Global tech services provider NTT will have Asia-Pacific head office in Singapore

Mr John Lombard, the new CEO for NTT’s global business in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan and Australia, said the firm is looking to hire here in the areas of robotic process automation and cybersecurity.
Mr John Lombard, the new CEO for NTT’s global business in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan and Australia, said the firm is looking to hire here in the areas of robotic process automation and cybersecurity.PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A newly formed global technology services provider is making Singapore its Asia-Pacific head office, with plans to hire here in the areas of automation and cyber security.

NTT, the international arm of the US$105 billion (S$142 billion) tech giant NTT Group, brings together 28 of its units from 57 countries into a single business.

The consolidation, announced on Monday (July 1), will help NTT focus on taking its services to markets more effectively.

The firm counts Japanese multinational Daikin and European tech giant Alcatel-Lucent among its clients.

There are no planned redundancies with the consolidation, said Mr John Lombard, chief executive of NTT's business in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan and Australia.

The move comes as the company places a greater emphasis on its managed services business over the next five years, he added.

Managed services refer to handling of processes and functions outsourced by other companies - such as security and network infrastructure.

Mr Lombard, who is based in Singapore, told The Straits Times that the aim is to have the managed services business represent 50 per cent of NTT's portfolio by 2023.

Of about 12,000 employees in the Asia-Pacific region, about 2,000 currently work for NTT entities in Singapore .

Around 80 per cent are working in IT-related roles such as network engineers, said Mr Lombard, adding that NTT recruits in Singapore to capitalise on the country's talent pool.

While he did not commit to future hiring numbers, he said the company currently hires up to 300 staff here in a year, and is looking for talent in the areas of robotic process automation and cyber security.

Mr Lombard noted that Singapore and the other Asean states are important markets, and said the firm has been growing at "double-digit plus" levels in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years.

"We're seeing a lot of investment coming into this region (Asia-Pacific). We certainly expect that to continue, with analyst forecasts suggesting that this will be one of the fastest growing regions," he added.

As for the move to consolidate, Mr Lombard said a "joint pursuit team" in Singapore that co-located staff from different companies, such as NTT Communications, showed consolidation can serve customers better.

The team started in April last year and the firm is looking for the efforts to lead to the process of dealing with clients to be around 20 per cent more efficient.

Mr Lombard is unfazed by global challenges, noting that "the breadth of services that we can bring to market buffers us somewhat" from trade tensions.

He said Brexit is unlikely to hit the company either, with NTT's revenue being generated in a range of markets.

The firm's global headquarters is in London, with NTT citing the stable economy, wealth of skills and talent, diversity and infrastructure as among reasons why it is located in the city.