Innovation Teams in Singapore

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Innovation Teams in Singapore Part 1

Standard Chartered Bank has an innovation unit, SC Ventures, which facilitates spreading innovation and culture change throughout the company, and runs a platform that allows for collaboration between the bank, investors, and innovative fintech startups. DBS' innovation team is not supposed to innovate services or products, but to encourage the whole company to innovate. They are widely praised for their digital innovation efforts.

Standard Chartered Bank


Focus of the Innovation Team
  • Standard Chartered Bank's innovation unit that is located in Singapore is called SC Ventures. It is composed of three subdivisions.
  • eXellerator is a lab that fosters innovation and culture change within the bank, supporting its intrapreneurs and clients in their innovation efforts and providing a platform to facilitate the development of ideas.
  • It also has a business ventures division and an investment fund to provide assistance to emerging companies with disruptive business models and innovative fintech solutions, as well as manage the bank's minority stakes in startups.
  • The bank believes that it is very important to work closely with startups when developing innovation, as they are the future of the financial industry.
  • Additionally, the recent creation of a new role within the company, Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Transformation, suggests that the internal innovation efforts mainly focus on migrating to cloud. Its one of the main elements of the bank's technology strategy, as it will allow to "make their businesses more scalable and efficient."

Consulting Agencies They Work With
  • The information about innovation or general consulting agencies that Standard Chartered Bank is working with is not available. However, in 2016, the bank has signed a multi-year agreement with A*STAR, a local research institute, to enhance its innovation initiatives with the institution's data science capabilities.

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • SC Ventures observed that it is difficult for startups to find the right corporate partners and advance their ideas. At the same time, the unit realized that within the structures of Standard Chartered Bank, it is sometimes difficult to bring forward the innovations that would solve their particular problems.
  • To solve the issue, in 2019, they launched a startup platform that connects their bank with innovative fintech startups, investors, and accelerators.

Strengths
  • Singapore is one of the Standard Chartered Bank's most successful franchises. In the first half of 2018, it was the second most profitable division in the group.
  • It is the first international bank in the country to operate as one subsidiary, which strengthened its capital three times.
  • Standard Chartered Bank also recognizes the importance of its employees, which made it launch a $2 million retraining program that will be completed by 3,000 employees by 2020. In 2017, it was also the first bank in the country to join the government Professional Conversion Programme.

Weaknesses
  • The institution is attempting a digital transformation. However, to enhance its digital banking services and obtain a license, it needs to partner with local companies, as the UK, its country of origin, doesn't have a free trade agreement with Singapore.


DBS Bank


Focus of the Innovation Team
  • According to the publication by the government of Singapore, DBS' innovation team isn't responsible for innovating products or services. Their sole focus is fostering the innovation culture throughout the company.
  • To do it, they come up with learning opportunities, promote startup mindset, and give awards for failures.
  • The above was confirmed by Paul Cobban, Chief Data and Transformation Officer in Singapore, who said that "the bank set up an innovation team, whose No. 1 priority was ironically not to innovate. The purpose of this was to encourage the rest of the company to innovate, rather than have it fall on the shoulders of the innovation team alone."

Consulting Agencies They Work With
  • Capgemini Singapore was DBS' growth partner for this year's global "Paradigm Shift" banking hackathon. In the press release, the consultancy said that they are happy to be "at the forefront of innovation" and "looking forward to forging closer collaboration with DBS."

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • The bank noticed the need to innovate its customer service. Their clients were suffering because of long waiting hours, among other inconveniences.
  • DBS managed to take 250 million waiting hours away by coming up with a new approach, which they call "customer science." They use data analytics and predict future behaviors, for example, by creating customer behavior maps. When they have data on various aspects of the customer journey, such as the services they most frequently use, they can better adjust their offerings.

Strengths
  • The bank is widely praised for its digital transformation. Earlier this year, Harvard Business Review named it one of the top ten business transformations of the decade.
  • DBS' inclusion was attributed to "transforming from a traditional regional bank to a global digital platform company, around a culture-based vision of becoming a 27,000-person startup." They were applauded for developing innovative products and services, as well as changing their core business model.
  • In 2019, both Euromoney (in 2019) and Global Finance (in 2018) named DBS the best bank in the world. Apart from recognizing its digital transformation efforts, they praised the institution's ability to remain stable despite constantly implementing innovations, and its corporate social responsibility.

Weaknesses
  • According to DBS' CEO, Piyush Gupta, the main issue for the bank is Singapore's mortgage market. Earlier this year, they observed shrinking in their mortgage loan book, for the first time in a long period.
  • It was in the first quarter of 2019, but the bookings continued to be unimpressive as the year progressed.

Research Strategy

We started looking for the Standard Chartered Bank's partnerships with innovation consulting agencies or general consultancies by searching through the company's press releases. We thought that any major deals in that space would be officially announced, as innovation is an important part of the Standard Chartered Bank's culture. However, the only semi-relevant press release was about the partnership with A*STAR, the research institute. While the article is from 2016, it is clearly stated that it's a multi-year partnership, which makes it still relevant.

Next, we attempted to find the required information in the articles by local media sites, such as The Straits Times or the Asian Banker. We hoped that since they cover the bank's digital innovation efforts, they would also inform about their innovation-focused partnerships with consulting agencies. Unfortunately, the only news about partnerships was about potential deals with fintech startups.

We also tried to look for partnerships beyond Singapore, hoping that if we discover a global partnership, we will be able to find a way to link it to a Singapore division, since it's one of the most successful. We searched through banking, tech, consultancy, and business media sites, such as Forbes, The Financial Times, and Consultancy UK. However, the news articles we found weren't about partnerships with consultancies.

Please also note that since DBS is headquartered in Singapore, we assumed that all the group-wide innovations come from the Singapore division, which we confirmed by checking that the people who talk about implementing them are working for DBS Singapore.


Part
02
of five
Part
02

Innovation Teams in Singapore Part 2

Procter & Gamble's Singapore Innovation Center mainly focuses on researching and developing innovative products, including skincare, hair care, personal health, and grooming. Its digital innovation center tries to find innovative supply chain management and analytics solutions. Visa Innovation Center provides consulting services to businesses, advising them on innovating payments and commerce, as well as on developing human-centered solutions. Both divisions work with innovative startups from the region and support them in multiple ways.


Procter & Gamble

Main Activities of the Innovation Team
  • Procter & Gamble's (P&G) Singapore Innovation Center has over 250 advanced research laboratories, which work on innovations for the company's global hair care, skincare, home care, and personal health and grooming products.
  • The center is able to work in 18 different fields, such as engineering, material science, and biochemical research. The team is composed of over 500 researchers, engineers, and scientists.
  • Recently, the company has also launched a GrowthWorks unit within its innovation hub. The initiative is meant to help promising startups raise sufficient funds and grow their businesses using P&G's expertise and corporate capabilities.
  • In 2017, P&G started a new innovation-related initiative in Singapore, a $140-million digital innovation center. It is meant to work on innovative solutions in the company's supply chain management, e-analytics, and e-business.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • While there is no information about consulting agencies that P&G Singapore is working with, the company had a Master Research Collaboration Agreement with A*STAR, a research institute, to facilitate knowledge sharing between their innovation hub and local research communities. The partnership lasted until 2018.

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • P&G's Singapore Innovation Center did extensive research into consumer needs related to beauty products. Two of the most famous developments by the hub, which were meant to answer consumer's unmet needs and frustrations, are a luxury hair conditioner SKII Masterpiece Pitera and a regular product of the same profile, the Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner.
  • The premium product was designed for the Japanese market after discovering the needs of high-end consumers. It was done in collaboration with a medical devices manufacturer to increase the product's scientific value. The 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner gives consumers a unique product by offering convenience and a special scent.
  • The company also acknowledges that the local market, as well as its hub, are constantly challenged to innovate faster to meet the needs of today's fast-paced world. For this reason, they launched the GrowthWorks unit in Singapore.

Strengths
  • The company's innovation hub is "the largest private research institute in Singapore." It is backed by continuous investments by the company and supported by the local government.
  • Also, by launching their Innovation Center in Singapore, the company made sure that they would have easy access to all the key markets in the Asia Pacific region, because of the convenient location and infrastructure. Furthermore, it allows P&G to attract talent from all around Asia and form the right partnerships.

Weaknesses
  • The division has not made any of its weaknesses public in P&G's annual reports. They also have not been covered in media sites. The only negative news about the Asia Pacific division, which is headquartered in Singapore, was a lost lawsuit, which was quite minor.
  • Also, there is a paywalled news article about P&G cutting its global advertising budget by $350. Since it was published by an Asian media site, it is likely that it has some effect on the Asian divisions.
  • One more possible weakness is that the division and the innovation center are not well marketed online. The Facebook page is unofficial, and there are no dedicated websites.

Visa


Main Activities of the Innovation Team
  • The team serves clients from the Asia-Pacific region with advisory services related to growing their businesses in accordance with the current and future trends in payments, commerce, creative problem solving, and human-centered design.
  • They offer three types of consulting services, which differ in depth and length. The basic one, "Get Acquainted" session, takes one hour. It is dedicated to discussing the trends in commerce and looking at how the team can help advance the client's business with their innovative solutions.
  • "Discovery Engagement" lasts between two hours and a day. It is meant to find technologies and trends that influence the client's company, discuss them, and focus on payment innovation opportunities.
  • "Co-Creation Engagement" takes between one and three days, during which the clients learn to "apply human-centered design and agile techniques to design and build innovative new concepts."
  • The center also hosts special events with the purpose of building connections and education.
  • Since 2019, they also assist local startups through their innovation programme, "Visa Everywhere Initiative." The companies that provide the most attractive pitches can count on complex help with growing their ideas, including financial support, consulting, and tech assistance. Also, they can participate in immersive workshops at the Visa Innovation Center.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • While there is no information on Visa Singapore's partnerships with any innovation consulting agencies or general consulting agencies, the company has partnered with People's Association, a government agency, to encourage senior citizens to use digital payments in order to include everyone in digital transformation and improve the quality of life for the elderly,

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • When starting its global innovation programme in Singapore, Visa discovered three main challenges.
  • The first one is the need to improve customer experiences by bringing more loyalty options and encouraging more consumer groups to use digital payments.
  • The second issue is speeding up e-payments acceptance.
  • Thirdly, Visa Singapore wants to innovate the way people travel and commute, urging them to use digital payments when they do it.
  • To solve the last of those challenges, they also partnered with a local public transport organization to introduce contactless payments for tickets. In a study the company conducted, they discovered that 70% of people in the country find the long queues to top-up their travel cards or pay for fares inconvenient, while 75% would be open to only using digital or mobile payments to pay for transport.

Strengths
  • One of the Visa Singapore's strengths related to innovation is launching their innovation programme for startups in the country. Globally, since the program started in 2015, 2,100 participating startups have raised over $2 billion in funding. 130 finalists have been mentored by Visa and received more than $1 million in awards from the company.
  • Through the programme, both Visa Singapore and the participating startups can gain visibility. Also, it can quickly advance innovative solutions to the market, thus helping the country's payments and commerce go digital, which is in accordance with Visa's mission.
  • Another major strength is a multi-cultural team that communicates in various languages and global partnerships, which allows for collaboration across the Asia Pacific region.
  • An example of such partner is iSignthis, an Australian RegTech company that offers remote identity verification and payment authentication services.
  • The local team can also use the expertise of ten other Visa Innovation Teams through collaboration.

Weaknesses
  • According to the reviews on Glassdoor, while the company tries to position itself as innovative in terms of management, the internal processes are slow and there is no transparency.
  • Additionally, e-payments in the country grow at a slower rate compared to other Asian regions, which may be due to the fact that the traditional payments system is well-established and complex. Also, there is a big competition in the digital payments industry.

Research Strategy

We started looking for innovation consulting agencies that Visa Singapore is working with by searching through the division's press releases. We hoped that they would announce any major partnerships related to innovation consulting. However, while there are multiple news articles about new partners, they are either government organizations or FinTech companies.

Then, we scoured through articles on local and Asian media sites, such as Retail News Asia, Singapore Business, The Business Times, and The Straits Times, thinking that if there were any partnerships in this area focused on developing specific innovations, they would be covered in the media. However, they only mentioned other types of partners.

Finally, we tried to look for Visa's partnership with innovation or general consulting agencies on a global level. We looked through the company's annual reports and press releases, as well as through global finance, business, and tech media, such as Forbes, TechCrunch, and Pymnts. However, similarly like on the local level, we only found information about other kinds of partnerships.

As for the weaknesses, we didn't find any clearly stated ones for the Singapore division in the company's annual report, in local news articles, or reports about e-payments in Singapore. We decided to analyze the reviews on Glassdoor. After searching through five pages of reviews, we noticed that there is one common complaint, which we included as a weakness. Additionally, we included overall barriers to the adoption of digital payments in the country.

We used similar strategies to find partner consulting agencies and weaknesses for P&G. However, since the division (either P&G Singapore or P&G Asia that is based in Singapore) has no dedicated website, we could only search global press releases and annual reports, which included very few mentions of Singapore, and none of them were relevant. Additionally, when searching for global news about partnerships with consulting agencies that could be applicable to the Singapore/Asia division, like with Visa, we only found partnerships of different nature. We summarized relevant findings from the local media sites in the appropriate sections.

Please also note that we used one source that is slightly older than 24 months. However, the information about the P&G Singapore Innovation Center was scarce, which is why we decided to use it for data that is not time-sensitive, such as the reason why locating the center in Singapore is an advantage.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Innovation Teams in Singapore Part 3

Diageo's Singapore division houses the company's APAC Innovation Team, which is responsible for coming up with new brands and products for the whole Asia Pacific region. OCBC has several innovation units. The Fintech and Innovation Group is leading the digital transformation throughout the company. Its subdivision, The Open Vault, focuses on collaborations with fintech companies and includes the AI-lab, an in-house artificial intelligence (AI) unit. The bank also has the Process and Service Innovation Team, which works on innovating business processes and services.

Diageo


Focus of Their Innovation Team
  • Singapore is home to Diageo's APAC Innovation Team.
  • The team is responsible for coming up with innovative brands and products.
  • To come up with relevant products that are ahead of the trends, they employ five principles.
  • They are mindful of the "natural habitat" in the area where they want to launch an innovation.
  • They try to provide tangible value.
  • They think outside of the typical qualities of the typical product features, considering the expectations and lifestyles of their target groups.
  • They thoroughly research the cultural context behind their planned launches.
  • Finally, they use existing consumer behaviors to shift attitudes toward specific beverages.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • N/A

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • The APAC Innovation Team, while headquartered in Singapore, works on designing innovative products for the whole Asia Pacific market. One major challenge is staying relevant to different groups of consumers, which have varying cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and needs.
  • To solve it, the team goes beyond standard research methods. For example, when they were working on Smirnoff Midnight Maxx, they started the process in the typical sterile room. However, they found out that they weren't getting enough insights because people's behaviors and perceptions were different in the natural environment. Eventually, they moved their research to traditional "whiskey circles" in the region where they were planning to launch the beverage.

Strengths
  • In 2019, South East Asia was a strong performing region, with all countries except Thailand positively contributing to the 8% growth. The main drivers were scotch brands, especially "White Walker by Johnnie Walker" and Johnnie Walker Super Deluxe and Guinness, with notable growth in sales in Indonesia and a "route to consumer expansion of Guinness Draught in Singapore."

Weaknesses
  • According to the reviews on Glassdoor, there are constant changes in the Singapore division of Diageo, which leads to a disorganized work environment, communication issues, as well as lack of motivation among employees.

OCBC Bank


Focus of Their Innovation Team
  • OCBC has multiple innovation units. The Open Vault (TOV) focuses on partnerships with fintech companies to quickly test and develop new ideas.
  • A smaller unit within TOV is an AI-lab, which is focused on in-house development and testing of AI solutions.
  • Both subdivisions work under The Fintech and Innovation Group. In addition to overseeing the collaborations with startups and the AI-related activities, the unit is responsible for spreading the digital culture across the company and driving the organizational change.
  • There is also the Process and Service Innovation team, which focuses on business process improvements and service innovations.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • N/A

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • The Fintech and Innovation Group recognized the potential of building in-house AI capabilities, knowing that AI-based solutions improve their efficiency and increase their competitive advantage. However, there is a shortage of AI experts in Singapore.
  • In addition, the demand is high, as both the financial institutions and tech giants need such professionals.
  • To solve the issue, OCBC launched a $100k AI Scholarship for full-time masters students from several universities. This year, three students will be chosen for a 12-18 months internship with the lab.

Strengths
  • Earlier this year, Euromoney named OCBC the best Asian bank for SME's. The institution serves half of the SMEs in the country.
  • The bank thinks that their success in that department can be attributed to offering robust digital services.
  • OCBC is the local industry leader in embracing new technologies. It was the second bank in Singapore to implement open banking, through the Connect2OCBC developer platform, and the first bank in the country to have an AI unit.

Weaknesses
  • OCBC's profits dropped 6% in the third quarter of 2019, with one of the key contributing factors being the challenging climate in the banking industry in Singapore. It is expected that the company may continue to experience issues for the same reason.
  • Overall, in the country, "interest rates soften and loan growth moderates." Additionally, the central bank is starting to issue digital banking licenses. Various kinds of companies, such as telecom and transportation ones, are interested, which may bring further changes to the industry.

Research Strategy

We looked for consulting agencies that both of the companies are working with by searching through their press releases, presentations, and whitepapers. We also scoured through articles in local media sites, such as The Straits Times, The New Paper, and The Asian Banker. However, there were no mentions of them working with consulting agencies on their innovation projects, or any other challenges.

Additionally, we looked for weaknesses of the Singapore division of Diageo by analyzing its annual reports, financial results, as well as articles in local and U.S. media sites. However, since the company is recording excellent results in Asia recently, the information about weak spots is not available. To provide the required information, we looked through the division's reviews on Glassdoor. After analyzing all the available posts by employees in Singapore, we identified a common problem, which we included as a weakness.

The Drum requires logging in to see the articles, so we provided screenshots of the content.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Innovation Teams in Singapore Part 4

IBM Watson Centre in Singapore is the innovation center housing both IBM Garage and IBM, while Citibank launched an innovation lab in Singapore that comprises a Client Experience Center and a Client Collaboration Center. Below are the explicit findings.

IBM

Main Activities

  • IBM Watson Centre houses both IBM Garage and IBM Studios. It is located in Marina Bay Financial Centre, Singapore.
  • The center offers education, hackathons, and customized workshops for a broader ecosystem of innovators, including software companies, startups, developers, and systems integrators.
  • IBM in Singapore also has a center for blockchain innovation, which is made up of a unique collaboration between IBM Research and Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).
  • The center for blockchain innovation works with the government, educational institutions, and other industrial players to boost innovation in Singapore to make it a pioneer in fintech innovation.

Innovation Consulting Agencies

Challenges/Unmet Needs

  • The innovation team of IBM Singapore has worked with brands, such as Siam Commercial Bank, to implement an application that helps the bank's staff hold structured, more personal customer conversations on the go. The tool guides dialogues and educates, digitally recognize and synthesize consumers’ needs.
  • The challenge IBM Singapore is facing is to help clients analyze business challenges and develop solutions grounded in more individualized digital experiences through a combination of IBM’s research technology, cognitive capabilities, and experience design.

Major Strengths

Major Weaknesses

  • For the passing years, IBM has been facing challenges involving the declining sales of hardware servers as most of its clients are migrating to cloud computing. This has made the company to shut its $90 million technology park in Tampines, Singapore, resulting in 600 workers to be laid off. IBM is moving its mainframe computers manufacturing location to the US.

Citibank

Main Activities

  • The company launched an innovation lab in Singapore that comprises a Client Experience Center and a Client Collaboration Center.
  • The Innovation Lab uses the new web, mobile, supply chain, and analytics technologies. The companies use these technologies to engage their institutional clients more innovatively and to create the most effective solutions and products for them.
  • The lab helps the company to connect with its clients, global colleagues, and experts for discussions on future needs.

Innovation Consulting Agencies

  • The company partners with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. However, these are not innovation consulting agencies or general consulting agencies.
  • With the NUS partnership, Citi's sponsors NUS's Design Thinking Course projects and provides innovative training to its employees, while on its partnership with Infocomm Development Authority, Citi supports its projects that accelerate the development and deployment of business analytics.

Challenges/Unmet Needs

Major Strengths

  • One of the major strengths of the CitiBank Singapore today is its partnership with the e-commerce platform, Lazada Group. This partnership offers a co-brand credit card called Citi Lazada credit card, which allows millennial shoppers to enjoy the launch of promotions and the card benefits as they shop online during the festive year-end season.
  • With the new card, Citi increases its scope of the audience by attracting a younger, digitally-savvy customer pool that makes up the majority of eCommerce customers in the region.

Major Weaknesses

  • One of the major weaknesses of the company is that it agreed to pay settlements from the lawsuit that affects the view of the company. According to a court document, the lawsuit accuses them of conspiring with other global banks to manipulate the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate and the Singapore Swap Offer Rate from January 2007 through December 2011. Citi has to pay $10.0 million to avoid further expense and prolonged litigation.

Research Strategy:

We began our research by looking at each company's website and other websites that share news and updates to gather their information, such as their innovation team, challenges/unmet needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Three sources older than two years have been utilized to provide information about the innovation. There is no information on partnerships of each company with any innovation consulting agencies or general consulting agencies.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Innovation Teams in Singapore Part 5

Singtel's main innovation force is its FutureNow Innovation Centre. It is a platform for collaboration between experts from multiple fields, the company's R&D specialists, and technology leaders to come up with innovative solutions and help businesses in digital transformation. Changi Airport Group has a central innovation team that is responsible for creating a culture of innovation within a company. Additionally, their Innovation Lab team comes up with practical innovation projects and forms a Digital, Innovation, Ventures, and Analytics (DIVA) cluster with several other divisions of the group to advance digital and organizational transformation.


Singtel


Focus of Their Innovation Team
  • Singtel's main innovation unit in Singapore is its FutureNow Innovation Centre (FIC).
  • It is created in line with the government's mission to innovate six major industry clusters, which are manufacturing, built environment, trade and connectivity, essential domestic services, modern services, lifestyle.
  • Through the centre, experts from those fields, together with Singtel's partners and the company's R&D labs, can come up with transformative solutions to help businesses go digital.
  • The initiative provides a variety of new technologies, including "cloud, software defined networks, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and various 5G possibilities."
  • Additionally, the space of the centre showcases all of those technologies and their impact on the future of work, communication, and other aspects of life,
  • FIC is also a platform for collaboration between Singtel and its partners, clients, and technology leaders to bring innovative products and services to the market.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • Out of many partnerships that the company discloses, none are focused on innovation consulting.
  • The most relevant partners are research institutions, such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and the National Research Foundation.

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • The company noticed that businesses in Singapore need inspiration and knowledge to understand digital transformation and start the process in their own companies. In their FutureNow Innovation Centre, they decided to showcase key emerging technologies and the impact they will have on different aspects of life. As a result, they are able to start a dialogue and educate local enterprises on the possibilities that lie ahead.

Strengths
  • The company is widely regarded as the leading telecom provider in Singapore. Just in 2019, it was named as the Asia-Pacific Telecom Group of the Year and the Singapore IoT Service Provider of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, The Broadband Pioneer at the World Communication Awards, Best Broadband Carrier at Telecom Asia Awards, as well as Best Mobile Service and Best Fiber Broadband at HWM + HardwareZone Tech Awards.

Weaknesses
  • Earlier this year, Singtel reported an EBIDTA fall of around 8%, while in 2018, in Singapore, the mobile services industry's revenue from declined by 5.3%. According to DBS, the whole sector is in trouble because of the comeback of SIM-only plans, which will continue showing in leading providers' financial results.
  • The industry will start the recovery process no earlier than in 2020 when the distribution of the 5G network will bring new solutions and allow major players to up their pricing. DBS predicts that Singtel's EBIDTA may start improving around that time, as well.

Changi Airport Group


Focus of Their Innovation Team
  • The central innovation team that consists of 10-15 people focuses on motivating other 2,000 employees to be creative and come up with innovative solutions.
  • The company also has the Innovation Lab team. In 2018, it recruited 19 innovation talents that were responsible for practical, innovative projects. Thanks to their creativity, the number of submitted projects tripled.
  • The Innovation Lab Team works closely with several other divisions of Changi Airport Group — Finance, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, and Enterprise Risk Management. Brought together as Digital, Innovation, Ventures, and Analytics (DIVA) initiative, they are supposed to drive digital and operational transformation.
  • Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Changi Airport Group runs the Living Lab Programme, which is a platform for collaboration with innovative startups to develop solutions that can be used in the airport environment. The key areas of interest are automation and robotics, data analytics and the Internet of Things, non-intrusive security technologies, and smart infrastructure management.

Consulting Agencies That They Are Working With
  • Accenture works on developing innovative solutions with the company's divisions that form the DIVA cluster.
  • One of the innovation-oriented projects on which Changi Airport Group collaborated with Accenture is designing personalized digital experiences before, during, and after the flight.

Challenges and Unmet Needs
  • The innovation-focused cluster DIVA identified a consumer pain point — long queues for activities for children, which were particularly inconvenient for the parents.
  • They came up with a PlayPass platform, which customers can access by scanning a QR code on their receipt. Then, they can seamlessly book a timeslot for using the attraction.
  • Later, Changi Airport Group started using the PlayPass system for managing other services as well. While improving their customers' experience, they also solved their own challenge by finding a way to collect customer data easily.

Strengths
  • Changi Airport was named the best airport in the world for seven years in a row at the World Airport Awards by Skytrax. It also repeatedly won the title of the provider of the best leisure amenities. It is the seventh busiest airport globally.
  • The company is praised for its employer brand. It was named the second most attractive employer in Singapore by Randstad and applauded for having the Best Workplace Culture at HRM Awards.

Weaknesses
  • Like other Asian hubs, Changi Airport has been experiencing a decline in cargo throughput in 2019 due to a decline in demand.
  • In August, the year-on-year fall was 8%. In July, it was 7.2%, and in April - 12.8%.


Research Strategy

We started looking for consulting agencies that Singtel is working with by searching through its website. Since the lists of their channel and telecom partners are readily available in dedicated sections, we hoped that by digging deeper, we would also find their innovation consulting partners. However, the only mention of a consultancy we found wasn't related to innovation-oriented collaboration.

Next, we moved to searching local media sites, such as Tech in Asia, The Straits Times, and The New Paper. Since Singtel is the dominant telecom provider in the country, we hoped that they would cover their innovation consulting partnerships. We did find news about a government project, which is supported both by Singtel and PwC, but the available information didn't suggest that there was active collaboration between them.

Lastly, we decided to look beyond the Singapore operations, hoping that if we identify consultancies the company works with in other countries, it will lead us to discover partnerships in the desired region. We looked through media sites from major Singtel's markets, such as Australia and India, as well as company reports and whitepapers. It allowed us to discover that Accenture provided innovation consulting services to Optus, a wholly-owned Australian subsidiary of Singtel. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any proof that the Singapore division of Singtel also works with Accenture.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 05