A delegation headed by CEO Susanne Ruoff and the entire board of the Swiss Post, Switzerland’s postal services company, paid a visit to Seoul on 1st and 2nd of April 2016.
The Swiss Post identified “digitalisation” as the major trend that has disruptive effects on all its core businesses in postal services, documentation, transport and banking. As Korea has advanced IT technologies and has strongly adapted mobile solutions, the Swiss post decided to visit Seoul. The visit was combined with a trip to China (organized by swissnex China) and Japan (organised by the Science & Technology Office Tokyo), demonstrating the strong collaboration among the Swiss stofficeasia network.
The Science & Technology Office Seoul organised the following visits for the Swiss Post delegation:
- SK Planet HQ situated in Pangyo, the Korean “Silicon Valley”, just 20km south of Seoul. SK Planet is a spin-off company of Korean telecom giant SK Telecom and focuses its business on e-commerce through its platform 11st, fintech and content development. SK Planet is actively pursuing global opportunities and together, the group discussed about e-commerce strategies and global delivery systems.
- The second visit was to Samsung Digital City in Suwon with a meeting focused on Samsung Pay, a new mobile wallet solution for Samsung mobile phones. During the meeting, the Swiss Post also introduced their own mobile payment solution, which is in operation in Switzerland, Twint.
In addition to meeting large companies and discussing possible collaboration, the Swiss Post delegation was also keen to learn more about the Korean start-up ecosystem. For this purpose, a networking & presentation dinner was organised by the Science & Technology Office.
Start-up Alliance and Yozma Group Korea introduced the booming start-up ecosystem in Korea, Design Factory Korea by Yonsei University introduced their entrepreneurship programs, GoGoVan pitched their bus transport start-up and WDHB, a professional learning experience organiser, shared their insights on Korean innovation in companies.
In Switzerland, the Post runs several innovation and venture support programs focused on partnering with universities and start-ups to bring innovations to the market. The two most attention-grabbing pilot projects:
- testing of parcel deliveries by drones (see article here) ( however widespread use of the flying postmen is not likely to kick in for another five years)
- driver-less bus system in the city of Sion (see video below)
The Swiss Post is now actively looking into collaborative projects in Asia and how it can benefit from Asia’s strength in digitalisation.