PROCTER & Gamble (P&G) is investing an additional US$30 million in its digital innovation centre in Singapore, one year after pumping in an initial US$100 million.
The consumer giant's E-Centre 2.0, which it launched last year with the Economic Development Board (EDB), is an expansion of its digital innovation programme with the EDB.
Part of the new funds will go to its first digital omni-channel retail centre, i-Singapore Digital Omni-channel Centre (i-SIDOC), which enables P&G to work with regional retailers to create actionable knowledge and retail solutions in multi-channel consumer shopping.
The platform will be located with the company's Singapore Innovation Centre and omni-channel store. The funds will also support new supply chain projects and a new team of data scientists.
Gokul Chandar Dakshina Moorthy, chief financial officer for P&G Asia Pacific, India, Middle East and Africa, said that to date, P&G has invested S$52 million and hired more than 45 employees to work in the E-Centre. He also elaborated that E-Centre 2.0 will focus on three areas: i-SIDOC, integrated supply solutions (in partnership with Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre) and digital analytics in supply chain.
Through the E-Centre, P&G supports partners and employees by equipping them with relevant skills to leverage digital technology and solve business problems.
In the week prior to the opening of E-Centre 2.0, P&G Asia Pacific hosted its inaugural digital technology event, ONward, which included a "digital university" where more than 1,000 employees went through 5,000 hours of training in five days.
The event also offered more than 500 digital tech companies, including startups, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and other companies, a chance to apply to develop solutions for nine business challenges pitched to them by P&G.
EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said "P&G is a strategic partner in Singapore's aim to be at the forefront of digital innovation for consumer businesses, adding that E-Centre 2.0 will "offer exciting opportunities".
Guest of honour Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said that "when we look at the i-Supply chain, it is also the way forward in how we envisage manufacturing in Singapore to be done." He believes internet sales and commerce is how Singapore should move forward.
E-Centre 2.0 aims to strengthen Singapore's leadership in the digital economy and further increase P&G's collaboration with local partners. P&G now works with more than 250 startups and SMEs in Singapore, which has been P&G's Asia-Pacific headquarters for the last 30 years. In addition to the E-Centre and Singapore Innovation Centre, P&G also has two manufacturing sites in Tuas.