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?

 



22 Apr 2020

Let’s face it, we’re facing a “new normal” in the post-pandemic world. This will create risks and challenges for companies that cannot adapt, but massive opportunities for those that can. 

In this episode, we spoke with Graham Brown, host of the Asia Tech Podcast and Chief Storyteller of Pikkal & Co, about how successful companies will transform themselves to succeed in the “new normal” world, in particular around the way they leverage marketing and comms. They will move from a pipeline to platform model – from controlling to curating comms – and from efficiency to effective communications. It’s about turning your employees from assets into advocates. 

Show Notes:

00:50 How Graham went from selling a company to travelling the world & living out of suitcases to starting one of Asia’s leading podcasts

04:10 An agile mindset is what will allow people – and companies – to adapt to the current crisis and be successful in the “new normal” world.

09:10 How to survive and thrive in the current environment.

10:30 Covid-19 is driving the innovation of communication. Future comms will transform from a pipeline model to a platform model – from controlling to curating comms – from efficiency to effective communication

15:50 Who is adapting the comms strategy well? 

20:05 What advice would you give to a marketing director today to prepare for the post-coronavirus “new normal”? It’s not about contacts, it’s about connections. 

22:45 Is this the end for offline tech events?

23:45 The Future of Work – companies will shift their focus from B2C to B2E as they realise that leveraging their employees can be great brand advocates.

39:44 What are some of the interesting ways that emerging technologies will help us overcome the crisis? Topics include urban farming, how Japan has used Robots and Zoom – as well as Minecraft – to conduct graduation ceremonies. 

46:20 What is the strangest coronavirus story that you have heard? Including how 5G causes Covid-19 and pro wrestling is considered an “essential service” during the lockdown in Florida?

50:00 The rise of Zoom “happy hours” and Graham’s after hours podcast, The Grind

52:30 Graham has done over 750 podcasts! What’s the funniest thing that has happened on a podcast? NOTE: Eating a fried scorpion on a live podcast is not recommended. 

55:40 Leaders that communicate with honesty and transparency build a following 

1:01:00 What is something you know today about podcasting that you wish you knew when you started out?

1:05:00 Tell us a positive benefit that will come about as a result of coronavirus

 



15 Apr 2020

In this podcast, we discuss Darwin’s delivery of Australia’s largest Smart City initiative, the tech being used to tackle Covid-19, and the impact the pandemic will have on Smart Cities

Guest:

Josh Sattler, GM of Innovation, Growth & Development Services, City of Darwin, Australia

Show Notes:

1:25 How did a surfer from the Gold Coast end out running the Smart City operations for Darwin?

2:30 Darwin, while only 130k people, has delivered Australia’s largest Smart City project. What are the types of solutions delivered as part of this initiative?

05:55 Overcoming the data privacy challenges – how to build trust with your citizens

11:10 How has Darwin been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic?

12:50 How can drones, robots & autonomous vehicles be used to help fight the coronavirus? And which ones have you looked at using in Darwin?

16:00 How AI – and facial recognition in particular – is being used to enforce violations against isolation and stay at home orders. 

20:00 How AI is being use for contact tracing

27:40 What impact will coronavirus have on the near-term future of Smart Cities

  • Funding: Budget shortfalls
  • Impact on technology vendors
  • Regulatory impact – setting acceptable use policies around drones, AV and AI

35:30 The press if filled with doom and gloom – tell us something positive that will come out of the coronavirus crisis

 



26 Mar 2020

So what exactly is the “3-2-1 podcast”? It includes 3 interviews with IoT industry leaders recorded over the 2 days of Bosch Connected World 2020 in Berlin – all in 1 podcast.

Episode Notes:

01:40 Tanja Rueckert, CEO & President of Bosch Building Technologies

We discuss Tanja’s keynote, “Vision or Reality? Intuitive, Intelligent and Integrated Buildings.”

19:25 Dirk Slama, Vice President Co-Innovation and IoT Alliances, Bosch.IO

We discuss the 2 key themes of BCW 2020 – addressing Global Warming / Sustainability and the intersection of AI and IoT, creating AIoT. In addition, Dirk discusses the launch of Bosch’s AI Code of Ethics – a set of guidelines that govern how Bosch will use AI with its intelligent products.

25:10 Thomas Jakob, Regional President Asia Pacific, Bosch.IO

We discuss the recent rebranding of Bosch Software Innovations to Bosch.IO. What is it and what has changed?



18 Mar 2020

When you think about Daimler, you most likely think about Mercedes Benz automobiles, but the company is much more than that. Daimler Mobility Services is helping Smart Cities with everything from Autonomous Vehicles to their move to the sharing economy.

In this episode, we speak to David Goh, GM for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific for Daimler Mobility Services.

Show notes:

1:00 An intro to Daimler Mobility Services

2:35 Daimler Mobility Services has a different target market than your traditional line of businesses – how have you had to adapt your go-to-market to reach this new customer base?

3:30 The role of collaboration – how DMS partners with its traditional competitors (e.g. BMW) to create their offering for the sharing economy

7:00 What role does DMS play in the Smart Cities space?

8:30 The State of Autonomous Vehicles – what is holding the industry back from reaching its potential?

10:00 Which Smart Cities in Asia are leading the way?

11:55 What would have to happen over the next 5 years for the Smart Cities and Urban Mobility markets to become more successful – and how is DMS helping the market reach that outcome?

13:00 So what could go wrong? What could hinder innovation and evolution of the Smart Cities and Urban Mobility markets?

14:20 How can we minimise the risk of a hacked Autonomous Vehicle?

15:40 How has what you have learned about innovation in other roles helped you in your current role with DMS?

16:50 Which cities in Asia do you see driving the most innovation?

19:00 Are there any new solutions you have seen recently that have mad you go “WOW” –  and what has failed to live up to expectations?

21:20 Tell us something about yourself we won’t have expected?

22:30 You have lived and worked all over the world – but let’s say you have to settle in one location for the rest of your work career – where would it be?



02 Mar 2020

Find out how an open and pragmatic approach led the creation of a global LoRaWAN network that operates in 151 countries, has over 18,000 gateways and is supported by over 100,000 developers.

In today’s podcast, we are going to discuss one of the technologies that underpins the Internet of Things – Low Power Wide Area Network, or LPWANS for short. And more specifically, we are going to take a look at LoRa – one of the leading LPWAN technologies. 

I’m pleased to be joined by one of the global leaders in the space – Wienke Giezeman – the Co-Founder & CEO of The Things Industries – and the Initiator of The Things Network

01:20 What is The Things Network

05:25 What has led to your impressive growth – to the point where you are now in 151 countries, have a community of over 100,000 developers and have deployed 18,000 LoRaWAN gateways worldwide?

08:10 The Things Network has grown into a global LoRaWAN network – wouldn’t it have been easier to leverage existing mobile networks than trying to build your own? 

  • The “Moving Forward, Looking Backward” paradigm

11:00 What are some of the top LoRa use cases that are driving adoption?

16:40 How creating a collaborative LoRaWAN network led to the creation of The Things Conference – the world’s largest LPWAN conference. 

20:00 What’s next? The Things ________?

25:00 IoT has not lived up to the hype. What has held the industry back from reaching its potential?

28:00 Narrowband IoT, or NB-IoT, has exploded in China, but had sluggish growth elsewhere. What has hindered it’s growth outside of China?

32:55 What’s the best IoT solution you have ever seen?

34:00 Final question – about What is FEBO – and do you still eat there?

  • Spoiler alert – he’s a fan of “bamischijf

Find out more

Connect with Wienke: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wienke/

The Things Network: www.thethingsnetwork.org 

The Things Industries: https://www.thethingsindustries.com 

The Things Conference: https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/conference/ 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv85CXnZUXEKnlZpQapTAwQ