02 Mar 2021

We live in a world where the latest technologies, including AI, 5G, and blockchain, have the capability to truly transform the way we work, live and play. The problem is, they don’t always live up to the hype. 

One reason is the supply and demand sides of the market don’t work together as effectively as they should, and that’s why we are lucky to have today’s guest, Michael Gryseels, with us because he sits at the crossroads of technology supply and market demand.

He’s currently the Executive Vice Chairman of Thailand’s True Digital Group and the Chief Digital Officer for CP Group, which is Thailand’s largest private company and one of the largest conglomerates globally. 

This combination of roles provides him not only with insights into the market’s requirements – but also the capability to launch solutions to meet those requirements. 

Prior to these roles, he spent nearly 20 years with McKinsey & Company, where he was a Senior Partner and led McKinsey Digital Labs in Asia.

Show notes: 

01:15 Intro to True Digital, CP Group and A Day in the Life of Michael

05:15 CP Group operates in 15 industry verticals. What process do you follow to identify the opportunities and source the innovation that will digitise these industries?

07:00 You have been in your roles for 3 years, can you give us some examples of the initiatives that you’ve implemented, or solutions that you’ve deployed, that you’re proud of?

10:00 Status of 5G in Thailand

  • Which 5G use cases has True Digital identified?
  • Does Thailand’s strong manufacturing sector create an opportunity for Private 5G?
  • What are the Critical Success Factors for operators to be successful in 5G?

15:10 Where would you like to see True Digital and CP Group in 2 – 3 years time?

17:15 When you look at the global mobile operators, which ones do you think are doing the best job at driving digital solutions?

19:00 When implementing digital solutions, companies often get stuck in what McKinsey defines as “Pilot Purgatory”. What advice do you have for companies to overcome this?

22:10 Which technologies do you think will have the biggest impact in the next 12 – 24 months?

24:00 Fun Questions

  • What do you know today about True Digital / CP Group / Thailand that you wish you understood when you started on this journey?
  • You have lived in 15 countries – and worked in many more. Outside of Thailand, where did you find the most exciting place to work?
  • When I was 16 years old, I had a blond mohawk, spent my after school hours skateboarding and attending as many punk rock shows as possible. What were you doing at 16?
  • Let’s say I have the power to turn back time – and I can turn you into a university student today. What would you study – and what would you want to do with your career?

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23 Feb 2021

We recently have talked about the future of 5G – and in this episode – we will take that to the next level.

We’ll discuss the models being used to fund 5G investments, the consumer and enterprise solutions and services that will help operators monetise those investments and discuss which types of operators are best suited to capitalise on the emerging opportunities.

We are joined by Ferry Grijpink, a Senior Partner with McKinsey & Company based out of Amsterdam. Ferry is also the Founder of the McKinsey Center for Advanced Connectivity and is their Global Lead for Digital and Analytics for the Telecoms, Media and Tech Industry.

Show notes:

01:00 Intro to Ferry Grijpink, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company

02:20 How can operators monetise consumer 5G solutions and services – beyond gaming

06:00 The 5G funding models – is network sharing the way forward?

09:30 What is OpenRAN – and can it become a game changer?

13:45 Why do operators struggle to provide solutions and services to the SMB market segment?

17:30 Which industry verticals and use cases will drive the Enterprise 5G market opportunity?

20:45 What role – if any – will operators play in the Private 5G market?

23:30 Which telecoms markets do you find the most exciting?

26:35 What advice do you have for operators to help them build the infrastructure, solutions and services to be successful in the 5G world?

28:45 The fun questions

– Which 5G buzzwords (e.g. OpenRAN, Private 5G, shared network infrastructure) will get the most hype in 2021?

– What do you miss about living and working in Asia?

– What would you do with your career if you weren’t in consulting?

Ferry has a new “5G Chart of the Day – all charts, no bullshit” newsletter. You can subscribe to it here: https://ferrycgrijpink.substack.com/

Keep an eye out for Ferry & I talking on Clubhouse soon…

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01 Feb 2021

TechBurst Asia sat down with PwC Malaysia’s Mike Graham to discuss Southeast Asia’s latest tech trends and the annoying buzzwords and catchphrases we have been forced to endure during the pandemic. We also talk about our predictions for what WILL – and WON’T happen in 2021. 

Show Notes

01:00 Intro to Mike Graham and his multiple roles at PwC 

08:20 Review of 2020: Which companies managed the pandemic well – and not so well?

12:15 What positives can we take from 2020?

15:50 What will the big stories in 2021 related to 5G in Southeast Asia

23:50 Why have Southeast Asia telcos lagged behind the global telcos with regards to innovation?  

28:30 We keep hearing that during 2020, companies will implement 10 years of digital transformation in 2 months – can we keep the pace of change? 

32:00 Which buzzword (e.g. 5G, OpenRAN, Digital Twins, FinTech) will have the biggest impact in 2021?

34:30 Random tech chats about OpenRAN, Rakuten Mobile, Jio, Drones, Smart Cities, higher education’s role in PPP’s, etc. 

43:15 What WON’T happen in 2021?

47:00 What is the worst buzzword or phrase we created during the pandemic?

48:00 The importance of finding a way to decompress while working from home (spoiler alert: jigsaw puzzles help!)

52:00 PwC’s new B2B digital marketplace to help their clients source innovative solutions – and help start-ups reach enterprise customers. 

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11 Jan 2021

It is time we reset our 5G expectations.

In this podcast, we are going to take another look at 5G. In our last episode, we discussed whether Telcos will be able to monetise their 5G investments. We were pretty harsh in our criticism of the 5G ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think 5G will be a game changer. Rather, I just think we need to reset our expectations of capabilities and benefits that 5G will bring to the market.

In this episode, we sat down with Danial Mausoof, Nokia’s Global Sales Head for Enterprise Services, to discuss what differentiates 5G from traditional networks – and and whether 5G will become the tech industry buzzword that FINALLY lives up to the HYPE. 

Show Notes:

01:30 Danial’s career journey with Motorola Solutions & Nokia 

09:05 What differentiates 5G from the existing networks like 4G?

12:40 Today’s 5G networks deliver faster speeds, but there is still more spectrum to be allocated that will support future 5G services (e.g. mission-critical services). How do you see 5G deployments evolving?

17:00 Nokia recently released its “5G Readiness Report”, where it surveyed 1,628 global technology decision makers about “5G+ enabled digitalisation.” To start, what the hell is 5G+ enabled digitalisation?

19:50 In 2030, 5G+ spend in 2030 will reach $4.5 Trillion – but only $600 Billion (13%) will be for public connectivity. $2.2 Trillion (48%) will be on Edge Infrastructure / Cloud Platforms. How is this related to 5G?

22:10 $900 Billion (20%) of this spend will be on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning – how is this related to 5G?

24:40 The final $800 Billion (18%) relates to the deployment of Private 5G networks. Why do we need Private 5G networks – and why are companies like John Deere and Bosch deploying them to support their manufacturing plants?

30:00 86% of decision makers already have some kind of a 5G strategy – what are the use cases that are driving the strategic focus on 5G?

33:00 72% of those surveyed say they plan to invest in 5G by 2025. What do these enterprises need to do to make sure they get a positive ROI on these investments – and what challenges will they need to overcome?

36:20 How will 5G impact Smart Cities?

39:00 Tough Question #1: What are the security implications for 5G?

43:20 Tough Question #2: Let’s say I am a tech decision maker managing the complexities created by the global pandemic – why should I give a damn about 5G?

45:20 Tough Question #3: 500,000 South Korean consumers have switched back to 4G from 5G – does that mean that we really don’t need 5G?

47:15 Tough Question #4: As an industry, we have failed to live up to the hype around the latest tech trends (e.g. 4G, IoT, or Smart Cities). Will we learn from our past mistakes – or will 5G follow a similar path?

49:15 What is something going on in the 5G ecosystem that we should be tracking? (spoiler alert: it is OpenRAN)

50:30 Tell me about a solution that 5G will enable that I – as a consumer – should be excited about. 

52:00 When do we have to start worrying about 6G? 

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17 Dec 2020

5G will be fast…is that enough?

In 2021, most mobile operators in the developed markets will have launched 5G – the question is – will they be able to monitise it. And more importantly, do customers even care about 5G?

Today’s guest, Chris Lewis, has over 30 years’ experience as a telecoms and ICT industry analyst, but don’t let that scare you. While many analysts pontificate about their vast knowledge, Chris’ insights are pragmatic and entertaining – which is why I like him so much. 

Chris is also one of the UK’s leading advocates for the visually impaired. Is the telecoms industry doing enough to drive inclusivity? Or are we creating yet another digital divide? And why doesn’t his guide dog Varley have his own Instagram account? 

Show Notes:

01:00 Intro to Chris Lewis, Founder of Lewis Insight and the Great Telco Debate

05:50 Connectivity – the invisible service 

07:30 Highlights from the 2020 Great Telco Debate

11:30 Telcos in a post-Covid world: are we creating a two-tier Telecoms industry?

14:00 Are the Telcos ready for 5G? And do customers actually want or care about 5G?

20:00 Telcos have a sustainability issue – should we see more network sharing?

24:30 What the future holds for the tech industry analyst industry

27:00 The key to career success – find something you are passionate about

29:00 Telcos tell us the future is mobile – in reality, the world runs on fixed. And why the hell do telcos still charge us for having a home fixed line phone when no one has one? 

36:00 Accessibility – are telcos doing enough to help? Chris is one of the UK’s leading advocates for ensuring people with disabilities get access to the digital lifestyle through his work on the boards of the  Royal Institute of Blind and Vision 2020 Technology For Life initiative. 

41:00 Telstra was ranked #1 globally in a recent ICT industry “Digital Inclusion Benchmark”, which ranks vendors’ focus on digital inclusion as part of their overall strategy. 

42:00 Why doesn’t Chris’ guide dog Varley have his own Instagram account?

48:30 How telcos can use emerging technology to support guide dogs. In a difficult year like 2020, where charities for the visually impaired have struggled to raise money, why hasn’t someone like Vodafone sponsored guide dog technology? Jon Buckthorp – over to you!

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TechBurst Asia Podcast · 020: The Sustainability Challenge - Balancing Profits & Social Impact

16 Nov 2020

Many of you will know today’s guest, Steve Melhuish, as the Co-Founder, former CEO and Vice Chairman of one of the darlings of the SE Asia’s start-up ecosystem, PropertyGuru Group, but he’s also a Venture Partner with Wavemaker Partners – the venture capital firm, and the Founder and CEO of Planet Rise – a company that invests and supports start-ups that tackle climate change and poverty.

In this episode, we are going to discuss sustainability. And more specifically, how do you find the right balance from delivering social impact – while still creating a profitable business. 

Show Notes:

02:10 What Steve has been up to since he left his role as CEO of PropertyGuru (hint: Angel investing in startups that address climate change & poverty)

04:10 What characteristics Steve looks for in the start-ups he invests in 

07:15 The evolving sustainability ecosystem – and how the economics/business case behind renewables finally stacks up

10:50 Governments seem to be launching more sustainability initiatives during Covid-19 – is there a correlation or is it just a coincidence?

13:45 How well has the sustainability ecosystem progressed – and what will it take to move it forward?

18:50 How do you balance the profits versus social impact dilemma when you evaluate your investments?

21:50 What does Steve understand about the sustainability ecosystem today that he wishes he knew when he started investing in sustainability start-ups?

25:50 What are the “red flags” Steve looks out for when evaluating early stage businesses?

27:00 What lessons did Steve learn during the dotcom era that he still applies to his work with start-ups today?

30:30 What’s your craziest start-up story?


TechBurst Asia Podcast · 019 The Future of Talent & Leadership

11 Nov 2020

The challenges created by the global pandemic mean the role of talent acquisition and leadership strategy have never been more important. Companies must transform their approach not only to navigate the current crisis, but also to prepare for the future. 

In this episode, we are joined by a global leader in this space – Elaine Yew – Senior Partner & Global Co-Head of Leadership Development for Egon Zehnder – the world’s largest privately held executive search and leadership development firm.

Show Notes:

00:50 Elaine’s journey from a drama student to Senior Partner at Egon Zehnder

06:52 “A Day in the Life” of Elaine

10:00 How has the executive search and leadership development industries have evolved over the years

14:30 Can AI replace humans in the executive search process? 

19:00 How companies are adapting their Leadership strategies during the global pandemic

22:45 How Egon Zehnder has evolved it’s business to adapt to the crisis

27:00 What will it take to see more women in leadership across Asia

33:38 Elaine’s involvement in the “end to end lifecycle” of the workforce – from high school students to the C-suite 

  • What skills we all need to survive in today’s world
  • The importance of “range”

42:20 The value of coaching 

47:15 The positive things that come out of negative events like the pandemic


TechBurst Asia Podcast · A New Approach to Smart City Initiatives

17 Sep 2020

Let’s face it, Smart Cities have failed to live up to the hype – and given the additional challenges cities face due to the global pandemic, it’s easy to think that it is not going to get better anytime soon. But every now and then, you run into someone who restores your confidence in the industry because not only do they possess a realistic vision for the future, but also a clear and detailed strategy on how to deliver it.

Today we are joined by Theo Scherman, Chief Strategy Officer for Hitachi Asia, and he is definitely one of those people.

Show Notes:

01:00 From South Africa to Singapore

02:20 What led a serial entrepreneur to join one of the world’s largest companies?

04:20 Hitachi Asia’s go-to-market strategy

05:30 Hitachi’s Smart City/Precinct initiatives – OneBangkok (Thailand) & Bhartiya City (India)

08:00 Commercialising Smart City data – it’s not just about saving money, it’s about generating new revenue streams

10:00 Hitachi’s differentiator – most vendors are focusing on becoming a “Platform of Platforms”, Hitachi is creating a “Platform Business Model.” This model is normally reserved for consumer brands (e.g. Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google), can Hitachi be the first enterprise to create one?

16:00 Moving the target from Smart Cities to Digital Smart Cities

23:00 Does a Digital Smart City concept work for both “greenfield” and “brownfield” cities?

26:00 How Hitachi helps cities that are facing budget shortfalls due to Covid-19 by

27:20 What should cities do to deliver against the Smart City promise?

29:30 What do you understand about being in large corporate today that you wish you understood when you started out?


TechBurst Asia Podcast · Driving DeepTech in Singapore

02 Sep 2020

Singapore has been investing heavily in DeepTech – and in this episode we sit down with one of the key players in the space, SGInnovate‘s new CEO, Dr. Jui Lim. We’ll discuss the current state of the market, what it will take to move DeepTech from early stage to commercialisation & the amazing journey he followed from medical school in NYC to where he is today.

Show Notes:

00:30 Why Jui refers to himself as a “rolling stone”

03:20 Transitioning from medical school to venture capital…

05:20 …and from venture capital to a start-up…

08:30 …and from a start-up to setting up accelerators

11:00 Jui’s role as the newly appointed CEO of SGInnovate

12:50 Why Singapore must focus on DeepTech commercialisation

15:15 State of Singapore’s start-up ecosystem

21:45 What Jui understands today that he wish he knew when he started out in venture capital

25:50 What personal skills or characteristics have allowed Jui to be successful in so many industries

28:50 Fun Q #1: Of the thousands of start-up solutions you have looked at, can you give us an example of one that really “wowed” you?

32:00 Fun Q #2: If I give you one week off from your current job – and you HAVE to go back to one of your previous roles, would you rather be the CEO of a start-up, set up another accelerator, or bartend?

 


TechBurst Asia Podcast · TBA 016: Sustainability in the Post COVID-19 World - Are Companies Ready To Act?

05 May 2020

TechBurst Asia spoke to Frank Meehan, Co-Founder of the sustainability platform start-up Equilibrium.world and Co-Founder & General Partner of SparkLabs Global Ventures about what will happen to corporate sustainability initiatives in the post-pandemic, new normal world.

In our G&T-infused discussion, we also discuss:

  • Frank’s roles on the Boards of companies like Spotify and Siri
  • Why has Asia handled the coronavirus pandemic better than the West, and
  • What the future of work will look like (spoiler alert: loads less travel – and that’s not a bad thing)

Show Notes

02:22 Intro to Equilibrium, Frank’s latest start-up that creates a sustainability data operations platform to help companies meet their emissions and sustainability targets.

11:45 Who owns the sustainability agenda in corporates?

14:10 Which industries are driving sustainability today?

15:00 Will companies willingly drive sustainability initiatives – or do they only respond to government regulation?

16:30 Frank’s background: From Sydney to Sweden to Singapore to London to San Fran to…

22:50 You’ve held too many Board decisions to mention them all, but which ones were the most interesting? Spotify, Siri

25:25 How did you first get involved with SparkLabs Group?

27:40 You’ve been around through 3G, 4G & 5G – do see any similarities in the hype cycles of each?

32:00 What will the operators need to do to make money out of 5G?

35:40 Why has Asia handled the coronavirus pandemic better than the West?

40:00 Will contact tracing apps like Singapore’s Trace Together and Australia’s COVIDSafe be successful?

41:50 What will going to the office be like in the post-pandemic, new normal world? And what will it be like when we start travelling again?

43:15 Tell me something positive that has come about as a result of the global pandemic?