Ikano Insight, the insight and advance analytics agency under Ikano Group, has appointed Chua Seng Teong as its regional business director, Southeast Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur. Chua (pictured) brings his digital transformation experience to his new role along with his background as a corporate venture specialist.

Chua will join Ikano Insight’s local team of data scientists and data/technology consultants, forging new relationships with businesses across Southeast Asia, specifically offering analytics, AI and machine learning capabilities, assisting with business intelligence solutions that can drive growth.

"In view that the regional HQ is recently set up in Malaysia, my first order of business is to work with potential partners and universities. This is to ensure we have sufficient local support, administrative services and talents to enable us to deliver at pace to our clients here," he told A+M . He added that since the company is new in this part of the world, his vision is to make Ikano Insight a preferred advance analytics partner for companies, leveraging on its global experience with local execution.

He joined the team for two reasons - ambition as well as people and culture. He explained that Ikano Insight has a strong ambition to make its advance analytics services available beyond the IKEA and Ikano family, to other companies across the region. "I felt it is an exciting role to be able to lead the regional office and help companies to derive insights from data," he explained.

Meanwhile on the people and culture front, he said that Ikano Insight is guided by three basic values and a promise. "We never compromise on our values: common sense and simplicity, working together and daring to be different, and everything we do, its on fair terms," he added.

Before this, Chua was leading PETRONAS Dagangan's digital transformation team, TipTop, as venture GM where his achievements included streamlining maintenance processes to significantly reduce equipment downtime at retail fuel stations nationwide, and introducing an internal super app for dealers across 1,060 stations. According to his LinkedIn, he is also a venture partner, digital ecosystems at Sunway Group.

Chua also has a wealth of business growth experience having developed a multi-million-dollar international eCommerce business and is the co-founder of multiple ventures, including FMCG distribution, a predictive analytics company and a financial tech startup.

Chua said: "I am very excited to be joining Ikano Insight at this point of exceptional growth for them in our region. Their data transformation and analytics capabilities are delivering value to businesses globally, and I’m looking forward to helping them make a real difference to organisations here in Southeast Asia."

Meanwhile, Ikano Insight specialises in advanced retail and sustainability analytics, supporting businesses such as IKEA for over 10 years. Covering Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, Ikano Insight harnesses data, technology and advanced analytics to deliver actionable insights to businesses looking to unlock the value in their data.

Part of Ikano Group, Ikano Insight is headquartered in London and is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. It recently rolled out what it touts to be the world's largest IKEA store in Pasay City, Philippines. Ikano Insight's most recent innovation has been the use of consumer location analytics to understand the post-COVID shopping and migration patterns of consumers to retail stores and shopping centres.

When asked about the data and analytics trends he is excited about, Chua cited three trends. Firstly, customer behaviour has changed tremendously due to the pandemic and past data trends from pre-pandemic days certainly do not reflect such changes. Hence, companies have insufficient real-time data to make quick changes to capture the changing trends. 

Secondly, Chua said more companies are appreciating a need to pull the various pockets of data in the company together to have a wholesome view of the customer, where traditionally it sits separately on each division, especially in larger entities. "We are seeing more companies seriously considering developing company-wide data lake or warehouse, whereas those who have embarked on it are asking us how do we quickly build insights from there," he added.

Thirdly and most importantly, Chua added that sustainability is no longer a lip service and it is high on the agenda of every company but the knowledge of what data to track, how to track and the processes that come along with it is still vague in this part of the world.

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