Friday 21 August 2020

4 Days of Seminars

The SMEICC is an annual event for people to learn about the general business environment and issues of the day. I attended 4 webinars and learnt much from a particular speaker, so I thought it would be good to share.

The topic was about changing business and speed up the transformation process. My prior impression was it would revolve around adopting new technologies and mindset to existing businesses. What the speaker mentioned was along those lines but presented in a numerical and simple way that caught my attention.

2 main concepts were introduced. The first was in the world's labor market, 4% was involved in agriculture, 4% in manufacturing, 4% in high technologies and the rest in services. Ever since the second world war, all countries embarked on the peaceful development model and the equilibrium led to the resultant labor allocation. With upcoming technologies (AI, data analytics, robotics, digitization),  the great upheaval would impact the 88% labor providing different services. The second concept talked about governments would not allow economic collapse and the only way was to continue money printing. This will lead to inflation and widen the wealth gap. Therefore, the global money flow must conceivably go into assets of high value such as property and stocks. The latter would then propel companies with forward looking ideas such as innovative technology. That's why many entrepreneurs eg Tesla don't mind burning money to achieve their target, mainly because the funds come from the masses who believe in them. As the level of sophistication increases, menial labor jobs would be replaced causing great unemployment. This can be seen in retail examples like food ordering on a touch screen, online shopping and hotel service robots. No sector would be spared so it's imperative that people must start thinking about their value. The areas where robots have yet to develop are emotion, cultural understanding and creativity. As jobs become automated and mechanized, the older generation will likely hang on to their positions due to better health and ability to control the situation. This is a terrible combination if businesses were pinned to where they are, without technological upgrade. Hence, the future is bleak for young people who are regular employees or have high ambitions to climb the corporate ladder. Fortunately, amid the changes, Singapore is likely to emerge stronger as the trust premium is high, business environment is sound, government is stable and workforce is highly educated.

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