What keeps you driven and how do you manage the multiple roles of being a chairman of WISeKey and being a member at the world economic forum?
My passion is technology and I tried to influence different decision-making processes around the world. So World Economic Forum is one of them. We have the regional meetings and this year regardless of COVID we have a very active presence in councils, working groups, to shape the agenda. WEF is pushing the fourth industrial revolution agenda which is all about interconnectedness, IOT, human protection versus AI. So those are things they can use from my company to develop products and to develop solutions that are aligned to the agenda. So it's a good interoperability between the work I do with the UN as well. The way for a Chairman or a CEO is to be exposed with the best thinkers in their world and capture as much information as you need and influence as much as you can. We are in a generation when it is important that we make the right decisions as the consequences are very, very serious. Everything needs to be debated and you need to make sure that everybody acts wisely. That's why we call it or sell WISeKey. Wisdom in technology.
You had mentioned in the panel that “Digital Transformation is now Digital Convergence.” Can you please elaborate on that?
Industries have been adding pieces of this digital solution. Like when blockchain was very famous, everybody started to develop blockchain projects. Now it is AI. Then we started to add IOT. But, this is like having an old house and bringing an alarm system in and connecting your door. It's very different if you did that from the design level itself - that you build a new, connected house where everything is integrated and all the functions are convergent. The hospitality industry is yet an analogue industry and the players are buying pieces of what they believe is going to help them in a digital transformation. But there's other solutions out there that are emerging, where new hotels, new hospitality centres, new conference events are already becoming digital hubs, that you move in and everything is ready for you. We have now a model where if you want to build a new hotel, you first think on the technology convergence aspect, because that will give a better experience to your customers and your hotel will be much different and demanded. It is human centric hotels that offer services from the moment you enter into the hotel, then they are totally in line with the new demand.
What are the potential challenges that hoteliers should always be aware of while planning digitization?
Digital transformation goes very fast and automation even faster. Using automation technology replaces the staff of the hotel – the financial department, people working in the reception. That is obviously good news for the hotel because they reduces the cost of operation improves efficiency. The bad news is that it replaces people. Hospitality is about human touch, human connections, human emotions. You need to think about how to replace those jobs that are going to enhance the human experience when you walk into a hotel. The fact is that hotels know their guests very well because of their data, shared under consent. The hotel can anticipate and they can personalize experiences. Personalization is the next big industry, so we're going to replace repetitive tasks. The objective is to have the human interaction, but in a way that is deliberate – this is a key point.
What do you think forms the pillar of success for a businessman?
It's never give up. The common denominator is that you need to have a passion. So passion drives everything. And then having a job should not be a job, which will be like something fond. And you wake up in the morning and you want to do it. , and it's not like how many hours I still need to be on my desk before I go do something else. And there has to be a strong perseverance because success is not a hundred meter sprint, it is a marathon. They're going to be many people with negative influences but you have to shield yourself against that, and just do it. The good opportunity is that now the entry level is much lower. And if you have a good idea that also helps the world, then that's a winner. Money follows ideas, not ideas following money.
Please share your final words for YHS. What was your key takeaway from the summit?
It's great to see the young motivated generation now because you and I have to solve so many big problems in this world. And it is very enlightening to see young people that are well-trained, and now bringing people from all over. I think the quality of the organization was very high You had the, a right presenters and the moderation was perfect. I'll be here to continue participating in your events – top class.