Till the end of the nineteenth century, the focus of innovation based economic growth was essentially an American and West European concept. Last two decades have witnessed a surge in innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors in the rest of the world also. The South East Asia has been silently and steadily witnessing the rise of this phenomenon thus becoming an essential player of this growth decentralization.
Some Cities to look for:
Singapore is the largest player in South East Asia and is considered as the best place in the world to live. Its strengths are: strong and effective legal system, advance infrastructure, great transport, and highly educated & English speaking workforce. The e-commerce market size of Singapore is growing to be $ 2 billion, and internet and a mobile penetration rate being $40m.
Japan being the oldest player in this market has more impact in shaping the region, the center of gravity being Tokyo. But now it’s not just Sony, Panasonic, and Hitachi who rule the market, but there are some new players like GREE, Rakuten which has potential to grow globally.
The hurdles that are faced by Japanese startups are low-risk culture, with high rent costs, and a small ecosystem. But even with all these problems big victories come through due to their supportive government.
- Beijing and Shanghai
China is still on the rough side when it comes to startups. Things are more likely to be copied rather than acquired. If the government support is to be looked forward then it’s no Singapore or Japan, more restrictions will come their way rather than help.
But there are some good startups that are at their idea stage and have follow up funding, few of them being Startup Weekends and Bar camps. The e-commerce turnout of China in 2013 was $177 billion so the good news is that funding is not an issue here.
Since the introduction of Multimedia Super Corridor Malaysia has grown as a business market. Technological companies have thoroughly reaped the benefits of tax incentives and privileges to move their operations to MSC. Startups have been conjointly helped by the government and the private venture capitalists through various funding schemes.
The startups scene in Taipei is the most vibrant one. There is a mailing list by the name of Startup Digest Taipei where people post all the events, meets, discussions related to startups. Business Next Magazine hosts At Stop by Meet where vast numbers of people are seen exchanging startup ideas. Demo events are held from time to time.
Taiwan’s outdated security laws and government lack of understanding for internet-based businesses can often hurt local startups. On top of this local company mandate states that the founder of a startup only gets 15% technical shares even if they are willing to pay income tax for getting it.
The growth story of the South-East Asia is fueled by the talent of some young guns who have made it big not only for themselves but for their countries with their ideas. Here are some of the young entrepreneurs who are leading the SE Asia in its growth:
- Gillian Tan:
Founder of ‘clicknetwork.tv’. Top internet channel of Singapore in terms of viewership and subscription, with over 165 million views and 650,000 subscribers to date.
- Siu Rui Quek:
Cofounder of Carousell. The Carousell is a smartphone based shopping app that provides easy shopping to the users on the go in Singapore. It has received a funding of $6.8 million from varied investors.
- Jason Lamuda:
Founder and CEO of Berrybenka. Berrybenka deals in Muslim women’s fashion. The startup raised over US$ 5 million in funding from different investors.
- Paul Kalibrr Rivera:
Founder of Kalibrr. Kallibrr has built an online training platform and a recruitment website for applicants and BPO companies. The firm has received $1.9 million deal from Omydyar Network.
- Achmad Zaky:
He started Bukalapak in Indonesia, which is in consumer to consumer sales including web and mobile. Bukalapak made more than US $ 80 million in 2014.
- Thuy Thanh Truong:
Founder of Tappy. It’s a social app that changes any location in a virtual online community where people can meet interesting people and get relevant content. The app was acquired by Weeby, a game building platform.
There is no doubt that the new century belongs to the east. The large numbers of tech based startups are a sign that the South East Asian economy is set to grow by innovation and entrepreneurial ventures.
About the Author:
Vaishnavi Agrawal loves pursuing excellence through writing and have a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.
The courses offered by Intellipaat address the unique needs of working professionals. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 5 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Hadoop, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP, Project Management and more.