INTERVIEW: A top executive at Singtel’s Digital Life business outlined its continued search for investment areas to drive the group’s future growth, with financial and healthcare seen as attractive segments where technology can play an increasingly important role.
Samba Natarajan, CEO of the business (pictured), told Mobile World Live emerging markets “are full of opportunities” noting there is “a lot of white space in terms of being able to address pain points through different new technologies”.
Financial and health services are two areas it is examining to see what kind of role it can play in those ecosystems, he said.
The unit has already entered new spaces including digital marketing; video on demand; data analytics; cybersecurity; and gaming.
Balancing investments and profitable growth is an ongoing challenge: “We have realised over the past few years that these businesses always take longer than we expect to achieve profitability, and there is a balance between creating value and short-term profitability that we need to manage.”
It’s important to continuously communicate with the market and investors that the group’s core business is more of a cashflow and yield business, while the new businesses have growth potential in them in the long term, he said, adding “that being said, we need to manage our growth businesses to make sure that they are the right trajectory for profitable growth”.
Natarajan believes trust in delivering a reliable, quality service is something operators need to highlight going forward, particularly in the B2B and enterprise space.
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