Boardroom briefing: transformation champions, banks go different ways on Apple Card, new transport on-demand booking app


ASX champions give us a lesson on business growth, Apple Card makes banks show their true colours, and Odesh launches an Uber-style app in Port Moresby. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Credit: Caltex

Dual transformation: a new buzzword

Eight Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies have been dubbed ‘Transformation Champions’ by a new joint report from two innovation consultancies, Inventium and Innosight.

Aristocrat (gaming), Caltex (fuel), Downer (mining and engineering services), Orora (packaging), Qantas (aviation), REA Group (real estate portal), SEEK (recruitment) and (travel) were identified out for achieving ‘exceptional and sustained growth, above and beyond their peers.’

What do these eight completely different businesses have in common?

According to the report, all eight companies share a common achievement: they’ve made their existing core business more resilient but also created a new business to drive growth—what the report calls ‘dual transformation’.

For instance, Qantas has launched Red Planet, a customer insights and marketing business, on the back of its customer loyalty program. Faced with stalling growth, Webjet launched a B2B wholesale bed bank business, WebBeds, which now accounts for over 50 per cent of its earnings. Meanwhile, REA Group has added financial services and home financing to its real estate listing business.

The report observes that mergers and acquisitions have ‘played a role in nearly every Champion’s transformation story, by accelerating access to new customers, markets or capabilities.’

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The message appears to be: don’t be afraid to try someone thing new, even if it means buying another business.

Apple Card backed and ready to launch

Talking of new business, you may recall Boardroom briefing brought you news of Apple’s planned venture into credit cards, Apple Card.

The card is backed by Goldman Sachs, after other major banks decided to pass on the opportunity due, it’s suggested, to concerns about lower profits due to the card’s customer-friendly features.

According to Goldman Sachs’ Omer Ismail, potential lower margins aren’t a worry.

‘The idea that doing right by the customer means being less profitable is just not an idea we subscribe to. If you do right by the customer, you’re going to ultimately win their loyalty.’

We’ll see whose theory is right when the card is launched later this year.

New online transport booking service in PNG

As futurist Mark Pesce told us back in 2017, PNG needs to develop its own apps for its own market needs. That is now well and truly happening.

The best of luck to PNG-made Uber-style transport booking service Odesh, which is launched this week in Port Moresby.

It’s not quite the first service of its kind in PNG (Black Swan launched a premium app-based ride booking service in 2017), but it offers a ‘safe, convenient and fast’ way to book taxis and hire cars (both with and without drivers).

If you’re interested in giving the new service a go, the app you need can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

If you missed last week’s Boardroom briefing, click here.

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