A Filipina Microsoft executive who’s made it to the top ranks of the tech giant in Asia has weighed in on the exciting opportunities the region can capitalize on in what she calls the new Industrial Revolution.
In the Asia Vision Series, Dr. Astrid Tuminez, Microsoft Southeast Asia Regional Director for Legal Corporate Affairs shared how she thinks Asia is on the verge of having an explosive growth under a new Industrial Revolution that focuses on technology.
“When we look back at how Asia has grown in the last three-and-a-half decades, this remarkable rise of Asia, we can clearly say that technology has been one of the three core pillars. The other pillars have been globalization and market reform,” she said.
Tuminez explains that Asians are naturally savvy in creating, using and producing today’s technology but this doesn’t guarantee that the region as a whole can repeat its prior growth during the past decades.
“Can we leverage technology again? Can we put the right policies in place? And can we ensure that the prosperity and empowerment that comes from technology is shared more broadly?” she asked.
Tuminez also tackled some of the problems that come along with regional growth. “Now when you look at Asia, if you look at GDP growth, it’s been quite remarkable. But when you look at inequality, for example, you see that there is a dark side or when you look at gender equality. You can name any issue. You can look at education and you will see that there are disparate outcomes for different classes of people,” she said.
While there are indeed problems, she says Asia also sees solutions. “And so the fourth Industrial Revolution pushes us in Asia to think how we might create more prosperity, more innovation, more education, more business but spread that so that we solve real problems and we have greater stability in the region.”
And although Tuminez isn’t certain whether Asia is leading in terms of technology, she thinks that the region’s biggest advantage is its youth, which she says can address the problems that come along with riding the wave of a new Industrial Revolution.
“Asia has a youth bulge, so we have all this energy. We have all these young men and women, ages 15 to 27, born in the Cloud. It is so natural for them to have a phone in their hands, to play games, to learn a language. And I think that drives part of what we are seeing in Asia,” she said.
In conclusion, Tuminez believes that Asia’s youth paired with how they use new technology to deal with their daily problems will ultimately become the key to the region’s growth.
“My own view is that Asia is a little bit faster on the uptake, and because their own problems are very real –Our problems are very real. And people can communicate now and talk about problems and solutions, and innovate with a technology that is available to them. So that’s what exciting,” she said.