Procter & Gamble to spend $100m for Singapore innovation center

By Judith Balea for Tech in Asia

Procter & Gamble today announced it would invest US$100 million over the next five years in a digital innovation center in Singapore, its first outside of the US. The project is being done in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board.

“This e-center will develop digital solutions for our Asia-Pacific operations, spanning supply chain management, analytics, and ecommerce,” said Magesvaran Suranjan, P&G president for the region, at today’s launch. “It will synchronize the supply chain to increase revenues and lower inventory while serving emerging retail channels more efficiently.”

Specifically, the center will make use of predictive analytics and big data to optimize product distribution and marketing; robotics to automate repetitive tasks; digital collaboration to enable people in its dispersed supply network to work together; and machine learning algorithms to improve the supply chain’s lead time and inventory.

The US consumer goods giant will train 40 employees in the first year to take on digital-related roles.

Through the center, Suranjan said the company would also expand its partnerships with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as startups to develop new digital solutions, among other goals. In line with this, it kicked off the second edition of its leadership development program called P&G Leadership College for SMEs in collaboration with SPRING Singapore.

Speaking at the launch of the e-center, Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran noted that Singapore serves as P&G’s regional headquarters with 2,000 staff across a range of functions. He also said that P&G employs 400 researchers and trains over 500 managers annually in the city-state.

“Digitalization will have a profound impact on the nature and content of jobs, and the way we work. Hence, we will continue to partner the industry and education institutions to equip our people with the skillsets that are needed to succeed in the digital economy,” he said.

P&G has 21 brands with annual sales, ranging from US$1 billion to US$10 billion, and 11 brands close to hitting the billion-dollar mark. It operates in 70 countries, with its brands sold in more than 180 countries markets worldwide.