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P&G invests additional US$30m in its Singapore digital innovation centre

From left: Gokul Chandar, P&G CFO Asia-Pacific and Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa; Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry; Magesvaran Suranjan, president, P&G Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa; and Beh Swan Gin, EDB chairman.

PROCTER & Gamble (P&G) is investing an additional US$30 million in its digital innovation centre in Singapore, one year after it had pumped in an initial US$100 million and co-launched its E-Center with the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The new investment is part of the multinational consumer goods company's launch of E-Center 2.0, which is an expansion of its existing digital innovation programme with the EDB. Part of the funds will go towards its first digital omni-channel retail centre, i-Singapore Digital Omni-channel Center (i-SIDOC), which enables P&G to work with regional retailers to create actionable knowledge and retail solutions in multi-channel consumer shopping.

The platform will be located with the company's Singapore Innovation Center and omni-channel store. The funds will also support new supply chain projects and a new team of data scientists.

Through the E-Center, P&G supports partners and employees by equipping them with relevant skills to leverage digital technology and solve business problems.

In the week leading up to the opening of E-Center 2.0, P&G Asia Pacific hosted its inaugural digital technology event, ONward, which included a "digital university" where more than 1,000 employees went through 5,000 hours of training in five days.

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The event also offered more than 500 digital tech companies, including startups, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and other companies, a chance to apply to develop solutions for nine business challenges pitched to them by P&G. This will help the consumer giant to co-innovate with external specialists.

"P&G is a strategic partner in our efforts to place Singapore at the forefront of digital innovation for consumer businesses. The E-Center 2.0 will further build digital capabilities in retail, supply chain management and business analytics, and offer exciting opportunities for both Singaporeans and our local enterprises,” said EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin.

“We are also delighted to support the efforts of bellwether corporates like P&G to co-innovate with and catalyse the formation of new ventures in Singapore and the region."

Said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who was guest of honour at the inauguration: "Today, when we look at the i-Supply chain, it is also the way forward in how we envisage manufacturing in Singapore has to be done. Today, when we look at the use of the Internet platform for sales, for commerce, it’s again how we think we should move forward.

"So we're very happy to partner P&G in this journey because these things that you are doing will benefit not just the P&G group of companies and your products and services, but we hope that this will also catalyse a larger, wider movement in the Singapore economy for all of us to get onboard this new wave of digital economy robotics, i-Supply chain, integrated supply chain, and using the Internet as a platform for us to compete.”

E-Center 2.0 will strengthen Singapore's leadership in the digital economy and further increase P&G's collaboration with local partners. Singapore has been P&G's Asia Pacific headquarters for the last 30 years. In addition to the E-Center, P&G has two manufacturing sites in Tuas and a Singapore Innovation Center.

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