True's digital academy spruces up workers

Updated: Jun 1


True Digital Group (TDG), the digital transformation arm of True Corporation, is gearing up efforts to produce a workforce that can help the country's development through its digital academy.


"True Digital Group is an innovation arm and centre for competency at True Corp, enabling digital transformation in the company to add new revenue streams and drive digital opportunity," Michael Gryseels, who was made TDG president last month, told the Bangkok Post.


TDG recently unveiled True Digital Academy, a training service focusing on data analytics, software engineering, cybersecurity, digital marketing and product management innovation.

The academy, located in True Digital Park, has cooperation from General Assembly, a New York-based pioneer in education and career transformation.


The academy's first priority is to boost digital transformation among employees in True Group and parent Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group.


The academy aims to ensure 10% of CP Group's employees are digitally capable in the near future, he said.


"We train employees across business functions -- human resource, procurement, sales, marketing and customer support -- to have the analytic ability to leverage use of advanced data and customer insight, becoming what we call 'Data Champions'," Mr Gryseels said.


Data Champions are described as users who can utilise data insights to maximise their job function.


True Digital Academy also offers services to external companies as digital disruption is forcing many businesses and individuals to enhance their digital skills, he said.


Mr Gryseels said some 20,000 computer science-related graduates enter the market every year, but the number lags behind demand.


"I think the real demand for those with digital skills is three times higher than the number of computing graduates. We hope to play a part in filling this gap," said the TDG president. "I have found staff who are trained to improve their digital skills have 20% higher productivity compared with normal workforces."


He said TDG helps CP Group differentiate itself from rivals and pursue digital transformation, such as unmanned retail shops and smart farms.


Mr Gryseels is aware that many conglomerates and enterprises in Thailand are actively working with startups and pivoting towards digital transformation.

"True aims to foster synergy and build a system to help push up digital business opportunity," he said.


Early this year, True Corp acquired a 51% stake of UK-based Crave Interactive, a company in the global hospitality technology business. The investment is meant to use Crave's technology to enhance the Internet of Things business.


By pursuing mergers and acquisitions, True can thrive with digital business expansion overseas, Mr Gryseels said.


"We aim to expand our Asean footprint within three years, mainly in the Philippines and Indonesia," he said.


Mr Gryseels said people, business models and technology need to be taken into account to help businesses achieve digital transformation.


Taking people into account means organisations must be human-centric with products developed to cater to users, he said.


Business model is also integral for companies, he said, adding ride-hailing and online travel agent services are the examples of business models that contribute to digital disruption.

Technology commonly makes a major shift every three years and organisations need to keep up with the change, Mr Gryseels said.


He said artificial intelligence is the most exciting technology thanks to the rise of computing power, data availability and analytic capability, and AI can create new businesses such as unmanned retail