Cindy Chua, Head of New Verticals and Market Development, Asia Pacific and Japan, Nokia

Women in GovTech Special Report 2016.

How do you use technology to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation. Nokia has a heritage of connecting people for many decades, and we are now focusing on expanding the human potential through technology. Many social innovations that empower communities rely on self-organisation and timely information. Some of the emerging technologies we’ve been working on are not only bringing people closer together, but creating the fabric that connects people to the objects around them with personalised and real-time integration. I lead market development initiatives in the Asia Pacific and Japan region for Nokia, specifically driving Internet of Things (IoT) programmes and customer engagement to demonstrate technologies which enhance lives by helping people feel safer, healthier, and more empowered. What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2016? We all face the common issue of ageing well. The most exciting thing I have been working on this year is to uncover new ways to help people age more independently, and even predict the onset of falling or heart attack through technology. What technology areas particularly interest you for 2017? Internet of Things will continue to be the key focus for many leading companies in 2017. We see our role to be innovators of the global nervous system, shaping the future of technologies and architectures to transform the human experience. I will continue to focus on this megatrend, bringing Nokia’s connectivity solutions, platform, security, and analytics to power the innovative solutions pioneered by these organisations. If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2016, what would it be? Venturing into new arenas is never easy, but investing in rigorous analysis gives you the confidence to trust your judgements and inspire confidence when forging win-win partnerships. For example, we took an interdisciplinary approach to develop use cases for Healthcare IoT. We studied macroeconomic and clinical statistics and took an ethnographic lens to understand key customer pain-points. We used rapid prototyping and pilots to accelerate the development cycle and strengthen the user business case through best-of-breed collaboration models. Who is your hero and why? Michelle Obama personifies the consummate professional woman, balancing some of the heaviest responsibilities of anyone in the world, while performing an outstanding job raising two very sensible children. She is down-to-earth and knows how to have fun, yet in the recent elections we have seen her as an assertive and sincere public persona. I am sure we all have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more of her in the public realm, and I for one am looking forward to that. I would count her as a hero for all working women, as she trailblazes her career with ambition and grace. And finally, if you could recommend us one place to eat, where would it be? As a true blue Singaporean, I would recommend my favourite food centre – Chomp Chomp at Serangoon Gardens. The char kway teow and barbeque chicken wings are two must-try dishes!