“Sustainability is not a tech problem, it is a human weakness.”

A fireside chat about Thailand’s competitive advantage at Echelon Thailand 2017 revealed a few more interesting tidbits regarding startup up growth, government involvement, and investment best practices shared by industry expert Dr. Alex Lin, Head of Ecosystem Development at SGInnovate, an establishment that connects over 7,000 regional and global corporates.

Let’s dive in.

The government, the corporation & the startup

“Governments love corporations because they bring jobs and money. Startups hate corporations because they are so rigid. It’s all love and hate,” says Alex.

“The moment you build a lot of startups, corporations will move in because very simply, they cannot innovate. Innovation threatens the CEO, he doesn’t want anything to come in and ‘kill’ his job.”

So how should businesses go about innovation?

“What’s the definition of innovation? It’s looking at the status quo and changing it.”

“What is the job of the government? It is to uphold the law – follow the rules that they created. They aren’t able to change the law, only the top dogs, so are they innovative?” explains Alex.

Governments need startups to innovate, they need the corporates to provide the customer base, domain knowledge and infrastructure and they themselves need to push initiatives – all three units need to work together to create a healthy ecosystem for growth. But unfortunately, this doesn’t always end up being the case – why?

“A strong opportunity for Thailand is fintech because there is a large chunk of the population not being served, they are the unbanked,” says Alex. “If they don’t have a lot access to finances, per unit cost is higher and they can’t buy in bulk.”

So why are there still so many unbanked (approximately 72% of Southeast Asia to be precise)? Banks simply aren’t interested in them.

And if fintech startups are being mentored by a bank, they end up becoming products of the bank to serve their agendas.

“Over 600 startups that were mentored by a bank and none of them ended up serving the unbanked.”

What other business opportunities exist in Thailand?

“Digital healthcare is a good market for Thailand because the country is a very homogenous market, i.e. everyone wants to be whiter, while in Singapore you have a mix of tan is good, white is good,” says Alex. “Thais are also willing to experiment with treatments.”

“What about not-for-profits startups?” asks an audience member.

Dr. Alex Lin here pulled a Donald Trump (in his own words).

“Global warming is a great cause and I would gladly donate or attend fundraisers for these charities but I would never invest in them because there is no ROI.”

“If you are a startup, you need to think about who is going to pay you and if you can’t survive, you have to figure that part out first.”

‘Solve people’s problems first. Don’t build technology and try to fit it in somewhere.’




Seamless is one of Asia’s largest conference organized by Terrapinn that focuses on cards and payments,  including a dynamic summit and large-scale exhibition bringing together the converging worlds of ecommerce, retail and payments.

The Seamless Asia team spoke to Padmanabhan Ramaswamy, former head of business intelligence analytics at online marketplace GEMFIVE about recommendation engines to find out how they are brilliant in improving sales for eTailers but are not always perfect.

Read more

Post sponsored by Last Mile Fulfilment Asia (LMFAsia)

LMFA is Southeast Asia’s premier trade show for the retail, ecommerce, logistics and parcel industries, and returns with the 3rd edition on March 2-3 2017.

Themed “Go Global, Deliver Local”, the event aims to drive and strengthen a borderless fulfilment process.

Amidst a backdrop of economic uncertainties today, Southeast Asia’s ecommerce market is expected to reach $88 billion by 2025.

In recognising that last mile costs almost 28% of total cost of moving goods, achieving cost efficiency through innovative logistics solutions will be key to amplify the ecommerce market that is already expanding at rapid speed in the region.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the global B2B ecommerce market alone will reach US$6.7 trillion by 2020. This year’s conference will feature a new track “The Future of Ecommerce is B2B Ecommerce”, and include industry speakers from renowned retail, ecommerce and logistics leaders such as DHL, aCommerce and JD Worldwide.

The two-day conference and exhibition, organised by SingEx Exhibitions, comprises of a multi-track component that will dive into topics such as turning fulfilment challenges into opportunities, designing cross-border fulfilment solutions across Asia.

For more event information, please visit the website: http://www.lmfasia.com/

For Logistics related reports, visit our reports section

Disclaimer: ecommerceIQ is LMFA’s official Knowledge Partner for this year’s conference. We look forward to meeting everyone.
UnionBank brings Ureka Forum to Mindanao

source: UrekaForum.ph

UnionBank of the Philippines and its consortium partners are bringing the ecommerce circuit, Ureka Forum, for the first time to Mindanao. Ureka Forum is Philippines’ largest ecommerce conference, aimed to advance local SMEs innovation via ecommerce.

The conference will be held on July 23 following two previous successful conferences held in Baguio City and Iloilo City October 2015 and January 2016, respectively.

“For a long time, Mindanao has been called ‘the land of opportunity,’ and today more than ever, we expect even more investors to focus their attention on Mindanao,” said Genaro Lapez, UnionBank executive vice president and Ureka Forum’s lead convenor.

Started last year, Ureka Forum is open to all “registered SMEs coming from different industries who look at ecommerce as a necessary platform to grow and expand their businesses.

The fast growing Philippines

Philippines has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates among emerging markets in the world, but a recent study by Frost & Sullivan revealed that the Philippines lagged behind neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam in terms of ecommerce market maturity. 

The Google study showed that only 1% of small and medium enterprises or SMEs even have a website. These are the same SMEs that represent close to 98% of all registered businesses in the Philippines at which historically, employed goes to two thirds of the Philippine workforce.

Lapez believes however, things may change in the next four years and the Philippines would overrun Singapore by 2.97% by 2020.

“Assuming that there is a steady and solid economic growth and corresponding infrastructure improvements, Philippine ecommerce could grow 20.67% from 2016 to 2020 right behind leader, Malaysia,” added Lopez. He also mentioned the goal was to have no less than 100,000 SMEs doing ecommerce, representing no less than 10% of the country’s GDP by 2020.

After the last two road shows, the forum is now servicing around 150 SMEs from individual artists to retail and food corporations.  

With burgeoning industries such as business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing, new commercial complexes such as shopping malls as well as constantly improving infrastructure to augment its traditional agribusiness and tourism strengths, Davao City has emerged as one of the Philippines’ rising economic cores.

A version of this appeared in The Standard on July 16. Read the full article here.

aCommerce & Google bring together the region’s performance marketing experts in our first-ever ecommerce masterclass. This half-day, exclusive training session has six modules and will lay out the foundational principles and frameworks for brands, retailers and e-tailers to set up their performance marketing units and drive sales. The modules will be led by aCommerce in-house practitioners and Google experts and will feature a special Business Case Study by MatahariMall.com. The course will conclude with an interactive case study for participants to apply their learnings.

This exclusive half-day course is limited to 80 people and will start promptly at 13:00pm. Request a spot by RSVP-ing before Thursday, May 19th, 17:00pm.

When: May 26th, 2016
Time: 11:30am-17:00pm (Lunch & Masterclass); 17.00pm – 19.00pm Cocktails
Where: The Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan, Jakarta
Who: 80 industry leaders from top enterprise & SME level brands, retailers, etailers
What: 6 modules led by performance marketing practitioners focused on each essential elements of ecommerce marketing
Format: Interactive, educational roundtable
Special Guest Lecture: Tim Martin, Head of Online Marketing, MatahariMall.com


For a spot in the Marketing Masterclass, register here.