Rise of the East: AsiaPac Banking Makes Gains on Europe & North America As Volume of New Hires Increases by Over +60% in the Past Year

  • 64% global growth of job roles in financial services
  • London has experienced the highest job growth of any banking hub (101%)
  • Singapore financial services talent almost matches the number of global leader London
  • 2 in 3 banking professionals in AsiaPac are actively looking to move job roles
  • Recruitment of senior-level professionals in FS has tripled since start of pandemic
  • +40% pay increases offered for remote roles to tackle global talent shortage
  • Asia leads the way on gender diversity, with a near 50/50 split in workforce

Hiring has reached peak levels for financial services across the globe – where across the eight major hubs the number of job roles advertised has increased by +64%, making the sector one of the fastest hiring industries post-pandemic (after technology).

Whilst London powers ahead as being home to the most financial services professionals working in any one city (293,700) – AsiaPac have steadily made gains in the past 12 months with Singapore (250,000), Sydney (167,364), and Tokyo (166,000+) the most notable cities with high levels of financial services talent.

Job Growth in the Past Year by City

  • London: +101%
  • New York: +78%
  • Tokyo: +77%
  • Singapore: +76%

 

Job Growth by Region

  • Europe: +62%
  • North America: +60%
  • AsiaPac: +61%

New York (48,595), London (38,945), and Paris (24,165) continue to dominate on the hiring front – having the greatest number of advertised job roles. However, it is across AsiaPac where we see the best conditions for hiring, with professionals in Sydney (81%), Singapore (76%), Hong Kong (67%), and Tokyo (60%) all expressing a high willingness to leave their role despite this being the tightest candidate market seen in decades.

The findings come from a new report from global professional services recruitment consultancy Robert Walters – Hiring Trends in the World’s Leading Financial Services Cities – which puts a lens over the labour market across 8 key banking hubs; London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters comments:

“The global financial services system is as solid as it was before the pandemic – and much healthier than after the last crisis in 2008 (GFC).

“Whilst the pandemic did not have the expected harmful financial effects on the global banking industry, it has certainly accelerated change in a multitude of other areas. Digital banking boomed whilst cash use fell, savings expanded and credit card debts were paid-off in record time, remote became a way of working, data-capture and usage is a central business function, and environment and sustainability are now front of mind for customers and regulators.

“All of this change has led to exponential hiring in the sector – with each hub trying to fight for the same talent at the same time, the results being a fiercely competitive recruitment market like we’ve never seen before, with execs being offered over +30-40% pay increases with the option to work from anywhere in the world.”

Asia Leading the Way on Female Diversity

It is across Asia where we see the most gender diversity in the financial services sector – in fact, Singapore (46%) has near 50/50 gender diversity, whilst women make up 44% of the banking workforce in Hong Kong.

Whilst the likes of New York (36%) and London (36%) lag slightly behind in gender diversity, they continue to make strides in cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity – with many firms having advanced recruitment programmes to ensure their workforce is representative of the diverse population of the city they are based in.

Toby adds: “As a whole the global financial services sector has made solid strides in gender diversity – with near half of the entry-level workforce in financial services being women.

“The task now is to equal representation at the top, where in banking less than a quarter of high-level senior positions are held by women. We are seeing some worthy gains been made in this area, and I think the increasing diversity in senior positions will only help to speed up the rapid rate of innovation and change within the sector.”

An Imbalance of Seniority

Not surprisingly the recruitment of senior professionals – who have been in the industry for 15+ years – was rife as the pandemic hit, as major institutions snapped up professionals who had experience of dealing with the GFC.

Where typically senior hires represent around 8-10% of all new hires – with the bulk of hiring being at junior and mid-management level – this figure sky-rocketed in the past 12-18months where in some hubs up to 1 in 3 new hires in banking has been at a senior level.

  • London: 20% of new hires is for senior roles, an increase of 5%
  • New York: Team/Department Heads was the only area to experience growth in the pandemic (+26%)
  • Tokyo: 19% of new hires are at a senior level
  • Sydney: 28% of new hires is for senior positions, an increase of 5%
  • Paris: 63% growth at Manager-level and above
  • Singapore: 31% of new hires is for a senior role

Investment into training programmes and graduate hiring all came to a standstill in Q1 2020, with the ramifications of this being felt at mid-management level who have reported the highest levels of burnout due to having a weaker support team beneath them.

Toby comments: “Employers will continue to experience challenges in attracting junior analysts and associates as the traditional appeal of working for a large Financial Services organisation now finds itself in a battle with the lure of a career in a start-up or major tech firm.

“Reputational issues suffered since the GFC and workplace-related perceptions – around hours, flexibility, and culture – will all need to be addressed head on by financial services firms if they want to build out their future talent pipeline.”

Your Strategic Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?

The Emergent Approach
Your Strategic Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?
By Peter Compo*

More than anywhere, because Asian companies are growing fast and serving diverse markets, metrics are an essential management tool for understanding whether strategy is leading to the achievement of objectives.

But with the digital revolution, the ability to measure is nearly limitless. How many numbers can people absorb and process? Twenty, thirty, or fifty at a time? When does a dashboard become a blur? After a relatively small number of metrics, the more you measure, the less you will see. The less you see, the more opportunity for cherry-picking and seeing what you want to see.

The Emergent Approach to Strategy presents several techniques to measure less and spend more time choosing the right metrics and understanding what they tell you. These are particularly important for Asian companies that have the advanced digital capability to easily collect and display data.

Consider three key points,

Use a Four-Station Dashboard

The idea here is to spend less time measuring results and more time measuring causes of results. The four stations used are,

Foundation metrics:  these audit whether the assumptions on which your strategy framework was built are still valid, including items like the action of competitors, economic conditions, and market trends

Adherence metrics:  these measure whether the organization is adhering to your strategy framework, including policies in areas such as marketing, product development, and personnel management, and also your overall strategy rule

Progress metrics:  These are indicators of progress towards the bottom line and the most common form of metric, including the success of the various functional groups in the company, milestone completion, and ratios of various types including benchmarks.

Bottom-line metrics:  These capture what ultimately matters and include overall financials and performance against core values such as safety and people treatment.

Minimize the number of process metrics

The process metrics are easiest to pile onto your dashboard because there are so many categories. For instance,

People (turnover, satisfaction surveys, training success)

Milestones (sale funnels, product development, stage-gate, projects in general)

Financial (costs, prices, volume, taxes)

Customer satisfaction (survey results, net promoter score, advertising performance)

Production performance (asset utilization %, asset turns, first quality rate, overtime)

High-level financial measures (inventory day’s supply, days sales outstanding, RONA, EBITDA, debt to equity ratio, margin)

Ratios (results per person, or cost per sale),

Benchmarks (any measure versus competition or some other target, including high-level aggregate financials numbers such as economic value add (EVA).

Question whether you need process metrics by asking if there are a few numbers that will give you most of what you need. Some measurements may be traditional in your business but no longer essential.

Measure at the bottleneck

Perhaps the best way to limit progress metrics is to focus metrics on the bottleneck to progress.

In the Emergent Approach, strategy is defined as the central rule or policy aimed at busting the bottleneck to achieving your overall aspiration. The bottleneck is what’s in the way of achieving your aspirations (i.e., goals, mission, vision)—what’s limiting progress.

The key is that it is impossible to make progress unless you improve what’s in the way of your overall aspirations.

Bottlenecks can be found in many areas, including,

People or culture related

Intelligence-related (lack of knowledge about competitors or markets)

Lack of process capability; digital capability

Lack of methods (for instance, management, technical, or marketing)

Lack of capital/resources

Complexity

Lack of alignment and common language

Bad framework or missing strategy

Conclusion

Your strategy framework should have programs, plans, and tactics to bust the dominant bottleneck to achieving your goals, mission, or vision. Measure the adherence and progress on these aspects of your framework because only improvement here will enable achieving your aspiration. If you measure all aspects of the business equally, you dilute the focus on what matters most.

*Peter Compo, a former veteran of DuPont, is the author of The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design and Execution (Business Expert Press, May 2022). A 25-year veteran of DuPont, Compo held leadership positions in R&D, product management, marketing, supply chain, and business management, and was the corporate lead for integrated business planning. For more information, go to: www.emergentapproach.com

Your Strategy Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?

More than anywhere, because Asian companies are growing fast and serving diverse markets, metrics are an essential management tool for understanding whether strategy is leading to the achievement of objectives.

But with the digital revolution, the ability to measure is nearly limitless. How many numbers can people absorb and process? Twenty, thirty, or fifty at a time? When does a dashboard become a blur? After a relatively small number of metrics, the more you measure, the less you will see. The less you see, the more opportunity for cherry-picking and seeing what you want to see.

The Emergent Approach to Strategy presents several techniques to measure less and spend more time choosing the right metrics and understanding what they tell you. These are particularly important for Asian companies that have the advanced digital capability to easily collect and display data.

Consider three key points:

Use a Four-Station Dashboard

The idea here is to spend less time measuring resultsand more time measuring causes of results. The four stations used are:

1. Foundation metrics:

These audit whether the assumptions on which your strategy framework was built are still valid, including items like the action of competitors, economic conditions, and market trends.

2. Adherence metrics:

These measures whether the organization is adhering to your strategy framework, including policies in areas such as marketing, product development, and personnel management, and also your overall strategy rule.

3. Progress metrics:

These are indicators of progress towards the bottom line and the most common form of metric, including the success of the various functional groups in the company, milestone completion, and ratios of various types including benchmarks.

4. Bottom-line metrics:

These capture what ultimately matters and include overall financials and performance against core values such as safety and people treatment.

Minimize the number of process metrics

The process metrics are easiest to pile onto your dashboard because there are so many categories. For instance,

  • People (turnover, satisfaction surveys, training success)
  • Milestones (sale funnels, product development, stage-gate, projects in general)
  • Financial (costs, prices, volume, taxes)
  • Customer satisfaction (survey results, net promoter score, advertising performance)
  • Production performance (asset utilization %, asset turns, first quality rate, overtime)
  • High-level financial measures (inventory day’s supply, days sales outstanding, RONA, EBITDA, debt to equity ratio, margin)
  • Ratios (results per person, or cost per sale),
  • Benchmarks (any measure versus competition or some other target, including high-level aggregate financials numbers such as economic value add (EVA).
  • Question whether you need process metrics by asking if there are a few numbers that will give you most of what you need. Some measurements may be traditional in your business but no longer essential.

 

Measure at the bottleneck

Perhaps the best way to limit progress metrics is to focus metrics on the bottleneck to progress.

In the Emergent Approach, strategy is defined as the central rule or policy aimed at busting the bottleneck to achieving your overall aspiration. The bottleneck is what’s in the way of achieving your aspirations (i.e., goals, mission, vision)—what’s limiting progress.

The key is that it is impossible to make progress unless you improve what’s in the way of your overall aspirations.

Bottlenecks can be found in many areas, including:

  • People or culture related
  • Intelligence-related (lack of knowledge about competitors or markets)
  • Lack of process capability; digital capability
  • Lack of methods (for instance, management, technical, or marketing)
  • Lack of capital/resources
  • Complexity
  • Lack of alignment and common language
  • Bad framework or missing strategy

Conclusion

Your strategy framework should have programs, plans, and tactics to bust the dominant bottleneck to achieving your goals, mission, or vision. Measure the adherence and progress on these aspects of your framework because only improvement here will enable achieving your aspiration. If you measure all aspects of the business equally, you dilute the focus on what matters most.

*Peter Compo, a former veteran of DuPont, is the author of The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design and Execution (Business Expert Press, May 2022). A 25-year veteran of DuPont, Compo held leadership positions in R&D, product management, marketing, supply chain, and business management, and was the corporate lead for integrated business planning. For more information, go to: www.emergentapproach.com

Crypto Exchanges in Australia to be Licensed by the AU Government

Governments around the world have different relationships with crypto. 

In China, for instance, all cryptocurrency-related activities are banned. In the South American country of El Salvador, the government has approved Bitcoin as legal tender – the first country to do so in the world. In the United States, cryptocurrencies constantly come under regulatory watchdog. 

The same goes for much of Europe, barring a few countries where it is either mainstream or banned.

Crypto regulations around the world

While the United States of America is and was the major hub of crypto, the numbers are now changing. For example, the country with the highest number of crypto investors is now India, despite even some ongoing legislation tensions. It has more than three times the number of investors in the US. But considering the overall population of India, it is still a small percentage of the population.

Once we look at Africa, we get another glimpse of how things are changing. Nigeria has 13 million active crypto investors, which is around 10 million less than the US. It still has almost 10 million more crypto investors than the United Kingdom. Vietnam also has more crypto owners than the UK. In many of these third-world countries, people are seeking financial freedom through crypto trading or passive income with copy trading.
 
What these numbers suggest is that cryptocurrency is no longer an American phenomenon. In fact, it’d be wrong to call it a first-world phenomenon. Some of the most utilitarian applications of crypto were in African countries.

Amidst this wave of crypto adoption, Australia has steadily seen a rise in the number of crypto users. Today there are more than 1 million crypto investors in Australia. The population of Australia is 27.10 Million, which makes 1 million a sizable proportion of the country. To foster this growing interest in crypto and a general mistrust of US dollar-backed currencies, Australia is adopting a unique stance toward crypto. 

What Australia is doing

Before we jump into what steps the Australian government is taking with respect to crypto, it is important to give you some context. First, we need to understand why governments around the world are against crypto, some more fervently than others.

The first, and primary argument is that cryptocurrencies can destabilize a nation’s economy. For example, if everyone invested all their money in Bitcoin, no one would invest in the country’s stock market. As a result, business and commerce would collapse. This argument does not take into account the fact that no trend or pattern has indicated anything similar to such a doomsday scenario.

The second argument that governments give is more valid. As we already know, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. If a crypto exchange steals your money and runs away, you can technically go nowhere for justice. As such, governments do not want to handle crypto fraud management.

Cryptocurrency frauds and scams are pertinent issues in the crypto ecosystem. In 2021, for example, more than $14 billion was lost to scammers and cybercriminals. People who are not comfortable with technology are often at the brunt of attacks. 

Several crypto exchanges also get a pass to operate without KYC compliance. Given such an epidemic of money laundering scams involving crypto, governments took harsh steps. While they were well-intended in some cases, they ended up stifling growth and innovation in the crypto sectors.

What Australia is doing differently
Australia has a way of doing things differently than the rest of the world. But what the country is doing with cryptocurrencies is not exactly unique. UAE, among a few other countries, has adopted the same stance. Australia is giving a “Badge of Approval” to the cryptocurrency exchanges that it deems safe for its citizens.

Jane Hume, the Minister for Digital Economy of Australia, spoke in favor of cryptocurrencies and Defi at the Australian Blockchain Week 2022. In her long speech, she spoke at length about how Defi and crypto are the most exciting prospects for the Australian people. Under the Morrison government, the digital market economy of Australia is around $AUD 2.1 billion. It is very close to toppling gold and taking its place in terms of market share.

At the same event, Senator Hume spoke about how the government is trying to address this issue. The key highlights of her speech were:

● Introducing safe labels for cryptocurrency exchanges that are deemed fit legally

● Making crypto taxation processes simple

When we take into account the major hindrances that crypto investors face, these two problems come out on top. In India, for example, the crypto taxation framework remains unclear months after its declaration.

Will Australia be able to tackle the crypto exchange issue?

What Australia is trying to do is not unprecedented. Other countries have tried to do similar things to curb the problem of crypto scams. Several European countries have strict guidelines on cryptocurrency advertisement. That’s yet another way governments are trying to protect their citizens from crypto-related scams. Australia, however, is taking a softer stance.

Whether or not Australia will succeed depends on how well the Senate handles the issue. If the government can arrive at a mutually agreed-upon stance, it would not be difficult to legalize this stance. But that’s only the first step towards adopting crypto institutionally.

What parameters the evaluating body chooses to grade cryptocurrency exchanges is the most important factor. Many governments make a mistake here since their panels do not include people who are real crypto experts. If Australia manages to get a grip on these two factors, its policies can have very beneficial effects on the crypto landscape of the country.

Will Australia set an example for the world?

As of now, it is too soon to say whether Australia will set an example for other countries to follow. The policies are still at an ideation level and their execution may not be as promising. Most importantly, several governments have a deep-rooted anti-crypto stance. It’s highly unlikely that their stance would sway due to what happens in a distant country.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 South East Asia Business Awards

United Kingdom, 2022- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2022 South East Asia Business Awards.

The events of the last two years have proven to be a challenging gauntlet for businesses of all sizes across the world. For new businesses looking to build and settle on robust foundations, the global pandemic proved to be a baptism of fire defined by uncertainty and overcome only through sheer creativity and adaptability. Of course, online businesses faired better overall, and it is here that many South East Asian companies gained ground that would have otherwise been lost. All in all, South East Asia, as a region, has showcased a steadfast ability to find success.

It is with this in mind that APAC Insider Magazine launched the 2022 edition of the awards programme. On the eve of the announcement Awards Co-ordinator Victoria Cotton commented on the success of the deserving winners: “It has been a delight to reach out to those selected in this year’s programme. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of those recognised, and I wish you all an amazing rest of the year ahead.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to editors.

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly by AI Global Media, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region.

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

What makes a good business broker?

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a business broker. A good business broker should be knowledgeable about the industry, experienced in brokering deals, and have a solid reputation. They should also be able to provide valuable advice and guidance throughout the sale process. In this article, we will discuss what makes a good business broker and what you should look for when making your decision.

Relationship Oriented.

If you’re looking for a business broker that can help you sell your business, it’s important to find someone who is relationship-oriented. A good business broker will be interested in understanding your needs and goals and will work with you to get the best possible outcome for your sale. They will also be able to provide valuable insight and advice throughout the process and will be trusted partners that you can rely on.

Persistent And Motivated.

A good business broker is someone who is persistent and motivated. They will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and they won’t give up until the transaction is complete. They are also very knowledgeable about the industry and the market, which allows them to provide accurate advice to their clients.

Good business brokers always have their client’s best interests in mind and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for them. If you are thinking about selling your business, or if you are looking for a broker to help you buy a business, make sure you find someone who has these qualities. You won’t regret it.

Patient And Understanding.

One of the most important qualities of a good business broker is patience. Many business owners are under a lot of stress during the sale process, and a good broker will be understanding and help to ease that stress. A good broker will also be patient in explaining the process to the business owner and answering any questions they have.

Another important quality for a business broker is the ability to negotiate. A good broker will be able to negotiate on behalf of their client to get the best possible price and terms for the sale of the business. They will also be able to navigate any difficult conversations that need to take place during the process.

Knowledgeable.

A good business broker is knowledgeable about the businesses they represent and the industry as a whole. They understand the process of buying and selling businesses and can provide valuable insights to their clients. A good business broker will also keep up-to-date on trends in the industry, so they can better advise their clients on what to do next.

Trustworthy.

A good business broker is someone you can trust. They will have your best interests at heart and work to get you the best deal possible. They will be honest with you about what they think your business is worth, and they won’t try to pressure you into selling for less than what it’s worth.

Summary.

When it comes to finding a good Lloyds business broker in Melbourne, there are a few key things to look for. First, the broker should have a lot of experience and be able to provide a lot of valuable advice. They should also have a good network of potential buyers and sellers, which can help speed up the sale process. Finally, the broker should be honest and trustworthy, as you’ll be sharing a lot of confidential information with them. If you can find a broker who meets all of these criteria, then you’re on your way to a successful sale.

ADDX Is First Singapore Financial Institution to Recognise Crypto Assets of Accredited Investors

Amid rising crypto ownership, the move expands the universe of individuals who can invest in private market products

Private market exchange ADDX has become the first financial institution in Singapore to recognise cryptocurrency assets for the purposes of onboarding accredited investors.

The move opens the way for more individuals to qualify for accredited investor status. They can thereby participate in more sophisticated investment opportunities in the private markets, which tend to be more resilient in times of market volatility. These include asset classes such as private equity and venture capital funds, hedge funds and pre-IPO companies.

In line with regulations, ADDX will implement appropriate risk management measures that take into account the price volatility of crypto assets. For example, ADDX will recognise only cryptocurrencies with a higher market capitalisation and will apply a discount rate when valuing the assets.

Under Singapore’s regulatory regime, individuals have to meet any one of three criteria in order to qualify as accredited investors: their income in the past twelve months exceeds SGD 300,000, or their net financial assets exceed SGD 1 million, or their net personal assets exceed SGD 2 million. While crypto assets are not currently recognised as income or financial assets, they can be recognised under the third category of net personal assets.

As part of its process for verifying accredited investors, ADDX will begin recognising three coins – Bitcoin, Ether and USDC. The discount rates ADDX will apply when calculating the value of these crypto holdings is 50% for Bitcoin or Ether and 10% for USDC. These coins and discount rates will be reviewed at regular intervals and may be revised as market conditions change. To qualify as accredited investors, individuals can provide documents to show that the value of their net personal assets meets the SGD 2 million threshold after the inclusion of crypto assets with the discount rate applied.

The latest development comes at a time when crypto ownership rates are at record levels worldwide. According to a global survey by Gemini, crypto ownership rose by more than 80% in 2021. Ownership rates have hit 30% in Singapore, 24% in Hong Kong, 20% in the US, 18% in the UK and 17% in Germany.

ADDX CEO Oi-Yee Choo said: “Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. They no longer exist only on the fringes of wealth and investment conversations. With a large minority of investors owning crypto, it is reasonable for these digital assets to be recognised as a part of one’s portfolio – not unlike any other assets that can be valued in the marketplace, such as real estate or equity. In line with ADDX’s mission of democratising private market investing, recognising crypto holdings helps us to serve a much wider segment of investors – not just investors with traditional holdings, but those who hold crypto as well. At a time when the markets are volatile, this move is also designed to enable crypto investors to diversify into the regulated private markets, which tend to be more stable across different phases of market cycles.”

Ms Choo added: “As a regulated financial institution that understands blockchain technology, ADDX is well-positioned to bridge the two worlds – traditional finance and digital assets. Investors increasingly expect a seamless view of their complete holdings because their traditional wealth and crypto wealth ultimately belong to a single portfolio. They want the best of both worlds. Last year, ADDX listed our first fund with exposure to crypto, and today we are recognising crypto assets for accredited investor verification. These steps form part of a more strategic and comprehensive crypto roadmap for ADDX. In time to come, we are likely to enable customers to fund their investment wallets with cryptocurrencies and to convert their assets between fiat currencies and crypto.” 

Founded in 2017, ADDX is Asia’s largest private market exchange. Using blockchain and smart contract technology, ADDX tokenises private market investments such as private equity funds, hedge funds, pre-IPO equity and bonds. The resulting efficiency allows the platform to reduce minimum investment sizes from USD 1 million to USD 20,000. ADDX has listed more than 30 deals on its platform involving blue-chip names such as Hamilton Lane, Partners Group, Investcorp, Singtel, UOB, CGS-CIMB, as well as Temasek-owned entities Mapletree, Azalea and SeaTown. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) backed company is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a digital securities exchange.

Ready to expand to the UK? Everything you need to know

Ongoing trade talks between India and the UK could double bilateral trade by 2030 and are said to be ‘worth billions’, presenting huge opportunities for Indian businesses looking to set up shop in the UK. According to the UK’s Department for International Trade, the proposed arrangement between the two countries should be finalised by 2023 and would ensure the development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. So, what do businesses need to know when expanding to the UK?

Setting up a company in the UK may seem like a daunting task but with the right plan in place, it is relatively straightforward, even for those with no previous experience of doing business in a foreign country. It has never been easier or cheaper to register a company in the UK, making now the perfect time to consider this business move.

Many of the company structures available for new businesses in the UK will be familiar to Indian enterprises, as Indian and English laws share many similarities. The limited liability company (Ltd) is one of the most common corporate structures in the UK and it can provide an advantage for Indian entities looking to create UK affiliates, as the directors of the company do not have to live in the UK on a permanent basis. Registering a limited company can cost just £12 and take as little as 24 hours.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that limited company structures confine a business to only seeking private investment to fund their growth and development. A public limited company, in tandem with a listing on a stock exchange, allows access to a broader range of investment, and investment structures, and is more appropriate for expanding businesses and/or larger, more established companies seeking to tap markets. Other structures, such as limited liability partnerships (LLPs), have the advantage of not being required to pay corporation tax.

Further UK governance that companies should be aware of when expanding to the UK includes the form of a company’s articles of association, which forms the  rules and constitution governing a business. Shareholders and board members should be aware that certain decisions must be made in accordance with these rules and evidence of some decisions will need to be filed publicly at Companies House, the UK registrar of companies, or else a fine may be issued.

Businesses setting up shop in the UK can either opt for model articles, provided under the Companies Act 2006, or create their own Articles of Association tailored to meet their individual set-up. Generally, model articles may be a suitable choice for small companies, whereas more tailored articles may better suit larger companies, or those with complex shareholding classes or structures.

Whilst it is not necessary to have a UK bank account to conduct business in the UK, it can provide administrative convenience for companies looking to make and receive payments in the country. Setting up a UK bank account can be a time-consuming process, so businesses should make a start on arranging one as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

While having a business plan is not a legal requirement for starting a UK business, it is useful to have a blueprint for the company’s future development. As well as helping to provide the rationale behind securing additional investment as the business grows, it can also help in flushing our and then navigating any potential obstacles that may arise in the first few years of settling in the UK.

Many Indian companies in sectors such as garments, agriculture, and advanced technology, are already setting up UK based affiliates to take advantage of the country’s new trade opportunities. It’s important to remember that when it comes to setting up a business, location is everything.

London remains a prestigious destination for global businesses, but other UK cities also have competitive advantages to offer companies in specific sectors. For example, the Southeast of the UK is home to globally linked service industries, such as banking, finance, and legal services with easy access to the main UK airports and transport links. London and the Southeast are also hotbeds for finance and fintech start-ups, and as of 2022, almost one third of entrepreneurs in the UK were based in the region. However, property in the Southeast, and particularly London, can be very expensive. Therefore, new businesses should carefully weigh up whether having a headquarters in these locations is essential.

Birmingham, Manchester, Humberside, and the Northeast have taken the lead in sectors such as driverless cars and industrial hydrogen technologies, with the Midlands and the North of England having strong connections to the automotive and energy industries. Developments in driverless cars and clean energy technologies will likely happen in these locations first.  

As the UK undertakes its ‘net zero’ energy transformation, companies involved with new technology hubs in these regions will have a clear advantage, due to their proximity to a host of potential new partners, collaborators, and customers. Warehouse and property space, as well as rent and living expenses, are much cheaper outside of the Southeast. As such, Indian companies may want to consider basing themselves in the Midlands and Northeast, especially those in the automotive and energy industries, to take advantage of both the areas’ reputations and their cheaper costs. Easy connectivity to rail, road, air, and sea transport links makes these locations (particularly the northern cities) even more desirable.

From a global immigration perspective, business owners will need to consider visa types and requirements for any workforce members that will be migrating from India to the UK. There are a range of immigration visas available for business and staffing requirements, including Innovator, Start-up, Global Talent and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas. Each of these should be researched thoroughly, with advice sought from a legal professional, to ensure the correct decisions are made.

The UK offers a legal and business framework that is conducive to the growth of Indian businesses looking to thrive in a new and promising marketplace. By making prudent and well-informed decisions early on, they can ensure that they are positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that are likely to arise from the India-UK trade partnership in the coming years.

Sneha Nainwal, partner and Head of India Desk at Shakespeare Martineau

Westin Hotels and Strava Collaborate for Global Running Day

A champion of Global Running Day, Westin Hotels & Resorts – part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands – today announced it has joined forces with Strava, the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world, to reward fitness enthusiasts of all types for getting their hearts rates up beginning June 1. Through this new collaboration, 500 Marriott Bonvoy members will have the chance to earn 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each by completing the month-long global ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’ using the Strava app.

As the preeminent well-being brand in hospitality, Westin has consistently supported Global Running Day for more than five years as a means to further encourage guests to stay active while on the road. Westin empowers guests to transcend the rigors of travel through its Six Pillars of well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. Inspired by the brand’s Move Well pillar, this new collaboration with Strava continues to build on the industry-leading programming by Westin.

“The philosophy of Westin has always been rooted in empowering our guests to maintain, and even enhance, their well-being while traveling, so they leave feeling better than when they arrived,” said Jennifer Connell, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Vice President, Distinctive Premium Brands, Marriott International. “With this in mind, and inspired by our foundational Move Well pillar, our unique partnership with Strava aims to motivate a global community of fitness enthusiasts and Marriott Bonvoy members to make wellness a priority and get rewarded for doing so.”

The ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’

Marriott Bonvoy members participating in the Challenge must complete 10 hours of physical activity within the month of June by running, in addition to other types of exercise including walking, biking, wheelchair, and hiking. The challenge of 600 minutes or 10 hours of activity for the month is informed by the American Heart Association’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes – roughly 2.5 hours – of physical activity per week[1]. Upon completion of the Challenge at the end of the month, 500 participating members will then be selected at random to receive 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each.

How to Participate

Marriott Bonvoy members can begin registering for the ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’ on May 25 via the Strava app. The Challenge kicks off June 1 and closes June 30 at 11:59 p.m. in each participant’s respective time zone. Members can register at any point throughout June and complete their 10 hours of activity throughout the month in order to be eligible for the 40,000 points.

“Strava empowers athletes everywhere to find joy through movement,” said David Lorsch, Chief Revenue Officer, Strava. “We’re excited to celebrate Global Running Day with Westin and inspire Marriott Bonvoy members around the world to stay active with the power of Strava Challenges this June.”

Go The Extra Mile at Westin Hotels and Resorts in Asia-Pacific

To celebrate Global Running Day, on June 1st, enjoy a 5-KM Run Westin at the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, accompanied by a stretching session guided by Estalitaa Pinto, the resort ́s Fitness Instructor. Run Concierge from The Westin Singapore will lead a scenic group run through some of the city’s most iconic sights including the Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay. Post run, guests are invited to the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool for refreshing treats packed with nutrients and antioxidants to aid recovery.

From a scenic run around Tokyo’s Shibuya Scramble and Roppongi Hills at The Westin Tokyo to a leisure beachfront run along a 5km trail around the neighborhood adjoining Anjuna beach at The Westin Goa and running through the picturesque gardens in Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition Park at The Westin Nanjing Resort & Spa, guests can stay active with an extensive collection of signature Move Well program at Westin properties in the region throughout the month of June.

Slated to open June, The Westin Yokohama is strategically situated in the new Central Business District of Yokohama, Minato Mirai, offering easy access to popular sightseeing spots such as Japan’s largest Chinatown and the city’s renowned Sankeien Garden.  As part of the brand’s signature Move Well pillar, a local RunWESTIN® program provides jogging maps that offer a choice of either a four-and-a-half or nine-kilometer scenic route around the futuristic Minatomirai waterfront area.

To learn more about well-being at Westin, visit www.westin.marriott.com and join the conversation @westin and #runwestin. To download the free Strava app on your smartphone, visit the App store and search for Strava. To download Strava on your desktop, visit https://www.strava.com.

Forex Patterns You Must Know

Common Forex Chart Patterns Every Beginner Must Know

While it is always difficult to predict what a currency and market will do, there are multiple breadcrumbs that charts leave behind that help you gather enough information to form a well-educated guess. This post will help you identify some of the most common graph patterns and help you understand what they mean and how you can take advantage of them. 

Head & Shoulders

A head and shoulders pattern is probably the most recognisable one. The highs and lows look like a mountain range, with the graph having one peak, a drop, a bigger peak, a drop, and then a smaller peak again. 

A head and shoulders pattern shows a tug-of-war of sorts amongst the stock or currency. Combined with what is happening in a company or with an economy, this pattern can indicate when peaks will come and subside again. This pattern is the basic rule to understand forex trading

Rising & Falling Wedges 

A rising or falling wedge pattern will look like a triangle. These patterns will indicate a stock or forex price rising and falling in a triangular shape but within either a constant upward or downtrend. 

In short, a falling wedge is a bullish pattern that takes place during an upward trend, and a rising wedge is a bearish pattern that is found within a downward trend. 

Engulfing Patterns

An engulfing pattern is fairly easy to spot. An engulfing pattern is when a peak closes higher than the previous day\’s opening after opening lower than the previous day’s high, in most charts. 

As mentioned, it is quite easy to spot; you need to find a small black candlestick, immediately followed by a taller white candlestick.

Double Top

A double top is pretty self-explanatory and often easy to spot. It is a pattern that will follow a steady incline and will have two high price peaks one after the other, with only a small and short fall in between them. 

Another distinctive feature of a double top is that the fall in between the two peaks won’t fall below the support line. Double tops often indicate a medium or long-term change in the asset class. 

Double Bottom 

A double bottom is the opposite of a double top, with the line reaching two long prices right after each other. It is important to note the time between the two drops, as this can tell you some vital information. 

The longer the gap is between the two drops, the greater the probability of the chart pattern being successful. This time isn’t a couple of days or weeks either, with many analysts and experts agreeing three months is a long enough time to establish the chart. 

Rounding Bottom

Rounding bottom patterns are usually found at the end of a long downturn and are U-shaped. A rounding bottom trend can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form, with many analysts agreeing it is relatively rare. 

What a rounding bottom means is that the downturn indicates an excess in supply and, therefore, a price drop. The curve will continue until it bottoms out, and then new buyers come in, and the price begins to rise again. 

Symmetrical Triangles

A symmetrical triangle pattern is a neutral pattern that sees the new low as higher than the previous low or the new high being lower than the previous low. The graph will be shaped either like ascending or descending triangles. 

Symmetrical triangles are a sign that neither the bulls nor the bears are able to provide enough pressure to form a definitive trend. This type of pattern pits buyers and sellers against each other, with the first one to crack being the loser. 

Cup & Handle

A cup and handle pattern is made up of two parts. The cup part of the pattern is similar to a rounding bottom, with the price falling on a curve and then rising again after it bottoms out. However, the handle is what makes this pattern different. 

The curve will rise again to the heights of the previous high but will then fall; this clearly indicates sellers cashing out after the long wait for the last high to come back. The pattern will then stabilise and will then either fall or rise again. 

APAC Insider Announces the Winners of the 2022 CEO of the Year Awards

United Kingdom, 2022– APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2022 CEO of the Year Awards.

Strong leadership is, by all regards, vital in business. Whether it be driving growth, or steering the company down a profitable path, leaders play a fundamental role in companies of all shapes and sizes. While it is true that a company’s overall success lies in the efforts of the greater team, CEOs, Managers and Directors all have the weight on their shoulders when it comes to weathering particularly intense storms.

APAC Insider has always endeavoured to recognise companies and individuals who are redefining their respective industries and changing paradigms. This year, we hosted the CEO of the Year Awards as an endeavour to recognise greatness in the face of an extraordinarily challenging year. A year that is not yet over. On the eve of publication, Awards Co-ordinator Gabrielle Ellis commented on the success of the winners: “It has been a delight to helm this year’s CEO of the Year programme. I offer my heartfelt congratulations and hope you all have a wonderful rest of the 2022 ahead.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/ where you can view the award supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly by AI Global Media, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

International Employers Must Act Now or Face a Great Resignation on a Global Scale

The great resignation is not just an issue for the UK, it is a phenomenon happening around the world.

With more flexibility than ever in the way employees work, employers must keep pace in terms of the health and wellbeing support they offer if they are to retain talent on a global basis. This means meeting the demands of more frequent moves from country to country, supporting an increase in local employees, and plugging the gaps of struggling global healthcare systems.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “While the great global resignation is now a well-known phrase, it is not a fait accompli. Understanding the specific needs of overseas employees and having the support in place to meet these needs will go a long way to proving and securing loyalty on both sides. But change is happening now, and employers must act.”

Flexibility required on both sides

Overseas assignments have changed, and employers must respond to this. Global mobility now often means much shorter stays at a wider variety of destinations, with a greater tendency for employees to spend just a few weeks at a time in any one place. Employers need to move quickly to provide the appropriate cover for these new global movement trends.

Increased in-country employment

There is a growing move towards global companies employing people from within each relevant country, as opposed to posting staff abroad from the home country. This means that there is a greater need for employers to source local health and wellbeing support for local people. For employers based in a different country from their staff, for instance if they are UK-based and trying to arrange support abroad, this can be challenging. It is important to tap into local expertise as there are different health and wellbeing regulations in each country. Introducing the appropriate support is vital or employers will leave themselves open to issues.

Global healthcare systems under pressure

The UK has become very aware of the pressures on the NHS, but this is not confined locally. Healthcare systems around the world are struggling and costs have increased greatly. Employers must now reassess what options they really need to offer for health and wellbeing and what areas are most important to their staff. More emphasis may be needed on screening and diagnostics, to identify issues early. Employers may also want to look at putting more comprehensive support in place, for overseas staff in particular. Flexibility over benefit design will be important to ensure the support meets individual needs.

New demands from overseas employees

Employees working abroad are looking for their employers to support them in new ways. There is now a greater focus on health and wellbeing. With people working remotely, their needs have changed and so have attitudes and ways of accessing support. Digital healthcare is now in greater demand, with virtual GPs and wellbeing apps and hubs embraced. Employers must look to adopt new technologies for greater support if they are to retain their talent.

Sarah Dennis says, “The requirements for health and wellbeing support differ from employer to employer and from country to country. What one employee may not need whilst in one area, may be vital cover in their next location. The impact of the great resignation will differ by sector and by country. Retaining talent comes down to offering a flexible approach, tailored on an individual basis. With global employees, this support will also need to adapt according to the country they are working in at the time. Benefits in 2022 are about flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.”

Bangkok to Host ICCA Congress 2023, Signalling Thailand’s Return as a Contender for Large-Scale International MICE

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has chosen Bangkok as the host city of its annual general meeting next year. The 62nd ICCA Congress will be held from November 12-15, 2023. A major event in the global MICE calendar, the ICCA Congress is attended by members who represent more than 1,000 private and public organisations from over 100 countries.

ICCA’s decision reflects the association meeting industry’s confidence in Bangkok and the interest among ICCA members to get reacquainted with Thailand after a two-year break. Supported by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the 2023 congress also promises to be an especially memorable one as it will take place at a time when Bangkok will be showcasing its achievements from the first half of its 20-year Strategic Development Plan (2013–2032) to transform itself into the “Metropolitan City of Asia”.

By hosting the ICCA Congress, TCEB hopes to impress upon association meeting executives not only Bangkok’s exceptional credentials but also the many MICE destinations to be found throughout Thailand. Having developed their business events infrastructure over the years with input from TCEB, Thailand’s other MICE Cities – Chiang MaiPhuket, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, Phitsanulok, Udon Thani and Surat Thani – are now more ready than ever to host international meetings.

TCEB President, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, said: “We thank ICCA for this great opportunity to host the 62nd ICCA Congress in Bangkok. Thailand has been a member of ICCA since 1974 and we are absolutely confident that it will continue to play an exemplary leadership role in promoting international association meetings. We look forward to welcoming ICCA delegates to the city of Bangkok as we celebrate an important milestone in the city’s transformation to become the “Metropolitan City of Asia” – a safe, green, and economically and culturally vibrant city – under its 20-year Strategic Development Plan (2013-2032).

“Hosting the ICCA Congress 2023 will generate substantial economic returns and uncover countless new business opportunities for our MICE community. With more than 1,000 overseas and 200 Thai delegates expected, we estimate the congress itself will generate 3 million USD in revenue and other positive impacts, such as job creation, tax revenue and added values to the economy.”

Mr. Chiruit pointed out that one segment of the congress programme is particularly important for Thailand’s MICE professionals. The ICCA Business Exchange – the session where ICCA members share commercially important information on the bidding process, selection criteria and budgets of their recent events – can provide essential guidance for Thai MICE players in crafting winning bids. With more than 30 executives of international associations participating in the session, this is also a golden opportunity for local associations and regional stakeholders to form network and drive business development.

The ICCA Congress 2023 will also be a tremendous learning opportunity for Thailand’s MICE Cities and local associations. TCEB has invited the governors of all Thailand’s MICE Cities to participate in dialogue sessions alongside experts on international academic conventions. Their exchange of ideas and experiences will help each city further refine its MICE strategy. TCEB will also invite at least 20 local associations to attend ICCA’s Incredible Impacts Programme meeting where the spotlight will be on how international conventions have helped bring positive change to societies around the world, while leaving behind inspiring legacy for local communities and the next generations. TCEB hopes that the local attendees will be inspired to create similarly impactful programmes following their interaction with at least 30 of their overseas counterparts.

“2023 will be the year of economic revival for Thailand. Our country will open to the world again and we will join hands with the world and ICCA to reimagine a new future for business events,” said Mr. Chiruit.

Mr. Senthil Gopinath, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) said, “I thank TCEB and Thailand for the ambition to host the ICCA Congress 2023. TCEB clearly demonstrated structured planning, support from crucial partners in the region, and offering a beautiful setting for guests to come together. There is no doubt that the ICCA Congress in Bangkok will showcase how business events can contribute to socio-economic development, enhance the intellectuality of the meetings industry, and be prepared for the future. I am sure ICCA delegates will be able to experience memorable Thai hospitality and professionalism at ICCA Congress 2023.”

PIMCO – The Big Freeze: Sanctioning Russia Raises Questions on Other Currencies

By Gene Frieda, Global Strategist at PIMCO

Freezing a central bank’s currency reserves is not new, but Russia is the first globally integrated economy to suffer this fate. Thus far, we have seen dramatic ramifications for Russia, with potential implications for the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s main reserve currency and strength of China’s renminbi.

The potency of sanctions on Russian central bank reserves has stemmed from coordinated actions of the U.S., Europe, the U.K., Canada, and Japan, among other jurisdictions. That unity created de facto near unanimity, as Chinese banks became reluctant to deal with Russia for fear of secondary sanctions. However, for most countries outside China, sanctions risk should remain low.

A big question is to what extent will existing foreign exchange (FX) reserve allocations and indeed the portfolio allocations of international investors be adjusted out of fear of future sanctions, as foreign investors seek to avoid risks of capital lost or trapped onshore? If these reserves cannot be shifted to safe locations, then their insurance value may be deemed limited and, accordingly, the extent of sustainable foreign liabilities may be less than previously assumed.

Our view is that reserves will shift to currencies of countries deemed as sanctions-remote. A corollary is that a sanctions-risk premium on FX reserves realistically applies only to countries where the risk of globally coordinated sanctions is high.

Ultimately, we believe the U.S. dollar will come out at least as strong as before, while the picture for the renminbi is more clouded.

China’s challenge

From China’s perspective, sanctions could be disruptive given ongoing tensions with the U.S. China lacks obvious alternatives for its $3.2 trillion in FX reserves to traditional reserve currencies and gold. While China could sell down its FX reserves, this seems highly implausible given its large gross foreign liabilities and its desire for currency stability. Total foreign liabilities have risen to $3.6 trillion as of end-2021.

If China concludes its reserves no longer provide much insurance, a logical conclusion would be to allow the exchange rate to fluctuate more. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) continues to tightly manage renminbi (CNY) volatility. Convergence toward realized volatility levels in line with G-10 and Asian peers would imply a 100%–125% increase in realized CNY volatility. Carry could still be attractive relative to regional peers, but its status as a top carry trade would be undermined.

Diversification imperatives

Coupled with ongoing trade tensions between China and the West, the freeze of Russia’s reserves have again raised fears of an exodus from the U.S. dollar (USD), but to where?

While the CNY should continue to benefit from China’s strong trade linkages, its status as a potential challenger to the USD is likely to suffer from greater uncertainty around rule of law and sanctions-risk premium. Larger central banks may be more reluctant to hold CNY due to potential Western sanctions risk and the corresponding need for China to re-impose capital controls on foreigners. The CNY should continue to attract reserve flows from smaller countries that China dominates as a trade partner and to some extent from commodity exporters, but it should remain a fractional share of global reserves.

The euro’s (EUR) share of global reserves should rebound if yields return to positive territory. Recent progress in reducing eurozone break-up risk is the precondition for both higher rates and a larger EUR share in global reserves, currently about 20%.

Conclusion

We believe the USD’s anchor status has arguably been reaffirmed by the freezing of Russia’s reserves, if not buoyed at the margin. At last count the dollar’s share of global reserves was 59%, little changed from a decade ago. We do not see much immediate spillover risk from Russia to other countries, including to China.

However, we foresee lingering consequences through three channels: China’s efforts to insulate its existing reserves from potential sanctioning; commodity exporters’ consideration of how to invest freshly minted FX reserves stemming from the current commodity boom; and foreign investors’, both public and private, consideration of collateral damage from financial sanctions that might affect the convertibility of CNY assets onshore.

Sanctions risk to China and indeed China’s increasingly conservative economic policies work against the CNY’s rise as a reserve currency. The lesson from Russia is that sanctions on FX reserves can be potent, effectively forcing currency non-convertibility on the country. The share of CNY’s weight in global reserves, while still set to rise, will likely be capped in mid-single digits.

For countries fearful of being sanctioned, reserves may be less of an insurance buffer than previously assumed. If diversification is not an option, then reduced external borrowing – another form of secular deglobalization – is the logical consequence.

Finally, if global reserve growth accelerates again (for example, due to the persistence of high commodity prices favoring commodity exporters), developed market government bonds would likely benefit more than any individual currency as reserves are recycled back into traditional safe assets.

How To Safely Invest In Real Estate In The UK

How To Safely Invest In Real Estate In The UK

In 2021, the UK house market reached new record highs after rising by more than 10% over the previous year. The increase also marked the fastest growth rate seen in the past 15 years. The housing boom that started during the COVID-19 pandemic continued strongly in the first months of 2022 as well. By the end of April, the average property prices had surpassed a new record high of £360,000. The increase represented a 9.9% price growth since the start of the year. A still hot market can represent an exciting opportunity for overseas investors, including interested parties from the APAC region.

As with any investment, there is a significant risk involved. Investors should find reliable partners within the UK to help them navigate the local laws and tax regulations. In the more serious cases, having the assistance of experienced insolvency practitioners London could also help organizations find suitable options among the available choices to move forward in a more stable and positive financial condition.

Rising Rent Yields

Accompanying the thriving property market in the UK, the rental sector also experienced significant growth. According to estimates, the average rent in the country reached £1,060 at the end of December 2021, just £1 shy of the previous record that was posted just three months earlier. Naturally, the tremendous growth has resulted in impressive rental yields from properties in the UK, with certain areas such as Liverpool and Manchester reporting returns of over 10%. The potential profits far surpassed what other popular countries and regions such as Shanghai could offer during the same period. Non-resident investors from all over the world could find that buying a property in the UK is becoming an ever more attractive venture.

Securing Funds

Investors from the Southeast Asia region who wish to secure and buy a property in the UK but do not have sufficient funds on hand are not automatically excluded from the market. There are several possible options to find outside funding. One popular choice is a buy to let mortgage. It usually covers 75% of the property’s value. However, the buyer will need to cover the remaining 25% as well as any additional taxes that might apply, including stamp duty land tax, legal fees, and land registry fees.

Unfortunately, some UK lenders may not be willing to approve a non-UK resident or will offer such individuals far higher interest fees. They may also demand larger deposits. To avoid such issues and make the whole process much smoother, overseas investors could retain the services of specialized lenders or international banks to help them secure a UK mortgage on the residential property.

Tax Implications

Investors who purchase or rent a property in the UK will be liable to pay various taxes. Most commonly, these will include an Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Non-resident investors will only be taxed on their income earned within the county and not on their entire income, which could include profits from operations in other countries. Furthermore, the income tax can be paid in one of two ways. First, the investor can earn their full income and pay the applicable tax via a self-assessment tax return. Alternatively, they can allow their lettings agent or tenants to deduct the necessary tax automatically.

When the chosen property is located in England or Northern Ireland, it will also be subjected to a Stamp Duty Land Tax. Similar taxes are also in place in Scotland and Wales. The SDLT tax is based on the purchase price of a property. Buying a second property that is not considered to be your home incurs an additional 3% charge on top of the standard SDLT rates. In addition, foreign buyers are liable to pay an additional 2% surcharge. Keep in mind that the SDLT rates start at 5% for values under £125 000 and reach 17% for sums above £1.5 million.

Under UK law, profits earned by selling a property are subjected to capital gains tax. The amount of the owed tax depends on the level of the reported profit, but other factors may also influence it. The incurred tax must be paid within 60 days from the date of conveyance. Investors considered to be non-residents of the country are subjected to non-resident capital gains tax. That tax rate also changes based on whether the non-resident investor is an individual, a company, or a trust.

How To Select Suppliers For Your Manufacturing Business

Manufacturers are businesses that create a product by adding different parts or ingredients that they receive from other companies. These outside sources are called suppliers. Without them, many companies would have very high production costs.

Making everything from start to finish in one manufacturing plant is just not feasible. Each part of the final product would need specialized equipment to make and put together. One business can’t have all the human resources or capital to run such a large operation. 

Finding suppliers that would be able to contribute to these more minor parts of the whole would be the manufacturer’s best option. There are a few things to consider when looking for suppliers that manufacturing businesses should keep in mind:

The Supplier’s Location Should Be Convenient

Depending on the products that a manufacturing business would need, a supplier with a convenient location would make procurement easier. Manufacturers can opt to import parts from a supplier overseas, and some can source locally.

Before considering a supplier, look at their location and decide if it would affect their delivery time and output. It’s necessary to have a supplier with a secure site that can provide a steady stream of products that won’t delay the manufacturing business.

Suppliers Should Be Reliable

Businesses can find reputable suppliers like reidsupply.com and other online websites or local suppliers available in your area. Suppliers should deliver on their promises for quality and quantity.

Suppliers that don’t provide the products needed on time, in the right amounts, and of the highest standard would affect the manufacturer’s output. Manufacturers not having enough parts to assemble an item or broken parts due to poor quality would cause non-completion of client orders.

Investigate how long a supplier has been in business too. It’ll give the manufacturer a good idea if the company is sustainable and will continue to be one of their partners. Unfortunately, companies that recently opened their doors have a higher risk of closing down, and manufacturers need reliable support.

Multiple Suppliers Are Sometimes Needed

Manufacturers with a high output should consider finding more than one supplier for the same product they need. One supplier would have a production speed to supply the manufacturer with some orders, while another could stock up the warehouse for the following products.

The two suppliers must share the same qualities in their products, so the manufacturer’s end product doesn’t lack because of the difference. Clients would notice the difference quickly and cancel orders when they’re not satisfied with what they receive.

Pricing Of The Supplier’s Goods Should Be Affordable

The manufacturer should decide which supplier they will use, and a significant deciding factor would be the price of the supplies. Manufacturers market the end products at a specific price, and having increased production expenses would affect the manufacturer’s bottom line.

It makes no business sense to have expensive suppliers that would mean less profit for the manufacturer. Choosing wisely which ones to board and which ones to pass by should be part of finding the best supplier.

Use Suppliers With Good Business Values

In any field of business, there are specific values that some companies have that help their customers trust them with their investment. If a supplier has these exemplary values, manufacturers can do business with them without worry.

Principles like honesty, pride in their work, and strong business ethics are indicators that the supplier would more likely provide an excellent service to the manufacturer.

Find Referrals Or Reviews About The Supplier

Manufacturers can ask business partners and find a review about suppliers online. These reviews would indicate if others were happy with the products and service from that supplier.

Keep in mind that people will all have their own opinions, and manufacturers should consider only the overall impression given by all the reviews. Reviews can be honest, and manufacturers can pick up many concerns from others who have written it. 

Reading reviews or asking for referrals from associates would help form an idea of how the supplier would be as a manufacturing business partner.

The Takeaway

Manufacturers and their suppliers have a unique relationship with mutual benefits if all runs smoothly. Suppliers that are reputable, reliable, and trustworthy would make for the best partners a manufacturing business could have.

When finding a supplier, the decision could sway depending on the output, pricing options, and location the goods would be coming from for delivery. Manufacturers shouldn’t let suppliers fool them with false promises and poor work ethics disguised as excuses. Create lasting bonds with like-minded suppliers to help the manufacturing business thrive.

Will the Australian Economy Bounce Back after 2 Years of Constant Lockdowns?

Besides a handful of Asian and European countries which remain to have strict enforcement of Covid restrictions, Australia has been one of the most cautious countries in the world when it comes to lockdowns. It wasn’t until late 2021, which until then had essentially seen constant lockdowns in one region or another, that lockdowns began to cease.

Heading into 2022, with a realisation that the country had surpassed its vaccine targets and that Omicron was milder than Delta, it was now time to “live with this virus”. Cautious policy and a willingness to protect lives over the economy wasn’t the only reason for the lockdowns, of course, but also Australia’s strong financial position heading into it – with relatively low debt to GDP and strong reserves.

For some more perspective of the extent of Australian lockdowns, the UK had phased out lockdowns since the 8th March 2021. Although some of the rules had fluctuated since then, gyms, cafe’s and businesses remained fully open since – which is coming up to a year ago now. However, since the 8th of March in Australia, we saw Sydney impose limits on visitors to the home, Victoria entering its fourth, fifth, and eventually, sixth lockdown, Sydney announced lockdown measures and restricted it to be 5km from their home.

Not only are these lockdowns recently ending, but the borders have just been announced to fully open up to travel too for fully vaccinated travellers – with Australia having a fairly big tourism industry. Finally, the Australian economy prediction for 2022 is looking like it’s getting back to its usual self despite cases rising.

The health of Australia’s economy

In late 2020, when the pandemic was peaking to its worst stage – prior to sufficient knowledge, healthcare, or vaccines in its response – the Australian economy entered its first recession in 30 years. This alone tells the story of just how much Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns impacted the economy in 2020, with otherwise buying customers locked in their homes, only to be allowed to go to the grocery store or for a walk.

GDP shrank by 7% in the second quarter of 2020, its biggest fall since 1959. Given that it saw a fall of 0.3% in the first quarter, Australia had entered its first recession in decades – a fact that had been separating Australia’s strength from other western economies, which were deeply damaged by both the dot com bubble and the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

In response to this recession, we saw some instant rebound growth – with a 3.4%, 3.2%, 1.9%, and 0.8% quarterly growth following the recession – until an eventual -1.9% contraction in the economy 5 quarters after the recession. This somewhat represented the cyclical nature of the virus, with the virus spreading more in winter, along with a cyclical nature to the lockdown restrictions.

The upside of this cyclical nature is that it soon became apparent, and therefore businesses could have some level of foresight into this for cash flow planning – though having the foresight isn’t necessarily enough.

However, before looking at SME’s cash flow, it’s important to point out the supply chain disruptions. Australia is already a remote country, far away from the EU – which is one of its largest trading partners. Travel bans, workforce disruptions, and a deep chip shortage led to supply chain issues in Australia, with tech companies struggling to build their products and costs on the whole rising.

Like with most economies, this led to cost-push inflation (not demand-pull), which is the worst kind. Although this wasn’t a huge issue during the peak of Covid in 2020, in part because demand had also reduced (thus creating a fairly stagnant equilibrium), as consumer confidence rose, the supply issues became even more apparent, leading to inflation rates of nearly 4%.

Whilst this sounds bad, being almost double the 2% target rate, it actually fared a lot better than the EU and US inflation, with the latter climbing steadily from near-zero in mid-2020 to 7.5%. In other words, the US Federal Reserve has reacted to this inflation by hiking rates up, whilst the Reserve Bank of Australia has remained stoic – even if the inflation rise was much greater than the RBA forecast.

At the end of 2021, the unemployment rate was 4.2%, which is fairly good compared to its peers, but the low unemployment doesn’t seem to have translated into wage growth (around 2.2% in September 2021), which could be a concern given the current inflation rate. Wage growth is currently 5% in the US and 4% in the UK, in comparison. However, worker shortages due to Brexit are playing a role here. On the flip side, it can be argued that this lower wage increase is at least not exacerbating inflation.

SMEs struggle and loan guarantees resume

Small to medium-sized enterprises account for 99.8% of all Australian businesses – a very high proportion. SMEs also account for employing 7.6 million workers in Australia (around 68% of the employment in the private sector), so their health also impacts everyday Australians – not just the small business owners.

In fact, whilst Australia used to rely more on the mining boom, SMEs played a central role to the transitioning of a broader economy that now has a growing tech sector. Because of this reliance on SMEs, it meant that a core goal of the Australian government was not to neglect them during the pandemic – not least because SMEs were likely to be the shops and companies that were told to close due to restrictions, along with shifting workers to online.

One scheme brought in by the Australian government was JobKeeper payments, which meant eligible businesses could receive $1,500 per fortnight to cover wage costs. However, when the programme ended in March 2021, it was predicted that thousands of businesses would default in the following months – and many did.

Another programme that was due to end was the SME Recovery Loan Scheme, which helped provide financing support to small businesses. It allowed credit to be cheaper, with the government guaranteeing 80% of the loan amount. This SME Loan Guarantee Scheme was vitally important to the cash flow of small business finance, allowing them to have the capital to adapt to the Covid-19. Not just in paying wages and surviving, but proactively adopting new strategies that were more aligned with e-commerce, remote work, and the drastic changes that the pandemic had on our lives and habits.

Whilst the scheme has been extended now to the end of June, 2022, the government guarantee has dropped to 50%.

It certainly signals a winding down of government grants in Australia, and general financial support, despite the hangover effects that the pandemic has had. Small businesses are still struggling, having larger amounts of debt and supply chain issues remain. Many territory schemes are absent too, like no local schemes in NT or Queensland. Furthermore, we are only a few months from June 2022, when the SME Recovery Loan Scheme ends.

As a result, many small businesses are using a guide like Small Business Loans Australia for extra private financing, and this will be particularly popular come June. The way Australian small businesses seek small business loans is drastically shifting away from banks and onto the web, with online lenders having flexible creditworthiness standards and rapid application approvals – often being within 24 hours, making it ideal for impromptu and last-minute cash injections.

The northern and capital territory governments remain the most generous, though there is still a nationwide winding down of programmes.

The future of Australia’s economy

With restrictions and schemes winding down, we would expect to be optimistic for Australia’s economy throughout the rest of 2022. However, Covid-19 cases can affect consumer confidence (as well as possibly introducing new measures again), and we are seeing a fairly steep increase in cases each day. In late February, there were 18,000 new cases per day. From each day on, cases climbed on 5 consecutive days in a row, reaching 35,855 new daily cases on March 3rd.

As we have seen in the UK, however, Omicron’s presence was rapid, milder than previous strains, and left the UK with high immunity – with cases now falling there. It is expected that the same will occur in Australia.

What has more impact than cases, though, is restrictions, and the winding down of them will undoubtedly be a boost to SMEs. After 2+ years of absolutely no profits, the tourism industry is set to reignite, particularly with the high vaccination rates among countries that frequently and historically visit Australia.

Omicron is expected to “drag on economic activity during early 2022”, because high cases mean more workers isolating – and worker shortages can also cause wage inflation and CPI inflation. Total hours worked and consumer spending is also looking likely to decline in the short run due to this Omicron spike. So, it’s certainly too early for small businesses to celebrate.

However, most analysts are seeing the light – and a lot of that comes from the anticipation of Omicron cases quickly peaking and declining due to the high vaccination rates and milder symptoms. Around halfway through the year is when the bounceback is forecast, with consumer and business confidence set to rise once again – and hopefully, sustained, presuming there are no new Covid-19 variants.

Broad economic growth is expected to be boosted from July onwards, particularly in part due to the strong labour income growth and strong savings and wealth from Australians.

We can’t ignore the current political situations in Europe, of course, with the recent invasion of Ukraine. The economic impacts of this are less immediate than in Europe, of course, but oil price rises have already been introduced, and business with Russia has become more difficult. Speculation on the military events are too difficult to predict, but Australia is not protected from the economic ripples that could occur.

Inflation is set to level out at a healthy 2-3% from 2023 onwards, whilst disposable income and consumption is set to continue growing. Not only is this good news for Australia in isolation, but it’s even more impressive in relation to their peers who are suffering steep inflation that far outstrips their wage increases.

Some other possible risks for the Australian economy comes from China’s slowing economy, which is likely to reduce demand for some exports, mostly commodities like iron ore, and construction.

Looking back, it is easy to point out the shortcomings of the Australian government along with the struggles of SMEs, but it’s important to see it within the context of its peers. What stands out is Australia’s foresight in its previous economic success over the past few decades. Despite Australia withstanding far more lockdowns than the US, and thus longer pandemic relief programmes, we have seen less of a rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio, signalling that Australia had built up healthy reserves and savings when the times were good.

For comparison, Australia’s debt-to-GDP climbed from 41% in 2018 to 62% in 2021. In the US, these figures were 107% to 133%.

PIMCO: China Growth Outlook – Counting the Cost of Lockdowns

By Carol Liao, China Economist at PIMCO

After a promising start to the year, China’s economy is now facing its worst disruption since the beginning of the pandemic.

Both the manufacturing and services Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) in March fell below 50 points – the level that separates growth from contraction – for the first time since February 2020. Measures to contain COVID outbreaks concentrated in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Jilin have caused sharp declines in mobility and disruption to production, further hurting consumption and services.

Domestic logistics face friction caused by movement restrictions on truck drivers, and strict pandemic controls at major Chinese ports may exacerbate global supply chain woes as port congestion worsens worldwide.

With China unlikely to give up its zero-COVID stance, we expect another month of disruption in the mainland before the situation normalizes in May. Given significant headwinds to the nation’s economic growth in the first half of this year, we have revised down our baseline GDP forecast for 2022 to mid-4%, with a wider forecast range to account for heightened uncertainties in both the Chinese and global economy.

Pressure mounts on China’s ambitious 2022 GDP growth target

At the National People’s Congress (NPC) in early March – about a week before Shenzhen’s 17.5 million residents were placed in a week-long lockdown – Beijing had announced a growth target of “about 5.5%” for 2022, beating market expectations.

Although that figure would represent China’s lowest year-on-year GDP growth in more than three decades (with the exception of 2020), it faces challenges including global geopolitical and economic uncertainty, the ongoing pandemic, a troubled domestic housing market and lacklustre consumption.

Along with the target, Beijing also revealed a fiscal stimulus plan that surprised to the upside, with tax cuts and fiscal spending on infrastructure projects the main approaches to boost growth. In spite of the lowering of China’s deficit-to-GDP ratio to 2.8% for 2022 from 3.2% in 2021 (a decrease of more than 200 billion yuan), on-budget fiscal expenditure is expected to increase by more than 2 trillion yuan compared with last year, thanks to the significant fiscal carryover from 2021.

In addition, about 1.2 trillion yuan of local government special bond (LGSB)1 proceeds that were not used in 2021 could offer extra support to infrastructure spending this year, even as land sale revenue falls short.

Increased policy support to sustain economic and social stability

At the March NPC, Premier Li Keqiang’s Government Work Report emphasized Beijing’s shift of focus from tough structural reforms to economic stability – a particular priority given the political importance of October’s 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China and the government reshuffle.

A slew of economic and social development goals for 2022 were unveiled, such as creating more than 11 million new urban jobs and keeping Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth at around 3%. We expect the CPI to average around 2.5% this year, factoring in higher commodity prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis but weaker domestic consumption demand.

On the property market, the report reiterated that “housing is for living, not for speculation,” but also stated that the government will support reasonable housing demand, indicating a more balanced tone on property market policies.

With sustainable energy, China will be more flexible with its decarbonization target and take a more scientific approach to its energy structure transformation. This contrasts to the specific target of trimming energy intensity by 3% in 2021, which triggered disruptive power rationing.

We expect policy easing to accelerate in the near term. Fiscal policy has been in action with front-loaded LGSB issuance to support infrastructure and swift relief programs to help small and medium-sized enterprises that are struggling with the current COVID wave. The People’s Bank of China has stepped up credit supply, but aggregate credit growth remains constrained by weak demand, and thus we expect further sectoral regulatory policy relaxation, especially in the housing market, to lift demand. Interest rate and reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts are also likely to follow in 2Q 2022.

Impact on growth will depend on length of lockdowns

Our mid-4% China GDP forecast for 2022 takes into account the fiscal upside surprise, the better-than-expected economic performance in the first two months of this year, as well as the impact of the Omicron wave and the Russia-Ukraine crisis – and assumes that the current outbreak will get largely under control by May.

We think the impact on China’s exports could still be manageable if lockdowns are not synchronized across major ports and domestic production remains intact. When Shenzhen’s Yantian port suspended operations for weeks in May and June last year, for example, large quantities of cargo were diverted to ports in other areas, thereby keeping summer exports strong at nearly 30% year-on-year.

Overall, we think the length of disruption will be key. China will likely prevent a large-scale synchronized lockdown across the country and we expect further outbreaks to face the same strict – but short – lockdown as Shenzhen, rather than Shanghai’s unsuccessful attempt at phased lockdowns. China’s flexible labor market and domestic supply chain could help mitigate the impact on production if disruptions are temporary. However, the longer local lockdowns last, the harder it will be for factories to make up losses.

Top 10 Benefits of Outsourcing CFO Services

If you are a self-made entrepreneur, chances are you have the idea of how tedious it can be to look after your business finances. In fact, managing the business and the finances side-by-side can be quite a hassle, especially in the established company’s early stages.

However, even after that, when your organization is finally established, ensuring all the financial basis is legally covered is a complicated factor. Therefore, outsourcing your CFO services is in everybody’s favour in such a situation.

Why Invest In Outsourced CFO Services?

It is a perfectly reasonable question to ask why you would need to make a considerable investment in outsourcing CFO services when you can hire a CFO for your company. However, the thing is, while CFO is an invaluable asset to an organization, they come with a hefty price tag.

So unlike some corporate giants, business owners can’t afford to hire a CFO. Moreover, not to mention, you may not even need a full-time CFO in the first place – so why bother with having one on your payroll when you will make no use of their expertise. Hence, investing in outsourced CFO services is completely favourable.

10 Benefits You Get To Enjoy With Outsourced CFO Services

Now that you understand why outsourced CFO services are what your business may need, here are some incredible benefits you may enjoy if you invest in one. Let’s take a look, shall we?

i. A Skilled, Knowledgeable, Experienced CFO at Your Disposal

Naturally, with many benefits that you will enjoy by outsourcing CFO services, there is no comparison to the skills, knowledge and expertise you will be putting under your organization right from the get-go. In fact, this carousel of useful qualities would be at our disposal at all times. Safe to say that no financial jeopardy would be that bad if you have an experienced CFO at your service.

ii. Time Saving Attributes

A self-made business owner already has a lot going on for them. They don’t have time to run financial errands to the dot and ensure all the legalities are met with precision. In fact, sometimes, there are deadlines and severe time constraints that a lone person can’t handle. That is exactly when your outsourced CFO services step in. It will save you time by covering all the financial basis for you without any hassle.

iii. Impeccable Financial Reporting

You are receiving outsourced CFO services. So naturally, it is a given that CFOs have the unmatched skills and knowledge to deliver the best financial reporting duties, unlike anybody else’s. Moreover, they will analyze all your financial reports and documents for you before the taxing or audit period. They will help you utilize your funding to expand your business in ways you wouldn’t even have thought of.

iv. Profitable Financial Projection & Future Planning

Similar to financial reporting, outsourcing CFO services means receiving incredible insights on your financial projections and future planning ideas accordingly. The CFO would let you in on how you can work on increasing the numbers or maintain substantial business growth in order to make full use of your potential. Not to mention, strategies would be made tailored to your business profile.

v. An Upper Hand at Risk Management

CFOs have extensive experience working with unpredictable market conditions, volatile industries and many types of business. Outsourcing CFO services means that you get to use this sense of experience at your convenience. They would predict the risk involved in any new financial upgrades or investments and help you make a consequent decision accordingly. Predictability of the risk involved allows for better preparation in case things take a turn for the worse.

vi. Budgeting For the Company Expenditures

Another vital aspect of outsourcing CFO services is that they would create a healthy budget for your business expenditures. They will help you stay on top of your expenses and dealings that cost more money than the amount you make. This will allow for a better hold at a long-term view of your business growth and expansion prospect and make better decisions and budget as you go with all your future clientele dealings.

vii. Human Resource Analysis

Naturally, with all the insights you will have, you will receive analysis based on human resources. You would know how much of your profitability is due to your hired workforce. This will allow you to hire better talent if needed and let go of stale employees who bring nothing to the table. Moreover, you can involve your staff in making better decisions on the HR level for you.

viii. Product Portfolio

Now that you have so much financial integrity and information, you will likely look toward expanding your business. And what better way to do it than expand your product portfolio. Outsourcing CFO services would allow you to understand what you can do better, which features to exploit and what market to target. In turn, it will lead to a better uphold of your business future in terms of product-market.

ix. Taxing Compliance

Taxes aren’t easy, and that is a well-established factor. Moreover, you have a consequent involvement of law and legal proceedings within your business that need upkeep too. The investment in outsourcing CFO services easily allows all these matters to be checked and more. It is safe to say. You won’t have to worry if anything mutual between your financial and legal works is going unchecked.

x. Towards Business Growth

Lastly, but more importantly, a CFO is your ultimate pit stop towards ensured business growth. As we said earlier, you can by no means imagine your business doing numbers until you have a CFO looking over your financial matters. Hence, your overall business will become more efficient and allow you to generate better revenue standpoints leading toward business growth and expansion.

Bottom Line

We greatly hope that the ten benefits we have mentioned help convince you to outsource your CFO services to a reputable accounting service provider. After all, it is the next big step you can ensure in favour of your business to grow and expand over the years. So it only makes sense that it is completed with rightful analysis and the best you can afford. Cheers!

Role of HR to Boost Business’s Growth

The planning and control department of an organisation is human resources. For example, it serves as a central point of contact for different departments like procurement and finance. HR focuses on departments functioning properly. In this blog, we have discussed the role of HR.

The HR department monitors the company’s day-to-day operations. Staff recruitment and selection is the HR department’s primary goal. The department provides preparing and training for recruits once the recruiting process has been completed. As a result, the HR department knows how to care for the workers in terms of incentives, acknowledgment, and other advantages.

Why Is Human Resources Management Important?
Promoting a positive work environment relies heavily on the efforts of the human resource department. They handle everything from staff recruitment to welcoming new employees to development and training, payroll, and performance management. It includes all of the important factors to promote a pleasant workplace environment. Its only purpose is to simplify and improve the efficiency of the organisational process.

The following are the responsibilities of a human resources consultancy firm:
Staff Recruitment
For HR, the most essential and initial step is to hire a worker. Recruiting is a time-consuming and costly procedure, although it is rewarding when you meet new people and get the opportunity to evaluate their abilities. The design of a hiring method is a crucial HR duty. In this procedure, the organisation’s requirements are identified, and then a set of criteria is used to choose those requirements. The selection of the ideal individual may boost the organisation’s morale. When you’re in charge of these roles, you must do a comprehensive market study before beginning the recruiting process.

Hiring the Ideal People and Placing Them in the Correct Positions
A well-chosen worker may make all the difference for a firm. The HR department’s primary responsibility is to manage overall hiring procedures.

The first step is to put up an advertisement on the recruitment sites. Applicants are chosen for interviews after the HR department has reviewed their applications. Furthermore, getting the top employees requires a company’s positive image within the job market.

Payroll Processing
People need to figure out how much tax they’ve paid, how much money they’ve added to their gross wage, and many other things. When a worker’s gross salary is calculated, the HR officer must consider any appraisals or incentives. The HR department is very important for the organisation’s payroll process.

Take Disciplinary Measures
When you want to succeed, it’s stated, you have to be committed. Therefore, strict attention to professionalism is a must-have for everybody when you wish to manage a successful business with a flawless workflow. Employees must maintain discipline in the workplace; that’s the HR manager’s responsibility. Discipline in the workplace is sometimes essential if the employee isn’t up to the task. The HR manager has the authority to terminate the worker for the organisation’s good.

Updating and Designing Policies
To get the best results from your organisation, you must comply with strict rules and regulations. If you’re looking for the human resource manager position, you must ensure that the company’s rules and policies are continuously updated. In certain cases, the policies fail to operate due to the bad conduct of the people in charge. If a regulation or policy isn’t being respected or is too complicated, HR will have to revise it to fit the needs of the business. Human resources have to keep an eye on what strategies are functioning and how many workers are regularly complying with the company’s standards.

Keep track of Staff Information.
The HR department must keep track of every employee of the organisation due to the many employees. Staff files are the best way to learn about a staff’s past. It’s useful for identifying where workers could have gaps in their knowledge and abilities. Each staff member’s family members’ names, addresses, and phone numbers are in the file. When an employee leaves a firm, the files are always kept in storage, even if they no longer work for the organisation.

Responsible for Staff Benefit Program
An organisation needs to arrange for excellent rewards for its workers since every worker desires perks. It strengthens the company’s relationship with its employees. Several organisations provide low wages but considerable perks. An employee with a high level of expertise may choose to work for a firm despite poor wages. It’s because she’s more interested in the perks that come with the job. Health coverage, house loan options, and more are all examples of possible perks.

Training New Recruits
Human resources must give employees proper training and prepare them to get familiar with the company’s workflow from the beginning.

Help them understand the atmosphere, administration, and functional procedure. It is essential for their success as it gives employees a chance to get a sense of the company, meet their co workers, and learn about their role in it.

Designing and Job Analysis
In order to meet the dept’s demands, the Human resource manager must give each worker a position. It is the responsibility of human resources to develop jobs that are consistent with the job role. The HR department must consider employees’ strengths and weaknesses while creating a new position. There are a variety of topics to consider throughout the process of job analysis, including job roles, staff responsibilities, and much more.

Evaluate the Performance of Employees
It is necessary to monitor the growth of workers from the time they join the company until the time they leave. Workers compare their current job to their prior efforts to gauge their growth. The variation may be decreased when there are any delays between the actual work done and the work process. A raise or promotion in the organisation may also be achieved using this technique.

The Bottom Line
If you plan to run your own HR business, you must get in touch with a professional human resource consultancy like HR coach or study the market and consider the important factors for running your own HR business.

Q2 2022

Welcome to the Q2 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

As we explore and consider the second quarter of 2022 through this issue, we are invited to fix our eyes upon some incredible businesses from the Asian Pacific region. Weaving a cloth of pure innovation in an ever evolving reality is no small feat but, here, we would like to showcase some show stopping business plans for a more sustainable, creative, and reliable future. With online platforms for fabulous luxury items, programs for revolutionary data dissection – and everything in between – APAC Insider Magazine is presenting a wide variety of invaluable business experiences.

Our cover, City Chain Stores, is continuously rejuvenating the luxury watch world. By working with Swiss watch brands, and by doing so with elegance and style, City Chain Stores has entered a realm of corporate excellence. With its founding company Stelux Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong stock exchange mainboard, City Chain Stores has a lot of experience that is transferrable to its current position on the market.

We are excited to present you with more stories such as this. We wish you the best for these upcoming months and look forward to welcoming you back for Q3 of APAC Insider Magazine 2022.

Current Events Highlight Need for Global Employers to Have Security Evacuation Plans in Place

The current situation in eastern Europe has highlighted how quickly things can escalate and the vital need for employers with overseas staff to have an emergency plan in place in case of political or civil unrest.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection says: “Employers need to be aware of the differences between security and medical evacuation plans. They must have both in place to ensure all bases are covered and they must be aware of the level of the support offered.”

Security evacuation

International medical insurance is specifically for the sick or injured. Security evacuation is different. While a political incident could result in grave physical harm or death, it is not actually a medical emergency and is unlikely to be covered by a medical emergency plan. Any region or country in which employees are working can be at risk. Terror attacks, for example, happen all around the world and often with no prior indication. With support ranging from ‘point of incident evacuation’ and ‘political or natural disaster evacuation’, to ‘security evacuation’, it is vital to take specialist advice on exactly how to offer emergency support for employees abroad.

Evacuation and repatriation

Employers and their employees abroad should be aware that evacuation is different from repatriation. With regards to medical evacuation, for example, this means that if there are no appropriate medical facilities in the employee’s current location, they will be evacuated to the nearest centre of medical excellence to undergo care. Repatriation, however, means that the employee will be transported back to their home nation for treatment. Under security evacuation, an employee may find they are taken to the nearest safe location, rather than to their home country, unless repatriation is a specific part of the support offered.

International medical insurance

International medical insurance is also crucial for any employee abroad. It must be fit for purpose, and this will be different on a case-by-case basis. If an employee falls seriously ill abroad, it is imperative that they are fully covered for all eventualities. Travel insurance is for short holidays and is not to the level required by someone working overseas.

Local expertise

Local knowledge can form an important part of the decision-making process when sending employees abroad. Guidance from experts in country can provide an insight into the situation into which staff are being sent. They will be able to give guidance on the risks associated with an area, and help employers to make informed decisions on what support is required.   

Sarah Dennis comments: “Support for employees abroad is not something that a company can take short cuts on, neither is it something that should be undertaken without advice. It is a very specialist area. Hopefully, employees and their employers will never have to rely on evacuation or repatriation services, whether for medical or security reasons. It is vital, however, that both are in place in case it is needed, and that the extent of the support is fully understood.”

Shopify vs. Neto

Hundreds of thousands of people have used Shopify since its early 2000s to fulfil their e-commerce needs. It’s currently the gold standard for e-commerce integrations into small businesses. However, a new Australian platform, Neto, is now trying to compete with Shopify. Is it bringing something new to the online transaction scenario, or is it just another low-budget Shopify rip-off? Let’s find out.

What Is Shopify?

Currently, Shopify is the most popular e-commerce integration platform available online. It offers many easy-to-use designs and templates on which you can build your online and offline shops around. Shopify is to online store owners what WordPress is to web developers. It is easy to use and has been perfected over the years to make e-commerce integration seamless and easy for Shopify designers.

What Is Neto?

Neto is the Australian competitor of Shopify. It is the only B2B Australian e-commerce platform, and the Australian population currently favours it. There are already thousands of Australian stores using Neto to integrate ecommerce into their platforms. It aims to make online transactions seamless and efficient for merchants and customers alike.

Neto is now also getting international recognition, and people have begun using it for their online platforms. It offers all the necessary POS, inventory management, and order management features.

Differences Between Shopify And Neto

While Shopify and Neto are competitors and have quite a few similarities, certain differences set the two apart. These include the following:

Signing up

It is easy to sign-up for both platforms. You will need to provide very basic information, such as the name of your business and the email address. After which, you’ll be directed right to the platform, and you can begin working. There are no significant differences between the sign-up process of both.

Payment Plans

You can start using Shopify and Neto both by first using their 14-day free trial. The trial will give you insight into what both platforms have to offer you, and you can make use of some of their free features. Only when you are satisfied with what you are getting should you then make a proper payment and choose a plan for the platform of your choice.

Both Shopify and Neto offer three different payment plans for their users. The standard starting price of the Shopify plan is slightly lower than that of the Neto plan. However, Shopify charges a certain amount for every transaction you make through their service. Neto, on the other hand, does not deduct these external charges.

Both platforms offer unlimited products on the websites, and therefore there is no extra charge for adding more products.

Neto does charge an extra fee for Amazon integration into their platform, though. This extra fee could be quite the deal-breaker since Shopify offers Amazon integration for free.

Designs

Shopify has many themes for merchants, and they keep updating them every day. Besides that, Shopify also has some very functional free themes and designs that merchants can easily use.

Neto does not have as many themes and designs as Shopify, and of the themes they do have, not many are free. So selecting a good theme on Neto will generally be pricier than selecting a theme for Shopify.

Shopify and Neto themes and designs are also available on third-party websites.
It is also easy to modify and develop your own themes on Shopify, even if you have minimum coding skills. For Neto, you will need to hire a developer to modify the themes and customise them to your liking.

Interface

The Shopify interface is minimalistic, easy to use, and easily understood. You can access all the stats and the order inquiries from your dashboard, and the minimalist outlook makes it easy to manage a Shopify platform.
Neto’s dashboard is slightly more cluttered and complex since you have sales and comparison stats on the main page. This makes the Neto dashboard slightly trickier to navigate, but it is also quite easy to use once you’ve adjusted to it.

E-Commerce Integration

If you have a website or a Facebook page, you can integrate Shopify into the page, and it will help you add transactional features. You can even use Shopify for Amazon and eBay.

People can use Neto in many ways to integrate online shopping on their platform. Neto provides merchants with an online store, Amazon and eBay integration, a POS system, wholesale and B2B integration, and many other options as well.

In some ways, Neto’s online shopping integration offers more easily available options than a Shopify store.

Customer Support

With both platforms, you can easily have customers added to your database once they have completed a purchase from you. Other than that, you can also modify the customer database, adding and removing customers as needed.

Both platforms also allow the integration of loyalty programs and reward points, which can help retain their customer base.

Customers on both platforms can also track their own order history as well.

Inventory

Both Neto and Shopify order easy inventory management options where the inventory count is automatically adjusted and items that are no longer in stock are removed. There is also automatic currency conversion on both platforms, which means people around the globe can easily use it.

You can also use Shopify to automatically track incoming inventory, such as new shipments, which will help with the automatic inventory updates.

The Neto inventory management system is slightly less automated, and you have to add new stock to the inventory and make a lot of updates on your own. All these updates are easy to make and will likely be automated in the near future.

 

Conclusion

Shopify and Neto are both trustworthy e-commerce integration platforms. They are easily integrated on any page and offer many distinct features.
Shopify has been around for a long time now, so its features are easier to use, and the platform is slightly easier to manage. Even though Neto is newer, it is quickly gaining traction and will be giving Shopify quite stiff competition in the long run.

IEE Expo and E2 Forum 2022 to Highlight Transformative Technology and Safety Standards in Elevator and Escalator Industry

To support the growth potential of the Indian elevator industry, IEE Expo 2022 along with E2 Forum will bring latest elevator trends and technologies into focus through its September edition in Mumbai.

Demand for faster, safer and intelligent elevators is increasing day by day fueled by increasing population of high-rises, metro and other large infrastructure projects. Even in tier 2 cities, the demand for elevators has grown significantly overtime accompanied by enhanced standard of living. Along with improving standard of technology and innovation in elevator systems, safety standards need to be more meticulously maintained.

Prioritising safety and convenience through innovation

While periodic maintenance is staple, a majority of elevator accidents can be avoided by replacing older models with sophisticated elevator technologies which are advanced and way more reliable. Another major factor in maintaining elevator safety is the quality of components. It is crucial to use authentic components from licensed OEMs when repairing an elevator instead of spurious counterparts which can seriously compromise the safety and integrity of elevator systems.

Smart elevators are also turning out to be a game changer in implementing safe, smooth and reliable vertical transportation in modern buildings. Equipped with IoT-enabled intelligent systems, smart elevators can pre-determine faults that might arise in the system and notify the authorities beforehand. Furthermore, they also have the potential to make mobility much faster. For instance, some smart elevators can sense proximity of approaching individuals through their mobile or any connected device, and by analyzing their preset record it can also book an elevator for them in advance.

International Elevator and Escalator Expo 2022 to provide ascent to innovation and b2b engagements in the elevator industry

IEE Expo is a platform where the elevator industry and realty sector’s elite can witness evolution in elevator and escalator space. Slated to be held from 6 – 8 September 2022 at JIO World Convention Centre (JWCC), IEE Expo 2022 has garnered support from Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs alongside All India Lift Upliftment Federation (AILUF), Karnataka Elevator Manufacturers Association (KEMA) and Gujarat Elevator Association.

The first post-pandemic edition is set to converge premier industry brands including Bharat Bijlee, NBSL, Arkel, Bestomech, Celikray, City Lifts, DATIS, Esquire, Excella Electronics, Expedite, Genemek, Giovenzana, Hohner Automation, Invt Electric, Jainox, Mahabali Steel, Mother India Forming, Nidec Control Techniques, Puretronics, RB Electronics, Rolliflex, Schindler, Techtronics, Universal Hydraulics and Ziehl Abegg who will showcase technologies that will steer future trends in vertical transportation. It will also connect realty firms, architects, builders and consultants and make way for meaningful business interactions with international as well as domestic players. Additionally, it aims to enable the real estate community who are looking out for the right solutions for better infrastructural development in the future.

Affirming his intentions of visiting IEE Expo 2022, Mr GS Balaji, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Committee Member & Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries stated: “Without doubt IEE Expo is an excellent platform to witness new developments in the elevator industry. It serves as a strong channel for the elevator industry and realty sector’s elite to come together and interact productively. We are very much excited to visit the fair and connect with the industry in September.”

On the second day of the exhibition, organiser Messe Frankfurt India will host a series of intriguing knowledge sessions and panel discussions for industry members.

CREDAI-MCHI extends association with IEE Expo

Extending their association for the third consecutive edition, Mr Boman R Irani, Vice President, CREDAI-MCHI, shared: “The real estate sector in India is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030 growing by 19.5% CAGR. This is a clear indication that buyers are now ready to make a move and the future of the real estate sector will remain robust. Our tie-up with IEE Expo for the past two editions has given the construction industry access to intelligent vertical transport and parking systems. I am confident that the next as well, will continue to provide the best architectural mobility insights and solutions for high-rise buildings in the country.”

Owing to the strategic alliance, IEE Expo as a brand has become a trusted choice for real estate moguls like DLF Ltd, The Wadhwa Group, TATA Realty and Infrastructure Ltd, Marathon Realty Pvt Ltd, Kalpataru Group, Shree Naman Developers Pvt Ltd, Dosti Realty Ltd, Oswal Realty Pvt Ltd, JP Infra Pvt Ltd, Ashar Group, and Lodha Group. Hosting more than 125 procurement experts over the last two editions, the exhibition has successfully brought decision makers face-to-face with tech experts to analyse the industry needs and facilitate overall business.

Having visited the exhibition to gauge insights on the elevator technologies beneficial for buildings, Mr Mukesh Jaitley, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Committee Member & COO Kolte Patil, shared: “As buyers, people just look at the finished product and don’t know what technicalities go inside creating the product. But the last edition of IEE Expo gave us insights about the components used to assemble elevators. With this information on backend automation, it will be interesting to see how OEMs utilise these technologies in their finished products.”

Sharing a similar sentiment, Mr Nimish Ajmera, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Convener & Director, Ajmera Realty and Infra India, shared: “We are especially looking forward to engage with businesses returning after a long haul of the pandemic. It will certainly be interesting to discover technological advancements that have taken place over the last two years in the elevator space. September 2022 – IEE Expo is the place to be!”

E2 Forum Mumbai 2022 to host discussion on changing elevator trends and safety standards

As a part IEE Expo 2022, E2 Forum Mumbai will present potential solutions that can contribute in the overall development in the elevator and escalator market on 7 September 2022. The conference will take up topics of industry’s interest, including: global and Indian trend analysis, demand in real estate and infrastructure sectors post COVID, Indian elevator market 2022 & beyond, technological innovations and safety standards, and more.

Amidst the escalating demand for in-building and inter-building transportation, IEE Expo will serve as a ground for elevator businesses to showcase their growing technological capabilities and product developments.

Learn to Maximize and Make Your Business Stand Out

Maximizing in a business means doing things that positively affect your business performance and growth. The small, consistent improvements that you make in your business, be it small or big, are significant for it to become successful and sustainable to its customers.

Keeping on monitoring cash flow in your business and using social media for your marketing will go far in helping you maximize your business. Also, identifying your strengths as you ask for help where things are not going as planned from different sources will help you find ways of improving the areas that offer the most profit to your business.

For example, expocart.com is one of the shops that stand out, and thousands of customers trust it. This is because their goods and services are always quality, reliable and accessible from anywhere, especially within the UK.

Starting up a business in the Asia-pacific region requires you to be very knowledgeable. This is because of their culture and local market that has never been seen in any other parts globally. To set up a market that will last for a long time amidst other highly-competitive markets such as Korea and China, you need to develop unique factors to help your business stand out.

The main challenge affecting the business in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is too many brands of a product in the market.

However, to have a successful business within these regions, the main thing is keeping things local. It’s important to note that using technology in marketing within these regions is not very efficient in a local market, although it still plays a part. This is unlike other parts of the world where technology in marketing your goods and services is one of the key things towards a successful business. Technology is not the in-thing in APAC since it has to adapt to the culture and needs of engaging in business in Asia.

The following are ways that you can use to maximize and make your business stand out;

Planning on a Location to Overcome Cultural Differences

To introduce your product in the APAC region, you need to have unique marketing strategies. These strategies should be based on the cultural and linguistic factors in the specific location. Your products might be successful in some regions and not successful in others. Therefore, you should have a strategy to ensure that the product will still be accepted in the area you want to locate your business.

For Asian customers to appreciate your products, you probably need to use different materials that conform to their culture. You should use techniques that will capture the customers’ attention in Asia.

It is also essential to look for and work with a specialist who understands the customers of the APAC region much better. Doing this will help you get what the customers want and know the target audience. This will help your business grow and become outstanding.

Engage more Frequently and Freely with Your Customers

You can engage with your customers through different ways to help build a strong relationship. A strong relationship with your customers can lead to a successful business. You can create a strong relationship with your customers by using technology.

The use of mobile phones has dominated the world over the use of desktops, especially in the field of market and business. However, this development has not surpassed the markets in Asia, where app usage is the in thing. To easily engage with customers in the APAC region, mobile phones are recommendable.

Creating a mobile app offers a direct connection with your customers, and you can also communicate easily. You can send messages of promotions through the mobile like discount codes and offers to the customers. Customers can also reach you and readily give their views on your products and services. Negative feedback will help you improve your services, while positive feedback tells you to keep on doing good work.

Push for High-Quality Campaigns

To push for high-quality campaigns, you should choose a team that will produce the best content to use in campaigning your business products. The team must be conversant with the economic and cultural background of the target customers in the APAC regions. This will help them push the essential quality campaigns to promote the goal or objective of your business.

If you have already made up your mind on targeting the APAC region customers, you should create high-quality content to capture their attention for the success of your business.

A business that is conscious and respects customers and their culture within that region will easily win your trust, which will set your business to stand out.

Improve Your Online Presence within the Available Networks

In China, the most popular social media platforms are not available. This is because of the internet censorship program in the country. Therefore, to reach customers in such regions, your business has to adapt to the communication platforms available in the targeted countries.

You should find out the platforms that most of your customers use to engage with them easily.

Conclusion

In conclusion, to maximize and make your business stand out, you should first find out about the culture of your target consumers to help you come up with the products and services that will suit them. You should also engage frequently with your customers to get feedback on your products. This will help you become aware of what to improve in your business to sustain the customer needs.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Australian Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2022– APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Enterprise Awards programme.

Now in its sixth year, APAC Insider’s Australian Enterprise Awards programme has had a successful history in celebrating successful and pioneering businesses and professional individuals who have played a crucial role in contributing to one of the largest economies in the world.

This year, the Australian Enterprise Awards programme has been designed to recognise and award those businesses, enterprises and individuals who have demonstrated their perseverance to allow Australia to retain its position as a major player in the world economy. The programme recognises talent across all industries, from construction and engineering, to banking, finance, energy, life sciences, travel and tourism.

Our Awards Coordinator, Steve Simpson, has spoken on the success of the Awards programme: “After the difficult times we have all been though, it is heartening to see these businesses and individuals strive for the best and thus reap the results of that. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and wish them all the best for their future endeavours!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/australian-enterprise-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to Editors.

About APAC Insider

Here at APAC Insider, our approach reflects the innovative, dedicated and results-focused culture that has seen the Asia Pacific region become home to some of the most prominent industry-leading businesses in the world.

Playing host to more than one third of the world’s biggest businesses and boasting more Global 2000 members – among them worldwide brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Bank of China – than anywhere else on Earth, we are rapidly becoming the region to watch for those seeking the corporate world’s next big thing.

Exploring everything from business strategy and analysis to emerging trends and growth opportunities, APAC Insider is an invaluable resource for more than 160,000 leaders and decision makers looking to be kept fully informed of all the major developments in this most vibrant of business arenas.

We can see the great success of our platform with over 255,322 page views in the last 12 months averaging at 21,200 page views per month we can see our magazine is loved by many. The unique users average at an incredible 6,830 per month and we can’t thank our readers enough for the amazing support they give us to bring this content to you.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

OPPO Engineered the Extraordinary 5G Signal Solution In Find X5 Pro With Better, Faste and Stronger Experience

By 2025, 5G networks are expected to serve one-third of the world’s population. As part of its never-ending strive for perfection, OPPO develops 5G smartphone solutions that provide an unparalleled experience, offering users with stable, uncompromised 5G connections for maximum enjoyment.

Laying the foundations

The quality of a smartphone’s signal is determined by its antenna, and its positioning within the phone itself. In 2020, OPPO released a groundbreaking 360-degree Antenna Design in Reno 3: where the antenna is arranged along the outer frame of Reno 3’s frame, allowing a better signal regardless of whether it was held horizontally or vertically.

This was particularly important for gamers, as many AAA smartphone titles are played horizontally to maximize the use of the screen. In regular phones without such a novel solution, gamers may suffer from poor signal, slower speeds and lag, giving them a noticeable competitive disadvantage.

Adapting to life

But sometimes, users may still experience dropped connections, low signal, and lag while they are on their phones in challenging environments like parking lots or trains. In those challenging environments, the Power Amplifier (PA) plays a critical role in amplifying a smartphone’s signal enough to provide users with a strong and stable connection.

Most phones only have one PA for a corresponding frequency band, and it’s up to this single PA to choose the most suitable of four antennas in a phone to receive the signal. The flaw in this design is that there is a large burden placed on the PA itself, in addition to a delay. That’s because it takes time for the PA to decide which of a phone’s four antennas is best when gamers change grip from horizontal to vertical.

In order to combat this issue, OPPO’s engineers worked on a solution that expertly blends software and hardware to improve the layout of the antennas, as well as including not one, but two PA components. After a year of engineering, the Dual PA Four-way Connection System was first launched in OPPO Find X5 Pro, positioning it well ahead of any competition.

This innovative system is driven by a crucial component which is developed by OPPO Research Institute – Fast Matching Algorithm. It enables the phone to select the PA that’s most suitable for sending and receiving signals at any given time automatically. Not only does this massively increase the efficiency of the PA system itself, but their location also corresponds closely to their respective antenna bands, improving both the quality of the signal, as well as power consumption.

Moreover, OPPO also applied Dual PA Four-way Connection System on 4G bands. Signal that’s both powerful and fast, with silky smooth video, streaming and gaming experiences without any lag or stutter to be seen. According to laboratory data, Find X5 Pro sees far fewer freezes with lower latency, even in extremely weak signal scenarios – specifically 30% less latency and 50% less freezes compared to the previous generation Find X3 Pro.

Striving for perfection

OPPO has always placed importance on quality communication, and this was cemented further by establishing a communication standards team in 2015. More recently, OPPO has spent the past few years actively promoting the development and adoption of 5G around the world, in addition to submitting 5G communication standard patents in more than 30 countries and regions around the world. In fact, in 2021, OPPO became one of the top ten companies in the world for holding one of the highest numbers of 5G-specific patents.

Despite its world-leading innovation with Reno 5G and Find X3 Pro (the first commercial 5G-supporting and 5G-standalone handsets in Europe), along with, of course, Find X5 Pro, OPPO remains committed to more research and innovation to push industry boundaries to provide the best possible experience for its users. From working with chip suppliers to refine and optimize chips’ capability, to exploring new antenna solutions, partnerships and new possibilities beyond 5G, OPPO’s quest for excellence is always on-going.

How to Choose the Right Dropshipping Products For Your Brand

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Everything you sell online defines your business, so product research is vital. Even one bad review can harm your online E-commerce business. According to Printful, though the investment is small, it is essential to avoid fragile or more oversized products that might backfire in shipping fees.

A product’s weight and size will cut down on your profit margins, so you should focus on medium-to-small sized objects, such as customized clothes, or sell products that are easy to use to ensure customer satisfaction.

With that being said, here is how to choose the right dropshipping products for your brand and stay away from negative reviews!

Avoid Expensive Objects

Depending on your budget, you might head or ignore dropshipping’s easy yet low-cost features. Selling overpriced products might not guarantee an improvement in sales. Think about this for a second; a higher price means a customer will have higher expectations.

It’s easy to miss those expectations, resulting in negative feedback, especially if they have to return that product. If you focus on simple yet affordable products, you will have a higher chance of raising your online business.

Easy to Use Objects

Though you may choose some abstract items to sell, you must understand how they work. If you struggle with it, your clients will as well. Instead, focus on selling items that are easy to use and won’t leave customers scratching their heads.

Every frustration can turn into a returned product or negative review, which is something you want to avoid in the E-commerce business.

Focus on Pain Points

Do your research appropriately to get the most out of your dropshipping products. Focus on how to solve the consumer’s pain points. This means that you have to offer products that the consumer can use and solve their needs.

This is a great sales booster if you understand your customer base well.

Sell Unique Items

Unique items are great dropshipping products to sell, as long as they are helpful, aren’t overpriced, fragile, complicated to use, or too big. Such items can be easily made through customizations.

You can choose a T-shirt, blankets, cups, just about anything! Most people can enjoy a unique item, and the best part is, at least when it comes to customized clothes, is that you can also choose the fabrics.

This way, you can make your products of higher quality, and get some great reviews from your customers, which will slowly yet surely boost your sales and online presence.

Don’t Pick Large or Fragile Items.

Let’s face it; you don’t have any guarantee that the fragile items you are selling through dropshipping won’t arrive broken. Even if it’s not your fault, that negative review might be just around the corner.

Apart from this, it can also cause you some additional costs, such as sending a new item. Due to their volume and weight, you will inevitably have to pay additional shipping fees when it comes to big products. These fees will cut down on your profit, so make sure to avoid more oversized or fragile items while dropshipping.

Big items are also prone to damage, so you can again risk upsetting your customers. In the world of e-commerce, reviews are a breaker or a maker. Be a maker and act smart with your dropshipping products for your brand.

OPPO Uses Advanced Engineering to Build Find X5 Pro

OPPO conducted more than 300 tests to build a smartphone with high intelligence, 5-axis camera stabilization, waterproof, durable and long lasting

OPPO designed and optimized the hundreds of processes that go into the construction of the OPPO Find X5 Pro, to ensure the first phone off the production line and the thousandth are not just identical twins but of world-class quality.

A trip to the factory floor

The human brain has countless folds. The OPPO Find X5 Pro’s motherboard structure is a little like that of the human brain, connecting all the phone’s components together with an ultra-fine labyrinth of miniature metal paths.

These roads are printed onto the motherboard, in rooms full of robotic printers that can produce up to 10 million boards a month. High-speed modular machines would mount components like the CPU and capacitors onto the board at a level of accuracy that would likely be impossible with the human hand. The smallest component measures just 0.4mm by 0.2mm, and the chip mounter can place more than 400,000 components an hour.

OPPO uses an Auto Optical Inspector camera to check for any minute errors in the process. Every pathway on the OPPO Find X5 Pro motherboard is bespoke, each component is either custom-designed or carefully chosen. The Auto Optical Inspector is programmed to notice any slight deviation from the blueprint.

The last line of solder printed and last chip inspected, the OPPO Find X5 Pro board is baked to melt the metal powder into a rigid conductive map. Every part of this process is carefully controlled, from the humidity and temperature of the factory floor to X-ray testing of the solder every two hours to check its quality. A solder paste inspection machine (SPI) reviews each board. When the smallest steel mesh opening measures just 0.18 mm × 0.18mm, only the highest level of precision is acceptable.

90% of the testing is automated, meaning OPPO’s production experts largely only need to step in at the first signs of any potential issue.

Such attention to detail is all the more important in ensuring the quality of brand new features, like OPPO’s revolutionary 5-axis camera stabilization. Each OPPO Find X5 Pro camera is put through an OIS test for both the lens image stabilization and the sensor image stabilization, checking for its ability not just to function, but operate at the peak of its expected performance.

The OPPO Find X5 Pro is mounted to a machine set to provide a jitter angle of three degrees and 6Hz frequency. This means it wobbles back and forth by 3° six times per second, mimicking handshakes in daily scenarios during photo shooting. The new 5-axis system also compensates for sensor roll, so OPPO also applies a 0.7-degree rolling motion in testing. On top of the traditional OIS motor, the OIS test for sensor-shift (x-axis/Y-axis) and sensor-rotation (Z-axis) are also tested separately. It is the first of its kind and offers the best optical stabilization experience in the industry.

During the tests, shutter speed is set to 167ms which is the same as the frequency of vibration. To pass the test the final image must appear sharp, not blurred.

 

A look inside the OPPO QE Reliability Lab

There are two sides to the OPPO Find X5 Pro testing program. Some tests are run on every single phone, rooting out any defective components or manufacturing errors.

However, some of the most intensive testing takes place at OPPO’s QE Reliability Lab. It is where OPPO undertakes a kind of torture testing that compresses the hard treatment of years of normal use into a much shorter time window.

In-production testing makes sure specific OPPO Find X5 Pro stacks up to OPPO’s meticulous standards. The QE Reliability Lab makes sure the original design can handle real-world stresses, involving over 150 tests. Here are some of the highlights.

In the Tumble test, the OPPO Find X5 Pro is placed in a 1-meter-long turning chamber that rotates 3.5 times a minute. It emulates the force of the phone being dropped 300 times from a height of a meter, onto a hard surface. Common Drop Test is also conducted as it simulates a typical free-fall scenario from various height from 1 meter to 1.5 meters.

Another test sees the OPPO Find X5 Pro dropped from a height of 10 centimeters to more than 28,0000 times. This simulates the kind of everyday drops,but can eventually weaken the structure of a less well-designed phone.

In QE Reliability Lab, OPPO not only required the phone to meet industry standard but for many tests with even more rigorous standards because OPPO aims to provide not just solid device longevity and reliability but impeccable durability. This dedication to quality is why OPPO put so much work into the strength and finish of the ceramic casing – a 45-stage process that includes calcination at 1000 degrees centigrade.

For further testing on durability, the OPPO Find X5 Pro is kept in both high 75 degrees centigrade and freezing minus 40 degree environments for a full week, and tested afterwards to ensure there is no damage or corrosion. The phone is submerged in water at a depth of 1.5m and held there for 30 minutes, before being dismantled to check for any liquid ingress.  

OPPO Find X5 Pro, a phone that can withstand bumps, drops, freezing, shock, being doused with water and soaked with sweat. Buttons, sockets and fingerprint scanners are tested more than tens of thousands of times to prove the design works in practice just as well as it does on paper.

The OPPO Find X5 Pro is a phone brimming with advanced features and ambitious engineering, but OPPO’s rigorous manufacturing standards ensure they are ready not just for day one but years of use.Read more on the OPPO Find X5 Pro’s camera, display and design technologies at the OPPO website.

4 Tips For Streamlining Your Machine Learning Process

Machine learning (ML) is a process that employs algorithms to make machines more intelligent. This involves feeding datasets into the machine and getting it to learn from them. It’s a component of artificial intelligence (AI) and is commonplace in business models as it helps to improve operations and productivity by mimicking human intelligence but reducing errors. While the machine will learn to develop algorithms and perform functions on its own over time, you have to set a baseline for the learning process.

The best way to get the machine to learn to perform more accurately is by streamlining the process. This makes it easy for your artificial intelligence systems to pick patterns and standardize features.

Here are some essential tips for streamlining your machine learning process:

1. Outsource the Process

One of the most convenient ways of streamlining your ML process is by letting the experts handle it. It’s no surprise that machine learning is even being outsourced. This is because the process involves managing data, training algorithms, testing, and deploying it to an AI ecosystem. One wrong step in the process could mess up the whole thing, and you may be forced to spend time correcting it.

Therefore, it may be more convenient to let experts handle the whole process, especially if you don’t have the technological know-how or resources. As many companies realize that an expert can handle this process more efficiently, that’s the step you should also take. Additionally, outsourcing may be more cost-effective. You can look over at this website to see how an outsourcing company will train your models to work for you in any infrastructure you’re using.

2. Understand the Data

A model is only as good as the data it’s based on. Thus, make sure your data is up to scratch. Start by finding sources of relevant data, making sure it’s consistent. If it’s not, try cleaning it up or implementing new collecting processes. Then look for trends or connections in the data. If you notice anything intriguing, think about how that could be applied to the business objectives you’re trying to achieve with ML.

Understanding your data also involves knowing what data is available, where it comes from, and how it can be used. You may need to get additional data sources or combine information from multiple sources such as internal databases and third-party applications programming interfaces (APIs). Once you understand your data and know how accurate it is, how big the distribution is, and how it can be stored, you’ll have a better foundation for building your models. Remember that data is the backbone of any ML process, so focus more on it to streamline the process.

3. Choose An ML Framework

It’s extremely tempting to jump from one framework to another, especially when you’re searching fruitlessly for something that’ll work better than what you have. However, this is a mistake. Every framework has its syntax and quirks, so jumping around will only slow you down. Instead, pick something and stick with it. This will help you become familiar with the framework and learn how to maximize its potential benefits.

Moreover, as the team developing an algorithm or a model increases with time, you should focus on maintaining consistency. Consistency will help you build an effective AI ecosystem that’ll perform as required. In contrast, using different ML frameworks brings chaos and makes it difficult to document or track performance.

4. Set Up a Standard Data Pipeline

A pipeline refers to a set of linked processes in a sequence. Pipelines are useful for handling data because they can be used to standardize outputs and prevent errors. For example, you can use pipelines to:

  • Clean the training data. Fill in missing values and format the data to be processed by your model.
  • Convert categorical variables into numerical ones if needed.
  • Split the data into training and test sets so that the ML model doesn’t overfit the data.
  • Transform your data using polynomial features or other feature engineering techniques.


By using a standard pipeline, you can quickly start iterating on it as you discover what works and doesn’t work in your data cleaning and modeling process.


Conclusion

Developing a working model in machine learning can be a tedious task. The algorithms may not always perform in the first trial, so you need to test and train the models you’re building. To achieve the desired results in your machine learning process, you should ensure that it’s streamlined through the four tips discussed in this article.

How Online Bookkeeping Services Enhance Business Productivity

Small business owners would agree that bookkeeping can take up all of your days, which is why a bookkeeping service is essential for any business. From recording each financial transaction accurately to interpreting the data to help make informed accounting decisions, it contributes to the efficiency of your work.

One must have a secure, effective, and reliable bookkeeping system to help manage your everyday bookkeeping requirements. It is a pretty big deal for small business owners who may find it time-consuming and challenging. If you’re constantly dealing with the stress of manual bookkeeping, now would be a good time to check out how Gecko Bookkeeping Brisbane can speed things up.

Here’s how online bookkeeping enhances business productivity.

Allows Your More Time To Manage High-Priority Tasks

Manual bookkeeping is known to hogg on all of your time and slows down your productivity level throughout the day. An excellent way to combat this everyday situation is to revamp your bookkeeping system and bring in an online bookkeeping service that will allow you to be on your A-game. The result? More time to spend on the things that only you can do!

Moreover, you will save a lot of money on additional working hours, unnecessary hiring, low productivity, and wrong decisions. All this will allow you to maintain steady growth from the start.

It Allows You A Great Deal of Guaranteed Security

Fear of hackers, computers breaking down, etc., poses a significant threat to small business owners. If you’re doing your everyday bookkeeping manually, you know the fear of losing your records to a fire or being stolen. Those who use excel sheets to record their bookkeeping realize they are one virus away from losing their entire data.

However, an online bookkeeping system is all set to protect your privacy thanks to the antiviruses and firewalls installed, which help reduce the risk. And that’s not all they do to protect your data. They help create a backup storing all your essential data, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Error-Free Work

With manual bookkeeping, you are bound to have errors and mistakes. Whoever you hire for your bookkeeping services will take up more time than an online bookkeeping system. Double-checking would be standard, and a fear of missing out on detail or messing up a transaction will always be there at the back of the mind.

This is where an intelligent bookkeeping service comes in – they will help minimize mistakes and make your data more reliable and accurate. It ensures one-time work as now you know there won’t be any going back and checking and finding errors. It will allow you to relax and focus on other essential tasks for your business.

24/7 Access To Your Records

One of the most significant problems for small business owners is getting fast and easy access to their bookkeeping records at all times. With the help of an online bookkeeping system, there’s no need to panic as now you can access your record any time of the day. If you wish to confirm some records after hours, you don’t have to be in the office to do that. You can easily access your bookkeeping records from the comfort of your home via your laptop, smartphone, or desktop.

Share Your Records With Ease

Say you’re in a call with your bookkeeper and accountant, and they don’t have access to the file. Now, if you were a manual bookkeeper, this would be difficult to manage as you’d have to go to the office to do so; however, with an online bookkeeping service, there is no need to worry about finding a particular record or transaction. You can easily give them the required access to view the files and avoid lengthy processes.

It won’t require you to go to the office as you’ll have everything on your smartphone. It depends on the access rights you’ve given to your team members.

Worry-Free implementation

Software implementations can be intimidating; there is a fear of them taking up too much time and disturbing your workflow. A streamlined digital bookkeeping service makes it easy for any size and type of organization to upload their information and get started right away.

A bookkeeping system helps with data entry, bank reconciliation, invoicing, payroll processing, etc. addition. It will save you significant time, improve efficiency, and help lead to more growth in business as compared to earlier.

Whether you’re still getting set up or you are an existing business that wants to transition to a more efficient and reliable bookkeeping system tailored to help small businesses, Gecko Bookkeeping is the one-stop solution for all your needs.

5G to Unleash a Digital Revolution That Will Power Industry 4.0

Enterprises set to deliver a faster, better service with a simpler 5G path from BICS

The number of digitally-enabled products jumped ahead by seven years during the pandemic, and the number of connected things around the world is set to reach 42 billion by 2025, eclipsing the 5.7 billion people predicted to use mobile devices for the same period. The digital revolution across several industries, from manufacturing, to logistics, health care and automotive, is on the horizon and will be fueled by new mobile technologies. Faster, better and universal connectivity is key – to both operational excellence and a better experience for customers.

Private 5G networks and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) signal a new era in connectivity. They allow businesses access to high bandwidth, ultra-low latency and high reliability. This makes high speed operations like smart manufacturing, next generation logistics and self-driving vehicles possible.

Being able to process real-time data quickly and securely will lead to massive improvements in production by transforming processes, supply chains and delivery. The right telecommunications partner will guide enterprises in optimizing their business to stay competitive and reduce costs with the right mobile solution.

Will 5G and IoT connectivity end costly recall in the automotive sector?

Next-generation mobile technologies will play a crucial role in how the automotive industry evolves. It will mean manufacturers can better manage complex supply chains by embedding data into the systems used for buying and delivery decisions. Robotic manufacturing will be taken to a new level by pulling together data across multiple production sites to crowd-source machine learning.

The benefits extend well beyond the production floor. Today, the fall-out from auto recalls causes manufacturers significant reputational damage and cost. On average, a recall costs $500 per vehicle, often involving millions of vehicles.

Embedding IoT connectivity within vehicles will usher in a new age of driver safety and could make costly auto recalls a thing of the past. Thanks to SIM technology, manufacturers can keep constant track of vehicle performance and feed this data into its 5G-enabled private network. By looking at data across all vehicles, manufacturers can identify issues much quicker, notify drivers and correct the defect before more vehicles are produced and sold. 

The blurring of industries – enterprises becoming mobile operators

Building the level of advanced connectivity to realize Industry 4.0 is complex. It requires not just the radio spectrum and hardware, but essentially turns enterprises into mini-mobile operators.

A global automotive brand, for example, will need to connect all its private networks across its different manufacturing sites to leverage the value of all that data. Any person, vehicle or device that travels outside of the private network will need to move across public networks to stay connected. If enterprises go it alone, they will need to go through a very lengthy and cumbersome process of setting up individual roaming agreements with each public operator. This will take years to develop and delay the return on investment in deploying these technologies.

“While the business benefits of 5G and Industrial IoT are clear, many companies simply don’t know where to start. To unleash the true transformative power of these technologies, companies need access to an entire telecommunications ecosystem,” comments Matteo Gatta, BICS CEO. “However, this is not their core business and they need a partner to guide them along the way. BICS is leveraging its leadership in mobile technologies to replicate these services for enterprises. Together with our partners, we simplify a very complex environment so companies can deploy this technology, effortlessly and securely.”

BICS is a leader in global mobile connectivity and can easily guide enterprises along their journey to deploy and connect their 5G private networks on a global scale and embed international connectivity into their smart devices. Rather than replicating what has taken decades to build, through BICS, enterprises can gain direct access to a global telecommunications ecosystem and knowledge base.

A Guide to Choosing a Business Entity In the Asia Pacific

When starting a business, there are many factors to take into account, such as the structure and the location. To have a successful venture, you must think about how the company structure will affect the overall outcome of your business. But the location plays a major role, too, so choosing the ideal location wisely should also be a priority. 

Why the Asia Pacific?

When choosing a country to set up your business in, the location plays a role in determining the ease of doing business there. The Asia Pacific region is a popular location to set up your business because it has many opportunities to offer entrepreneurs from different backgrounds.

There are many different business entities you can register within Asia. Among these are subchapter S corporations (S-Corp), limited liability companies (LLC), C-corporations, cooperative corporations, and general partnerships.

Because there are plenty of options, it’s necessary to understand which type of business entity suits your needs best before opening a company. This article explores the different types of business entities available in Asia and looks at their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Subchapter S Corporation (S-Corp)

The first business entity to consider is the Subchapter S Corporation (S-Corp). This entity is taxed like an individual, and there are restrictions on the number of shareholders that can register. The main benefit is that it only has one level of taxation and it also provides limited liability for its shareholders. 

Also, it can be difficult for creditors to serve a shareholder since they don’t have direct control over the company. However, this business entity isn’t available in all jurisdictions, and it’s also more expensive to register. The main downside of an S-Corp is that it may be required to file a tax return as an individual.

2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The second type is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). This company structure is prevalent in Singapore, Hongkong, and Japan. To register, you only need one person involved in the process, and it has fewer administrative requirements than the others.

An advantage of LLC is that it’s not taxed as a separate entity. The company taxes only fall on the members and not the company itself. It means that individual members aren’t accountable for any debts or liabilities incurred by their respective LLCs. One downside is that owners may need to file tax returns.

When compared to an S corporation, an LLC doesn’t have strict rules regarding the number of allowed shareholders— look at this article on Florida S Corp vs LLC to better understand the differences between an S Corp and LLC.

3. C Corporations (C-Corp)

Unlike LLC, C-Corps are separate from their owners and are also taxed as a separate entity. Its main benefit is that it can raise capital more easily than other entities since it offers corporate-level protection. C-Corps are also attractive to financial institutions since the debts are tax-deductible.

Another benefit is that it can offer employees more attractive compensation packages since the corporation covers half of the required payroll taxes. Any income incurred by a C-Corp through dividends, interest, or capital gains isn’t taxed at the business level, which means that the income is taxed only once. However, in this structure, creditors can sue a shareholder if the company incurs any debts or liabilities.

4. Cooperative Corporations

The fourth type is cooperative corporation (co-ops). Co-ops are formed when an individual or group of individuals contribute money to start a business. While this company can be more expensive to register than other types, it benefits its members in many ways.

In a Co-op, a member can participate in decision-making processes and is minimally liable for any debts or liabilities incurred by their cooperative corporation. It also allows for equitable distribution of profits and earnings without distributing dividends. Additionally, members have full voting rights in place, and they can directly influence the business policy of their cooperative corporation.

5. General Partnerships (GP)

The last is the general partnership. The main benefit of a GP is it doesn’t require much paperwork or administrative work. However, the individual partners are accountable if the company incurs any debts and liabilities. It means that the company’s success depends on its partners’ combined expertise and knowledge. If one partner leaves, there can be massive repercussions.

General Tips For Choosing Your Business Entity

After choosing the best business structure for your future company, it’s essential to follow some principles to help you maintain the entity properly. 

Here are some general tips for choosing the best business entity:

  • Avoid double taxation: Understand taxation and ensure you’re not paying more than you should. You can steer clear away from double taxation by keeping the business profits rather than distributing them to shareholders as dividends.
  • Get help from an experienced attorney: Ensure you get help from a knowledgeable attorney for professional advice on remaining compliant with local rules and regulations.
  • Get a certified public accountant: Hire a good accountant for sound financial advice and guidance all throughout your business venture.

Bottom Line:

When expanding your business across international borders, try to research first and fully understand all the details regarding your business venture before choosing the business entity that you think is suitable for your field of business. Keep in mind that each of these business structures has unique benefits that can cater to different requirements. So, take your time to research these options before making a final decision.

Three Mindsets that Facilitate Sustainable Development Goals-Relevant Collaboration

By Shameen Prashantham*

Even before the Covid pandemic changed our lives in the way that it has, business leaders were gravitating to the view that their organizations had an important role to play in addressing societal challenges facing the world, as evident from the 2019 statement from Business Roundtable asserting that the purpose of business was to serve all stakeholders.

This broader view of the role of business is consistent with the growing recognition that businesses have an important role to play in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), arguably the most coherent expression of a global agenda to promote societal wellbeing. Moreover, the pandemic appears to have deepened the strong yearning of business professionals to lead meaningful lives with a purpose that transcends the narrow pursuit of profit.
Non-traditional allies with complementary capabilities – such as corporations and startups — are well placed to generate solutions that have both an economic payoff and social impact.

Doing so calls for three mindsets – and board members in both large corporations and startups would do well to foster and affirm their importance.

Entrepreneurial mindset – Making things happen

An important starting point is an entrepreneurial mindset which entails three key factors: proactiveness, innovativeness and risk-taking. Proactiveness is evident in the recognition of potential win-wins in working with startups. Innovativeness can be seen in the creative efforts through which entrepreneurs incorporate startup engagement; out of the box thinking can help save time and resources. Finally, there is an inevitable element of risk involved in embarking on startup partnering. Risks can be mitigated by starting small and under the radar, working hard to create quick wins, especially in the early stages, and enlisting support from formal and informal partners. A key message here is that the impetus to engage with external startups can’t always be expected to come from on high. In fact, in numerous instances that I’ve studied, the driving force has been individual managers, often without a fancy job title or any mention of being entrepreneurial in their job description, that were the catalyst of startup partnering in their company.

Collaborative mindset – Joining forces with others

Another important mindset that companies need is a collaborative mindset. My research reveals three important aspects of this mindset: leveraging networks proactively, discerningly and reflectively. Leveraging networks proactively in relation to HOW goes beyond merely recognizing the WHY, and is reflected in the three-fold partnering process described in this book, which entails synergy clarification, interface creation and exemplar cultivation. Leveraging networks discerningly – in terms of understanding which startups are more suitable than others – is inherent in making choices of about who to engage with, how, and to what extent? Finally, in terms of leveraging network reflectively, learning from startups is important in terms of identifying and cultivating certain success stories (the exemplars), and gaining feedback from startups in terms of how to enhance the partnering process.

Global mindset – Engaging with the world

A global mindset entails curiosity, competence and connections. Curiosity is the basis for exploring novel technologies and ideas in other geographic contexts. Competence – particularly in terms of partnering capability – is an important basis for startup partnering globally, but there is also a need for cross-cultural competence to deal with both internal managers and external startups in entrepreneurial ecosystems in varied locations. An important manifestation is learning to adapt to other conditions. Connections can help to enrich the corporate-startup partnering experience for both parties. For instance, startup-partners’ own global expansion can be enhanced and the global startup partnering capability of the corporation strengthened, thus adding to value co-creation through corporate-startup partnering.

In a world where covid-related restrictions has curtailed international travel, and geopolitical tensions prevail, it may seem that globalization is losing steam – and consequently that a global mindset is not as relevant as it used to be. And yet the SDGs represent a global agenda which calls for the efforts of all nations, especially with regard to challenges such as the climate crisis (SDG 13). Thus globally minded corporations and startups have a vital role to play in forging effective collaborations around the world.

To illustrate, the digital health startup, mPharma, embodies all three mindsets – entrepreneurial, collaborative and global – and has looked for inspiration and input from around the world. Its founders came up with the idea in the US, gained support from the Israel ecosystem, and launched the company in Ghana. During the pandemic, a board member with ties to Silicon Valley and networks around the world helped mPharma connect with a supplier in China that could provide affordable equipment to support its diagnostic efforts which proved to be extremely timely in meeting the large demand for Covid-19 testing. A company like this is poised to continue contributing to SDG 3 (good health and well-being) in Africa and beyond.

Indeed, the last of the Goals, SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals – ought to be construed not merely as the collaboration of non-market actors such as government and civil society, but also, my research suggests, market actors including large corporations and smaller startups. As a world battered by Covid-19 grapples with addressing the SDGs in the lead up to 2030, it can do with all the ingenuity and creativity it can harness from high-quality startups as they dance with gorillas. Entrepreneurial, collaborative and global mindsets will be especially important in making this happen.

*Shameen Prashantham, the author of Gorillas can Dance: Lessons from Microsoft and Other Corporations on Partnering with Startups, is Professor of International Business & Strategy, and Associate Dean (MBA), at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, China. For more information, go to: link

OPPO Sets to Strengthen Presence in High-end Market with New Find X5 Series

OPPO today launched its latest family of flagship smartphones, the Find X5 Series, marking another decisive step into the high-end market for the leading smartphone brand. The new addition to the Find X Series is the first smartphone series to be powered by OPPO’s MariSilicon X imaging NPU and other industry-leading features. With its futuristic design, seamless ceramic back panel, and premium International Warranty Service, every aspect of the Find X5 Series has been tailored to deliver the best possible user experience.

“At OPPO INNO DAY 2021, we announced our brand proposition of ‘Inspiration Ahead’, defining our commitment to constantly redraw the boundaries of the smartphone experience to make life better for everyone, regardless of the challenges and uncertainties faced,” said William Liu, Vice President and President of Global Marketing at OPPO. “With the Find X5 Series, we have raised the bar for flagship smartphones in terms of style and performance, while never stopping in our exploration of new possibilities.” 

Rapid international growth reaches new heights

Last year saw OPPO establish itself in high-end markets worldwide while delivering strong growth for its high-end devices. Through successful partnerships with leading mobile operators, growth in the $600 segment surpassed 200% in 2021, while global shipments of the OPPO Find X3 Series increased by 140% compared with the previous Find X Series.

As of December 2021, OPPO has filed for over 75,000 patent applications and over 4,500 of them are related to 5G. With these strong technical foundations, OPPO delivers a portfolio of high-performing 5G products, the success of which have resulted in the brand ranking the second for two consecutive years in global 5G smartphone shipments among Android manufacturers according to the data from Canalys.

Global partnerships with the likes of Roland-Garros and Wimbledon have also driven awareness for the OPPO brand worldwide. According to the data from Canalys, in 2021, OPPO held on to its place as the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide, with a total market share of 11%.

 

Taking the end-to-end smartphone experience to the next level

The OPPO Find X5 Series raises the bar for flagship smartphone performance across the board with OPPO’s best-ever technology, product experience, and customer service.

MariSilicon X – OPPO’s recently-unveiled self-designed imaging NPU – makes its debut on the Find X5 Series. The NPU and its advanced in-house algorithms, including AINR, deliver a leap in computational photography performance. With MariSilicon X, the Find X5 Series is the first flagship smartphone series capable of capturing clear 4K Ultra Night Video that can rival what is seen by the human eye. Following its long-held mission to bring both natural and professional colors to smartphone imaging, OPPO has joined hands with Hasselblad to bring its Natural Color Calibration to the Find X5 Series, empowering users to unlock more emotive moments.

Elsewhere, many of OPPO’s breakthrough innovations can be found on the Find X5 Series. OPPO’s upgraded 360° Smart Antenna 3.0 ensures stable connectivity, with greater signal strength and range than other models. The series also features enhanced Flash Charging technology for faster charging, while a multi-tier cooling system ensures smooth overall performance and efficient dissipation.

Beyond the phone itself, OPPO has turned its attention to the entire customer experience. Find X5 Series owners will have access to OPPO’s premium International Warranty Service, which can be used at over 2,500 service centers in 62 countries and regions worldwide.

A standout flagship, driven by OPPO’s human-centric insights

Guided by OPPO’s brand mission “Technology for Mankind, Kindness for the World”, the Find X5 Series represents OPPO’s pursuit of human-centric product features and designs aimed at improving the day-to-day lives of its users.

The design of the Find X5 Series reflects every aspect of the user experience. Built with advanced manufacturing technology, the curved and continuous ceramic back panel is anti-fingerprint and comfortable to hold while also providing greater protection and heat dissipation.

OPPO’s thoughtful consideration of its users is also manifested in ColorOS 12.1, which includes features such as the O Relax digital relaxation suite and Color Vision Enhancement for those who perceive color differently or have color vision impairments.

Looking at the bigger picture, OPPO strives to be a sustainable company and remains committed in its responsibility to the protection of the planet. In May 2021, OPPO was among the first companies to join the Eco Rating Labelling Scheme established by leading mobile operators in Europe. OPPO has also adopted green product design practices into the entire life cycle of the Find X5 Series: about 45% of the packaging is made by recycled fiber, and the overall plastic used in the packaging has reduced by 95% since 2019; for plastic materials that cannot be replaced for now, OPPO choose to use the biodegradable polylactic acid material; meanwhile, OPPO’s Battery Health Engine ensures the phone’s battery is able to maintain more than 80% of its effective power after 1,600 charge cycles – which greatly extends the product durability. To inspire more people to preserve the biodiversity of the planet, OPPO also collaborates with National Geographic to capture beautiful imagery of endangered and at risk animals, and supports National Geographic Society and its wildlife conservation efforts as part of the Endangered Colours campaign for the second consecutive year.

With the new Find X5 Series, OPPO is breaking new ground in technological innovation and human-centric user experience in the high-end market while sticking to its core values – a trait that OPPO will maintain as it continues to explore new possibilities in technology and products that help make life better for users worldwide.

Employers Must Put Disease Preventions in Place Beforehand for Overseas Staff

Employees are at increased risk of additional diseases if they travel abroad for work. Employers must act against these extra risks before staff embark on global assignments, warns Towergate Health & Protection, and not let Covid requirements overshadow other important preparations for travel.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection says: “Employers must do their homework in advance. A lot can be done beforehand to prepare employees before travel in order to help prevent illness. Trying to arrange medical treatment is much more difficult after the event.”

Increased risk

Employees abroad are at risk of different diseases than those based in the UK, and longer trips abroad, such as working overseas, increase the risk of catching some diseases. Studies have shown that population growth and climate change mean that neglected tropical diseases are re-emerging and are no longer necessarily the preserve of the tropics. So the risk of such diseases must now be considered for all overseas postings, not just those in remote or developing areas.

Vector-borne diseases

Vector-borne diseases are spread by living organisms like fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Environmental changes, increased international travel and trade, changes in agricultural practices, and rapid urbanisation have been shown to increase the number and spread of many vectors worldwide, making more people vulnerable, notably business travellers.

Malaria

Malaria is now found in over 100 countries, including large areas of Africa and Asia, Central and South America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Middle East and some Pacific Islands.

Zika virus

Mainly spread by mosquitos, Zika virus is a very mild infection but there is evidence it causes birth defects. For employees relocating to Central and South America and the Caribbean and planning to start a family, this could be extremely problematic.

There are also numerous vector-borne diseases that affect more temperate climates. So when a company sends employees overseas to work, they need to be aware of the risks in every country and seek health advice before the trip takes place.

Mumps and measles

There has been a recent resurgence of mumps and measles in the UK and globally. These contagious diseases are preventable through vaccination but there have been severe outbreaks in pockets across the world.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a simple and effective way to prevent many diseases. The NHS schedule of vaccines that UK citizens have as children are focussed on UK diseases, so further vaccines are likely to be required for those planning to work abroad. Taking expert advice is very important. Global mobility programmes can help with the planning as there are many aspects to consider and each country will have different risks and requirements.

Repatriation and evacuation plans

It is important to have plans in place before travel. For example, Ebola has not gone away, and it is not easy to get employees out of countries where there are severe outbreaks, as the country will go into immediate lockdown. A repatriation strategy is essential.

An evacuation plan is not just about removing employees from an area quickly in case of disaster. If an employee becomes ill in an area where medical care is inadequate, then they may need to be evacuated to another area, with better, more suitable, medical care. This can be astronomically expensive if the right cover is not in place prior to the event.

Sarah Dennis says: “The simple message is to plan ahead. The risks of diseases that can be caught abroad are quite different from those in the UK, and it’s important that employers and employees are aware.  And it’s very important that everything is in place before an employee travels.”

APAC Insider Announces the 2022 Singapore Business Award Winners

United Kingdom, 2022- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2022 Singapore Business Awards.

The corporate landscape of Singapore is very diverse, despite Singapore being one of the smallest countries in Southeast Asia. Despite its size, it is still home to every sized business from global conglomerates to SMEs, including a wide variety of sectors such as Fintech, ecommerce, and healthcare are represented within their economy.

Now in its fifth year, the APAC Insider Singapore Business Awards aim to recognise and shine a spotlight on the businesses and individuals working tirelessly to help the economy grow. This year’s winners come from many sectors including finance, cyber security, interior design, and many more.

Awards Co-ordinator Harwinder Pawar commented on the success of the deserving winners at the launch of the supplement: “From all of us at APAC Insider, we offer our sincere congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the 2022 Singapore Business Awards! It has been an honour to work closely with these innovative companies, and we wish you all the best for the future.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/singapore-business-awards/  where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

 

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences, and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

UK/India goods trade deficit reaches record high but Free Trade Agreement creates huge opportunity for SMEs

  • Export volumes reach £4.7 billion and return to growth after two years of declines
  • But trade deficit widens to a record £3.7 billion as imports from India return to peak levels of £8.4 billion after pandemic dip
  • FTA negotiations with India should be starting gun for UK businesses to increase trade

The UK’s goods trade deficitwith India reached its widest ever gap in 2021 as imports reached arecord high while exports levels are witnessing a slower recovery after two years of decline.

The volume of goods exported from the UK to India returned to growth in2021 after two consecutive years of decline. A total of £4.7 billion worth of goods was exported to India through the year, up from £3.2 billion the previous year and broadly similar to 2019’s total (£4.6 billion), but still well short of the peak of £6.4 billion in 2011.

Imports however rebounded to record levels with £8.4 billion worth of goods travelling to the UK from India in 2021 – a similar volume of goods to 2019, but significantly higher than the pandemic-affected total of £6.1 billion in 2020.

The continued growth of imports through the previous decade and flatlining exports meant that the 2021 trade deficit with India reached its highest ever level at £3.7 billion.

However, in the first month of 2022 the UK government launched talks with India ahead of an ambitious Free Trade Agreement which it says could double UK exports to India and lower importing costs.

The negotiations are an opportunity for UK businesses to both diversify their supply chains and start targeting India more as a purchaser of goods, according to Cornelius Clarke, Head of Desk at Ebury, but companies need a strategy to deal with the idiosyncrasies of trading with India.

“India is already an important trading partner for the UK and so it is positive that imports are recovering from the pandemic’s disruption and exports are on the up again,” he said.

“The launch of bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations between the UK could turbocharge this momentum and SMEs in the UK should be alive to the opportunities it presents.

“A successful conclusion to these talks could make trade easier and cheaper with one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies. The government has committed  to a deal that slashes barriers on UK exports and allows manufacturers in the UK to source cheaper parts which could bring significant benefits.

“UK SMEs should be actively looking to see whether the Indian market could offer future opportunities for their business. While an FTA may not be finalised for some time, establishing contacts and processes in advance could give these companies an advantage in the future to capitalise on reduced barriers and tariffs between the two countries.”

Mr Clarke urged companies with visibility of rough supplier costs over a period of 3 months or more, to put in place an effective hedging strategy to mitigate FX risk. Neglecting to manage this can damage relationships, disrupt cash flow and eat into margins, he said.

“When dealing with countries that welcome currencies other than their own, such as India, it is important to understand whether there is an indirect FX risk caused by the supplier taking on the danger of currency fluctuations. Suppliers are likely to manage this themselves by implementing a price buffer which can take the form of a hidden 5% FX service charge on their bill to the importer.

“When the currency the supplier receive fluctuates beyond this 5% buffer, for example, the supplier is forced to implement an additional and abrupt price on importers which we see regularly in geographies like China.

“Service providers that can hedge and deliver the local and operating currency of their suppliers are able eliminate this charge and ensure importers have future clarity over supply and prices.”

Marriott International Plans Further Asia Pacific Expansion with 1000th Property Anticipated to Open in 2022

Marriott International, Inc. today announced its plans to further expand its portfolio across Asia Pacific, targeting to open its 1000th property in the region in late 2022. The company expects to open nearly 100 properties in the region this year. With a vision to deliver exceptional and distinctive travel experiences, Marriott is committed to bringing the benefits of good travel to its guests, owners and communities in Asia Pacific.

Craig S. Smith, Group President, International for Marriott International, said, “I am very pleased with our 2021 development results in Asia Pacific. We have worked closely with our owners throughout the last two years to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, adapt quickly, and grow. Last year in Asia Pacific, we signed two new development deals a week on average, with deals signed in 13 different markets across the region. This year, we expect to continue to drive demand and growth which is a testament to our talented teams committed to operational excellence, and the relationships we have with the customers we’re privileged to serve and the developers, owners, franchisees and partners we’re honored to do business with.”

In line with the company’s recent update around key trends shaping hospitality development, Asia Pacific sees similar trends poising Marriott to further grow in the region.

Luxury Demand Continues to Boom in Greater China

According to research by ILTM Asia Pacific, Greater China’s affluent population contributes to  half of Asia Pacific’s total spending on airfare and lodging. Affluent travelers in Greater China continue to look for luxury travel in new and emerging destinations. Greater China remains an engine for the company’s growth, as it accounts for more than half of the company’s anticipated luxury openings in Asia Pacific in 2022. Ritz-Carlton Reserve anticipates expanding its highly curated portfolio in Greater China, debuting its first rare estate in the historic Jiuzhaigou valley later this year. Additional expected luxury openings in 2022 include JW Marriott Hotel Changsha and W Macau – Studio City.

Leisure Demand Paving the Way for Travel Recovery

Research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) suggests that leisure travel demand has been booming at an accelerating rate. In 2022, as leisure demand continues to outpace business travel, Marriott is poised to strengthen its presence across several leisure destinations. In South Korea, the company expects to bring its JW Marriott brand to Jeju with the opening of JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa in May 2022. The expected opening of W Sydney in late 2022 will mark the third W hotel in Australia.

With wellness and well-being remaining a continued priority for many travelers, the company’s leading wellness brand, Westin Hotels & Resorts, is expected to celebrate two new debuts in Yokohama and Cam Ranh in 2022.

Select Service Brands Cement Their Position in Asia Pacific

Marriott’s select service portfolio is driving momentum for growth, providing a wide-range of amenities and offerings across well-established brands such as Courtyard by MarriottFairfield by MarriottFour Points by SheratonAC Hotels and Moxy Hotels. In Greater China, the openings of select service hotels will further expand consumers’ travel choices, bringing guests a diverse range of experiences in emerging Chinese destinations. Four Points by Sheraton expects to continue its growth with five planned openings throughout the year, while Moxy Hotels anticipates continuing to share its playful spirit in destinations such as Suzhou and Xi’an.

Outside of Greater China, the company expects to debut its AC Hotels brand in Korea with AC Hotel Seoul Gangnam and in Australia with AC Hotel Melbourne Southbank. In Japan, Fairfield by Marriott expects to continue to strengthen its presence with six new properties planned to open across Nara, Hokkaido and Hyogo along ‘Michi-no-Eki’ roadside stations aimed at revitalizing the country’s local sightseeing spots and well-hidden rural destinations.

Marriott Bonvoy Builds Meaningful Connections with Members

Marriott is committed to inspiring travel and strengthening its relationship with its more than 55 million Marriott Bonvoy members in the region. In 2021, Marriott Bonvoy introduced several innovative initiatives:

  • Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy kicked off the company’s aspiration to provide meaningful travel experiences. The program is set to expand in 2022 with a range of curated, purpose-driven experiences available across hotels and resorts in the region.
  • Marriott Bonvoy launched two co-branded credit cards in South KoreaMarriott Bonvoy® The Best Shinhan Card and Marriott Bonvoy® The Classic Shinhan Card, providing travelers new ways to earn their points through daily spend.
  • The company entered into a strategic collaboration with Rakuten connecting Rakuten members to Marriott Bonvoy’s unparalleled experiences.

Geberit Recognised As the Global Leader for Sustainable Sanitary Products

Geberit, a market leader in sanitary products, has received a Platinum seal from EcoVadis in recognition of its best-in-class sustainability management. This is the second consecutive year that Geberit has attained the Platinum rating and cements the company’s position as a sustainability leader within the sanitary industry.

EcoVadis is the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. Every year, the provider assesses and monitors sustainability practices for more than 75,000 businesses worldwide. The Platinum medal is the highest possible rating awarded by EcoVadis and places Geberit in the top 1% of all companies evaluated in the sanitary industry.

Innovative water management and eco-design principles

One keyway Geberit is creating a sustainable future is through the conservation of water throughout production processes, ensuring its products require as little water and energy as possible to operate. With its water-saving flushing systems, the company helped customers save over 3,350 million m3 of water in 2020 alone.

All Geberit products are also developed in line with its eco-friendly principles, which state that each product must be better than its predecessor from an ecological perspective without compromising quality, functionality, or durability. These principles inform the entire product life cycle from the provision of raw materials to working with the right suppliers, local production, green logistics and service lifespan.

“Most recently, the company made significant breakthroughs in ceramic manufacturing, one of its most energy-intensive production processes, thanks to new energy-saving Enervit burner technology. By retrofitting ten kilns in seven ceramic plants, Geberit was able to achieve energy savings of more than 20% per plant,” said David Lee, Head of Sanitary Systems at Geberit North and Southeast Asia.

AquaClean Sela: Saving Water, Paper and Energy

A strong example of Geberit’s commitment to sustainability can be found in its AquaClean Sela range. AquaClean products feature eco-friendly materials and are made in energy-saving kilns, which has reduced water consumption in ceramic production by 5 percent between 2018 and 2021. Shower toilets from Geberit also perform well in life cycle assessments.

AquaClean shower toilets save water without compromising design or comfort. The AquaClean Sela consumes less than 1 liter of water in each shower, while achieving the very best clean with WhirlSpray shower technology. Moreover, all AquaClean models are equipped with an economy mode for greater energy savings and fulfill European Energy-Related Products Directives.

Carving a greener future

Recognizing the importance of supporting green building practices within the community, Geberit also partnered with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) on Green Means Go in 2021 a public education campaign that empowers homeowners to make decisions to build green. The company is also a member of the United Nations Global Compact, which calls companies to align strategies and operations with the Sustainable Development Goals.

5 Ways to Maximise Business Growth

There’s no sure-fire way for instant business success, but there are some ways to boost your growth. However, you cannot expect to see results overnight. Growth should be an ongoing process that requires hard work, dedication, and patience. There is no special step involved to achieve immediate success. But there are proven ways to reach growth milestones that could catapult your business to success. 

Below, check out some ways to maximise business growth. 

1. Maximise Current Sales 

Maximising sales volume is one way to enhance business growth. If you have enough sales, you’d be able to move inventory faster and make space for incoming stocks. Sales volume refers to the number of products you end up selling over a given period. Having a high sales volume is a good indication that the company’s marketing and sales strategies are truly effective.

You can grow your business by looking for ways to increase sales volume. To increase sales, you may need to consider introducing new products or services, improving your marketing strategies, improving customer service, and expanding your market. If your business is in the manufacturing field, you may need to increase your productivity to meet customer demand and increase your sales.

When maximising your sales volume, you also need to be aware of your competitors’ activities. Knowing what your competitors are doing can help you better understand their limitations, capabilities, and behaviours. Once you have fully understood how your competitors work, you’ll be prepared to defend your position in the market, react to changes, and search for a new niche.

2. Creating a Strong Brand 

Creating a strong brand is one way to improve business success. Unfortunately, some companies do not realise the importance of branding. Your brand might only consist of logos and colours when you look at it from the outside, but it’s more important than you think. It gives you personality and represents the entire identity of your company.

Branding has always been an essential aspect of any business, but it’s even more important now than before. Thanks to the Internet and social media, consumers are exposed to different brands every day, which is great since it provides many options. However, this also means businesses need to work even harder to stand out from their competitors and make customers choose them over others.

There’s obviously a huge amount of competition in this day and age, so businesses have to go the extra mile to ensure that they stand out from the rest. One way to do this is to invest in a strong brand that will easily capture your target consumers’ attention. If you have the right branding, you can control how people will perceive your business. So, make sure you don’t overlook this.

3. Get Expert Advice 

Hiring a business coach who can provide expert advice on scaling your business operations is one way to help your business grow. Another way is to outsource your recruitment to sector experts, such as development embedded systems jobs, getting a software expert onboard who knows the industry can help scale your business quicker.

When getting expert advice, you are not only limited to business consultants. You can also attend seminars and workshops or read self-help books on business. While attending workshops and reading self-help books can provide generic advice, hiring a business coach who can deliver one-on-one mentoring that’s specific to your industry would be a better option. Choose a business coach who has several years of business experience. That way, he can use his expertise to analyse your business model, suggest improvements, and identify any flaws in your day-to-day operations.

Also, consider hiring a coach who has a broad background in business and not just someone from your niche. To ensure creative problem solving, choose an open-minded advisor who is not shackled by the preconceived notions of your business.

4. Looking after Your Customers 

Studies show that loyal customers are worth ten times their first purchase. Therefore, showing your customers extra appreciation is a more cost-effective option to growing your business than acquiring new customers. But how do you look after your customers?

One way to keep your customers coming back is by rewarding them with loyalty perks. Surveys show that most customers would be willing to change where they shop if rewarded for their purchases. One way to reward your most loyal customers is to invite them to exclusive perks and events. The special invite will make your customers feel special, further encouraging them to choose you over your competitors. 

When it comes to taking care of your customers, you need to improve your customer service. Make sure you immediately respond to customer complaints. Customers will appreciate it if you listen to their feedback or complaints and respond with a genuine apology.

4. Develop Your Employees

Employee development helps in the growth and development of a business. Remember, the employees are the real assets of an organisation. If you want your business to grow, you must make your employees feel appreciated. The best way to do this is by providing them with employee development activities that will prepare them for their current and future roles. Employees cannot stay in the same positions forever. You need to help them develop their skills to help them grow with time.

Employee development is essential for employees to enhance their skills and upgrade their knowledge, helping them perform better at work. By providing them with training and other development activities, they will be more aware of the latest developments in your industry. Employee development is not just for professional growth, but it also contributes to personal growth. Development activities like training can help prepare them for any unforeseen situations in the company. Furthermore, professional growth development training courses can help an employee perform at their best, eventually benefiting the organisation and leading to business growth.

Employees wanted to acquire new skills and learnings at work. It gives them a sense of pride if they feel that their employers invest time and resources in training and developing them to become better at what they do. In essence, employee development brings the best out of employees.

India’s Budget Deficit to Narrow Down to 5.3% of GDP in FY22, Forecasts GlobalData

The upcoming Union Budget of India (2022-23) is expected to focus on bringing in economic reforms to ease supply-side bottlenecks, provide production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes to domestic MSME’s* sector, asset monetization and privatization. Along with this, the government needs to strike a balance between fiscal expenditure and fiscal consolidation. Against this backdrop, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, expects the budget deficit to narrow down to 5.3% of GDP in 2022 compared to 5.6% in 2021.

With the expected higher tax and non-tax revenue collection, GlobalData forecast the revenue and expenditure to grow by 13.4% and 9.3% respectively in 2022.

To foster green energy, the budget might focus on tax relaxations to promote investments in renewable energy sector. Aviation sector might hope for tax cuts on jet fuel to increase overall sector growth. To encourage inbound domestic and international tourism, GlobalData expects tax concessions to hotels and resorts.   

Gargi Rao, Economic Research Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With the Delta and Omicron variant causing a mayhem on various sectors including tourism, manufacturing, retail, and housing, GlobalData expects strong targeted incentives in 2022-23 budget estimates. To increase consumer demand and disposable income for the salaried class, the budget may increase the basic tax exemption limit. To empower entrepreneurs, the budget might introduce new start-up friendly policies and tax reductions.”

With a high COVID-19 positivity rate of 19.5% as of January 27, 2021, the budget is expected to keep health sector as a major priority. The country needs to ramp up its vaccination rates along with provision of booster doses to the country’s eligible adult population in the coming months.

To re-instate the farmer’s confidence, the upcoming budget might focus on developing Agri-tech industry and allied sectors along with prioritization of minimum support prices.

Rao continues: “The country needs to overcome from the perils of jobless growth. A push to manufacturing, textile, and construction activities is anticipated which may lead job creation. However, a prudent balance between job creation and inflation has to be maintained.”

Furthermore, with prudent policies to tackle the non-performing assets, the overall banking sector has shown signs of recovery. The upcoming budget could introduce policy initiatives to give impetus to innovations in the banking sector, by offering incentives such as tax subsidy in the form weighted deductions.

Rao concludes: “The focus of the upcoming budget is to achieve steady economic growth in all sectors and reduce widening income gaps. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth is the way forward and GlobalData projects India’s real GDP growth to grow by 7.8% in 2022, fastest among all other peer nations.”

*MSME- Micro-small and medium enterprises.

Electrical Transport: The Sustainable Alternative for the Future

Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, and transport is pushing the trend of sustainability with greener alternatives. Between commuting, sport, and public infrastructure, electrical enabled devices and vehicles are changing our expectations for the future. Here, we look at the technology which is changing transport.

The extra push

While it is not exactly reinventing the wheel, electric bikes have revolutionised the way that we cycle. Strangely, the e-bike has been around for the best part of a century, but its prominence has been propelled in recent years as commuters look for greener and safer ways to commute.

The e-bike does not replace effort completely — users must still pedal to activate the motor. But the assisted momentum is useful for those difficult hills or long routes. In fact, where the average cyclist may only travel at about 10 miles per hour, e-bikes can hit speeds of 15.5 miles per hour in the UK, as is their legal limit. For people who use bicycles for commuting, this may reduce their journey time by 50 per cent.

Of course, e-bikes are a unique piece of technology as they encourage less-active individuals to take on a more active form of transport. Even light pedalling to activate the motor has health benefits. In time, the accessory may encourage people to ride a normal bicycle and put in the work for more health benefits. E-bikes, in this sense, can be a gateway to a healthier lifestyle.

Throttle to the future

Green alternatives to travel are not just shaking up commuting. Motorsport is the latest activity to be launched into a technologically enabled future. Formula E is a single-seater motorsport championship which uses only electric cars.

Its popularity is growing. Google has recorded an increased search power of 135 per cent between its conception in March 2011 and the closing of its sixth season in August 2020.

The sport has been hailed as an innovation to the traditional fuel-guzzling nature of motor racing. The sport was championed by MEP and then future-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. He believed that the sport would inspire the electrification of the automobile industry, helping to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions through the introduction of hybrid and electric systems.

In December 2019, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, decided that from its 2020–21 season, Formula E would be given world championship status. This was a monumental move for the organisation, not to mention for a sport so young. The decision made Formula E the first single-seater racing series outside Formula One to be given world championship status. The popularity and new-found prominence of the electric sport prove the willingness of fans and the public to accept greener innovations of traditional activities.

The driver on the bus… isn’t there

The traditional children’s song may have to rejig a verse or two when they appreciate the future of public transport. The bus industry is now becoming both greener and more intelligent, with autonomous and electric vehicles.

In 2019, Volvo unveiled the world’s first full size autonomous electric bus. Two of the vehicles would be launched at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, trialling their use in a dedicated smart campus.

Of course, electric buses are not such a recent innovation, being common for public use across the world. There are currently 51 electric buses operating in London.

However, the innovation of autonomous electric buses makes the proposition of future public transport even more exciting. The Stagecoach Group has said it is trialling autonomous buses in a depot in Manchester.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has defined five levels of autonomy. Stage five means that vehicles are completely autonomous. Stagecoach has said its buses will operate at level four. This means that the buses will drive themselves, will not require the driver to take over for some manoeuvres, but it must meet specified conditions to engage in autonomy.

Technology has given us a reason to be excited about the future. Whether it means we can travel further afield on our bike or enjoy sustainable sport, technology means that everyone can have a stake in a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. A small investment in these incredible innovations means that we can turn most aspects of our life into one of prosperity, be that commuting or enjoying time at home with the family.

Amid Pandemic-Driven Logistics Boom, ADDX-Listed Real Estate Fund by Elite Exceeds 2x of Target Returns, After Completing EUR 520m Sale to Blackstone

Focused on European warehouses, Elite Logistics Fund I benefited from a significant increase in investor demand for logistics and e-commerce assets

A European logistics real estate fund managed by the Singapore-regulated Elite Partners Capital has completed a EUR 520-million sale of its entire portfolio to a fund managed by the US private equity firm Blackstone Group. Launched in early 2020, Elite Logistics Fund I is a two-year, closed-end fund listed on the private market exchange ADDX. With its sale of all 18 properties to Blackstone, the fund by Elite has achieved annualised returns more than double its 12% per annum target.

Individual accredited investors on ADDX had subscribed to the Elite fund in two separate offerings in June and December 2020. Fund units were tokenised by ADDX, and the efficiency of blockchain and smart contracts allowed ADDX to reduce the minimum investment size as set by Elite, to EUR 20,000 from EUR 1 million. ADDX investors have received 98% of the proceeds from the sale to Blackstone. The remaining funds will be distributed after the fund is formally concluded later this year.

The Elite fund was invested in mature, income-producing logistics warehouses in the UK, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain. Tenants consisted of large multinational corporations such as DHL, Pepsi, FM Logistics, Fiege, Havi Logistics and Next.

Enoch Tan, Portfolio Director of Elite Logistics Fund I, said that with the pandemic, the demand for space in logistics and e-commerce facilities skyrocketed, as supply chain disruptions prompted companies to increase inventory levels for food, essential goods and other consumer products, to ensure they could meet demand consistently. The high-tech facilities at the cargo terminal at Prague airport were also involved in vaccine storage and delivery.

He said: “Our investment approach focused on well-performing logistics real estate in developed European markets. Even prior to the pandemic, we were bullish about logistics because of the broader expansion of the e-commerce industry and new demand for space in the UK arising from Brexit. This strategy paid off, as we acquired assets which were fully tenanted and achieved 100% rent collection throughout the pandemic. In contrast, rent collection for retail and office space plummeted to under 50% across Europe. In the past two years, the rate of rental collection became one of the key performance matrices for real estate investments, and because of this, logistics assets were highly sought after due to their consistently low rates of rental delays and defaults.”

The travel restrictions that began in early 2020 posed a challenge to real estate transactions in the early phase of the fund, when it was procuring warehouses. This was mitigated by two factors, noted Tan. First, the fund manager had viewed a large number of the properties physically by the end of 2019, before travel to Europe became difficult. Second, notwithstanding that Elite had full-time employees based in the UK and Europe, it  was able to rely on strategic partner Macquarie Capital Principal Finance, which was also a key investor in the fund, to follow up in person on transactions, as Macquarie had a network of offices and employees in Europe. The Singapore-based members of the fund manager had to follow site visits and meetings with tenants by way of Zoom, which was a novel method of real estate assessment made necessary by the pandemic.

According to Prologis Research, the global e-commerce penetration rate is projected to rise to over 25% in 2025, from around 15% in 2019.

As the pandemic wore on, wealth portfolios globally were rebalanced in favour of logistics real estate. Investor demand for assets rose significantly, leading to improved valuations and contributing to the higher-than-anticipated returns by Elite Logistics Fund I, Tan said.

He added: “As we approached the end of the fund’s two-year mandate, we considered all possible options, including an IPO for the fund, which would allow Logistics Fund I to follow in the footsteps of its sister company Elite Commercial REIT which completed its IPO in February 2020. Following a thorough assessment, we concluded that the private sale to Blackstone yielded the highest returns to investors, which made it the most attractive option.”

ADDX Chief Commercial Officer Oi-Yee Choo said: “Private real estate funds continue to look compelling in the current market, offering an income play along with the potential for asset appreciation. Investor demand for real estate offerings has therefore been robust over the past year, especially when they involve the logistics sector.”

She added: “The stellar performance of this fund also underscores the importance of investing with experienced, high-quality asset managers like Elite, who are equipped with a well-thought-out investment strategy as well as a proven ability to execute on it. The case for investing in a fund also becomes stronger when there is a strategic limited partner (LP) investor with global reach, such as Macquarie in the case of this fund.”

Elite is an alternative asset management company with more than SGD 1 billion of assets under management. Among the portfolios Elite has assembled is Elite Commercial REIT, which is currently listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Q1 2022

Welcome to the Q1 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

As we enter the first quarter of 2022, we are able to gaze towards a busy and progressive year for the APAC region. With amazing achievements across all industries and sectors, the Asia Pacific region is truly excelling at everything that it does.

All things considered, with the global pandemic stunning and slowing the world, the Asian Pacific region has excelled and produced a high number of successful businesses. Turning everything that it touches to gold, these companies have made huge differences to the way we see low carbon construction, luxury electric vehicles, sustainability through eco-friendly products, and the security industry.

With a wide variety of businesses winning prestigious awards such as these, despite the tumultuous nature of the last couple of years, APAC Insider Magazine would like to present you with big brands and clever companies that are altering the trajectory of their sectors.

We hope you enjoy perusing this quarter’s edition of APAC Insider and its insight into the corporate landscape of the region. As ever, we wish you all the best throughout 2022 and we hope to see you again for Q2.

Top 8 Trends for the Security Industry in 2022

Entering 2022, the world continues to endure the pandemic. But the security industry has, no doubt, continued to shift, adapt, and develop in spite of things. Several trends have even accelerated. Beyond traditional “physical security,” a host of frontiers like AI, cloud computing, IoT, and cybersecurity are being rapidly pioneered by entities big and small in our industry.

By all appearances, the security industry is in a stage of redefining itself. It is moving from mere security and safety protections to encompass a wider scope of activity that will expand safety while also bringing new levels of intelligence and sustainability to communities, companies and societies.

Here, Hikvision would like to share some of our ideas and expectations about key trends that will likely affect the security industry in 2022 and perhaps even further into the future.  

1. AI will be everywhere

Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is quite common in the security industry. More customers in the industry have recognized the value of AI, and have found new uses for AI applications in various scenarios. Along with ANPR, automated event alerts, and false alarm reduction, AI technologies are being used for wider applications, like personal protective equipment (PPE) detection, fall detection for the elderly, mine surface detection, and much more. Meanwhile, we also have seen more collaboration across the industry, with security manufacturers opening their hardware products to third-party AI applications, and launching open platforms for customers to create and train their own AI algorithms to meet customized needs.

AI has been one of the fundamental technologies to reshape the security industry. Benefiting from the optimization of algorithms, as well as the improved  computing performance and the decreased cost of chips due to the advancement of semiconductor technology in recent years, AI applications are gradually forming the basic functions and capabilities accepted by all sectors in the industry, and we predict an even stronger tendency to assert that “AI will be everywhere.”

2. AIoT will digitize and pervade industry verticals

With more security cameras and other security devices being connected to the network, the security industry is becoming an important part of an IoT world, enriching its visual capabilities. It’s apparent that the boundaries of the security industry are blurring, going well beyond the physical security arena. Meanwhile the popularization of AI technology enables the connected devices to become intelligent “things” in the IoT world. The combination of AI and IoT, or as we call it, AIoT, is taking the security industry to a higher plain, automating the workflows and procedures of enterprises and aiding in the digital transformation of various industry verticals such as energy, logistics, manufacturing, retail, education, healthcare, etc.

From our perspective, AIoT brings more possibilities to the industry with rapidly expanding applications for security devices and systems. Meanwhile, more perception capabilities like radar, Lidar, temperature measuring, humidity sensing, and gas leak detection are being added to security devices and systems to make them more powerful. These new devices shoulder a multiplicity of tasks that just a few years ago required several different devices, covering both security functions and other intelligent functions for an ever-advancing world.

3. Converged systems will break down data silos

Workers throughout private enterprises and public service sectors alike would jump at the chance to get rid of obstructive “data silos.” Data and information scattered and isolated in disparate systems or groups creates barriers to information sharing and collaboration, preventing managers from getting a holistic view of their operations. Here, the convergence of various information systems has been proven to be an effective approach – hopefully enough to break down those silos.

It’s clear – the trend in the security industry has been to make efforts to converge systems wherever possible, including video, access control, alarms, fire prevention, and emergency management, to name a few. Further, more non-security systems, like human resources, finance, inventory, and logistics systems are also converging onto unified management platforms to increase collaboration and to support management in better decision-making based on more comprehensive data and analytics.

4. Cloud-based solutions and services will be essential

Like AI, the cloud is not a new trend in our industry, but it is an expanding one. From small business markets to enterprise levels, we can see the momentum push more and more businesses to leverage cloud-based security solutions and services. And as we are witnessing even now, the pandemic has accelerated the movement to cloud-based operations for people and businesses around the world.

All businesses want platforms or services that offer simplicity, with as few assets to manage as possible, and a setup that’s as simple as possible. This is precisely where the cloud delivers. With a cloud-hosting infrastructure, there is no need for a local server or software. Users can conveniently check the status of their assets and businesses in real time, receive security events and alarms quickly, and accomplish emergency responses simply using a mobile app. For security business operators, the cloud enables them to remotely help their clients configure devices, fix bugs, maintain and upgrade security systems, and provide better value-added services.

5. Crystal clear security imaging will be standard in any weather, under any conditions, any time of day or night

It is always vital for video security cameras to maintain image clarity and capture details 24 hours a day, in any weather and under any condition. Cameras with low light imaging technology that renders high-definition and full-color images at night and in nearly completely dark environments have been very welcome in the market. We are seeing the impressive technology applied to more camera models, including 4K, varifocal and PTZ cameras. Moreover, for clearer video security imaging in poor visibility – especially in severe weather – high-performance imaging sensors, ISP technology, and AI algorithms are being employed, enabling cameras to maintain clarity and details of view.

Speaking of imaging technology, the trend toward incorporating multiple lenses in new cameras cannot be ignored. Single-lens cameras are limited in their ability to get more details at greater distances and get the whole picture in large-scale places. They do only one or the other. But by employing two or more imaging lenses in one camera, multi-lens cameras can simultaneously deliver both panoramas and detailed, zoomed-in views of the same large site. Applications including airports, harbors, transit stations, parking lots, stadiums and squares will see these multi-lens cameras as a boon on every level.

6. Biometric access control will bring higher security and efficiency

In the past decades, authorized access control has moved a long way away from keys, pin codes and ID cards. We now find ourselves stepping into the era of biometrics. The access control market is rapidly becoming occupied by biometric authentications, from fingerprint and palmprint recognition to facial and iris recognition.

Biometric access controls bring inherent advantages, like higher security and efficiency with reduced counterfeiting. They verify within seconds – or fractions of seconds – and prevent unnecessary physical contact. Iris, palmprint, and facial recognition offer touchless access control, a hygienic practice more and more favored as a result of the pandemic.

7. The Zero Trust approach will take the cybersecurity spotlight

With more security devices connecting over the Internet than anyone ever imagined, cybersecurity has become an immense challenge in the industry. Stricter data security and privacy protection regulations have recently been introduced in the world’s key markets, like the EU’s GDPR and the Data Security Law in China, placing higher demands on cybersecurity. And in 2021, several landmark ransomware attacks on a variety of enterprises convinced us in no uncertain terms that companies in every industry must reinforce their network security architecture and strengthen their online protections.

So how do we address growing cybersecurity concerns? Though the concept actually developed in 2010, the term “Zero Trust” has become a hot word just in recent years. A strategic initiative that developed to prevent data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust from an organization’s network architecture, Zero Trust is rooted in a philosophy of “never trust, always verify.” The concept has been roundly accepted within the IT industry and it is now also slowly but steadily moving into the physical security realm, as it gradually becomes an important part of the IoT world.

8. Green manufacturing and low-carbon initiatives will take big strides

The consensus is in: low-carbon initiatives are valued by societies around the world. In the security market, we have seen products featuring low-power-consumption become the preferred options for customers, and demands for solar-powered cameras are increasing.

Meanwhile, local laws, regulations and policies that restrict carbon emission standards for manufacturing enterprises are pushing industries toward adopting more environmentally-conscious practices in their daily operations and production, which includes using more environment-friendly materials and adopting multiple energy-efficient designs in product manufacturing processes. We are delighted to see that more security industry manufacturers are exploring “green” manufacturing, and are committed to lowering their carbon output. Though it will take time, the movement has begun. We expect to see significant strides in this area in 2022.

Why Experienced Remote Workers Are An Untapped Resource

Survey highlights value that experienced remote workers can bring to new ways of working.

Eighty per cent of regular remote workers have not been promoted since working remotely and 44% have not had access to training, according to a survey from workingmums.co.uk in partnership with The Changing Work Company.

The qualitative survey highlights the experiences of those who have been working remotely or in a hybrid way, half of them since before the pandemic, and aims to give them a voice on how to improve these different ways of working.

It found that the majority of respondents worked for smaller companies with under 250 employees. The figures showed that smaller companies were more likely to offer remote working – 41% worked for companies with fewer than 25 employees and 20% for employers with 26-250 employees.

Better work life balance (28%) was the top reason for choosing to work remotely, although another 20% said their role required remote working. Caring reasons and Covid were other reasons given. Thirty per cent found it difficult (22%) or very difficult (8%) to negotiate remote working.

The survey also showed that employers are missing a trick by not asking those who have done remote working pre-Covid for advice on how to do it better: 68% of respondents had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during Covid.

Two thirds (66%) of respondents were offered resources such as laptops by their employers but 71% said their employer did not pay for things like work-based calls.

The survey also showed that:

– 31% felt they missed out on crucial information. But over half of those who said they didn’t (55%) said this was down to their own efforts to find out what was going on, with just 32% saying their employer made an effort to ensure they didn’t miss out

– A third (33%) didn’t have access to technical support

– 36% felt they were not included in decision-making due to being remote, which one in five (20%) said was the most difficult thing about working remotely.

– 63% have a distinct start to the day vs 18% who don’t.

– 53% have regular breaks vs 15% who don’t and 32% said they do not always have regular breaks.

Participants were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.

Asked what skills they think are needed to work remotely, 85% think self motivation is a vital skill; 68% said independent thinking; and 58% said resilience. 74% said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking.

Communication skills was by far the most popular skill they felt managers needed to manage remote workers.

Asked what would improve their situation they said better communication and appreciation of what they do. While 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.

On the positive side, participants said they had learnt discipline, to value their own capability and resilience from remote working. Their advice to others included organising and planning, having a structure, sticking to your working hours and thinking about alternative forms of social interaction.

Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for workingmums.co.uk, workingdads.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, said: “This survey was driven by a sense that the voices and experiences of those who have worked remotely or in a hybrid way for years are often not heard and that they must surely have a valuable contribution to make on how to make remote and hybrid working work better.

“We know that employers who seek feedback from their employees through employee network groups or other forums, listen to what they are saying and take action are the most innovative and attractive and have the highest engagement scores. Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits.”

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company said: “More than four in five people surveyed are either working remotely now or have done so in the past. Half of them have been working that way for more than three years and a quarter for more than five years. This represents a wealth of experience that, surprisingly, most employers have not yet tapped into.

“68% of those surveyed said their employers had not asked them to share their knowledge to help colleagues suddenly switching to homeworking nor have they been consulted for their special insights on how to make the hybrid mix of office, home and remote working work. Although usually provided with equipment, the majority had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, having received no training. They know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.

“As employers struggle to understand the hybrid future of work post-Covid The Changing Work Company is delighted to be supporting workingmums.co.uk in exploring this rich untapped vein of down-to-earth real-life experience.”

New Microsoft Data Reveals the State of Frontline Workers in Asia

  • Released report reveals trends that businesses need to address to align business outcomes with employee well-being and growth, amid economic and pandemic uncertainty.
  • Microsoft announced new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically to empower frontline workers.

Microsoft Corp. released a Work Trend Index Special Report, “Technology Can Help Unlock a New Future for Frontline Workers,” and announced new features in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva designed to serve millions of frontline workers.

The 2 billion frontline workers worldwide represent 80% of the global workforce, with 88% of organizations employing people in frontline roles. Increasingly, companies are investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernize workflows, enhance job performance, and improve workplace culture and communication. Microsoft has seen 400% growth in monthly active usage of its Teams collaboration platform among frontline workers since March 2020.

The Work Trend Index report reveals key insights that impact nearly every segment of the workforce:

  • A culture of caring is the new currency on the frontline: 76% of workers feel bonded to each other, yet over 60% say their company should better prioritize culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in nonmanagement positions on the frontline don’t feel valued as employees – in AustraliaIndia and Japan, this figure is 52%, 23% and 75% respectively.
  • Frontline workers are at an inflection point: Amid the Great Reshuffle, frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance, and flexibility as reasons for considering a job change. Skills development is also an important factor for frontline workers in India.
  • Optimism for tech is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities tech creates and tech ranks third on the list of factors workers say could help reduce workplace stress. In Asia:
    • Frontline workers in Australia look to tech to help them with scheduling of team members (33%), onboarding new team members (32%), and disconnecting outside of work (30%).
    • In India, frontline workers are looking to tech to help them with team usage of VR/AR (52%), real-time updates (51%), scheduling of team members (51%), managing schedules (51%), and outside communication (51%).
    • In Japan, frontline workers look to tech to help them with automating repetitive tasks (23%), onboarding new team members (20%), scheduling of team members (19%), fewer applications (19%), and less device usage (19%).
  • There’s an opportunity to bridge the tech and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new tech or fear losing their jobs — but 55% say they’ve had to learn new tech on the fly, with no formal training or practice. In Asia, this number is 51% for Australia, 56% for India, and 66% for Japan.

Today, the company is introducing new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically designed to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform introduced in early 2021.

  • Microsoft is deepening its strategic relationship with Zebra Technologies Corp., a world leader in innovative digital solutions, including software and hardware such as rugged Android mobile computers for the frontline workforce. The two companies are delivering the Teams Walkie Talkie app on a wide range of Zebra mobile computers, including a dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) button to access Teams Walkie Talkie functionality on Zebra devices. In addition, Teams Walkie Talkie digital PTT is now available on all iOS mobile devices in addition to Android.
  • Microsoft is enhancing Teams’ integration with Zebra Reflexis™, which connects the Reflexis Workforce Management solutions with the Shifts application in Teams. This new integration streamlines shift scheduling and time off requests in Teams, making them easy for managers to approve.
  • Scheduled queuing for virtual appointments are now available in Teams, providing one location for real-time updates on wait times, missed appointments and staffing delays to create a transparent and stress-free experience for customers and patients.
  • The Viva Connections app in Microsoft Teams links frontline workers to company culture, resources and tools, news and employee resource groups in the flow of work. Integrations with strategic partners such as Workday and Espressive make accessing important resources easier and put actions like payroll and HR resources in one location.
  • The Viva Learning app enables frontline employees to discover, share and track learning content right from Microsoft Teams — making it easier for a company’s entire workforce to stay up to date on required and recommended training. New updates make it easier to assign learning from partner solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand and Saba Cloud. And partnerships with learning providers like EdCast and OpenSesame enable an extensive content library to help frontline workers upskill and train with relevant learning content in the flow of work.
  • For IT, improved device management helps ensure that misplaced shared devices can be easily secured and located.

“It’s no secret that the pandemic is reshaping work for all workers, and at a faster pace than we have ever seen,” said Emma Williams, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “Empowering frontline workers remains essential for digital transformation. Together with our partners, we’re equipping frontline workers with tools that allow them to stay connected with their team and company leadership while concentrating on the customer or job at hand. If done well, we believe technology can modernize workflows and enhance job performance while also improving workplace culture and communication.”

In addition, on Feb. 1Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be generally available. Microsoft Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with retailers’ existing systems. It starts by unifying disparate data sources across the end-to-end shopper journey, allowing retailers to maximize the value of their data, resulting in one holistic view of the consumer. Once connected, data and AI help retailers better understand and elevate the consumer shopping experience. In providing more relevant and streamlined experiences throughout the retail value chain, retailers can build a real-time sustainable supply chain. The solution also includes the Teams and Viva capabilities announced today, all working toward empowering store associates.

6 Ways to Write Flawless Blog Introductions Loved by Your Readers and Search Engines

Do you own a blog? If so, you might be familiar with how difficult it is to write solid blog introductions. After all, it is a crucial part of a blog post – it is what can draw a person in and entice that person to continue reading. It does not matter how much effort you put into the rest of your blog post – if the introduction is lacking, the reader will not stay around to read it.

On top of that, you want your blog post to rank high in search engines, which means that you will have to communicate the topic of the blog post clearly, make search engines understand it, and ensure that it is indexed correctly. Learning some tips for improving communication might be a good starting point, but it may not be enough.

Do you want to know how to write blog introductions that will both help your content rank in search engines and appeal to your readers? If your answer is yes, you came to the right place! Here, you will find a list of tips that will help you write flawless blog introductions!

 

Use an Interesting Statistic

The first thing that you can do to start a blog post is to use an interesting statistic that is relevant to the topic that the blog post is about. For example, imagine that you are writing a blog post about how to pick a firm that specializes in public relations services.

You can quote a statistic related to the amount of money that an average corporation allocates to public relations on a yearly basis. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can really put the topic of your blog post into perspective!

 

Ask a Direct Question

What about asking your reader a direct question that is related to the topic of the blog post? For instance, if you were to write a blog post about how to create a marketing campaign for a hair care line, you could ask the following question in the middle of the introduction. “How do you get people to buy it, though?”

That way, you will make your blog post engaging. The reader will try to answer the question, but the model answer will be located in the body of the article. The only way for the reader to discover the model answer is to check out the entirety of the article!

 

Write a Relatable Description of the Problem

Writing a relatable description of the problem that the reader is facing and presenting that problem from the perspective of the reader will make the reader feel understood and encouraged to read past the introduction.

For instance, imagine that you want to get the reader to book a consultation with a marketing agency. You can write about how the pricey ads that the reader is investing in are not producing the desired results and describe how frustrating it is. It is that easy!

 

Describe the Blog Post in a Few Sentences

If you feel stuck and unmotivated, take the easy route and write a short description of what your blog post is going to be about. Ideally, it should consist of two/three short sentences. Here is an example!

“In the following guide, you will find a list of techniques that you can use to write engaging blog introductions. Read on to discover the best ways to write interesting blog introductions and increase readership of your blog!”

Including such a description in the introduction of a blog post will help the reader see what the post is about and decide whether it is worth reading. Unfortunately, it is not that interesting. Because of that, you should not be using it often.

 

List Questions That Your Reader Might Have

One of the methods that you can use to write a flawless blog introduction is to list a few questions that your reader might have. It will allow you to use a wide range of keywords and make the introduction more relevant to the reader.

It is important that you do not give the reader an answer to each question right in the introduction. It will make the introduction long and difficult to understand. Instead, tell the reader that the answers to the questions you listed can be found in the rest of the article.

Suppose that you want to write a blog post about buying a pet rat. In such a scenario, you could list three questions. “Where should you buy a pet rat from? What kind of cage should you keep it in? What should you feed it?”

You do not answer any of the questions, but encourage your reader to see what the rest of the article is about. “If you want to know the answer to each of the questions here, you should definitely keep reading!”

 

Use a Call to Action

Finally, you should end your introduction with a call to action. Do you know what a call to action is? In a nutshell, it is a sentence that encourages the reader to do something specific. In an introduction, you want the call to action to get the reader to read past the introduction.

Here is a combination of an interesting statistic and a call to action. “Did you know that 50% of companies lose money due to ineffective public relations strategies? Read on and learn how to avoid ending up in such a situation!”

 

In Conclusion

As you can see, writing a flawless blog introduction is not as difficult as it might seem! First, you can start with an interesting statistic and ask the reader a direct question related to the problem that your blog post is meant to address.

Second, you should write a relatable description of the problem that your reader is dealing with. Other than that, you can describe the topic of your blog post in a few short sentences, as well as list the questions that your reader might want to find answers to.

Doing the things listed here will help motivate your readers to continue reading. In addition to that, it will help search engines understand what you are writing about and index your article correctly!

Vietnam’s Leading Digital Bank Timo Secures $20 Million Fresh Funding Led by Square Peg

The investment round is led by Square Peg, a leading global VC firm whose investments include unicorns such as Canva, FinAccel and Airwallex. Other participants are Jungle Ventures, Granite Oak, FinAccel, Phoenix Holdings (existing investor) and other super angels.

How Timo is redefining banking in Vietnam

Established in 2015, Timo is Vietnam’s first digital bank and has steadily evolved to become the country’s leader in digital banking. In 2019, the bank announced a strategic partnership with Viet Capital Bank, further accelerating its growth.

Timo – which stands for Time and Money – has consistently emphasized customer-centricity at its core. The company is widely recognized as being one of the first banks in Vietnam to offer eKYC services. Operating in a country where banking adoption rate is still relatively low, this helps customers save time during on-boarding and allows them to access other banking services online faster through its platform. More recently, the company has been accelerating its vision of social banking, recognizing that banking and financial services always are embedded in a broader context.

Securing the backing of Square Peg

With over US$1 billion in assets under management, Square Peg has backed category-defining companies including Southeast Asian fintech giants like Kredivo, StashAway and Pluang. Square Peg’s mission is to empower exceptional founders, and has invested over US$200M in Southeast Asian startups.

Tushar Roy, Square Peg Southeast Asia Partner said: “We have been impressed by the Timo team’s vision to transform banking in Vietnam. In a market with almost no other independent, digital-native players – Timo stood out from the crowd. It is a mission-oriented team aligned around creating beautiful experiences for customers and bringing more people in Vietnam into the financial ecosystem. We are excited to support Timo on its journey.”

Henry Nguyen, CEO Timo Digital Bank said: “This funding round is not only a signal that digital banking is the future in Vietnam, but It also demonstrates investors’ confidence that Timo is leading this important sector. We are deeply committed to our mission of setting the benchmark for modern banking in Vietnam while bringing greater financial inclusion and accessibility to the large majority of the population which remains unbanked. Timo aims to become the bank that is at the center of our customers’ financial lives. We are delighted to have world class investors led by Square Peg joining us on our journey.”

30 Helpful HR Statistics Every Recruiter Must know In 2022

Recruiting candidates to fill available positions in an organization is a constant necessity. No organization can function without human capital despite the current level of technological advancement. It is important, therefore, for recruiters to keep abreast of key statistics affecting the employees both existing and potential. HR professionals carry out timely surveys to learn more about the workforce in general, their motivations, satisfaction, loyalty, and many more. The data collected enables recruiters to make informed decisions concerning their employees.
The employment sector was one of the worst-hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be better prepared for such emergencies in the future, it is important to stay informed on current trends relating to the hiring of staff both locally and internationally.
In this article, we have compiled 30 of the most current trends and statistics that will be useful in your organization’s recruiting process.

HR Recruitment Statistics

This refers to information on applicants, such as their salary expectations, possibilities for their growth, a balanced career and personal life, etc. It also contains information on the recruiting practices that HR recruiters like.
● Eighty-four percent of potential candidates tends to make research about a company and its reviews before applying: individuals seeking to apply for a position in an organization are more than likely to read reviews about the company they are about applying to. A company with positive reviews might get more applicants than a company with an unfavorable assessment.
● Eighty-nine percent of candidates believe that it is easier for them to accept job offers faster when they are being reached out to by their employer, while 94 percent believe that being contacted by their potential managers will help them accept the offer faster. So, if a company finds a professional they want to hire, they should aim to start the hiring process right once; they could just get fortunate and acquire a top dog in the sector.
● There are currently 487 PEOs in the US: these PEOs (Professional Employers Organisations) have employed approximately 4 million individuals, and these employees are paid over $200 billion annually. These PEOs are HR specialists who handle the recruitment process on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses and ensure that the best hands are employed. The return on investment of using a PEO in cost savings alone is 27.3%.
● LinkedIn is the most popular platform for finding outstanding prospects. Employee recommendations, as well as online employment sites and other social media, are increasing in popularity.

Workers’ retaining Statistics

A challenge facing executives of organizations is the retention of the employees they have or plan to hire. Recruiters and managers need to follow up on their recruits to ensure they are doing everything right to retain their staff. A high employee turnover rate will lead to increased disengagement and recruiting expenditure. HR statistics that would help increase the retention rate include:
● Extreme physical and social exhaustion are regarded by forty-six percent of human resources executives as the cause of up to 50 percent of their annual employee turnover. Stress levels have risen significantly as a result of increased workload. United States alone masses up to $200 billion on health expenses, and over $120000 stress-related deaths have occurred. The COVID-19 pandemic might have put a damper on these numbers but they are rising again as businesses again resume their activities. Companies should work towards including wellness packages in their compensation as a lot of applicants now look for this when choosing where to apply to.
● Opportunity for career development is the No.1 reason people change jobs. Individuals are constantly looking to become the best at what they do. Unless the organization they work with is passionate about developing the potentials of its workers, recruiters might soon find themselves on the hunt for replacements.
● 34% of employees will leave a job if they feel undervalued. According to surveys carried out, above 30% of workers will look for jobs elsewhere if they feel their company does not consider them important. Therefore, companies must encourage feedback and communication within their organization to let their staff know they are seen and heard. Workers should not only be encouraged to participate but their ideas should be implemented provided it is worthwhile.
● Employee disengagement costs American businesses up to $550 billion per annum. Employees that are unmotivated and unproductive eventually have an impact on a company’s profitability. It is far preferable having a smaller, well-motivated workforce than a large number of disgruntled employees searching for a way out.

Applicants’ Past Encounter Statistics

The qualifications of applicants for a vacant job role are critical to the performance of a business. Companies have to ensure that the right candidate in terms of education, qualification, and work experience is employed. They need to make sure that their staff is not over-employed or under-employed as this has a major effect on their performance.
● About 50% of companies have seen an increase in the number of candidates with a master’s degree for entry-level positions. This shows that on average, every job seeker is well qualified by certificate for any position applied for. This might imply that organizations’ job descriptions and compensation packages need to be adjusted to accommodate higher levels of credentials. It also means that employers may start to anticipate above-average results from their employees.
● Employer branding boosts a company’s chances of hiring a high-quality candidate by three times. Companies must have something to stand for, such as a value or mission. They may be certain of recruiting people with similar thoughts and beliefs to their organization this way. A company’s website, professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and social media platforms are the most effective branding tools. It is extremely beneficial for businesses to have a website and to make frequent updates on their activities there so that future employees may learn more about the firm and what it stands for. This will ensure that only qualified individuals with similar interests apply.
● By investing in a great application experience, you may improve the quality of new hires by seventy per cent. Most applicants are keen to join an organization if they believe they will be able to enhance their careers. In order to increase their performance, businesses should prioritize investing in their employees’ education.

Human Resources Tech Statistics

Every activity, including labor recruitment, relies heavily on technology. HR managers and staff are increasingly embracing the use of software and other technology tools to streamline and simplify their organization’s recruiting process.
● Cloud computing is used by seventy-five per cent of businesses. Many HR processes are increasingly digitalized, making HR managers’ and workers’ jobs easier. Organizations now utilize HR systems and have at least one HR process online. Cloud computing in HR also facilitates data security.
● 25% of companies are planning to incorporate cloud computing in their subsequent HR processes.
● Artificial intelligence is presently used by 88 percent of enterprises worldwide, and seventy-six per cent expect it will play an important role in the future. Artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing, and it will have a significant impact on human resources and recruitment. AI is increasingly assisting in the collection of data and analytics relating to human resources, making it simpler to follow and forecast trends in HR..
● 60% of recruiters and hirers use video technology. Any recruitment that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic was most probably carried out online with interviews taking place through video technology and teleconferencing application software. Despite the reopening of businesses worldwide and the increase in movement, it looks like video technology has come to stay in HR. With video technology, interviews can now be conducted across borders without any barriers such as distance or costs.
● 75% of recruiters use tracking software to find potential applicants while a greater percentage (79%) use social media. The internet is not a viable way to find competent candidates at the drop of a hat. There are specialized software and sites dedicated to helping companies find the right applicants for the job position(s) speedily and efficiently. Individuals now use their social media pages as an XV of some sort especially with professional networks, making it easier for businesses to discover and employ them.
● Virtual recruitment has become the most common choice in the hiring process. Only sixteen per cent of HR professionals in the United States are ready to adapt to a virtual recruiting and hiring process. Only thirty-seven per cent of HR managers are confident in their ability to deal with essential changes and utilize artificial intelligence technology.

Onboarding Statistics

The onboarding process is an essential one for any organization. Onboarding involves adequately preparing and instructing a new hire on the company culture, work ethics, job descriptions, and organizational structure.
● Proper onboarding of new employees boosts productivity by over 70%. When newly hired staff are properly informed about the company culture, job requirements, and specifications, they find it easier to perform their duties and be productive.
● Employee engagement is improved by a better onboarding process, according to fifty-three of HR specialists. If the onboarding process is enhanced, employees will be more likely to assimilate into the workplace and will be more likely to come up with ideas that will help the firm as a whole.
● 58% of new hires will stay if the onboarding program is well structured. An onboarding program is meant to motivate an employee. A well-planned onboarding process prepares the newly hired employee for his/her in the organization. It makes the workers feel valued enough to be given all necessary details concerning the company, its structure, and hierarchy, it also presents a positive view of the company as one that is aiming for the best.
● Onboarding matters so much that over half of employees who had a poor onboarding experience think their company is doing poorly overall. Only 1 in 10 persons agree strongly that their company is doing well in onboarding. Employees who find themselves in organizations where they were not properly onboarded are likely to believe that the company is not serious about growing since it has not properly included its staff in the business. The below-average rating of companies that do well in onboarding shows that HR personnel still have a long way to go in ensuring that their workforce values are properly aligned with the companies.

Human Resources Heterogeneity Statistics

Diversity has become an important factor in any hiring procedure. Companies are now seeking to have a diverse and inclusive workforce in terms of gender and race. It is therefore essential to know the stats as it relates to diversity to ensure that things are being done correctly and challenges are easily overcome.
● To mitigate biases, 64% of companies are reviewing their hiring processes, performance management, and succession planning processes. This has led to the increase in the implementation of the blind recruitment technique in which critical bias factors such as name, sex, and race are left out of the resume to further ensure an impartial recruitment process.
● According to studies, providing the opportunity to work remotely can improve geographical diversity among candidates by 20%. Employees of a corporation may now come from all over the world and work from the comfort of their own homes. This makes it easy to develop into new sectors and hire people from various backgrounds.
● Diversity, according to seventy-seven percent of talent recruiters, will be a key element in future hiring. As a result, most executives today regard diversity as the new normal. However, thirty-eight percent of HR executives feel that finding diverse individuals with the proper skills to interview is still a big barrier to workplace diversity.
● An ethnically-diverse workforce is 35% more engaged. When people from different races and ethnic groups are brought together in a work setting, it makes them feel accepted and increases their motivation and eagerness to work. A motivated workforce is a productive workforce.
● 73% of women doubt their feedback is confidential, while only 53% of male applicants think this. The gender bias in many companies keeps a lot of women on the hedge and makes them skeptical about the privacy of their information supplied to recruiting firms. It would be beneficial to s company to emphasize its privacy policy concerning its applicants and current employees irrespective of gender.

General HR Statistics

A lot of factors affect the HR industry today. The industry has a lot of potential for development and is constantly evolving to meet the changing global economy.
● In seventy-eight percent of situations, employees are satisfied with their current work. Workers become happy in a variety of areas, including salary packages, communication and relationship structures in place, wellness programs, etc.
● Human Resources executives make an average of about 120,000 USD annually. They are in great demand, and they are now among the top ten highest-paid positions in the United States.
● HR jobs numbered over 161,700, and employment of HR managers is predicted to expand by 9% by 2030. This is higher than the predicted combined average rise in employment of 8%.
● Impoverished imbalance in career and privacy (twenty-nine per cent), little to no potential for career advancement (33 percent), inadequate earnings and bonuses tops why workers abandon their jobs (49 percent).
● Corporate job vacancies attract over 250 resumes on average. This is a high number of resumes to go through for any HR staff. The process can be overwhelming and it can become increasingly difficult for the employees to keep up with the influx. Companies and HR executives should constantly review their screening procedures to make it easier and faster to go through the many applications. They can develop special systems based on job specifications to increase the speed of attendance. A lot of businesses simply outsource their recruiting processes to external firms (PEOs) that specialize in this function. ? PEO are professional employer organization that assist companies with HR responsibilities like talent sourcing, onboarding, payroll taxes, HR compliance, etc.

Importance of HR recruiter Statistics To An Organisation

With the recruitment process evolving daily across all businesses, it is necessary to keep up with the trend or risk poor performance and eventual losses. HR statistics and trends provide a futuristic view of what to expect when hiring; staying up to date with such information will not only ensure that the best hands are hired but that in the long run, the company is better off. HR statistics also draw the attention of senior executives to specific areas where they need to improve such as coping with the aftermath of the pandemic, candidate feedback, and use of technology in the human resource recruitment process; and helps them in developing strategies to foster such improvement.
If an organization realizes it needs further help in the hiring of staff and their onboarding, it can easily hire the services of a global PEO like Wehireglobally to ensure a seamless process.

How Airports Can Use Indoor Mapping to Improve Passenger Experience

Airports are often huge and confusing places, with passengers struggling to find their way around. The problem is that airports are complex and the problems aren’t always obvious. In order to understand how congestion is affecting your airport, you need to know what to look for.

Congestion can take many forms and affect different areas of an airport. Here are just a few examples:

Passenger traffic flow issues – Passengers can experience long lines at security checkpoints, baggage check-in, or customs. This can cause delays and missed flights. People often have to wait in long lines at the gates as well. It’s not uncommon for passengers to miss their flights because they were unable to get through security or customs in time. This is one of the most common problems with congestion at airports today.

Security screening – Security screening has become increasingly time-consuming due to increasing passenger volume and inconsistent staffing levels from TSA agents (who are sometimes hired on short-term contracts).

Cargo delays – Cargo delays occur when there are more aircraft than available gates, leading airlines to hold planes on the tarmac until space opens up inside the terminal or gate area so they can unload their cargo containers without incurring significant delay penalties from airlines’ cargo partners (i.e., FedEx, UPS).

While indoor mapping can\’t solve all of the airport\’s challenges, it can be a valuable tool for helping passengers get where they need to go. Here are a few ways indoor mapping can be used at airports to elevate passenger experience:

1. Improved Safety and Security

Mapping out all areas of an airport ahead of time will help ensure that security personnel are able to patrol the entire facility in a timely manner while ensuring that they do not miss anything – including hidden entrances and exits, places where someone could hide, security cameras that may not be working properly or at all, areas where someone could be hiding weapons or other contraband, etc.

Mapping multi-floor buildings and all areas of an airport ahead of time will also help ensure that there are no blind spots in any area – even those hidden from plain sight such as behind walls or underneath stairwells or elevators. The use of indoor mapping can help eliminate these blind spots so security personnel can see them clearly and know what is going on around them at all times.

2. Clear and Effective Wayfinding

One of the biggest concerns for airports is the safety of their visitors. A clear and effective wayfinding system can help reduce accidents, injuries, and lost visitors. By using indoor mapping to create a map that is easy to follow, visitors will be able to get around the airport with ease. This will reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for people to find where they need to go within the airport.

3. Improved Traffic Flow

Traffic flow through an airport is a major problem for many airports located in urban areas where there are many other busy roads nearby that lead to different destinations throughout the city or state – not just at the airport itself but also on highways leading away from it as well as side streets off those highways and side roads off those side streets leading away from it too!

Mapping out traffic patterns through an airport before giving it permission to open its doors will help improve traffic flow by eliminating bottlenecks caused by poor planning beforehand such as over-sized elevators designed for moving luggage carts instead of passengers which creates long lines of people waiting for elevators when there are only two available per floor instead of four which would allow more people access at one time which would mean less wait times overall!

Mapping out traffic patterns ahead of time will also help guide airlines on how they should run their flight schedules so passenger traffic flows smoothly through each terminal instead of bunching up in one terminal while leaving another virtually empty because everyone has already gone through this one first.

Not only does this save money on fuel costs but it also allows airlines more flexibility when scheduling flights so they can fill more seats on each flight!

Octopus Energy and Sterlite Power Team Up to Decarbonise India

● Partnership aims to create smart green power systems in both countries
● Agreement aims to build renewable generation, help decarbonise industrial sector and look at retail opportunities in India
● It also aims to leverage Sterlite Power’s transmission expertise in the UK

Energy technology pioneer Octopus Energy Group and leading Indian power transmission player Sterlite Power have signed an agreement that aims to help decarbonise Indian industry and bring cheaper green power to consumers around the world.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed at COP26, will see the two companies explore several joint retail ventures. It is the first UK-India energy partnership since the Green Grids announcement launched by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 in November 2021.

The tie-up will aim to apply Sterlite Power’s transmission expertise in the UK and bring more competition to the established grid monopoly. In India, Sterlite Power has been an advocate for unleashing market forces in the transmission sector, making the Indian power grid more competitive and cheaper to run. Since doing so, the sector has been able to operate power grids much more efficiently, with cost reductions of up to 40% compared to legacy methods.

Together, Sterlite Power and Octopus are aiming to build renewable energy generation and storage assets in India and deploy affordable renewable power to large industrial, commercial users. The companies are hoping to also supply this cheap, green power to domestic consumers once the necessary regulations are put in place.

India is now the third largest carbon emitting country in the world, producing over 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year1 as its industrial boom continues. The projects that Octopus and Sterlite Power hope to create will help drive down the needs for coal and natural gas, drastically decarbonising the country’s energy demand and using technology to reduce costs for consumers.

The agreement highlights Octopus Energy Group’s worldwide expansion which has seen it move into 13 different countries in just five years and may soon include the launch of a retail energy business in India.

Octopus Energy Group is the fastest growing UK energy provider, having gained 3.1 million customers since launching in 2016. Its success is based on Kraken, its proprietary energy technology platform, which provides operational efficiency and outstanding customer service whilst driving a greener grid by unlocking smart tariffs. The company recently received a $600 million injection from Generation Investment Management and a further $300 million from Canadian Pension Plan Investments to aid its rapid expansion. Octopus is now valued more than $5 billion, rivalling the valuation of many long-established energy giants.

Sterlite Power is a leading private sector power transmission infrastructure developer and solutions provider operating in India and Brazil. The company has been increasingly focused on integrating renewable energy to the grid.

Greg Jackson, CEO and Founder of Octopus Energy Group, comments: “Through this partnership with Sterlite Power, we will be able to offer greener, cheaper options to consumers in both the UK and India, and even help India with its goals for decarbonisation through relentlessly cutting emissions from large industrials there.

“The transition to a smart, green energy system has been hampered by unwieldy grid systems that were built to control a few hundred power stations. These systems are not fit to manage millions of electric cars, heat pumps, solar panels and batteries that are all connected to the grid at the same time. What we need is a smart grid that can balance renewable generation with energy demand and drive down the cost. Sterlite Power’s thought-leadership and expertise in this area will bring huge benefits to Britain’s green grid of the future.”

Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power said: “We are driven by our core purpose to enable access to reliable power while minimizing the impact on climate change. We are excited to partner with Octopus Energy who is equally driven towards a green energy future. Together, we look forward to exploring a host of opportunities that aim to decarbonise carbon intensive industries, and empower consumers with green energy options towards a sustainable lifestyle.”

Market Research on a Budget: Get More Done with Less

As businesses continue to flourish and operations expand, enterprises are seeking to leverage economical intelligence services, with in-house research teams increasingly reliant on outsourcing intelligence gathering activities, enabling smoother and streamlined functions.

The secret behind a successful business is its extensive network of market research activities. An enterprise devoid of robust market research capabilities is like a ship without RADAR- directionless and without purpose. Naturally, this entails heightened budgetary allocation with respect to deploying the most contemporary market research platforms. Studies have concluded that American companies spend nearly US$ 15 billion on third-party market research every year.

While this may not necessarily be a problem for large-scale corporations, small and medium sized enterprises need to look for ways to optimize operational costs. Hence, the popularity of low cost research platforms is being highlighted at various organizational levels. How to achieve maximum growth with minimal expenditure is the mantra of contemporary market research approaches.

When it comes to measuring the costs, the initial capital expenditure may be high, as it primarily involves spending on robust infrastructure- both hardware and software. When thinking about the long-term gains, this expenditure is negligible. This is because the presence of sound research infrastructure results in better outcomes, especially with regards to research quality. Here are some practical approaches to help achieve research costs optimization:

Incorporate Flexible Pricing Market Research Subscriptions

While conducting market research, industry stakeholders have highly customized research requirements. Realizing that the one-size-fits-all approach may not be applicable for clients demanding specific requirements, market intelligence providers have been capitalizing on the trend of flexible or dynamic pricing.

Simply speaking, dynamic pricing refers to charging different prices for a product or service rendered, depending on customer or client requirements. In the field of market research, this plays a critical role in determining service outreach. For instance, by utilizing market research subscription platforms such as MarketNgage, clients can avail the full experience of an exhaustive research study, while accruing 60% of cost savings prompting enhanced scale of operations.

Besides, deploying a pay-as-you-use research model would enable access to a select research category, say a particular segment, company or region. Also, renting out research services has emerged as a highly convenient option for clients, permitting them to visit specific sections without the need to actually purchase the report and store it on their database.

Limiting of Target Audience to Restricted Numbers

Concerned about exceeding budgetary limits with regard to sample size? The answer to this dilemma is quite elementary- reduce the target population numbers. While this could possible restrict the scope of analysis, commissioning focus studies to let’s say around 8 to 12 members instead of 20 to 25, it does save costs by as much as a quarter or half. In fact, it is reported that surveys from limited members offer deeper insights compared to a larger population size.

This approach is especially beneficial when the company deploys multiple focus groups, specifically if it’s a new venture. Officials can identify gaps mentioned by a modest number of participants if any, facilitating a smoother transition towards alternative growth mapping strategies. Furthermore, at any given point of time, it becomes impractical to obtain data from each and every subject in a large sample size, as it consumes immense time, energy and money to accommodate those findings.

However, this does not mean that the scope of the research study will not be limited. Without any doubt, increasing the sample or population size tends to drastically reduce error margins. However, studies also conclude that increasing the sample size does not necessarily affect survey bias. Moreover, a large sample size may not be able to correct methodological problems, including under coverage or non-response bias.

Use Social Media to Significantly Reduce Research Costs

Extensive virtual business networks can significantly aid corporations, especially smaller businesses looking to grow their enterprise size. Given the deepening penetration of digital literacy, companies cannot afford to relegate social media analytics to the backburner, this is probably the single most important way to understand the digital footprint of clients and prospects.

Over the years, popular social media platforms have enabled enterprises to segment and analyze desired prospects via demographic, behavioral or location-based tracking. Just through optimum social sentiment analysis, enterprises are able to generate leads anywhere from US$1-$20, in terms of cost per click. Naturally, figures such as these on a daily basis could lead to significant economization of budgets.

Platforms such as Kissmetrics, for instance, have been instrumental in facilitating enhanced customer engagement of prominent software-as-a-service (SaaS) corporations, enhancing revenue prospects and substantial cost reductions. A major beneficiary of this platform is PagerDuty, which reported a 25% boost in trail engagement by using Kissmetrics Cohort Reports.

Try Outsourcing Business Intelligence Services- Could be a Game Changer

Outsourcing has emerged as a highly budget friendly approach towards disseminating market intelligence services. In-house research teams in large scale enterprises outsource market research operations, which has yielded credible growth opportunities for homegrown market research companies, particularly across India.

Attributed to this trend, these homegrown market research companies have emerged as the potential leaders. While outsourcing market research & intelligence operations, expenditure on establishing required infrastructure can be done away with to a major extent. Furthermore, companies have to spend comparatively less on training and recruitment of professionals. This would help the organization devote more time on other aspects of the business.

Besides, there is always round-the-clock work when data and intelligence gathering operations are outsourced. Given that different countries operate in multiple time zones, one can ensure that there is minimal to no disruption in working hours, enabling consistent data accumulation and assimilation activities, helping maintain operational continuity. 

Conclusion- Future Possibilities for Low-Budget Market Research

In today’s age, research requirements are becoming increasingly disparate. Analysis have to be customized as per client requirements. Consequently, it has become important to allocate different budgetary targets to these approaches. Naturally, this tends to augment expenditures on building adequate research infrastructure. Hence, several businesses prefer to outsource market research operations to third parties.

With the size of businesses of major industry stakeholders expanding with each passing day, there is always the need to economize on spending, in order to broaden profit and revenue margins and ensure business continuity. Also, hiring independent market research teams is an expensive affair, prompting them to hire external market research providers, which translates into more accurate insights. Furthermore, hiring external research providers can validate internal research.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2021 Business Awards

United Kingdom, 2021 – APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 APAC Business Awards programme.

APAC Insider is hosting the Business Awards programme for its consecutive year and takes great pride in awarding businesses from all industries, big or small, new start-ups or established across the APAC region. Many industries and economies within the APAC region have suffered greatly at the hands of Covid-19 but businesses have shown determination and have worked hard to make sure that their customers and clients do not have to suffer as a result.

Our Business Awards programmes is designed to acknowledge the achievements of businesses covering the APAC region and have demonstrated a sense resilience and have persevered to reach new heights of success despite the troublesome times.

Following on form the announcement of the winners, our Awards Coordinator, Katherine Benton has commented: “It was an absolute pleasure hosting the Business Awards this year and I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all of the winners who have been recognised by APAC Insider. I wish all the winners all the best for the new year!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/business-awards/  where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to editors.

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

8 Steps You Should Do to Protect Your Assets

Asset protection has been practiced over the years. The methods involved are advancing in better ways minimizing the risk of loss after a lifetime of hard work. Some assets typically covered are cars, machinery, intellectual property, and real estate properties.  With the level of economic development and technological upgrades in the APAC region, demand for asset protection has also been on the rise. For instance, a recent report showed that Singapore continues to lead the region in IP rights protection to support the growth of businesses in the country.

Do you want to protect your business or personal assets but have no idea how to go about it? Here are the essential things you should know and do to protect them.

1. List Down All Your Assets

You can’t protect assets that you don’t know. Writing them down will give you a better picture of how much you own and help you to determine what needs priority and protection.  However big or small, carefully write them down and identify the value of each asset. 

2. Contact a Lawyer

Seek the services of an experienced lawyer, preferably an asset protection lawyer. There are many law firms with official websites such as https:/blakeharrislaw.com  that show you the services they offer and can guide you on the best course of action.

Doing this legally and with an expert may prevent potential issues of fraudulence and illegal holding of assets for foreign investments. Lawyers can also help safeguard important documents and receipts.

3. Perform a Risk Assessment of Each Asset

The list of assets will come in handy at this stage. Together with your lawyer, assess the liabilities and risks involved for each asset. Doing so will also guide them craft better protection plans and determine how to best distribute them vis-a-vis your goals.

4. Look At Available Asset Protection Options

Some of the most common options are asset protection trusts and commercial umbrella insurance policies.

Asset Protection Trust

An asset protection trust allows you to transfer your assets to an independent third party, known as a trustee. The assets in this trust are ‘owned’ by the trustee. An asset protection trust aims at breaking a direct connection between your business, including its assets. In case of a lawsuit or creditors going after your business’s assets for recovery, they can’t seize these assets since they don’t belong to your business. These assets belong to the trustee. You have the option of using a domestic or international asset protection trust. 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance Policy

A commercial umbrella insurance policy adds an extra layer of liability protection by covering expenses that exceed the limits of your regular insurance. This type of asset protection may prevent you from involving other assets not related to the lawsuit or creditor claim.

5. Separate Your Business And Personal Assets

Keeping your personal and business assets separated protects one from the other in case of a lawsuit. Protect your personal assets in trusts such as asset protection trusts and your business assets under business entities. 

When running a business, have all documents and transactions under the business name and not your name. This way, assets not related to the business cannot be confiscated in case of a legal dispute. 

6. Diversify Your Assets

Distribute your assets under different entities and have each of them protected under separate asset protection plans.  Instead of putting your eggs in one basket, diversification prevents all assets from being easily seized by creditors in one go. You may also broaden your options through foreign investments.

7. Choose the Right Business Entity to Operate

If you decide to get into a business, choose a business type that protects your personal assets. Business entities, such as LLCs or limited liability partnerships tend to separate business assets from personal assets. Such entities also allow you to formulate the company’s policies regarding assets and who’s to be held liable under various circumstances.

When naming your business, it would also be a good idea to consult a trademark lawyer. This is to ensure that the business name is unique and naming issues are also prevented in the future.

8. Periodically Review Asset Protection Plans

As years go by, assets depreciate and appreciate. Thus, it is advisable to review your asset protection plans with your lawyer to keep them updated and appropriately covered as they mature.

Conclusion

Asset protection is one of the options you may want to consider to safeguard your future and that of your family. Your years of hard work and sacrifices will not go to waste if the asset protection plans and policies are curated based on your needs and aligned with your goals. As this is only an additional form of protection, insurance must still not be replaced.  

How Technology Improves Freight Party Relationships

Business-to-Business (B2B) transactions have evolved tremendously in recent years. The need to adopt a more sophisticated technology to meet the demands of improving processes has become relevant. Moving freight by land, air, and sea can be complex and labor-intensive but could be managed easily with the help of technology. If you have a freight business, using technology could also improve your relationship with your clients. 

Here are five ways how technology can improve freight party relationships.

1. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID effectively tracks shipments, including their condition, without the need of scanning them.  It stores unique identifying data on a tag with information such as product information, manufacturing date, sell-by date, origin and destination location, and batch number. It automates distribution and simplifies management, ensuring accuracy in freight movement.

Accuracy and efficiency in freight movement are the top services clients look for in a freight mover.

2. Load Board 

A load board is an online source that houses posting for freight loads in real-time. It shows available load that freight owners can grab from the system with consideration on quantity, quality, and rate. Thus, ensuring you maximize the cost of doing business while streamlining your operations. You may know more about load boards on this page. 

Businesses that sign up on the load board are carefully vetted, therefore assuring the security of parties partaking in delivering quality service to their clients. 

Load boards ensure you maximize your capital by always keeping your truck full. In the course of a delivery fulfillment, flatbeds can proceed to take another load. Of course, this should be within the proximity that needs moving. Getting another load from the system reduces the cost of fuel and increases productivity. Instead of going back and forth or sitting idle, you’re increasing your profit.

3. Machine Learning

Machine learning has become increasingly popular since it has significantly revolutionized supply chain operations in recent years. Documentation in the supply chain business could be a tedious task that takes a lot of legwork. Currently, machine learning automates the process from data capturing up to reporting insights. This fast and efficient method eliminates repetitive duties such as data encoding, verification, and writing analysis.

Conventional supply chains follow specific predetermined workflows. Even if not followed incrementally, the integration of machine learning in the system will not disrupt the rhythm. Machine learning excels in analyzing an astonishing amount of information, discovering patterns, and using pattern recognition to make optimal business decisions.  

Using it will give your business the most accurate and optimal insights you may employ in improving processes within your enterprise. Clients might see that you value progress in meeting the demands of the industry you’re in.

4. Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS now dominates the business sector by allowing accurate determination of geographical locations of just about anything in the world.  

GPS helps drivers navigate locations, effectively plan route assignments, and monitor driver behavior.  The mobility solution provided by GPS guarantees freight owners make informed decisions that the business will benefit from.

When delays are inevitable, freight owners can accurately justify using the GPS, thus improving client trust. This also elevates the quality of drivers since their driving behavior will be monitored, as reckless driving will be eschewed.  Drivers will be more conscious of their driving skills and would want to show top performance.

The rising cost of fuel in the world market is hurting many businesses especially the logistics industry. Using GPS identifies the shortest and most efficient route for moving. Thus, it’s maximizing fuel efficiency, improving speed in delivery, and lowering cost. 

5. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is a database ledger that holds the history of ownership of a digital asset in the system that technically can’t be modified.  Everyone may be given access to the data but only those authorized to do so can make changes.  This is very promising as this eliminates fraud with the use of smart contracts. 

Moving freight transfers goods across several channels and all transfers are susceptible to fraud and corruption. Using blockchain technology ensures data is incorruptible.

Conclusion

Modern technology has paved the way for the development of a lot of things that surround us. To say that technology is inevitable is an understatement.

As an entrepreneur, you need to best deliver quality service to your clients. You should incorporate technology to meet the demands of your business.  This takes a lot of calculated risks but the benefits you will reap will be in abundance.  

Setting the Bar as a Trusted Brand

By Cyrus Gilbert-Rolf, Managing Director, EMEA & Oceania, EVRYTHNG

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is a tough one. Highly competitive, crowded, and frequently driven by price. Now producers are being put under even greater pressure, as consumers increasingly only want to buy from brands that they feel align with their own values.

With people becoming more aware of what they are putting into their bodies the focus on health issues is intensifying, coupled with sustainability and inclusivity being taken more seriously (particularly by millennials and Gen Z). This means that brands that want to retain, or even gain, a share of the market need to be seen visibly contributing to these causes.

Consumers are increasingly holding brands to account, wanting more information than can be delivered on a label or billboard. Businesses must now be able to show that their products have been sourced, produced, even transported, in a safe and sustainable way – along every step of the supply chain. 

These demands for data are too important to ignore, with 99% of consumers saying that transparency is important in fresh food products, and 75% of consumers stating they would switch to brands offering more complete information. 

With the addition of regulators requiring enhanced transparency and accuracy around Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), it’s more important than ever that companies seek to establish a reputation of trust. 

True transparency

It’s no longer enough to simply state that a product is Fairtrade/organic/non-GMO. Consumers want to see the proof of this. They want evidence that a brand is treating its workers fairly and behaving in an ethical and safe manner – and this expectation extends across the entire supply chain. As younger generations gain more buying power this demand for rich information will increase, and brands need to adapt to this market now. 

So far gaining this full visibility across the whole supply chain has been difficult, with data being disparate and inconsistent across suppliers. However, with the ability to mass serialise products, digitally print unique identities onto goods on a mass scale is becoming more affordable. Coupled with the computing power and cloud capacity to share, process and store of these massive amounts of data from each product, true end to end visibility is within reach.

This stands to revolutionise the CPG industry – enabling consumers and businesses to access all the information around a product’s life cycle by simply scanning a code – delivering true end to end visibility for the first time. It also provides businesses with both the challenge and opportunity of finally being able to meet customer expectations of transparency. Consumers will expect it, and it will be up to businesses to ensure they deliver it – or risk losing market share to those that do. Done successfully, this provides a chance to build trust, even generate loyalty, across a customer base that can be engaged with both pre and post purchase on an ongoing basis. 

Maximising engagement to build trust

Up until now opportunities to directly engage with consumers across the CPG market have been limited due to the lack of product registrations in this arena. Product digital identity stands to change all that, as consumers are able to scan a code pre-purchase – giving a line of communication to potential purchasers, and further opportunities to engage post purchase – all with the aim of encouraging repeat or further purchases from the same brand. 

Of course, this all depends on the consumer liking what they see when they access that information. As the market matures there is no doubt that there will be an increasing expectation of richer data and superior levels of transparency and authenticity. 

Changing the game on product recalls

The benefits of this new technology go beyond meeting consumer demands for information on how a product is produced. It will also make a significant difference to the tricky area of product recalls. 

No matter how focused a company is on safety, recalls are commonplace. How this is managed can have a significant impact on a brand’s reputation and the trust its customers place in it. In the CPG arena recalls are frequently done via in-store posters, social media, and email. There is very little opportunity for direct-to-consumer engagement, purely because the nature of the market means that product registration is rare (for example, a consumer would not register a bottle of shampoo, or a tin of beans).

As well as enabling companies to maximise both pre and post purchase engagement, it will also provide a direct channel to issue safety alerts should the need arise. Managing crisis points in this way will go even further in protecting, if not building, that all important consumer trust. 

Plan now for the consumer of the future

There is no doubt in my mind that product digital identities are the future. In addition to meeting the ever-growing demands for data from the consumer, it also plays into the ESG movement by providing information on product life cycle, highlighting opportunities to enhance sustainability.

Businesses must start to plan now for the consumer of the future and consider how they will meet customer expectations but also maximise the potential opportunities and establish themselves as a trusted brand. This means:

  • Starting to gather information across the entire product and consumer journey 
  • Unifying data from supplier, internal, and consumer facing applications around a unique and cloud enabled product identity 
  • Enabling each point of contact with the product to read and write contextually relevant data
  • Let customers know. Highlighting the fact that they are fully transparent, and that consumers can easily access the product life cycle and a full suite of information about its origins
  • The industry as a whole must work together to fully embed this new technology so that everyone can benefit. 

It is essential that businesses start taking these steps sooner rather than later and use the plentiful opportunities that end to end visibility and product digital identities offer in order to build a reputation as a trusted brand – ensuring that they are the ones that consumers are switching to, not from.

7 Important Factors That Affect Your Business Growth

Growing and expanding a business is undoubtedly one of the main goals of every entrepreneur. Profitable growth usually means that you’re succeeding in your efforts, and the hard work is finally paying off. Unfortunately, for many diverse reasons, not every business can thrive. When looking for the causes, it’s essential to realize that in many cases, simply coming up with a groundbreaking idea is not enough for a positive outcome.

Businesses have to be nourished constantly. If you want to achieve your goals as an entrepreneur, you need to work around the clock. Among particular aspects that need to be considered to ensure your business’s constant and steady growth are business structure and management. Capitalizing on social media marketing might be a good idea while adopting sustainable and green practices will help attract more customers. Things like online presence, credibility, openness to new ideas, and clear articulation of goals will also prove beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at these things.

 

Openness to New Ideas

One of the most effective ways to grow your business is by taking advantage of opportunities. When setting up a business, there are certain things you can expect from it, but some are and will remain, like the economy or political situation in your country. Due to this uncertain air, every entrepreneur needs to keep an open mind to make the right decision when required. Recognizing patterns earlier than your competitors is one of the most critical factors determining whether you’ll achieve success.

New ideas can also mean services provided by others, which can make running your business easier. If you’re working with international companies, for example, hiring a translation company that owns proper translation equipment might be suitable for your needs. While transactions keep the world moving, brands don’t have time to focus on language challenges getting in the way of their funds.

 

Budgeting and Finances

How you spend your money determines whether or not you’ll achieve your goals for the next quarter or year or even five years down the road. You need to make sure that you have a solid financial plan that has been appropriately implemented into your operations. Your first step should be creating a budget – outlining your expected profits for the next six months along with possible expenditures related to marketing, advertising, payroll, office space, utilities, etc.

The second step would be deciding how much money is going towards each category as well as writing down some basic financial principles such as using a free check stub maker to write checks as soon as possible and avoid losing track of them. Paying bills immediately after they arrive is also crucial, so you don’t rack up late fees. Another thing is being organized to avoid unnecessary spendings. An organized office will save you a great deal of money over time because you won’t lose any documents or information that might be useful later on during tax season or when trying to figure out what happened with finances during a certain time.

 

Business Structure and Management

The organizational structure consists of hierarchical levels, departments, and divisions that contribute to the business operations. As a business owner, you will need to determine how you want it to look and who will do what. A good structure will focus on the common goals and aims of particular departments while empowering them to take decisions on their own. The key is to ensure that all parts of the business work in harmony while being efficient and effective.

In order to achieve success, you will need the right kind of people on board. This can be done through good recruitment practices, but the ongoing training and development of your people is also an essential factor to bear in mind.

 

Marketing

A successful marketing strategy is a must if you want your company to get more recognition and push it ahead of competitors. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience. If you’re not getting the desired results from your campaigns, you might want to reassess your strategy and try something else.

One of the most efficient ways to get more customers is by implementing a solid digital marketing strategy. Social media marketing is an excellent way of getting more exposure for your business. Regularly posting short promotional videos and visually interesting photos or interacting with people in the comments will boost engagement and help create a bond with your customers.

Moreover, you will need to consider the overall look of your website and its usability. The fact that you have a good product is not enough; you need to make sure potential customers will be able to find it. Pay close attention to the design of your website, the mobile version, and the way you’re using social media. Confusing text, banners, pop-ups, and calls to action that don’t engage users will only send them away.

 

Sustainable and Green Practices

More and more people are becoming aware of environmental issues and are making conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s essential for every business that wants to grow to adopt sustainable practices. By increasing awareness, you will be able to reach new customers – and build their loyalty.

Moreover, eco-friendly solutions can help you cut costs while gaining profit in the long run. You could even turn these eco-friendly practices into an opportunity for business growth by offering products and services that promote sustainability or making it a part of your brand image. Whether it’s a small thing like using less printing paper or focusing on creating a more energy-efficient office space, it’s always great to do something for the environment.

 

Clear Articulation of Goals

Every business owner has specific goals that they want to achieve. Having clear objectives is essential if you want your company to grow and expand its horizons. It would be best to make sure that everyone in the company understands what you want them to do to understand their roles and responsibilities.

You can achieve it through working on your communication skills and organizing meetings with professionals who will help lead you and your workers. It will also allow for better cooperation between employees and other companies involved in your business operations. If you want to achieve the best results, you must remain realistic about your goals and expectations. This way, you will know for sure what should be done to fulfill your intentions.

 

Brand Image

Creating a recognizable brand image will help you connect with the customers, and it’s essential for businesses that want to grow and expand. By working on your brand image, you will be able to boost your business, attract new customers, create a name for yourself, and make more sales.

As an entrepreneur, you need to make sure that the company’s brand identity is consistent across all of its marketing channels. This applies to both online and offline marketing efforts. By maintaining a particular look and feel of the brand, you will maximize your business growth and create a strong reputation.

 

Conclusion

If you want to achieve your goals, you need to make sure that you’re focusing on the right areas. While coming up with a business idea is key, it’s not enough. You have to work hard to maintain it, provide your workers with the right tools, and make sure that you get more customers. Not every business can succeed, but that doesn’t mean that yours won’t. With the right approach, dedication, work ethic, and determination, you might just be able to get exactly what you want!

ADDX Tokenises First Private Credit Fund, Lowers Minimum from US$5m to US$20,000

Managed by Temasek-owned SeaTown, the fund with committed capital of more than US$1 billion is raising external capital for the first time

Private market exchange ADDX has enabled rare fractional access to a private credit fund with more than US$1 billion in committed capital, reducing the fund’s minimum investment size for individual accredited investors from US$5 million to US$20,000. The move helps diversify the investor base of private credit funds, which have traditionally been designed to serve institutional capital. This is also the first private credit fund to be tokenised on the ADDX platform.

The lowering of the investment threshold was made possible through the issuance of security tokens with an exposure to the SeaTown Private Credit Feeder Fund LP (“SeaTown Private Credit Fund”). Also known as digital securities, these tokens are more efficient to administer because they make use of blockchain and smart contracts to overcome manual processes at different stages of their life cycle – including custody, ownership tracking, fund earnings distribution and secondary trading. The use of security tokens also eliminates the need for multiple intermediaries, which brings down costs further for both issuers and investors.

Fund manager SeaTown is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seviora Holdings, and is indirectly owned by Temasek Holdings. SeaTown has been investing in private credit since 2012, with US$2.1 billion of investments to date. In all, SeaTown manages five funds with US$6 billion in total AUM as of 30 June 2021.

Private credit funds are funds that make direct loans to companies or buy such loans from the secondary market. Technology is enabling the entry of non-institutional capital a time of significant expansion for private credit – also known as private debt – as an asset class. According to Preqin, private debt assets under management (AUM) have more than doubled in the past decade, from US$315 billion in 2010 to US$848 billion in 2020. Preqin is projecting private credit AUM to increase further, to $1.46 trillion by 2025.

SeaTown Private Credit Fund is raising capital from external limited partners (LPs) for the first time. The close-ended, four-year fund is focused on extending private credit to companies in the Asia-Pacific region.  To date, the SeaTown fund has deployed more than US$500 million in investments. Over half of the fund’s portfolio of deployed investments is in secured loans or bonds, while the remainder is in second-lien loans and preferred shares. The offering on the ADDX platform was completed last month, with individual accredited investors subscribing to US$7 million in tokens. The tokens are now listed for secondary trading on the ADDX exchange, which allows other accredited investors to take part.

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of ADDX, said: “SeaTown is a distinguished name in the world of private capital. SeaTown’s link to the Temasek group of portfolio companies and its extensive deal sourcing network across the Asia-Pacific region enable the fund manager to be more selective in executing deals with a good risk-return profile.”

She added: “In the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the growth of private credit funds has accelerated in part because traditional lenders such as banks have taken a more conservative stance on lending. Amid this expansion, we can see the private credit fund space maturing and attracting a deep pool of professional talent. Giving individual investors access to this burgeoning asset class resonates strongly with ADDX’s mission of democratising the private markets. It is not feasible for an investor with a net worth between US$2 million and US$20 million to enter a private credit fund with a minimum ticket size of US$5 million. But at a US$20,000 minimum, that same investor is able to take part in this previously-inaccessible asset and benefit from the enhanced portfolio diversification.”

Founded in 2017, ADDX, previously known as iSTOX, is a full-service capital markets platform with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) licenses for the issuance, custody and secondary trading of digital securities. The financial technology company raised US$50 million in its Series A round in January 2021. Its shareholders include Singapore Exchange (SGX), Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japanese investors JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). Individual accredited investors using the ADDX platform today come from 27 countries, spanning Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas (excluding the US).

Create a Sense of Crisis Before Diving into Digital, Urges Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping

Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping delivers a keynote speech at the 13th Global Peter Drucker Forum

A sense of crisis should be encouraged and intensified to help drive digital transformation, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping has told a gathering of management professionals at the 13th Global Peter Drucker Forum.

Motivated employees “on a mission” and strategic planning aligned to the company’s goals were key to creating the climate for successful change, Guo Ping said.

He predicted all companies would “go digital” in future, but feared some currently at the early stages lacked clear strategic goals and were “just following the pack”.

Guo Ping told delegates at the annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna on Wednesday that there was “no real alternative” to change, but that companies had to answer a key question before successfully embarking on digital transformation: “By going digital, how can they improve their organizational competitiveness and achieve their strategic goals?”

Guo Ping said high-quality planning was the starting point for successful digitalization. A fundamental transformation of Huawei’s product development in R&D and sustainable supply chains began twenty years earlier with IT Strategy & Planning.

“Looking back, we feel quite lucky, interlocking the goal of digitalization with the company’s overall strategic goals was certainly the right move. As a result, our organizational capabilities greatly improved. These transformation programmes made us a world class company”.

Guo Ping said changing employees’ mindset was “the biggest challenge” but key to successful transformation, with urgency generating “a sense of mission” and momentum for change.

“The sense of a crisis is important. Make it visible to intensify (it) to make employees truly understand the need for a change,” he advised, adding that the current situation had “been the perfect opportunity to create a climate for change” at the company.

He said Huawei had ensured employees had understood the need for change, fostered a culture of eagerness for transformation and ensured affected workers had felt protected.

Guo Ping said Huawei’s own culture of innovation begins with a tolerance for failure, with its researchers encouraged to adopt a varied, trial-and-error approach.

Citing the multiple 5G technologies Huawei had developed before one given technology was selected to be part of the industry standard, he recalled the words of the company founder Ren Zhengfei:“You take a path to find it only leads to a dead end. You share it with others so that they don’t repeat it and try another path: that’s also a success”.

Guo Ping highlighted the importance of transformation management and that at Huawei “the one thing that never changes is change”.

“To advance with times, we review our transformation planning every year, to ensure it aligns with our business strategy.  I believe continued transformation management will enable companies to constantly improve their capabilities in the digital era,” he said. “I hope all companies will boldly embrace change. After all, there’s no real alternative.” The Peter Drucker Forum is held every year in the management guru’s hometown of Vienna, Austria. The annual event, the 13th since 2009, brings together professionals of modern management from around the world. The theme of this year’s conference was the human imperative of navigating uncertainty in the digital age.

Temasek Establishes the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to Accelerate the Commercialisation of Sustainable Foods in Asia

Temasek today announced the launch of the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to focus on addressing the challenges of scaling up the production of alternative proteins, as well as accelerating the growth of sustainable foods in Asia.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to provide solutions and support, as an enabler, operator and investor, to food-tech companies as they go through their life cycle from product development to commercial scale-up.

  • As an enabler, it will provide R&D advisory and pilot-scale manufacturing facilities to support food-tech businesses accelerate their product commercialisation;
  • As an operator, it will provide manufacturing capabilities, along with market insights into commercialisation opportunities to support scaling up across Asia; and
  • As an investor, it will also provide businesses with a network of strategic connections and allocate capital to promising food-tech start-ups.

Asia is expected to require around US$1.55 trillion of investment over the next decade to satisfy growing consumer demands for healthier and more sustainable food options. We need to evolve our current capabilities to bolster food security and strengthen supply chains,” said Yeoh Keat Chuan, Deputy Head, Enterprise Development Group at Temasek.

“Temasek has invested over US$8 billion in the global farm-to-fork value chain since 2013, and will continue to increase our investments in this space. Singapore has a significant role to play in the transformation of the agri-food sector. The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to support local and regional businesses, innovate, scale up and commercialise,” he added.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform will be managed by a core team of food-tech professionals, led by newly appointed CEO, Mathys Boeren. Prior to joining the Platform, Mr Boeren worked in the food and food-ingredients industry for more than 25 years, amongst others for Unilever, Givaudan, Symrise and Kerry. More recently, he has advised start-ups in the sustainable food space on the alignment of product attributes and consumer preferences.

Mr Boeren highlighted that “Our key differentiating factor is our end-to-end enabler, operator, and investor capabilities that provide bespoke solutions and support to aspiring food-tech companies at every stage of their growth cycle. With our support to remove friction-to-adoption, companies can speed up their product development and pilot launch, as well as accelerate their commercial scale-up and go-to-market. In the end, it is our goal to delight consumers across Asia with tasty, fresh, traceable and sustainable food.”

Accelerating Product and Process Development with the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC)

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food & Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) have committed to invest over S$30 million in the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC) over the next three years, to provide tailored infrastructure and service offerings to promising food-tech start-ups.

FTIC will be a one-stop shop where aspiring food-tech start-ups will have access to a
food grade pilot scale facility with extrusion and fermentation equipment, shared labs, test kitchens, co-working spaces, as well as A*STAR’s deep R&D know-how.

“SIFBI is excited to partner with Temasek’s newly established Asia Sustainable Foods Platform on the FTIC, which will provide much-needed pilot scale capabilities for Alternative Protein (AP) companies to shorten time to market. We expect that this partnership will help anchor AP companies, and to contribute significantly to the flourishing and vibrant food-tech landscape here in Singapore,” said Dr Hazel Khoo, Executive Director, SIFBI.

This will address pain points food-tech businesses face in bringing their innovations to market, such as long wait-times for pilot-scale facilities and equipment; the lack of deep product & process development capabilities; and the difficulty in navigating regulatory processes and understanding unfamiliar markets in other parts of Asia.

FTIC is also pleased to announce that its first partner, Next Gen Foods, will be setting up their global R&D and innovation centre within FTIC. Next Gen Foods is a food start-up that is creating a portfolio of delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based foods – beginning with its popular chicken made from plants, TiNDLE, now available in over 150 restaurants across seven markets in AsiaEurope and the Middle East.

“At the core of Next Gen Foods is a dedication to creating plant-based foods that are not only sustainable – but also delicious, nutritious and scalable,” says Timo Recker, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Next Gen Foods. “We can only do this through a commitment to continuous product innovation and growth, and we’re thrilled to become the first company to put down roots in the brand-new FTIC. It is a significant milestone that reinforces our commitment to build a global impactful player based in Singapore, and we are grateful to our partners at A*STAR and Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform for joining us on our mission to create a better food system for future generations to come.”

Robust Co-manufacturing Capacity with Leading Industry Players

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform is exploring two joint ventures with global industry experts in plant-based and microbial proteins.

A partnership with CREMER, a German agri-food multinational with expertise in plant-based protein, through a joint venture company, will augment the Platform’s manufacturing capabilities for plant-based protein products. Key to this process is high moisture extrusion (HME), a new technology for producing texturised proteins that more closely resemble meat than other plant-based manufacturing techniques. The Platform’s investment in, and the operation of, the joint venture company are subject to obtaining all required regulatory approvals and consents.

Given the nascent technology, CREMER’s expertise in contract manufacturing and operating other HME plants globally will provide essential support for businesses in this area where few companies have mature HME capabilities and capacity, particularly in Asia.

“For CREMER, the customer has always been the starting point of our decisions. We are constantly improving and developing value-added services and products for our customers in tomorrow’s world. Recognising the growing importance of sustainability, health and plant-based foods in supporting the global food ecosystem, CREMER wants to play a major role in driving these trends by contributing production knowledge we have gained over decades. By bringing HME capabilities to Asia, CREMER aims to provide production support to the fast-growing plant-based community here,” said Damian Krueger, General Manager of Sustainable Nutrition at CREMER.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform has also signed an agreement with ADM, a global leader in nutrition, that will pave the way to form a joint venture that enables contract development and manufacturing services for microbial proteins produced via precision fermentation. ADM’s global capabilities, and innovative fermentation-based expertise, will help enable smaller existing food-tech companies to efficiently scale their fermentation innovations through to the pilot scale. This project is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

“We’ve talked to innovators, from startups to mature food providers, in Singapore and across APAC, and they have told us that they are eager and waiting for a partner that can provide support for food-grade precision fermentation technology,” said Joe Taets, president of ADM’s APAC business. “This first-of-its-kind joint venture in Singapore would meet that demand, and in doing so, will help further the development of the alternative protein industry in APAC.”

“EDB is pleased to be supporting ADM and Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform efforts in building up precision fermentation expertise in Singapore. The joint venture addresses the needs of innovators in developing and scaling fermentation-based solutions, allowing them to serve global customers from Singapore. This will also strengthen our agri-food ecosystem through ensuring that the suitable infrastructure and technological capabilities are in place to spur innovation of agri-food technologies,” said Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.

China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum to Discuss New Paths for High-Level Opening-Up

The fourth China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum, an important official supporting event of the fourth China International Import Expo, was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai yesterday afternoon. It was also the first time that the annual forum was held at the CIIE venue.

This year, the forum took as its theme ‘Digital Empowerment, Create the New Pattern of High-Level Opening-up in Trade in Service.’

How to accelerate the development of digital trade, how to set up and improve the its governance system, and enhance the ability and level of such governance have become the key issues about which all parties are concerned in the process of promoting the high-level development of trade in services.

The forum was hosted by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government and organized by the Suzhou Municipal People’s Government and Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee. Yicai Media Group provided all-media support as the exclusive media partner.

Chi Fulin, president of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, delivered a keynote speech entitled ‘Benchmarking International High-Level Economic and Trade Rules,’ that analyzed in detail the paths for the innovative growth of trade in services under the new pattern of development. Chi said that international economic and trade rules are undergoing profound and complex changes and trade in services is becoming the focus of global free trade and the reconstruction of rules. The opening-up process and the interconnection of domestic and foreign benchmarks should be promoted, fair competition in the field of trade in services should be facilitated, and innovative development in trade in services should be strongly spurred. 

In the subsequent keynote speech session, Qian Bin, vice president of Bank of Communications and a member of the bank’s Party Committee, shared his view on the ‘Opening-up and Development of Trade in Services Spurred by Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies in the Financial Sector,’ while Li Tao, vice president of Philips Greater China, shared his opinion on ‘Restructuring and Positioning of Multinational Corporations’ Industry Chains Under New Pattern of Development.’ And Wei Zhe, founding partner and chairman of Vision Knight Capital, discussed ‘Systematic Capacity Improvement of Companies Engaged in Trade in Services in the Digital Economy Era.’ [‘CEO Systematic Capacity Improvement in the Digital Economy Era,’ as per the previous story]

Exploring New Paths to Open Up Services

Suzhou Industrial Park, one of the forum’s organizers, is an important collaboration project between the governments of China and Singapore. It boasts the special gene that marks the partnership between China and Singapore, and it has the advantages that are richly endowed by nature in promoting the development of the trade in services and digital trade. 

The world’s first special agreement covering the digital economy, the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, was signed by New ZealandSingapore and Chile on June 12 last year. Singapore is also a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that will take effect next Jan. 1 and the country will take over the presidency of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2022.

Last December, China and Singapore also announced follow-up talks on upgrading the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement to focus on negotiations over trade in services and investment liberalization by adopting a negative list, to further liberalize and facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Chua Teng Hoe, consul-general of the Republic of Singapore in Shanghai, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Service Industry Development between the People’s Government of Suzhou at the forum. Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bank of Communications and the Suzhou Industrial Park also penned a strategic agreement, and 21 groups of company representatives in three batches inked contracts at the forum.

Suzhou became a pilot city for China to experiment with service trade innovative development in 2006. The Suzhou Industrial Park is a leader in service trade development in the city and even Jiangsu province, and in recent years has been hitting new record highs in the scale of services trade with better structure and higher quality.

Yang Yudong, editor-in-chief of Yicai Media Group, attended a roundtable brainstorming with representatives of companies and institutions in Shanghai and Suzhou at the forum on the topic of ‘Vision under the New Pattern of Shanghai-Suzhou Integrated Development: Digital Technology Rebuilding the Global Industrial Chain.’

Innovative development of digital technology has greatly improved the tradability of cross-border services and rebuilt the globe’s industrial and value chains, according to guests at the brainstorming. Digital trade is developing rapidly, and new digital industries, new business forms, and new patterns have emerged. Regional development also provides great opportunities for the development of digital trade. Building a service trade cluster in the Yangtze River Delta region is a demand and an opportunity against the backdrop of integration of the region, especially the Shanghai-Suzhou integrated development.

ADDX Expects Significant Upside in Japan, As Partner Tokai Tokyo Receives Security Tokens License

The two companies will collaborate on issuances by Japanese real estate companies and banks, that will be offered to investors in Japan

Financial services company Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings and private market exchange ADDX have announced a new partnership to offer fractional private market investment products to investors in Japan, after Tokai Tokyo secured a security tokens license from the Japanese regulator.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Tokai Tokyo is the holding company for a leading securities brokerage in Japan. The company offers investment and trading services to investors via its network of 144 offices in Japan. It holds consolidated net assets worth US$1.4 billion and has US$38 billion of client assets under management.

Last month, Tokai Tokyo received a license from the Japanese regulator – the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – that allows the company to deal in security tokens, also known as digital securities. With the new license, Tokai Tokyo and ADDX plan to collaborate on security token issuances by Japanese real estate companies and banks. These future deals will be tokenised on the ADDX platform before being distributed by Tokai Tokyo to sophisticated investors in Japan. In addition, Japanese investors will be able to trade the digital securities on the ADDX secondary exchange through Tokai Tokyo.

With this new business partnership, ADDX expects a significant increase to its revenue from the Japanese market. Under the tie-up, Tokai Tokyo will be the first company in Japan to distribute security tokens that are tradeable on a secondary exchange. It will also be the first in Japan to deal in security tokens for non-liquid assets, as previous security token licensees received regulatory approvals for liquid assets.

For Tokai Tokyo and ADDX, this is a partnership that began in 2019 when Tokai Tokyo made its first investment in ADDX, previously known as iSTOX. Tokai Tokyo was also a lead investor in the US$50 million Series A fundraising round by ADDX in January 2021. Other ADDX shareholders include Japanese investors JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), Singapore Exchange (SGX) as well as Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital.

Yuji Ban, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, said: “It took a long time to get to this point, but we now have a license for security tokens. Our future collaboration with ADDX will be key to establishing an innovative business model in Japan, where a digital security exchange like ADDX does not exist yet. We and many others in Japan eagerly anticipate working with ADDX to create investment opportunities for Japanese investors and new financing options for issuers. We look forward to working with ADDX on a variety of security token projects in the near future.”

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of ADDX, said: “Japan has one of the most forward-thinking regulators on the issue of digital securities – alongside those in a handful of other jurisdictions, including Singapore. This prevailing view has once again been validated by the Japanese regulator’s latest move to grant a new security tokens license. As Japan embraces innovation in the capital markets, individuals will, no doubt, be the chief beneficiaries. The community of individual sophisticated investors in Japan is deep and sophisticated. Historically, they have shown a strong interest in real estate investments. But the opportunities open to them – whether in real estate or other asset types – are curtailed because of the high minimum investment sizes in the private markets. Digital securities can fractionalise investments, helping individuals to diversify their portfolios and to invest with a strategy and asset-mix closer to that of family offices or institutions. This promises several positive knock-on effects – from better retirement adequacy to a fairer distribution of wealth.”

She added: “Tokai Tokyo is one of the oldest and most trusted financial companies in Japan, with roots dating back to 1908. We expect this partnership to yield multiple deals over the next few quarters. The possibilities are exciting and limitless, given how the two companies share the same vision on innovation in the financial services and bring complementary strengths to the table.”

Digital securities are securities issued using blockchain and smart contract technology. They are more efficient to administer, because the technology reduces the need for intermediaries and automates manual processes. Digital securities are also regulated and backed by real-world assets. The efficiency of blockchain allows minimum ticket sizes for private market products to be reduced from US$1 million to US$10,000, expanding access for accredited investors to previously out-of-reach assets, including funds, bonds and pre-IPO equity. Issuers benefit from lower fees, the ability to reach a larger investor base, a lower fundraising threshold, as well as a faster speed-to-issuance.

ADDX is a full-service capital markets platform with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) licenses for the issuance, custody, and secondary trading of digital securities. Individual accredited investors using the ADDX platform today come from Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas (excluding the US).

7 Efficient Tips to Maximize Automated Product Inspection

Product integrity is a real issue for manufacturers and consumers alike. Companies heavily invest in equipment and technology to aid in fast production. However, the speed at which the products are produced, packaged, and labeled leaves room for possible defects. One unidentified defect in the production chain may affect both the brand and the consumer.

Manufacturers are now focused on product inspection to help identify and correct any defect before it goes further into the production line. But still, the fast nature of production means manual inspection isn’t the best way to conduct an inspection. Therefore, many manufacturers have resorted to using automatic inspection systems.

Using an automated system offers several advantages such as higher accuracy, higher speed, lower costs, and consumer protection. However, achieving these benefits doesn’t come automatically once you purchase an inspection system. There are a few crucial practices that you’ll need to do to get the best out of it. Here are some tips that will help you maximize automated product inspection: 

1. Choose a Reliable Vendor

Once you decide to automate your inspection system, ensure that you’re working with a reliable vendor. If you’re purchasing an inspection system such as TDI Packsys food metal detector or an X-ray inspection system, it should be from a provider who prioritizes quality inspection. 

One way to choose a good vendor is by searching online and reviewing their profiles to see if they match what you need. You can also ask for referrals from people who have purchased inspections systems before.

2. Create an Inspection Baseline 

Your inspection system team should have a baseline to work with. The baseline will help them know what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and what counts as a correct label and a defect label. This will help them know what products can move to the next level and what needs to be corrected first. 

If you have a customizable inspection system, then you can fit it with an inspection baseline. Every product that passes the baseline will be moved to the next level, and those that fall short will be flagged. 

3. Train Operators 

While the inspection process can be repetitive and operators can master the basics, it’s still possible to forget the principle. Additionally, there can be cases where you change your inspection system when pursuing higher quality or if you have to be compliant with new standards.  Your operators should then adjust to suit the new requirements.

Therefore, you should train them every time you change the system. Test them with a series of principles you expect to see from the new automation system.  

4. Control Material Movements 

Your automated quality systems should have interlocks enacted to prevent the movement of products until the necessary actions are taken or inspection is passed. In some inspections systems, a contaminant can be identified, but it may still go to the next stage because of the fast process and the number of products. 

Your automation system should be able to identify the products that have defects and remove them from the production line. If a product passes one stage and develops a defect before the next stage, it should also be flagged and removed. This will maximize the efficiency of the inspection as no defect will be missed at any stage. 

5. Monitor and Redesign 

Over time, your system may develop calibration problems and defects, and it may flag products that are okay. It could also fail to identify defective products and let them move to the next stage. Such misses could mean you spend more resources correcting products with no problem or releasing defective products to your consumers.

Because this is a concern for your finances and reputation, always inspect flagged products for any misses. If you notice any misses, test the system using predetermined products that have contaminants and those that don’t. This will enable you to identify where the problem is, so you can redesign, recalibrate, or change the system entirely. 

6. Use Data-Driven Inspection 

Machines become better in decision-making as more data is fed into them. The same is true for inspection systems. More data about products records, previous defects, and other anomalies will help your system learn to perform more quality checks on products. Machine learning will efficiently help the inspection system detect anomalies, parts, quality, and quantity as they are exposed to more products. 

Ensure that the system records data every time it carries out an inspection. Over time, the system will use the data collected to improve inspections with limited human intervention. 

7. Proper Instrumentation 

Sometimes manufacturers can lack the proper instrumentation to achieve the level of accuracy that they desire. For example, only inspecting the finished products means missing substandard components that have entered the production line through the raw materials. 

Therefore, manufacturers should have proper instruments at different stages of production. For instance, you may need an X-ray inspection to identify bugs or hair strands on the raw materials. A combination of different inspection instruments may achieve better results.

Conclusion 

An automated inspection system will achieve better efficiency than manual inspections. However, you’ll need to observe certain practices to get the best out of it and ensure your products only leave the factory after it passes all the required inspection standards. The tips discussed in this article are great ways to maximize automated product inspection.

Extensive Cooperation between China and Japan in Digital Society and AI

Co-hosted by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Japanese non-profit think tank the Genron NPO, participants from both countries shared ideas and held in-depth dialogues on digital economy, artificial intelligence(AI), economic and trade cooperation, and cultural exchanges during the two-day forum.

At the sub-forum of the 17th Beijing-Tokyo Forum on October 26, both Chinese and Japanese experts held candid and in-depth discussions on the prospects of bilateral cooperation in digital society and AI, and reached consensus on relevant issues.

Sino-Japanese digital cooperation boasts great prospects

Xu Zhilong, editor-in-chief of the Science and Technology Daily said at the forum, “The development of digital economy is not merely the development of digital technologies or products, but to build an ecological system of digital economy.”

Tatsuo Yamasaki, distinguished professor of the International University of Health and Welfare expressed his hope that this platform could explore solutions to the issues concerned the community with a shared future for mankind, such as the care of the elderly in an aging society, AI enabling climate change monitoring, tracking carbon footprint through AI technology, reducing energy consumption, and integrating traditional energy with new technologies.

Pang Dazhi, vice president of NetEase believes that the young generation in China and Japan gets to know each other’s culture through digital products, such as animation, games, music and movies. “In fact, based on the same cultural heritage and highly complementary technology on game development, the two countries have broad space for cooperation in the field of digital culture and digital economy.”

Novel trends and scenarios of digital economy

Duan Dawei, Senior vice president at iFLYTEK Co.Ltd. said, there is great room for cooperation between China and Japan in the field of AI. “China and Japan face common challenges in education, medical care, care for elderly people and other areas. Thus, we can discuss how to offer better service to the public through AI technology.”

Taro Shimada, Senior VP of Toshiba corporation, said that the use of logistics data is vulnerable to natural disasters. “Both China and Japan are committed to improving the toughness of supply chain through sci-tech. Facing the shock of COVID-19, logistics data presents both opportunities and challenges. Common sense has been reached on the sharing of logistics data, promoting the use of logistics data to a new level.”

Jeff Shi, vice president of SenseTime, said AI can help solve the aging problem faced by both China and Japan, dealing with the practical challenge of productivity shortage. “AI can help solve the productivity shortfall. Meanwhile, AI itself is trying to improve productivity by reducing its reliance on data and humans.”

“Zero carbonisation” gains momentum through digital economy

AI helps develop new materials such as new catalysts, said Junichi Hasegawa, COO of Preferred Networks. “Photovoltaic, hydraulic and hydrogen energy are all commonly discussed energy sources, whereas they all belong to secondary energy sources. Therefore, carbon emissions are unavoidable in the production of these new energies and how to reduce carbon emissions in producing these energy is an important issue.”

In addition, human society is inseparable from computers. How to reduce the power consumption of its data centers and develop new computers with higher efficiency and less emissions is also worth thinking about.

“Total global carbon emissions fell by a record 7 percent in 2020 from the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Liu Song, vice president of Pingkai Xingchen (Beijing) Technology Co.Ltd., “However, economic activities did not suspend, the reason is the vigorous development of Internet economy.”

Liu said that online activities can significantly reduce carbon emissions while ensuring normal economic development. We may seek new path on energy conservation and emission reduction through the use, transmission and storage of data in the future.

Data protection and security are focused

Hiromi Yamaoka, board member of Future corporation, said that developing AI needs to address concerns on privacy collection. “The application of AI requires the collection of high-quality data, which involves the aspects of data governance, privacy protection and other issues. In the process of developing AI, the concerns should be tackled. In addition, when it comes to cross-border data flows, countries around the world should reach a consensus to ensure the security of data flow,”said he.

Liu also shared idea on this topic, saying that the boundaries of national security and personal privacy need to be clearly defined. China has paid attention to the dialectical relationship between development and security of data flow.

Pandemic Shines Light on Stark Contrast in Healthcare for Employers with Overseas Staff

Covid has shone a harsh spotlight on the global inequalities of health care. Employers with staff in overseas positions are seeing a stark contrast in the care individuals may receive if left to the health system of their host nation.

While this may sometimes be very high-quality care, it may also come at a very high cost. In other areas, staff will not receive the level of care they would expect at home. This is making many employers see that they must ensure their staff are supported and provided with adequate care, and that the costs are fully covered.   

Global disparity statistics

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) World Health Statistics Report 2021 shows that healthy life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom is 70.1 years. This compares to 63.7 years globally. Japan has the highest healthy life expectancy at 74.1 years, with Lesotho being the lowest at just 44.2 years.

Irrespective of the pandemic, global health care inequalities are rooted among social, political, economic and gender inequalities and there are stark differences in the spending on health care around the world. Deloitte’s 2021 Global Health Care Outlook report shows that by 2024, at one end of the scale, the USA is likely to spend US$12,703 per capita on health while, at the other end of the scale, Pakistan is likely to spend just US$37 per capita.

Uniting employees

The disparities in health care around the world can contribute to overseas employees feeling isolated and undervalued. A robust health and wellbeing programme can, however, help to connect a disparate workforce around the globe, with physical and mental support stretching far beyond the boundaries of each country, so it’s vital that employers put such support in place.

Virtual support

The rise in online support throughout the Covid pandemic means that it is now even easier and more commonplace for help to be made available through virtual services, and this is something that employers must consider. Whether this is online GP appointments, virtual physio, or video counselling, it means that support can be made available anywhere in the world with internet provision.

Indeed, figures from Statista show that the global digital health market was worth an estimated US$175billion prior to the pandemic in 2019. This is expected to reach nearly US$660billion by 2025, so it’s a trend employers need to incorporate.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Employers of overseas staff must embrace the growth and development in digital health. It is a major opportunity to provide better health care in isolated parts of the world and to introduce a level of consistency and equality across their provision.”

The importance of wellbeing

Reported in the Deloitte findings, Dutch experts believe that the focus is shifting from health care to health and wellbeing. There will be greater focus on healthy lifestyles, vitality, and wellness, on prevention and early diagnosis. This is a movement that many HR and employee benefits professionals have been promoting for some time.

Employers should ensure that the health and wellbeing policy they put in place is wide-ranging. There are lifestyle considerations to be made according to the countries in which employees are working. Where Australia, for example is attuned to work-life balance and has an active, outdoors lifestyle, in other countries this routine is less likely. Wider support should therefore be included – such as guidance on nutrition and exercise – to support employees in every country.

Cultural differences and mental health

Sarah Dennis comments: “In some countries they just don’t talk about mental health issues. This does not mean, however, that employees there don’t have mental health problems, and they may well need more support than those in countries where mental health is openly discussed.”

With cultural differences and stigma still attached to mental health conditions in many countries it is important for employers to investigate options for mental health support and to access specialists who have experience abroad themselves. Mental health support for overseas employees may include global employee assistance programmes (EAPs), counselling, and support hotlines. Many of which are open to the employees’ families too.

Sarah Dennis concludes: “The pandemic has brought challenging times across the world but there is now an opportunity to use this to unite employees. Health and wellbeing has been pushed high up the agenda and it is up to employers to now ensure it stays there. Understanding global differences in approaches and ensuring there is adequate support for staff around the world is a good starting point.”

Q4 2021

Welcome to the Q4 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, we are able to reflect on a busy year for the APAC region. From the positive and inspiring moments such as the victories celebrated at the Tokyo Olympic Games, to the bleaker events and the ever-present shadow of an ongoing global pandemic, there is no doubt that 2021 has been a year unlike any other.

Similarly, it has been a busy year for APAC Insider, which has celebrated the successes of a plethora of businesses across a range of awards campaigns, despite the turbulence of the past twelve months. In this Q4 issue of APAC Insider, we present yet more success: our featured company, for instance, is the Singapore-based salon, Nail Palace, which has won not one but two awards at the South East Asia Business Awards 2021. We find out more about the chain’s story so far, and those of the other award-winning companies featured within this issue.

Thus, we hope you enjoy this quarter’s edition of APAC Insider and its insight into the corporate landscape of the region. As ever, we wish you all the best as 2021 comes to a close and look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.

Smartization: The Key to Sustainable Business Growth Post-Pandemic

Digital transformation has had a significant impact across many industries. Beyond the regular cast of tech characters, companies spanning a wide range of verticals began to implement digital transformation to respond to market demands; the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. This global crisis crippled industries and threatened businesses of all sizes. While the situation seemed hopeless to some, others saw opportunities for positive change. Would you believe that a 100-year-old tire manufacturing company would consider smart transformation of its business to combat these challenging times?

Research conducted by Gartner shows that, since the outbreak of COVID-19, corporate budgets for technology have increased by 6.9% on average, which has a positive impact on smart transformation. In previous crises, companies often cut expenditures first, but this time their investment in technology has not decreased. In fact, the use, research, and development of smart hardware, the upgrading of management systems, the development of remote collaborative platforms, and digital means for pandemic control and prevention are now top priorities, showing the commitment of business leaders to smartization as well as the urgency of business transformation.

For many companies, working with an IoT platform was a great option to accelerate their digital transformations without having to spend millions on R&D. The following case studies are prime examples of how companies have met the demands of their customers during the pandemic, not only surviving the pandemic, but thriving throughout.

Expansion into Innovative Categories

In the early stage of the pandemic, while people were locked down at home, roadways were deserted, and buses, trains, and airplanes all sat empty. Later, social distancing and fear of community spread of the virus led people to turn to individual modes of transportation.

Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tire companies, employing about 63,000 people and manufacturing products in 46 facilities in 21 countries around the world, picked up on this trend and turned to smartization by means of business innovation. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more than 100 years, Goodyear has been delivering quality products that get people where they need to go.

Goodyear has licensed Miralbueno Group that develops activities in the agricultural machinery sector, gardening, hardware, and industrial sector. In 2020, Miralbueno Group started its partnership with an IoT development platform to power its scooters, air purifiers, and air quality monitors under the Goodyear brand. IoT technology has quickly enabled Miralbueno Group to seize new opportunities in the market and upgrade selected products to be connected within a very short time period. Currently, these IoT-enabled products, under the Goodyear brand, cover all aspects of life and are widely embraced by European and South American consumers, and more products are under development.

Traditional Goes Smart

As more people are turning to smart products to maintain a normal life and interpersonal relations, this has accelerated the smartization of daily life. During the pandemic, consumer demand for digital products and services has experienced robust growth. According to Gartner, in 2021, it is expected that the demand for digital products will go up to 83% with contact-free smart devices such as smart lighting leading the way.

SATCO, founded in 1966, is a New York-based lighting company. Thanks to advances in IoT technology, smart speakers and smart voice assistants are widely available, making the application of voice-controlled smart devices possible. In the era of artificial intelligence, more and more lighting manufacturers are eager to transform their business. SATCO is no exception.

In 2021, SATCO launched its first smart lighting brand, STARFISH™, which consists of more than 50 smart lighting products, ranging from recessed downlight fixtures to color-changing strip lights, electrical outlets, and switches. The growing line of products can be controlled and interconnected through the STARFISH app. Furthermore, the products can also be connected with more than 410,000 smart devices to provide consumers with the ease of interconnectivity. The STARFISH product line has been met with overwhelming success during the COVID-19 pandemic, with product sales increasing 100% month over month.

Businesses Move Towards the Era of the Metaverse

Today, business owners and executives around the world see the pandemic as the biggest risk factor impacting economic and business growth. As smartization is embraced by all industries, the digital revolution is well underway, with widely used passive smart products and more sophisticated active ones. At the same time, AMI (ambient intelligence) has become a “helper” in coping with the pandemic and is expected to create the next driver of growth, triggering a network effect.

Virtual reality has become a key target for all industries and the era of metaverse is coming. Virtual reality has not only become the vanguard in the fight against the pandemic but also a priority goal for different industries. Technology, which used to be thought of as in the background, is now front and center, driving new business models and transforming products and services across all industries.

Tuya Smart enables companies to achieve their smart transformation goals. For more information, please download the white paper: The 60 Smartest Companies Thriving Post-Pandemic.

According to the white paper, The 60 Smartest Companies Thriving Post-Pandemic, published on October 21 by Tuya Smart, a global IoT development platform company, Gartner, a world-renowned research and advisory company, and media platforms Global Intelligent Business and IoT Business Vantage (IBV), digitalization and smartization are current top trends for business across industries in light of the pandemic. The white paper also explores how companies use new technology in response to the drastic changes brought by the pandemic and achieve their smart transformation goals.

APAC Cloud Advertising Market Growing at Higher Rate than North America

A report released by Reportlinker finds that the worldwide cloud advertising market is expected to grow at 19.6% from a current figure of $2.7 billion until 2026, when it is expected to be worth $6.7 billion, with North America holding the largest market share, while the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is expected to grow at a higher rate.

 

New methods and technology move to fore

As marketing efforts have evolved considerably over the past decade, and new methods and technology have moved to the fore, the advent of digital marketing and cloud computing has afforded marketers the ability and privilege to target very specific customers in their own homes, with the support of digital marketing leaders such as www.12handz.com.

The report “Cloud Advertising Market with COVID-19 Impact, by Component, Application, Organization Size, Deployment Model, Vertical and Region—Global Forecast to 2026” surveys some of the vital new opportunities such as social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click, content marketing, mobile marketing, and marketing analytics, helping businesses analyse and reach their target audience.

Demand for personalised content and experiences is further driving the adoption of cloud advertising, with verticals such as consumer goods and retail, and media and entertainment, bringing new investment in cloud marketing technology.

Of the five major regions surveyed by geography—North America, APAC, Europe, MEA, and Latin America—North America commands the lion’s share of the cloud advertising market at 48%, while Europe (27%), APAC (15%), and the rest of the world (10%) fill up the second half.

The North American region is expected to hold its lead during the forecast period as marketing technology is deeply entrenched on the continent, led by the U.S. and Canadian economies. This area, additionally, commands a higher percentage of social media and smartphone users—U.S. penetration of mobile devices is 90%, followed by Canada—and advertising spending is considerably higher in these countries than any other.

According to Gartner Research, customer growth in the APAC region was 27.8% in 2020 and the software market grew 13% to a figure of $99 billion, adding $11 billion to the software market overall.

 

Platform segment projected to hold largest market share

Data analytics is rising in priority as marketers seek accurately to profile their target audience and optimise digital advertising for more efficient results. Targeted marketing is therefore driving consumer analytics and growing the cloud advertising market which is supporting marketing departments as they develop, manage, and implement campaigns boosting revenue growth.

By component, the cloud advertising market is divided into platforms and services, with the platforms segment projected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period. Online platforms afford organisations the ability to personalise and automate Web-based marketing campaigns, and this segment is projected to capture the largest market size during the forecast period.

Platforms work well delivering repetitive tasks such as social media information request follow-ups, after-sales support, emails at regular intervals, integrating data, building customer profiles, delivering instant content, reporting, and enabling collaboration with other team members.

Marketing tools such as testing and personalisation, analytics, omni-channel campaign management, content management, and data management are all hardwired into platforms, and they also bring artificial intelligence (AI) capability, crunching consumer data in real-time and the ability to modify display content on-the-fly.

 

Public cloud bringing simplicity and easy deployment.

Services offered via a free or subscription-based public deployment model are using the cloud for simplicity and easy deployment. Because investment capital for this model is minimal and managing the infrastructure outsource, the public cloud is expected to grow to the largest market share.

The benefits of the public cloud are that it is scalable, reliable, lower cost, flexible, and location independent. The major concern, however, is data security and some enterprises, therefore, are moving into private and hybrid cloud models.

Vendors worldwide are adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies, and these include partnerships and collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, new product launches, and enhancements, while some are deploying a blend of both to expand their customer base and market share.

The “Cloud Advertising Market” report profiles key vendors including Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, Google, IBM, SAP, Acquia, Demandbase, and Experian, who are all stepping up to the dynamic market needs and partnering widely, implementing strategies to meet higher demand.

One data engineering cloud company capitalising on growth is Trifacta, which announced its continued expansion into Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), with a new regional presence in Singapore and Bengaluru, India.

“I’m incredibly impressed with the depth of talent in the region and the entrepreneurial spirit of our India and APJ team. In just a short time, this group has substantially impacted Trifacta’s success. Continued investment in this region will be key for our continued innovation, and we are excited to bring on new team members across all departments and locations,” said Adam Wilson, Trifacta’s CEO in a press release.

Do’s and Don’ts for Pacific Rim Business Success

The Asia-Pacific business market represents one of the largest, and most densely populated geographic regions on earth. Sellers and business owners who choose to operate in this commercial zone often do so because consumer markets are huge, economies in the Pacific Rim area are enjoying a growth spurt, and digital business models mean sellers need to deliver goods to buyers in every country of the world. However, for companies who have never done business in Asia, let alone the Pacific Rim markets, it’s essential to keep several key facts in mind.

Step one for any successful enterprise is to define markets. After that, it’s up to entrepreneurs to choose among several other priorities, including dealing with language barriers, doing smart logistics planning, respecting local cultural norms, not relying on one-nation markets, and remembering to network even before launching an Asia-Pacific based business enterprise. Here are several guidelines that can help owners and entrepreneurs get the most out of their profit-seeking ventures.

 

Define Your Markets

The Asia-Pacific economic zone includes dozens of nations and cultures, each with its own population centers, product preferences, laws, customs, and ways of dealing with new merchants. It’s imperative to define, both geographically and otherwise, your target markets if you decide to operate a for-profit entity in the area. Taking too broad a reach will quickly spread resources thin and leave you with nothing but frustration to show for your efforts. Begin by defining your ideal customer by age, product preferences, and specific location.

 

Optimize Fleet Management

Nowhere is high-quality fleet management more important than in densely populated, geographically spread-out environments. The entire Asian business zone of the Pacific Rim fits that description perfectly. That’s why managers need to review a guide on the latest developments in safety tech for vehicle fleets, primarily those related to collision avoidance systems for in route transport.

Most of the central urban areas in Asian-Pacific markets include streets and highway routes that are busy and congested for many hours per day. So, even off-peak trips run into their share of bumper-to-bumper slowdowns and dangerous situations of all kinds. Collision avoidance tech is the newest tool managers have at their disposal to minimize accidents and make sure that drivers are safe while moving goods from Point A to Point B.

 

Bridge the Language Barrier

The majority of corporations that operate anywhere in Asia attempt to hire local workers for offices, as drivers, and for all but upper management roles. Unlike many other large commercial zones, Asian business regions often include consumer groups that speak several different languages. It’s impossible for outsiders to enter these economic corridors unless they use local staff. In places as far apart as Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines, merchants must navigate at least a half-dozen major languages and many more regional dialects. Fortunately, most of the region’s economies are sturdy enough to offer plenty of qualified local help.

 

Don’t Skimp on Logistics Planning

Anywhere in Asia, logistics planning is a vital component of corporate success. Not only does the area encompass some of the world’s largest urban centers, but street systems, geography, and transportation laws are wildly different from place to place. Wherever you end up paying your trade in the Asian-Pacific sector, spend more time on logistics planning than usual. Anticipate erratic traffic patterns, shipping delays, political factors that play a role in transport, and other potential challenges that are unique to this part of the world. And don’t ignore weather, because Pacific storms appear with short notice and have the potential to interrupt shipping lanes for days on end.

 

Respect Local Cultures

Familiarize yourself with local religious, cultural, national, and other customs before writing a business plan. The variety of Asian markets is one of its hallmarks, so it’s essential to spend time learning about the places where you’ll be offering your goods and services to local consumers. As the world heads towards a severe talent crunch, be sure that you are using globalization practices, including hiring individuals with an understanding of the culture in which your business operates.

 

Invest in Networking

It’s important to network before entering any new market, but Asia’s most sought-after urban centers present unique opportunities and problems for newcomers. Spend up to a year ahead of your local launch getting to know vendors, local employment agents, relevant public officials, legal experts, chamber of commerce representatives, and anyone else who might be able to assist your company with a smooth landing in a new, complex marketplace.

4 Key Components of an Enterprise Cybersecurity Strategy

The need for cybersecurity measures is only growing. People take many steps in order to keep their data safe, which often provide enough protection. However, it is different when you look at it from a business perspective.

Like digital expert Roger West says, you should pay special attention to cybersecurity, especially when marketing your business online. If you want to take care of your company’s cybersecurity, you must safeguard the data and infrastructure.

Enterprise cybersecurity strategies often consist of several fundamental components, including a comprehensive cybersecurity training and education program and an established cybersecurity culture. Effective strategies can protect you and your business on many levels, as long as you remember cyber essentials – training, support and certification.

If you are new to the topic and wish to know the four key components of an enterprise cybersecurity strategy, make sure you check this article below!

 

Cybersecurity Awareness and Training

The first and crucial component of an effective cybersecurity strategy is establishing and implementing a comprehensive training and education program across your enterprise. This must be carried out to produce both knowledge and skills while promoting an environment in which it is clear that cybersecurity is a key business priority.

Such a program aims to enable your employees to make security-related decisions and implement best practices to protect themselves, the business, and the data within it. It is vital to ensure that all employees, including management and executives, are familiar with cybersecurity fundamentals.

As part of your training program, you should introduce an element of ongoing training for existing employees. It is also wise to include education sessions in your employee onboarding process. This will ensure that all new employees have a solid foundation in cybersecurity practices from the very beginning.

 

Network Monitoring

To effectively protect your network and data, it is essential to monitor them. This involves extensive logging of both inbound and outbound traffic, as well as the use of tools such as firewalls and intrusion-detection devices.

You can also employ a combination of technologies, such as baseline security and threat detection and developer and application monitoring. These programs can give you valuable insight into how secure your network is, as well as your applications and data.

Network monitoring allows you to find out if there is any kind of suspicious activity in your network. For example, you can check who is accessing what devices and applications. If you notice anything suspicious, it is vital to act immediately. You can put a block or restrict access to the suspicious device, application, etc. Another option is to check the data that is leaving your network. For example, you can find out who is sending it outside of the organization. This is an excellent way to stop data exfiltration.

Finally, it is essential to note that while you can use several tools to monitor your network, not all of them are sufficient. Some of them might be too expensive, while others might not offer the kind of advanced features you need. This is why it is vital to choose the right tool for your network monitoring.

 

Incident Response Plan

No matter how strong your network security is, there is always a possibility of getting hacked. It is vital to have an incident response plan in place before the incident happens. This will enable you to deal with any potential cyber-attacks or data breaches in the most efficient way possible.

The plan should include a step-by-step approach to dealing with the security incident. In certain situations, you might need to notify law enforcement agencies, as well as relevant stakeholders. After that, you can take the necessary steps to contain the damage and prevent future incidents from occurring.

As part of your incident response plan, you should also consider appropriate responses to cyber attacks. Your IT department can develop and implement these measures, and the response will likely depend on the kind of attack you are facing. For example, you can deal with an email-based phishing campaign with a phishing response plan. If you encounter a ransomware attack, it is vital to have an effective backup and recovery solution in place.

 

Identity And Access Management

A lack of centralized identity and access management can result in a serious threat to your network security. It is vital to ensure that there is only authorized access to the network and data while also preventing unauthorized or inappropriate access.

It is essential for any enterprise that wants to secure its information and data effectively and efficiently. Proper identity and access management enable you to separate your network into two parts: public and private. This way, you reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

Additionally, you should implement a single sign-on solution to make it easier for employees to access all of their business applications using a single username and password combination. This will enable you to protect your data from unauthorized access by reducing the risk of a successful attack.

If you want to ensure that your company’s resources and data are safe, you should definitely pay attention to the identity and access management system. This is not only recommended – it’s absolutely necessary.

 

In Conclusion

These are the four key components of an enterprise cybersecurity strategy. If you are new to this topic, make sure you take the time to implement these security measures in order to prevent cyber incidents from happening. If you already have a cybersecurity strategy, then make sure all these practices are well taken care of. Remember that cyber incidents can be very costly, and it is always better to prevent them from happening than to try to fix them.

6 Ways to Provide Training and Support to Remote Employees

With the advent of technology, it’s now possible to train and support your remote employees. This is especially popular nowadays since the pandemic has made businesses adopt a work-from-home (WFH) policy across the Asia Pacific Region. More companies in Singapore, India, the Philippines, China, and other regions in the Asia Pacific are now posting jobs for remote workers

If you’re one of these companies, here are some ways to help you efficiently train and support them:

1. Utilize Learning Management Systems (LMS)

What is a learning management system? An LMS is a web-based technology or software application where you can create, implement, and evaluate training materials. Both you and your remote employees can access this tool. For trainers, the LMS lets you create content for your remote employees. And individuals needing training can use the discussion forums and video conferencing features of the LMS for a more interactive session. 

With this tool, you can educate them from wherever you are, and you can do it anytime. There’s no need for you to meet in person since all you’ll need is a device and the Internet to access the LMS. This is also a cost-efficient way to conduct training because you won’t have to worry about venues, snacks, equipment, and other considerations that come with in-person training. 

In addition, some LMS has an all-in-one functionality that trainers and trainees can use to register, save events, communicate, and notify each party about such progress. With such, you can also monitor their training progress.

2.Use Various Communication Tools

Remote workers need powerful communication medium. For instance, apps that offer video conferencing capabilities are crucial in providing similar visual cues to an on-site work setup. Video calls ensure that all parties involved have a mutual understanding of the topic at hand, and it’s also useful for more complicated or sensitive discussions. Although chatting has come a long way, it still can’t provide more detailed information than video conferencing can. Lastly, video calls are also crucial in reducing the isolation that most remote workers suffer from. 

If your company isn’t already using a communication tool, it’s time to get one. You can find providers who offer affordable and easy-to-use communication tools; thus, even your least tech-savvy member can learn to use these tools.

3. Leverage Other Technologies

Other than LMS and communication tools, it’s essential to leverage other technologies to ensure that the training and support you provide remains efficient. Fortunately, numerous software is available for live-streaming, posting lectures, and project collaboration aside from video conferencing. 

Moreover, technology can also assist you throughout the onboarding process of new employees from across the Asia Pacific. If you hire new talents, you can use technology like screenshots and videos to provide step-by-step guidance in business processes. By leveraging these technologies, you can give your trainees a clearer and more comprehensive reference about their roles.

Moreover, some tools have a built-in translation, so your hires from across Asia—who have different languages—can understand your discussions better when they use such a feature.

4. Utilize Video Training Tools

Not only can you use videos when communicating, but you can also use video training tools to conduct live training. These tools let you share your screen, making it easier for you to project your content. Moreover, most of these tools have recording capabilities that make it easier to save your video lectures. As such, you can use them in your future lectures, too.

5. Remember That Delivery Is Crucial

Digital collaboration is a skill that needs to be practiced just as much as interpersonal skills. So, before you push through with your training session, make sure that you have the necessary skills for it. Try completing a trial run to see how well you do as an instructor. Taking this extra step will give you a boost of confidence once actual training starts.

In the actual training session, you might want to use a clean background for a professional look.  Also, as much as possible, try to block outside distractions like phone calls or other noises that can disrupt your sessions. Make sure to show your face clearly and look at the webcam directly if you’re on a video call, as this gives off a more personal approach.

6. Select the Most Suitable Approach 

Similar to its on-site counterpart, remote training doesn’t have a universal approach. This means that not all trainees will learn the same way. Some might prefer the synchronous approach, whereas others might want to learn on their own, especially since your remote workers are from different regions in the Asia Pacific. Thus, it’s better to use a method that fits your trainees’ learning preferences. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of approaches you can implement:

  • Self-directed learning: This learning strategy, as the name suggests, is directed by the learner. This means that they can study at their own pace and access the learning contents at their convenience. 
  • Real-time Learning: This one involves instantaneous approaches. It uses channels like video calling apps and cloud-based software where you can share information with everyone.

 

Conclusion

Training remote employees from across the Asia Pacific can be easier than training in-person employees. This is because you can utilize various tools and learning approaches when delivering the training materials. You can easily record yourself, and many employees can access them, which makes the whole training process more efficient. 

APAC Insider Announces the 2021 Legal Award Winners

United Kingdom, 2021- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2021 Legal Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the APAC Insider Legal Awards recognises the efforts of law firms and legal advisors throughout the Asian Pacific Region. After another difficult year in the wake of COVID-19, the legal sector has persevered under unfavourable conditions, and arguably come out the other side stronger. With a fighting spirit and a hope on the horizon, the future is looking bright for not just the sector, but for the Asian Pacific as a whole.

Awards Co-ordinator Harwinder Pawar commented on the success of the deserving winners at the launch of the supplement: “I would like to congratulate all of the winners in this year’s Legal Awards. After another difficult year in many industries, these businesses have continued the thrive under pressure. We all wish you the best for the coming year ahead and can’t wait to see what you do next!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/legal-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

How to Make Sure That a Property Is Worth Investing In

There are many types of investments that you can make, ranging from stocks to cryptocurrency. However, most of these investments come with huge risks, which is something that many people find to be a bit off-putting and discouraging. Fortunately, there is something that comes with considerably lower risk, and that is real estate!

Would you like to learn more about investing in real estate? If your answer is yes, you came to the right place! In this article, you will find a list of tips that will help you ensure that the property you are thinking about buying is worth investing in. They include checking whether it meets your investment criteria, researching the local housing market and multiple properties, and calculating the costs of the investment upfront. Check it out!

Check Whether It Meets Your Investment Criteria

One of the first things that you need to do when determining if a property is worth investing in is to check whether it meets your investment criteria. It is vital to have a clear understanding of what you are looking for.

For example, are you interested in investing in a big property that will give you a great return on your investment? Are you looking for a place that will become more valuable over time? Once you have figured out what you are looking for, you can start looking for suitable properties that meet these criteria. If you discover that you don’t have enough funds for a property that piques your interest, you may consider taking out low rate personal loans.

Check the Local Housing Market

When you are trying to assess whether a property is worth investing in, one of the most important things to do is check the local housing market. If you are looking at a property in an area where there are many houses for sale, then this is definitely something to look into.

If there are many houses for sale in a neighborhood, it might mean that something is wrong with the localization – or on the contrary, that it is attractive to potential buyers for some reason. Depending on the cause, it can be an indicator that the prices will either increase or decrease soon, so you can see how crucial it is to check it.

Check Out Multiple Properties

If you want to make sure the property you are planning to play is worth investing in, you need to research multiple offers before you make a purchase. You do not want to get stuck on one mediocre property and end up settling for it.

The more properties you see, the better your idea of what is out there and what kind of values and opportunities you have. On top of that, if you open yourself up to more options, it can help prevent buyer’s remorse from setting in later on.

Calculate the Costs Upfront

Before purchasing any type of property, it is always a great idea to do some research and find out how much it will cost you not only to buy but also to maintain and keep it running. If the expenses outweigh the income the investment will bring in, or there’s a chance you won’t be able to cover the expenditure before you start profiting, there is no point in buying. This is why it is essential to think about the cost of repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes, and management fees ahead of time.

Check Whether It Is Legal and Up to Code

Next, you need to make sure that the property is legal and up to code. You do not want to invest in a property that does not have permits or something else. If something happens, you might end up having to pay a huge fine. If you are not sure whether the property you are interested in is legal or not, then it is best to use the services of a lawyer to determine that.

Figure Out Your ROI

Finally, you should always consider whether the property can provide you with a return on your investment. Before purchasing anything, you need to think about how much money you are going to put into it upfront and how long it will take for you to get this money back through things like rent. If the property will not provide you with enough profit, then why bother?

In Conclusion

There are many reasons why you might want to invest in real estate. Perhaps you are looking for a way to make some passive income, you need a place to live, try to pay off your student loans, or simply want a second house.

In a nutshell, if you want to find a property that is worth investing in, it is essential to conduct thorough research. You should check the local housing market, see how much profit you can make from renting out the property, and consider whether it will be able to provide you with a good return on your investment. It might seem like a lot, but you surely want to invest your money right.

5 Real Estate Business Ideas That You Should Use in 2021

Have you been thinking about starting a business? What about a real estate business? You might not be aware of this yet, but the commercial real estate market is worth trillions of dollars in the United States alone! Because of that, it is definitely worth checking out.

However, if you want your business to be successful, you will have to check how to write a law report, as well as come up with a profitable business idea. Luckily, this article will help you take care of the latter!

Below, you will find a list of real estate business ideas that you should use this year, including becoming a landlord, real estate photography, becoming a real estate agent, flipping houses, and managing property.

Check it out, find an idea that you like, and take the first step on your journey to becoming a successful business owner!

Renting Out Properties

Becoming a landlord is an excellent option for those who have inherited a property, but neither are willing to move in nor sell it out. And while applying for an inheritance loan will ensure that you have enough money to wait till the probate process ends, renting out an inherited property, later on, will provide you with a passive income for years.

The first thing that you need to do is post an advertisement about looking for tenants. The advertisement should be written concisely, free of grammatical errors and typos, and contain high-quality photos and a detailed description of the property you are planning on renting out. Ideally, you should post your advertisement online – this way, you will reach larger numbers of potential tenants.

Once you have found a few tenants, you should draft a lease agreement and have the tenants discuss the lease agreement with you. If you feel like you can trust the tenants you have been talking to, you just need to sign the lease agreement. It is that easy!

Try Airbnb

Have you ever heard of Airbnb? It is a website where travellers can rent out rooms and entire houses from the local residents for short periods of time. That way, travellers can end up having an affordable and authentic experience while they are traveling.

It is a great way to make money if your property is located near a popular tourist attraction. You just need to take a few pictures of your property, post an advertisement on Airbnb, and wait for the guests to come around!

Real Estate Photography

Have you ever wondered how real estate agents can show off the properties they have to offer in such a professional manner? You might not be aware of this yet, but it is about hiring a great real estate photographer.

If you want to get into this business, it is recommended that you start small. For instance, you can take pictures of the houses of your friends and your family members and offer to take photos of your neighbours’ homes. Soon enough, you should be able to start charging money for your services!

Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Have you ever thought about becoming a real estate agent? You will be able to make money by finding properties for sale and clients willing to buy these properties. If you become a skilled real estate agent, you will be able to make huge sums of money by charging a percentage of the property’s price.

You can become a real estate agent in about six months, depending on where you live, but you will have to obtain licensing and become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to be able to use the title Realtor.

Flipping Houses

Have you ever seen TV shows where people buy old houses and transform them into better and prettier ones in order to make a sale? These people are called house flippers, and they can make tons of money doing it. In fact, it is similar to buying stocks – you make money from the difference between the house’s initial selling price and the final one.

However, if you want to make your house flipping business profitable, you need to avoid the most common mistakes novice real estate investors make. When it comes to planning house improvements, you should avoid overestimating your skills and knowledge and make sure you do not underestimate the time and money this project will require.

Managing Property

If flipping houses does not sound appealing to you, then it might be that managing properties will be a better fit. There are many types of businesses that specialize in managing properties.

For instance, some people specialize in taking care of rental properties in big tourist destinations, such as seaside resorts. They ensure that the renters pay for their stay and that the property is kept in top condition, among other things.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different real estate business ideas that you can use to make money, and these are just a few of the most profitable ones out of the bunch. If you put in the time and dedication, you should definitely be able to make one of these ideas work out in your favour. If you are lucky, there is a chance that it will be your ticket to becoming rich!

Natural Disaster Preparedness — How Can You Protect Your Business?

Although you may not have to protect your business from natural disasters right now, it can be something that you will need to do somewhere in the future. No one can predict how soon your company will run into some trouble. As a result, the sooner you start preparing your natural disaster emergency plan, the better off you will be when mother nature decides to wreak havoc on your business.

Creating a business continuity plan, establishing a crisis communication policy, and taking out insurance are among the most common methods of preparing your business to better cope with the results of natural disasters. However, you should also create backups of critical data and evaluate the indispensable assets you need to protect.

Here, we take a closer look at these crucial steps every business owner needs to take and explain their importance. Let’s get started.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan is an essential part of any well-thought-out disaster strategy. It details how your business will operate in the event of a natural disaster. In other words, it’s a well-researched blueprint that prepares you for how you can mitigate against the loss of people and property, as well as how to get back up and running again quickly.

Before writing your business continuity plan, it’s a good idea to create a risk assessment checklist. This will allow you to document the threats and vulnerabilities your company faces. It will then be easier for you to decide the appropriate business continuity measures that you need to implement. For example, if you are worried about communication between members of your company becoming more difficult due to external conditions, you might consider introducing another messaging tool – in such a case, you might want to learn what a SIP server is.

Keep in mind that you should refresh this plan at least once a year. To help you make this process more efficient, you might also consider getting business continuity management software which could prove of utmost importance in difficult times.

Establish a Crisis Communication Policy

In addition to a business continuity plan, you should also have a crisis communication policy. It will help you define how you will communicate with employees, the media, and your customers in times of crisis. You can then use it to guide your decision-making process when disaster strikes.

Additionally, a crisis communication kit can also come in handy. It contains a broad selection of tools you can use to manage emergency response. This kit usually includes a set of guidelines, a sample press release, a list of social media contacts, and a sample contact list.

Take Out Insurance

The impact of natural disasters can be devastating for any business. However, they can be devastating for small businesses in particular. This is because small businesses lack the resources that big firms have to mitigate against the loss of employees, inventory, and property. So, if your company is a small one, you should seriously consider getting insurance coverage.

The type of insurance coverage you decide to get will depend on the nature of your business. If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar establishment, you may want to get property insurance coverage. On the other hand, if you run an online business, you may want to get business interruption insurance coverage instead.

Moreover, you should consider your location. If you’re in an area where hurricanes are not an extreme rarity, you should buy appropriate insurance, and so on.

Create Backups of Critical Data

No matter how well prepared you are, sometimes things can go wrong. When this happens, you don’t want to lose your entire business due to a natural disaster. To protect against such an unfortunate scenario, you need to create backups of all your critical data.

Creating backups of your data is a crucial step that every business should take. These days, backup solutions can be inexpensive and automated, which makes it even easier to do. The most critical data for you to back up are your financial records, company data, and customer data. You don’t want to lose any of this information.

Determine Which Assets Are Indispensable for Your Business

You also need to determine which assets are indispensable for your business – they have to be protected at all costs.

As an example, if you own a manufacturing plant and you need heat and electricity to operate your machines and produce your products, then the heat and electricity you need to keep your business running are of utmost importance. If one or both of these elements were to go out during a natural disaster, your business would lose money.

One way to make sure you’re planning for the right assets is to identify what you need in order to keep your operations running. You can start this process by creating a list of the essential functions your business needs to continue operating and meeting customer demands. Think of these functions as the “must-haves” for your company.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the importance of creating a natural disaster preparedness plan for your business. Of course, we haven’t covered every detail in-depth, but we have discussed the most important aspects and how they can affect your business.

Take what you’ve learned here and use it to create an action plan that will help you prepare for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. If you take the time to create a business continuity plan, establish a crisis communication policy, take out insurance, create backups of critical data, and evaluate the assets that are indispensable for your business, you will be in a significantly better position to cope with the results of natural disasters.

How Can Online Public Relations (PR) Impact Your Business?

It is safe to say that every business owner out there would like their business to grow really quickly. There are quite a few ways of ensuring that kind of growth, including hiring a team of seasoned marketing specialists, networking with other business owners, and researching the latest industry trends.

However, there is one thing that many business owners forget about, and that is online public relations. It might not sound that important, but if you do not know how to communicate with your customers and potential business partners, it might end up discouraging people from doing business with you. PR is both about the ways of communicating (e.g., getting a faxing app to distribute press releases efficiently, establishing contacts with media, managing your online presence) as well as about how you communicate in terms of the tone of voice, language, and so on.

Do you want to learn more about it? If your answer is yes, this article is definitely for you! Here, you will find a short description of what online public relations are about, as well as a list of ways in which they can impact your business, including attracting potential business partners and increasing the loyalty of existing customers. Take a look!

What Are Online Public Relations?

Online public relations is a title used to describe the processes of communicating with the public and the media through the use of digital communication channels. Online PR can be divided into two major parts: traditional internet marketing and social media marketing.

Traditional online marketing involves the use of blogs, press releases, social media feeds, and other communication channels to create a strong online presence for your business. Social media marketing refers to the creation and management of social media accounts (such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and so on) and their integration with your website.

The main goal of online PR is to attract new customers and promote your business by providing valuable content to your target audience. You can also use online PR in order to build your brand’s image if you have not done so already. By creating a positive image for your company, you can build trust between you and your potential customers, which is very important in terms of turning them into loyal clients.

How Does Online Public Relations Impact Your Business?

Many company owners are not aware of it, but online public relations can have a tangible impact on your business, particularly when it comes to its growth. Here is a list of how it can help you make it more profitable.

Attract Customers

The internet is a great place to find people who might be interested in your products and services, and with a little bit of clever online marketing, you might start attracting customers from other countries! If your business becomes popular and has a strong reputation, it might also help you get in touch with potential business partners.

Increase the Loyalty of Existing Customers

If you start working on improving the image of your business, it will become more popular and trustworthy, which will result in increased loyalty from your existing customers. If they like the way your business works and the fact that you care about them and their opinions, they might come back and purchase more products or services from you.

Enhance Your Reputation

If you want to be taken seriously by people interested in doing business with you, you need to build up your reputation, which is what public relations are about. If you communicate with other industry professionals through social networking sites, you will get a chance to show off your knowledge and expertise. Soon enough, you might become an authority figure in your industry!

Attract Investors and Sponsors

If you manage to build an excellent reputation for your business, you might be able to use it to attract potential investors and sponsors. Why would such people not be interested in doing business with someone really popular with their target audience?

Attract Journalists

The other group of people that you can communicate with through online public relations are journalists. If you want the media to paint a great picture of your business, you can reach out to different news outlets and individual journalists and introduce yourself as someone worth writing about. This way, you will ensure that the information published about your company is accurate and not misleading.

How Can You Ensure Good PR?

Are you interested in using online public relations to your advantage? If so, here is a list of the most efficient ways to go about doing it!

Use Online Marketing Techniques

If you do your research, you will find plenty of online marketing techniques that you will be able to incorporate into your marketing strategy. You do not have to spend millions of dollars on marketing. Instead, you can start by creating a blog with informational content, among other things.

Network

Networking is an essential factor in the success of your business. One of the most efficient ways to network is through social networking sites, where you can meet many people interested in the industry you work in.

Attend Events

Finally, attending important events is an easy way to reach out to potential investors and clients. Most industry-specific conferences and conventions feature speakers and industry experts who are willing to share their knowledge about specific topics and meet other people interested in the industry. This gives you a chance to make valuable connections and establish yourself as an authority figure in the industry.

In Conclusion

To sum up, if you want to attract potential customers and investors and enhance your reputation, then online public relations are definitely something that you should invest in. You can use a wide selection of social networking sites or create a blog where you can post updates about your business. This way, you will keep people interested in what goes on inside your company, thereby attracting customers and all kinds of people who might be interested in doing business with you. It is definitely worth your time and effort!

The Bumpy Ride of Emerging Markets Towards Digitization: How Applying Strategic User-Oriented Approach Could Boost Usage of Public Services

The need to digitize public services has become even more prominent since the pandemic, as quarantine and overall mobility restrictions have made citizens turn to online platforms. However, the efforts to create a smooth transition to the digital space are yet to earn trust of the citizens, leaving governments with a riddle to solve: how to create e-services that people are eager to use? 

Emerging markets have been following the digitization race. However, a lack of a user-oriented approach when designing e-services has been slowing down their progress, resulting in poor user engagement and unfulfilled expectations of citizens. According to Mindaugas Glodas, CEO at NRD Companies, a global IT and consulting group of companies specializing in e-governance, Design Thinking (DT) methodology could help address the problem at its core. Employed by world’s leading governments, DT principles can aid in developing user-oriented e-solutions and, as a result, drive expedient digitization of the public sector.

Putting technology first hinders progress

When it comes to modernizing services, the initial ideas tend to revolve around the need to digitize and automate services, not the people who will be using these services. For this reason, a great deal of government efforts to present modern e-solutions fall short of public expectations. This approach has been hurdling the development of e-governance initiatives, especially in emerging markets.

For example, in Lebanon, a country in the Middle East, inadequate service delivery has severely weakened the public’s trust in the government. In an attempt to remediate the situation and deliver greater value to citizens, it started to implement strategic reforms to transform its e-services. However, excessive focus on the IT framework, rather than its citizens’ aspirations and needs, resulted in progress slowdown, without solving the problems at hand.

Similarly, in the case of Pakistan and its efforts to create a digital government, the country has faced a number of impediments that followed the e-service adoption progress. The scarcity of people using the solutions, and the lack of awareness about their significance and benefits are one of the key reasons why the country’s efforts collapsed.

“There is no point in creating new technology just for the sake of it — citizens should find the solutions necessary and use them on a daily basis. Creating such solutions is done by involving citizens: conducting surveys and inviting them into the planning processes. Only then, based on their behavior, should a government aim to create services that reflect their needs, not vice versa. This is why countries sharing a similar approach as Pakistan or Lebanon struggle when trying to implement e-government initiatives,” Glodas explained.

In large part, the creation of public services as modeled by demands of institutions, not the needs of the citizens, is caused by a lack of suitable tools. Mr. Glodas shared that even in Lithuania, a developed and highly digitalized country with a high digital literacy level, a survey of heads of governmental institutions showed that only 27% of respondents believed their institutions have tools suitable for the creation of modern digital services.

“Of course, there are other obstacles some countries face, for instance, red-tapism, limited or inadequate allocation of resources, political corruption, etc. However, a more user-oriented approach, like Design Thinking and its principles, is invaluable in terms of leading deliberate change in governments that have the necessary tools and are willing to transform their e-services,” he added.

Design Thinking for a user-centric approach and successful e-Government

According to Mr. Glodas, putting people, rather than technology, at the top of the priority list maximizes the likelihood of successful e-service adoption. This is where Design Thinking comes into play, as it fosters a user-oriented focus.

Design Thinking is a methodology, whose principles are based on deep-level user analysis, aiming to discover the needs of the user and build from there. Glodas notes that although widely utilized by the business sector, Design Thinking is also successfully applicable in the government sector. For example, studies show that in the UK, which has applied DT for building e-government e-service systems for the past twenty years, the confidence of citizens towards e-solutions has increased to 78%.

Mr. Glodas noted that Design Thinking methods have shown to be effective in building e-Government systems in emerging markets. For example, NRD Companies has facilitated the creation of new public digital services in Barbados by implementing the GxP platform. This platform provides tools to create and launch e-services based on principles of DT in a matter of 5-8 workdays without the external help of IT contractors when other data is readily available from other platforms. For citizens and businesses of Barbados, services built on the GxP platform have shortened the time required to receive a driver’s license, alcohol trade license, and other documents from 56 to 5 days on average.

Another example of the application of the Design Thinking method is the Personal income tax return wizard, implemented by NRD Companies in Lithuania. This e-service is a replacement for an older tax return system, which required filling in complicated forms. Older e-service regularly caused huge workloads for State Tax Inspectorate (STI) specialists during months leading to the deadline of tax return declaration due to the need for consultations.

The new wizard tremendously simplified the process of tax returns: 60% of users were provided with a possibility to file their declarations with one-click. For most the procedure took no more than 3 minutes and 87% of taxpayers did not need any help from specialists of STI. In 2019, the first year when the tax declaration wizard was launched, 1.55 million taxpayers filed their declarations — an increase of almost 11%, compared to 2018. Citizens who have used the new tool also report a much higher satisfaction rate and STI reports a lower level of errors in declarations.

“It is important to note that the needs of citizens vary country by country. That’s why Design Thinking method comes in handy: it helps to identify the right solutions on a case-by-case basis for governments to implement. This way, administrations can build efficient systems from the get-go, instead of figuring out the right strategy through trial and error, sacrificing the time and funds that could be used on other projects,” Mr. Glodas explained. 

The World Is Headed Towards a Severe Talent Crunch; Globalization Is Key to Bridge the Talent Chasm, Says Zinnov

– 69% of employers find it difficult to fill job vacancies; increased demand in technology & logistics segments

– 76% of the tech talent supply does not possess the required skillsets to fulfil tech job roles

– Digital Engineering and the resultant spend are expected to accelerate across industries, resulting in a convergence of skills, further widening the talent supply-demand chasm

– India, China, Canada, Poland, and Mexico emerge as top COE hotspots in the world

The unprecedented need for companies to innovate and digitalize faster, has made talent a top priority. With the ongoing talent wars, organizations have been scrambling to manage the ‘Great Resignation’ as well as find the right talent. This is evidenced by the ever-widening gap between the talent demand and the woefully inadequate supply. A case in point is the global Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) talent gap that companies are grappling with as they adopt platforms and data-driven models. Zinnov‘s analysis shows that while the global AI/ML talent gap stands at a massive ~1.2Mn, there are only ~650,000 AI & Big Data/Analytics professionals who are directly employable in these roles.

To bridge this gap, companies will need to explore newer talent strategies including leveraging global talent hotspots. Zinnov’s one-of-a-kind study titled, COE Hotspots of the World,” is a comprehensive look at the top global destinations with under-tapped talent pools. It explores the factors that make these locations conducive to set up full software engineering teams, and how globalization is a critical lever in winning the talent wars.

COE Hotspots of the World

An amalgamation of extensive primary and secondary research, the Zinnov study covers 13 countries from across Asia Pacific (APAC), North AmericaLatin America (LATAM), and Eastern European regions, evaluated across four key dimensions of talent availabilitysoftware engineering ecosystem maturityease of doing business, and cost analysis. The countries evaluated include IndiaChinaPhilippinesCanadaBrazilMexicoLithuaniaEstoniaPolandBulgariaBelarusRomania, and Czech Republic using data from the US as the baseline.

Building scalable Centers of Excellences (COEs) with the capacity to house complete software engineering teams requires the organizations to identify the best-fit location. Although all 13 countries evaluated exhibit high potential for setting up software engineering teams, they show different degrees of potential in terms scalability of teams, availability of diverse talent to build complete software engineering teams, affordability, and ecosystem maturity. The maturity of these ecosystems is reflected in the presence of academic institutions for building talent pipelines, Service Provider companies to leverage local partnerships, start-ups, and ease of doing business in terms of languages spoken, government regulations, geopolitical stability, IP, and data privacy.

Globalization – A Talent Gamechanger

The pandemic brought the criticality of globalization into razor sharp focus, not only to ensure business continuity, but to future-proof organizations against disruptions. The role of talent in future-proofing organizations, especially now with the proven success of the remote work model, is undeniable. Zinnov’s analysis shows that enterprise software companies with globalized engineering R&D locations are valued higher at a 7.1 multiple, compared to companies with domestic ER&D at a 5.4 multiple. Adding to the fray, the acceleration of global Digital Engineering spend across industries will result in a convergence of skills, hence putting a premium on skilled talent around the world. This global talent crunch, if not addressed by solving for the source of talent, rather than competing with the same pools, will inevitably lead to a stalemate, that will not only hamper business growth but also cripple organizations with scaling challenges.

As organizations chase talent around the world, a distributed multi-hub strategy will become imperative to drive business growth and accelerate innovation. And trends such as increased adoption of business communications platforms, development of Cloud-based infrastructure for closer collaboration, and the emergence of new regulations have further emphasized the effectiveness of a multi-hub strategy.

Speaking about the unique study, Pari Natarajan, CEO, Zinnov, said, “Talent will be at the core of decision-making for organizations across the globe. As leaders grapple with the increased talent crunch, it will become critical for them to identify new talent hotspots to build Centers of Excellence where full software engineering teams can be housed, that can take end-to-end ownership and be scaled at optimal costs. Our experience with our customers in a post-pandemic construct, highlights the potential that Eastern European countries possess in terms of high-quality talent; however, this is hampered by scalability challenges due to limited talent pools. India emerged as the best-fit location as it will be home to 1/8th of the world’s digital talent by 2030.”

“Additional dimensions such as geopolitical stability; ease of doing business; a mature ecosystem of technology start-ups, universities, and Service Providers; and strong processes that go well beyond business continuity to create business excellence, are what continue to make India the top choice for companies. With a continued focus on human development programs, Asian countries specifically, have the potential to outpace other economies in growth, primarily due to the talent advantage,” he further added.

Commercial Property 101: 6 Things Proprietors Should Know

Whether renting out for an office, restaurant, clinic, or shopping center, being a commercial property owner isn’t as easy as it sounds. As a commercial property investor, there are certain financial, administrative, and legal obligations you need to fulfill to get your business going.

Here are some of the things you should know when investing in a commercial property:

1. Property Tax And Other Mandatory Tax Payments

Acquiring a commercial property means you’re mandated to pay property taxes annually. Different jurisdictions use different calculations in determining property taxes, but ultimately, it’s decided by the city, state, or municipality.

Most territories have their tax rates and assessment methods to determine the land and building values of the commercial property. In Singapore, for instance, property tax rates are calculated by multiplying the building’s annual value to the property tax rates that apply. 

Meanwhile, in Australia, when a commercial property is sold, damaged, or donated to someone else, it’s subject to capital gains tax. If this applies to you, read Commercial Loan’s article on how this type of tax affects commercial property value.

2. Keeping Everything In Order  

 An owner has an obligation under the law to stay compliant with the building and safety codes. To avoid running into costly repairs and renovations, perform preventive maintenance. Have your property checked for both minor and major issues—from structural integrity to the performance of its components such as heating and cooling systems, insulation, ventilation, and so on.

If your building is new, secure permits and other accreditations set forth by the local laws within your jurisdiction.

3. Hiring Skilled Professionals

A neophyte commercial property investor needs the services and guidance of the following skilled professionals to help with the various stages of the purchase: 

  • A real estate professional to provide insights on the best deals and best properties on the market and to assist with the procurement process.
  • An accountant or bank representative to link the investor to reputable financial institutions offering the best commercial real estate loan products.
  • A lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. A legal expert must also understand the implications of the purchase, create and notarize the deed of sale, and draft the lease contract and agreement that your future tenants will have to sign.
  • An engineer to inspect the building for structural soundness.

Getting your commercial asset for the first time requires careful planning. If you lack the experience, it’s best to seek the guidance of seasoned professionals to come up with a smart decision.

4. Rental Returns And Net Operating Income

Business owners need to have a clear understanding of the commercial asset’s income-generating capacity. To quantify the profitability of a business space, investors typically compute the net operating income (NOI) of the entire property. You can get it by adding up the gross revenues or total rental income minus the operating expenses. These expenses don’t include depreciation costs, capital expenditures, and amortizations.

Generally speaking, commercial real estate revenues depend on the quality and size of the building, its location, and the current market performance.

5. Finding Long-Term Tenants

A successful commercial property is often measured by the amount of income it generates. While it’s more challenging to find a good lessor for business spaces than residential properties, commercial tenants are often subject to long-term contracts as it can be very costly to relocate a business. 

To attract lessors who are in it for the long haul, choose a strategic location for your building. If your property is located in a suitable area, business renters will flock to your place. Besides location, organizations will also take into account accessibility to major transport networks, and the overall safety of the neighborhood. Floor space, layout, and available parking are also part of the main considerations.

6. Downsides To Being A Building Owner

If you plan to manage your own commercial property, be prepared to face the following challenges:

  • Tenants violating terms of their contract lease agreement.
  • Keeping current tenants and looking for new lessors.
  • Tenants’ customers that cause potential problems with security and access.
  • Several maintenance works that need to be done regularly and sometimes on an emergency basis.
  • Ensuring compliance with the building code as well as fire and safety regulations.
  • Pest infestation and other building problems.
  • High energy consumption.

Tips Before Investing In Commercial Properties 

Before parting off with your hard-earned cash, make sure the property you’re buying will generate cash flow. Real estate investors should make this their main consideration in buying commercial assets.

Additionally, don’t collect business properties if you’re a first-time building proprietor. Your new acquisition would require your time and attention, and you should get the hang of running one first before expanding to another venture. Put simply, focus on one type of commercial space to start with. Don’t mix both retail and office spaces so it doesn’t get complicated.

Final Thoughts

Not everything is rosy when it comes to owning a building. However, these issues are nothing but minor stumbling blocks that can be addressed with smart and informed decisions. 

If you’re a building owner who’s worried about facing tenancy, tax compliance, and other related issues, don’t worry because it’s not the end of the world. By weighing all the pros and cons, you’ll be able to overcome these challenges.

Ultimately, a commercial property investment can be a long-term and high-yielding investment if you know how to choose and manage your property well.

Global Investment Firm Capria Ventures Invests Further in South East Asia; Partners with Indonesia based AC Ventures to Boost Early-stage Venture

  • Capria’s first LP investment and partnership in Indonesia demonstrates global readiness of Indonesia Venture opportunity
  • AC Ventures is Capria’s 5th local fund manager in Asia; with 14 active partnerships globally
  • AC Ventures’ US$120M target fund will invest $1M- $10M in early stage companies across sectors such as e-commerce, logistics, fintech, MSMEs and digital media enabled businesses

Global investing firm Capria Ventures announces a partnership with Indonesian venture capital firm AC Ventures to advance the Indonesian startup ecosystem by investing in the next generation of technology entrepreneurs. AC Ventures manages a total AUM of US$300M and plans to complete the final close of a  US$120M target fund by this year. The partnership is in line with Capria’s commitment to invest and impact the lives of millions across the Global South including Southeast Asia, India, Latin America and Africa.

Jakarta based AC Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology enabled solutions addressing billion dollar market opportunities in Indonesia. Several of its Fund III portfolio companies such as Shipper, Stockbit, Aruna and Eden Farm have grown exponentially in the past 18 months, becoming category leaders in their respective markets.

“AC Ventures and Capria share a similar approach as hands-on, value adding investors bringing hi-octane capital that support founders with collective experience, network and resources. Capria’s global experience in startups from the 14 partnerships bring an edge to identifying and understanding emerging market ventures. AC Ventures’ proven  leadership in sourcing local startups at an early stage along with their track record of supporting founders reinforced our investment decision,” said Dave Richards, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Capria Ventures. He added, “Capria will also look to co-invest directly in the portfolio companies, alongside AC Ventures, in breakthrough solutions with global potential.”

Commenting on the partnership, Adrian Li, Founding and Managing Partner, AC Ventures said, “Capria brings together a trusted peer group of fund managers from the Global South where market dynamics are almost similar. We’ve seen that this exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences can be leveraged to build a strong and globally competitive portfolio.”

Building the next-gen leading seed fund in Indonesia

AC Ventures was formed in 2019 as a merger between Convergence Ventures and Agaeti Capital Ventures, each of which managed an Indonesia-focused early-stage venture fund. Combined, the firms have invested in more than 100 startup companies since 2014. Their two previous funds have been performing well, including several early exits

Several drivers have contributed to Indonesia’s rapidly rising status as a compelling investment destination. The massive young population, the emerging middle class, the fast-growing internet economy and stable economic and political landscape have helped produce Southeast Asia’s largest technology companies such as Gojek, Tokopedia and Traveloka. Situated at the heart of Southeast Asia, the country is the world’s fourth most populous country, with millions joining the middle class each year, and consumer expenditure forecast to continue growing at double digits. Other key factors are maturing infrastructure supporting digital adoption, decreasing costs of hardware (smartphones/ notebooks), improved payment rails, vastly improved logistics delivery infrastructure and greater availability of talent amongst others. Ever increasing access to capital is also one of the biggest drivers of growth. With global pools of capital chasing late stage deals, to successful public market listings of Indonesian unicorns, a predictable exit ecosystem has also been established

 

Resilience and returns

Over 95% of AC Ventures’s portfolio benefited from changes in consumption patterns resulting from the pandemic. AC Ventures latest fund has already seen over 25 follow-on financing rounds into its portfolio companies since its 2020 first close delivering over 2.5X gross return on invested capital in unrealized gains. Several of ACV’s portfolios such as Shipper, Stockbit, Bukuwarung and Aruna have attracted globally renowned growth investors including DST, Sequoia, Valar and B Capital.

Outlook for Indonesia

With an average growth rate of 49% per year since 2015, Indonesia’s internet economy is thriving. This growth pace has exceeded all expectations and has positioned Indonesia as the largest and fastest-growing internet economy in Southeast Asia, well on track to cross $130B by 2025. The outbreak of COVID-19 triggered a new era of growth for the digital economy, as consumers got a major push to move online and adopt e-commerce and other digital solutions. Indonesia is home to six unicorns including ride hailing giant Gojek, online travel agent Traveloka, digital payments firm OVO and GoPay, and online marketplaces Tokopedia and Bukalapak. It also has the biggest stock exchange in SE Asia, so liquidity is not an issue.

How Can Businesses Prevent Expense Report Fraud in 2021?

Oversight conducted multiple surveys to determine the correlation between the pandemic and expense fraud. Here’s what they found:

Spending trends from November 2020 show a massive 57% increase in expense fraud.

The problems of expense fraud are real and threatening. Thus, companies need to find ways to mitigate fraud if they’re looking to remove financial leaks from their system. The following article covers everything business owners and Finance teams must know to identify and eliminate expense fraud.

What is expense fraud?

Expense fraud is a deliberate and planned attempt by an employee to fool your Accounting/Finance teams with fake evidence to claim more money in reimbursements.

Why should companies prevent expense fraud?

According to the ACFE, organizations lose about 5% of their revenue every year to fraud. In the most extreme cases (Enron Scandal, 2001), they could lead to the death of a company.

As you can see, it wouldn’t be enough to have CFEs audit your company on an annual or bi-annual basis. Instead, what would help is if the business and Finance teams take a firm stance against expense fraud. Further, Accounting and Finance teams can undergo training to detect and prevent fraud.

How does expense fraud affect a company?

  • The average loss in an expense fraud case can be somewhere around $1 Million.
  • Fraudulent expenses can drag reimbursement cycles over multiple months, sometimes even two years, causing an average loss of $31,000.
  • If one fraudulent expense is detected, it is an indication that employees could have explored other means for achieving more reimbursements.
  • Public knowledge of expense fraud can cause a 17% decline in stock value.

How can companies prevent expense fraud in 2021?

1. Develop a work culture of honesty

This needs to be a top-down approach where employees learn from leadership. Enforce anti-fraud policies, conduct business ethically and allow employees the freedom to report suspicious activity without feeling threatened. Finally, lead how you’d like to be led.

2. Draft clear and concise expense policies

A clear and concise expense policy that is unambiguous is a must. Set clear limits for budgets, cost centers, cash advances, and per-diem rates while also over-communicating these to your employees. This will make it clear to them just how easily Finance teams can detect fraud.

3. Proper documentation and storage of receipts

Making digital receipts mandatory for submitting any expense will make employees feel accountable. This also ensures a secure repository of receipts to retrieve and match against claimed reimbursements, if needed. In addition, businesses can use an expense report software or receipt scanner to digitize all forms of expense receipts.

4. Create custom approval workflows

Depending on the size of your workforce, set up financial workflows that require 1 or 2 reviews of every individual expense before they’re approved. Additionally, train approvers, managers, and Finance teams on what to look for concerning expense fraud. This would be crucial towards preventing expense fraud.

5. Regular reviews of credit card activity

This can help determine canceled or refunded charges to linked company accounts. Furthermore, Finance teams can compare actual activity with reported activity to look for discrepancies. This creates a mechanism that ensures no canceled or personal expenses get approved for reimbursements.

6. Conduct regular and surprise audits

Have an external auditor come in during set quarterly meetings and random moments to verify a proper correlation between reported expenses and the corresponding documentation. This would help in the detection of fraudulent activity at a much earlier stage. 

7. Leverage the power of an expense management software

An expense management software eliminates the need for manual verification of all submitted business expenses. Instead, the software comes with a real-time policy engine that checks all expenses for fraud. It also reviews all expenses against set company policies to ensure no policy violations and out-of-policy payments get through. This exponentially boosts employee policy compliance, helps mitigate expense fraud, and saves vast amounts of time for Finance teams. 

How an expense software helps eliminate expense fraud:

  • Employees are aware of company policies with an expense software as it intimates them in case of violations right at the source of expense submission. 
  • All receipts are stored securely in centralized cloud storage for easy access by Finance teams during audits. This makes it impossible for employees to submit the same receipts for multiple expenses.
  • The robust policy engine in the software can be fed custom business rules to suit your company’s needs better. This ensures zero policy violations and expense fraud.
  • An expense software comes with a digital audit trail that stores all actions taken by every stakeholder on a particular expense report. This ensures that Finance teams know all the changes made to a report before they approve it.
  • With easier receipt tracking, TATs decrease significantly, leading to increased trust and confidence employees have in the organization.

Conclusion

It’s no surprise that several businesses have ended up closing shop due to expense fraud during the pandemic. This only makes it even more necessary for companies to stay more vigilant in preventing it. 

When employees are aware of the potential risks they face if they submit fraudulent reports, they would be much less likely to indulge in such practices. Furthermore, this would also begin to influence other employees who’d follow the same suit.

Increased Security Needs and Remote Work Spur Asia-Pacific Network Security Market Growth

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) network security (NWS) market finds that the increasing acceptance of remote work and adoption of cloud, the remote workplace, collaboration, and security are driving growth. The emergency adoption of remote work due to the pandemic has led to investments in upgrading security control systems to protect remote employees. Additionally, the increased number of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks (organized or government-backed) on critical infrastructure and government organizations is driving organizations and businesses in the region to increase their investment in cybersecurity technologies to strengthen their threat detection and response capabilities. As a result, the buoyant market is estimated to hit $7.32 billion by 2025 from $5.12 billion in 2020, registering steady growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%.

“From a technology perspective, as demand for secure software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) and secure cloud edge services solutions soars, the network firewall segment will continue to be the leading force for the overall NWS market growth over the forecast period,” said Vivien Pua, Information & Communication Technology Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Similarly, the secure remote access segment is expected to maintain its strong growth momentum, mainly fueled by the increasing need for high-performance, secure remote access that has been soaring due to work-from-home environments.”

Pua added: “On a macro level, stringent regulatory compliance around data privacy and protection continues to be a key market driver, particularly for highly regulated industries, such as BFSI, government, telecommunications, and healthcare, and sectors that have critical infrastructure.”

Organizations are increasing their investments in cybersecurity technologies, presenting lucrative growth prospects for NWS market participants, such as:

  • Surge in the replacement of threat prevention platforms in the short term: The need for high-performance, integrated, and automated threat management platforms will lead many large enterprises to refresh and replace systems. 
  • Short-term demand for secure remote access and zero-trust network access: Vendors need to review their channel partner strategy to drive better business outcomes and channel partner engagement.
  • Increasing demand for secure SD-WAN: Vendors should work closely with their regional channel partners to educate the market and offer support to help businesses achieve their goals.
  • Increasing need for critical infrastructure (CI) protection: Market participants should focus on security solutions to protect CI from cyberattacks. They may need to expand their product or service offerings to include industrial control system security/operational technology security solutions in their portfolios.

AGIC Capital Announces Final Closing of US$1.2 Billion Fund for Investments in Smart Industries

AGIC Fund II raised US$1.2 billion, reflecting strong investor appetite for funds with distinctive investment strategies and innovative, differentiated approaches to post-investment value creation. It targets majority and significant minority investments with enterprise values typically in the range of US$ 50 – 500 million.

Founded in 2015 by capital market veteran Henry Cai, AGIC Capital’s debut US$1 billion fund made seven buyout and growth-stage investments, mostly in Europe, and has successfully exited three investments to-date with good returns.

AGIC Fund II started raising capital in 2020 and was largely subscribed to by existing investors who re-upped their commitment. It will continue AGIC Fund I’s successful strategy of investing in mid-market companies that possess differentiated technologies and have attractive growth potential with international expansion being a key growth driver, in particular in Asia.

AGIC’s value creation leverages its local presence and resources as well as unparalleled network and knowledge of the Asian markets to deliver hands-on support to portfolio companies for growth strategy and business development, localization of products and manufacturing as well as local company building. It is also keen to finance bolt-on acquisitions and help with integration.

Henry Cai, Founding Partner of AGIC based in Hong Kong, said, “The strong performance of AGIC Fund I proves that our strategy of supporting portfolio companies in their international expansion is highly effective and resilient even during times of unusual stress. We will continue to focus on supporting our companies with our complementary resources and know-how.”

Heiko von Dewitz, Partner of AGIC based in Munich, said, “While AGIC’s target investment sectors continue to benefit from strong long-term tailwinds, our deep technology and domain expertise allows us to early spot emerging technology and industry trends and identify promising investment targets. This will remain another key success factor for AGIC going forward.”

PhonePe launches the “Pulse” of Digital Payments, India’s first interactive geospatial website

– PhonePe Pulse is India’s go-to destination for accurate and comprehensive data on digital payment trends

– The Pulse website reveals digital transaction habits of over 300 Mn Indians at a district level

– The Pulse report is a ‘state of the union’ in-depth view on the Indian digital payments industry

PhonePe, India’s leading fintech platform, today announced the launch of PhonePe Pulse, India’s first interactive website with data, insights and trends on digital payments in the country. The PhonePe Pulse website showcases more than 2000+ Crore transactions by consumers on an interactive map of India. With  over 45% market share, PhonePe’s data is representative of the country’s digital payment habits.

PhonePe also launched the Pulse Report, an in-depth study on the evolution of digital payments over the past 5 years. The report also has rich insights about how digital payment adoption across India has evolved since 2016, and includes detailed geographical and category specific trends.

The insights on the website and in the report have been drawn from two key sources – the entirety of PhonePe’s transaction data combined with merchant and customer interviews. The report is available as a free download on the PhonePe Pulse website.

This innovative new product is relevant to multiple ecosystem stakeholders including the government, policy makers, regulatory bodies, media, industry analysts, merchant partners, startups, academic institutions and students. The rich data set along with insightful trends and stories can be used by these partners to understand consumer and merchant behavior and identify new opportunities for growth.

PhonePe Pulse is a first-of-its-kind product in India and is the culmination of months of research and collaboration by a cross-functional team which included Corporate Communications professionals, Business Analysts, Marketers, Designers, Writers, Engineering and Business teams from across the company.

Speaking at the launch, Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO of PhonePe said, “I am delighted to be launching the PhonePe Pulse website and report today. Pulse is our way of giving back to the digital payments ecosystem. When we started PhonePe five years back, we struggled to get reliable granular data on digital payments trends across the country. We had promised ourselves that if we are successful and gather enough data on our platform, we would open it for anyone who wants to get deeper insights on the Indian payments industry. We built PhonePe Pulse because we can, and crucially because we should help unlock opportunities for others to build in India.”

Rahul Chari, Co-founder and CTO of PhonePe added, “We strongly believe that a core contributor to our success has been our philosophy of building open platforms that allow all participants in the ecosystem to grow. We are an extremely data driven company with our data platforms and knowledge stores being at the core of a lot of systemic decisioning. PhonePe Pulse is an extension of our open platform approach to the information we have garnered at scale with the view of democratizing the access to this data for the benefit of other stakeholders in the ecosystem. The end product today is only the start and we hope others take the same approach to data sharing and transparency.”

ADDX Expands China Footprint with US$200-million Agreement Linked to China’s Offshore Investment Scheme

Official quota under QDLP programme allows institutions and high-net-worth individuals in China to invest in both public and private market products abroad

Digital securities exchange ADDX – formerly known as iSTOX – expects to enlarge its business in China significantly, after concluding a US$200-million agreement tied to a government-granted quota for Chinese offshore investments.

The Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership scheme, or QDLP, allows domestic investors across China to buy into renminbi funds that focus on overseas investment opportunities. Fund quotas are allocated through a few major cities – including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chongqing.

ADDX has reached an agreement with the Singapore-regulated wealth and fund management company ICHAM, which has received a US$200-million allocation as part of the Chongqing government’s overall US$5-billion QDLP quota. Under the agreement, ADDX will be the primary venue for investments from the ICHAM fund in China authorised to raise capital from Chinese institutions and individuals. ADDX will offer Chinese investors access to private market products issued in the form of digital securities covering a broad range of asset types, including pre-IPO equity, hedge funds, VC funds, real estate funds, wholesale bonds and structured products. The ADDX-ICHAM partnership was among the first batch of two QDLP quota recipients announced by the Chongqing government last month. ICHAM is also the first Singapore company to secure a QDLP allocation in any Chinese city. ADDX and ICHAM were both founded by ADDX Chief Executive Officer Danny Toe.

Coming less than a year after ADDX signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chongqing government to set up a future digital securities exchange for the Chinese market, the new tie-up is an important fillip to ADDX’s international growth plans, the company said. Regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), ADDX currently serves accredited investors from 27 countries, spanning Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas (excluding the United States).

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of ADDX, said: “The opening up of official channels like QDLP to allow Chinese investors to diversify their portfolios globally has been taking place gradually and steadily since the 2000s. Amid rising asset prices within China, this move by the Chinese authorities is a prudent one that empowers Chinese institutions and high-net-worth individuals to participate in high-quality opportunities wherever they are, before bringing their returns back into the Chinese economy to the benefit of local businesses and households. For international companies that manage or facilitate these investments, including ADDX, China represents a massive opportunity. We are only in the early days of this burgeoning flow of capital between China and the rest of the world.”

Ms Choo added: “At ADDX, our international expansion strategy is grounded on our strong, varied set of blue-chip offerings. We are building the world’s leading private market exchange with blockchain and smart contract technology. World-renowned issuers have been drawn to the speed, cost efficiency and access to capital that digital securities provide, in a revolution that will eventually consign traditional, paper-based securities to history. ADDX is also regulated in Singapore, which has established its standing as the top wealth management hub for Asian family offices and high-net-worth individuals, thanks in no small part to MAS’ strategic long-term plan to build a conducive environment for global investors and asset managers. As Chinese wealth goes in search of opportunities abroad, the financial ecosystem in Singapore that ADDX is a part of has a competitive edge because of its deep pool of talent, robust and progressive regulations and openness to the world.”

Launched in 2012, QDLP is one of a few official programmes for Chinese offshore investments, which include QDII and Wealth Management Connect. The QDLP is notable because it allows offshore investments in a greater variety of assets – not just public market products, but also private market ones with a potentially higher risk-reward profile. Chinese individual investors in QDLP funds have to meet sophisticated investor requirements.

ADDX was founded in 2017 as an integrated issuance, custody and exchange platform for digital securities. The financial technology company is backed by Singapore Exchange, Temasek-owned Heliconia Capital and Japanese investors JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ).

4 Reasons to Include Customized Products In Your Marketing Strategy

In the modern digital world, most individuals want things to work their way. For this reason, customers may expect your business to deliver customized options to meet their personal tastes and preferences. This means you may have to engage in what other similar businesses are doing and also develop a product that meets customer preferences. 

Product customization is one of the major strategies you can utilize to serve your customer base successfully. Customers have different tastes and preferences, and not every one of them would use your product the same way. This proves why product customization is necessary for your business. But before knowing how product customization may fuel your marketing plan, it’s essential to first understand what product customization is all about.

What Is Product Customization?

Over the last few years, consumer demand for customized products has skyrocketed. Gone are the days when tailor-made products were basically limited to general products, such as mugs, where individuals used to have their favorite pictures printed on them. Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of products that can be personalized. 

Product customization is the process of delivering tailor-made products to customers based on their needs and expectations. This strategy is one of the most effective ways to promote customer experience and satisfaction.  

Most customers may receive their personalized products through a merchant or modify the products themselves, exactly the way they want. The second option is what online stores may offer, where potential clients may customize their products online. For instance, customers may choose real wood encasements and other similar alternatives to receive a personalized product.

Why Integrate Customized Products Into Your Marketing Strategies?

Here are some reasons to include customized products in your marketing campaigns:

To Build Customer Loyalty

Building customer loyalty is one of the reasons you should include customized products in your marketing plan. Suppose your clients receive the exact products they want from your business, there’s a high chance they’d come back again and again. If you have customization options that are different from those of your competitors, clients may develop loyalty to your brand. If customers become loyal to your business, they’re likely to recommend it to their friends and relatives. This would allow you to generate more leads, thus increasing your chances of generating more sales. 

To improve loyalty through customization, it’s vital to have options that are more unique and eye-catching than what your competitors offer. Suppose your business rival is offering their customers an option to have personalized words printed on the back of their black hoodie products. You can beat the competition by allowing customers’ first names and offering different color selections. The more you have unique customization options, the more you may improve customer loyalty, and this increases the efficiency of your marketing strategy. 

To Improve Customer Satisfaction 

Delivering tailor-made products is vital for creating a personalized customer experience for each section of clients, thus improving customer satisfaction. 

To help enhance your customers’ satisfaction, the following are some points to remember: 

  • All customers are different. Whether you have a physical or online store, your customer base may have distinct needs and preferences. Understanding this may help you develop a product that’s as suitable to many people as possible. But it’s important to understand that the more you try to appeal to everyone, the more you might appeal to no one. So instead, try to build amazing products for each specific section of users.
  • Customers may prefer products created just for them. Tailor-made products are a great marketing plan as they make customers feel appreciated and happier. Remember, happy customers could lead to repeat customers, thus improving your profit margin.
To Have A Better Customer Insight

You may use customer data, such as trends and customers’ buying habits, to improve the efficiency of your marketing strategy. Through this, you may develop better customer insight, giving you a strong competitive advantage. If you have no product customization options, you’d be able to have access only to information on products you have in stock. But through customization, you may be able to understand your customers better, giving you an upper hand over your competitor. 

Because of technological advancements, such as data analytics, you may use the gathered information to deliver products as per your customers’ needs and expectations. In the coming years, artificial intelligence technologies may let you utilize customer customization habits to improve your marketing strategy and anticipate the next big sale trend.

For Increased Sales

While it’s cheaper to order products in just one basic form, you may charge more for the customized products. It’s suggested that customers may be willing to pay more for customized products, which could increase your profit margin. 

Another way product personalization may increase your sales is through a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. There’s a high chance a satisfied customer may recommend your brand to family, friends, and acquaintances, thus helping increase your sales and profits.

Takeaway

With the increasing need for product personalization, it’s important to incorporate such options to improve your customers’ shopping experience. This could increase the chances of customer retention for your business. Product customization also helps improve customer experience and satisfaction. This, in turn, ensures you attract more customers, which could allow you to generate more sales.