Why Thailand’s biggest corporation is ‘thinking Silicon Valley’
- PTT Public Company Limited has struck a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play Tech Center to boost Thailand’s digital transformation
In a move intended to reignite the Thai economy, Thailand’s largest corporation PTT Public Company Limited has announced a strategic partnership with the biggest corporate innovation platform from Silicon Valley, the Plug and Play Tech Center.
PTT, the only Thai firm to make the annual list of Fortune Global 500 companies, is traditionally in the exploration and production of oil and gas fields, but is now using its clout and standing within Thai industry to form the new partnership, in the hopes it will raise Thailand’s competitiveness and help urge digital transformation in the Kingdom.
The public announcement comes just a few days after research by privacy protection outfit Surfshark revealed that Thailand ranked only 63rd out of 85 countries in its digital quality of life index, which grades the local internet quality, pricing, cybersecurity, as well as the regulatory frameworks for tech in each country.
The Thai Kingdom trails its Southeast Asian neighbors that it is usually compared to, including Malaysia and Vietnam. In the same index, Singapore was adjudged to not only have the best internet quality in the world, but also the best regulatory environment.
The partnership is being forged under PTT’s Powering Thailand’s Transformation initiative, and under the terms of the arrangement, the business leader will be looking to go beyond being merely a manufacturer and distributor.
Instead, the company wants to create what it’s calling an international Innovation Ecosystem, leveraging on a ‘Partnership and Platform’ strategy to attract potentially large, international scale firms to collaborate together and gather know-how from.
By partnering with the Plug and Play Tech Center, the preeminent business-oriented accelerator platform in the US, the Powering Thailand’s Transformation initiative will also become far more recognizable and appealing to global tech firms and influential startups who are working on innovative solutions that might be suitable for adoption into Thailand’s own digital transformation journey.
The team-up with the Plug and Play Tech Center will also open up a wealth of new partnership avenues that might not have been as accessible for Thai companies before this. But the direct access and knowledge exchange potential with the top tech firms could be invaluable for PTT and its associates.
In addition, it appears that the data – sometimes looked at as the most valuable resource that could be gained from a collaboration between powerful entities – that various partner startups might be able to share, could be the actual asset that Thailand firms and SMEs might benefit the most.
The Plug and Play Tech Center has established a network of over 400 of the world’s leading conglomerates and startups, including DuPont, Tetra Pak, Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes-Benz, Dyson, P&G, BNP Paribas, ExxonMobil, Yamato Holdings, and even some Thai entities like the Bangchak Corporation and Krungthai Bank.
All the global affiliates are joined within the Plug and Play platform, with the tech accelerator supporting upwards of 10,000 startups annually, as well as facilitating over 50 business acceleration meets a year.
“The collaboration between PTT and Plug and Play provides a great opportunity for PTT to increase its innovative potential and help PTT see more substantial results by learning from Plug and Play and its corporate partners worldwide,” said Worawat Pitayasiri, senior executive VP of Innovation and Digital, at PTT Public Company Limited. “This will help drive PTT to make strides alongside other innovative companies on the global stage and lead Thailand to advance to an international level.”
“We are delighted that PTT will be collaborating with Plug and Play under the Smart City Program, which will bring together leading corporations from various industries, including energy and sustainability, real estate, mobility, IoT, and digital health, to help provide solutions to PTT’s innovation strategy, ranging from battery storage technologies, renewable energy, new mobility, and pushing Thailand towards Industry 4.0,” agreed Shawn Dehpanah, the EVP and Head of Corporate Innovation APAC, of Plug and Play Tech Center.