Business China held the inaugural session of the FC Global Business Series on 21 May 2020 with Fortune Times. The theme of the inaugural session is “The next normal: Harnessing innovative technology for Post-COVID-19 businesses”. The panel consists of both local and regional speakers with in-depth knowledge and expertise in the technology scene. The four speakers are Mr Lien Choong Luen, General Manager of Gojek Singapore, Ms Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, Practice Group of IDC Asia/Pacific, Mr Wu Fei, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice General Manager of Tencent International Business Group as well as Mr Zhao Liwei, Senior Vice President of Megvii China. Dr Marvin Tan, who is the Co-Founder and Group Executive Director of Adera Group is the moderator of the session.
Business China CEO Ms Tin Pei Ling gave the opening remarks in both English and Mandarin to kickstart the launch of the FC Global Business Series, which is a new series of webinars for businesses. The aim of this brand new business series is to connect business leaders and influencers from ASEAN, China and the world by offering sharp insights on the topic of the day from regional experts. After giving a short introduction of Business China, she touched on the theme of the session, which focused on how businesses can harness technology and innovation to survive, rebuild, reimagine and reform post COVID-19.
Dr Marvin further elaborated on some of the recent trends and statistics on technology and innovation to set the backdrop of the session. Thereafter, the panel discussion began with each of the speakers taking turns to share more on the latest developments in innovative technology. Mr Wu Fei from Tencent Cloud started the sharing by highlighting Tencent’s new technology that had been deployed during this outbreak in areas such as medicine, healthcare, education and office collaboration. He also elaborated with examples on how enterprises should actively tackle the challenges of technology and integrate into the tide of digital economy. From an AI company point of view, Mr Zhao from Megvii talked candidly on how their organisation had developed technology such as facial recognition system that had helped to assist in online services such as internet banking, online make-up product testing and IoT solutions to empower customers in different verticals. Their solutions also help businesses in China and ASEAN.
Ms Sandra Ng from IDC spoke in detail on the shifts in the digital transformation journey for enterprises and SMEs pre and post COVID-19. She shared that those companies which had invested greatly in technology before the outbreak were in a better position to brace the impact brought about by the pandemic in terms of people, culture and processes. The effects of COVID-19 on the “shared economy” were mentioned by Mr Lien from Gojek who stressed the importance of trust in this critical period for industries such as delivery services. There is a need for Gojek to accelerate this trust though the use of technology so that they can continue to serve their customers. This sentiment was echoed by Ms Sandra Ng who shared that their research had shown that for brands with digital platforms, trust is ranked first on customers’ minds.
To include some interactive elements, polling questions were also asked during the session. Participants were asked questions based on personal inclinations toward tapping on technologies for growth, and challenges that organisations faced in going digital. During the question and answer segment, many participants also actively raised questions ranging from how safe distancing will affect sharing economy business models all the way how remote working and access to effective technology platforms will transform professional services. In their concluding statements, the speakers encouraged enterprises to embrace technology in business transformation, dare to take risks, be resilient and adapt to the changes happening around the world.
The 1.5 hour session was well received. More than 500 participants joined the webinar. The participants included Business China members (including senior management, working professionals and young business leaders), as well as invited guests from Fortune Times and supporting organisations such as Action Community for Entrepreneurs (ACE), SG Tech and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF).
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