Week in Review: Adapting to the new reality of a world going digital


  • Tycoon Vincent Tan not losing sleep over digital disruption
  • RHB COO cautions that having a digital strategy is not the answer

Week in Review: Adapting to the new reality of a world going digital“IT’S only revenue, not profit,” said Vincent Tan, founder and chairman of the Berjaya Corp, when sharing his thoughts on how digital could impact his business empire – an empire that generated 2015 revenue of US$7.9 billion (RM32 billion).
Tan was the star attraction at DNA’s What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology conference yesterday (July 28).
While you can read about his startup investing experience, he also shared that he thinks there will always be a future for brick-and-mortar companies, and that he does not feel that any of his companies are under grave threat from the trend of ‘life going digital.’
While Tan’s session was awesome – he ended by urging the audience to go find major problems that need solving and to come looking to him for funding – another brick-and-mortar leader, Sharan Valiram, was confident that his high fashion Valiram Group would not be disrupted by the digital trend.
Despite the best efforts by moderator Khoo Hsu Chuang, of Khoo Publishing and BFM Radio, who at one point went, “Sharan, you sound vigorously anti-digital,” Sharan was adamant that in his high street segment, having that high touch presence easily trumped any high-tech attempt to break into the market.
“Our market allows us to be so,” he argued, but did end by saying the group is open to new technologies.
Meanwhile, in our kick-off panel for the day, RHB Bank chief operating officer Rohan Krishnalingam told the audience: “Frankly speaking, we are now living in the digital era – your strategy has to follow that, and has to fall into the context of a digital world; there is no choice.”
At the same time he laid bare the truth that companies must not have a digital strategy but a business strategy that recognises we are in a digital world now. While I prefer to use the sexier phrase ‘life going digital,’ Rohan is on the ball with his view that all companies, not just brick-and-mortar ones, need to adapt to this new reality.
And being a tech media that is close to the changes happening around us, DNA will continue to bring you such relevant stories, technologies and user experiences of adapting to this new reality of a world going digital – despite some exceptions like the Valiram Group!
Look out for my article next week when I share some of my key takeaways from What’s Next 2016.
Have a restful weekend and a productive week after.
Editor’s Picks:
What’s Next 2016: Tycoon Vincent Tan on his costly failures
What’s Next 2016: Digital disruption not a key concern for Valiram Group
What’s Next 2016: How to make corporate-startup collaboration work
The double-edged sword of valuation
Fintech, from the PoV of Indonesia’s regulator
Cybersecurity: Here’s how NOT to defend yourself
Steps to a brighter, safer, and more secure digital world
Previous Instalments:
Week in Review: A trend emerges with bricks-and-clicks model
Week in Review: Enter the third certainty of life
Week in Review: foodpanda’s focus on profitability is something to chew on
Week in Review: Telco challengers to the fore
Week in Review: SEA e-commerce claims another high-profile victim
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