About Kopi Chat by NUS Enterprise
Mini Kopi Chat is spun off of BLOCK71’s signature event — Kopi Chat. It is a platform for global market leaders to have an upfront and personal conversation with the attendees at InnovFest Unbound — the biggest tech conference in Singapore.
Each mini Kopi Chat lasts for 30 minutes and every speaker is shadowed by a student ambassador. This is an initiative driven by NUS Enterprise for students to gain deeper insights into the minds of tech professionals.
Here are the takeaways garnered from our student ambassadors! This year, we hit a record high of 23 mini Kopi Chats and here’s 8 of our favourites:
#1: Chat with Bidhan Roy, Regional Director at CISCO
- Be wary of the networks we are using, hackers will exploit any vulnerability you give them
- Cisco Systems is ever improving through acquiring different network startups
- Cyber security and data privacy are paramount to ensure trust in the company
#2: George Thomas, Chief Information Officer — Asia Pacific at JLL
- When interacting with a small group of people, it is important to make eye contact with everyone in the group. This will help to make them feel included in the conversation.
- Whenever explaining an abstract concept, it is best to give a simple example that the audience can easily relate to. This will help them in understanding the concept well and fast.
- In a start-up, it is crucial to set up the right culture for the type of work that the company does. For example, in the comedy company SGAG & MGAG, the co-founder Karl Mak, placed special emphasis on creating a creative culture.
#3: Enno Nehrbass, Head of Strategy / Digital Health Services Asia-Pacific at Siemens Healthineers
- MedTech and Image based analysis can transform healthcare especially for places that are remote and unreachable.
- A lot of infrastructure has to be set-up before the machine learning and AI algorithms can actually run — and the infrastructure encompasses Governments and private run organisations both.
- “AI is not a “cure-all”” : it is only an assistive technology and should be used in co-operation with trained medical professional and doctors. It can help widen the scope and ease some work but in the end, it’s up to the doctors to make the correct decisions.
#4: Axton Salim, Executive Director at Salim Group
- Start-ups are the solutions to the Sustainable Development Goal set to complete in 2030
- Technology can be used to scale up sustainable solutions to tackle problems
- Big corporates need to move fast and act like a start up to stay ahead of the competition
#5 Alokik Advani, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs
- Always spend some time (30 minutes) everyday to rest your mind.
- You can be jack of many trades but you have to be a master of one.
- You can gain much inspiration from biographies, do take some time to understand how great minds think.
#6: Sakai Mahito, SVP at Sony Entertainment Music
- Expanding overseas is not easy, the best way to understand the overseas market is to embrace it yourself.
- Different markets have really different cultures and perspective
- Be ready to adapt on your feet
#7: Richard Koh, CTO at Microsoft
- Perspectives changes depends on the market (Like how Microsoft changed its stance to embrace open-source rather than to shun it)
- Always look at your team and embrace their strengths
- Practice makes perfect. Just practice and train.
#8: Milind Sanghavi, Head of Digital Payments at OCBC
- The adoption of digital payment is dependent on how friendly it is to the target market. Even despite digital payment being around for so many years, it can still be considered a growing market.
- As we grow older, we might need to place our priorities in other areas. Hence, while we are young and have the energy to do so, we should not be afraid to fail and be willing to venture.
- For a startup, challenges will emerge one after the other. What differs a successful entrepreneur from another would be the way these challenges are tackled
It’s a wrap!
All in all, the key takeaways for the student ambassadors from these esteemed global leaders center around the main idea of change and disruption — to constantly think, grow and adapt to new technology and behaviours. Fundamentally, to be “stubborn about your goals but flexible in your methods”.
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