Hitachi launch digital services hub in Thailand to serve ASEAN region

02 October 2018 Authored by Consultancy.asia

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi has launched a digital services lab in Thailand to serve manufacturers in Southeast by shining a light on ‘business data to create new value’.

Opened in an industrial park east of Bangkok, Hitachi’s new Lumada Center will offer Industry 4.0 solutions to drive value for regional manufacturers through operational and efficiency gains, with the multinational conglomerate particularly focused on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The new tech centre is the company’s first outside of Japan and marks an increasing push into Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Previously one of the world’s very largest conglomerates, the nearly 110 year-old company has lost ground in recent years to a number of modern business behemoths – including many in the tech sector – slipping from as high as 38 on the Forbes Global 500 list in 2012 to around the 150 mark today. The company, which is highly diversified, is however hitting back, keen to leverage its own tech and digital know-how.

The opening of the Lumada digital services hub in Thailand, which will enable simulation models and data insights for manufactures and other industry clients, now pits Hitachi up against not only the likes of Seimens – which last year opened a similar hub in Singapore – but a range of increasingly digitally-geared global consulting firms which have ventured into the market, such as with McKinsey’s Digital Capabilities Centre, a model factory setting likewise established in Singapore last year.Hitachi launch digital services hub in Thailand to serve ASEAN regionIn a recent report, McKinsey contended a potential $1.2 trillion and $3.7 trillion per year in global productivity gains by 2025 through industry 4.0 technologies, with manufacturers in Southeast Asia scoring a possible $627 billion slice. As it stands, ASEAN manufacturers contributed around $570 billion in value add to the global economy last year, with the sector accounting for nearly a quarter of the region’s combined GDP.

“The Asean market has a higher growth rate compared to the rest of the world, and is rapidly advancing towards both digitalisation and urbanisation, Hitachi President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara said. “We recognise Thailand as a key focal market in this region. Presently, Thailand takes up the bulk of our group sales in Asean, accounting for 35 per cent. We are looking to expand this number. Hitachi will continue to contribute to Thailand’s development towards realising the 4.0 vision.”

And according to Higashihara, the more than Bt50 million investment into the Lumada Centre is just the beginning. “The Amata City industrial estate has industrial parks not only in Thailand but also in Vietnam. We will expand this connection to Asean countries. We will connect not just factory to factory, but industrial park to industrial park and global factory to global factory. Also we will connect factory to logistics centre and data centre, which are also important.”

Earlier this year, US-based Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Consulting was selected for IoT and design work on One Bangkok’s Smart City development, the first smart city in Thailand.

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