Author: Jonathan Quah

Organizing a Learning Expedition to Startups in Asia

Silicon Valley no longer has the monopoly on tech innovation: new startups in Asia are emerging with new ideas and technologies, diversifying innovative power to various ecosystems worldwide. Asia in particular is boiling hot and setting new trends. Just think of those two figures from 2016: China’s giant messaging app WeChat processed twice as much transactions (money transfers) in one month than Paypal did in a year India’s biometric-identity database Aadhaar now counts more than a billion registered users, and is turning into a bankless, cashless payment system for all. Experiential learning through physical exploration of these different ecosystems – from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul and Shenzhen to Bangalore – is still the best way to keep up with the ever evolving trends. Key benefits of such tours involve understanding new behaviors, testing out the latest prototypes and engaging key stakeholders in high-level partnerships. In a nutshell, learning expeditions are steps into the near future, and wake-up calls for Excoms, GMs and leadership teams who experience real change and a cultural shock by meeting with relevant entrepreneurs, investors, experts and peers. After completing more than a dozen of these tours, here are 8 important tips for you to plan an effective learning expedition in any part of the world. 1) Select the leading market in your area of interest For their own historical, geographical, political or economic reasons, some cities...

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Corporate Innovation: No One Size Fits All

Companies are not waiting to be disrupted by startups, leading to the push of corporate innovation. 68 of the world’s largest companies on the Forbes Global 500 List have interacted with startups with in the form of hackathons, accelerators, partnerships and venture funds. Our analysis of a dozen recent initiatives, including The Coca-Cola Founders accelerator, GE Garages events and Swire Properties’ coworking space BluePrint, has demonstrated that success depends on various aspects. These include tailoring programs to suit objectives, getting top management buy-ins, getting aid from experienced partners and maintaining openness of the company. According to a study from...

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Startup Unicorns in Asia: Growth through Acquisition and Innovation [Infographics]

Startups come in all shapes and sizes. All start off small. Some grow bigger and faster than others. Yes, we are talking about startup unicorns – startups that have attained the status of over US$1 billion in valuation. IEV has delved into the world of unicorns in Southeast Asia with insights to share. US$57 billion have been invested in startups by Chinese unicorns over the last 5 years (mainly the BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent), while 1 billion has been invested by Indian unicorns (Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal). Most investments have been done in online / mobile platforms for...

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How Adobe Drives Employee Engagement Towards Customer Centricity

In 2012, Adobe was making headlines. The company was undergoing a revolution in its performance management system while introducing a subscription-based service for their customers.   Our team interviewed Sarah Dunn, Head of People Resources, Asia Pacific at Adobe to share on this change in the organization. She explains how it has encouraged employees to pursue innovation and design a greater customer experience. Adopting Informal Check-In Sessions within Adobe Adobe has adopted a new system of informal and real time conversations called ‘check-ins’. “The company was transforming faster than ever; our people were asking for change and we had to keep up....

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Empowering FMCG Companies and Kirana Stores : Indian startup Snapbizz Gives Real Time Insights on Customers Behaviour

As a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company in emerging economies such as India, one faces two key problems. The first problem is product visibility. In India, small retail stores (often referred to as kirana stores) are concerned about how their products are shown to and thus perceived by customers. This is important for an FMCG company since 90% of the retail market is captured by kirana stores. The second problem is obtaining accurate product information in these kirana stores. In particular, having a constant stream of information on how products are performing in the stores real-time will allow these FMCG...

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