P&G to work with 27 Asia startups on industry challenges

5 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: American consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) will collaborate with 27 Asia-based startups to explore how technology can solve challenges in the areas of advertising, retail and supply chain.

Selected startups with promising approaches will work with P&G to roll out pilots across the company’s markets in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, report agencies.

The judging will take place during a virtual innovation festival running from May 4 to 6. Called iLab, the festival was launched by P&G in partnership with Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB).

The participants were shortlisted from 100 startups assessed by P&G. The iLab challenge was issued on Singapore’s Open Innovation Network, which was set up to crowdsource new ideas and encourage partnerships between large companies, small and medium enterprises and startups.

At the festival’s launch ceremony on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said P&G has been a part of the Singapore growth story and innovation journey over the last 35 years.

The multinational company grew from a regional sales office of 100 employees in Singapore in 1987 to 2,300 employees today, including in research and development (R&D) and manufacturing.

P&G’s Singapore Innovation Centre has become the lead R&D facility in Asia, with capabilities across 30 disciplines, Mr Heng added.

The company is also investing S$12 million in its venture-building unit GrowthWorks, aiming to incubate three new businesses with billion-dollar potential.

P&G has worked closely with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), local universities and restructured hospitals, with up to S$60 million in joint collaboration.

Magesvaran Suranjan, P&G’s president for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said Singapore is home to one of the strongest and most vibrant innovation ecosystems in the region.

“Our vision for P&G in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region is to become the company of the future and leverage Singapore as the innovation hub for P&G and our industry, leading digital transformation and powering innovation across all aspects of our business,” he said.

Singapore must be able to adapt faster as it navigates a more fast-moving, uncertain and complex post-pandemic world, said Mr Heng. “How well we can innovate will determine whether we can emerge stronger in a post-Covid-19 world. This is why innovation is a key pillar of our economic transformation.”