Keynote Speaker on Future Trends, Innovation, Leadership and Globalisation, David Thomas is well known throughout the Asia Pacific for his experience, credibility and deep understanding of China and Asia.

Speaker Video

David Thomas- China Speaker Showreel -Ovations

David Thomas- China Speaker Showreel -Ovations

Testimonials

Such a dynamic, engaging speaker. His keynote was very well received by our audience.…

Property Profile Group

Rated as one of the standout sessions of the program.

BT Group Licensees

The energy and clear insight that you brought to the Masterclass was a real strength.

Westpac Banking Corp

Cutting edge, insightful, highly researched and thought-provoking. A speaker with ideas…

Business Blueprint

Extremely refreshing and addressed in very straightforward and easy to understand and…

Mark Hay Realty

Loads of practical tips on how to embrace the opportunities in China. His talk was highly…

Real Estate Results

With extraordinary economic growth over the last decade, the rise of China is underway. Chinese Influence in business will continue to rise, and the next decade will be pivotal to Australian organisations seeking new opportunities for growth. China represents a unique opportunity to the rest of the world driving wealth and prosperity across the globe. Of all of the disruptive trends defining the future of business, the Chinese economy is one that simply cannot be Ignored. How will you and your organisation embrace a view to China?

David Thomas has carved out a reputation as a global thought leader, Influencer, innovator  and game changer who inspires business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors all over the world to consider the business opportunity that is China.

David recalls his first trip to Hong Kong at only 18 years of age when he visited the border and took in his first view of a country that would define his life's work. Little did he know at that time that China would become one the world's economic superpowers.

David’s extensive career has led him to work and live in London, Asia and Sydney. He managed his own financial services company in Hong Kong, and as result gained Insights into the rapidly changing markets within the Asia Pacific Region. Along with Asia David also has a keen Interest In the economy of Latin America and Eastern Europe driven by a passion to decode the Influence of the four "BRIC countries" (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

During this period David was also the Chairman of the Australasian Financial Forum that provided him with a unique opportunity to stay ahead of the trends that were redefining business between China and Australia. This experience further solidified David's credibility and mastery as an expert on China for business leaders, entrepreneurs and Investors looking pioneer in a new and abundant marketplace.

Today, David is the CEO and Founder of Think Global Consulting. Think Global facilitates business and Investment partnerships between Asia and Australia. In essence, David is a bridge builder providing a solid foundation for the west to do business with China in Australia, China and all over the world.

As a speaker on Innovation, Future Trends, Leadership and Globalisation, David’s unique value is his ability to identify business trends, opportunities and challenges in China. Having worked on the ground for 30 years, he has practical examples, case studies and anecdotes that  invigorate his presentations and consulting. He regularly speaks at Conferences, Workshops, Seminars and Board Meetings to a wide range of audiences/industries and tailors each presentation accordingly. His insights as a China expert can definitely add value to your next event!

Many industries are already disrupted by Chinese consumerism, innovation and aspiration. If business leaders and managers don't develop a new cultural mindset and a China engagement strategy soon, they'll be left behind, just like Apple who have lost market share in China to four local smartphone manufacturers.
- David Thomas

Speaking Topics

Globalisation

David Thomas is well known within the Asia Pacific region for his passion and experience for investing and doing business in emerging markets, notably the four “BRIC countries” (Brazil, Russia, India and China) plus the growing influence of China as the engine of global economic growth and the rise of the Asian middle class. Having lived in Asia for the last 30 years, he literally lives and breathes emerging markets. His broad and diverse experience includes:

  • designing, organising and leading research and study tours for professional asset managers to each of the four BRIC countries
  • for five years on the Advisory Board of the Emerging Markets Masters Fund, he has direct hands-on experience of investing in emerging markets (includes overseeing asset allocation, fund selection, currency and stock analysis etc.)
  • regularly travelling around Asia working with entrepreneurs and investors to review and select new opportunities in emerging businesses

Past speaking engagements include:

  • AMP– fundamentals of investing in the ‘BRIC’ and ‘MINT’ countries
  • Deloitte – the importance of BRIC for European investors
  • Westpac – doing business and investing in China and India
  • PNG Investment Conference – what can PNG learn from the BRIC countries?
  • Colonial First State - Investing in Emerging Markets – local v global

Innovation

Once known for its fake handbags, copy watches and pirate software, China is now leading the world in science, technology and innovation. Chinese brands like Huawei, Alibaba, Lenovo, Haier and Tencent are disrupting traditional industries (notably retail, e-commerce and IT) by leveraging their access to over 400m middle class consumers, spending billions in R&D and launching new products and services on a scale previously unheard of. China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan is intended to completely transform their manufacturing industry with a focus on clean energy, healthcare and communications, and China’s ambition is to lead the world in new industries such as renewable energy, driverless and battery operated vehicles and advanced medical products.

David Thomas speaks to business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors around the world about how their industry is being impacted by what’s happening in China, how they can take advantage, who they need to speak to and what they can do about it. He draws on over 30 years of on the ground experience, connections and knowledge and draws on case studies, anecdotes and examples to bring his presentations to life.

Past speaking engagements include:

  • Thiess Directors Conference – The Future of the Mining Industry
  • Magnitude Principals Forum – The Future of the Financial Services Industry
  • Australia China Young Professionals– Booms Bust and Baozi, the future of finance in China
  • MSI Regional Conference– The Future of the Legal Industry
  • CPA Australia – The Future of the Accounting Industry

Leadership

Whilst IQ, and more recently EQ, were once regarded as the highest and most sought after qualities of leaders in western organisations, future leaders will be selected and judged by their levels of “CQ” i.e “Cultural Intelligence”, including their ability and aptitude for managing teams from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, overseeing cross-cultural communications, and handling cross-border negotiations and transactions. Very few of these skills are taught in western educational institutions and much of this has to be learnt from experience, trial and error, and listening to those who have done it all before.

David Thomas has spent the last 30 years living, working and managing relationships in the Asia Pacific region, including leading numerous missions, delegations and study tours to China designed to support western leaders on the ground and to highlight and address some of the cross-cultural challenges for their business and their teams, which always makes the difference between success and failure.

Past speaking engagements include:

  • Property Profile Group Asia Day – Developing an Asian mindset
  • William Grants & Sons, UK – Three Cups of Tea
  • First National Annual Conference – Doing business with Asians
  • Louis Vuitton – How to sell luxury products to high net worth Asians

Future Trends

We live in the Asian Century, with China as the growth engine, and the next 50 years will see many industries disrupted by Chinese consumerism, innovation and aspiration. Many services industries, including healthcare, retail, luxury, travel, education and food are already affected by the rise of China’s middle class, together with their massive investment in technology, R&D, e-commerce and AI.

All business leaders and managers need to be aware of the likely impact on their industries and organisations from these disruptive forces and the opportunities it creates for them to develop a new cultural mindset and a China engagement strategy.

David Thomas is an experienced and dynamic speaker who will bring this topic to life at your next conference or event and a thought leader who lives and breathes the China growth story at ground level.

Past speaking engagements include:

  • Telstra Young Leaders – The future is China
  • ING Top Brokers – Bringing China to You
  • Westpac – Doing business in China and India
  • CEO Institute – The 8 critical steps to developing your China Strategy
  • The Executive Connection – China in the Asian Century

In today’s fast paced world of instant communication, short deadlines, e-mail, text, online chat, social media, speed networking and deal-making, I think we can all agree that the old fashioned art of relationship-building has been somewhat diminished in its importance, if not lost altogether?

Read more >

Australia and China have laid the foundations of a long-lasting relationship, but the incoming Year of the Monkey brings some exciting developments which will inject energy and dynamism, write David Thomas and Katya Dobinson from Think Global Consulting.

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David Thomas reports on a Chinese government initiative that forms the basis of its new foreign policy, prioritises infrastructure development and tries to ensure that all roads will lead to China in AB+F Magazine.

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David Thomas' presence in China as a BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economics expert is on the rise! Recently featured in both print and online versions of China Daily, one of the most widely-read newsprints in the world, David is an authority on the relationships Australian businesses will need to build to grow into the Asian Century.

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Brett King, Breaking Banks

It's three fantastic speakers in one radio show!

Anders Sorman-Nilsson and David Thomas join Brett King on his Breaking Banks radio show discussing the future of digital innovation. Listen now:

Read more

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Dale Beaumont

Dale Beaumont is best known as an award winning entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and a passionate promoter of education.

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Stevan Premutico

Stevan is one of Australia’s leading tech entrepreneurs. In 1997, in the middle of the GFC he conceptualised Dimmi on the back of a napkin and went on to revolutionise the Aussie restaurant industry. In 2015, his startup was acquired by one of the great tech businesses of our time, TripAdvisor.

A massive thank you to you both for all your assistance from selecting to co-ordinating the speakers for our annual ProLoan conference. Feedback was that this year’s speakers where the best they had EVER heard at ANY event. So this is pretty amazing, because they do go to a lot of sessions like these.

Director of Network Relationships - Proloan (aust) pty ltd

Again this year you and your team have been fantastic and extremely helpful.  In regards to you Sharm, you have been an absolute star and phenomenal help with our speakers and presenters, a great communicator, wealth of knowledge and so prompt with responding and looking at ways to cater to our needs.

Event Manager Fitness Australia

I would recommend, without hesitation, the services of Jane Rowland Smith and Ovations. Jane answered a last minute call to arrange a guest speaker for our principals. Nothing was too much effort, all was arranged within hours, and went very smoothly. The guest speaker was exactly what we required and our brief was followed. Thank you Jane and the team at Ovations.

Executive Director of Schools Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

All aspects of the process has always gone seamlessly with Ovations and we will continue to seek your assistance for the awards in the coming years.

Thank you again, your help has meant that our Awards are very professional and extremely well received by our members and guests.

Executive Assistant BSCAA NSW Division

Jane, I personally want to thank you for all of your support, advice, patience and all round kindness that you have given me over the last 3 or so years.  This event would not have been as successful without the valuable MC’s you have recommended and the support you provided me when it all just seemed too hard

Shona Dilley – Smart School Awards, Department of Education
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