Born in China, Samantha Jayne Ty (MGB Class of 2016) was raised in the Philippines and completed her graduation in Applied Corporate Management from Cum Laude at De La Salle University. Samantha drew a strong inclination toward start-ups and equity research on a sustainable environment. Post her Master of Global Business degree, she was overjoyed to bag her first internship at ID Capital, a start-up capital firm that focuses on sustainable food solutions.
How did this journey prepare her for the world of Finance? What is her take on some of the latest trends in this digitised world? We caught up with her for a quick interview to find out!
Q. Could you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
I joined Kraft Heinz as a management trainee about five years ago, moving within the organisation, including Singapore, Dubai and Canada. I had the flexibility to travel across all our region’s implementing processes, KPIs, and cost-saving initiatives.
My proudest moment is having to revamp our cost management processes and dig into our costs to find savings for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, while simultaneously taking the initiative to implement a digital transformation tool that transformed our market sales’ visibility to drive forecasts. My superiors recognised my potential and assigned me the task to drive digital process improvement in demand-planning forecasting tools and commercial finance. The company decided to migrate our ERP system to SAP, where I had the pleasure of leading the procure-to-pay stream with an amazing team within eight months.
Post this experience, I relocated to Toronto, Canada, where I managed revenue, pricing and promotions for readymade meals, beverages, desserts, and infant categories. Seven months later, I now have the opportunity to drive capabilities and growth through revenue management in Canada, implementing the best practices from across the world to support our work in a highly inflationary period.
Q. You graduated from SP Jain in 2016. Are there any fond memories from your time at school that you still remember?
There were many fond memories at SP Jain. I definitely miss my classmates who made my experience more joyful and less stressful. As a family, we experienced new things together by learning and teaching one another. Right after our tests, we would invite each other to go on a quick trip or to a good restaurant to celebrate. We shared our cultures with each other with moments of teaching my friends the ‘Shahrukh Khan pose’, watching movies or eating Filipino food together.
I remember visiting the Sikh temple with my friend, it was an amazing experience filled with people’s generosity and smiles. The whole experience made me value cultural differences and how they can be leveraged the same to maximize the experience.
Q. What does a day in your life look like at the Kraft Heinz Company?
Professionally, my previous role was to set and manage pricing, promotions, and mix for but not limited to Kraft Dinners, Classico, Mio and Kool-Aid. It has been incredibly challenging and interesting in these inflationary times, where prices have increased ten times more than they used to be. I also had to align and convey these strategies across Marketing and Sales.
We also needed to provide sufficient reasoning w.r.t. pricing, its direction and magnitude. Pricing thousands of products individually, aligning on each one of them, ensuring promotions and bundling are still feasible across each retailer. My day is typically covered with back to back meetings, work sessions, and working on the figures to ensure that the right pricing and promo strategy is provided collaboratively with the marketing and sales team across multiple retailers in Canada. We had to set up some capabilities to create a library of strategies and directions for each brand. However, now I am moving to a new role and am looking forward to what’s in store for me.
Q. As a finance expert, what do you think about the latest trend of investing in cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFT)? Do you think this will be a lasting trend, or is it just a fad? How can one cope with the risks that come with these?
Innovation and change are always scary. To progress further, we must occasionally leave our comfort zone and push the boundaries of innovation. Cryptocurrencies and certain NFTs have the potential to become lasting trends in the digitised world. It would help individuals to be in control of their own assets via the decentralised blockchain rather than being held by a few centralised institutions.
Furthermore, blockchain technology has gained the interest of multiple companies, such as Amazon. As these major institutions adopt the technology, it will no longer be just a trend but will soon become the standard norm. However, with these comes challenges, including which assets to hold, how to set up the blockchain, and government regulations.
NFTs can be separated into two categories: Auto-generated NFTs, which is practically a fad, and NFTs with a utility such as Sandbox and Metaverse. The former category is quickly becoming saturated, and its only value is the hype of its novelty. The second category will likely change how we interact with each other and entertain ourselves. We will soon adapt to virtual reality as we progress into a digitised world. Projects such as Metaverse and Sandbox allow their users to meet and build their own spaces as well as invite friends to visit their space. These areas will become the ultimate vehicle for an individuals’ expression.
In order to reduce risks that come with the crypto space, one must educate themselves before investing in projects/coins. In this way, they can understand how the project will make money and provide value to the ever-changing blockchain landscape
For investors, it is important to implement multiple strategies such as technical analysis, keeping up with news/government regulations, setting dollar-cost averaging price targets, hard/trailing stop losses as well as not to avoid greediness for profits as the price increases. Investors can also mitigate risk by investing in projects for the longer-term rather than swing/daily trades. For the most part, the longer the timer period, the less volatile an asset and crypto are no different.
Q. Financial management as an area is witnessing a colossal and continuous focus on digitisation. Digital finance and digital money seem to be the new development. How do you think the finance industry will be transformed over the next few years?
I believe that financial institutions will be decentralised, and AI will continue to grow across this industry. Finance and IT lines will continue to blur as we become stewards of data. Many corporations are now automating work in finance and digitising their analysis via AI to drive certain decisions. Jobs are moving towards having computers and automation carrying out repetitive/routine tasks and humans wasting less time deriving the information and more time focusing on its analysis and application. I simply cannot imagine how much more is in store for us in the next few years!
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