THINK BIG Dialogue Brings Innovation To Centre Stage

Posted on  17/02/2012  |  Media Centre

Danial Norjidi
Friday, 17 February 2012

Bandar Seri Begawan – Innovation took centre stage yesterday as Asia Inc Forum and iCentre held a dialogue over lunch yesterday, carrying the theme of “Emerging Technologies and the Drive to Innovate” at iLotus Restaurant, marking the end of the THiNK BiG Innovate 2011 Dialogue Series.

The dialogue was held to discuss how technology and innovation can be used as effective tools to grow a business, and among its highlights was the looking back at the technologies that have transformed the business environment over the last two years, as well as emerging technologies and common challenges for Bruneian enterprises.

In his welcoming remarks at the event, Mohd Hadi Shafie Othman, the iCentre Manager said, “We are both saddened and excited to be at the final stage of the Innovate 2011. Saddened because it marks the end of Innovate 2011 but excited for the Innovate 2012 programme.”

“iCentre is continually building towards improving the ICT and multimedia industry specifically, but local entrepreneurship as well, generally,” he continued. “Our Innovate Programme, which builds a platform for entrepreneurs to connect and discuss about how innovation and technology is one of the multiple programmes that we run; in addition, we also run the iMMerse Programme, which, in fact, is running later this afternoon right after this lunch, as a means to assist our Digital Creative Industry.”

The iCentre Manager also said that they are also launching three new programmes in the coming year, and expressed their hope that these programmes will continue to assist particularly brand new startups regardless of their core businesses, whether or not they are in the ICT or multimedia industry.

Managing Director of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Mr Javed Ahmad continued on the theme of innovation with an opening address of his own, talking about how customers are constantly looking for innovations, technology gives new ways to do so.

The following keynote address was then delivered by Dr Gyorgy Ladics, the Chief Operating Officer at BIBD and International Director of Fajr Capital Ltd, who kicked off his presentation with the topic of innovation, which he described as the process by which the value of an idea is realised (ie more than creativity).

He also spoke about this in relation to its use in business strategy, which he said should include innovation strategy, specifically what the growth, size, and profitability goals are, in which geographies, markets, and businesses one will compete, what one’s primary value propositions, ie product, as well as the choice between leadership, customer intimacy or operational excellence.

Dr Ladics said that innovation happens “by looking outside your organisation’s four walls at such things as customer needs and dis-satisfiers, competitor moves, new technology, and regulatory changes.”

Also included was identifying and approving a select few ideas to enter the implementation phase, specifically strategic fit, financial impact, ability to execute and organisational impact, as well as value realisation.

In his presentation, Dr Ladies also quoted the late Steve Jobs, saying, “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D (research and development) dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it”.

The BIBD Chief Operating Officer then proceeded to share a few facts such as there being 5.9 billion mobile subscribers globally, which is 87 per cent of the world population.

He then answered the rhetorical question, ‘how do we realise value?’ by once again referring to the late Steve Jobs, and this time his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007, when he announced that Apple Computer, Inc would from that point on be known as Apple Inc, because computers were no longer the main focus of the company, which had shifted its emphasis to mobile electronic devices. This event also saw the announcement of the iPhone and the Apple TV.

Continuing to use this example as a case study, Dr Ladics said that we can recognise drive and realise value through a clear set of products and product line restructuring, making sure to get it right and dropping products if required.

Returning to his reference once again, he said that Apple Inc got also painful lessons prior to the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad.

He also highlighted the importance of having the right alliances and the formation of partnerships, where he said to do everything “stand alone”, citing as an example how Apple Inc let Microsoft in $150 million investment in non-voting Apple stock for Microsoft Office for the Macintosh.

“Here Steve Jobs carefully chose alliances and partnerships, making an alliance with a supposed enemy,” he said.

His next point was on the acquiring of companies. Elaborating he said, “You cannot build, invent and R&D everything. One way to get access to know-how is via mergers and acquisitions.”

His example once again referenced Apple Inc, which, from 1998, purchased several companies to create a portfolio of professional and consumer-oriented digital production softwares.

His final point was on effective distribution & sales channels for a product. As an example he said that in 2003, Apple’s iTunes Store was introduced, offering online music downloads for $0.99 a song and integration with the iPod. The service quickly became the market leader in online music services.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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