The Industries That Are Being Disrupted the Most by Digital

MARCH 21, 2016

We’re at a critical time for the digital economy. Digital is no longer the shiny front end of the organization – it’s integrated into every aspect of today’s companies. As digital technologies continue to transform the economy, many leaders are struggling to set a digital strategy, shift organizational structures, and remove the barriers that are keeping them from maximizing the potential impact of new digital technologies.

Every year, Russell Reynolds Associates surveys more than 2,000 C-level executives on the impact, structure, barriers, and enablers of digital technologies across 15 industries. The barometer below shows the percentage of executives surveyed who responded that their business would be moderately or massively disrupted by digital in the next 12 months, broken down by industry.

Unsurprisingly, the most disrupted organizations were B2C, with media being the most disrupted and telecoms and consumer financial services close behind.


90% of these organizations profess to having a digital strategy in place. But the sheer pace of change has created a skills gap, which is stopping many of these organizations from moving more quickly. Just over half of the respondents answered “yes” to the question “Do you have the right people to define your digital strategy?” It might be hard for people in HR to hear, but only 20% of those who responded said that their HR function was enabling them to transform, ranking them even lower than finance — an area not exactly known for its agility.

The most disrupted industries typically suffer from a perfect storm of two forces. First, low barriers to entry into these sectors lead to more agile competition. Secondly, they have large legacy business models which often generate the majority of their revenue. These organizations, therefore, have embedded cultural and organizational challenges when it comes to changing at the pace required.

At the other end of the spectrum, the industries that are least disrupted often have perceived higher barriers to entry, and a smaller part of their business that can be digitized. They are less affected, but not immune. Advances like 3D printing and EdX, the joint venture between MIT and Harvard, mean that even industrial production and education are seeing disruption, and are also having their own incumbents lead the disruption.

So what can business leaders be doing to meet the coming changes head-on? There are three levers organizations can pull to keep pace: catalytic roles; culture; and commitment.

1. Catalytic roles. New employees can act as catalysts, speeding up transformation. They are often brought in to disrupt traditional thinking and business models. Bringing in a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is often the first step for many organizations. But there are two inherent challenges with bringing in a catalyst. First, the role must be positioned correctly, at the appropriate level in the organization, with sufficient scope, influence and sponsorship to make change happen.

The second challenge is finding the right person. It was with this in mind that Russell Reynolds profiled executives tasked with digitally transforming long-established firms, who are often chosen to overcome organizational inertia and drive enterprise-wide digital transformation and innovation. The results are a unique combination of psychometric attributes that broadly fall into five categories. The first two are unsurprising: these leaders are significantly more innovative and disruptive, being 56% more inclined to cut through bureaucracy and 29% higher in their willingness to challenge traditional approaches. These attributes alone are not what make these leaders able to excel in their roles. These executives also score highly in their social adeptness, bold leadership, and determination. Stand-out attributes include being 29% more likely to take initiative and test limits, and 21% more able to adapt to different audiences. It is this combination that makes them able to drive transformation.

In the most progressive organizations, the CDO role is being absorbed, as standalone digital teams are integrated into the core business, leaving hybrid general managers in charge. CDOs beget the need for Chief Data Officers and Chief Analytics Officers. Moreover, new roles, such as the Chief Growth Officer and Chief Customer Officer are emerging. Tasked explicitly with driving growth, these roles combine strategy, corporate development, investment, and operations, as companies seek to find meaningful new revenues streams.

2. Culture. You can’t talk about digital without also mentioning its lifeblood — data. The link between the impact of data-driven organizations and culture may not be immediately apparent, but through interviews with senior leaders, we have seen that data quickly shifts the power structure in an organization. Decisions that had previously been deferred to those with years of experience and “a feel for what the customer wants” are now being challenged with data.  And whoever has the data has the power to make strategic decisions. Organizations that foster a culture of making data-based decisions will be in a stronger position to weather the changes ahead.

3. Commitment. Digital should be built into the core strategy, systems, and processes of an organization. We see this in the recruitment of digital directors at the board level, which has risen steadily over recent years. Now, 23% of the largest 300 companies in the world have at least one Digital Director. Again, you can’t become a more digital company without the right people leading the charge.


For the leaders who are anticipating massive digital disruption in their industries, these three levers are the key to realizing the potential that lies ahead. Hire the right people to bring about change. Create a culture that makes data-based decisions.  And fully commit to becoming a more digitally adept organization, which starts at the board level. The organizations that don’t do these three things will no doubt be left behind.


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Our Investment PaletteIDMVC’s investment approach is investing in early stage private companies with market leadership potential in the key segments of online gaming, electronic commerce, big data, and interactive digital media sector. While we target the global market, we are focusing on Asia, Greater China, and the United States.

Our forte is creating value by investing in novel businesses through our capital, strategic perspective, and operational support at the executive level, as well as our global relationships.

To maximize value creation, our portfolio is comprised of companies that fall into three funding stages: Seed, Series A, and Series B and C.

During the Investment Period, the Fund intends to invest up to 5% of the aggregate Capital Contributions in Seed Investments, up to 30% of the aggregate Capital Contributions in Series A Investments, and up to 70% of the aggregate Capital Contributions in Series B Investments and Series C Investments.

This investment provides the initial capital used to start a business. Such a venture is generally at a pre-revenue stage, and needs seed capital for research and development to cover initial operating expenses until a product or service starts to generate revenue or attract additional investment. Our seed investments help entrepreneurs build new innovative business by coupling capital with IDMVC’s breadth of expertise in the sector. IDMVC’s seed investments typically range from $50,000 to
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Growth stage investments provide
ramp-up funding for breakout companies that are on their way to achieving market success. An investment at this stage typically ranges from $3 million to
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Singaporean accelerators and incubators you should know

Want to find the right accelerator for your startup? Look no further than our list of great local accelerators that can help turn your startup dream into a world-class business!

By Rahil Bhagat

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The life of a startup founder is fraught with uncertainties. Sure, you might have an amazing idea, one that could change the world, but at the end of the day, it’s like the famous saying: “It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen”.

So, the big question is, how do you turn your idea from a nascent thought in the vestiges of your mind to a living, breathing company ready to take on the world and all its challenges? Where do you find the help, the knowledge, the expertise and most importantly, the contacts needed to bring your business forward?

Well, you could attempt this arduous task on your own, but nowadays, help is at hand for such startups in the form of specialised companies — accelerators and incubators. What accelerators and incubators do is first look at your idea and decide whether they want to take you on. If they feel you are worthy, then these companies and their teams will work with you to get the product out to market. They also help with the annoying things like marketing by teaching the same to founders and helping them understand the industry.

Think of them as mentors and teachers who help turn the unpolished ideas of startup founders into polished businesses. In fact, for some of the most prestigious accelerators and incubators such as Y Combinator in the US, getting accepted is a gruelling task where only the cream of the crop make it through. Startups that come through the ranks of such accelerators are often viewed favourably by investors and the likes, which leads to funding and a long happy road to the mystical land of the IPO.

For a cut. Of course.

Here, in Singapore, in our little red dot in the middle of the South China Sea, the entrepreneurship machine is firing on all cylinders, creating one of the most fertile regions in the world for technopreneurship. This has also led to many accelerators and incubators opening their doors here. So many in fact that we often get asked about who these mystical accelerators are and where they can be found.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the tech accelerators and incubators in Singapore. It is by no means definitive and we will update it when information comes our way.

Startup incubators and accelerators in Singapore

1. Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF)

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Location: 55/55A Neil Road, Singapore 088892

About: Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) comprises corporate members ranging from local startups to establish MNCs. SiTF advocates for the ICM (Information, Communications and Media) industry and helps to accelerate the adoption ICM technology. SiTF works closely with various stakeholders to promote emerging technologies in areas such as digital media, cloud computing, green IT, wireless, security and governance. SiTF also provide platforms to help members with opportunities to increase their market presence and business reach.

2. Fatfish MediaLab

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Location: 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent #02-15, Singapore 139951

About: Fatfish partners with entrepreneurs to facilitate building Internet ventures with the potential to scale globally through its proprietary process “Seed-to-Exit”. The company focusses on digital ideas with a proven business model and is the first Internet venture accelerator to list on the Australian Securities Exchange. The company has a significant pipeline of opportunities at various stages of development and is targeting growth in emerging markets, particularly in Southeast Asia.

3. FocusTech Ventures

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Location: 3 Science Park Drive, #02-12/25, The Franklin, Singapore Science Park 1, Singapore 118223

About: FocusTech Ventures supports founders that seek to solve real world problems and radically improve crucial workflows of and pervasive inefficiencies in major enterprise industries such as energy, finance, education, manufacturing and healthcare.

4. East Ventures


About: East Ventures is an early-stage fund focussing on consumer web and mobile startups in Indonesia and Singapore. Apart from financial assistance, it also nurtures the ecosystem through its Ventures Night events in Jakarta and Bandung and also through its 100-day accelerator programme, East Ventures Alpha.

5. Angels Gate Advisory

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Location: 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent #03-26, Singapore 139951

About: Angel’s Gate Advisory Pte Ltd is an appointed i.JAM Reload incubator. Funded by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore, this programme aims to support budding technopreneurs with up to S$250,000 (about US$200,000) seed funding and grow their startups into profitable growing businesses.

6. Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI)


Location: 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #05-16, Singapore 139951

About: One of the stalwarts of the Singapore scene, JFDI offers programmes for business startups and professionals. Its partners are grassroots organisations, governments and top corporations. Its practical work is underpinned by close relationships with the world’s leading academic institutions and independent thinkers.

7. Expara


Location: #02-10/11, Blk 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139951

About: Expara is a venture creation company established in Singapore since 2003. Expara develops and teaches entrepreneurship, innovation and venture finance through experiential training programmes and innovation challenges for entrepreneurs, corporations and public institutions in Southeast Asia. Douglas Abrams, the Founder of Expara, has been investing, teaching, training and mentoring entrepreneurs in Singapore since 2000 and has been focussed on the interactive and digital media space since Expara’s inception.

8. I.JAM incubator


Location: Interactive & Digital Media Programme Office (IDMPO), Media Development Authority, 3 Fusionopolis Way, #16-22 Symbiosis, Singapore 138633

About: The IDM Jump-start and Mentor (i.JAM) programme aims to drive innovation and entrepreneurship by creating in Singapore a capacity for continuous and self-sustaining grassroots innovation. Under this programme, the i.JAM Micro-funding Scheme (i.JAM scheme) will support startups and individuals with breakthrough ideas that can be developed into innovative products and services. This will be done through a network of incubators who will work closely with IDMPO to manage i.JAM according to the spirit and intent of the i.JAM programme.

9. Red Dot Ventures

red dot

Location: 11 Eunos Road 8, #07-02 Lifelong Learning Institute, 408601

About: Established in 2011, Red Dot Ventures (RedDot) is a seed-stage venture capital firm focussed on Singapore-based high-tech startups in areas including ICT, interactive digital media (IDM), MedTech, nanotech, clean technology, and engineering.

10. Get2Volume

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Location: 67 Ayer Rajah Crescent Unit 03-20/22, Singapore 139950

About: With incubation managers and venture partners in Silicon Valley and Singapore, Get2Volume provides mentorship, operational and execution capabilities to enable success. It operates alongside its incubatee companies by providing 50 years of combined hands-on experience in creating, growing and monetising enterprise businesses.

11. The Biofactory


Location: 10 Ubi Crescent #02-41, Ubi Techpark Lobby C, Singapore 408564

About: The Biofactory is a dedicated incubator for the commercialisation of biomedical and life science startups.

12. Jungle Ventures

jungle ventures

Location: 306 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park Office Campus, Singapore- 247973

About: Jungle Ventures is a Singapore-based, entrepreneur-backed venture firm that funds and helps startups scale across Asia Pacific. It invests in global startups that are solving problems relevant to Asia Pacific markets. It currently has investments in the US, Singapore, India, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

13. IncuVest


Location: 57 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238997

About: IncuVest is a group of successful serial and corporate entrepreneurs with experience starting, building and operating valuable companies from a variety of industries.

14. TNF Ventures


Location: 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #06-01/02, Singapore 139951

About: TNF Ventures is one of the 14 incubators selected by National Research Foundation for Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS). It is founded by a group of established Singaporean entrepreneurs and veteran business professionals . The team has extensive network in Singapore, Asia and America. Half of them resides in China, offering network connections for startups who are interested in entering China market. TNF Ventures invests in companies in Technology Media Telecommunication (TMT), medical tech, clean tech and biotech field.

15. Golden Gate Ventures


Location: 113 Somerset Rd, Singapore 238165

About: Golden Gate Ventures is a seed-level investment firm that focusses on companies building out consumer Internet products and services for Southeast Asia. The company has a presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It prefers companies with a launched product or those with established valuable distribution partnerships in the region.

16. Azione Capital

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Location: 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1, 415934

About: Azione Capital Pte Ltd is an early-stage venture capital investment company and startup business incubator headquartered in Singapore. The company specialises in mentoring, incubating and investing in digital media, mobile communications (inclusive of the full spectrum of wireless technologies), energy and maritime industry startups that operate primarily within Asia.

17. Crystal Horse Investments


Location:  Blk 71 Ayer Rajah Cres, #06-16 Singapore 139951

About: Crystal Horse helps startups with various business-related activities that typically includes legal, accounting, marketing, strategic and technical areas. Most of its investments are in the web, mobile and general Internet space.

18. Ruvento Ventures

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Location: Blk 71 Ayer Rajah Cres, #06-11 Singapore 139951

About: Ruvento Ventures is a Singapore-based venture capital firm with global exposure. It isfocussed on the linking of entrepreneurs and investors investing in early-stage startups with significant technological background. Its investment philosophy is to help core-technology startups from underserved markets like Russia and China, bring their products and expertise to global markets using Singapore as launchpad. Direct investments are limited to US$200,000, though it can build syndication for the right deal for up to US$500,000.

19. Clearbridge Accelerator

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Location: 81 Science Park Drive, #02-03 The Chadwick, Singapore, Science Park 1, Singapore 118257

About: Clearbridge Accelerator invests mainly in healthcare, infosecurity and technology companies. Its team consists of serial entrepreneurs with experience in key markets such as the US, China, Japan and Australia. Via a public-private partnership with the Singapore Government, Clearbridge Accelerator manages both a S$40 million (about US$32 million) fund to invest in life science companies, and an incubator scheme that invests up to S$1 million (about US$0.8 million) for seed-stage companies with a heavy focus on Asia.

20. WaveMaker Labs

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Location: #05-01 Blk 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 133951

About: WaveMaker Labs is an approved technology incubator under the Singaporean government’s National Research Foundation (NRF). Under the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS), WaveMaker enjoys a 5.6x leverage on its investment capital with the NRF providing up to S$500,000 (about US$400,000) per startup on top of the S$89,000 (US$71,000) that WaveMaker invests per company. With this, WaveMaker aims to catalyse the formation of many value-creating technology businesses in Southeast Asia, India and China.

21. Stream Global

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Location: Blk 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #03-11, Singapore 139951

About: Stream Global’s main focus is in the emerging enterprise in the sectors of infocomm technology (ICT) and interactive media. The company helps Asian-based startups scale their ICT technologies for larger markets while still keeping focussed on Asia and the needs of the Asian market.

22. NTU Ventures

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Location: 16 Nanyang Drive,  #01-109, Innovation Centre ,Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637722

About: NTU Ventures Pte Ltd is the commercial arm and technology holding company of the Nanyang Technological University. NTU Ventures supports the University’s mission to promote innovation, cultivate entrepreneurship and facilitate the commercialisation of research.

23. Plug and Play Singapore


Location: 71 Ayer Rajah Cres Singapore 139951

About: Established in 2006, Plug and Play Singapore is focussed on sourcing, funding, and accelerating the growth of the most promising young high tech companies. It currently has operations in countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, Canada and a number of US cities.

24. TechCube8


About: TechCube8 is a private technology investor and incubator selected by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Singapore to promote entrepreneurship and high-tech R&D in the region. It aims to identify and co-invest in early-stage technology platforms and companies with the aim of creating international growth champions.

25. NUS Enterprise

nus enterprise

Location: 21 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, I3 Building #05-00 (S), 119613

 About: Established in 2001, the National University of Singapore’s NUS Enterprise provides an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research that involves the university’s students, staff and alumni. NUS Enterprise augments and complements the University’s academic programmes and nurtures talents to possess an entrepreneurial and global mind-set. It provides experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, comprehensive entrepreneurship support, catalytic entrepreneurship outreach, and is a bridge to the industry for the University.

26. Accelerasia


Location: 55 Amoy St, 069881

About: AccelerAsia helps companies to rapidly grow in Southeast Asia. It provides access to a well developed regional network of key decision-makers in various industries and claims to have a strong track record in a number of industries such as telecommunications, digital media and publishing, and SaaS/cloud services.

27. Leo Tech

Leo Tech Logo

Location: 8 Eu Tong Sen Street #24-89/90 The Central, Singapore 059818

About: Leo Tech Services Pte Ltd is a software, infrastructure and innovation house that was established in 2010. Leo Tech provides technical expertise and customised solutions for customers and partners across a wide range of industry sectors from healthcare to finance, and works with organisations ranging from start-ups and NGOs, corporate multinationals, to local and foreign government bodies. It has a growing team of over 77 specialists from varying industry backgrounds to provide ideas and solutions, simplifying complex technical problems and driving business transformation with elegant solutions. The company’s core expertise is in high frequency and high volume secures transactions across the web and a range of proprietary POPs and CDNs, QA, web analytics, systems security and networking.