We spoke to Emma Ou, Country Manager for Singapore & ANZ Regional Director, Asus, about how Asus innovates and what she thinks will be the future for the industry. Don’t forget to watch the video for the correct pronunciation of Asus!
Q: BMW’s tagline is The Ultimate Driving Machine, and for Asus, it’s In Search Of Incredible. When you think of these two taglines, you think of innovation and change. So how has Asus’ design philosophy changed and innovated over the years to stand out?
Innovation is always part of Asus’ DNA. So we’re in search of incredible ideas and experiences, and that led to the creation of the ScreenPad Plus, which is a dual-screen laptop unlike any other in the market.
Q: When we think about using laptops, everybody is used to using laptops a certain way. What is the challenge for the design team to innovate and are your customers ready for that change? What’s the process?
The process is basically starting from understanding your customers. We always do research worldwide in key territories and countries to understand our customer’s needs and build products around them to support their needs and increase their productivity. We always believe understanding them is the most important part of innovation. Innovation isn’t just for the sake of innovation. It’s something to support your customers and help them have a better life.
Q: We live in a mobile-first world and mobile phones are just so powerful. Do you feel this is a threat or do you ever see mobile phones replacing PCs and laptops?
One thing that remains consistent is how customers use their devices. Some customers still require laptops or PCs to support heavy work, and we keep challenging ourselves to provide better user interfaces to them.
Q: Let’s talk about laptops and the future of laptops. Let us in on some industry vision or secrets.
I think AI will come into laptops really soon. It’s something that learns your behaviour and fits into your daily activities well. Asus is based on five virtues, humility, integrity, diligence, agility and courage.
Q: We’re sitting in a really luxurious car, a BMW 8 series, what do you like about it and what features stand out?
It’s really comfortable, and what I’m impressed by is the driving assistant features that ensure your safety while driving. The best feature has to be the parking assistant though! I use it all the time.
Q: Let’s talk a little bit about you. What kind of techie are you?
Frankly speaking, I’m not a techie. But I embrace technology, I heavily rely on it and I’m curious about it. From mobile tech to smart home devices, it helps me to increase my productivity and eases the workload keeping the house clean so I can spend more time with my family.
Q: It’s not just about usage, it’s also about being curious and wanting to know more. I know you had a background in Chinese literature, which I think is extremely profound. How has a background in the arts kind of shaped you as a leader?
I think the most important thing to me is my value system. And it’s heavily influenced by my background learning Chinese Literature. In Chinese we have a saying, “We learned about morality and justice from books on saints and sages, so from now on, we have nothing to be ashamed of.”
It basically means that no matter what kind of difficulties you face, you have to retain your values and not be destroyed by emotional or short-term benefits.
Q: Because the tech industry has so much disruption all the time, what advice do you have for young women who are aspiring to a senior leadership position in tech?
I would say, what is limiting you is not the environment or the people around you, but yourself. So don’t limit yourself. If there is a ceiling, raise it.
This content is brought to you in partnership with BMW Singapore.