Spiro Pappas

Executive General Manager
Global Institutional Banking,
NAB

"The small business challenges are significant and we need to tackle these challenges in order to create jobs of the future."

Spiro Pappas


Transcript

DESCRIPTION:  Text - Australian Government Small Business Digital Taskforce. Spiro Pappas. Executive General Manager, Global Institutional Banking, National Australia Bank. A man with grey hair and glasses in front of a blue abstract painting.

SPIRO PAPPAS: My name is Spiro Pappas. I'm part of the Small Business Digital Taskforce, and my interest in the Digital Taskforce stems from a long involvement with small business.

I'm currently employed by National Australia Bank, but advising them on their small business and medium-size business strategy. And sort of the implementation of that strategy.

For me it's very personal. I, like most, sort of, migrant families... I'm second-generation migrant. Both my parents came from Greece. So, my passion for small business started pretty much from birth. We lived either on top of... So my parents are in food and hospitality, and they had small businesses in Western Sydney, all the way up to Katoomba.

We either lived on top of the shop, or next to the shop. And it was literally what I've known from a very young age. And so it's a very personal experience, because I... my parents were very time-poor. So I had to, you know, to spend quality time with my parents, I needed to go and work in the shop with them.

I've been able to witness first-hand the day-to-day frustrations of the small business owner. And for me, the Small Business Digital Taskforce is a great forum to come up with solutions that are digitally enabled to empower small business owners who are time-poor to actually improve their life, their balance, work-life balance. We never had any work-life balance in our family. It was always in the business. Which we enjoyed, but on reflection, it would've been nice to have a bit more leisure time. And I think in addition to that, I just see what a great enabler some of the tools that we are developing, with the likes of Xero, and other parties, have been for small business owners.

We mustn't lose sight of the fact that technology, at the end of the day, is an enabler. It's a tool. But the tools have evolved to the point now, and will continue to evolve, where they become more and more real-time, and cloud-based. So more of an open-sourced ecosystem type of environment.

Over the last four years, I've also been privileged to be part of the B20 SME taskforce. So the inception of the taskforce, was in... under Turkish presidency four years ago, and I've subsequently been privileged to be part of that taskforce for the last four years. And what struck me very clearly from that taskforce, and continues to being the case, is the issues are universal. They're not… You know, the small business owner challenges, and opportunities are significant. And we need to tap into that, in order to ensure that we create jobs in the future, and have an inclusive growth environment that everybody in the community benefits from.

Our taskforce has a wonderful opportunity here to actually think this through in a much more purposeful way. How do we provide those connections between big suppliers, big platform providers, with small business owners, so that everybody benefits? The whole system benefits, the end user experience is richer, the data and the knowledge sharing is richer, and the ability to connect with global supply chains is much easier and more seamless. So there's so many layers to this, and it's obvious where we're going. I'm excited to be part of the taskforce, because I think these are the sorts of things that we need to bring to life for small business owners.

DESCRIPTION:  Text - Small Business Digital Taskforce. Join the conversation, #smalldigbiz.