Boardroom briefing: capital raising in Papua New Guinea during COVID-19, can big data predict your health and how tech is helping curb the pandemic


Raising capital in Papua New Guinea during the pandemic, the Chinese city giving residents a ‘health score’ and Microsoft talks tech and the future of pandemics. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

How can you raise capital during COVID-19?

CPL’s Mahesh Patel.

With businesses large and small suffering during the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, how can a business raise capital? The question was raised last week during the Business Advantage PNG online business briefing, Managing Your Business During PNG’s COVID-19 Crisis.

Mahesh Patel, CEO of CPL Group, and Wayne Osterberg, KPMG PNG’s Director Advisory Services, took a look at how businesses might get a much-needed cash injection. There were reservations.

‘The international banks are overly cautious because of what has happened in the Australian market, but the local banks are more understanding because they have their ears to the ground,’ said Patel. ‘It is very loud and clear that the Australian banks are very cautious, which doesn’t help our cause, so my question to them is “why the hell are you guys here”?’

‘I think the banks have been relatively proactive in engaging with their customers to see where they can assist,’ explained Osterberg. ‘But the banks are definitely concerned about their risk and the ability of businesses to provide accurate forecasts and the quality of assets.’

Osterberg foresees an adjustment of asset values by the banks and that will affect any business credit.

Should the government check up on your health?

A QR code

Taking contact tracing to the next level, the Chinese city on Hangzhou wants to use the personal data it has been collecting on its residents to give them a ‘health score’, according to a report on CNN.

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The data on the city’s 10 million residents will assess how much they have drunk, smoked and exercised and turn the data into a scannable QR code. The codes started as a ‘green light’ for COVID-free people to be scanned into premises, but are now being considered as a permanent feature of city life. There might even be a group health score for companies taking into account their treatment of employees (health plans, working hours etc).

With so much data being accrued on individuals, and accelerated by the pandemic, the next steps taken by governments, or businesses, will be very interesting.

Technology’s role in combating COVID-19

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella. Credit: Microsoft/Instagram

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has told Forbes Asia that he is seeing migration to new technologies that is ‘skipping multiple generations of tech’.

The software boss was discussing the role of technology – including a health bot that is the first point of contact for coronavirus patients – and talking up new products such as Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare at its recent Build conference.

Nadella predicts three phases to the new COVID-19 reality: response, recovery and re-imagining. ‘I don’t think we go forward with exactly the same type of workflows or how we do work or business process the same way,’ he says.

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