How Gil Oved Is Leading the Future of Tech Companies

Updated on 22 February 2017

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Why Gil Oved believes every business should act like a tech company

Gil Oved knows a thing or two about staying ahead of the trends. As the former Dragons Den judge and now a judge in M-Net’s newly launched Shark Tank South Africa he is tasked with spotting the next Andela or Jumia or Facebook.

Oved is also one half of the duo leading South Africa’s largest advertising agency, The Creative Counsel, which he, together with his business partner Ran Neu-Ner, built and was later acquired by multinational agency Publicis Groupe for a reported record-breaking eight-digit Rand figure.

Speaking recently at Growtech’s Technology and Innovation Breakfast Talk alongside Clive Butkow, chief investment officer of Grotech, in Johannesburg, the entrepreneur shared why he thinks ‘every business should see itself as a tech company.’ Even if you are not a tech company, he argues, technology is now how you sell your product, stay connected with your customers, or run a more efficient business.

Oved also shared the tech trends that he thinks entrepreneurs who are planning on surviving should be keeping an eye on.

Find out from Oved and Butkow what the 5 most important technology trends for 2017 and beyond are likely to be.

1. Robotics – Not only will Robots become a huge part of our everyday life, Oved says in sectors such as healthcare and home automations robotics will surpass human interactions.

“Robots have been around for many years, but mainly in the factory space and industrial space. I’m not talking about those robots, I’m talking about robots for the home, that’ll clean your garden, your pool, your home, they’ll look after your children. In fact, there’s an incredible robot that they’ve designed now to help stroke victims. You see, the challenge with stroke victims is that very often they need immediate care that is very intensive in the first few days and weeks. The problem is that the nurses get impatient with them. They grow tired of looking after them and after a while the neural pathways simply can’t be recreated. Well that’s a problem with nurses, but not the problem with robots.” – Oved

2. Blockchain – With many people owning smartphones, Blockchain will become as significant and life-changing as the internet was in the nineties, believes Butkow.

“Who would believe today that probably the next elections in many countries around the world will take place where you will vote in your living room watching the soccer? The technology that’s going to be used is called the blockchain. The blockchain is as transformative to technology today as the internet was in the 1990s/2000s.” – Butkow

Blockchain is the transferal of value whereas the internet was the transferal of communication. Every single person, as long as they’ve got a smartphone, (and most of the planet already has including third world countries) will be able to take advantage of it. So, you’ll see that the next elections in many parts of the world will take place with voters sitting watching the soccer or American football. No more queues, no more voters’ rolls, no more voter fraud. Blockchain, as it gets more powerful and faster, will alleviate that problem. Blockchain is just one area of transformation that’s going to happen.” – Butkow

3. Driverless cars – With huge strides already being made in driverless cars by companies such as Tesla and Google, the obvious big plusses include safer roads, but Oved warns that there are risks as well. 

“Who are the obvious losers of driverless cars? The first jobs to be lost are obviously drivers. But here’s where you need to start thinking. No drivers therefore no traffic officers, no traffic court lawyers, traffic court judges, there’ll be fewer accidents therefore car insurance salesmen and actuaries for insurance and medical insurance and trauma units dedicated to accidents and the nurses and the doctors and you name it and its really highly educated people as well that are at risk because of driverless cars. – Oved

4. Drones – In terms of the uses of drone technology, Oved says we have only just started seeing the tip of the iceberg and not even his sector is immune to its disruption. 

“They are going to come in all shapes and sizes. Amazon has already done its first drone delivery and it’s only just the beginning. And it’s intervening and interfering with every single industry. This is an example of something that’s interfering in my industry, the advertising industry. There was an Uber campaign done in Mexico and what they did is they took drones and they put posters on them and they lowered them into highway traffic jams where it said “Wouldn’t you love to be in an Uber today?” – Oved

5. AI and Big Data – Oved says that we will start seeing AI and Big Data becoming more creative in its analysis while Butkow adds that in the health sector for example, AI and Big Data is going to make it much cheaper to get healthier.

“If you’ve read a financial article in the past six months, there is zero doubt that it was probably written by AI. In fact, the AI technology is getting so smart that they are writing creatively with insight, thought and probably less spelling mistakes.” – Oved

“I was listening to Jonathan Broomberg, the CEO of Discovery Health talking about how the health system is being disintermediated. He was talking about how it’s going to be 5 times cheaper to get health care. They are talking about virtual nurses and getting healthier will be 5 times cheaper with wearable technology and digestible technology where you can just swallow the technology and you have with big data and analytics 24/7 monitoring of every single part of your body. He was also talking about analytics and big data and machine learning and how that is solving some of the biggest problems in the world.” – Butkow

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