PCCW group MD says companies need to invest in emerging technologies for future growth

Key Points
  • PCCW's group managing director said investing in new, emerging technologies is important for future growth.
  • The Hong Kong-based telecommunications services provider has invested in emerging technology services, including a streaming platform.

Without investing in new, emerging technologies, companies cannot hope to grow in the longer term, the group managing director of Hong Kong-based telecommunications services provider PCCW said on Wednesday.

B.G. Srinivas said that while investments in emerging technologies may take time to create new revenue streams, it was important for companies to start betting on them now.

"Unless we invest into new, emerging technologies, where the future investments are happening, both on consumer side and enterprise side, there's no hope for growth," Srinivas told CNBC's "Street Signs" on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual June meeting in Dalian.

PCCW holds a majority interest in Hong Kong-based telecommunication services provider, HKT Trust and HKT Ltd. HKT provides services including local telephony, data and broadband, international communications, mobile and other businesses such as outsourcing, consulting and contact centers.

"The core business, and the core contribution will continue from the core offerings. There's no doubt," he said, referring to the telecom services operations, with HKT operations' accounting for most of the company's revenue last year.

PCCW reported a 2 percent fall in 2016 consolidated revenue to 38.384 billion Hong Kong dollars ($4.92 billion), with HKT reporting a 3 percent decline in total revenue to HK$33.847 billion.

But Srinivas said the company was looking into business opportunities in areas such as digital transformation for enterprises. It was also keeping an eye on the potential in the consumer space, where users are increasingly consuming more smartphone-related services.

People walk past a PCCW sign in Hong Kong.
Mike Clarke | AFP | Getty Images

PCCW has invested in emerging technology services, including an over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform Viu to take advantage of the region's growing potential for OTT services. Viu's competitors include Netflix, Hulu and iflix.

"The clear approach is to invest in these areas to drive future growth," Srinivas added. "(But the return on investment) is not going to happen overnight."

Srinivas added that PCCW has plans in place over the next two-to-three years to enhance these offerings and create growth channels that can bring in new streams of revenue. In the short-term, the company is focused on operations in Asia Pacific, which Srinivas says plays to PCCW's strengths.

"In the region where we have strengths, we want to capitalize on (and) that's in Asia. So that's something (which will be) our immediate focus. We will have growth plans for Europe, the U.S. in the medium term as well," he said.