to make informed decisions. TrakCare has a product design that incorporates clinical best practices & decision suppor t system. • A n HIS that acts in a hospital as a single source of truth not only in one hospital but enterprise wide. TrakCare has been used in mega deployments in countr y & statewide around the globe. • A reliable long-term par tner that we star ted our journey with ten years ago and is par t of our future journey as well. • Manipal’s own experience was ver y good with Trakcare HIS over the last 9-10 years. Manipal has recently signed an enterprise wide agreement with w w w. m a n i p a l h o s p i t a l s . c o m 7 9 Intersystems to deploy TrakCare HIS in all its hospitals.



is in

Written by Nell Walker Produced by Matthew Pepper


Dr. Zubin Daruwalla tells Business Review Asia about his unique career and his desire to put more care into healthcare


he term ‘doctorpreneur’ may not yet be a common one, but increasingly, practising doctors are broadening their horizons by branching into the corporate world in order to increase the scope of the good they do. Dr. Zubin Daruwalla successfully balances his roles as Healthcare Director for PwC South East Asian Consulting and a busy clinician, whilst still making time to help other professionals further their own careers and work to better healthcare on a global scale. A Singaporean born in Mumbai, Daruwalla is Parsi, a minority Persian race of which approximately 100,000 remain in the world with around 300 – including him – residing in Singapore. According to Daruwalla, the Parsi community has historically been known for its philanthropy, and he works to contribute to that legacy. To him, a generous attitude is borne of upbringing, and he thanks his late father – Jimmy Daruwalla, a prominent surgeon himself and the founder of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore – for being his role model. “He was known for his ethics, honesty and integrity,” Daruwalla says warmly of his father.


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Photo supplied by Kasey Edmonds

D R . Z U B I N D A R U WA L L A

“He told me that orthopaedics and medicine in general were in crisis, locally as well as globally, and that it was becoming a business. People are forgetting the human side of it.”


This point of view, alongside Daruwalla’s diverse education at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland after a stint in the army during which time he also represented Singapore in Men’s National Hockey, shaped his life. He spent years in medical and surgical training in Dublin and Oxford, only to return to Singapore where the


previously British system of training had been replaced by the American system of residency, which meant starting orthopaedic surgery from scratch. Midway he began looking into other opportunities to help people, and an old army friend and schoolmate of his who had started a teleradiology company as well as a digital health platform called MyDoc, sparked Daruwalla’s interest in digital health. “I suggested to him that as part of the platform, we build a secure messaging service in healthcare because one didn’t exist locally, so I helped do that, wrote a paper about it, and also tested it as a quality improvement project in the orthopaedic department of the National University Hospital where I was working,” he explains. “I realised there was a whole world outside of clinical medicine. The paper was published in an academic journal, and from there I got more and more involved in digital health, speaking about it at conferences and events. I wanted to fuse digital health and technology with traditional medicine

“I always say we should be complementing our clinical practices with technology, rather than replacing them with it” – Dr. Zubin Daruwalla

for better healthcare, but not at the expense of patient outcomes. I always say we should be complementing our clinical practices with technology, rather than replacing them with it.” Publishing his writing on LinkedIn gave Daruwalla even more exposure. Subsequently, he was put in touch with PwC as an external subject matter expert by a former patient of his to help the company with medical insights on a project it was running.


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Other organisations in the Consulting, Pharma, MedTech, HealthTech and startup spaces then sought his counsel, but Daruwalla concentrated on PwC because of its aligned values, becoming a Healthcare Director. “It amazed me what PwC does in the healthcare sector,” he says. “People ask what the link between PwC and health is, and I answer with a quote from my boss and PwC South East Asian Consulting’s Healthcare Leader, David McKeering: ‘healthcare is PwC’s best kept secret’. Globally in the healthcare space, PwC has worked with the World Health Organisation, World Bank, and the United Nations among others, trying to help improve accessibility, affordability and quality of healthcare.” Daruwalla’s passion for collaboration extends beyond his desire to merge technology with healthcare; he believes that competitors should work together to share knowledge and experience, “even though that may be seen as heresy in the corporate world”, he says. “But you can share insights, collaborate, and work


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together, and everyone benefits. It improves patient outcomes on the whole.” It was this realisation which cemented Daruwalla’s decision to straddle the corporate and medical realms full-time. Formally, he is a consultant for PwC Monday to Thursday, a clinician Friday and Saturday, and a start-up advisor and mentor whenever he is needed. Coincidentally at around the same time Daruwalla was hired, PwC launched the Venture Hub, which is aimed at start-ups and is sector-agnostic, so he has become an advisor professionally looking after anything healthcare related as well as in a more personal capacity. While some start-ups will contact the Venture Hub to help raise funds and take advantage of PwC’s professional services, those seeking Daruwalla specifically often find him through LinkedIn as his excellent reputation continues to spread. “I think it is my in-depth and diverse expertise

Photo supplied by Kasey Edmonds



D R . Z U B I N D A R U WA L L A

“I wanted to fuse digital health and technology with traditional medicine for better healthcare, but not at the expense of patient outcomes” – Dr. Zubin Daruwalla


across both clinical and business arenas that allows me to thoroughly understand both perspectives and help develop mutually beneficial positive outcomes. In addition, my innate need to want to constantly better aspects of healthcare inspires me to look for new ways and solutions collaboratively,” he explains on being asked what it is about him that he feels he has to offer that is so different. “The biggest thing start-ups are looking for when they get in touch with me is my clinical experience, network and personal contacts. I think relationships are the most valuable thing in life, and due to the uniqueness of my career – namely the fact that I’m still a practising doctor – I can share and advise on problems from the ground level up, as well as understand the corporate structure.” In the past three months, Daruwalla has formed a dozen non-monetary initiatives with various organisations in both the public and private sectors

in Singapore, and hopes to create an ecosystem in which people want to share knowledge, insights, and collaborate even with their competition. His philanthropy extends further than his freely-given advice, with him utilising his skills as a doctor on some weekends to treat the underserved in the community, including the foreign construction workers, as an extra way of giving back to some of the hardestworking in the local community. Daruwalla sums up his philosophy with the aid of a quote (for which, typically, he does not take credit): “Another doctor once said ‘it’s tough, this healthcare business; or maybe it’s tough because we’re treating healthcare as a business’. That’s what I want to fight. I want to lower costs and make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for all globally, while ensuring that the morals and ethics behind the practice of medicine are never compromised.”

Dr. Zubin Daruwalla


A SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSFORMATION Written by Nye Longman Produced by Charlotte Clarke





verseeing a supply chain transformation at the world’s largest real estate services company is no easy task. With around 90 offices in Asia – alongside thousands more affiliates and managed properties – the potential for CBRE to save its clients time and money was high. Backing up a plan to triple its present operations in the Asia-Pacific region, the transformation could not be timelier. With a remit to centralise supply chain operations, roll-out new


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technologies, and up-skill staff, we speak to two executives at CBRE, Mat Langley and Graham Morton, about how this is being achieved. Operations CBRE began its Asia operations nearly 40 years ago. The company’s first foray into the market began with entry into Singapore – a vital location which now serves as the country’s South East Asia regional hub, housing around 1,100 employees. Consistently growing, the company has attained a well-earned


reputation as a leader in terms of commercial leasing, investment sales, residential project marketing and commercial asset management in a number of key Asian markets. The company’s comprehensive offering includes transaction, facilities management, advisory, and a wide array of capital and asset management services. The company also retains a high degree of knowledge and capability, covering a range of industry verticals, namely hotels, industrial, logistics, and workplace solutions.

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PARTNERSHIP POWER How does Vertiv help CBRE to deliver excellence and value to its customers? Vertiv designs, builds and services critical infrastructure that enables vital applications for data centers, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities. With a global network of expertise to draw on, the company has developed a flourishing partnership with CBRE. We spoke to Barry Bunyi, Director, Service Sales, Vertiv Asia, about the partnership and the mutual benefits brought by ongoing collaboration. Describe your relationship with CBRE. What work do you do for the company? CBRE is one of our most valued customers in the Asia region; our relationship with CBRE spans for over 15 years, and has blossomed into a mutually beneficial partnership in the past five to eight years. Vertiv is CBRE’s most trusted critical infrastructure provider, delivering Data Center solutions and services for its customers; Vertiv’s offerings of Power, Thermal and Infrastructure Management Solutions and Services complement and complete CBRE’s facility management portfolio. How does this work benefit the operations of CBRE and what does the partnership deliver for you? Through our wide array of products, CBRE is able to cater to the various requirements of its end users, from small computer rooms to large facilities. As CBRE’s customer base broadens and its needs grow ever complex, combined with pressures around controlling costs and growing profitability, our ability to provide encompassing yet flexible solutions supplement CBRE’s profile as the single point of contact to their customers. The technical capabilities of our Customer Engineers allow seamless installation and startup services, project management,

and periodic maintenance enable CBRE to deliver what customers expect 24x7 throughout the life of the equipment supplied. Our partnership with CBRE allows us to cater to its large customer base, increasing Vertiv’s install base across different segments and industries where CBRE has strong presence. Are you looking to expand on this partnership in the future? We continuously nurture our relationship with our key customers, and CBRE is no exception. There are customer verticals where CBRE is strong in, and there are those where Vertiv is strong - we will look to work hand in hand and deliver our offerings together to these identified segments and be able to successfully increase both our market shares. We have been extremely grateful for CBRE’s continued support for Vertiv the past several years, and we look forward more success in the future together as strategic partners.

Barry Bunyi - Director, Service Sales, Vertiv Asia

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Transformation strategy “I’ve been in procurement for 20 years,” says Langley, who holds the role of Director of Commercial Management at the company. Within a few months of joining, he had developed a business plan with change at the forefront: “Last year I joined CBRE, having previously worked as the Procurement Head for Citibank where I helped design and build a number of procurement activities. I saw the potential for CBRE to establish a leadership in the procurement space regionally, applying some of the practices that the finance industry has taken forward. “CBRE is a creative and entrepreneurial company,” he adds. “In two months I put together a business case that we needed to improve on our productivity. There was a service centre in

Manila but we wanted to move the supply chain management up the value chain to form a centre of excellence and productivity.” Morton, in his role as CBRE’s Regional Sourcing Director, is responsible for the company’s supply chain solutions in the APAC region. His hand in the transformation has focused on meeting the needs of the client. He explains: “Clients demand the best value - they want consistency, they want governance and they want flawless execution. “They’re all coming from different places. For us, it’s being able to manage consistency and getting the best value to those clients in the right way, so that you’re not putting up any walls. This process starts with visibility. It is hard to execute strategies if you can’t see what you’re looking at – it’s providing real visibility on what





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we are doing and where we are going.” Langley adds: “We will be moving the rest of CBRE to a cloud-focused organisation using Zycus. This migration will be significant for the firm, and throughout the transition period, we are using fit-for-purpose SaaS platforms Shortlist and Gatekeeper (eRFx/VMS and Contract Management tools respectively) to move the supply chain organisation along the transformation journey.” Morton explains that the company is eyeing the next 18 months as the time to deliver the majority of

its changes – and that, after this time, the company will be far better equipped to deliver for clients. He says: “We will be continuing and accelerating the path that we have been going down and leveraging scale for our clients to the point where we are ahead of the procurement game and ready for further automation and AI opportunities. “It’s about moving forward, from my perspective, and being at that proactive front end to create the solutions that give the clients the best value and superior

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REGIONAL SOURCING DIRECTOR outcomes in all their locations.” Langley adds: “We have partnered with finance on an initiative to go through and improve operations and the accounts payable process. We have strengthened the standard sourcing and supplier management foundations there; controls and risk management are more consistent across the supplier base. “We have our insurance levels mapped to the vendors, and increased visibility in our supplier base, which we are managing closely. Another work stream we are working on is to hit the rest of the Procureto-Pay process and really prepare for what we expect regulators are going to be focused on and what clients increasingly expect.”


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Delivering change From a training perspective, Langley is broadening skill sets in the supply chain management teams to include a stronger focus on stakeholder, change, and project management, through to developing strategic souring, category management and true vendor partnerships with an end goal of becoming a more trusted advisory/commercial consultant. CBRE has reinforced this through setting up a productivity centre in Manila, which also houses a number of centralised supply chain functions. “This improves spend analytics and management reporting,” Langley explains. “We centralised all the contract management here, which was previously handled at a


country account level. We are seeing improvements in standardising contract templates across the region. You can see where the gaps are, and really improving the insurance levels, risk, and control. And we’re also seeing faster adoption of technology and best practices. “Having the vision and producing documents that people go ‘Wow – I can take that to the head of my country and explain what’s happening’ you really get some momentum.” Delivering a revolutionary supply chain transformation across a relatively large, diversified business is not without its challenges. Old habits and technologies can often be difficult to change; the right approach to delivery is critical. Langley continues: “We had two businesses and five divisions that, while present in the same industry, have been operating differently. We have also had legacy technology and country complexity that has added challenges. To this end, communication is key. Langley and Morton are broadcasting the value that this transformation can bring to both the business and

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March 2017


its clients. Langley explains: “This is really helping us move from the perception that we are just doing the buying and getting a couple of quotes. Supply Chain Solutions is moving from the back office to the executive level and creating major value. “Support from our Suppliers has also been key. Suppliers such as SBM and Securitas have been open to the changes and different way we want to work with them. From better alignment of incentives through the use of outputs based pricing to increased operational performance management reporting.” CBRE has set in motion a supply chain-led transformation that will enable it to become more intimately involved in the operations of its clients, while simultaneously hardwiring excellence across the entirety of its operations. Langley concludes: “Most of my career I was a negotiating category manager. I used to do the deal and didn’t care about the buying process. “What I realised at Citi is that if you don’t have supply chain operations working with you, you have a lot of leaking of spend and a risker supplier base, which will cause the best category and negotiation strategies in the world to crumble.”

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