Need for innovation

From left;- Fiji National University Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor James Pounder, Vodafone Fiji, head of digital services Rizvi Amith, Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Program director for integrated human resources development program Iosefo Koroidimuri , Minister for Local Government, Premila Kumar, Tourism Fiji, director of marketing Emma Campbell, Post Fiji Pte Ltd manager sales and marketing Nirmala Nambiar, Global Green Growth Institute senior offi cer for regional program (Pacifi c) Mohammed Tazil and Total (fi ji) Pte Ltd managing director Kazi Raham. Picture; ABISHEK CHAND

TOTAL Fiji’s Innovation Day 2020 saw companies highlighting ways in which they had re-imagined and progressed through changes made to their operations or business models.

According to the managing director Kazi Rahman, the Inno Days 2020 celebration was a major annual event organised worldwide by Total Groups marketing and services branch in all the countries it was present in.

“It’s an event where we promote innovation and creativity, traditionally in Fiji over the last years we have been doing this innovation celebration in-house with innovation competitions amongst our staff.

“This is the first year we decided to take it outside to the general industry as a whole.”

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar said the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have a significant impact on everything from consumer behaviour to business operations.

“We have seen the manner in which COVID-19 pandemic caused upheaval in the global stock market; it disrupted supply chains; shattered businesses; closed airports and left thousands of people unemployed.

“We have never experienced anything so sever and so sudden in our lifetime.

“Fiji has been lucky in many ways that we managed to contain COVID-19 and the disruption that we have seen worldwide is not what we have seen here today,” she said.

Ms Kumar added when it came to businesses and employment there was a need for more innovation in carrying out business and how they could respond to consumer needs.

“The threat to lives and livelihood has created a climate of uncertainty, forcing businesses to make tough choices in order to survive and adapt.

“COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of life, from the personal to professional.

“It is therefore evident that the changes to how people live and work; how people shop; how companies interact and deliver goods; and the use of technology, will last long, after the pandemic is over.”

Staying on top of consumer trends and supply chain was said to be a must for businesses to deal with this disruption to normal life.

“Companies that are agile invest in improving user experience as we had from the managing director they spent $1 billion in RND (research and development) and if we look at how RND has developed over the years around the world started off with few million dollars to now running in trillions.

“So again this idea of getting different sectors together is a good one because when you want to translate an idea into something big you need different sectors contribution,” she said.

The need for innovation according to Ms Kumar was much greater now because of COVID-19 which had fuelled disruption from which new business models had emerged.

She said new business models emerged in Fiji such as Pure Fiji making sanitisers and Paradise Beverages producing disinfectant alcohol for sanitisers to support COVID-19 prevention.

Ms Kumar added Inno Day Event was to profile and honour innovation which couldn’t happen without relationships and partners to drive ideas forward.

The aim was to increase dialogue and promote those innovations which was said to improve the life and livelihood of Fijians.

The Inno Days 2020 saw presentations not only from Mr Rahman but from other various companies and government bodies in the country.

These were from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Program director for integrated human resources development program Iosefo Koroidimuri, Tourism Fiji, director of marketing Emma Campbell, Global Green Growth Institute senior officer for regional program (Pacific) Mohammed Tazil, Vodafone Fiji, head of digital services Rizvi Amith, Fiji National University Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor James Pounder and Post Fiji Pte Ltd chief executive
officer Dr Anirudha Bansod.

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