EY - Spotlight on Business Issue 1, 2015

Spotlight on Business

Issue 1, 2015

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A better question

A better question can challenge, inspire and unlock new solutions. When we ask better questions, better solutions often arise. Such discipline and curiosity is highly important as we navigate complex business environments that are being vastly altered by large, transformative trends.

One of the most intriguing questions often asked is what the digital future brings — for better or worse? Opportunities to reach new markets and customers in quicker and smarter ways emerge alongside increased cybersecurity risks that are ever more novel and sophisticated.

As companies make sense of doing business in the global and cyber marketplace, management will find it increasingly harder to answer demands for transparency of information and accountability, making technology-enabled connected reporting and fraud risk management underpinned by strong whistleblowing culture growing imperatives.
Policy-makers also have their fair share of challenges in maintaining the country’s reputation for investment attractiveness and safety in all forms. As mature markets like Singapore seek to future-proof its competitiveness, the Philippines is set to ride a wave of optimism having earned its highest investment grade in history.

With the impending formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, the playing field in the region is expected to shift. The potential influx of international investors means that ASEAN players — sometimes criticized as having little growth ambition and courage to match — can’t afford to waste their homeground advantage.

To that end, companies may be inclined to jump at business transformation to stay at the fore. Yet, transformations are often only truly successful if they are led by a central purpose that energizes people and is embedded in the company’s DNA.

Just like how Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the late founding Prime Minister of Singapore transformed the country from independence to become a first-world metropolis. He never stopped asking the toughest questions — and always a better question — to achieve clarity of purpose and outcomes for Singapore.

Max Loh, EY Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore

Max Loh

Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore