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Technology companies are beginning to dominate Singapore

The digital revolution is here. With the impending IPO of Grab, we finally have some figures to work with in putting Singapore's digital economy in context.

The 2 largest technology companies headquartered in Singapore are Sea Ltd. (owner of Shopee) and Grab, combined those 2 companies are valued at S$224 billion. Amazingly that is equal to all these other companies combined - DBS, OCBC, UOB, Keppel, Capitaland and Singapore Airlines! If that did not raise your eye brows, think about this. Sea was founded in 2008 and Grab in 2012 while all the other companies with the exception of Capitaland were started in the 1970s. There is no denying. Singapore's economy is turning digital.

Non-technology companies are also turning into technology companies - DBS Digital Bank

Since 2013, CEO Piyush Gupta told his management team it was time to stop comparing the DBS with other banks and instead to benchmark against big data names like Amazon. Since then DBS has approached everything through the lens of disruption and technology.

Constant Reinvention: We have heard the adage - Singapore has no water, no natural resources, only people

Singapore has to constantly reinvent itself to maintain relevance to the world. Today, it is a pivot towards digital technologies. It is evident that the skill sets that are required for our kids to thrive in the future are different from what was demanded in the past.

History seldom repeats but it often rhymes. Back in the 1950-1960s Singapore embarked on a industrial push through attracting foreign MNCs into Singapore, transforming Singapore from a fishing village into an industrial powerhouse. Through that transition, skill sets in engineering were in huge demand. We experienced a similar shift again in the 1980s as Singapore emerged as a financial center, and suddenly finance and business skill sets gained importance.


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