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21 Aug 2018, Kuala Lumpur - “Transforming business models is a must to succeed in the Industrial Revolution,” according to ninety six percent of ASEAN CEOs interviewed in preparation of the 8th HR Talk Show, happening on April 24, 2019 at the Sunway Putra Hotel Ballroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This interview confirms an earlier survey carried by think tank, McKinsey (2018), underscoring the transformative potential of Industry 4.0 was clearly confirmed. 

"The workforce can only be part of the solution if they are digital-literate,” says HR Talk Show keynote speaker, Nora Manaf, Chief Human Capital Officer and Head of Workplace Futurization for ASEAN’s second largest bank, Maybank. 

Almost all of the respondents, 96 percent, believed Industry 4.0 will bring new business models to their industries and, slightly less, 90 percent, said improved performance will be one of the main benefits from these new technologies. 

Additionally, in manufacturing-based economies such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, respondents were generally optimistic about prospects of Industry 4.0. 

“Ten years ago, a trend gave birth to then-nascent job title, The Chief Culture Officer. Today, that is ten years later, we observe a new job title once again, The Workplace Futurization Director,” says HR Talk Show Research and Communication Director, Frank Mercado. “This is proof that budgets are being placed in ASEAN to digitalize the workforce and the workplace.” 

HR Talk Show will be opened by BAT Malaysia Managing Director, Erik Stoel, who in 2017 led to completion Project Aurora—the transformation aimed to strengthen their business model via reinforcing their commercial capabilities and optimizing their supply chain and transactional activities. All done in order to maintain BAT Malaysia's leadership and to maximize shareholder returns given the challenging times for the legal tobacco industry.”

"In British American Tobacco Malaysia, we constantly believe and advocate the ethos of continuous improvement as a way of life. As we transition towards a much sharper, integrated and consumer-centric organisation in British American Tobacco Malaysia, we adopted Programme Aurora, the global British American Tobacco blueprint to evolve Human Resources into a leading, integrated, and agile function which is better able to work with the business as a true partner and drive change forward to deliver a world-class Human Resources function." says Erik.

ASEAN manufacturers cannot risk failing to capture the large opportunities made possible by these new technologies. By embracing Industry 4.0, ASEAN manufacturers can become the next leaders in their fields.

In recent decades, ASEAN manufacturing, once seen as a global phenomenon, has been overshadowed by the meteoric rise of Chinese factories. The digital technologies associated with Industry 4.0 can help ASEAN manufacturers overcome relatively low productivity rates to regain their stature as factories to the world.  

Industry 4.0 is the confluence of disruptive digital technologies that together carry the potential to change the manufacturing sector beyond recognition. The movement has gained critical momentum as a number of factors have come together: an astonishing rise in data volume, computing power, and connectivity; the emergence of advanced data analytics and business-intelligence capabilities; new forms of human—machine interaction, such as touch interfaces and augmented-reality systems; and improvements in how digital outcomes are transferred to the physical world, for instance through advanced robotics and 3-D printing.  

Industry 4.0 is expected to drive productivity increases comparable to those generated by the introduction of the steam engine in the Industrial Revolution. Globally, it is expected to deliver between $1.2 trillion and $3.7 trillion in gains (Exhibit 2). Of this, ASEAN, whose member economies have significant manufacturing components, has the potential to capture productivity gains worth $216 billion to $627 billion.

Infineon Technologies, a semiconductor company with a large presence in ASEAN countries, plans to invest more than $84 million in a smart factory in Singapore to test these technologies. The company expects to cut cycle times in half, increase productivity by 10 percent, and save $1 million a year in energy costs through the initiative. Infineon Technologies HR Director, Arulkumar Singaraveloo will be present at the show to talk about digitalizing initiatives.

Malaysian energy group Petronas has launched efforts to digitize their operations and customer offerings. Petronas Leaders CEO Nor Hazleen Madros will highlight specific case studies.


As ASEAN takes a dominant role in the world economy, ASEAN CEOs and CHROs are intensifying their transitioning efforts to becoming digital enterprises. Your role is even more crucial to keep up with speed of change and maintain our competitiveness in the region. The 8th HR Talk Show’s theme is “ASEAN Gearing Up for a Digital Future.” 

Join HR Talk Show 2019, held on April 24, 2019 at the Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Join live! To exhibit or sponsor, email the Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +65 6602-8264.


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