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Investing in South-East Asia

April 4, 2019

What’s Behind the Boom

Investing in South-East Asia - Swivelt

Investment in Southeast Asia has soared to a record high. If you’re interested in moving your business or expanding an existing business in Southeast Asia, Swivelt is here to help. We provide tailored hosted business solutions for new and existing Southeast Asian businesses. Read on to better understand the benefits of investing in Asia.

Why Build a Business Partnership in Asia?

  • Bain research shows that Southeast Asia’s investment ecosystem is entering a new phase of growth. 
  • 2024 will give rise to at least 10 new companies with a market value of more than US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) each.
  • More than 1,300 startups in Southeast Asia have benefited from a first round of seed financing since 2011.
  • Comprehensive deal value over the next five years is likely to reach US$70 billion (S$94.9 billion), which is twice the growth of the five previous years!

Emerging Markets: Growth at a Glance

You might be surprised that Southeast Asia is a hot topic. After all, investment in the region has been low when compared with India and China. The breaking point for Southeast Asia took longer to realize, but a solid foundation for the next stage of rapid growth has been laid by years of government startup support, perseverance by private equity funds, and slow but steady growth.

Now, all signs are a go. Tech companies are responsible for the start of the boom, rising to 40% of the deal count in 2017 from 20% in 2014. Southeast Asia has also produced its first list of unicorns—companies that quickly achieve a value of US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) or more. Since 2012, 10 unicorns have propelled the Southeast Asian market to No. 3 in the Asia-Pacific region. Research supports the idea that the region can sustain this momentum. 

Business Expansion to Asia: The Role of ASEAN 

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an alliance of ten countries that created a single Southeast Asian trade zone. This is a major factor that makes the region especially attractive for investors. The current trade zone agreement reduces taxes and creates a larger trade zone that functions as a unified economy. The unification of the ASEAN market encourages companies to expand beyond country borders, efficiently accelerating and diversifying their growth.

Singapore is known as Southeast Asia’s investment hub. Because of ASEAN, diverse startup ecosystems are spreading across the region. Together, Indonesia and Vietnam generated 20% of the region’s private equity deal value during the previous five years, and that percentage is likely to grow. A current Bain & Company survey revealed nearly 90% of investors said the most booming Southeast Asian markets after Singapore in 2019 will be in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Navigating Southeast Asia’s Hottest Investment Hubs

Southeast Asia’s investment climate is reaching a critical point in development. Those who build regional businesses, secure top talent, improve commercial excellence, and harness digital technologies will be best positioned to produce the solid returns they’ve long been anticipating. Swivelt has the tools and the experience to help your business navigate new trade zones with confidence.

In our experience, investors who succeed in Southeast Asia share a common approach based on four principles:

  • Take an ASEAN perspective when evaluating deals. Companies that diversify across Southeast Asia grow faster and reduce the risk of relying on a single economy. 
  • Identify the right talent for the biggest roles. The most successful investors get the right leadership in place to deliver on the value-creation plan.
  • Take advantage of commercial acceleration programs. Bain research confirms the median return on investment is 20% to 30% higher when a commercial acceleration program is used.
  • Use modern digital strategies and fintech. Portfolio companies that optimize with digital strategies and fintech are better positioned to manage disruption and keep pace with rapidly changing markets. 

Invest with Confidence. Invest with Swivelt. 

Investments in Southeast Asia are taking off but investors must navigate new challenges every day. Swivelt is an expert in customer acquisition, customer retention, lead generation, lead profiling, and lead qualification in Southeast Asia markets.

With over 20 years of experience delivering services to Fortune 500 companies worldwide, we are experts in managing the full customer life cycle and optimizing business support functions to efficiently scale with your ever-changing business needs. Contact us to learn more about how our services can benefit your organization.

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