Bob van Dijk recently visited Denmark initiated by DenmarkBridge. The visit took place at Amalienborg and HRH The Crown Prince hosted a dinner for the DenmarkBridge members. The evening began with a fireside-chat with Bob van Dijk, CEO of the Naspers Group – a global consumer internet group and technology investor originally from South Africa.
Naspers was founded in 1915 and until 1985 operated as a print media and book publishing business. Anticipating declining revenues, Naspers changed course, founding a PayTV business in 1985, then establishing MTN, the mobile telecoms business in the 1990s, before embarking on a global internet strategy. Today, Naspers is a global consumer internet group with a market cap of around 100 billion USD. Around one fifth of the world’s population use the products and services of companies that Naspers has built, acquired or invested in. Bob van Dijk will talk about Naspers’ digital journey. How has the company managed the cultural shift of absorbing new business platforms and rethinking business models? How has the company managed to become a market leader in emerging technologies? How has the company balanced its strategic investments with traditional business lines?
One of the key takeaways from Naspers’ journey is its unique strategy for corporate innovation through its investments and partnerships. As part of this strategy, Naspers invested early in Tencent, the Chinese internet company, and today holds more than 30 pct. of that company. Bob van Dijk will highlight the financial value of the Tencent investment, but more importantly, the strategic benefit for the company to partner globally with founders and entrepreneurs, and how that has informed the broader corporate culture and innovation.
Tencent is one of the largest internet companies in the world. Its businesses, products and services have created China’s largest online community, providing social networking, gaming, messaging, payments, communication, and information to its users. Via the close connections to Tencent, Naspers has unique insight into current trends coming from the growing Chinese innovation economy.
The members in DenmarkBridge counts powerful corporates as Lego, Danske Bank, Novo Nordisk, Dansk Industri, A.P. Møller-Mærsk, B&O, Coloplast, PensionDanmark and many others.