Getting the talent strategy right: Critical factors for new businesses

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Not only is the creation of new products and services a defining aspect of many leading companies today, it is also a means to address fast-shifting customer demands, outsized sustainability challenges and ongoing technological disruption.

In our recent survey, 71 percent of business leaders in Asia-Pacific report building new businesses as a top-five strategic priority for their companies. They also expect 28 percent of their future revenue to come from the new businesses they build in the next five years.

For these corporate ventures to succeed in today’s digital environment, they require a deep bench of tech talent, particularly in skillsets such as automation, cloud, customer experience, cybersecurity, data management, DevOps, and platforms and products. It is also critical to consider leadership talent. Leading a corporate venture requires a blend of entrepreneurial and management nous. In fact, developing robust people and talent strategies are among the highest-value actions a business can take.

When it comes to assembling tech and leadership talent to build corporate ventures in Asia-Pacific, we observe three key factors: finding an experienced CEO, adopting a flexible recruitment strategy, and providing beyond compensation.

Experience matters: The most successful CEOs of corporate ventures display four key attributes

Ideally, the CEO of a corporate venture should be both an experienced entrepreneur who has built and scaled multiple new businesses, and a seasoned executive who is well-versed in corporate governance and navigating the workings of established companies.


A calibrated risk appetite

A willingness to learn and pivot

The knack for hiring the right talent

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Finding a balance in your recruitment strategy: Corporate ventures need a range of talent for each stage of growth

From the CEO and founding team to tech and growth hacking experts. Embracing varied approaches to recruitment can expand corporate ventures’ access to high-potential candidates and expedite their hiring process.

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Speed must be tempered with the right fit

Explore alternative channels of recruitment


More than one way to attract and retain talent: Beyond compensation, our research reveals these key non-wage priorities

A well-structured compensation model can incentivize employees to grow the business, encourage continuity and retention, and help identify when an underperforming venture should shut down. Beyond compensation, our research shows the importance of non-wage components of the employee value proposition and reveals these key priorities.

Workplace flexibility

Prioritizing employees’ mental health and wellness

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Launching a corporate venture can be a daunting prospect, but with the right leadership talent, a balanced recruitment strategy and a focus on creating a flexible and mentally healthier workplace, business leaders can focus on creating value and enabling their corporate ventures to take flight.

Corporate Venture Launchpad 2.0 is an expanded S$20 million programme designed to enable established corporates, regional family businesses and high growth companies with Singapore-based operations to launch a new venture from Singapore, supported by EDB-appointed venture studios that have best-in-class expertise, proven track records and diverse venture-building offerings. Leap by McKinsey is proud to be an appointed venture studio of the program.

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