CART’s 2nd Annual Conference

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Three CEOs, Two Supply Chain Heads, and One CTO Discuss Business Models and Supply Chains in the Digital Economy

MISI’s Center for e-Commerce And Retail Transformation (CART) held its Second Annual Retail Conference on March 5, 2019 at Sasana Kijang in Kuala Lumpur. Six distinguished individuals, who are leading the digital transformation in South East Asia, shared their views through speeches and in two panel sessions on the topic of the conference theme: “Rethinking Retail Supply Chains in Digital Economy.”

The one-day conference was organized into two sessions. The morning session featured MISI’s own research on retail supply chains and implications of digitization for supply chains through speeches (by Prof. Gonsalvez and Dr. Phadnis) and 15 research posters.

The presentation of MISI research was followed, in the afternoon session, by six speeches and two panel discussions involving the six speakers and facilitated by the Director of CART, Dr. Shardul Phadnis. The first two-hour period spotlighted three CEOs, who described how their companies have employed digital technologies to create innovative business models to transform traditional supply chains.

  • Christophe Lejeune (CEO, Lazada Malaysia) described how Lazada is creating value through e-commerce in South East Asia by creating a network marketplace.
  • Francesca Chia (Cofounder and CEO, GoGet) recounted her work on the gig economy, how that is creating employment for the B40 segment, and its implications for hiring of services as well as retail labor for managing spikes in demand (such as on Singles Day).
  • R. Ramanathan (Cofounder and CEO, InThree Access) illustrated how his company is catering to the consumption needs of the rural Indian market through e-commerce, describing stark differences in e-commerce for urban versus rural consumers.

The second two-hour period spotlighted three executives shaping and informing the supply chains in the digital economy, who described their views on implications of the digital technologies for managing supply chains.

  • Dirk Lembregts (ex-Chief Supply Chain Officer, Marks & Spencer) informed of the tendency exhibited by many company to jump on a technology bandwagon for the “Fear Of Mission Out” and elucidated how to distinguish between a technology and a supply chain capability it can enable.
  • Kenil Vilangappara (VP, DHL) describes how DHL creates value through its responsive supply chains, and shared DHL’s scenarios of the future and their implications for supply chains.
  • Thillai Raj Ramanathan (CTO, MIMOS) demonstrated several technologies begin developed by MIMOS—such as, live traffic sensing, RFID-enabled tracking of high-end durian (the Musang King), etc.—and shared how they are used for managing supply chains.