Recap | Vietnam Innovation Summit 2022 | Session 2: Accelerating Corporate Innovation

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On 14 October, InnoLab Asia organized the Vietnam Innovation Summit 2022 – The Future of Innovation, in partnership with the Department of Science & Technology, at White Palace, Ho Chi Minh City.

Figure 1:  Session 2: Accelerating Corporate Innovation

Steve Job once said that  “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” However, on the flip side of the coin, there is also a saying that goes – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ So, should corporations try to be innovative constantly? Is Innovation important to corporations too? How can corporations implement and accelerate open innovation? 

In Session 2: Accelerating Corporate Innovation, we were honored to have 4 speakers from different corporations and 1 moderator to discuss how corporations can implement innovative plans quickly and effectively.

Figure 2:  Panel Discussion of Session 2

When asked what kind of people are suitable to implement innovative solutions in a corporation, according to Mr. Huan Tran, CTO at SonKim Group, having an open mindset is very important especially for the leaders or management team. The leaders have to be willing to listen and try new ideas. Unfortunately, unlike startups which can implement new measures very quickly, corporations usually have many procedures, and hierarchy to go through before a new implementation. Hence, it is important for the leaders or management team to be open-minded for new ideas, so as to speed up the process of implementation. 

Figure 3: Mr. Huan Tran, CTO at SonKim Group

Mr. Gaku Echizenya, Chairman of Navigos Group, supported the view of Mr. Huan Tran. Mr. Gaku Echizenya added, people who recommended the ideas should get to be responsible and involved in the implementation. Furthermore, implementing innovative plans is not the responsibility of the people only, the management team will need to be able to commit to the change too. Lastly, the management will need to acknowledge that being innovative is hard to see an immediate return, it takes a few years to slowly see the results.

Figure 4: Mr. Gaku Echizenya, Chairman at Navigos Group

Ms. Nguyen Thanh Thao, Senior Manager, Business Development at Qualcomm, said that being innovative involves many challenges. For example,  new innovative technology will need copyright or patent, or some new measures might need legal advisory before proceeding too. 

Figure 5: Ms. Nguyen Thanh Thao, Senior Manager, Business Development at Qualcomm

Mr. Didier Martin, Head of Business Operations at Sanofi, added that usually young people or startups have no fear, they are more innovative and willing to take the risk, unlike some corporations, after working for a few years, their mindsets tend to be set, and harder to be flexible. However, these young people tend to have less experience. Hence, if corporations are approaching these young people to implement innovative solutions, they have to be more passionate and provide more training programmes to support and empower them as this is a long term investment. Furthermore, each implementation has to be very clear with the objectives. This is because usually big corporations have a huge customer base. It is very difficult to implement a new solution to target all of them. Being clear with the objectives allows you to understand which audiences you would like to target, so the solutions can be more effective. 

Figure 6: Mr. Didier Martin, Head of Business Operations at Sanofi

Mr. Huan Tran supported the view and said they also like to invest in startups. Startups tend to see new opportunities in the market. Furthermore, when they work with the startups, they are also able to interact and network with the talented people or founders, which could be their potential employees or partners in the future. Moreover, he also added the importance of providing training, and opportunity for networking to the invested startup teams so they can deliver more promising end-results.

Figure 7: Mr. Huynh Cong Thang, Co-Founder & CEO at InnoLab Asia

In conclusion, 

Mr Huan Tran said that corporations need to be very focus on which area they would like to grow; 

Ms. Nguyen Thanh Thao said that accelerating innovation in the ecosystem is not a single effort by one corporation, but requires a joint effort from everyone in the same ecosystem. She also added having a legal team can help to accelerate many processes when implementing innovative solutions. 

Mr. Gaku Echizenya, said it is important to choose the right people to invest in to implement the innovative solutions. He also added top management has to communicate regularly and be willing to commit for a long-term. 

Mr. Didier Martin, said that to foster innovation within corporations, we need to focus on how we can differentiate ourselves, and what are the ways that we can interact and interrupt the current system. 

Figure 8: End of Panel


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