Speech by SMS Janil Puthucheary at the launch of Oneberry Technologies’ Regional HQ
Mr Ken Pereira, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Oneberry,
Mr Arun Murthy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Oneberry,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good morning everybody. Thank you for inviting me this morning to officiate the launch of Oneberry Technologies Regional HQ, R&D and Innovation Lab.
2. I am glad to see what Oneberry has become – a homegrown enterprise starting as a traditional security agency to an innovative enterprise providing integrated security and surveillance technologies. That growth and that transformation is of great interest, and your success, I believe, is a result of focusing on three key areas:
a. Placing digital technologies as the core of its business;
b. Making continued investments in R&D and innovation; and
c. Broadening its reach to the international market, beyond Singapore’s shores.
3. Oneberry’s focus in these three areas serve as a useful model for many of our other local enterprises looking to transform, grow and thrive in this post-pandemic world. In government, we have to take reference from these three domains, and we have to support our local businesses in these areas in order for them to achieve the successes that we would like to see for Singapore and Singapore businesses.
Digital transformation is no longer a “good to have”, but a “must have”.
4. The first area is to digitalise – it is no longer a “good to have”; it is a necessity. It’s long gone being part of a buzzword that we put in our reports and our marketing materials. The idea of digital transformation is now very much central to the business, directions and mission of transformational business.
5. Businesses today require a certain agility. They need to be able to evolve in the face of constant disruption. Today’s solutions may not be valid very soon thereafter.
a. In the first few months of this year alone, we have already seen significant flux caused by the confluence of geopolitical tensions, rising commodity prices, continued technological disruption, and persistent uncertainty over the global economic recovery from the pandemic.
6. Oneberry’s early adoption of digital technologies has enabled it to seize new opportunities amidst the pandemic.
a. Just like most traditional security firms, Oneberry used to employ a substantial number of security officers juggling various duties from patrolling to manually recording observation logs and incidents.
b. Today, Oneberry has become a leader in the security field –offering a range of automated security and surveillance solutions including robots, AI-assisted anomaly detection, as well as your ability to deploy pop-up command centres and implement cybersecurity systems. And I understand the partnerships that you are building with other organisations, such as M1, to offer a more integrated set of solutions. These solutions have helped to keep pace with the evolving risks that we continue to see in the security landscape today, and also helped to overcome manpower constraints that have proven to be exceptionally challenging with the pandemic and after.
7. This is why the Government remains committed to supporting the digital transformation of our local enterprises, which form the backbone of our economy1.
a. To make going digital simple, we launched the SMEs Go Digital programme in 2017. To date, more than 80,000 SMEs have tapped on the programme and adopted digital solutions.
b. There is also the Enterprise Development Grant to help defray costs for SMEs which are looking to automate their processes.
Innovation and R&D are critical enablers for businesses to stay ahead in a fast-moving digital space
8. Beyond these important building blocks to help our companies on their digitalisation and transformation journey, the second area is of the Government’s effort to help companies which are ready to push the boundaries further – through innovation and experiments to develop new ways to solve problems.
9. To better support local enterprises in their innovation journey,
a. The Government has set aside funding of 25 billion dollars, roughly 1% of our GDP to support research, innovation and enterprise over the five years - this is the Research Innovation and Enterprise Plan (RIE 2025). Part of this is being used to support R&D in the Smart Nation and Digital Economy domain, which spans several tech areas, ranging from Artificial Intelligence and cybersecurity to quantum computing. Of course, not all the funding for these technology areas is a result of these grants, because some of the grants and support are applied to use cases which then end up using Artificial Intelligence or quantum computing technologies. So the total amount committed to some of these technologies indeed is greater than what we have specified within our RIE 2025.
b. Other than funding, the Government has also developed a suite of supporting services and opportunities for enterprises who are keen to innovate and trial their solutions. For instance, the 5G open testbed to help companies develop, adopt and commercialise 5G solutions, or the Centre of Innovation (COI) for Electronics and IoT set up in partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic2.
c. Our Punggol Digital District (PDD), Singapore’s first smart business district also showcases Singapore’s commitment to support companies in their creation of smart city solutions. Powered by the Open Digital Platform (ODP), it offers businesses “plug and play” digital infrastructure, to make it easier for companies looking to innovate. The ODP will facilitate access to real time data which will allow companies to refine their concepts and solutions in a risk-minimisation environment.
10. On this note, I am glad to hear that over the last two years, Oneberry has invested 10 million dollars in R&D, in areas like robotics, artificial intelligence & cybersecurity.
a. I look forward to touring Oneberry’s 2nd active Command Centre later and to seeing your innovations, and I am very happy to hear that sustainability and clean energy is an integral component of Oneberry’s approach to innovation and their strategy to be a key differentiator as we move forward to the future.
11. As you press on in your innovation journey, do take advantage of the various grants, testbeds and Centres of Innovations that we have put in place, to fine tune your solutions, as a way of optimising them before rolling them out to the market.
Helping local enterprises internationalise
12. This brings me to the third and final area – on expanding into new markets through internationalisation. With the absence of physical boundaries in the digital domain, there are increasing opportunities for our local enterprises to set their eyes on international markets.
13. The Government is committed to helping companies scale up effectively, so as to compete on the global stage.
a. For instance, we launched the Grow Digital initiative in 2020 to help SMEs access new overseas markets without the need to establish an in-market physical presence3,
b. While the Global Innovation Alliance network helps connect SMEs with major innovation hubs around the world.
14. I am pleased to hear that Enterprise Singapore’s (Enterprise SG) Scale-up SG Programme has played a role in helping Oneberry to pivot to a higher-value technology-driven business model, not only domestically, but also to:
a. support Oneberry’s internationalisation efforts, which have resulted in access to over 30 overseas markets. One such example is facilitating a partnership between OneBerry and Olcsan, a Managed Security Service Provider in Turkey in 2021, which resulted in a Proof of Concept between both companies.
Launch of Oneberry Technologies’ regional HQ, R&D and Innovation Lab
15. With the launch of Oneberry’s Headquarters, R&D and Innovation Lab:
a. I understand Oneberry will create 30 new jobs, to support Oneberry’s Artificial Intelligence, Cyber and Command Centre functions,
b. This is important because this type of R&D and job creation and innovation will allow Oneberry and many other companies to expand their global footprint from Singapore, to offer remote monitoring services to even more overseas markets - such as Australia and New Zealand.
16. I am excited to see our local enterprises taking these opportunities to digitalise, innovate, deepen their global footprint – to take both the industry and Singapore alike to the next level.
17. Once again, let me congratulate Oneberry on the opening of your regional HQ, R&D and Innovation Lab.
18. I wish all of you and your partners continued success in the road ahead. Thank you.
1 SMEs employ two thirds of our workforce and contribute to nearly half of Singapore’s GDP.
2 SMEs who are looking to embark on technology innovation can tap on array of ready resources available at Centre of Innovations. Centres are set up in partnership with selected polytechnics and research institutes. Nanyang Polytechnic serves as CoI for Electronics and IoT – area of focus include design consultancy and development of products/processes/services leveraging on embedded technology, wireless communications, imaging technology, clean energy & green technologies, computational intelligence and analytics, infocomm technologies, etc.
3 Under this initiative, SMEs can tap on established Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms to sell overseas without a need for physical presence.