A Data-Driven Approach to Identifying — and Retaining — Top Employees

The rise of digital collaboration platforms and new methods for harvesting data, along with new technologies and novel approaches for finding and managing talent, are redefining how companies will build their workforces going forward. Remote work has increased the sheer volume of digital communications and work product generated by employees, propelled by the mass adoption of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack. This type of employee data represents the keys to the human side of the corporate kingdom, and from it, practically every aspect of performance can be analyzed using technology available today, revamping talent acquisition and management. The possible use cases are limited only by the imagination.

The so-called “war for talent,” bandied about in the media since it was coined by McKinsey & Company in 1997, is taking on a whole new meaning post-Covid. The competition to find and retain talent has only been exacerbated as workplaces have moved to virtual and hybrid configurations, held tenuously together by remote collaboration. The expansion beyond brick-and-mortar operations essentially nullifies many former practices for identifying and nurturing talent, and “management by walking around” just doesn’t work anymore.

At the same time, mountains of new data are suddenly available to help companies answer key questions about their workforce and its needs. The rise of digital collaboration platforms and new methods for harvesting data, along with new technologies and novel approaches for finding and managing talent, are redefining how companies will build their workforces going forward.

As an information management company with expertise in big data, we often find ourselves implementing new approaches to identify talent for more innovative organizations. And as a CEO in constant search for talent, I’ve seen firsthand how data can elevate a company’s hiring practices beyond the typical “intuition-based approach” to an evidence-based decision using meaningful but easy-to-miss indicators. In the spirit of illuminating the path ahead, I’ve compiled some of our key insights into this new paradigm.

Before Looking Elsewhere, Search Within

While “building” rather than “buying” is not a new concept in talent acquisition, the inherent difficulty lies in scouring the current ranks of your workforce to find the best fit for the new position. Internal hires, on average, receive higher performance reviews and cost less than their external counterparts, but 60% of hiring managers suggest internal recruiting could be improved by better identifying skills in existing employees. Thankfully, two digital trends have coalesced in the past year to make the task of identifying internal talent much easier.

First, remote work has increased the sheer volume of digital communications and work product generated by employees, propelled by the mass adoption of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Second, since organizations are usually obliged to manage this “unstructured data” for litigation, compliance, records-keeping, and privacy, some have taken the next step of leveraging it to glean insights, or “people analytics.” Employee data represents the keys to the human side of the corporate kingdom, and from it, practically every aspect of performance can be analyzed using technology available today.

Remember That Technology Is Your Friend

The utility of people analytics has only recently surfaced, but organizations have already started analyzing email and other messages to drive better internal hiring and promotion decisions. For example, high-performing employees often leave electronic communication trails that cross departmental boundaries and place them in the center of informal networks — which can be identified through people analytics. Similarly, subject-matter experts can typically be found through lexical analyses and by examining criteria such as who gets asked the most questions by other employees. Organizations that harness these insights can significantly reduce the level of difficulty involved in finding internal talent and matching them with promotion opportunities.

Organizations abound with both new unfilled positions and old positions that may have lost significance in a virtual environment. Consider the field sales rep whose skill set has become underutilized or the department tasked with managing on-premises technology and infrastructure that’s are being displaced by cloud adoption. By looking at changes in communication volume, direction, and sentiment, organizations can identify employees whose roles have been most affected. A program for repositioning and promoting proven employees to higher-impact roles can enhance corporate agility and should be a required first step when seeking — and redefining — talent.

Modify the Corporate Organizational Puzzle

Beyond performance assessment, fundamental questions can now be addressed through people analytics. The flow of communication can tell us a lot about how an organization truly operates, but it’s often obscured by a rigid and outdated org chart. But by looking at the whole puzzle, companies can start to understand the pieces they have, the pieces they need, and how they fit together. What informal networks are at play that contribute to individual, departmental, and company-wide performance? How can the company identify and nurture the “movers and shakers” and ensure they are not overlooked, or worse, inadvertently lost? This type of human resource analysis can have an impact on corporate performance that is significant and immediate.

The scope of talent acquisition can also be redefined by technology through preserving corporate knowledge and memory. For example, the ability to analyze “Who knows what?” can alleviate the constant loss of institutional knowledge through the departure of key employees, including retiring baby boomers. To cite one instance, a dated software application running at a bank started acting up, and a quick data scan identified the expert who had recently retired. It was a simple matter of offering him a contract to address the problem.

The possible use cases are limited only by the imagination. For example, HR’s sales recruiting policies can change drastically when management is able to track and analyze the quality and quantity of activity of new salespeople, thus predicting the probability of success or failure within a mere month or two. Put simply, the risks and costs of hiring errors are dramatically reduced when a company can gauge performance quickly and confidently.

One cautionary note: Employee privacy should always be top of mind. While technology can pose both opportunity and challenge, it’s worth pointing out that strong control of data technology can be used to dial the degree of privacy toward one’s comfort zone.

The (Virtual) Road Ahead in Talent Management

Technology is revamping talent acquisition and management. We should be aware of the ramifications and embrace or brace for the impact. On the plus side, there is a new transparency in human dynamics which can enable the next level of management, especially in our new Covid-impacted virtual environments, where technology now spins the invisible web that holds the human network together. Other benefits include the hope that analytics will be more neutrally balanced toward workforce equity and diversity than many of the subjective methods used today. On a more cautionary side, it’s important to keep in mind that the power of such technology can be easily abused without diligent oversight.

Solutions are actively being devised for many areas of HR talent management still stuck in the shadows. Technology can be the candle, but you do need to strike the match to illuminate your options — and kindle the glow that nurtures your talent pool.

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Disney, DoorDash, Snowflake, Fisker & more

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

Walt Disney (DIS) – Disney shares dropped 3.9% in premarket trading after growth figures for the Disney+ streaming service fell short of Wall Street predictions. Disney reported better-than-expected profit for the first quarter, but revenue was short of analysts’ forecasts.

DoorDash (DASH) – DoorDash surged 8.2% in the premarket after first-quarter revenue came in above analysts’ forecasts, and the food delivery service raised its annual forecast for order value. First-quarter results got a boost from stimulus checks, although the company said those same checks were responsible for drivers working fewer hours.

Snowflake (SNOW) – The cloud computing company was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs, which notes the Snowflake’s strong competitive position, as well as a drop from recent highs that is much larger than its peers have experienced. Snowflake jumped 5.7% in premarket trading.

Airbnb (ABNB) – Airbnb posted a first-quarter loss, but it also reported better-than-expected revenue as well a 52% jump in gross bookings as more Americans received Covid-19 vaccinations and travel restrictions eased.

Coinbase (COIN) – Coinbase reported record profit during the first quarter, as the cryptocurrency exchange benefited from a significant rally in bitcoin and other digital currencies. Coinbase shares rose 2.3% in premarket action.

Kansas City Southern (KSU) – The U.S.-based rail operator accepted Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) $33.6 billion takeover bid, casting aside the $29 billion deal it had previously agreed to with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Canadian Pacific has five business days to make a counter-offer for Kansas City Southern. Canadian National added 2.9% in premarket trading, while Canadian Pacific rose 1.6%.

Tyson Foods (TSN) – The beef and poultry producer sold its pet treats business to General Mills (GIS) for $1.2 billion. The sale includes the Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews brands as well as an Iowa production facility.

General Electric (GE) – Citi reinstated coverage of GE with a “buy” rating, based on a “sum of the parts” valuation and better execution across GE’s portfolio of businesses. GE shares added 1.1% in premarket trading.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) – Aurora Cannabis tumbled 8.7% in premarket action after it reported lower-than-expected fiscal third-quarter revenue, hit by pandemic-related restrictions in Canada. Separately, the cannabis producer announced a move in its U.S. stock listing to Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange, citing lower costs.

Fisker (FSR) – Fisker soared 14.5% in premarket trading after the electric car maker signed a deal with contract manufacturer Foxconn to co-develop electric vehicles. Plans include opening a new U.S. manufacturing plant in 2023, although a location has not yet been finalized.

Poly (PLT) – Poly tumbled 19.5% in the premarket after the maker of audio and video products issued a weaker than expected outlook. The company formerly known as Plantronics said it expected the global semiconductor shortage to negatively impact its supply chain. It did, however, report better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter.

Unity Software (U) – The 3D content creation platform company rose 3.2% in the premarket after Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “perform.” Oppenheimer said the current price is an attractive entry point given Unity’s growth prospects.

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Jeff Bezos and the secretive world of superyachts

The highly secretive superyacht project, known as Y721, is due to be completed sometime next month, according to Bloomberg. It’s likely that Bezos’ order was placed several years ago, since custom-made ships like this can take around five years to build.

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21 fun and meaningful graduation gifts for high school and college gra

With distance learning and missed milestones, your senior’s final semesters may have been tough ones. Whether you’re hoping to prep them for the “real world,” splurge on useful tech, or get them an heirloom to remember, we’ve gathered the best graduation gifts for college and high school students throwing their (virtual) caps in the air. This has been a school year like no other, so congratulate your new grad with an extraordinary gift. 

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As Epic nears conclusion of case, Apple pushes back at experts

Epic Games Inc. is wrapping up its antitrust case against Apple Inc. much as it started: Fending off a relentless assault by Apple lawyers and experts challenging the premise of its historic lawsuit.

If this is beginning to sound like an echo, it’s because Apple
has used its considerable resources inside the courtroom and out to make its point clear: Epic’s market definition, which centers on Apple’s App Store, “is too narrow because it focuses on the one platform and consumers can transact on other platforms,” Francine LaFontaine, an economics professor at University of Michigan and Apple witness, said.

If the first eight days of the bench trial has proved anything, it is the difficult path Epic faces in convincing federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers that Apple engaged in price-gouging monopolistic behavior. An Apple legal representative deemed Epic’s case a PR strategy in search of a legal theory — part of a pattern of Apple’s willingness to throw sharp elbows.

The tenor of Apple’s expert-witness testimony — precise, relentless, and unwavering — underscored what has been a comprehensive, no-holds-barred defense of the App Store, on which much of Apple’s business hinges.

In addition to a roster of experts who thoroughly pushed back at Epic’s experts, Apple requested the court expunge the testimony of Lori Wright, Microsoft’s vice president of business development, on the premise that Microsoft didn’t turn over documents Apple needed to properly question her. Epic and Microsoft have until Monday to respond.

Consider Wednesday’s court proceedings. Susan Athey, an economics professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Epic’s final witness, was repeatedly pressed by Apple attorney Karen Dunn about her work for Microsoft Corp.
gaming technology jargon, and Athey’s methodology in depicting Apple’s App Store as an monopoly.

“What Epic is asking for in this case is for Apple to make its products interoperable,” Dunn said.

Athey and Epic’s previous witness, David Evans, chairman of Global Economics Group, have dominated the week trying to establish that Apple’s iOS platform constitutes a monopolistic market that harms consumers with higher prices and boxes out competing gaming developers. Evans calculated that nearly 80% profit margins contributed to a multibillion-dollar App Store business that had a market to itself.

“Apple has substantial market power” in smartphone operating systems, Evans said Monday. It and Google’s Android, he concluded, are a duopoly that have controlled 100% of the smartphone OS since 2013. Globally, excluding China, the split is 60%-40% Android; in the U.S., it’s about even, he said.

Read more: Epic takes aim at Apple’s financial advantage in App Store model

Like Athey, Evans faced withering questions from Apple’s legal counsel, who questioned his research, definition of market dominance, and thin history of testifying in antitrust cases. Indeed, Evans — who is Epic’s lead expert witness and is scheduled to take the stand again — has been the focus of a concerted push-back campaign by Apple.

More important, Athey’s testimony is where the battle of the dueling expert witness segment of the trial kicked in. Her testimony was followed by Apple’s experts, as earlier agreed upon by the federal court in Oakland, Calif. MIT economics professor Richard Schmalensee, testifying on behalf of Apple, argued Wednesday that Evans’ analysis is wrong. “There really isn’t a market there,” Schmalensee said. “The Apple iOS has never been licensed separately from devices.”

“Apple’s iOS business is clearly a platform linking consumers and developers,” Schmalensee said. “The iOS is at the core of that platform. It links apps to those devices.”

(Ironically, Schmalensee collaborated closely with Evans on three books, half a dozen articles, and amicus briefs that included one cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the American Express case. Epic’s arguments draw on major antitrust cases against American Express Co. AXP, Eastman Kodak Co. KODK, and Microsoft, but apply those precedents in new ways that have not been tested in U.S. courts, legal experts said.)

Schmalensee did acknowledge that Apple has been under antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and elsewhere for years. This prompted Gonzalez Rogers, to eventually drop a telling comment. “I have the [American Bar Association’s] Antitrust Law book up here and I’ve heard quite a bit of evidence throughout the trial regarding how big Apple is and how anticompetitive it is,” she said.

Another Apple expert, Loren Hitt, professor at University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School, pointed out that Apple has reduced the rate of the commission over time. While the general commission remains 30%, subscriptions, video subscriptions, and small businesses that earn less than $1 million pay 15%.

There are 78 million phone purchases every year, Hitt said, and Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
LG , and Google

create products designed to make it possible to easily switch between platforms.

The contours of expert testimony defining the reach and influence of the App Store elicited contrasting analogies. Francine LaFontaine, an economics professor at University of Michigan, compared the App Store to a supermarket, where shoppers buy many goods, while the Epic Game Store, she said, is more like a liquor store for specific purchases.

Schmalensee, conversely, said that because research costs for the App Store can’t be divorced from Apple’s hardware costs, the store is more like a cow (!). A farmer who raises cattle for meat and leather can’t allocate feed costs to just one product, because both benefit, he said.

Finally, Judge Gonzalez Rogers asked whether iOS is an “essential facility,” a vital system or technology that rivals can’t effectively compete without. The idea derives from railroads, Schmalensee said, where there might be only one bridge that several railroad lines need to use. “You had to have that bridge,” he said. “There was no alternative.”

Thursday’s court day, the ninth of the closely-watched trial, featured the testimony of Hitt, Michael Cragg, chairman at The Brattle Group, and Evans.

Epic may rest its case Friday, Epic counsel Katherine Forrest said late Wednesday.

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Defend a thesis: the best free courses

Do not panic! We have put together a selection of resources, virtual lessons and free courses to learn how to support a thesis project.

5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you find yourself on the difficult mission of defending a thesis , then you have come to the right place. I am not going to lie to you, support or argue a thesis is a real challenge, mainly to our emotions. And there is nothing more intimidating than facing a jury that will undoubtedly question to the millimeter all the work you have been doing in recent months.

Sooner or later, we all have to go down the thorny path of thesis defense. And if for some reason you stumbled on that purpose, there is no harm that does not come, perhaps it is time to try again.

How to make a good thesis presentation? What are the most frequently asked questions from the jury? How to support a doctoral thesis? How to cite theoretical bases in a thesis defense?

Sooner or later, we all have to go through the thorny path of defending a thesis / Image: Depositphotos.com

Well, to help you understand a little more about the process of preparing and supporting a thesis, from the Oye Juanjo blog I have prepared an interesting compilation of cases, didactic examples, common errors, tips and free courses related to thesis defense .

To access the complete list you just have to enter here: See free courses on thesis support .

An agenda of educational proposals with free access will be opened immediately where the following topics will be addressed:

Course 01: Frequently asked questions of the jury in the support of the thesis
Prepared by a research professor with more than 15 years as a thesis jury, it will reveal the most frequent questions that jurors ask during a thesis support.

Course 02: How to make a good thesis presentation
A guide that explains the way of oral presentation of a thesis work, from the student’s perspective as well as from the jury’s point of view.

Course 03: How to prepare a thesis project from scratch
Free four-week university course taught by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where you will learn all the steps and procedures necessary to do a thesis.

Course 04: Defend your thesis and get a good grade
This university professor, who has evaluated many master’s thesis and doctoral thesis projects, tells us what are the expectations of the jury in a thesis support, the answers or the words that denote lack of knowledge, and how to approve the thesis without dying in the attempt.

Course 05: How to support a doctoral thesis
An impeccable presentation on the process of supporting a doctoral thesis, full of suggestions and recommendations so that not a single detail is missed.

Course 06: Example of a thesis support
Sometimes a practical example is the greatest learning experience. This is what we will see in this case of support for a doctoral thesis, which presents a good explanation of what a theoretical argument is.

Course 07: What questions does the thesis jury ask?
What does a thesis jury evaluate? What criteria do you have to approve or reject a thesis project? Here you will find many answers about it.

Course 08: Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques for Research
An excellent virtual and free course, this time taught by the Polytechnic University of Valencia that brings us closer to the scientific method and, specifically, how it is applied to the study and analysis of case methods in a thesis project.

Course 09: Tools for Good Research Practices
The University of Rosario, in Colombia, offers this virtual course for everyone in which you will learn to identify the main questionable behaviors in scientific research and to use novel strategies to improve research standards.

Course 10: Common Mistakes in Thesis Defense
Learn about the frequently asked questions that thesis students usually receive, what verbs and words to use in a thesis defense, frequent errors in the thesis support, how to make theoretical bases in a thesis defense. And more!

As you can see, we have a lot of educational material to refine the last details before a good thesis defense. Remember that the secret of a good thesis is in the small details.

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Birmingham’s Opus restaurant closes down

A restaurant in the heart of Birmingham’s business district has closed down.

Opus in Cornwall Street has announced today that it will not be re-opening next week as was planned as part of the next phase of lockdown restrictions easing.

Administrators from Birmingham-based Poppleton & Appleby have now been appointed to the business which has been trading for more than 15 years.

The venue was a hit with the business community and was often chosen as the location for corporate and fundraising lunches along with evening launch parties.

This latest move follows the news last summer that its sister bar, Bar Opus at One Snowhill, would not be reopening after it had failed to agree a deal with its landlord.

A statement released by the fine-dining restaurant said: “We are heartbroken to announce that Opus will not be re-opening next week as planned.

“Our conclusion that it is not viable to carry on trading is devastating.

“The impact of the pandemic on our industry has been extraordinary and nobody will have escaped without some level of disruption.

“But the support we have received over the last 12 months from the Treasury, Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and our colleagues throughout the city has been immense.”

The statement went on to thank the venue’s suppliers and staff, which management stressed to BusinessLive had been paid in full, and finally the restaurant’s customers.

It added: “Our deepest thanks go to you, our amazing customers and friends. Many of you have supported us since the day we first opened our doors, 16 years ago.

“We have kept in touch during such a difficult time through our Opus To You home delivery service and are devastated that we won’t be welcoming you back with open arms.

“We are proud to have played our part in the transformation of Birmingham’s city centre and we have loved every moment along the way.”

Marc Reeves, Midlands marketplace publisher for BusinessLive’s owner Reach plc, praised the venue’s hard-won place at the centre of the city’s business district and its team led by directors Ann Tonks and Irene Allan.

He added: “Opus has been a cornerstone of Birmingham’s business district and the city as a whole for the past 16 years.

“The team achieved so much more in that time than just serving excellent food which, by the way, they always did.

“They wanted to act as a catalyst for change in the city, always pushing it forward and contributing to its development.

“From mayoral hustings, charity events and discussion evenings, they brought people together in a way that few other venues manage – if any.

“Knowing Ann, Irene and the team as I do, they have the energy and creativity to regroup and return with something new and the whole business community will be urging them on.”

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Israeli Fintech Startup Stampli Founded by Two Brothers, Raises $50 Million – Jewish Business News

Israeli Fintech Startup Stampli Founded by Two Brothers, Raises $50 Million

Stampli is a complete AP automation platform.

Stampli co-founders, brothers Eyal Feldman, CEO (Right) and Ofer Feldman, CTO (Left) (Photo Business Wire)

Stampli is an Israeli startup which utilizes artificial intelligence for fintech. The company, which was founded by two brothers, just raised $50 million in Series C funding for their platform, which helps CFOs and controllers close the disconnect between accounts payables and the broader organization. Stampli’s total funding to date is over $87 million.

Founded in 2014 by brother Eyal Feldman (CEO) and Ofer Feldman (CTO), Stampli is a complete AP automation platform that brings together accounts payable communications, documentation, and payments in one place. The company states that by centering communications on top of the invoice itself, AP departments collaborate and communicate better with approvers, vendors, and anyone involved with purchases, allowing approvals to happen 5x faster.

Stampli’s AI is called Billy the Bot. It learns an organization’s unique patterns to simplify GL and costing-related coding, automate approval and verification flows, identify duplicate invoices, and reduce time spent on manual data entry. Stampli boasts that its “flexible platform fits seamlessly into any existing processes and integrates with financial systems, including NetSuite, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and more.”

Stampli processes over $20 billion invoices annually and was recently named a Top 50 Most Promising Startup in Israel. In the last year, Stampli was named a leader in G2 Grid for AP Automation seven times; awarded The Best AP Solution from Fintech Breakthrough for 2021; named The Best AP Automation Company in the USA from New World Report, and Eyal Feldman was named to The Software Report’s Top 50 CEOs of 2020.

“In 2021, building a digital-first, modern finance organization is the top priority for CFOs and controllers. As CFOs take on more strategic responsibilities for the organization, the importance of digital transformation and collaboration across business processes, such as AP, has been raised to new levels,” said Eyal Feldman. “Finance executives know that to keep business moving forward, automating paper-based and manual accounts payable processes is essential in the modern, global business environment.”

“Frictionless and automated business processes are a foundational requirement in today’s increasingly Digital Economy. We believe that Eyal and the Stampli team have built a unique Accounts Payable platform bringing together a collaborative user-first approach with insights from machine learning algorithms and automation. Insight is thrilled to be part of the Stampli journey towards delivering a SaaS platform that combines end-to-end process automation with financial services to disrupt the way businesses manage their AP, financial, and supplier relationships,” said Praveen Akkiraju, Managing Director at Insight Partners. As part of this funding round, Akkiraju will join the Stampli Board of Directors.

Read more about: fintech, Stampli

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Sluggish vaccine campaign threatens Thailand’s economic recovery

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) slashed again Thailand’s economic growth forecast for 2021 for the second time this year targeting a mere 1 to 2% growth, depending mainly on the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The central bank’s previous estimate of GDP’s growth was set at 3% before the beginning of the third wave of Covid-19 in April, but it now includes three different scenarios targeting between 1 and 2% growth depending on the country’s vaccination drive.

The Thai economy would expand at a much lower rate due to the third wave of the outbreak which affected domestic spending. In addition, the recovery of foreign tourist figures would be affected by the longer-than-expected delay in the re-opening of the country and the uncertain international travel restriction measures. 

Bank of Thailand press release MAY 5, 2021

For the base scenario, the bank predicts a GDP growth of 2%, assuming that vaccine procurement and distribution reaches 100 million doses this year and leads to herd immunity in the first quarter of 2022.

Worst case scenario could drag down Thailand’s growth to 1%

But if the vaccine rollout sinks down to only 60+ millions, than Thailand’s growth could tank to only 1%, leaving the country with less than a million tourist.

Last week the Finance Ministry has also reduced its 2021 economic growth forecast for a second time to 2.3% from 2.8% growth, after a third wave of coronavirus infections struck Thailand this month, slashing its forecast for the number of foreign tourists to only 2 million this year from 5 million it had predicted three months ago.

Business leaders are now openly criticising Thailand’s slow pace in vaccination compared with its Southeast Asian neighbours. A recent assessment by The Economist placed Thailand 124th out of 154 countries in the percentage of adults who had received the first dose of a vaccine.

William Heinecke, founder and chairman of Minor International, a major hotel and restaurant operator in Thailand said “We will lose tourism trade to Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore because they have more efficient vaccination programs.” according to a Nikkei report.

Thailand is now lagging behind many countries in vaccine procurement, including most of ASEAN.

“The Thai government has no excuses as other countries have bet on many vaccine brands and are now proving they can manage risks much better than Thailand,”

Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, chief economist at Kiatnakin Phatra Securities

“This suggests the government has failed in crisis management by depending too much on one vaccine brand, AstraZeneca, and one production plant in Thailand,” said Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, chief economist at Kiatnakin Phatra Securities to ThaiPBS.

This view is now increasingly shared by many other personalities in Thailand, like Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, former leader of disbanded Future Forward Party, who was charged with lese-majesté when he openly criticized the government over vaccine supplies on his Facebook account.

Social media up in arms

 As Thailand struggles to contain a third wave of the pandemic, discontent is now getting bolder on social media: a group called Mor Mai Thon (“Doctors won’t tolerate this”) has started an online campaign demanding the dismissal of Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul , leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, a key member of the ruling coalition.

The hashtag #ย้ายประเทศกันเถอะ (Let’s move countries) trended on Twitter and other social media to point out how Thailand has been surpassed by regional neighbours in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Thai Facebook page “Move, Let’s Move Our Hips” โยกย้ายมาส่ายสะโพกโยกย้าย (renamed from “Let’s Emigrate” #ย้ายประเทศกันเถอะ) has already reached 1 million membership, giving advice to young Thais who wish to leave and work abroad.

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