Member Spotlight: Conversations with 2018 SG:D Techblazer Awards Winners: Ali Y Aladdin, CEO, KroniKare
Jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech, the inaugural SG:D Techblazer Awards was created in 2018 following the merger of the National Infocomm Awards and the SiTF awards, serving as the national endorsement for Singapore companies and exemplifying the spirit of innovation in technology development or adoption. The awards saw a record-breaking 331 applications by 218 companies, with eight companies eventually recognised for their achievements.
We begin our profile of our Award recipients this month by catching up with one of our winners to find out what they have been up to lately, how winning the SG:D Techblazer Award has contributed to their corporate goals and their plans ahead for 2019.
SGTech speaks with Mr Ali Y Aladdin , Bronze winners for the ‘ ‘Most Promising’ category.
SGTech(SGT): SGTech (SGT): Congratulations on winning Ali, how has winning helped your organisation in your brand recognition?
[Winners of the Inaugural SG:D Techblazer Awards, with Minister S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information]
[Mr Ali Y Aladdin, Co-Founder & CEO of Kronikare, share with us with the latest developments after winning bronze at the SG:D Techblazer Awards]
Ali Y Aladdin, (AA):
Yes, winning has helped us gain recognition and validation with our customers, plus the added effect of increasing the motivation of our team. This has also helped us in our expansion and recruitment. Being selected among the leading 8 Techblazers gives us a lot of credibility and bodes well for our future.
SGT: How do you see the outlook for your industry this year?
When it comes to the local market, we understand from the ministries that the cost of local healthcare is not sustainable and there is a need to reign in the cost and for people to live healthily.
This is where we come in by using technology as a productivity tool for nurses to automate very manual processes. We believe this will have a significant impact as the adoption cascades down to Singapore’s healthcare institutions. In 2 to 3 years, we should see notable benefits.
We also want to cascade down to end users using our product as a preventive measure, for example, a person with pre-diabetes or diabetes could be prone to getting diabetic foot ulcers they can use it as a monitoring tool as well. This is something that can bring down healthcare costs through prevention. We are in line with what the Government is trying to do in finding ways to ease the manpower crunch
The regional market is much bigger for us. We have a two-prong approach: - firstly getting adoption up in Singapore; then using our success here as a reference case to bring our product into the region and to get into the countries as quickly as possible. For example, Malaysia has a 44% obesity rate as compared to 30% in Singapore, Malaysia too would be facing a similar issue on escalating healthcare cost1
. (source: APACMED, source attached at the end of article)
SGT: What are your business plans going forward?
SGT: Do you have any plans to expand regionally or internationally? If so, which new markets have you already expanded to, or are looking to get into?
AA: We plan to grow our sales and marketing activities to build market share, and develop more AI- based solutions for healthcare.
We made an exploratory visit to India in November with Enterprise Singapore. With 60 million diabetics in India, it is an important market for us. We are also applying for US FDA approval to market in the US, and we are also looking at Europe and Indonesia for 2019.
Companies like us in deep tech, when we get adoption in Singapore, we need to move quickly to other regional countries to monetize the technology that is coming out from Singapore. When we can do this successfully, other products can follow suit as well.
Having gone with Enterprise Singapore and seeing their objective of engaging healthcare providers abroad, we see ourselves as somewhat the pioneering batch. Rather than just go on a trade delegation talk, and come back and be on our own, we would like Enterprise Singapore’s assistance to identify specific companies we can meet and engage them in a meaningful way. We want to do a lot more trials and technological adoption with these companies and work long term.
SGT: Do you foresee a time whereby solutions can successfully penetrate public health care sector and directly improve the lives of the community? How likely and soon do you think that can happen in Singapore??
[Mr Ali Y Aladdin, with Dr Hossein Nejati (right), CTO of Kronikare at last year’s SG:D Techblazer Night]
A positive move towards adopting new technologies does seem to be gaining a foothold albeit slowly. In my opinion, it may still take three to five years before the pace of adoption quickens and thereafter directly improve the lives of the community
SGT: How important do you see the role of home-grown companies in developing Singapore ICT sector’s capabilities and standing?
As Singapore is recognised as a hub for innovation, home-grown companies should be in the forefront of the innovation and to nurture the next generation, with less reliance on foreign talent & imported technologies.
We need a lot of Government support to provide that opening in some countries. If it is just startups like us trying to compete with each other on who comes in the front of the list, it is a very tall order.
Government support can be a very strong point for startups to push ahead. Government support can also be for very specific countries. For example, applying for the US FDA, which is a very big market. Once we get in there, instead of having to manoeuvre ourselves around it is better to get specific targeted assistance, which can translate to meaningful efforts and something tangible for home-grown companies’ capabilities & standing.
Continue to stay tuned for our next “Conversations with our SG:D Techblazer Awards winners”
Published Mar 2019