Sep 17, 2020|

JD’s SEA President Shares Observations On New Normal At DBS Panel


by Martin Li

Soon Sze Meng, South-east Asia president for, shared his observations on the new normal in a world still reeling from COVID-19, at a panel discussion organized by the leading financial services group DBS in Singapore on September 16.

Among the three observations Soon shared are more trade flows and manufacturing coming into ASEAN, changing consumer behavior and the importance of supply chains.

“We see the values of putting the customer first, integrity and collaboration as key,” Soon said. “Adaptability is a critical skillset in this ‘next normal’ and we need to be open to learn and relearn. And it’s no different for JD. We started online 17 years ago, disrupted the offline business in China and became an e-commerce giant. But in the last 5 years, we shifted our focus back to offline to the changing landscape. We too have to constantly readapt and rethink our strategy to maintain our competitive edge.”

Soon also highlighted the immense value of data in helping both global brands and consumers on JD’s platform develop, supply and access preferred products; while for smaller merchants, data helps them with the when, where, how and what price to sell their goods.

“We need to focus on what adds value to the customer, and this could mean abandoning familiarity, and taking a harder, unknown route to get to the destination,” he said.

As part of a day-long speaker series themed “Transform Tomorrow, Today”, the panel discussion was moderated by Tan Su Shan, DBS group head of institutional banking,. Among the panelists were Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran; Conor McNamara, managing director of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for ASEAN; and Jeremy Palmer, CEO of QuantumBlack.

Watch more of what Soon has to say on the new normal here: