Alpha lab people first culture

New trends in e-commerce

Everyday e-commerce: New ways of paying, new ways of buying by Kelvin Phua, Head of Global Payment Networks at PPRO

In many parts of the world and has been evidenced in growing Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, digital transformation represents the growth of social economic consumer groups, internet infrastructure, and the prolific usage of smartphones.

However, in more established economies, these factors have enabled a range of transactions and payment methods that we can now recognise as forms of e-commerce– but it has evolved at different stages in different regions, with some markets witnessing a more competitive e-commerce landscape than others.

To take their slice of the pie, businesses of all sizes and industries need to match their payment capabilities to the regions in which they operate, ensuring the solution offered matches the market they are targeting, and is sensitive to its complexities and nuances.

3 factors affecting e-commerce trends in Vietnam by Lam Tran, cofounder and CEO at Wise Pass

The e-commerce landscape is dominated by three large companies: Shopee, Lazada and Tiki. Shopee is clearly winning in every metrics at the moment if we take a look at Similar Web.

With a higher monthly traffic count, Shopee seems to be the clear winner at the moment but when I look at the potential entrants, I am looking at a couple serious competitors that will likely change the game.

The first competitor is Amazon that already entered Vietnam. They already set up their legal entity and they can decide in the coming years to enter the market officially and compete with the current players.

Currently, the focus is just to get sellers and increase transactions for the global market.

It’s understandable as the Vietnamese may remain small for Amazon. I believe the market will grow big enough for them to start within the next 60 months.

Growth in the SEA market

The changing face of gamers and what it means for e-sports startups in SEA by Ferdinand Gutierrez, Esports entrepreneur

In the past three years, the gaming industry has seen an additional half a billion players enter the space, which has increased the global figure to 2.7 billion. In addition, an influx of older gamers means that the average age of a typical gamer is now 35.

Women currently represent 60 per cent of new players on the scene, while 61 per cent of men are long-time gaming veterans. But how do these changing demographics and unique preferences lead to the changing faces of icons in today’s world?

New gaming platforms and changing demographics are pushing business boundaries away from product-centric to more experience-oriented platforms.

The journey ahead: Singapore startup ecosystem becoming Asia’s Silicon Valley by Joshua Sng Zhong Hao, Makan for Hope

During one of 30 Makan For Hope Festival sessions, hosted by Kuo-Yi Lim, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures, a group of us gathered to discuss whether Singapore was set on its path to becoming the Silicon Valley (SV) of Asia.

The question at hand has also been discussed by those beyond our shores, such as a 2020 article in Techcrunch that stated that Singapore is poised to become the next Silicon Valley.

Indeed, Singapore shares quite a few similarities with SV, while boasting our own unique advantages in the region, such as….

Practical tips to protect your business from cyber attacks by Struan Todd, Vice President – Underwriting | Pandamatics

The Asia Pacific region is an ideal breeding ground for cybercrime. The general lack of cybersecurity consideration, policy preparedness and institutional oversight, paired with high digital connectivity, a large volume of cross-border data transfers and developing regulations increase exponentially the vulnerability of Asian firms.

Such weaknesses must be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid the risk of businesses throughout the region losing over US$750 billion, according to Kearny’s conservative estimate.

SMEs and startups often believe that they will not be the target of a cyber-attack due to their relevant size or importance – but that is a myth. The best way to protect small and medium-sized businesses is to avoid common misconceptions such as “security through obscurity”. Most hackers are targeting the most vulnerable companies with an open cyber door rather than the biggest ones.

How to build deep tech startups across borders by Pierrick Bouffaron, director, New Ventures

For Singaporean deep tech startups, this is no different. Every founder in the Little Red Dot also factors in the specifics of the local ecosystem, displaying both outstanding strengths — the quality of science, modern infrastructure, efficient government— and a fair share of shortcomings — small domestic market, limited depth of the local B2B market, large science to commercialisation gap.

If local entrepreneurs encountered barriers on all four fronts of building their venture (i.e. customers, value chain, talent availability and capital), then their chances to build a worldwide success story and win over competition would dwindle quickly.

For those Singapore-based founders embracing the arduous deep tech path, there is no choice but to build themselves a central position in a deeply interconnected mesh of global players.

How to successfully build and run a business with minimum capital by Yuen Yi, cofounder of SweetPeachier

One of the first steps in starting a business is to conduct research to identify a gap in the market. This is to determine if the intended product or service can cater to the needs of current consumers or solve their problems, ensuring that there will be a steady demand.

It is also important to focus on strategically branding the business as this will help the public to better identify and recognise your business as an impactful one.

The first two steps above were what we hyper-focused on when brainstorming for SweetPeachier, Malaysia’s first home IPL device. It was a brand launched during the first round of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) in the first half of 2020, when beauty salons were not allowed to operate, causing people to lose access to their regular hair removal services.

Managing people

Power to the people: Ways to build a people-first culture by John Gu, founder and CEO of AlphaLab Capital

Before the pandemic, the “work smarter not harder” mantra led by the world’s biggest tech companies saw free lunches, open-concept offices and additional days of childcare leave as the gold standard for an innovative workplace. With most of these office perks removed, work went back to the core: people.

Studies have shown that happier employees work better to achieve organisational goals. Engaged and happy employees who feel that they belong excel in their work and positively impact the company’s performance.

I learnt this first-hand as my company, AlphaLab Capital, evolved. With no outside investment, my co-founder Michal Krasnodebski and I had the freedom to build a company and culture based on the core values we believe in – a workplace where people can work, and have fun doing so.

We made it a point to cultivate a workplace where each employee can contribute, grow and outperform and create an environment where we would want to work.

Want to work at a leading tech company? Here’s how by Stella Pedziwiatr, Head of Talent Acquisition, Asia Pacific, Twitter

Landing a job in a tech company does not necessitate knowing how to code or proficiency in computer science, as companies also want to tap on the experience and knowledge of specific industries and sectors.

There are roles in these companies that span different departments, each playing an integral part for the organisation to thrive. In fact, by 2025, Singapore will need 1.2 million workers trained in digital skills across all functions.

At Twitter’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, we are looking for technical talents covering product and software engineering, data science, data engineering and machine learning; and non-technical talents such as professionals in the fields of sales and marketing, public policy and operations.

Whether you want to work with a fintech, e-commerce or tech hardware company, the first step is standing out from a sea of applicants so recruiters can invite you to interview for the job.

Moving mental health out of Freud’s era and beyond the couch with big data by Dr Louise Metcalf, Mental health solutions creator

I’m going to be using Australia as my data case study here, firstly because it’s where I live and work so I can comment personally and secondly because Australia is really a best-case, case-study.

We have 95 psychologists for every 100k people, everywhere else around the world that statistic gets worse, in the US for example, where most (non-US) people think it’s almost 1:1, the rates actually drop to 33 psychologists per 100,000.

We also have some of the most highly trained and updated psychologists with mandated professional development, annually.

Foodtech special

F&B’s growing appetite for technology solutions and how it leads to success by Shaun Burke, Managing Director, OrderEZ

In what has been possibly the toughest 18 months for any customer-facing industry, F&B has been hit particularly hard. In Singapore, some venues have reported losing as much as 90 per cent of their revenue, while others went under, despite their best efforts.

These aren’t easy circumstances to bounce back from, but there is a silver lining. Many F&B businesses are now sharing their experience of how being backed up against the wall actually pushed them to pause, pivot or overhaul how they do business.

Whether that’s exploring new avenues for revenue generation, optimising their workforce and back offices, or planning ahead to future-proof for the long-term.

Technology, while far from being a silver bullet, has played a crucial role in enabling these changes. Growing competition and demand has also driven down prices and improved its accessibility to businesses of all sizes, yet participation remains an obstacle to widespread adoption within F&B.

How the upcycling movement can help build a true circular food economy by Shen Ming Lee, food fighter CMO at Crust Group

Was your gut reaction “Eww!” or “Oh yeah. That problem…”? Whether you’re a food waste fighter or not, there’s no denying it: Food waste and loss is one of the biggest yet most underrated problems facing the food industry.

Every year, a third of food produced or 1.3 billion tonnes gets lost or wasted globally. According to the UN, the global cost of food wastage amounts to a shocking US$2.6 trillion a year.

That’s almost equivalent to India’s GDP. And if food waste were a country, it’d be the third largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting country after the US and China. Just let that sink in for a moment.

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