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Why #Transportation will make you question everything? Insight Interview – Leon Foong, CEO SOCAR

Why #Transportation will make you question everything? Insight Interview – Leon Foong, CEO SOCAR


hey guys welcome to another episode of
insights this week we’re gonna talk to Leon from Socar we all know that the
the transportation sector has been changing a lot how is that sector making an
impact in the gig economy how are people being hired how are new jobs being
created how transportation is actually changing the way we work the way we live
and the way we commute let’s hear from him Hi, Leon thanks for taking the time today. Its always a pleasure Anand you’ve actually seen that more being at Uber heading the countries Uber operations now moving on to Socar so
tell us a little bit about that. So I think this is a topic that a lot to talk
about but is fundamentally what we’re witnessing is how technology is really
shaping the future work so a lot of people use you know pretty popular terms
or from these terminologies like the gig economy you know the on-demand workforce
but what this really means is that now technology is actually reduce the search
cost for people seeking new economic opportunities and when you reduce the
cost of search also the cost of transactions what this means it’s easier than ever
for people to access on-demand games would it be you know driving someone
from A to B would it be a design project whether it be you know you’re a
a freelancer computer science engineer or developer it’s now easy and you
have a lot more options these days what does means though from an employment
perspective is that you need to really adapt your talent acquisition strategies
because we’re no longer dealing with a labor market where people don’t really
have that many options nowadays it’s really a employee first labor market
where the choice and power really lies with the workforce okay.
In Socar’ what are you doing so different that you’ve actually not done it in Uber
because I think Uber was more of driver strategy in getting the drivers here you
almost came to know drivers but we are the workforce coming from so fundamentally so constant very very
different business model, despite that be part of the mobility ecosystem Socar car sharing is in fact very complementary to e-hailing or ride-sharing
industries so what does this means for example we actually supplied vehicles on
demand to driver partners or from anyone or even fleet partners who want to
actually, join for example the grab platform so we invest in assets
apparently and we use technology once again to make it easier for people to
search for cars to transact and eventually book a car for what the
biggest differences between Socar and the traditional car rental industry is
that would allow people now to book a car anything in 30 minutes to 30 days so
what would’ve done is actually essentially flipped a business model for
reducing the booking blocks to make it as easy as possible for someone to
access car there’s also a lot of talk about I think we discussed this in the
Future of work conference as well there’s a lot of talk about automation
so technically if you ask me if I actually booked a Socar tomorrow, I
could actually summon it with a Lidar equipped car and it comes picks me up
drops me and goes off to the next destination or you know to the next user
do you see that as disrupting the workforce and also less need for humans.
I think that’s a great question so something that has been highly controversial often
debated but the way I see it is you know with the rise of you know AI artificial
intelligence-driven deep learning what we actually see is the future of
humanity evolving what does it means is you know what can often be separated
into two categories very algorithmic driven work, work that’s very process
driven does very manual driven and work that is kinda more heuristics driven
more bit more soft skills which involves a bit more judgment assumptions
creativity making high-level decisions in the face of uncertainty all right and
what I think what we’re going to see his shift is there’s a lot more jobs for us
shifting from very processed heavy jobs to jobs that actually realize these are
the skill sets, so I think that’s inevitable
we’re gonna see that and I believe that you know in order for governments to
read these to better equip themselves for this future reality the education
system needs to change at all and even the biggest change is that you know the
future generations or even the current the workforce we all need to be comfortable
operating under conditions of uncertainty but here’s something that we
do better in computer model s can do as a man alright so I think that’s the
first step the second step that is what does this mean in terms of automation
for businesses, you know as a business owner myself I’m actually very
excited of automation but it is I believe it creates new opportunities for
us to offer better services to the end-user but at the same time really
free up resources, free up labor resources that currently apply in fairly labor
intensive manual jobs and actually repurpose these jobs reskill these
employees to really get them equipped for what I call higher value-added you
know job scopes so there’s something I’m actually super excited about but in key
here is you need to invest the workforce people need to constantly evolve just as
you know how algorithms am all of the constantly learning constantly improving
the accuracy I think as humans we need to do the same both from a skillset
perspective but as well as when Humanity perspective I think one thing we need to
learn to better that’s how to reconnect not through your mobile phone not through
you know bits and data online but actually having a physical empathic
connection. I know you’ve actually talked about unique hiring methodologies that
you’ve actually adopted for Socar and you were excited about it can you
elaborate. So back to what I talked about which is you look at gig economy whether
it’s the Grab’s of the world all the Ubers,
what it does is essentially it’s using technology to scale up and efficient
on-demand workforce so from that, I’ve actually, leverage some of the learnings to
reapply big data to really focus on making our
hiring experience more efficient all right and ultimately improving the
candidate experience so as I mentioned people have more choice than ever which
means that waiting is something that no one likes so just like in ride-sharing
or even in car-sharing or even food delivery times are super
important all right anything above a second amount sometimes will just cancel
right or we’ll just cancel a booking we’ll say okay let’s look for the other
option which is faster I did it first thing first is to acknowledge the
reality and to really make the application funnel as efficient as
possible so for example from the very moment of the application comes in to the
moment in candidates first being contacted you need to optimize that time
frame there’s anything longer than 24 hours you’re gonna see very very
substantial dropoff that’s number one number two those acknowledging common bias involved in the interview process so you know other people in the
interviews or hiring managers often you know somewhat guilty of bias you often you know like to see what you used to see or
like to see traits that you see in yourself all right it’s a very very
common buying is to make and so what we’ve implemented you know in Socar
we’ve actually taken a page out of Amazon bar raiser program which is to
really instill individuals for our pilot hiring team who are unbounded by the
same urgency to to really fill certain roles truly ultimately be trained to
join the interview process to ultimately make the final call as to where the
candidate is high enough I think having processes such as you know bar raiser and
really can use a data-driven approach to analyze the application funnel
throughout every step of the process I think that’s super important for all
companies what do you think about hiring these days. okay
so hiring does so you’re actually using unique methods to hire people. I
wouldn’t say so unique but we’re definitely applying what we do with our
business we’re just analyzing the data optimizing every single step
of the value chain, using principles of Six Sigma to really you know standardize and
remove bias from a hiring process, so in a sense you’re saying that as the
machines are learning even on the human side you’re actually bringing
technologies or methodologies from Amazon or Six Sigma which is GE’s
one of the biggest of these things and combining them and coming up with unique
ways to improve that process. Correct. Okay so does that also mean that in the
future I could sit in one of the Socars I could have mixologist making a drink for me while I go to my next destination or next journey probably from here to Penang or Ipoh or JB or some other form of entertainment. Having a mixologist is one step too far away we don’t support driving or in a city car under
the influence of any substances but it’s something that you mentioned is super
interesting which is as a lot of car manufacturers are looking towards you
know full level 5 automation as autonomous vehicles become more and
more reality I think what car sellers and car brands or car manufacturers need to think about is how do you make that a a lot more acceptable to the end-user all
right and I think we’re not going to send the technology we’re no longer just
selling technology hey you know this car is cool because it drives itself or we’re no longer
differentiate because you know I’ve got you know really really
efficient Lidar system versus this other car I think ultimately what you’re
selling is what else would you be doing at that time
right as I mentioned earlier I’m super excited about you know the rise of AI not
just because of the efficiencies involved but really because of what that
allows humans to do that we do best Think about it
you’re not focused on you don’t have to focus on being behind the wheel all the
time what else would you use with that time. maybe teaching some new skills right
maybe you could train yourself every day spent one hour learn a new language
imagine how many new languages you will learn throughout the entire year all
right that’s number one than number two how about spending the time to actually connect
with people that you’ve always wanted connect with having real conversations one
in the car being able to focus on having a face-to-face or digital interaction
but somehow still being able to see the person on the other side I think the key question there
in an autonomous vehicle goes not so much focus on technology but as well as that time saved
what you would be doing with it, okay I think that’s pretty much sums up a lot of the
questions that I had for today but if you are wanting to expand on any of the
other things please feel free to do so now I would say well one last point to
make is you know as a participant in the mobility industry we’re ever excited
about you know automation and you know the rise of machine learning and AI
driven technology but at the same time I think you know it’s never a bad thing to
proceed caution and I think that’s where you know industry participants and uses
the technology really come into play each role okay okay thank you that’s all
right Roger you

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