“We’re always reminded that we’re an organisation within a context of local, regional and international [society]. When you think about that, we have to make sure that we remain relevant wherever we operate, both domestically but also on an international basis,” Standard Bank South Africa CEO Ben Kruger told CNBC Africa at the 44th annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“When you think of the theme for Davos this year, a lot of themes are dedicated to the current state of capitalism and how we need to have a much deeper sense of social responsibility for those that have been left behind. It’s also quite interesting to focus on some of the healthcare issues. From a business perspective, the whole digital revolution is clearly upon us and I think the next five years will see changes like we have never witnessed before.”
Kruger added that events such as the World Economic Forum allowed for businesses to connect with clients and customers on an additional level.
“[Technology] is a really fascinating development. If I think of our businesses, if you think of the advances in mobile banking, we see that growing at an unbelievable pace. Predictions are that currently in the world there are one and a half billion smartphones, which will grow to five billion in the next five years. Whatever people can do on a smartphone now, you can extrapolate that by 20,” he said.
Kruger also explained the importance of building one’s business around the customer, understanding their wants and needs, and that technology and digital devices has so far been a positive aid in providing such preferential information.
“All of us are only here because of customers. If you want to focus on cost, technology is the greatest provider of that speciality. Eliminating unnecessary processes for customers, for our staff and make it just so much more efficient [means that] technology is here to stay. With that, unfortunately, comes the whole threat of cyber security and that clearly is getting a lot of attention today as well,” said Kruger.