Author: Jonathan Quah

SEAMLESS 2017 Singapore : Join Us at the Front of Payments, E-Commerce and Retail

We’ve heard people talking about the latest developments in Fintech. We’ve heard stories about a revolution going on in the digital commerce space. We want to know how technology is going to change the way retailers reach out to consumers. And we will be getting the answers to our questions at one of the largest business conventions in 2017 – Seamless 2017. Seamless 2017 envisions itself as the event for the brave new world of commerce. With a focus on the payments, digital commerce and retail industries, Seamless is a conference for the exchange of ideas between business leaders...

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Hospitality in Asia : Hotels and Startups Are Reinventing Accommodation

Hospitality in Asia is about to be reinvented. What was once a market dominated by hotel conglomerates is now undergoing change with start-ups actively redefining the recipe for a satisfactory accommodation experience. Certainly, the revolutionary accommodation experience from Airbnb has paved the way for other enterprises that focus on hospitality in Asia. The region has also borne witness to the emergence of innovative yet localized models that cater to the Asian demographic such as Pandabed and OYO Rooms. For many, the term ‘shared economy’ is often associated with the start-up turned global budget accommodation platform Airbnb. The company harkened...

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Thailand Startup Ecosystem Flourishes Amid Political Instability

With a population size of 68 million, Thailand has seen its fair share of political unrest in recent years. Under the leadership of a military junta, the nation has experienced many an ousting of people in power with the most recent being that of Yingluck Shinawatra, the 28th and first female Prime Minster of Thailand. Despite such revolutions and protests against the government, the Thai startup ecosystem is now immersive, diverse and thriving. The Thai population is one that catches onto new technology readily and maintains a high level of activity in the social media sphere. With the fast-growing nature...

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Growing Functionalities of Messaging Apps in Asia

The role of messaging apps has evolved past that of simply messaging. Today, they are incorporated with online payment methods and offline-to-online (O2O) shopping amongst many others. At the forefront of such innovation stands WeChat and LINE – two apps that dominate the messaging activities of the Asian demographic. Beyond visually appealing stickers and a host of memorable cartoon ambassadors, both have ventured into previously unrelated fields. LINE and WeChat have extended their services from the basic functionality of messaging to various payment methods. WeChat offers the WeChat Wallet, a platform on which users can order taxis, book movie...

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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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