Contributor posts


Views of women in the startup world

Branding lessons from a first-time startup employee caught up in a pandemic by Mi Li, CMO at Advance Intelligence Group

“Shortly after, having been in the new role for less than six months and starting to hit my stride, COVID-19 hit …

Now, over one year on, I can see the whole period with 20/20 hindsight and there are some takeaways for marketers and brand chiefs, but also startups in general, that I would like to share.

With the global pandemic forcing almost every economy into lockdown, operational resiliency and brand communications became paramount. This was true both internally (for employees and inventors) and externally (for partners, customers, and the wider market).”

How the gig economy is empowering women in Vietnam by Duyen Tran

“The gig economy has been here for a long time, but only when COVID-19 came around is it being embraced like never before.

Undoubtedly, food delivery is one of the most popular gig jobs. As more people are forced to stay indoors, online delivery has become a lifeline for people to purchase necessities from their homes’ comfort.

This results in greater demand for delivery drivers to accommodate such needs, thereby creating loads of gig employment opportunities. Many are now turning to part-time food delivery gigs for additional – or even primary – income during these unprecedented times. Surprisingly enough, women are making up increasing numbers of the delivery workforce.”

How the influencer voice can be a powerful force for change by Madeleine Mak, Client Development Executive at GroupM

“Recently, WHO partnered with INCA, GroupM’s influencer marketing solution, to carry out a global cause campaign to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Over 47,000 influencers, from celebrity Selena Gomez to renowned sports team Real Madrid, disseminated key health and safety information about social distancing and proper hygiene.

Garnering 34 million Instagram engagements and over three billion TikTok video views in two weeks, it made clear that influencers can catalyse awareness and action. That said, influencers have also gone astray. During The Blacks Lives Matter protests, multiple
creators were caught disingenuously participating to promote their online personas.

Acknowledging that genuity and sensitivity are key, how can creators, brands and marketers appropriately
incorporate and promote purpose in influencer marketing strategies?”

The evolving world of fintech

Story of my life: What I learned while building my SME financing startup by Ajit Raikar, Co-founder, Validus

“My biggest takeaway from these years of experience was this: despite playing a vital role in the economy, SMEs remained underserved when seeking financing. In Singapore, 99 per cent of companies are small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

Together, they employ more than 70 per cent of the workforce. Their combined economic activity accounts for about half of Singapore’s GDP, US$382 billion in 2019, yet faces a daunting funding gap to finance their growth.

Unfortunately, across ASEAN, the SME bank loan-to-GDP ratio varies between four to 20 per cent. Therefore, this has resulted in a multi-billion dollar funding gap for SMEs, which presents a huge lending opportunity in the region.”

Why Asia’s insurance industry is poised for collaborative disruption by Mark Van den Broek, COO for Manulife

“Asia’s population, including in China and Southeast Asia, has been quick to embrace digital trends, which are reshaping economies and how we live. Indeed Asia’s rapid digital evolution has allowed some markets in the region to leapfrog with technologies – think smartphones and e-wallets – and it is where we see plentiful opportunities.

Consider the seamless, online experiences people get from PayMe to Taobao to Grab. Those experiences now influence their expectations for the next digital interaction, be it for food, finance or fun.

While the financial services sector has made strides to improve digital capabilities, there’s still room to grow; and in it, big opportunities for insurers in Asia to play directly into space – and for a strong market leader to emerge.”

How no-code platforms are providing a boost to the real estate industry by Prabhakar Reddy Devi Reddy

“The one thing that traditional real estate management systems lack is their ability to customise an application. Real estate companies cannot afford such compromises considering the new set of challenges placed on landlords and tenants during the pandemic and especially at a time where competition is at its peak.

In order to thrive, real estate companies need to adopt no-code platforms to efficiently manage different aspects such as marketing, leasing, properties, tenants, and investments.

No-code offers development platforms and tools to create new applications without the need for a single line of code. These platforms use a combination of drag and drop graphical interfaces and templates to enable non-IT professionals to create and optimise an application.”

How fintech is Asia is enabling and making education affordable for everyone by Riche Lim, co-founder, CFO / CSO at ErudiFi

“Financing has always been the key barrier for enrolment and retention and is a top-of-mind issue for schools. Otherwise, students, who need education the most are left without options, and the seats in the physical (and virtual) classrooms are left empty.

Fintech platforms are the ideal partners to help schools address this issue. Through collaboration, fintech platforms can help schools drive their three main goals: expansion, efficiency, and equity.”

How created a brand that thinks beyond the problem by Yu Ming Pong Co Founder and COO at GIVE.Asia

“We noticed that the giving culture just wasn’t a part of everyday life in Asia like it was in Europe and the US. We didn’t have friends reaching out to us asking us to donate to their marathons, we didn’t add a recurring charity donation into our monthly personal budgets, and we didn’t feel CSR efforts running through the core of the brands that we worked with.

Therefore, we decided to build a platform that allowed people to help, or be helped, through online fundraising. Over ten years on, and with S$75 million (US$55 million) raised, we truly believe that for tech startups to stand out from the crowd and stand the test of time, they need to think beyond the problem they are trying to solve.”

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