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Singaporean billionaire talks with Vietnamese students about future technology

By Phong Van - Ngoc Diem   April 19, 2022 | 11:30 pm PT
Serg Bell, founder of unicorn Acronis, shared tech trends and his journey of building a global IT empire with students and startups in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Dr. Serg Bell and Dr. Stas Protassov, the two founders of cybersecurity unicorn Acronis with a valuation of $2.5 billion, engaged in dialogue with hundreds of Vietnamese students and startups, at FPT campus in Hanoi on April 12 and at FPT campus in Ho Chi Minh City on April 14.

Bell is a Singaporean entrepreneur, investor and speaker, the founder and chairman of multiple global IT companies, including Acronis. He has a master's degree in physics and electrical engineering, and a PhD in computer science, with 350 patents.

Dr. Serg Bell

Dr. Serg Bell, founder of unicorn Acronis. Photo by Giang Huy

Current global issues

Dr. Bell pointed out the problems of the world related to health, environment, sustainable development... in his speech.

According to Bell, science recognizes "aging" as an issue. "The world's population of people aged 65 years and older is increasing, and will double by 2050 (2.1 billion), posing a demand for improving learning approaches and labor force," he said.

"In future, the young and the old might join the same class. Therefore, learning approach needs to be appropriate for each age," according to him.

Environmental issues are also highlighted as a challenge of humanity, especially for the wealthiest countries. "Development and wealth have seriously affected the environment. Pollution of land, water, air... raise awareness of education and nature conservation," the billionaire noted.

founders of cybersecurity unicorn Acronis with a valuation of $2.5 billion, had a dialogue with hundreds of Vietnamese students and startups

Founders of Acronis talk with hundreds of Vietnamese students and startups. Photo by Giang Huy

Future technologies

Bell predicted AI would lead the future of technology because of many breakthroughs in brain function, language, and other applications in life and business.

He assessed that quantum technology like sensors will have a great impact and support human life with the advantages of efficiency, cost, and high accuracy.

Another trend is smart materials, which are made from nature and self-restructuring. He also believes that hybrid, which combines virtuality and reality like the metaverse, will evolve in the near future.

"When combining science, technology, machines, everything in the world could be simulated on computers in future. Computer science will quickly solve global problems. The development of technology and devices will be inversely proportional to the time to complete a task. Computer technology has really far exceeded its previous limit with practical applications in all aspects of life," the founder of Acronis stressed.

Become a technology leader

Talking about tech startups, Acronis co-founder Stanislav Protassov said leaders must be able to multitask and play different roles in an organization.

"When you have ideas and a good leadership, plus expertise in your field, you're close to success," the co-founder commented.

"Vietnam is a fast-growing economy. Although the country's IT industry accounts for only 2 percent of GDP, it would contribute 10 percent in the near future."

co-founder, Stanislav Protassov

Acronis co-founder Stanislav Protassov. Photo by Quynh Tran

According to Bell, a better computer system needs well-invested and serious education. "To reach this goal, education must address cultural, religious and political issues first," he said.

"Universities around the world can invest in hybrid models, expand connections and enrich knowledge for students. This generation can save time, absorb great knowledge and continue to access cultures, economics, technology flexibly.

"For young people who want to start a business in the IT field, you must understand the culture of global IT businesses, have a good capacity for English, and be willing to study and research abroad, then start and develop businesses in Vietnam," Bell added.

The Acronis founders revealed plan to build an R&D center in Vietnam, expected to attract 700 students. Previously, Acronis had established several development centers around the world, including in Singapore, Bulgaria, Romania, the U.S., and Switzerland.

"Through this center, we hope to discover many young talents in Vietnam in the field of IT," it was mentioned.

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