Culture and digital transformation on show at CHRO Series Singapore

The fourth installment of CHRO Series in Singapore took place at the Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on November 13.
By: | November 14, 2019

HRM Asia’s CHRO Series 2019 is taking place across three cities in the fourth quarter of 2019. Other

HRM Asia’s CHRO Series 2019 is taking place across three cities in the fourth quarter of 2019. Other post-event wrap-ups can be found right here:

October 28, 2019: CHRO Series Indonesia: Manpower Minister unveils national skills plan

October 29, 2019: CHRO Series Indonesia: Photo Gallery

November 14, 2019: Culture and digital transformation on show at CHRO Series Singapore

November 20, 2019: CHRO Series Singapore: Photo Gallery

December 4, 2019: CHRO Series Malaysia: Make innovation a way of life


More than 100 Chief HR Officers and senior workforce leaders took part in HRM Asia’s annual CHRO Series event in Singapore on November 13.

They took part in thought leadership, strategic-level learning, and exclusive case studies across 14 different sessions in the comprehensive single-day programme.

CHRO Series, with events in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia in 2019, is an invitation-only concept, providing high-level networking, best-practice advice, and local case studies on strategic workforce management in the era of Industry 4.0.

The CHRO programme in Singapore kicked off with an exclusive breakfast briefing by Microsoft, where its team talked about the company’s ongoing digital transformation.

The US tech giant started its transformation five years ago. But Microsoft explained to attendees this wasn’t just a corporate transformation but a digital transformation and a cultural one too. And rather than being a one-off seasonal exercise, it’s an on-going process that has no deadline.

“The world we are in is changing fast, we needed to change with it – but we needed a compelling reason. As our CEO, Satya Nadella, puts it – we needed to find out who we were, why we were and to consider what the world would look like without us. In short – we needed to rediscover our soul,” said Vivek Ravindran, Senior Director, Modern Workplace Asia-Pacific at Microsoft.

One of the most sought-out presentations at the CHRO Series 2019 in Singapore, with delegates actively participating right up until his closing remarks in the last session, was by Varun Bhatia, Chief People and Culture Officer of AirAsia (pictured).  He shared some of the key insights behind the company’s transformation from a low-cost airline into what it now calls AirAsia 3.0 (“a technology company that happens to fly planes”).

AirAsia is also going through a major digital transformation and is continuing to reshape the organisation and business model across four pillars – the airline, digital and commercial ventures, its corporate VC and its shared services.

Another highly engaging speaker was Saakshi Wadhawan, Director in Organisation Design, HR at Standard Chartered Bank. She gave a presentation on how to develop world-class leaders within an organisation. Wadhawan explained the bank has a focus on defining ‘’what good looks like’’ by highlighting success stories and learning throughout the organisation.

The Malaysian airline is on a huge hiring spree and has taken on about 3,500 people so far this year. As part of its digital transformation, it has been recruiting cybersecurity, software and big data talent. It’s currently looking for digital marketing experts.

Outside of these, delegates heard from a wide range of speakers, including:

The CHRO Series 2019 heads to Malaysia next, with the final installment taking place at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur on December 3. Click here to register or for more details.