Contributor posts

Action in the SEA startup ecosystem is unending. Amidst all the fund raising and merger talks, we at e27 are also gearing up for our first exciting project in 2021– e27 Luminaries.

Our contributors this week, have shared their valuable experiences with battling burnout, growing a tech team and foraying into emerging markets. Cosy up and catch up on all the missed action from our community.

We would love to hear views or counter views. It’s a simple two-step process that will earn you a byline on e27 and add you to our league of popular contributors.

Managing 2021

A game changer: Why direct access to payment systems matters in a consumer-centric world by Venkatesh Saha International Expansion at TransferWise

“This is a momentous occasion not only for our journey in Singapore, but also a regulatory milestone that heralds the maturing of the local fintech industry. By giving firms access to FAST, previously the exclusive domain of banks, regulators are enabling greater competition and innovation in the payments space.

This is ultimately to the benefit of consumers because if there is one thing that the pandemic has shown us about payments, it is that speed, reliability and near-universal access have never been more important in a world powered by instantaneous digital interaction.”

Innovate or die: The only mantra you need for 2021 and beyond by Rakesh Patni, co-founder and CCO at Augmenteed

“The past 12 months, where COVID-19 has severely impacted businesses across the globe, have demonstrated that those corporations with a mature digital strategy and capabilities fared much better than those who perhaps failed to invest sufficiently in the preceding years before the pandemic struck.

To those organisations that have suffered from the major disruptions to commerce, digital transformation is imperative.

In the industrial context then, what are the key drivers of this transformation? What can we expect in the coming decade? We can broadly classify them into four categories.”

Managing markets

Why building user communities is far better than paid advertising by Angelique Parungao, marketer at Amity

“Paid advertising has been a go-to solution for marketers to capture and target their intended customers. According to Hubpsot, Google ad spending can go between US$9,000 to US$10,000 per month — and that’s only the median spending.

But with the staggering cost, why do businesses still prefer paid advertising?

For one, online ads such as paid-per-click ads get you immediate visibility against your competitors. Second, paid advertising also enables companies to control their spending based on the types of ads and how much visibility they want vis-a-vis the costs.

All costs, all promises?”

Why Absolute Pricing Authority and Costco branding concept are good for emerging markets by Chia Jeng Yang, Principal, Saison Capital

“Akshay Bajaj of SIG and I talked about the concept of Absolute Pricing Authority, the Costco model, and its relevance for emerging markets recently. I would like to share our conversation with the community at large.

So let us start with understanding what “brands” are: They are mental associations meant to increase conversions behind a job to be done and a particular action.

What if we want to build a brand that tries to tackle the job of ‘confidence in the lowest possible price of the market’ –which is defined as the brand with ‘Absolute Pricing Authority’. Costco Founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal mentioned in a recent lecture that he prides Costco on having the concept. It means customers can be absolutely sure that Costco has the lowest prices anywhere. There’s only one company at a time that can deliver on this promise!”

Managing your growing team

The danger of expanding too quickly and how you can keep your tech team artificially small by Shanice Ng

“Everyone likes the glamour of having a big team and expanding the company quickly. However, from past experiences, we have personally seen many companies grow their headcount too quickly when they face resource constraints for a limited time, and struggle to pay their staff in lull periods. To end up in a predicament like these companies is extremely dangerous for the company’s cash flow and team culture.

Instead of focusing on just quickly growing our headcount whenever we face resource constraints, we invest heavily in productivity by looking at three core areas.”

How to build an organisation of data scientists in a data-driven world by Gautam Kotwal, Chief Data Officer, Gojek

“Today, with the advent of the cloud and new and emerging technologies that allow firms to accumulate and analyse big data efficiently, companies that are not fostering a cadre of data-savvy employees are not only at a disadvantage. Simply put, they are not going to survive.

But survival does not only rest on the shoulders of a company’s engineers, data analysts and scientists. It is a responsibility shared with every member of the organisation, including creatives, writers and facility managers. With insights from data at the heart of every business decision, top-to-bottom integration of data must be embedded in the very culture of an organisation.

All employees must think like data scientists. And companies have to equip them with the right tools, knowledge and support to build a data-centric environment that they can keep learning from, and allows them to experiment.”

Managing mental health

Feeling deflated, defeated and downright tired as a founder? You are not alone by Bernard Ang, founder, Cara Unmask

“For us founders, failing fast, failing early is the mantra but how many of us are equipped mentally to embrace failures, one after another and be able to march forward relentlessly till we reach scale.

As a young founder, I harboured dreams that I could change the world, create a tiny ripple in this vast ocean. Like some, I chose the route of spending any free time I had on a side tech project while slaving away in a corporate day job. I was bootstrapping myself and it was incredibly exciting.

Little did I realise, balancing two intense jobs would take a toll on me. I started to stumble, committing every mistake there was to make in the founder’s rulebook and before I knew it, I had burnout without even being aware of it.”

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The post From our community: Views from gojek’s chief data officer, on the Costco branding model in SEA and more… appeared first on e27.

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