Warren Buffett spoke about a big disruptive force last Saturday.
This trend was shared during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual general meeting (AGM). To add to this, Buffett said that he is jumping in as well. Here’s what the Oracle of Omaha said:
“It is a big force, which has already disrupted plenty of people and it will disrupt more. When we saw what was happening on the Internet, we jumped in with both feet. We’re mobile, but the nature of capitalism is that if you’ve got a good business, somebody’s always trying to figure out how to take it away from you and improve on it.”
Buffett, of course, was referring the to the disruption by Amazon.com, an online retailer which has overturned the apple cart for retailing.
Software is eating the world
Thing is, businesses in Singapore are not immune as well.
CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) has been working to defend its malls against this growing threat. At the same time, the real estate investment trust (REIT) is testing online delivery service for its tenants at Raffles City.
The disruption is not limited to retail alone. Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd (SGX: C52) has found itself in the crosshairs of upstarts like Uber and GrabTaxi. As my colleague Stanley Lim noted, Uber could offer a more pleasant ride at the cheaper rate. To Buffett’s point, this could be an example of capitalism at work.
Traditional banks like DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05) and United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11) are taking this threat seriously. UOB is committed to meeting its customer where they want to be, be it online or offline. DBS Group may have gone a step further, launching a mobile-only bank in India last week.
In Buffett’s own words, if there is a good business running, there will always be someone else looking to do it in a better way. Competition will always be trying. And competition may be coming from online or mobile.
The range of industries affected, from banking to taxi rides, suggests that the online threat is not one to be taken lightly.
In fact, the Oracle of Omaha may be jumping in with both feet instead.
Learn more about investing through a FREE subscription toTake Stock Singapore. Sign up here to The Motley Fool's weekly investing newsletter that will teach you how to GROW your wealth in the years ahead.
Like us on Facebook to follow our latest news and articles.
The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.
The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon.com.