By The Nation
The talk session led by Dr Santitarn Sathirathai, Group Chief Economist of Sea Group, highlighted the objectives to broaden the perspectives for organizations, the people of Thailand, as well as the society as a whole to keep up with the pace of ‘Digital Transformation’ which plays a heavy role in changes of the modern lifestyles and the country’s fast-paced development.
The talk show also included a panel discussion session under the topic of “Shaping the Future: Discovering Essential Skills for Future Workforce” in order to find out and share views on necessary skill sets that the new generation and professionals should possess for work, study and general adaptation amongst changes in the society. Panelists joining the session consisted of gurus and experts from various industries, such as Dr. Sarut Vanichpun, Director of Sea (Thailand), Mr. Rawit Hanutsaha, Chief Executive Officer of Srichand United Dispensary Co.,Ltd, Asst. Prof. Chaiyaporn Puprasert, Vice President of Student & Alumni Affairs, Chulalongkorn University and Mr. Chayut Sakunkoo, Chief Executive Officer of Tact Social Consulting Co., Ltd.
The talk show event welcomed a large number of participants who are professionals of many different sectors including business, technology, start-up and education.
Leveraging competitive edge for organizations, while fostering the societal awareness for ‘Digital Transformation’
‘Digital Transformation’ has been a worldwide phenomenon, especially in the professional world and amongst the new generations. The core of ‘Digital Transformation’ is to bring in the ‘Digital Technology’ as integration to all parts of the business, from cloud computing, big data, internet of things (IoT) and many others. From business processes to setting the goals for the company’s future growth, ‘Digital Transformation’ has become vital for organizations to adapt well and thrive in today’s rapid changes. Thailand has also been in an effort to adapt to respond to the 'Disruption' that has occurred, with the government trying to push the ‘Thailand 4.0' policy to change the macro-economic structure to be 'Value-Based’ economy or ‘Innovation-Driven’ economy.
At present, the private sector and various companies are trying to bring technology to improve business efficiency and meet the needs of consumers more directly. Information from ‘Dell Technologies' and 'Intel' indicated that 7% of Thai businesses are ‘Digital Leaders’, for which digital transformation is ingrained in the DNA of the business. The index categorized 40% of Thai businesses as ‘Digital Adopters’, which have mature digital plans, investments and innovations in place. Additionally, there are approximately 23% of the companies which are ‘Digital Followers’, with very little digital investment but careful planning of future innovationi. These data showed that Thailand is at the point of entering a fully digitized society.
Dr. Santitarn Sathirathai, Group Chief Economist, Sea (Group) revealed “As a leading internet company, Sea is committed to better the lives of the consumers and small businesses of Southeast Asia and Taiwan with technology through our digital businesses including Garena, Shope and Airpay. We have to adjust to respond to changing consumer behaviors over time, which has led us to become fully aware of the changes in many dimensions that occurred rapidly from technological advancement. Nowadays, everything has been transformed into a digital society and all things are ‘Disrupted’ with the inevitable digital process, causing more or less impacts on people in society in terms of daily living, working and how businesses are processed. Learning to develop oneself and adopting the full transition into the technological era will enable convenience to the lifestyle by fulfilling all needs. Therefore, Sea has hosted the special talk event ‘Sea Insight Future Focus’ which is a presentation of various perspectives and outlook about the changes caused by the coming waves of digital economy, as well as how we deal with disruption and new digital trends. At the same time, we also opened an opportunity for every participant to find out the answers on how to adjust and develop ourselves to be able to understand and brace for these changes, in order to overcome the limits and unlock new potentials within everyone.”
In an age where technology changes and ‘transforms’ all the time, ‘people’ become a major backlash in organizational development. However, information from Microsoft Digital Transformation Study in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific on Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformationii found that despite 82% of Thai organizations has adjusted to respond the ‘Digital Transformation’, the real challenge lied within this digital change that business and entrepreneurial sectors will face is the severe lack of human resources and skill gaps in workforce, caused by unpreparedness and ignorance of the use of technology.
Dr. Sarut Vanichpun, Director of Sea (Thailand), added “We may not be able to clearly state that in the next 10 to 20 years, how the educational model which is the basis of life and the society will be transformed. However, the clearest thing which should be started right now is the preparedness for the future changes. Technology has proved to yield constructive benefits, although sometimes we would encounter obstacles in the adjustment process. Therefore, various organizations and educational institutions are urged to turn their focus on creating knowledge and understanding to provide assistance and support for the future labor market. Most importantly, skill trainings should be promoted amongst the Thai workforce. These include the ‘learning skills’ such as analytical thinking and creativity that will help personnel to solve new problems efficiently, the ‘literacy skills’ such as understanding of data, information and technology process that manage the data, and the ‘life skills’ such as experience to improve for the better, to adapt to new situations, leadership and passion in initiating, as well as dedication to create things on their own. We should aim to create flexibility in economic adaptation for the workforce market in order to conform to the new ways of work and the fast-changing society driven by technology and big data.”
“For Sea, we strive to be an organization that engages people with the skills of the future. We serve as a learning resource that helps increase opportunities and develop potential for our people. We also promote learning in the full and sustainable work process. For instance, for work management and flexibility, we let our employees try out their own decisions (Decentralization) under the guidance of the head of the department. We also centralize the decisions (Centralization) from the organization for employees to adhere to. Apart from this, we focus on supporting education and improving the ability of young students, including collaboration with several universities to develop courses in digital entertainment production and business management. We also regularly open opportunities for interns to come and work in our offices in order to gain the real-life experience, as well as giving out scholarships and grants through the company’s CSR initiatives. We hope to be part of the contribution for a sustainable growth of the digital industry and for all sectors of Thailand to move forward together into the full digital economy effectively and seamlessly,” Dr. Sarut concluded.