Innovation…Solution to Transforming Business for Survival
According to the Global Competitiveness Ranking of countries by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) for 2021, Thailand is ranked 28th out of 63 countries. The results from the ranking showed improvement in 3 areas; the efficiency of the government sector, the efficiency of the business sector, and the basic infrastructure. However, economic performance has continued to decline in the ranking for the past two years. This is due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the overall impact on Thai economy especially in the tourism and service sectors. This shows that Thailand still has the challenge of adapting and coping with the ever-changing situations. An important finding from the Competitiveness Ranking found that one of the important factors that supports a country’s ability to compete globally at a top-level is through investment in innovation. While the whole world is faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the countries with strong economy do not have to compete on lower unit price. Businesses can also add values through providing new innovations for their customers.
Traditional business models may not be the way to success anymore. Entrepreneurs have to change their perspective, create new business models and learn to build on what are available to create new processes. They need to utilize innovations to help solve problems, fulfill needs and create fit with changing lifestyle. Thailand is ranked 43 out of 132 countries worldwide on the 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII) (moved up 1 level from 2020), as reported by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in collaboration with Cornell University and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD). This shows that Thailand is capable and has good innovation capability. The most distinct qualities are its market and business systems. Despite a slight decline performance, the capability is still at a good level, particularly the gross domestic expenditure on research and development which is invested by several business entities (ranked no. 1). This reflects the Thai private sector’s investment in R&D to focus on enhancing business capabilities through more innovation development. On the second sub-category, Thailand is the country that has exported the most creative products. Thailand now sets its sight to move up to the top-30 of Global Innovation Index to establish its position as an innovation-based country. To do so, there is a need to change the business model to include innovations in order for the business to survive and can thrive competitively and sustainably into the future.
In addition, Thailand was ranking 36th by Bloomberg Innovation Index for 2021 from 60 countries worldwide under its ranking of top countries for innovation, a jump from 40th place. The proportion of investment in research and development of the country moved up 8 ranks higher and is one of the top three leading countries in the ASEAN region, after Singapore and Malaysia. Thailand has adapted 3 main strategies to drive Thailand towards being an “Innovation-Based Country”: linking research to innovation, upgrading to Industry 4.0, and building potentials for the future.