Norman Aquilina

Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina on Saturday highlighted the importance of human capital in business, despite the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology.

“Living in a business world of rapid technological advancement, we sometimes risk sidelining the importance of the human factor. Yes, it is great, indeed essential, to take advantage of AI, but this still needs to be driven by human intelligence, and not vice-versa,” he said.

He explained that businesses need to “rely on the opportunities” that B2B and B2C bring to further develop themselves, yet it is integral that they also “never overlook” the fact that they need to be built on human-to-human relationships, an aspect he notes is a “fundamental prerequisite for any successful business”.

Over the years, technology in the business world has made great strides, and while many business leaders believe in the power of AI, a number of them also acknowledge that they must have a “deep respect” for the things that make us human.

“Technological tools are most certainly an indispensable asset in giving you a competitive advantage, yet the human element remains the primary enabler,” Mr Aquilina said.

“All successful businesses are firmly founded on the strength of their human capital, and even if ironically it does not feature on any balance sheet, it certainly is to be treated as one’s greatest asset, indeed as an invaluable asset,” he concluded.

Mr Aquilina joined Simonds Farsons Cisk in 2004 as Managing Director of its subsidiary Quintano Foods, and was appointed Group Chief Commercial Officer in 2007. In 2010, he was named Group CEO and has since led its management team towards the building-up of a more competitive business model along with “consistent profitable growth”.

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