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Post-pandemic world in the eyes of our contributor community

Sleeping beast ready to awaken: The rush for regtech in a COVID-19 world Tiarnán McCaughan Market Advisor – Digital Tech and Financial Services

One of the curious aspects about the financial services industry is that while investment in technology has boomed over the past number of decades, the basic cost of financial intermediation has remained the same at around 1.87 per cent, as studied by NYU Stern School of Business.

Fintech Commentator David Birch speculates that this occurs as the cost and complexity of financial regulations has increased faster than industry can gain efficiencies.

Therefore, it is with regtech where the opportunity lies in truly driving improvements in the financial services industry and ultimately a better experience and end value for the wider economy.

Life goes on: What will life in the post-COVID-19 era look like? by Michelle Ng, Quest Ventures & Social Impact Catalyst

As we live in these times, I could not help but think of Huxley’s imagined future of a totally planned society of alphas, betas, gammas, deltas, and epsilons, who are genetically engineered and live a pain-free life.

We are far from this society as the world population struggles with vaccination campaigns and even the wearing of masks to limit the spread of the virus. Not an advocate of Huxley’s Brave New World, but I believe we are moving into our very own Brave New World triggered by the pandemic.

This Brave New World is strongly characterised by high tech and high touch. And these are some trends from the pre-COVID-19 era, which will persist and mutate in the COVID-19 era.

Plant-based protein: Is it really meat? by Rachel Lau, Managing Partner at RHL Ventures

Bullish signs began to emerge about 10 years ago when Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods were established in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Both had their missions aligned and that was to take on the behemoth of the meat industry – beef.

They kicked off their narrative with the simple crowd favourite food of burgers.

Beyond Meat’s colossal IPO in May 2019 created a movement that heightened acceptance of this alternative, granting it the overused tagline of the “new normal” by 2021. Its shares soared 163 per cent on its first day of trading.

Currently, Beyond Meat accounts for roughly 21.9 per cent of the retail refrigerated meat market share in the US, with Impossible Foods trailing behind at 9.0 per cent.

Also Read: From the contributor community: Enhancing investor engagement, job hunting guide by MHV talent head, and more

How app entrepreneurs are growing multifold in Southeast Asia by Derick David of Hikre School

Apps are taking over the world. Grab, Robinhood, DoNotPay, Snapchat, mobile apps are expected to generate over a trillion in revenue by 2024. On the other hand, third-world countries are considered now the new breeding ground for app innovations and next-gen app entrepreneurs.


There’s no doubt that developing nations have more real-world problems than first-world countries. Areas such as community, logistics, education, legal, and environment are only some of the spaces to which there’s a ton of potential for innovation.

Startup lessons from startup professionals

How to be an effective product team manager as your grows by Neil Rahilly, VP Product and Design at Mixpanel

Leading a product team in a startup is very different from leading one at a well-established enterprise.

Having joined Mixpanel in the early years and growing with it for close to a decade, I’ve learned that priorities change as you move from startup to scale up and then mature into an enterprise.

As you grow, your customers become your most valuable asset. Their complaints, feedback, input, and feature requests are all invaluable sources of information that inform your product strategy.

Take time to listen to them and understand how they’re using your product and what they’re using it for.

Tech-enabled goal tracking is the key to success in this digital world by Andrew Lee YongJoo, Co-Founder of GoalKeepin

The rise of self-improvement mobile apps has made the process easier in recent years, allowing users to keep track of their progress and habits through tech-enabled platforms that provide them with rewards in return for sticking to their plan.

While most understand the importance of goal setting, not many see them through. As an entrepreneur and a strong advocate of self-improvement, goals have grown to become a guiding vision that keeps me focused and motivated.

Whether an individual is looking to work on themselves or an entrepreneur on a mission to grow their business, here are some benefits to logging goals digitally to ensure these intangible plans turn into reality through the help of technology.

Why startups need to embrace experimentation culture to thrive in the pandemic by Simon McDonald, VP Optimizely

The pandemic is accelerating change across all industries. Apart from the rapid shift to a digital-first approach, severe supply chain disruption and border lockdowns have meant businesses now need to respond to a volatile global market rapidly.

As a result, businesses that once planned their digital strategy in long-term phases must now condense their initiatives to a matter of months, weeks or even days. The reduced timeline for these investments also increases the pressure for businesses to get it right the first time.

The pandemic has provided a glimpse into a future where digital has become the first layer for every interaction, rather than just a cog in the wheel. This shift has led organisations and individuals to speed up the adoption curve almost overnight.

Digital and mobile channels have become the primary customer-engagement model, and automated processes have become a major drive for productivity. An agile way of working has become the prerequisite for seemingly daily changes to customer behaviour.

Changing the norm, and how our contributor community does it

Edutech is opening up opportunities, but we need to get it right by Rohan Pasari, co-founder and CEO at Cialfo

We cannot talk about equitable distribution of education without discussing the elephant in the room: internet access or the lack thereof. The same ADB study found that in lower-middle income economies, only 18 per cent of households on average have a computer and 41 per cent have internet access at home.

Because of this, online learning is predominantly conducted using mobile phones, which are more readily available in lower-income countries. In support of this, governments have begun implementing programs to make remote learning accessible through mobile phones and via the subsidised distribution of connectivity and devices.

Beyond government and public sector intervention in bridging the digital divide—for edutech to be truly transformational—the industry needs to urgently address a couple of things, including….

SME lending during the pandemic: Is it sensible or unwise? by Endra Masagung, Fintech, DeFi & ESG enthusiast

If there is a silver lining for businesses during the pandemic, it is the increased affinity towards tapping into the limitless digital world. By observing the success of online sectors such as e-commerce and ride-hailing in recent times, there’s no denying the positive role of digitalisation in our economy.

But despite the set of opportunities that complement digitalisation, pivoting online also comes with its very own challenges.

This includes maintaining balanced cash flow and proper financing governance— aspects that can ensure the stability of SMEs during these trying times.

Also Read: Contributor community: Views from executives of Pindudoduo, BRI Agro, and more

Unlock your enterprise agility to unleash the potential of your startup by Andrew Wong of Appnovation Hong Kong

While enterprise agility is very different from agile software development, many parallels and principles can be drawn from the Agile Manifesto and Agile Principles beyond the context of IT.

Applying the spirit of elaboration, harmonisation and user-first approach from software to enterprise agility in providing services, is one of the centre themes of current Agile thinking. In other words, agility must be manifested within the enterprise DNA to generate value.

Imagine a traditional enterprise, burdened with legacy processes, systems and policies that are decades old that no one questions, “Why?”; intertwined with politics, silos and a culture of fear, where people do not feel free to voice out their feedback and ideas.

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