BT Leaders' Forum casts spotlight on disruption

Published Sun, Mar 5, 2017 · 09:50 PM


DISRUPTION - an overused cliché or a Big Bang phenomenon?

The Business Times Leaders' Forum, back for its second run, will spotlight the big D word and explore this critical question by bringing together top speakers from both the public and private sectors.

To be held on March 22, it will feature TED-style talks and panel discussions on key topics around the theme "Disruption and Transformation", such as disruption in the government, dealing with disruption, the future of jobs and how to be a disruptor.

The topic is a fitting one, given Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's remarks on disruption in his Budget 2017 speech. He said that advances in digital technology offer organisations new ways to improve productivity, efficiency and service delivery. Mr Heng noted that while these trends might throw up potential disruptions, they bring many new opportunities.

At the forum, Minister of State Janil Puthucheary will deliver the keynote address, on the role of government in the future economy, and how even policymakers must acknowledge and respond to disruption.

Dr Puthucheary is Minister of State in the Communications and Information, as well as Education, ministries. He is also co-chair of the Deep Dive on Disruptive Technologies under the Committee on The Future Economy. He told BT: "Singapore businesses and the government have always had the approach of wanting to seize opportunities. So the question is now, whether we see disruption as a threat or opportunity."

He added: "If we see disruption as an opportunity, are we looking to slow down the pace of change or to embrace it and be part of the change?"

Aalishaan Zaidi, global head for digital and retail banking at Standard Chartered Bank, will share at the conference how disruptive technologies are compelling banks to adapt to serve the customers of the future. StanChart is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Nick Nash, group president of South-east Asia's largest Internet company Garena, will illustrate the Singapore-based startup's journey to success, while Feon Ang, vice-president for talent and learning solutions for the Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn, will introduce the future of work and jobs in the new economy.

The forum will also be the exclusive showcase of two surveys. The first is "Tech Startups & Job Creation", a study by the National University of Singapore (NUS) that is supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Wong Poh Kam, professor at the NUS School of Business and director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, will present the findings.

The second is "The Business Times-Standard Chartered Leaders' Survey 2017", which looks at whether Singapore companies and government agencies are disruption-ready. David Mann, managing director and chief economist (Asia) at StanChart, will share the findings.

Other speakers at the forum include Ravi Menon (managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore), Low Teck Seng (chief executive officer of NRF), Lee Ark Boon (CEO of IE Singapore), Pang Kin Keong (Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport), and Ferry Grijpink (partner at McKinsey & Company). The 2017 forum - which follows the inaugural "The BT Leaders' Forum: Singapore's Future Economy" last year - will be held at The Ritz-Carlton. Some 300 top business leaders and professionals are expected to attend.


BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to



Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here