Carousell Group Circular Economy Impact Report

Carousell Group, the leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia, released its inaugural Circular Economy Impact Report on 8 December 2023, showing that buying and selling secondhand items is a better choice for the planet compared to traditional retail of buying new items. The report, a first-of-its kind for e-commerce and recommerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia, quantifies the Avoided Carbon Emissions due to users purchasing secondhand items on three of the Groups’ marketplaces, in place of a new item.

Mr Gaurav Bhasin, Chief Strategy Officer, Carousell Group said, “By facilitating secondhand transactions, Carousell Group holds a central role in advancing the circular economy alongside our users in the Greater Southeast Asia region. As a key enabler of the circular economy in our region, we have a responsibility to lead by example and measure the potential positive impact of choosing secondhand products over new ones in a trustworthy and transparent way. In addition to the Avoided Emissions calculations, we have also taken the opportunity to calculate our Group’s Carbon Footprint. The robustness of our chosen methodology underscores our strong commitment to sustainability, and it forms the bedrock of our sustainability endeavours.”

To quantify our impact, Carousell partnered with Vaayu, a European climate tech company leveraging proprietary AI and machine learning technology and utilising its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) database of over 600,000 product data points. As the initial phase of Carousell Group’s quantification journey, the scope of the report covers only the four goods categories of Carousell, Laku6 and REFASH. The Group is committed to progressively incorporating all remaining categories and integrating other Group brands, Chợ Tốt and OneShift within the scope in the coming years.

Ms Namrata Sandhu, Co-founder and CEO, Vaayu said, “Retail is responsible for 25% of global carbon emissions and with research continuing to show we’re not on track to keep global warming below 1.5C, we’re at a critical inflection point. Circular business models, like recommerce, offer a clear path to reducing retail’s impact on our planet, which is why we are so proud to partner with Carousell Group to quantify its climate impact and empower communications with its users.”

Besides the quantification of Avoided Emissions, the report also underscores the significance of every individual transaction in contributing to the overall circular economy impact. For instance, buying a secondhand sofa on Carousell can, on average, save up to 131 kg of Co2e, the equivalent of almost six trees absorbing Co2 per year.

As part of Carousell Group’s goal to accelerate the future of secondhand through recommerce, the Group’s marketplaces have been rolling out a variety of recommerce programmes and features across multiple platforms and markets this year. Mr Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Carousell Group said, “Our mission is to make secondhand the first choice for everyone. We have stayed true to this mission over the past 11 years, and we remain committed to making selling and buying secondhand even simpler, more trusted and convenient. With the release of the report, we hope more people realise how easy it is to embrace secondhand as a lifestyle and contribute to a greener world, without compromising on the things they enjoy.”

Carousell Group is the leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia on a mission to make secondhand the first choice. Founded in August 2012 in Singapore, the Group has a leading presence in seven markets under the brands Carousell, Carousell Media Group, Cho Tot, Laku6,, OneShift, REFASH and Revo Financial, serving tens of millions of monthly active users. Carousell is backed by leading investors including Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, STIC Investments, 500 Global and Peak XV Partners (formerly known as Sequoia Capital India). Visit here for more information.

Singapore’s digital economy crosses S$100 billion

Temus, digital transformation services firm established by Temasek in partnership with UST, has announced a new round of recruitment for the third iteration (Run 3) of Step IT Up. Supported by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Temus’ Step IT Up career conversion scheme was introduced in August 2022, and has seen 38 individuals with no prior tech training or backgrounds secure full-time roles in software and digital application development upon graduating from the three-month programme.

For Run 3, Temus aims to hire, place and train 20 digital business analysts (Digital BAs). Digital BAs comprehend both the operational and technical requirements of organisations, collaboratively working with pertinent teams to identify and implement the optimal digital solutions to address them. Temus foresees a growing demand for these Digital BAs, as Singapore's public and private sectors undergo digital transformation to seize opportunities within the burgeoning digital economy.

Temus’ announcement comes on the back of IMDA’s inaugural report on Singapore's digital economy. Jointly produced with the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the report highlighted that the digital economy, as a proportion of Singapore’s gross domestic product growth, rose from 13 per cent to 17.3 per cent in 2022 and almost doubled to S$106 billion in 2022. Commensurate with this growth, the number of digital tech jobs created increased from 155,500 to 201,100 over the same five-year period.

Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive for IMDA said, “Our recently published Singapore Digital Economy report has found that the demand for tech professionals in Singapore is healthy and has risen over the years, accounting for 5.2 per cent of total employment today. As part of efforts to meet this demand, the Step IT Up programme has been successfully enabling organisations to tap on Temus’ accelerated career conversion programme for their tech talent needs. With its third iteration, we look forward to even more graduates of the programme contributing to Singapore’s growing digital economy.”

Driving Singapore’s digital economy by transforming people

Run 3 will build on the success of Temus’ previous two cohorts, which attracted around 900 applicants for 20 places each. Graduates - affectionately called Temus Transformers - were equipped with technical coding skills in Microsoft .NET framework and digital application development competencies using the OutSystems low-code platform. These newfound skills have enabled these Singaporean locals with no prior tech qualifications, training and backgrounds to work in digital technology roles for sectors ranging from telco to healthcare, insurance to government organisations. The trainees come from a diverse range of backgrounds including professional musicians, science researchers, marketers and supply chain professionals.

KC Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Temus said, “The continued demand for Step IT Up in Singapore is testament to the capacity of our people to transform and become builders of our digital future. At the same time, our close partnership with customers in the public and private sectors in the areas of role definition, syllabus design and recruitment, ensures that each of our Transformers are geared up to thrive in the specific positions, working conditions and workplace cultures that they’ll be hired, placed, and trained in.”

Step IT Up has a credible track record, with graduation and job placement rates exceeding 90 per cent since its adaptation for the Singapore market last year. Its success in Singapore echoes the programme’s accomplishments in the United States, Israel, Mexico, and other locations worldwide, where it was pioneered by Temus’ partner, UST.

Through Step IT Up, over 1,100 individuals have successfully landed tech roles at prominent multinational corporations like Walmart and Home Depot, growing their tech careers in these positions for over two years.

Srijay Ghosh, Temus’ Founding Member and Chief Revenue Officer said, “Digitally literate talent will be the backbone of Singapore’s burgeoning digital economy. Since Temus’ founding two years ago, we’ve remained committed to the digital ambitions of our customers and employees for Singapore and beyond. Through Step IT Up, we look forward to enabling more aspiring Transformers to receive the skills, confidence and disposition needed to thrive in our digital future.”

Temus’ recruitment for Run 3 will span 16 October to 20 November 2023. Step IT Up is open to Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents (PR) with no prior IT qualifications, including mid-career switchers with no prior experience in technology roles.

Balancing risk and rewards of AI at Tech Week Singapore

Artificial intelligence (AI) has experienced a breakout year in 2023. The rapid democratisation of AI is leading to a surge in wide-spread adoption across industries, with many companies integrating the burgeoning technology into their products. However, the brave new world of AI brings about new challenges such as cybersecurity, sustainability and ethical concerns. Balancing the risks and rewards of AI was one of the hottest topics at Tech Week Singapore, Asia’s leading technology event organised by CloserStill Media. More than 600 technology pioneers, leading businesses, and public leaders convened to discuss the complexities of AI.

“In 2022, the world woke up to ChatGPT, and for many of us, this moment ushered in a new era for Generative AI,” remarked Dr. Aik Beng Ng, Regional Manager of NVIDIA AI Technology Centre. “We are just beginning to realise the true potential of AI where it meets the physical world. Currently the AI experience is very much digital. The next generation of AI is where AI meets the full extent of every industry out there such as transportation, manufacturing, and more.”

However, the benefits of AI are matched with threats in equal measure. Dr. Magda Chelly, Co-founder of Responsible Cyber, said: “On one hand, AI technologies have the potential to amplify cyberthreats, weaving a web of complexities, including its usage by various stakeholders in an ecosystem. This phenomenon would raise exponential risks, and might create a domino effect when a cyberattack or data breach happens. Such a scenario might not only lead towards a disruption but a full-scale interruption within a wider supply chain and ecosystem.”

She added: “Yet, we also see an unparalleled opportunity for AI to bolster our cyber defences, especially when incorporated into data analysis and process optimisation. By embracing AI in cybersecurity and third-party risk management strategies, businesses gain a clearer visibility into the cascading risks in their ecosystems. It's crucial to understand that AI doesn't merely represent the threat horizon but is an essential ally in navigating it.”

At Cyber Security World Asia, the Singapore-based startup Responsible Cyber unveiled IMMUNE X-TPRM, their innovative AI-powered platform that not only monitors real-time ecosystem and third-party risks, but also anticipates risk scenarios, ensuring businesses remain steps ahead of potential breaches, while simultaneously enhancing operational efficiency and compliance through intelligent automation.

In the gold rush towards AI, it is also important to pay attention to data centres as the critical infrastructure supporting the greater demand for computing power. The server computer density that AI requires also generates significant heat and consumes a large amount of water for cooling, which presents energy efficiency and sustainability challenges. Governments are emphasising the importance of sustainable growth with countries such as Singapore announcing a sustainability standard for data centres operating in tropical climates.

Schneider Electric Singapore recently announced they are investing SGD1.2 million to collaborate with the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed in Singapore. This announcement is in the lead-up to their keynote speech at Data Centre World Asia on key strategies to measure and manage sustainability in data centres on October 12th.

“2023 marks the year that AI exploded into public consciousness. As we enter this new age of AI, there are more questions than answers. How can leaders separate tactics from media noise and what are the priorities for business leaders entering this new AI-enabled future? What strategies will make sense to a small-medium enterprise versus a multinational corporation?,” said Andy Kiwanuka, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at CloserStill Media. “At the heart of Tech Week Singapore is a multi-layered content programme for leaders to share best practices and envision new possibilities where technology is the enabler for a better future.”

CloserStill Media is a leading producer of international B2B tradeshows. Its portfolio of technology events reaches five global territories, more than 70,000 delegates, and over 2,500 exhibitors. Award-winning events include Tech Show London and Tech Week Singapore, an umbrella brand featuring the popular Cloud Expo Asia and Data Centre World Asia. CloserStill Media is repeatedly recognised as a leading innovator and employer with winners of Best Marketing Manager, Best Trade Exhibition, Best Launch Exhibition, Rising Star, and more. CloserStill is headquartered in London, with offices in Singapore, North America, and Europe.

Asian Telecom Awards 2023

ViewQwest – a leading regional provider of Managed Security and Connectivity services, has been recognised as the Broadband Telecom Company of the Year - Singapore at the Asian Telecom Awards 2023. The award was won on the strength of ViewQwest's SecureNet service and its success in protecting homes and businesses in Singapore against the growing scourge of cyberthreats. Presented by Asian Telecom Magazine, the Asian Telecom Awards recognises and celebrates Asia's most outstanding telecom companies for their groundbreaking achievements and initiatives, and their ability to navigate their way through market challenges while providing award-winning products and services to customers.

As one of Southeast Asia's most connected nations with 92% internet penetration, Singapore's widespread connectivity and reliance on the internet has also increased exposure to cybercrimes such as phishing, malware and ransomware attacks, through potential entryways such as entertainment, gaming, smart home and connected hardware bundles. Singapore saw a 145% year-on-year increase in 2021, according to statistics from Check Point Research (CPR), and nearly 2 million attacks in Q2 of 2022.

"In light of this threat, ViewQwest became the first telco in Singapore to take the innovative step of providing accessible and effective cyber protection to customers as part of our holistic broadband offering. Having fast internet is no longer enough – robust security is also a necessity today. Our SecureNet service – developed in partnership with global cybersecurity leader Palo Alto Networks, automatically blocks online threats before they threaten homes and businesses across the country. SecureNet is designed to avoid the complexity and costs that often become hurdles to cybersecurity adoption, especially for users that may not have any IT background or tech expertise. By building SecureNet into ViewQwest's broadband service, we enable effective and easy network security without the need for any app or hardware set-up on the customer's side," said Jurist Francisco-Gamban, ViewQwest's Chief Operating and Marketing Officer.

For SecureNet, ViewQwest leverages machine learning technology to conduct full deep packet network traffic inspection that automatically filters out online threats such as malware, botnet attacks and phishing activities. The technology and security platform is constantly updated and upgraded to meet the ever-evolving capabilities of cyberthreats, akin to a digital arms race. ViewQwest has successfully protected thousands of customers, preventing potential financial losses, lost productivity and privacy loss, with SecureNet.

Currently, ViewQwest records a 31% penetration rate for SecureNet among its residential and SME customer base. During Q3 2022 alone, SecureNet blocked nearly 33 million malicious ads and five million malware attacks in Singapore, double the amount of cyberattacks prevented in Q1 2022 (18.6 million).

Expanding from Singapore, ViewQwest will be introducing the SecureNet service to other markets in the region, beginning with Malaysia in the second half of 2023.