In a role that requires insight into the lives and cultures of 1.5 billion people across 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Andrew Wildblood, head of Asia-Pacific for Telstra Global Enterprise Services, says it’s important to understand that Asia is a collection of vastly different and unique cultures.
It is about people and how you communicate, how you engage people, how you motivate people and how you get people to do the best for you and for your customers and for your business
The ability to understand and have to adapt and adopt to multiple cultures, people naively for sitting away from Asia sort of talk about Asia as a homogenous sort of block. The reality is its 20 or so counties, cultures, values, pace of technology, advancement, pace of economic advancement and so therefore you’ve just got to be respectful to those cultures and understand the cultures and when trying to do there – business there understand the way they do business.
I’m responsible for Telstra’s engagement, relationships and growth with Telstra’s customers in the enterprise markets across Asia Pacific so that’s covering 15 countries from New Zealand in the south to China in the north.
Our recent acquisition of Pacnet also helps us greatly. Firstly, it helps our scale in the telecoms, international telecoms market is about scale so now by proxy we probably run about 30 percent of the lit capacity, submarine cable capacity in Asia which makes it a dominant player. By proxy you can say that’s about 30 percent of the internet traffic in the region. The second major thing it gives us is an entry to China. The third thing, of course, is access to new capability. Many of the people in Pacnet have been around the different iterations of Pacnet for over 15 years, so they’re vastly experienced in running businesses across the region.
In all of it and this has come through for me in the World Business Forum, people are central to it and so no matter what technology does and technology breaks down borders and barriers and we’re a part and we’re at the centre of that in Asia.
I think in today and tomorrow’s economy unless you’ve witnessed that or considered how you’re going to be relevant then I think you’re probably going to struggle in the increasingly connected world.