297: Geir Windsvoll – Live Streaming in Thailand

Podcast highlights:

  • 09:13 Geir shares his experience when in late 90s he tried taking the existing online services and combing with the community features and his various other experiments with internet.
  • 24:10 Geir tells us the challenges he face in scaling live videos and how important it is for tech team to be ready for what is coming. He also tells about prototyping and how it lets a team test out and give them experience in the field they wanted.
  • 36:30 20-30 years back we have seen millions of young population in China, Japan and Thailand moving from countryside to large cities. Its interesting to see how social apps are bringing them close to the roots.

289: David Jou – Pomelo Fashion

Podcast highlights:

  • 01:35 What is Pomelo Fashion? Where did it come from and what does it do differently in fashion and e-commerce?
  • 21:50 Does Pomelo sell their own brand and goods or are there concessions wherein they have designer brands in there? What is their inventory like?
  • 31:30 Pomelo’s retail store also serves as a showroom for the goods and products. Is there a typical customer journey wherein one comes into the store, tries a product, goes home, checks it on their website and buys it?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome David Jou to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 00:25 A little backstory on David Jou who was born in Dortmund, Germany, grew up in the USA and South Korea, speaks German, English and Korean, and being surrounded with talented people who speak English in Bangkok
  • 01:35 What is Pomelo Fashion? Where did it come from and what does it do differently in fashion and e-commerce?
  • 02:40 Pomelo is a DNVB, a digitally native vertical brand, and David wants to take on the Zara’s and H&M’s of this world. How does he compete with that?
  • 08:35 Traditionally, Zara had a weak online presence. Until very recently, you can’t order online, so why would Zara not go online and fend off some competition? What is David’s thought process on that?
  • 15:25 What is fast fashion? A style-agnostic idea focused on relevant fashion trends becoming popular in the market where Pomelo is present and the company tries to put together assortments based on the trends that are relevant at any given time
  • 17:35 Why did fast fashion emerge and designer brands got sort of pushed aside?
  • 21:50 Does Pomelo sell their own brand and goods or are there concessions wherein they have designer brands in there? What is their inventory like?
  • 23:30 Does Pomelo have physical stores apart from their big online presence? How much is offline and how much is online?
  • 25:55 Pomelo started 100% online but as an online e-commerce provider, what was the main driver for the company to set up a retail store?
  • 31:30 Pomelo’s retail store also serves as a showroom for the goods and products. Is there a typical customer journey wherein one comes into the store, tries a product, goes home, checks it on their website and buys it?
  • 34:40 Compared to a traditional retailer, Pomelo can make more iterations at a much faster rate. When the company tries to improve their app or their stores, what’s the starting point? How does that happen?
  • 37:05 David and Graham touch on the challenge of creating a culture where people can share ideas
  • 39:15 “What your strength is could be your potential downfall”. How does David get himself out of that comfort zone?
  • 43:00 “Be honest and vulnerable. When people give you feedback, do not overreact and don’t defend your ideas – listen.”
  • 45:15 “Apple is a tech company but effectively is a retail company. There is real value in being able to go and walk the shop floor.” Can you be a pure playing e-commerce buyer in fashion and succeed without that front-end?
  • 47:30 As Pomelo had a physical store, did it change how David’s and his team thought who they were or how they thought about their roles?

275: Bob Gallagher — Appsynth

Podcast highlights:

  • 04:18 Earlier this year, you picked up an award in Singapore. Tell us a little bit about that. — We picked up two awards from Campaign Asia-Pacific. Campaign Asia-Pacific is basically the de facto agency world magazine in the region. It was really good recognition for us. Now it’s onward and upwards!
  • 26:00 Do you see anything emerging in Thailand on the mobile front that will catch on in the rest of the world? — On the consumption side, Thailand is leading in terms of time spent on mobile. We’re talking 4-5 hours a day. There is also mobile payment via QR codes, which are very big here. We see the drive to a cashless society. These are things you would notice in Thailand, people scanning people’s QR codes and transferring money for products and services very easily.
  • 44:10 So now you’re 8 years into the story of Appsynth. Where do things go from here? — For us it’s a careful balancing act in terms of having the people we need versus having a situation where work dries up and we can no longer support the number of people we have. Maybe we could expand to 100 people, be we’ll have to see. We also want to look at growing regionally and also in Europe and the US. One effort we’ve engaged in is diversifying the nationalities of our employees. As we move forward we need to continue to figure out how to change our structure to support our growth.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Bob Gallagher, Managing Director and Founder of Appsynth to ATP Stories with Graham Brown.
  • 00:40 You set up Appsynth in 2010, correct? — Yes, that’s correct. Coming up on 10 years in Thailand with 8 of those years running Appsynth. We have over 50 people working for us now and have seen a steady stream of growth in this regard.
  • 01:40 So your background was originally in music, wasn’t it? — Yep. Started working in mobile 12 years ago for a mobile music distributor and even before that running a record label. Came to Thailand first at age 18 and saw the potential in the markets there.
  • 04:18 Earlier this year, you picked up an award in Singapore. Tell us a little bit about that. — We picked up two awards from Campaign Asia-Pacific. Campaign Asia-Pacific is basically the de facto agency world magazine in the region. It was really good recognition for us. Now it’s onward and upwards!
  • 07:48 These awards must help in terms of recruitment. Can you talk a little about that? — We’ve probably hired a bit more than 15 recruits in the past year, which is a lot. The award adds to the prestige of working with a company like ours. While we’re growing, we’ve been focusing on things like company culture and creating an environment where people want to come but also then want to stay.
  • 10:35 When you look at other companies, who do you admire in terms of getting corporate culture correct? — There are many different role models in this regard. There’s no one way to run a business. But to name a few, there’s Spotify. Of course there are other inspirations from different fields. Just take a look at who are the best software teams in the world and how do they operate. One benefit we have in terms of hiring people is the ability to tell candidates they will be able to work on many different projects given that we’re not such a big company. We don’t have teams devoted just to narrow features or products.
  • 15:15 Can you describe a bit about how you capture the sort of software engineer who wants to go out and make a difference in the world? — This is really a reflection on how we go about business development and being selective in terms of who we work with and what sorts of things we take on. There’s a lot of work out there, but we need to find things that are exciting and are going to be used by millions of people. This gets people motivated.
  • 20:30 You’ve recently published some data about working in Thailand and the changes taking place there. Can you help us understand some of these trends? — We clearly see how hard people work in Thailand. Certainly in technology and knowledge work, people work very hard here. The pace of work has been increasing here and we expect this to continue.
  • 23:50 In Thailand you have a hard-working population, and a young population very connected on social media. What sorts of opportunities does this create for a company like Appsynth? — This is a point we like to highlight because Thailand really is at the forefront for mobile usage and mobile shopping. It’s not in places like the US, it’s here in Thailand.
  • 26:00 Do you see anything emerging in Thailand on the mobile front that will catch on in the rest of the world? — On the consumption side, Thailand is leading in terms of time spent on mobile. We’re talking 4-5 hours a day. There is also mobile payment via QR codes, which are very big here. We see the drive to a cashless society. These are things you would notice in Thailand, people scanning people’s QR codes and transferring money for products and services very easily.
  • 35:20 What sorts of other things are you experimenting with there in terms of mobile payments and money transfer? — The app we produced for 7-Eleven here in Thailand has a feature where parents can top up their children’s accounts and eliminate the need for those kids to carry cash. This helps parents better control where and how their kids can spend money too. Another feature you see is loyalty tracking, which can be used to offer discounts and enticements to consumers.
  • 36:45 Do you think Thailand will be a leader in terms of being a cashless society? — Yes, I think so. People have really embraced this new QR-based payment model. Maybe Thailand won’t be the first country to go cashless, but it will certainly be one of the first.
  • 37:45 What is the mobile music scene in Thailand right now? — People here obviously love music and mobile, and in fact Spotify as the big player in this space was actually a bit late to come to Thailand. There are other players here including well-established local labels who are getting into mobile music.
  • 39:50 Do you see a lot of Chinese investment coming into places like Thailand? Are there Chinese companies coming in and making big investments? — Yes, definitely. There’s pros and cons of course. We’ve seen some cases were Chinese investment comes in and ends up moving development jobs back to China where some Thai developers simply don’t want to move for whatever reason. This has opened up new talent avenues for the companies that remain. This is what happened, for example, at Lazada.
  • 44:10 So now you’re 8 years into the story of Appsynth. Where do things go from here? — For us it’s a careful balancing act in terms of having the people we need versus having a situation where work dries up and we can no longer support the number of people we have. Maybe we could expand to 100 people, be we’ll have to see. We also want to look at growing regionally and also in Europe and the US. One effort we’ve engaged in is diversifying the nationalities of our employees. As we move forward we need to continue to figure out how to change our structure to support our growth.

251: Dan Itsara – Glazziq the Bangkok Based Fashion Brand

Podcast highlights:

  • 08:10 Does Dan see his previous work experience for the US Air Force and NASA relevant to building an eyeglass company in the context of what he is doing?
  • 25:20 Did Thai people – or Dan himself – not know where he fitted in when he moved to Thailand? Also, did that put doubt in his mind?
  • 45:20 As a mountain climber and an entrepreneur, what is Dan’s take on the “never give up” advice?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Dan Itsara to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 01:25 Why did Dan decide to build Glazziq, an e-commerce brand for prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses?
  • 03:10 Where did the Glazziq design get its influence from? Also, where did the idea of starting Glazziq come from?
  • 08:10 Does Dan see his previous work experience for the US Air Force and NASA relevant to building an eyeglass company in the context of what he is doing?
  • 14:55 Thai people are friendly, don’t like confrontation and don’t like saying there’s a mistake – how does Dan culture that mindset into a group of people who may have been programmed in another way?
  • 18:20 “Disagree and commit” – an example of Korean Airlines in the 1980s
  • 22:05 A backstory on Dan as an American-Thai, growing up in Northern California and his rationale for going to Thailand
  • 25:20 Did Thai people – or Dan himself – not know where he fitted in when he moved to Thailand? Also, did that put doubt in his mind?
  • 28:00 Having experience living in cross-cultural worlds develops empathy – a powerful tool for retail and e-commerce
  • 30:55 How did Dan grow Glazziq, an e-commerce/retail business, to operational positive within six months?
  • 34:10 Is it difficult to standardize the process of making prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses? Also,
    the many mistakes Glazziq made in the process
  • 38:55 How close is Dan to having the “ultimate dashboard” to simplify his business or is it a pipe dream to have?
  • 42:45 Now that Glazziq is a growing business and operationally positive, does Dan have a clear idea on where he should be focusing?
  • 45:20 As a mountain climber and an entrepreneur, what is Dan’s take on the “never give up” advice?
  • 49:35 “Amateurs practice until they can do it right but professionals practice until they can’t do it wrong”
  • 50:05 Dan’s experience is a great case study on why it makes sense to not necessarily work for a startup straight out of the gate but to get training first in the corporate world or the military
  • 52:15 Check out www.glazziq.com or find Dan at LinkedIn.com/DanItsara

249: Kineret Karin, Growing a Social Impact Accelerator

Podcast highlights:

  • 22:55 Kineret Karin’s thoughts on the growth of accelerator companies and the startup accelerator model in Singapore
  • 28:25 The challenge of identifying the right startups and Kineret’s strategy to overcome this
  • 34:12 The double bottom line – measuring the economics of na ImpacTech startup involves measuring the social impact created and the associated financial model associated

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Kineret Karin to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham Brown
  • 01:11 Kineret talks about ImpacTech, a Singapore based accelerator focused on startups that create a positive impact on the environment and the society
  • 02:02 How ImpacTech has grown and evolved since Kineret’s last appearance on the show in August last year
  • 06:03 Are corporate accelerators the future? ImpacTech’s collaborations with large coorporations like Shell and Singtel
  • 08:23 Kineret shares the process behind ImpacTech’s work with Shell
  • 11:53 The first five start ups selected for the ImpacTech program with Shell – hydrogen batteries for electric scooters, smart meters for utilities, wireless charging for busses and cars, more cost effective solar panels, smart tent for the homeless and energy panels for different weathers
  • 14:42 The learning curve working with engineering startups – Kineret’s background is in the service industry
  • 17:25 Shell’s commitments to startups in this batch
  • 19:07 Why are large corporates like Shell investing resources into startups? What is in it for them?
  • 20:51 Are large corporates genuinely helping startups or just doing it for PR purposes? How can you tell?
  • 22:55 Kineret’s thoughts on the growth of accelerator companies and the startup accelerator model in Singapore
  • 27:18 Singtel and ImpacTech’s start up accelerator program “Future Makers” and what it involves
  • 28:25 The challenge of identifying the right startups and Kineret’s strategy to overcome this
  • 30:47 The commitments between startups and Singtel for startups in the 4 month “Future Makers” program
  • 32:30 Kineret’s secret methods of distinguishing a good startup from the rest
  • 34:12 The double bottom line – measuring the economics of na ImpacTech startup involves measuring the social impact created and the associated financial model associated
  • 35:14 How does Kineret measure the potential social impact of a startup?
  • 36:56 Kineret shares future plans for ImpacTech including expansions to Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan
  • 40:16 What kind of start ups is ImpacTech interested in?
  • 42:10 When would it be the best time for a start up to contact accelerator companies like ImpacTech?
  • 44:29 Get in touch with Kineret through her LinkedIn or website>

247: Blake Larson, Expanding LaLaMove Across Asia

Podcast highlights:

  • 28:30 How did Blake arrive at the day-to-day approach – his interpretation of strategy – as the right way to do it? Also, spending his first eight weeks for Rocket Internet in Hong Kong standing outside petrol stations handing out flyers to taxi drivers
  • 35:00 As a well-educated, successful and MBA-holding person who went well outside his comfort zone, what are Blake’s formative experiences? Personal growth is so much more when the world becomes not about you and what you’re trying to do and his love of feeling “small”
  • 42:45 Coming from outside of Asia and working for a high-growth startup, is this kind of environment for everybody? What kind of people thrive in a place like Lalamove? The four values of the company – passion, grit, humility and execution

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Blake Larson to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 00:40 What exactly is Lalamove? How do consumers use this mobile app?
  • 02:45 In Bangkok, it costs $40 to move a parcel, which is the same price to hire a delivery driver for a day
  • 05:10 Lalamoves addresses the challenge of redundant inventory
  • 06:45 How does the trust aspect come into that? The number one thing Lalamove customers value the company for is its reliability
  • 08:40 Can you train people – from the provinces, who may not have an education or who may not be fully literate – to be great at customer service? Lalamove created a system that incentivises the behaviour the company wants
  • 12:15 Respect, income, and freedom – the three values Lalamove brings to their drivers. To what extent does driver-to-driver word-of-mouth help the company? Also, is it common for drivers who use Lalamove to use other platforms? One could be better off if it wasn’t exclusive on both sides
  • 16:00 A quick look at Lalamove’s published numbers of where they are right now – US$160 M in funding, 126 cities in 7 countries
  • 18:15 The dynamic on the ground is very different in each individual city – What is it like to do business in Ho Chi Minh for example? What’s it like to be a foreign business coming into Vietnam and work with people who may not have a lot of experience working with foreigners? Empathy as an increasingly used approach to building a service business
  • 23:45 As Lalamove’s MD International, what does Blake do? Does he force himself to go out there? Also, the idea about the training program conceived by Lalamove to make their culture stronger – making sure that as they grow quickly, they actually keep their feet on the ground
  • 28:30 How did Blake arrive at the day-to-day approach – his interpretation of strategy – as the right way to do it? Also, spending his first eight weeks for Rocket Internet in Hong Kong standing outside petrol stations handing out flyers to taxi drivers
  • 31:05 What did Blake learn from doing his market research at the petrol station? People make the internet to be way sexier than it is and it as a good reminder of humility despite his MBA and corporate background
  • 35:00 As a well-educated, successful and MBA-holding person who went well outside his comfort zone, what are Blake’s formative experiences? Personal growth is so much more when the world becomes not about you and what you’re trying to do and his love of feeling “small”
  • 39:50 How does Blake constantly challenge himself considering his position in Lalamove, a high-profile company? The risk gets higher but it’s even higher if you don’t do anything
  • 42:45 Coming from outside of Asia and working for a high-growth startup, is this kind of environment for everybody? What kind of people thrive in a place like Lalamove? The four values of the company – passion, grit, humility and execution
  • 47:05 Blake’s advice for people who would interview about joining a startup – go talk to whoever the users or potential customers of a company are
  • 49:00 The story behind Blake making their new employees build their chairs, which symbolizes why Lalamove are the way they are as a company

244: Daniel Fraser – Building Smiling Albino Travel and Becoming a Thai TV Celebrity

Podcast highlights:

  • 28:02 Daniel’s experiences of being a ‘white guy’ entrepreneur in Thailand back in 1999, from being in a rare club to living locally
  • 41:00 The new trend of luxury adventure travel and how it incorporates authentic local experiences
  • 54:42 Daniel’s advice for listeners thinking about coming to Asia. What does it take to be successful when leaving one world and starting in another?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Daniel Fraser to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham Brown
  • 00:53 Daniel’s first time in Asia in 1995 in a student exhange with the Thai Royal Family
  • 04:54 Graham’s experience when he came to Asia in the summer of 1995
  • 07:17 Being neither expat nor tourist – how Daniel’s first year in Thailand was a complete immersion in local Thai culture
  • 10:23 The second coming. Why did Daniel come back to Asia in 1999?
  • 13:49 Why did Daniel take the risk to build a business based on adventure travel and experience travel back in 1999?
  • 17:10 Daniel’s story of coming back to Thailand in 1999 and the first few years, from oddjobs to tourist visa runs
  • 20:08 Thailand is now derisked compared to what it was. What was it like back then to start a business in Thailand as a foreigner?
  • 23:33 How did Daniel deal with the ‘dark entrepreneurial days’, days when he felt like buying a flight ticket and going home?
  • 26:08 The fear of failure as a powerful motivator and how publicly stating your intentions will help entrepreneurs
  • 28:02 Daniel’s experiences of being a ‘white guy’ entrepreneur in Thailand back in 1999, from being in a rare club to living locally
  • 32:23 The tours initially offered by Daniel’s adventure travel agency, from unexpectedly popular motorcycle tours to putting millionaires in little guesthouses in Northern Thailand
  • 37:10 Travel is about bridging worlds. All of the tours offered in the early days of the business came directly from the life Daniel was living at that time
  • 41:00 The new trend of luxury adventure travel and how it incorporates authentic local experiences
  • 43:07 Daniel’s stint on Thai TV, hosting a travel culture documentary series ‘Long Rat Yim’ in the Thai language
  • 47:05 How did Thai people react to a white guy talking about their culture and their country on TV?
  • 49:34 How Asian countries like Thailand are starting to see themselves from a global perspective
  • 51:30 All about planning to be lucky and how actually going somewhere would create an energy to seek out opportunities
  • 54:42 Daniel’s advice for listeners thinking about coming to Asia. What does it take to be successful when leaving one world and starting in another?
  • 59:00 Get in touch with Daniel through his travel company Smiling Albino, facebook Daniel B Fraser, or watch him on the Thai TV program ‘Long Rat Yim’ on Channel 3SD every Sunday evening at 4.30pm

230: Jon Tanner – Talent Trends and the Future of Work in Asia

Podcast highlights:

  • 06:45 The Asian talent Market is “equalising” says Jon Tanner. What does this mean?
  • 29:20 Are coworking spaces the future model of work? We look at the latest trends. Still an ongoing social experiment but it certainly benefits the movement of talent in Asia
  • 40:50 Talented employees want to build something, solve a problem, make a mark in some way – we refer to the case study of Chirayu Wadke from SeedPlus ex Google Silicon Valley talking about working on 10x projects

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Jon Tanner to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 00:45 What are the big changes in the Asian talent market?
  • 03:10 What are the reasons why people are coming to Asia now? San Francisco, New York and London are potentially both pricing themselves out of the market and offering less opportunity for the most talented of employees.
  • 05:25 Bali Green School in Bali and Bali House in Canggu – mix, co-working, incubator, hospitality space. People are making some serious choices about their lives and careers today beyond their benefits package
  • 06:45 The Asian talent Market is “equalising” says Jon Tanner. What does this mean?
  • 10:25 Talented employees aren’t focused on taking the highest-paying job in San Francisco anymore. A new generation of talent is seeking out something riskier, that makes Asia an interesting option
  • 12:20 Silicon Valley leads with regard to stories about role models which inevitably attracts people to the West Coast but the gap with Asia is closing fast. Asia is slowly discovering its own role models
  • 16:05 Could Jon see the situation where he could run Mitchell Lake from Bali and send his kids to Green School? We talk about the backstory of Steve Monroe coming into Ubud to found co-working space Hubud. Career paths are changing
  • 19:30 Do large IT companies need to rethink how they work with talent? Are they sending departments out into coworking spaces such as Hubud for the right reasons?
  • 24:00 Would this kind of remote work for a bank? What would the benefits of HSBC setting up in a coworking space be?
  • 27:20 Why did Jon suggest to his clients the idea of coming across and working in the same coworking space? What’s it actually like sharing a coworking space with clients?
  • 29:20 Are coworking spaces the future model of work? Still an ongoing social experiment but it certainly benefits the movement of talent in Asia
  • 33:30 Which IT companies does Jon admire with regards to digital transformation? We look at who is leading the way in decentralizing the workspace
  • 36:25 The success or failure of digital transformation comes down to its mechanics: The backstory of Innovation Director of Intel China – Kapil Kane – and his battle in getting Intel to agree to build the accelerator outside their office. We also look at the Virgin group example
  • 40:50 Talented employees want to build something, solve a problem, make a mark in some way – we refer to the case study of Chirayu Wadke from SeedPlus ex Google Silicon Valley talking about working on 10x projects
  • 42:30 The sharing economy combined with changing attitudes towards the “stuff” of life means talented people who have choices aren’t necessarily motivated by the things which our parents sought out like cars, job titles etc.
  • 44:55 Jon’s thoughts on frontier markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand
  • 47:05 Does Jon see a lot of interest in recruitment coming from that Asia-to-Asia market?
  • 49:40 Thoughts on Asia as frontrunning global trends in the curation of workplace culture and talent
  • 54:00 Check out Jon Tanner at www.mitchellake.com
  • 227: Where are the best (and worst) options for incorporating your business in Asia? (The Start STA2)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 07:40 Banking options for startups. The regulations are getting tougher. If you’re thinking about where to set up your business, always factor in the banking options it’s going to give you.
    • 27:45 What factors should startup founders think about when they’re choosing a place to start a business?
    • 44:45 Are there any sort of things that banks don’t like to hear? What are the common mistakes startup founders make when incorporating their business?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 STA2 – ATP The Start with Graham Brown, Dennis Poh and Gustavo Liu
    • 00:05 Dennis Poh: answering the questions of clients about where they should set up their company in and what things they should take care of after incorporating the company
    • 02:20 Gustavo Liu: former private banker and co-founder of The Hungry Lab, advisor to start-ups on financial aspects
    • 04:25 What tends to go wrong when a Silicon Valley startup wants to incorporate a company in Asia?
    • 07:40 Banking options for startups. The regulations are getting tougher. If you’re thinking about where to set up your business, always factor in the banking options it’s going to give you.
    • 12:55 What makes Singapore a good jurisdiction to set up a company? Choice of the companies that you can incorporate, good business characteristics, good investor base
    • 16:00 What happens when founders set up a business and raise capital but establish in a jurisdiction that investors won’t touch?
    • 19:50 The top 3 jurisdictions in Asia to consider from an investor’s perspective: Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam
    • 21:55 People still use a US company to run the business in Asia itself: why does that work?
    • 25:15 It’s better to pay a little tax somewhere than no tax nowhere: is this good advice?
    • 27:45 What factors should startup founders think about when they’re choosing a place to start a business?
    • 30:50 Advice for startups based in Thailand with regards to banking options
    • 33:35 If I lived in Thailand but my business was all over Asia, is it completely legitimate for me to go to Singapore and set up a business there? Better to be having a relationship with a bank and talk to them about what you intend to do before you jump in
    • 39:50 Banks want your business but the last thing they want is some newspaper investigation like “why does this bank have 10,000 accounts for some gambling fund?”
    • 42:00 Banks have the “high street” and “side street” methods for opening a bank account: having a good relationship with banks is so important and that means the banks understand more about you
    • 44:45 Are there any sort of things that banks don’t like to hear? What are the common mistakes startup founders make when incorporating their business?
    • 47:05 What startup companies should look for is a banker who’s already dealt with people like them before
    • 51:40 Are there any kind of company incorporation structures in Asia which were once popular but have now become unpopular? New options that people might want to consider
    • 53:45 Doing due diligence search on an individual is a lot easier than doing a search on the company itself, that’s why some companies are favoring the register their companies in the owner’s name
    • 56:10 Why Hong Kong seems to have become less popular as an option in recent years with people now switching to Singapore
    • 58:05 Going online to offshore services providers and buying a company in BVI for $500: where should startup founders start with this process? Speak to professionals in that certain jurisdiction
    • 01:01:05 Advice from Gustavo on the banking side: there is no easy route, it’s how much time you devote to understanding this as a business founder and talking to as many accountants and bankers. Understand who you are dealing with

    221: Prem Doowa – Sales is the Lifeblood of Every Startup

    Podcast highlights:

    • 22:00 Importance of sales experience for entrepreneurs and why every Founder should enjoy making sales calls.
    • 37:00 Overview of the Insurance market in Southeast Asia. How most insurance companies compete and what Frank does differently to win customers long term.
    • 45:00 The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people that share the same quality. How to know when to give up and when to never give up.

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Prem Doowa, Co-founder of Frank in Thailand to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
    • 01:00 Origins of the Sikh community in Thailand, and comparisons with the Sikh community in UK.
    • 04:00 How the Sikh community in the UK evolved and how Thai communities are similarly nurturing young entrepreneurs
    • 06:00 Prem Doowa’s family background, their business origins, the history of their migration to Thailand.
    • 09:00 Prem Doowa’s college life, family attitudes to business and his first career steps
    • 12:00 How Prem Doowa got his start calling customers, how this approach and strategy changed over time
    • 15:00 How important the hunger or the desire to hustle is for a startup business and for already established companies. Prem Doowa’s day job, what keeps him occupied and the genesis of Frank.
    • 19:00 Sales – how it impacts the business and Prem Doowa’s approach to sales. How the sales concept can be applied to any work you do.
    • 22:00 Importance of sales experience for entrepreneurs and why every Founder should enjoy making sales calls.
    • 25:00 The difficult aspects of sales and how Frank is developing new and unique technologies utilizing the knowledge of sales. Frank’s competition in the tech industry.
    • 27:00 What Frank focuses on and how it influences its sales teams to work efficiently.
    • 30:00 How Frank focuses on customer service and to make itself a customer-centric company. How Prem Doowa handles and manages his employees.
    • 34:00 Positive and negative aspects of running a business.
    • 37:00 How most established insurance companies play their game and what Prem Doowa does differently to win customer service long term. The insurance market in Southeast Asia and Thailand and where does Frank fit in this changing landscape.
    • 42:00 What Prem Doowa likes talking about when he’s having a conversation on pursuing goals and never giving up, especially to university students and recent graduates
    • 45:00 The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people that share the same quality. How to know when to give up and when to never give up.
    • 49:00 Choosing the battles you want to fight and achieving your goals.
    • 52:00 What advice would Prem Doowa give to the young entrepreneurs?
    • 55:00 Life and business philosophies. Importance of self-experience, persistence and knowing when to change your approach.