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Voices on the future of Asia

McKinsey leaders from across the region discuss the forces, opportunities and challenges that are shaping the future of Asia.


A new era for industrial R&D in Japan

Hiroshi Odawara and André Rocha, both partners in McKinsey’s Japan's office, address the company-level factors that may be hampering the success of industrial R&D in Japan, and where Japanese companies have the opportunity to close gaps between their current R&D practices and those of today’s highest-performing global R&D organizations.

How e-commerce is transforming ASEAN

Reuben Lai, senior managing director of Grab Financial Group, discusses how mega demographic trends have affected the ride sharing industry and how companies have to join forces to thrive in this era.


Korea’s ascent to the global stage

Wonsik Choi, senior partner and managing partner in McKinsey’s Korea office, discusses how Korea has been at the heart of global flows, outlining the country’s impact on people, capital, and cultures around the world.

Three long-term trends changing business in China

Joe Ngai, managing partner in the McKinsey Greater China office, discusses how automation will change the face of the Chinese economy—and why this needs to happen given an aging population. The democratization of people’s jobs will be an important trend for Chinese businesses to manage.

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Regional perspectives


The cross-border flows shifting toward Asia

Oliver Tonby, chairman in McKinsey’s Asia offices, discusses the trends shaping intra-regional trade and network flows in Asia, and the organizational changes CEOs and governments must consider to maintain their lead in this rapidly-changing region.

How Asia is shaping the next phase of globalization

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey, describes how movement of goods, capital and people within Asia is changing the pattern of global flows.

Country perspectives

The rise of digital and data flows in Singapore

Diaan-Yi Lin, senior partner and managing partner in McKinsey’s Singapore office, discusses how digital platforms have transformed global trade flows, and how this affects Asian countries such as Singapore.

Innovating business models in India to boost the economy

Gautam Kumra, managing partner in McKinsey’s India office, discusses the need for Indian businesses to be professionalized, to create more innovative business models, and to strengthen corporate governance standards. In doing so, companies will help India become the world’s fifth largest economy by 2022.

How an aging population and disruption will impact Japan

Andre Andonian, managing partner in McKinsey’s Japan office, addresses the way that the aging population and digital disruption will shape the economy and how Japanese companies should think about their global footprint.

Asian companies

ASEAN’s transformation to a global player

Kaushik Das, managing partner in McKinsey’s Southeast Asia offices, discusses ASEAN’s growth and expansion, and how its economy has stayed resilient despite political volatility.

What’s on the horizon for Asian companies

Angus Dawson, managing partner in McKinsey’s Australia office, discusses the increase in shareholder pressure as transparency exposes companies to greater scrutiny. CEOs, he says, need to bring their stakeholder groups together.

Power of parity

The future of women in Asia’s workforce

Anu Madgavkar, partner in McKinsey’s Mumbai office, discusses how the potential for women in Asia to raise their economic position is great, but automation will present unique challenges for women in the workforce.

Manufacturing and trade

Rise of intra-regional trade in Asia

Karel Eloot, senior partner in McKinsey’s Shanghai office and co-author of the Future of Asia, discusses the rise of intra-regional trade and network flows in Asia, and how CEOs must change their operational model to stay ahead of the development curve.

What’s next for manufacturing and supply chains

Alpesh Patel, director in McKinsey’s Digital Capability Center, discusses the need for CEOs to be business backed instead of business forward. He also speaks about the relentless growth of analytics, how automation is shaping manufacturing, and the need for people to remain at the center of transformation.

Digital disruption

Asia’s digital advantage

Jeongmin Seong, senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute, discusses the rapid development of Asia’s digital economy, its impact on the global innovation space, and the important roles governments play in the Asian digital economy.

How CEOs can meet the digital challenge

Noshir Kaka, global coleader in McKinsey’s Analytics Practice, discusses how technological advancements are key to the future of Asia, how companies must recognize certain kinds of decisions are better off being automated, and how Asian companies are leapfrogging like never before.

The four fundamentals of digital in Asia

Gregor Theisen, managing partner of McKinsey Digital in Asia, describes how new technologies require companies to respond very quickly and to have flexible architecture. People must be trained and systems upgraded, he says, and organizations must be prepared to operate in an ecosystem where problems are always changing.


Asia’s energy transition

Azam Mohammad, who leads McKinsey’s energy and basic-materials work in Southeast Asia, says the future of the energy sector in Asia is going to be driven by renewables, supported by innovative energy technology such as floating storage re-gas units. He also discusses how Asian companies should move beyond being purely oil and gas companies to being energy companies.

Asia: A hotspot in the hydrogen market

Bernd Heid, a senior partner in McKinsey’s Cologne office, discusses the forces reshaping the hydrogen market in Asia, from technological advancement to cross-regional cooperation and government policies and roadmaps. He also addresses Asia’s role as the global hotspot for hydrogen economy interdeployment.

Financial services

Asia’s opportunity for growth in banking

Jacob Dahl, leader in McKinsey’s Financial Services Practice in Asia, speaks about a sector in the midst of a great transition, as it faces geopolitical challenges, tech disruptors, and increasing regulatory scrutiny. Still, Asia is the world center for banking growth, with consumer finance at the forefront.

The ecosystem effect on financial services in China

Violet Chung, a partner in McKinsey’s Hong Kong office, discusses the questions CEOs should be asking themselves: how to acquire and retain customers and how to obtain and use data from the ecosystems that they build. She also addresses how digital disruptors have redefined how customers interact with platforms.


Winning in Asia’s consumer markets

Dymfke Kuijpers, a senior partner in McKinsey’s Singapore office, discusses shifts in consumer and consumption behavior, largely due to the presence of new tech companies such as Go-Jek and Uber Eats. Consumers are asking how they will live healthily in the future, especially with obesity rates on the rise.

Cities and real estate

The rise of Asian smart cities

Jonathan Woetzel, McKinsey global institute director, senior partner based in our Shanghai office and co-author of the Future of Asia, discusses the increasing importance of Asian cities on the world stage and how they drive Asia’s participation in global flows.

How to win in Asian real estate

Bess Teng, managing partner in McKinsey’s Shenzhen office, discusses how digital attackers will shape business. This is not a zero-sum game, she says, but a collaboration. She explains how digital technology will optimize the end-to-end process of the real estate market. The current fragmented state of the real estate industry has no clear winner—but lots of opportunities.

Future of Asia

The question is no longer how quickly Asia will rise; it is how Asia will lead.