Innovating in Asia – Exploring the Unknown
When business representatives discuss about innovating in Asia, cultural steroetypes start to falter. The Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business in Jakarta brought this to light and I had the pleasure to moderate the exciting panel.
In its Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the World Economic Forum ranks Germany first with regards to innovation. To be one of the global superinnovators is something to be proud of. But one rather not rests on one’s laurels. This is what panelists Sanjeev Gandhi, Member of the Board of BASF, Ralf Wintergerst, CEO with Giesecke & Devrient, and Ambrose William, Executive Vice President at Singaporean ST Engineering Aerospace, agreed upon.
Innovating in Asia? The WEF sees scope for improvement. Namely a tendency to avoid uncertainty were to blame for the region lagging behind. No doubt the experts did thorough research, but to the panelists with hands on experience in Asia, this assessement seemed somehow outdated. They see Asian companies, start ups above all, well prepared to engage in cycles of innovation, which fast-track the process of conceiving and discarding. No place in there to be scared by the unknown, by experiments with uncertain outcome.
Yes, there are super innovators in Asia, even in traditional and more conservative societies. And when it comes to finance, it seems risk appetite is bigger anyway than in Europe and in Germany. With regards to venture capital, Asia is close on Silicon Valley’s heels. It is Germany who lags behind – as if investors there were risk adverse, avoiding uncertain bets.
Photo: AHK Indonesia<<<<