SCBX’s Transformation and Thailand’s Tech Advancement

: SCBX’s Transformation and Thailand’s Tech Advancement

SCBX’s Transformation and Thailand’s Tech Advancement

Dr. Arak's Insights on SCBX's Transformation and Thailand's Tech Advancement at Techsauce Global Summit 2023

Key Highlight

In a riveting fireside chat titled “AI at the Core of SCBX’s Transformation and Thailand’s Tech Leap,” Dr. Arak Sutivong, Deputy CEO of SCBX, delved into the significant influence of innovation as an accelerant for growth, encompassing both organizational transformation and Thailand’s prospects for economic advancement, aiming to surpass the middle-income trap. With a strategic vision of advanced technology and collaborative initiatives, SCBX is poised to play a central role in Thailand’s pursuit of becoming a prominent regional digital innovation hub.

Innovation: The Catalyst for Growth and Transformation

Dr. Arak began by highlighting the global innovation landscape, citing the percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) allocated to Research and Development (R&D) in the top 20 countries compared to Thailand. Among well-developed nations, it is a prevailing trend to allocate a larger proportion of their GDP, typically ranging from 3% to 5%, towards R&D. In contrast, Thailand’s allocation stands at approximately 1%. This approach underscores their emphasis on fostering innovation and technological advancement as integral components of their economic strategies.

He vividly compared South Korea’s astonishing evolution over the past five decades, showcasing the underdeveloped urban landscape from the earlier era with the modern innovations of today. Notably, South Korea’s remarkable growth, including its staggering R&D investment relative to GDP, is a testament to the potential of innovation-led transformation.

Path to becoming the regional financial technology group

The conversation then pivoted to SCBX’s transformation odyssey. Dr. Arak emphasized SCBX’s metamorphosis from a century-old bank into a regional financial technology group, driven by innovation and R&D. A visual depiction showcased SCBX’s key technology focus areas “A-B-C-D” – AI, blockchain, cloud computing, and data analytics. A significant revelation was SCBX’s substantial commitment, allocating 5-7% of its annual net profit (around THB 2-3 billion) to R&D, a testament to its unwavering dedication to pushing technological boundaries.

Dr. Arak emphasized a critical distinction: advancing beyond adopting innovation to also fostering innovation development. This entails not only incorporating external advancements but also nurturing the internal capabilities to conceive and create innovative solutions. This approach secures one’s competitive edge by fostering its unique strengths and expertise.

He envisions the success of SCBX as the regional financial technology group through a substantial shift: escalating AI-linked revenue from 10% to 70% within three years. SCBX’s AI strategy encompasses two paths: embracing the broad adoption of existing AI tools in daily operations and delving into deep AI development, nurturing proprietary capabilities.

SCBX’s trailblazing initiatives

The past years bore witness to SCBX’s groundbreaking strides. Dr. Arak highlighted pioneering launches that have significantly impacted the industry. Notable among these was a blockchain-based remittance system in collaboration with a global partner, on-demand delivery service platform Robinhood, the introduction of digital asset services under InnovestX, and Web3 experiments through 10X.

To fortify AI’s pivotal role in both broad adoption and deep development, the Group drives strategic initiatives including DataX as a foundational data infrastructure, Thai Financial Services LLM as the basis for SCBX GPT, and ongoing experiments embedding AI in critical functions like credit underwriting, investment portfolio optimization, customer service, and coding. Cultivating an “AI-first” organizational culture is a testament to SCBX’s dedication to fostering innovation.

Team Thailand

To elevate Thailand’s research and development expenditure from 1% to 3% of its GDP, Dr. Arak emphasizes the concept of “Team Thailand.” This framework underscores the potency of synergy among various stakeholders, including regulators, policymakers, educational institutions, the private sector, talented individuals, and the Thai populace.

A strategic approach involves directing attention towards sectors with a competitive edge, such as artificial intelligence and software, agritech, and the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry. By doing so, Thailand aims to create an environment that entices individuals to actively engage in these sectors, fostering a sense of attraction and aspiration to be part of these industries.

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