Connecting the Next 2.5 Billion with Scott Beaumont

Connecting the Next 2.5 Billion with Scott Beaumont
Scott Beaumont, President Google APAC explores why and how to connect and enable the next 2.5 billion from Asia in tech.

Fresh out of the studio, Scott Beaumont, President Asia Pacific from Google joined us for an interesting conversation on why, what and how it takes to connect the next 2.5 billion people online in Asia. He discuss how COVID-19 has accelerated the digital adoption in Asia Pacific and broke down the key opportunities on how entrepreneurs can innovate and build their start-ups on the dynamics in the region. Last but not least, Scott offers his perspectives on the emerging technology trends and where they are heading from AI to quantum computing.


If we're going to create equitable progress throughout Asia, then we need to make sure that everybody's got access to that technology. The demographics in Asia are astonishing.  Since COVID began, so 2019, in the last two years, we've seen about 217 million people come online for the first time, so a whole new Indonesia which is really quite remarkable.  What we want to do is make sure that they've got access to that technology, that they know how to use it, and that the products and services that they can leverage are meaningful to them. - Scott Beaumont

Here are the links and show notes for this episode:

Scott Beaumont, President, Asia Pacific, Google (LinkedIn)

  • How did you start your career?
  • What brought you to Asia Pacific and eventually to your current role?
  • From your career journey, what are the key lessons that you want to share with our audience?

Getting the Next 2.5 Billion Online (Nikkei Asia Review)

  • Why is it important to bring the next 2.5 billion online specifically for Asia Pacific?
  • What are the drivers that allow us to bring the next 2.5 billion online?
  • How has COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the movement to bring people online?
  • What are your takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic as an acceleration experiment that transformed how we work, for example, work from home thru video conferencing, digitization of documents and migration from on-premises to cloud and what surprises you most during this period?
  • Google has been front and centre in the initiative of bringing people online but also ushering them towards economic prosperity, for example, the next billion initiative. Can you talk about how Google has contributed, for example, with Android, Google Pay, Google Play store, digital ads used by small and medium businesses?
  • While we are at the cusp of enabling people online, given the geopolitical factors for example, the evolving relationship between US and China, misinformation spreading specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, what would be the best ways that we can help people out there to be able to gain access the right information, rather than inundating with information?
  • If we rewind 20 years back before this new decade, the technology is often started from the US and then exported to the rest of the world. Given the progress of technology for example, how China cracked digital payments with Wechat Pay and Alipay, Japan innovated with consoles from Wii to Switch, South Korea and Taiwan continuous innovation with semiconductors, do you think that a global company will be able to initiate and develop products from Asia Pacific and then export to the rest of the world?
  • What would be your advice to startups out there who want to build from Asia Pacific and leverage the market here for the next 2.5 billion?
  • In your perspective, technologies are constantly evolving. We have seen DeepMind AI, the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects (or Web3) we call them and even quantum computing (as I understand that Google has recently achieved quantum supremacy - ref Nature,  being the first to perform a calculation that would be practically impossible for a classical machine). What are your thoughts on how these technologies will come into play or have the potential to disrupt the technology industry of today?

Closing

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian