World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation, in collaboration with Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC) successfully organised WIEF-SIDC POWERTALK webinar 2021, on Post Pandemic Economic Landscape: Building Resilient Industries, on 7 April 2021 at 3:00pm (+8 GMT).
With the advent of the pandemic, there’s a need to address the next steps for manufacturing industry to take to ensure its resilience. As the pandemic affected world population and companies, digitalisation has matured ten folds; it may be one of the main solutions needed to emerge stronger amid the pandemic. The most important part of digitalisation is to go small and grow big. ‘It is a constant challenge with digitalisation, to balance data security and, at the same time, being transparent to the customers.’ Mattias Andersson, CEO and Founder of MTEK Industry AB Sweden, said. Using multi-factor authentication and ensuring updated firewall as well as ensuring that devices are not allowed to broadcast to each other, are among the steps can be taken to curb security threat.
‘We have a responsibility to care for the environmental impact. Therefore, companies can no longer transport goods back and forth just because the cost of labour is cheaper in certain countries.’ Mattias said. ‘We need to look at ways on how we can create most value to the clients, by being more sustainable, traceable, visible and more focused on human as the key element.’
‘The Suez Canal incident is a wake-up call that we need to pay more attention to how we connect different aspects of supply chain. As the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), anything that needs to be connected, will be connected.’ Mattias said. The digitalisation of manufacturing supply chains that drives out waste has a direct positive impact on the ability to contribute to sustainability on several levels.
The general drive to a more sustainable approach to manufacturing which is driven in large part by consumer expectations. Thus, product design, the materials and disposal associated with a product, is being scrutinised by consumers and that ripples upstream towards the manufacturers as well as supply chains of the world. This means, the way a product is produced and how it’s being produced is quickly becoming more and more important.
An area that continues to concern the industry is the increased demographic challenge of an aging workforce and lack of available skilled labour. The industry still struggles, since as long as 20 years ago, with the need to make manufacturing jobs more interesting to attract a strong stable labour force.
‘Thanks to its market orientation, EU agriculture and food supply chains have quickly adapted to new trends, such as more digitisation and a refocus use of agri-food products for home cooking rather than food services. Although we were successful this time around, we can’t rest on our laurels. We need to work together to be prepared for future crises threatening food security.’ Said Maciej Golubiewski, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission, Belgium.
In its Farm to Fork Strategy, published in May 2020, the Commission proposes a contingency plan to ensure food supply and food security in the EU in times of crises, as well as to create a legislative framework for sustainable food systems.
New technologies and their adoption by European farmers are key drivers in maintaining EU agriculture competitive on a global market. Diverse innovations, including technological innovations, have been and are transforming the way farmers manage land, produce food for us and respond to changing consumers’ preferences.
‘In the period 2014-2020, we have developed and followed a long-term strategy for EU agricultural research and innovation (R&I). To put the strategy into action, we’ve successfully been implementing it, building on the strengths of two European policies, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the R&I Framework Programme (Horizon 2020), working in close synergy under the common umbrella of the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ (EIP-AGRI).’ Maciej said. ‘As a result, today under Horizon 2020 and Rural Development Programme, we have over 300 multi-actor research projects and 2,000 EIP-AGRI operational groups that provide an abundance of new knowledge and diverse innovative solutions to support farmers in transforming their production methods.’ He added.
Capacity building is also a huge issue, in EU as well all over the world, especially in enticing youths towards agriculture. Farm managers under 30 years old only constitutes about five per cent of all farmers in the EU. Rural Development Policy plays a key role in supporting young farmers to start farming and develop further, by providing targeted setting-up support, training and knowledge transfer programmes, offering diversification opportunities and financing various types of investments, including broadband. Youths have a key role to play in the transition to a sustainable and innovative agriculture.
Oil & Gas Industry
Every industry, oil & gas (O&G) included, requires balancing of three factors, growth, profit and business sustainability. For the past 100 years, the price of O&G has been very consistent. Hence, the presumption that this industry will remain unshaken. However, in years 1973, 1979, 1985 and 2000 it experienced global turmoil, and the last six years has been challenging for all O&G companies worldwide when annual returns dropped to negative two per cent for period of 2005 to 2019.
‘UZMA had little to no choice but to diversify our business when the pandemic hit. We had to revise our five-year plan and relaunched a new plan in 2020.’ Dato’ Kamarul Redzuan, CEO of UZMA Group from Malaysia said. UZMA decided to reset. ‘The term reset refers to Control (CTRL) + Alternate (ALT) + Delete (DEL). We had to control our expenditure, we venture into alternative businesses, and we deleted non-strategic deals as well as remove inefficacy by going digital.’ Explained Kamarul.
In a nutshell, UZMA’s five-year plan includes increasing resiliency in O&G while accelerating diversification beyond O&G businesses, by means of merger, acquisition and aggressive participation not only in Malaysia but globally. UZMA is aggressively venturing into non-O&G businesses such as new energy, digitalisation and aerospace. While venturing more into clean energy, UZMA had to stick with its coffer, but venturing into deals with companies from outside the nation.
UZMA is shifting into 40 per cent non-O&G businesses as their top line, while maintaining 60 per cent O&G businesses. ‘In terms of digitalisation, we did exactly as mentioned by Matias, we started small. We automated our processes, we regard digitalisation and technology as our non-O&G or growth strategy.’ Said Kamarul. The world is moving towards clean energy or sustainable energy and O&G companies need to be quick to adapt.
When speaking about the level of digitalisation in UZMA and the O&G industry in general, Kamarul said that there are limitations to venture fully into digitalisation for UZMA as there are too many precautions in terms on cyber security. ‘O&G are not fully ready for digitalisation, like other industries. Our data is our gold mine and our property, especially reservoir data. They need to be liberalised to be used digitally. However, there are low hanging fruits that we can reap, such as predictive maintenance and digital twin are mostly done digitally now. The usage of drones and AIs are really helpful. There is also a huge need to train people in the industry to be able to accelerate digitalisation, within the company and the industry.’
UZMA is actively doing research with universities, the likes of Universiti Teknologi Petronas and Heriot-Watt University, especially in the field of clean energy.
The two-hour webinar featured Tehmina Kaoosji an independent broadcast journalist from Malaysia, as moderator.
About World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation
World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation was established in 2006. It is the organising body of the annual World Islamic Economic Forum. The Forum serves as a focal point where country leaders, captains of industry, emerging entrepreneurs, academics and other stakeholders from the Muslim World and beyond, meet to build bridges through business. The Foundation also undertakes various capacity building programmes under the WIEF initiatives of the Businesswomen Network (WBN), Young Leaders Network (WYN), Education Trust (WET) and Roundtable Series (WRT).
For more information, visit www.wief.org
About Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC)
SECURITIES INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (SIDC) is the learning and development arm of Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). It was established in 1994 and incorporated in 2007.
SIDC has been a standard-bearer of quality and innovation for examinations, qualifications, talent development and capacity building for over two decades. Our mission is to raise the standard of capital market participants to support the rapid growth and development of the capital market industry through learning and development solutions, capacity building and professional certification, qualifications and continuous education. It also focuses on thought leadership, consultancy services and investor education for the capital market.
In moving with the digital age, SIDC develops and organises training programmes for potential and existing capital market professionals as well as conducts public investor education seminars through virtual platforms, in addition to our face-to-face programmes. Further, SIDC develops and administers the Securities Commission Licensing Examination (SCLE) as part of the licensing regime for Malaysian capital market intermediaries under the SC.
For more information, log on to www.sidc.com.my
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- Dato’ Kamarul Redzuan Muhamed
Group CEO, UZMA Berhad, Malaysia
- Maciej Golubiewski
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission, Belgium
- Mattias Andersson
Founder and CEO, MTEK Industry AB, Sweden
- Tehmina Kaoosji
Broadcast Journalist, Malaysia