Singapore IT service provider NCS has augmented its leadership ranks with three industry heavyweights to help underpin the creation of new strategic business units within the organisation as parent company Singtel repositions the provider for fresh growth.
Singtel told shareholders on 27 May that it would develop a number of new growth engines, key among these being NCS, to capitalise on the large-scale digitalisation underway in the market – and the digital transformations that underpin it.
As such, it was proposed that the Singtel IT services subsidiary would be repositioned for growth, with the goal of becoming a business-to-business (B2B) digital services ‘champion’ in Asia Pacific.
In this goal, NCS is setting up new strategic business units to focus on the key sectors of government and telecoms, as digitalisation of processes and services continue to accelerate.
Now, NCS has announced the appointment of three industry veterans to its senior leadership team to help drive its next phase of growth and transformation.
The appointments come as NCS creates its new corporate development portfolio, focusing on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and a partner ecosystem, as well as two new strategic business groups dedicated to NCS’ business in the government and telco sectors.
Among the new hires is former Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Media & Innovation Group assistant chief executive Howie Lau, who has stepped into the NCS fold as managing director, corporate development and partnerships.
In this new role, which he started on 1 June, Lau will spearhead NCS’ efforts in M&A to accelerate its expansion in the key markets of Singapore, Australia and Greater China. NCS launched in Australia late last year.
Besides inorganic acquisitions, Lau will review and develop strategic partnerships designed to establish NCS as a leader in the digital ecosystem in Asia Pacific. He will also lead the marketing and communications function, and drive sustainability efforts to support NCS’ new purpose and aspiration to advance communities across Asia Pacific through technology.
Lau brings with him more than 25 years of experience in corporate development and marketing in his previous appointments as chief marketing officer and head of consumer business at telco StarHub, as well as vice president of corporate development at Lenovo and IBM.
Meanwhile, Sam Liew Lien Ban, managing director of the technology group at Singaporean investment entity GIC, will become managing director of NCS' government strategic business group, a role he will step into from 1 July.
At GIC, Liew is responsible for delivering technology, data analytics and data science projects and initiatives globally.
In his new role, Liew will lead NCS’ government strategic business group of practices, which collectively serves the Singapore Public Service, Defence and Homeland Security agencies, and government clients across Asia Pacific.
It is hoped the creation of the dedicated group of practices aimed at building NCS’ digital government portfolio and driving its collaboration efforts will see NCS become the go-to digital catalyst for governments and smart cities across Asia Pacific, underpinning the company’s strategic intent to reinvent its business in the public sector.
When he steps into his new role leading the group, Liew will focus on the key challenge of helping government agencies digitalise the core of their public services to enable 'holistic' public service transformation.
Liew brings 24 years of industry experience with him to the role. Prior to GIC, he was managing director for Accenture’s ASEAN Technology business and was part of Accenture’s Global CEO Circle strategy and leadership team. He was also a member of Accenture’s global technology leadership council.
Additionally, former Accenture Europe strategic sales managing director Sami Luukkonen will become NCS’ new telco strategic business group managing director from 1 July.
NCS’ telco strategic business group is a dedicated group of practices focused on scaling NCS’ business in the telco sector.
Leveraging NCS’ strengths and domain experience as the technology service provider for the Singtel Group, Luukkonen will, in his new role, focus on helping telcos digitalise their operations and go to market competitively and innovatively. He will co-create at-scale, telco-centric solutions and offerings with telco clients across Asia Pacific, NCS said.
Luukkonen claims more than 25 years of extensive experience in the communications, media and technology (CMT) sector.
As well as being senior managing director at Accenture for Europe strategic sales across all industries, he also led Accenture’s electronics and high technology business’s global strategic initiatives, which encompass its acquisition strategy and ecosystem plays within the CMT industry globally.
“I’m really excited to welcome our three new senior leaders into NCS,” said Ng Kuo Pin, NCS CEO. “They are joining NCS at a crucial time when we are repositioning ourselves, to build a better technology services firm in Asia Pacific for both public sector and enterprise clients.
“They will help boost our senior leadership team as we strive to transform NCS into a B2B services champion. The creation of two new strategic business groups for the government and telco sectors underpins our focus to reinvent ourselves to better serve the public sector and expedite growth in the enterprise sector.
“The next chapter of NCS is about to unfold, and we hope to get support from all in the industry, especially our clients, our people and our partners,” he added.
In a group-wide reorganisation at the start of the year, NCS was carved out as an independent business unit, as a first step towards realising the new growth remit placed upon by parent Singtel.
“With its public-sector focus, NCS has been a consistent revenue growth engine for the group over the years,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel group CEO said in May. “It makes a lot of sense to develop this growth engine by casting its net further afield into the enterprise sector and markets outside Singapore where we have presence and synergies.
“There will be no letting up in the e-government side of the business, but this is a major turning point for NCS – we are growing our capabilities and repositioning ourselves to capture new business from the private sector which should provide a growth uplift from the ongoing digital race,” he said.