By Atthasit Mueanmart -August 24, 2021
Today’s innovations and technologies are leading to a major change in the business world of the 21st century or the world of the digital age because of the technology that can connect everything in this world, including people, machines, goods, etc., which affects changes in all dimensions. Both society, environment and economy. The emergence of new innovations. It may bring changes from the traditional business, some may be disrupted or open up valuable opportunities for those who can adapt.
PTT Public Company Limited, the country’s energy organization that plays an important role in driving the Thai economy, Aims to overcome this change by maintaining the strength of its core business and creating new businesses instead of growing in original style. By bringing new technologies and innovations, Make it accessible to all sectors especially promoting the creation of a new industry, Thailand’s New S-Curve, to be the heart of the country’s economic engine (New Growth Engines) in accordance with the government’s policy through two outstanding projects, “ExpresSo” and “Booster” that draw the potential of The new generation to create the driving force of “innovation” to the industry of the future.
ExpressSo…from the new team to the new business of PTT.
Starting from a small team which is a new generation of enthusiastic people selected from PTT employees under the name of the Expresso Project or Express Solutions Project (ExpressSo), which reflects the urgent mission to look for innovation, technology or new solutions. To happen quickly (Express) to create a New S-Curve business or a new business for PTT (Solutions) mixed with commitment, seriousness and alertness of working in the team always.
They also study and operate through Venture Capital or VC investments that focus on investing in startups that innovate or develop future innovations and technologies. To increase strength promote strategy and the ability to compete in the parent company’s business primarily coupled with generating financial returns, creating business growth opportunities. The aim is to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the organization and Thailand, although this approach is only a few years old. But it’s a fast-paced form of business development.
The past work of the ExpresSo team has been to study business opportunities from Megatrend in clean energy and digital technology, and to implement Proof of Concept to understand both technology and business models. Gaining insights through empathy conversations with target groups or stakeholders led to the establishment of the Electricity Value Chain (ELC) and Robotics AI and Intelligent Solution (RAII) projects to explore business opportunities in clean energy and direct robotics and artificial intelligence
In addition, the venture capital or VC investment opportunity study consists of investing in 7 energy and sustainability funds, investing in 2 Thai startups, HG Robotics and Bania, and investing in Sundfolding, a startup company overseas. All of which are start-ups that are worth watching for new ideas to develop.The latest movement the collaboration with HG Robotics is a test and development of drones or autonomous drones for food and goods delivery services. Including security surveillance within the Wang Chan Valley area, Rayong Province, which is the base of the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi)
Progress in making a Venture Partner (VP) that aims to solve various problems according to the needs of each unit in the PTT Group, whether it is building a new energy business especially renewable energy, Driving travel in a new transport system, Driving the Thai industrial sector into Industry 4.0, including supporting the work in the organization to be more efficient and effective. By collaborating with network organizations that connect startups with investors and companies from all over the world, including Plug and Play Company Limited or Plug and Play, the world’s largest corporate innovation platform to find solutions related to smart city and has partnered with the non-profit organization Elemental Excelerator. To drive energy, society and sustainability, solve problems and building a business of the future. Including collaborating with energy management startups from the United States that can optimize the performance of devices with artificial intelligence (AI) to develop electrical energy innovations with Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited or GPSC.
For Venture Builder (VB), which is like an Innovation Lab that brings technology concept of startups and business partners to jointly develop solutions that can expand new energy businesses. Especially the optimization and development of energy management platforms. To connect between Venture Builders in PTT Group and external business partners who have various works that happened to be concrete.
Another outstanding project that responds to the green energy trend of the future and electric vehicles, namely the establishment of Swap & Go Co., Ltd. (Swap&Go), a business that provides service for swapping electric motorcycle batteries without waiting for charging. For the convenience of service users and supporting the expansion of electric motorcycle users in the future especially in the delivery service business group. It can also expand the battery business of the PTT Group and help reduce pollution from the use of fuel vehicles to improve the quality of life of the people. It is an important mechanism in line with the direction of national development.
By focusing on the design to be easy to use, convenient and modern by using the application “Swap&Go” to check the amount of battery. Find a battery switch cabinet service station. Choose to reserve batteries in advance. Then when reaching the station can enter the battery swap process by itself ,This will take no more than 3 minutes.
In 2021, 22 battery switching stations will be available throughout Bangkok, comprising 19 inside PTT stations and outside of gas stations. Another 3 PTT Stations are ready to pilot to serve customers in the Rider Delivery Service group and have plans to expand service to other customers in the next phase. Including in the process of collaborating with domestic partners and abroad to develop network platforms and batteries to be more efficient for electric motorcycles, tricycles or small four-wheelers at a price suitable for Thailand.
Another notable achievement is the establishment of the ReAcc (Renewable Energy Acceleration Platform) project, a digital platform that facilitates Thai and multinational companies with establishments in Thailand. ReAcc supports renewable energy certificate (REC) trading services, corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs), and renewable energy with electric cars.
At the end of 2020, it has joined a British company that has a factory in Thailand and developers of renewable energy projects in Thailand ,Connect REC Trading from Solar Energy between a purchaser and a renewable energy developer.
ReAcc is the first project in Thailand to provide end-to-end service, exemplifying the adoption of blockchain technology in the energy sector. To meet the demand for renewable energy supply in Thailand to achieve the goal of clean energy use in the country and in the ASEAN region fully. Create opportunities and incentives to invest in renewable energy businesses by reducing the reliance on government funds to enable renewable energy power plants to meet the country’s goals. It also promotes greater access to clean energy in the community such as Community Solar, which combines technology with expertise, innovation and digital technology to bring benefits in all dimensions.
In addition, in line with national policies and plans on digital development for the economy and society, ExpresSo has teamed up with PTT Digital Strategy Department to establish MekhaTech Company Limited (MekhaTech), a cloud storage service business (Cloud) to serve customers within and outside the PTT Group. It is a highly secure data management. To support the development of new applications, which is the direction of every industry in the future. To use information from multiple sources to develop products to meet the needs of customers precisely. And enhance the competitiveness of the organization, as well as increase the skills of personnel in the company to prepare for Digital Transformation that is happening.
With the success of ExpresSo’s operations, the Swap&Go case study is also an example of how it works. An “Entrepreneurial Mindset” that sets up a start-up business using the perfect combination of 3 functions of ExpresSo together with
“VC” searching for startup partners in battery and energy management To promote the business potential to be efficient and able to expand the business faster.
“VB” develop and test business ideas as well as to study business development guidelines in various forms that is suitable for PTT.
While “VP” focuses on building alliances with various agencies in the PTT group, for example, with PTT NGV in using engineering knowledge to control station installations to ensure standards and safety, together with OR in Plan service areas with GPSC and researchers from the PTT Innovation Institute to develop more efficient batteries. For electric motorcycles, tricycles or small four-wheelers. in a cost that is suitable for Thailand as well.
ExpresSo has a core working principle to achieve this goal: Fail Fast, Learn Fast, Adapt Faster, Agile, Openness and Sharing to drive the concept of success into concrete.
“ExpresSo has a horizontal organizational structure (Fiat Organization), reducing the alternating management of the team members to use their knowledge and ability and take responsibility for their own work (Individually Team Plays), while being able to exchange fully without emphasis. It’s the age of work or seniority (Open discussion).”
For the future direction of ExpresSo , It will focus on being the ears, the eyes, and still being a small boat to find and keep an eye on trends , especially innovations in future energy (Future Energy), automotive and new forms of travel (Future Mobility), as well as access to technology. Products and services for health and well-being (Accessible Wellness) in line with PTT’s new vision, while expanding past performance by expanding investment in new dimensions. Including expanding the scope of the tested projects and expanding the established startup business to grow more. We also make ExpresSo a think tank companion by continually exploring opportunities for technology development, innovation and new business opportunities.
Booster… Penetrates the Food Value Chain, cultivating startups Sustainable Agribusiness Development Platform
As for the Booster project, it is a newcomer in PTT’s mission because it was just established in January 2020. It has been assigned to act as an agency that seeks opportunities to create new business for PTT in addition to the energy business. By focusing on the Food Value Chain (FVC), which is an activity chain that creates value for agricultural products. From the production process to the consumption. This will enhance value and stable returns for the supply chain from upstream to downstream (Stakeholders) at all levels to create sustainable growth.
Booster also acts as an incubator (business incubator) providing advice and recommended to startups from the very beginning of their ideas to create an efficient business model) and Accelerator (supporting startups focusing on accelerating growth and adding value to existing businesses) to extend PTT’s innovation projects into new business developments.
Booster’s style of operation is full of challenges, but responds to the new generation who is curious and determined to create new business for the organization to support the future that changes according to Megatrend/ Market trends in doing new things that are unfamiliar. It is necessary to work with external agencies, both the public and private sectors with expertise and deep knowledge in the industry. This is in line with the vision of the current PTT CEO (Mr.Atthaphon Rerkpiboon) in terms of Partnership and Platform that will help build knowledge and increase experience for the Booster team to travel in the right and fast way. In addition, every project to be implemented will take into account the aspect of BCG (Bio Circular and Green).
Operation within a short period of time. After the project is established, there will be Herbal-Based Functional Food, bringing technology and innovation to upgrade the agricultural sector by focusing on “Thai herbs” covering the whole process from upstream to downstream. That is planting, extracting, processing, and creating added value of products and commercial release to enhance the country’s competitiveness contribute to social development and improve the quality of life of Thai people.
Currently, the technology has been developed in the Smart Green House at Wang Chan Valley, Rayong Province with DENSO and is in the process of developing products from extracts of stevia and black galingale withNational Science and Technology Development Agency(NSTDA), Kasetsart University. and Khon Kaen University
Next is Coffee Chaff – when PTT Innovation Institute (INI) succeeded in bringing coffee pulp. Which is left from the roasting process of the coffee roaster Cafe Amazon to develop into a variety of materials. To expand into various products, Booster has worked with INI to find opportunities to develop such materials for commercial use. Recently, together with HOOG, a Thai furniture brand. To be a design and development partner of INI’s Coffee Chaff to assemble furniture in 2 styles, namely Compressed Sheet and Artificial Rattan. Coffee Chaff furniture products have been used to decorate the Café Amazon Concept Store, Chula Soi 5 and Phaholyothin Km.56 branches, and are in the process of decorating Thammasat Hospital branch.
As for the work that should be very proud of the Booster team is Fishery Technology & Innovation, which the team intends to help the country’s economy. And aiming to develop Thai fisheries to become more outstanding. From standing above the export table. In 2021, “Aquatic Products” is the number 1 exporter of food products exported in Thailand. Which is worth up to 2.1 hundred billion baht! And Thailand accounts for 3% of the world’s total food exports.
For Fishery Technology & Innovation, it brings new technologies, innovations and high-efficiency management systems. Let’s develop the potential of integrated aquaculture including processing, distribution and logistics management To create a management system that meets international standards. Increase confidence for consumers both in Thailand and abroad. At the same time, it enhances the competitiveness of Thai farmers and create new opportunities for business growth towards sustainable development. Two types of economic fish were selected as prototype models, namely Sugi Model (Suki or Cobia) and Gourami Model (Gurami or Gourami).
Currently, both models are in the process of developing a platform and connecting the IoT system at the Gourami Fish Farm Processing Station and cobia cages. Build an Application on a mobile phone. It also supports and encourages farmers to record all records to help the suki fish farming efficiently and to develop a traceability system. (Traceability) from breeding to cultivation to processing.
Let’s delve into the Sugi Model, which is the highlight of fishing innovation and technology, with interesting details.
The Sugi Model will raise awareness and promote the consumption of suki fish or cobia, through various marketing promotion activities. In the past, Sugi Hackathon was organized with the Department of Fisheries. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy Thammasat University. To be a part of driving the creation of aquatic animals in the new economy of Thailand, PTT will combine existing knowledge of technology and innovation with ideas and marketing strategies from the winning team to build on a business plan that will be able to develop and enhance the competitiveness of the company. Thai fisheries to become more prominent Including creating opportunities for sustainable development together.
In addition, Zuki is a marine fish, the economy in which the international market is in high demand, especially the raw fish market and is an important agricultural product. Because this fish has a growth rate that is worth the investment, grows fast and is resistant to disease. It can be used to create a variety of dishes, The popular ones are sashimi and fish porridge, high nutritional value. It also has properties to help reduce the risk of acute ischemic heart disease.
“Currently, Sugi Model has completed the prototype cultivation cage. It is undergoing aquaculture and feed testing to improve meat quality and fish nutrition. As well as conducting research on processed products in order to be able to use all the products cost-effectively no leftovers and find distribution channels both online, offline and modern trade to reach more consumers.”
In addition, Booster also sent a team to push the Gourami Model “Salit Fish”, a freshwater economic fish that everyone knows well. Fish meat has a low fat content, delicious. It is an easy-to-raise fish that requires little water. To have the opportunity to generate higher income for farmers and make it more accessible to consumers, be able to develop a new set of value chains that control production from breeding, cultivation to processing that are compliant and verifiable ensuring delivery “Safty Salit Fish” reaches the consumer’s hand.
More than 80% of the Gourami Model has now been farmed, with the first pond fish expected to be caught in August 2021. The construction of the prototype processing facility is 95% complete and is in testing. The processing by joining forces with PTT Digital Department in installing an IoT system to monitor and measure the transformation process throughout the process. Including studying to bring a simple automation system to help in the operation to reduce the number of people entering the factory according to food safety principles and will request the FDA to give consumers confidence in the processing of the project.
For product development research, Currently in the process of product development with the academic department To get a standard recipe, no MSG, delicious, different from general recipes in the market. Including increasing the shelf life and controlling the production quality according to the standards in every step can be inspected.
However, although the Booster project is still in its infancy. And still need to improve the process to be more efficient. But the project team confirmed that “We are proud to have the opportunity to be a part in bringing knowledge of technology and innovation. Let’s help develop and create added value for the agricultural sector of our country. which will lead to career development and generate income for farmers which is the majority of the population of the country as well as forwarding quality agricultural products and have nutritional value to consumers to create stable and sustainable economic and social growth.”