William E. Heinecke, right, founder and group CEO of Minor International, and Krating Poonpol, left, managing partner of 500 TukTuks and founder of Disrupt Technology Venture.
William E. Heinecke, right, founder and group CEO of Minor International, and Krating Poonpol, left, managing partner of 500 TukTuks and founder of Disrupt Technology Venture.

Minor woos tech disruptors of food

Corporate October 22, 2018 01:00

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

2,666 Viewed

Minor Group has joined hands with Disrupt Technology Venture and 500 TukTuks to arrange a business and technology hackathon called “Minor Tasting The Future” to find the new disruptors in the food industry.



The move is part of Minor Group’s efforts to pave the way for it to scale new heights of success in the next 50 years, with a vision to transform the food retail service in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Also, the move is expected to create Thailand’s first startup unicorn and position the country as the food tech centre of Southeast Asia.

William E Heinecke, founder and group chief executive officer of Minor International, said the company has to prepare for potential disruptors to its business to make sure it is investing in the right places and products. It is time to find new ways of thinking and new pathways to growth and to create value, he said.

The choice is to disrupt or wait to be disrupted, he said. “New technology and innovations are quickly changing the way people do business, the way customers shop, and the ways they share their opinion and experience. It is no longer just company versus company, but also competing in platforms and ecosystems,” he added.

“Only the fastest, most innovative, most adaptive companies will thrive, therefore, it is incumbent on us to look forward to the way things will be, so we can stay two steps ahead of the competition,” said Heinecke. 

To continue the success in the next 50 years, Minor must find new partners, innovators and disruptors who come up with fresh perspectives, unconventional ideas, and the courage to pursue their visions.

“I believe that the combination of corporate power and startup agility will prove to be a winwin for all involved,” said Hieneke. 

Krating Poonpool, managing partner of 500 TukTuks and founder of Disrupt Technology Venture, said that the food value chain is being disrupted entirely from farm to fork.

He added that the world of technology is currently transitioning from the era of digital disruption towards tech disruption and food tech is one of the most exciting areas. 

The food tech market is massive. The worldwide food tech market is expected to be US$250.43 billion by 2022. Meanwhile, the food tech market in Southeast Asia is expected to be US$10.01 billion by 2022. 

“Food, Agriculture and biotechnology are the next big digital wave. From farm to fork, all areas of the food supply chain will be disrupted. We are looking for disruptors who can create food and dining innovation in Thailand,” said Krating.

This represents a huge opportunity for Thailand. Thailand can become the centre of innovation in the food and food retail sectors in Southeast Asia. This sector has a strong potential to create the first startups unicorn of Thailand, he said.

The collaboration with Minor Group is to kickstart the creation of food and food retail innovation ecosystem in Thailand with sustainable support in terms of funding, strategic partnerships and scaling, he added.

The hackathon is looking for innovative ideas in the areas of “The Future of Food Retail Service”, “The Future of Franchise”, “The Future of Dining for Ageing Society”, “Digitisation of Restaurants”, “Dining for the Hyper Millennials”, and “Delivery 4.0 and Beyond”.

Participants will be mentored by leading business executives and entrepreneurs such as Heinecke and Krating themselves as well as Yod Chinsupakul, chief executive of Wongnai and Natavudh Pungcharoenpong, chief executive officer of Ookbee and many other leaders mentos of Thailand and SEA. 

The winning team will receive Bt100,000, the first runnerup will receive Bt70,000, and the second runnerup will receive Bt50,000. Most importantly, all the winners will have the opportunity to receive long-term support from Minor Group and 500 TukTuks.

Applications open today until November 9. The finalists will be announced on November 16. Only 100 people from 20 teams will be selected to participate in the hackathon, which will be on December 12.