Ananda Development PCL reveals its reorganisation as first UrbanTech company to better deliver Urban Living Solutions to fulfill its mission to improve the quality of Urban Life. Sees new UrbanTech revolutionizing Urban Life. Reveals wide ranging local and global collaborations
Bangkok, 19th January 2017 - Ananda Development Public Company Limited reveals it has undergone a reorganisation as the first UrbanTech company to better fulfill its mission to deliver Urban Living Solutions to improve the quality of Urban Life. The company sees new UrbanTech revolutionizing life for people in urban environments. The company also revealed it has entered in to a wide range of collaborations on both a global and local level.
Revealing the reorganisation, Ananda CEO Mr. Chanond Ruangkritya said, “Ananda has grown rapidly from its IPO four years ago and has already become the largest seller of condominiums in Thailand and expects to triple in size again with 300% growth in transfers in the next 3 years based on projects already in the pipeline. This represents 10X growth in 7-8 years and is the growth chart of a technology company, not of a company that pours cement. And the company has done it without increasing its debt ratio. We get asked how has a property company shown a growth pattern like a technology company? How was that possible?”
He continued, “The answer is that Ananda has grown like a tech company because senior management at the top of Ananda act like it is one. A tech company that just happens to have property development as its main business line.”
He added, “With this philosophy we have introduced innovations and new technology into every aspect of the property business, from design, to construction, to finance, to marketing, to facilities, and have fundamentally changed the nature of Thai real estate through the power of the innovations we’ve delivered.
And what we see coming in the next 5-10 years will be nothing less than a complete revolution in how Urban Life will be lived. Technology is developing exponentially in every field that can affect Urban Life. In the next 5-10 years there will be a revolution affecting what your home is made of, how its built, its design, its facilities, how it integrates in to your life, how it saves you time, how it monitors and improves your health, how it improves your sleep, how it helps take care of the young and old in your family, how it integrates with transportation, how it helps you save money, how it uses clean energy, and on and on in every aspect of your life.
He added, “For the first time in human history a home is changing from what it is, materials in a certain shape in a certain location, to what it does, how it and everything in it are part of your life.”
He continued, “Our mission is to deliver Urban Living Solutions to improve the quality of Urban Life, and the rate of change and disruption in all aspects of life, including property is increasing every year at an exponential rate. One statistic we look at is that the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company in the US has fallen from 90 years in 1935 to 15 years by 2005 and probably under 10 years now.
So even though we have been incredibly successful in delivering innovations that improve our customers’ lives and deliver better performance for our company, we believe that in order to continue this success we need to constantly change and improve our own way of doing things.”
He continued, “For this reason we have undertaken a fundamental reorganisation of Ananda, creating two new C level positions and creating new tasks for some existing C level officers as well as repositioning Ananda as an UrbanTech company to better be able to identify and implement disruptive technologies that are affecting Urban Living.
The reorganisation comprises several initiatives that have been implemented inside Ananda for some time already as well as several new initiatives being deployed this year.
The basis of the innovation strategy powering Ananda as an UrbanTech company is the realization that technology is changing in every aspect and changes in areas of technology that seem to have no link to your business can end up disrupting it in a fundamental way. For example, its obvious that the iPhone killed Nokia, another phone maker, but it also killed Kodak, a camera company.”
He added, “What this means is that no company can develop sufficient expertise in enough domains of knowledge to be able to understand oncoming potential disruptions to its business.”
He explained, “So an innovation strategy should be based, not on developing that expertise and knowledge, but on developing access to expertise and knowledge as its needed. What we call a strategy of “Access Management not Asset Management”
He continued, “The second fundamental driver of our innovation strategy is the knowledge that innovation has a high failure rate. Therefore it becomes a game of large numbers. A company needs to have a way to identify, interact with, assess and risk manage large numbers of innovations without getting swamped or having budgets blown out.
Our strategy to meet these two needs is based on two parts. The external facing initiatives and internal innovation pipeline management.”
He continued, “Our external initiatives consist of three parts: 1. Ecosystem Support 2. Fund of Funds 3. Corporate Venture Capital. Ecosystem support is a strategy to support other players in the innovation ecosystem rather than set up competing facilities or events. So we sponsor of other people’s events rather than run our own. We support existing incubators and accelerators rather than start our own etc. This gives us access to the technology, ideas, knowledge and people across a wider range of domains for less cost and effort on our part, while simultaneously being a good thing for the entire innovation community.
He continued, “Our Fund of Funds strategy will see Ananda invest in VC funds around the world in key markets with a policy of being an ‘Active LP’ meaning we get to see the deal flow, meet the entrepreneurs and interact. This gives us a global reach and visibility, while still earning a return on the investment, so its an investment not a cost.”
He added, “Our Corporate Venture Capital vehicle will be used to invest directly in to companies that we feel are a good investment, have a technology we want to bring to our core business, or have teams we want to support. It will act with the same discipline and rigor as a professional VC. “
He stated that, “Internally we have developed what we call the ‘Innovation Pipeline’, which is a structuring of how innovation is handled by the company in two ways, how new ideas are assessed and implemented, and how demands for solutions to problems can be found for our customers and Business Units.”
We view Innovation as so important that we have created two new C level positions The Ecosystem Support and Innovation Pipeline will be managed by a new C level position, Chief Innovation Officer. We are delighted to be able to announce that we have already recruited Dr. Chet Yong to this position. Dr Chet is …”
He continued, “Dr. Chet’s responsibilities will also encompass being on the ‘Think Tank’ within Ananda of senior level leaders that adds input to all innovation related activities.”
He added, “The company has also created a new position of Chief Customer Officer to support our innovation activities. This position is tasked with supporting the deployment of UrbanTech to better customers’ lives and also to gather customer needs and pain points and push that agenda throughout the organization to discover innovations to meet those needs.”
He added, “The two funds will be set up and overseen by our Chief Strategic Development Officer, Dr John Millar. Who has been with Ananda for several years already fulfilling a variety of roles and was instrumental in setting up the new innovation strategy. Dr. Millar also has a long history of innovation support work before he joined Ananda through his own company Enterprise Accelerator, based in Cambridge, UK, that supported early stage technology companies throughout the UK.”
He continued, “Ananda has been delivering market leading innovation since its birth and has been a market changer since its IPO in 2012. This new UrbanTech strategy will take us to a new level.”
A number of the results of his new UrbanTech strategy can already be seen. Our new Ananda Campus office at the FYI Center on Rama IV was opened in August 2016 and is the smartest office in Asia. It was developed in collaboration with Cisco and Samsung and includes technologies never before sold outside North America. This office is a machine to allow us to achieve our goal of 300% growth in 3 years with no increase in headcount, meaning it’s a machine using technology to help raise the productivity of all our staff by 300% over the next 3 years.”
He added, “Our Ecosystem Support strategy has already seen us host the SCB Bank Digital Ventures Accelerator batch one in our offices leading to useful cross fertilization between the entrepreneurs and our staff and vice versa. We have hosted other events such the Line Finance launch event. We have hosted training events such as a recent two day training conference with Seedstars. We funded local co-working space company Hubba to run a hackathon and have also sponsored a fact finding trip for them, with Ananda senior management, to Silicon Valley’s Singularity University”
He continued, “We are currently running pilots with over a dozen new technologies from around the world including Thailand’s very own Haupcar, which will begin a pilot at two of our buildings, Ideo Q Chula Samyan and Ideo Mobi Eastgate, beginning February 2nd 2017.
We will be beginning a series of events and activities with Seedstars to make Thailand a key hub in the global network beginning in the second quarter of this year and our own Dr John Millar has been invited to be a speaker at their annual ‘Davos for startups’ Seedstars startup conference in Geneva this April.”
He added, "We are also pleased to announce that Sasin Graduate Business School of Chulalongkorn University and Ananda Development will cooperate to produce research that delineates and describes the local innovation ecosystem to enable better collaboration and cooperation between participants for the betterment of the community.”
He concluded, “Our UrbanTech strategy has raised innovation to be the heart Ananda to power us to leading an UrbanTech revolution delivering Urban Living Solutions to improve the quality of Urban Life for all the people.”