What’s Next 2016: Introducing Vincent Tan
By Karamjit Singh May 9, 2016
- Brick-and-mortar focused tech conference welcomes Berjaya founder for keynote
- One of region’s earliest Internet investor has US$bil worldwide revenue
FROM one corporate titan to another, DNA’s brick-and-mortar focused technology conference, What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology, welcomes Berjaya Corp founder Vincent Tan as our keynote speaker.
What’s Next is focused on the digital challenge that brick-and-mortar companies face, especially those with consumer-facing businesses, as their customers start seeking more convenient services that they can access online and though their mobiles.
Brick-and-mortar companies that do not evolve will be vulnerable to disruption. What’s Next aims to bring together ‘old economy’ captains, hungry and nimble startups, established tech companies, venture capitalists and consultants to all talk about and share their experiences about a world that is rapidly going digital.
We got more than that last year when What’s Next welcomed AirAsia cofounder Tony Fernandes, who declared on stage that his very brick-and-mortar business was actually an Internet company!
With Berjaya’s Tan, What’s Next welcomes not just an old-economy tycoon – whose collective public listed and private businesses employ more than 30,000 employees, and has a combined revenue exceeding RM32 billion (US$8 billion approximately) worldwide – but also one of Malaysia’s and arguably South-East Asia’s earliest investors into Internet companies, back in the days when they were called dotcoms.
And you would be wrong if you thought his interest in investing began in 2000 with an ambitious teenager, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, who wanted to build a cybercafé management system.
Ganesh went on to list MOL Global Inc on New York’s Nasdaq market in October 2014, and he credits the “patient money” from Tan as a key factor.
Tan’s earliest investment actually began in the mid-1990s when he invested a few million ringgit in a Singapore-based startup run by serial entrepreneur Dinesh Bhatia.
What’s interesting about Tan (pic) is that despite having limited success with his Internet investments – he never hit the billion-dollar jackpot – his belief in the Internet as a transformative platform has remained undiminished.
But the Internet has also proven to be a disruptive platform. This is even more so today in the era of the smartphone, a device Catcha Group founder Patrick Grove describes as providing entrepreneurs with “the greatest opportunity to be disruptive.”
The target of their disruption? Many of the brick-and-mortar businesses that Tan himself owns, such as those in the food, hospitality, and education sectors.
What are Tan’s thoughts on this wave of disruption hitting many of his businesses? How does he see them adapting or even reinventing themselves to remain relevant to customers? Is he now looking to adapt to digital faster than his fellow brick-and-mortar peers and disrupt them?
Make sure you get your tickets for What’s Next and pose some of your own questions to him.
What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology will be held on July 28 from 9am to 5.30pm at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Contact [email protected] for information.
What’s Next is also proud to welcome Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as its Supporting Sponsor.
Stay tuned to Digital News Asia for more on the conference and its speakers in the coming days and weeks.
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