Speech by SMS Tan Kiat How at Opening of Delivery Hero Asia Regional Hub Workspace
Good afternoon everyone.
Jakob Angele, CEO, foodpanda
Friends and management team of foodpanda,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Very good to see all of you here today and congratulations on the 10th year anniversary of foodpanda in Asia and opening of Delivery Hero Asia’s regional hub workspace here in Singapore.
2. This is a significant step, with Delivery Hero’s various entities coming under one roof: including your investment arm Delivery Hero Ventures, and the foodpanda Singapore operations. I am sure this will foster stronger collaboration among the various entities.
3. COVID-19 has shown us how critical it is for businesses to embrace digital. Digitalisation is picking up pace across our economy. Almost 90% of all firms in Singapore have adopted at least one digital solution, and are reaping the benefits. In high-touch sectors such as food services and retail, digital has often made the difference between continuity and closure.
4. Foodpanda is a good example of a company that has not only leveraged technology to continuously improve its platform and enhance its user experience, but also helped other individuals and businesses go digital, by empowering them through your platform.
5. You have gone from strength to strength, accelerating the roll-out of pandamart, as well as foodpanda shops in 2020 in response to the pandemic. These offerings proved essential in providing customers a way to purchase necessities online in a safe and efficient manner.
6. Today, foodpanda hires more than 1,200 tech talents, and continues to expand your Tech Hub here in Singapore.
7. We must grow more of such success stories to create a vibrant digital ecosystem. I am glad that foodpanda is helping other SMEs embrace digitalisation to thrive in the long term.
8. You have helped businesses grow online, through a webinar series comprising panel discussions and masterclasses on how to future-proof their long-term growth plans.
9. Additionally, Delivery Hero Ventures and foodpanda have invested more than SGD120 million in Singapore-based start-ups like Toku, Flash and Omnistream, helping them expand and access new business opportunities in markets across the region.
10. There are also efforts to bridge the digital divide, by helping our hawkers digitalise and go online through partnerships with IMDA, ESG and NEA.
11. I am very excited to see how the new regional hub space will facilitate the sharing of best practices and birthing of new ideas, and how Singapore’s tech ecosystem and enterprises can continue to be part of foodpanda’s growth journey.
12. At the same time, we must continually invest in our local workforce so that we can stay nimble and competitive.
13. The government has developed a comprehensive suite of training and development programmes to help Singaporeans upskill and reskill, including our flagship TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme.
14. But individual companies too have a role to play, both as an employer and as a co-creator of the ecosystem.
15. I am very heartened that foodpanda has made your own moves in talent development, and happy to launch the PowerUp! Tech Academy here today.
16. For aspiring tech professionals, the Academy supports upskilling and reskilling for Singaporeans at any stage of your career.
17. Polytechnic and University students can tap on internship, work-study and mentorship programmes to cultivate not just technical but also business development skills.
18. Foodpanda, together with GoSchool, also offers programming traineeships for anyone who is keen to deepen their programming knowledge and skills.
19. For mid-career individuals who are hoping to pivot into tech roles, foodpanda is partnering Microsoft on the Mid-Career Pathways programme to provide job placement opportunities in areas such as data analytics and software engineering.
20. Mr Hazni Aris is one beneficiary of the Microsoft Generation programme, switching to the tech sector after working in financial services for over ten years. His desire to pursue a career in data and gain hands-on experience in a tech company led him to become a Data Analytics intern at foodpanda.
21. Miss Grace Chia is another good example. She similarly pivoted to data science and analytics from her previous non-tech role as a Market Research Analyst for four years. Grace is now part of foodpanda’s Data team as a Machine Learning Engineer, after graduating from General Assembly’s Data Science Immersive course, supported by IMDA’s Tech Immersion and Placement Programme (TIPP).
22. Over the next year, the PowerUp! Tech Academy aims to support at least 250 students and early to mid-career professionals. I hope to see more talents like Hazni and Grace taking the leap of faith to explore a career in tech.
23. For riders, the Academy provides upskilling opportunities to meet their aspirations.
24. Your partnership with Gnowbe and Temasek Polytechnic to offer free or discounted educational courses and certifications is a good start.
25. More than 200 courses are available, across a range of skills including finance, digital skills, customer service, and more.
26. Take-up has been encouraging, with almost 50% of rider fleet signing up for courses.
27. Riders are also entitled to free mental health support through the Intellect app, which includes self-care programmes and 30-min virtual coaching sessions.
28. These initiatives are in line with the Government’s wider push to strengthen our tech talent pipeline, including ICT graduates from our universities, and by helping our Polytechnic and ITE graduates enter tech roles through more structured pathways.
29. Indeed, having a skilled workforce is key for Singapore’s next bound of economic growth. We encourage companies like foodpanda to not just train for yourself, but for the wider ecosystem, so it is a win-win outcome for everyone.
30. The government is committed to working closely with the industry to grow the digital ecosystem and nurture a future-ready workforce.
31. Foodpanda has been exemplary in this regard, through your efforts to pay it forward by helping smaller companies adapt and grow. I encourage other companies to similarly share the fruits of their success, to create a vibrant and competitive digital ecosystem.
32. In closing, let me once again warmly congratulate foodpanda on this important milestone and look forward to seeing foodpanda’s continued growth. 10 years in the tech ecosystem is a milestone and my warm congratulations to all of you again.