The cradle of the next generation of economic dominance is Asia. Throughout years of speculation about the economic potential of ASEAN, promise has turned to growth and growth has turned to change. McKinsey predicts 40 per cent of the world’s consumption will be driven by Asia by 2040, the same year it expects the region to reach 50 per cent of gross domestic product.
Concurrently, Asia’s business community has been enhancing its infrastructure and preparing for a future in which the ASEAN region is the world’s economic leader. It’s not far off, according to Jackie Rhodes, Thomson Reuters Managing Director Asia and Emerging Markets.
“There has been a seismic shift in growth and prosperity coming from Asia. The region has become a powerhouse for economic growth,” she shares. But with that shift comes opportunity, and Jackie says her clients have to be prepared. “Asia is ripe for further digital transformation, and our customers are securing opportunities for growth.”
With formidable local knowledge, industry-leading products and solutions, and best-in-class insight and data analytics, Thomson Reuters is the ally of choice for Asia’s emerging economic giants. “We know that our software, solutions and technology can help transform the way our customers work,” she says. “The creation of the Thomson Reuters Asia and Emerging Markets business in 2019 was a pivotal phase for our operations. We identified a tremendous opportunity to become a trusted adviser for the legal, tax and corporate sectors in Asia.”
Jackie was the ideal candidate to head up the new venture. Her background in sales, marketing and product management provided a solid insight into customer problems and challenges and, perhaps most crucially, solution development.
A leader I admire told me, ‘Don’t wait for your career to happen.’
“By 2003, my diverse leadership experiences had put me in good stead to take on my first general management position,” she explains. “A leader I admire told me, ‘Don’t wait for your career to happen.’ I would urge rising-star leaders to take risks and new challenges.”
As Managing Director of Thomson Reuters’ Legal and Tax division in Sydney, Jackie did just that, and in doing so got her first taste of the company’s vision for the future in Asia. “Today, I’m privileged to be at the helm of the Asia and Emerging Markets business. We’ve built a fantastic culture and developed an expansive workforce that thrives on high performance and customer centricity.”
For the company, the new division meant a radical scaling of solutions and created jobs in the Asia–Pacific region. Along the way, strategic alliances and partnerships were formed to enhance the customer experience. “Nurturing strategic relationships continues to be a crucial part of our road map,” Jackie reveals. “We’re still building brand equity in Asia. Our decisions here have been guided by a great deal of groundwork; we’ve conducted market insights and customer listening sessions to gain deep market knowledge.”
It’s how Thomson Reuters gains the expertise for which it is renowned, and that has made it the dynamic organisation it is today. “We enable customers to leverage local, regional and global expertise through our content-enabled technology and solutions,” she says. “Since entering the marketplace, many renowned global brands have brought us into their world, triggering innovative implementation projects in the process.”
Although COVID-19 has complicated matters by increasing the need for organisations to comply with new regulations, Jackie reveals it’s been an opportunity for Thomson Reuters to implement dynamic new solutions.
“The digital transformation projects we embark on with our customers challenge us to configure solutions that make a difference,” she explains. “Innovation is a top priority. Our identity is built on a culture of innovating the customer experience. This empowers us to solve complex efficiency problems for our customers, people and processes.”
In doing so, the company has made itself even more indispensable to clients. “Our compliance learning modules and regulatory intelligence content keep our customers compliant across every relevant update,” she says. “Their use of our products is helping them mitigate risks and avoid penalties for non-compliance.”
Thomson Reuters is the place to build careers that are not only personally satisfying, but that also make a real difference in the world.
As with every venture at Thomson Reuters, Jackie insists it’s all about the customers. “Our customers are at the core of our values, and I see those crucial relationships continuing to be the driving force of our brand in Asia.”
And it’s this aspect of her role that gives her the most satisfaction. “I enjoy engaging with customers and learning about their businesses,” she smiles. “Each organisation faces nuanced challenges, many of which can be solved with digital transformation, and our collaborative approach to customer relationships sparks creativity and innovation.”
Forging these relationships and delving into the evolving Asian economic landscape is the company’s cracking team of star talent. “Thomson Reuters is the place to build careers that are not only personally satisfying, but that also make a real difference in the world,” Jackie insists. “Our people have a lasting connection to our vision as an organisation. They reflect many cultural nuances. We uphold a legacy of innovation and high-performance culture, and I’m proud of that.”
There’s no shortage of talent to choose from in a region so awash with change and growth. “Attracting and retaining the best is incredibly important,” she says. “Mechanisms for dialogue between leaders and their teams help ensure we foster a thriving culture. Ensuring our people feel empowered is not only good for business; it’s the right thing to do.”
Doing business in a diverse and fast-growing powerhouse such as Asia is at once daunting and thrilling. For Jackie, it’s an opportunity to show precisely why Thomson Reuters is an industry leader. “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of digital transformation with our customers. Asia is shaping the future of business, and we aim to support the business trajectories of our customers.”