As Thailand's second largest property development company, and one of the biggest sponsors of Techsauce Global Summit 2017, Ananda joins a chain of other companies from new industry sectors that are entering into the realm of accelerators, CVCs and other corporate initiatives in support of tech and startups. At the Techsauce Global Summit press conference back in May 2017, during The Future of Corporate Innovation panel, Dr. John Leslie Millar shared some of the secrets behind their progress as a company towards corporate innovation & how these initiatives have played a key role in helping them to rise through the ranks in the competitive field of real estate to become Thailand's second largest property developer. 

For Ananda, how has the digital revolution impacted your company throughout the years and where is your company in its digital transformation?

Dr. John Leslie Millar: In terms of how digital has affected Ananda as a company, Ananda is one of only two companies in the Property sector in Thailand in the last 20 years that has broken through to become a big company. So what that shows is the power of incumbency in our sector. Of the two companies that has broken through, one is Prueksa (Thailand’s largest property company) - and Prueksa innovated in the way that it did its supply and production.

Ananda has broken through as only the second company in 20 years because we’ve innovated in every aspect of the business. When you look at all the McKinsey surveys on digitalization of industries, property and construction always come up as the bottom or second-to-bottom next to agriculture. The fact that the construction & property industry - and SCG knows this as well - is so behind in digitalization compared to other industries like finance or travel or anything else affords us tremendous opportunities.
The fact that the construction & property industry is so behind in digitization compared to other industries like finance or travel or anything else affords us tremendous opportunities.
And it means that for companies like us that are working in this sector and for startups who are starting businesses, that want to provide solutions, services & products to companies like us, it’s blue sky. It’s open fields. The opportunities are absolutely immense. The impact of using innovation in a sector such as ours is huge. Ananda is a company. We’re in the middle of a growth spurt. We’ve grown 10 times in 7 years. And we’re doing it without adding any extra capital. We’re doing it without adding extra debt. The way we’re achieving that is through the power of digitalization. So that just shows the power & scale that’s available to us and entrepreneurs and their services.
Ananda is a company. We’re in the middle of a growth spurt. We’re growing 10x in 7 years. And we’re doing it without adding any extra capital. We’re doing it without adding extra debt. The way we’re achieving that is through the power of digitization.

What’s the key biggest challenge for big brands in corporate innovation - for example, internal resources, people or culture?
Dr. John Leslie Millar: I think once a company’s got to the size of the companies that are up here, resources don’t really become the issue. This is the same worldwide; it’s not a Thai thing, it’s not an Asian thing. It’s worldwide - it’s culture. How do you get your internal operations to adopt new innovations and change and self-disrupt? It’s like you want to build a new boat underneath you while you’re crossing the ocean. How do you do that when everybody’s busy? How do you change things?
So the key challenge when you’re any kind of corporate is how to get to the implementation of new ideas? And how do you get people who are already busy to adopt these new technologies? We build within Ananda in order to try and solve that. We try and build it throughout the organization. I get asked, “What is Ananda’s innovation budget?” I say, “There’s no such thing as an innovation budget at Ananda, because everybody is expected to innovate all the time in everything they do.”

So we build it into everybody’s KPI - we build it into everybody’s measurement, and we constantly reinforce, reinforce, reinforce. It’s not a switch; it’s not a one-off program. It’s a culture you have to build and you have to reinforce every single day in everything you do in order to be able to innovate at a level that outcompetes.

There’s no such thing as an innovation budget at Ananda, because everybody is expected to innovate all the time in everything they do.

UrbanTech Hackathon at Ananda's FYI Campus in Bangkok, Thailand

About Dr. John Leslie Millar
Dr. John Leslie Millar is Chief Strategic Development Officer at Ananda Development PCL., one of the primary sponsors for Techsauce Global Summit 2017. He and other representatives from Ananda will feature on the Summit Main Stage and also UrbanTech vertical stage sponsored by Ananda.

Meet Dr. John Leslie Millar and multiple others who are leaders in their field at  Techsauce Global Summit 2017, the first large-scale tech event on the Indochinese Peninsula (Mainland Southeast Asia) which will assemble more than 6,000 participants in Bangkok on July 28-29, 2017 including 1,000+ startups, 200+ venture capitalists, angel investors and corporates, and journalists from global media outlets for this year’s ultimate gathering at Centara Grand Convention Centre in Bangkok, Thailand! We invite participants to open to Asia and the rest of the globe with top VCs and corporations such as 500 Startups, Facebook, Samsung, HP, Dentsu Inc., EY and Ideo Tokyo.The conference will feature more than 100 inspiring keynotes and discussion panels about PropertyTech/Real Estate, Fintech, Hardware, Investment Markets, Ecommerce, Energy Tech, Biotech, InsureTech, Manufacturing & Automotive and other hot topics that drive the immediate future of the global tech industry & SEA’s startup ecosystem.

Techsauce Global Summit is Thailand’s largest international tech conference. We aim to be the first event on the Indochinese peninsula to rival large-scale tech events in places like Singapore & Hong Kong. We have incredibly scaled from 0 to 3500 attendees within 5 years. In 2017, the Summit’s 6th annual event, we’re targeting 6000 participants! Here’s a description of last year’s event and what this year’s event will be like. Link to register for media pass: https://summit.techsauce.co/media-pass/

Grab more info here! – Techsauce Global Summit 2017 fact sheet – See a video of last year’s event! – Watch what this year’s event will be like here and here.

See a full list of speakers and full info here: http://summit.techsauce.co

Book your tickets today & save! BOOK NOW

To reserve spacing for booths, contact us at summit@techsauce.co

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