Government Key Initiatives and Enterprise Digitisation Projects in ASEAN in 2018

As the year comes to a close (6 weeks to 2019!), we have had another opportunity to witness the development of digitisation across countries in the the region this year through our series of activities. Ranked third in terms of population, sixth in GDP and fourth in trade value, ASEAN remains to be a key player in the global economy, however, ASEAN’s digital economy still lags behind with only 7% of GDP today, pale in comparison with China (16% of GDP) and the USA (35% of GDP) according to Bain & Company. Governments in ASEAN have been introducing several inititatives and sharing their thoughts on how to drive digital economy in their respective countries.

The Malaysian government has acknowledged the critical role of IoT as one of the strategic pillars to drive digital initiatives in the country and according to Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, ther are more than 150 Malaysian IoT-based industry players have actively ventured into enterprise IoT as per last year. The Malaysian government has also recently launched their Industry 4.0 initiative called ‘Industry4WRD’ which focuses on driving digitisation of local manufacturing companies. Through this initiative, the government hopes to solve several business concerns including workforce management such as health and safety, waste management, and operational efficiency and productivity.

In the Philippines, government has been actively promoting digitization through various initiatives including Inclusive Industrial Strategy (i3s). This initiative aims to enhance the competitiveness of industrial, logistics, agriculture and commerce sectors in the country. However, challenges such as stable and reliable connectiviy infrastructure, established policies and roadmap and industry collaboration still persist. During Asia IoT Business Platform Philippines 2018, Undersecretary of Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT), Monchito Ibrahim, also shared that government cannot work alone and there is a need for a mindset change from the local enterprises – he feels that very few people in the country realise that IoT is around them and that majority is still unaware of the digitisation wave that is going to hit ASEAN market hard, for better or for worse.

During Asia IoT Business Platform Thailand, Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) shared their roadmap of Thailand 4.0 – an effort to transform the economy into a value-based and innovation-driven economy with 10 S-Curve targeted industries including advanced agriculture, robotics and automation, tourism and next generation of automotive. The masterplan of Digital Park Thailand which include IoT institute development is being finalised as well. Regarding the next step for Thailand, Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, CEO of depa, stated the creation of marketplaces for local enterprises is as important as the development of manpower, including startups, and this is what depa is pursuing towards.

Indonesia’s IoT industry has also reached an important milestone after the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) launced the IoT Roadmap Draft this year during Asia IoT Business Platform Indonesia. The regulations for IoT components such as hardwares, connectivity and applications are being finalised and MCIT is inviting the IoT stakeholdets to give feedbacks. IoT plays a crucial role in realising the Industry 4.0 intiative named ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’, launched by the Indonesian government, spearheaded by Ministry of Industry. Similar to other neighbouring countries, this Industry 4.0 initiative aims to enhance efficiency and productivity of the local enterprises which in turns, improve their business competitiveness in the regional and global market. This roadmap is expected to boost Indonesia’s real economy by between 1-2%.

Digitisation Projects by ASEAN Enterprises

To support the respective national digitalisation initiatives, several key enterprises have stepped up and embarked on digital trasnformation projects. Since 2017, through the Enterprise Innovation Awards, we have given recognition to enterprises in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia which have embarked on digital transformation intiatives in their repective organisations. In 2018, we have selected 2 top enterprises from each countries as innovation leaders in their respective countries.


Wan Norman Nasir, Chief Risk Officer of FGV Holdings Berhad receiving the Malaysia Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

FGV Holdings Berhad has taken a small step towards digital transformation through the implementation of big data analytics, in this case risk monitoring system for each steps of their business. With this system, risk assessment and risk mitigation can be generated constantly and checked against the company’s strategy. This has enabled the management to have a better visibility of the company’s direction and activities.

Cheong Mei Fong, Regional IT Manager of F&N receiving the Malaysia Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

Fraser & Neave’s IT department has started to digitise the company’s operation mainly the financial and supply chain processes. Through this effort, F&N has managed to reap benefits including improved process efficiency and more productive human resources.


Dr. Mario Capanzana, Director of DOST-FNRI, receiving the Philippines Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) has acknowledged the need to create a systematic approach for their implementation of R&D projects which were previously improperly and manually recorded. DOST-FNRI launched a project and program called iFNRI which integrate all data generated from their activities. It serves as a databank which can store their data as a reference and analyse them to generate useful insights.

Melecio Valerio, Head of Data Strategy of QBE Insurance receiving the Philippines Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

QBE Insurance has leveraged on big data analytics to visualise their operations which allows them to dissect each of their financial products and understand their customers better. This in turns, has enabled them to make informed decisions and maximise their profit.


Anshera Chumchaivate, Head of Data Intelligence of Krungsri Consumer and Dr. Yong Chern Chet, Chief Innovation Officer of Ananda Development receiving the Thailand Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

Ananda Development embarked on its digital transformation journey thorugh the utilisation of big data and artificial intelligence for construction management, inspection and scheduling. This has allowed them to improve productivity gains through the reduction of construction time and cost.

Krungsri Consumer has utilised a combination of geo location technology and big data analytics to develop a location based marketing tool. This system enable Krungsri Consumer to deliver targeted and contextualised marketing messages which maximises the customer’s experience with relevant mechant offerings.


Pak Kaspar Situmorang, EVP Digital Banking of Bank BRI and Pak Danny Praditya, Director of Commercial of PGN receiving the Indonesia Enterprise Innovation Award 2018

Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), a state-owned gas and utility company, has introduced smart meters and big data analytics to improve asset utilisation and revenue generation as part of their digital transformation strategy. This has helped them to reduce operational costs and improve customer service.

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) embarked on a multi-prong approach towards digital transformation through the introduction of digital services for external clients and their staff. These digital services has assisted them to understand their clients and staff better which in turns, result in improved customer experienced and reduced operational costs.

Asia IoT Business Platform Singapore 2019

On the 15-16th January 2019, at the 28th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, we will be hosting ASEAN governments in Singapore to have a further discussion on how ASEAN stakeholders can work together to pursue regional digital integration. The 8 above-mentioned enterprises will be sharing their projects and case studies too and the best project will be awarded the ASEAN Enterprise Innovation Award.

Here’s a snapshot of ASEAN stakeholders who will be involved in the discussion in Singapore:

  • Dr. Ismail MT, Director General, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia
  • Dr. Monsak Socharoentum, Acting Director, IoT & Digital Innovation Institute, Digital Economy Promotion Agency, Thailand
  • Emmy Delfin, Head of ICT Industry Benchmarking and Promotions, Department of Information and Communications Technology, The Philippines
  • Dr. Yong Chern Chet, Chief Innovation Officer, Ananda Development
  • Danny Praditya, Director of Commercial, Perusahaan Gas Negara
  • Dr. Mario Capanzana, Director, DOST-FNRI
  • Wan Norman Nasir, Chief Risk Officer, FGV Holdings Berhad
  • Steven Chong, Information System Manager, Fraser & Neave
  • Kaspar Situmorang, EVP Digital Banking, Bank Rakyat Indonesia
  • Anshera Chumchaivate, Head of Data Intelligence & Customer Insights, Krungsri Consumer
  • Kanishka Sinha, Operation Excellence & Digital Leader, QBE Insurance

A panel of esteemed judges has been assembled and they will evaluate the digital transformation initiatives of enterprises in the ASEAN region. The judges are:

  • Alfee Lee, Regional Head of Digital Innovation, Fujitsu
  • Saleh Munshi, Managing Director of Customer Growth Google Cloud, Google
  • Dr. Tatchapol Poshyanonda, Managing Director of Strategic Accounts & Digital Transformation Office, Cisco Systems
  • Kamil F. Hasan, Director for Channel Scale & Partners APJ, Intel
  • Melissa Ries, General Manager APJ, TIBCO Software
  • James Wong, Regional Sales Director, Microstrategy
  • Suzie Nien, Director, ARM
  • Sherie Ng, Head of APAC Public Sector, Microsoft
  • Deon Newman, APAC CMO, IBM
  • Ferry Chung, VP of APJ Digital Transformation, Dell EMC
  • Jim Cook, VP of Industries and Digital Leadership, SAP

Drop me a note at [email protected] if you are interested to know more about the development of enterprise digitisation and IoT in the region or if you are interested to join the discussion in Singapore.

Felix Fernando

20 November 2018

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