Nigel Vaz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient says that Thailand has enormous business growth potential across various industries, and that digital transformation is key towards unlocking this potential, by helping businesses sustain relevance through adapting to change and capturing value through digital. This enables organizations to re-imagine their business operations for a digital-first world, as well as to build the ability to develop innovative products, services and experiences that are hard-to-duplicate in a new world of business, in alignment with ever-changing technology and customer behaviors.
Thailand has growing population who are increasingly adapting to digital services as part of their day-to-day, with 43.7% of internet users aged 16 to 64 using the internet for managing their finances. It is this growing population that will underpin industries that make up the foundation of the Thai economy such as financial services, hospitality and healthcare. In these industries and many others, optimal execution of digital transformation strategies can positively impact growth, improve on operational agility, and ultimately create more value and provides better experiences for the Thai people.
This potential market growth in Thailand played a big role in a joint venture launched in December 2021 by Publicis Sapient and SCBX Group, SCB Tech X Co., Ltd. to drive its vision to become one of the largest technology service providers in Southeast Asia in the FinTech space, as well as to promote SCBX's data-first technology approach to disruptive change.
Whether in financial services, hospitality, healthcare, energy, or government, digital transformation represents the opportunity to develop and unlock the potential of businesses and organizations everywhere.
For example, the Covid-19 pandemic acted as an accelerant into the wholesale transformation from relationships and interactions between companies, customers, suppliers, and employees. During that time, Publicis Sapient partnered with Siam Commercial Bank in the development of the Robinhood Food Delivery platform to support entrepreneurs and small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The platform was piloted in Bangkok just five months after the initial inception phase, and today, the platform lives across all 76 zones in Bangkok and its surrounding areas with over 27,000 active riders.
Nigel notes that the purpose of digital transformation from an expert point of view is to build businesses that are ready for the digital world, saying, "Digital transformation is so much bigger than technology alone and is also about building the capacity to create involved and continual change. Digital transformation is a journey that trumps its destination, a journey that asks businesses to reimagine and rapidly realize new ways of working and satisfying consumer expectations, and at the same time, addressing the unique challenges of each organization."
A key pain point that Nigel sees is in the inability to build the right capability, whether by finding the right external partner, or through internal talents that organizations already have in place.
For Thai organizations to kickstart their digital transformation journeys to both unlock their organizational potential and help their organizations move forward, Nigel recommends the following:
- Organizations should look to developing their own SPEED capabilities. This consists of: S (Strategy), which helps organizations be clear on why they're doing it; P (Product) which refers to the use of products that meet the objectives for the continuation of digital transformation activities; E (Experience) for customer and employee experience improvement; E (Engineering) to leverage on IT to create value in the new world; and D (Data) to maximize the use of data and AI to grow the business.
- Business and organizational leaders must understand that there is no real end to digital transformation, and that the process involves adapting to constant change.
- Organizations must have clarity in their capabilities. It will be critical that all stakeholders, whether customers, partners, investors or even society in general, understand that digital transformation, be clear on what the future looks like to them, as well as how they envision digital transformation to bring improvement and growth.