204: Ramesh V.Raghavan – Startup Investor and Advisor

Podcast highlights:

  • 18:45 Cultural differences between South East Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and having different approaches to problem solving
  • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
  • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Ramesh Raghavan to ATP Stories with Graham Brown
  • 00:50 A little bit of background about Ramesh starting out as an agricultural commodity trader
  • 05:17 How did Ramesh’s engineering training fit in with his work in the commodity business
  • 08:40 The move from commodity trading to the financial service industry
  • 11:30 Going to Hong Kong in December 1997 and his career in Morgan Stanley
  • 14:23 Getting involved in the venture capital start up stage in Asia in 2012
  • 14:48 Ramesh’s trip to Israel to understand the success of Israel and bring back lessons from Israel to Asia
  • 16:20 Hosting the first Israeli conference in Singapore with 15 AI, big data technology, analytics, e-commerce space companies from Israel
  • 18:45 Cultural differences between Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and different approaches to problem solving
  • 23:10 South East Asia as an agglomoration of different Chinas, a ‘Greater Bay’ of different countries instead of different regions. A wide variety in demographic profiles is the biggest advantage of South East Asia with big opportunities for frugal innovations.
  • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
  • 31:07 Wealth creation in South East Asia is changing from real estate to new technologies brought in by the younger generation, the real estate kids
  • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?
  • 37:10 Talented Singaporean graduates should leave to other more risk friendly South East Asian countries where there are bigger problems to be solved
  • 40:26 Can entrepreneurship in Singapore be taught, when there isn’t a ‘hunger’ to fix things?
  • 43:45 Parallels between long term travel and entrepreneurship, from being an outsider in an unfamiliar environment to having faith that things will work out in the end
  • 45:00 Three things in common between successful start up founders: an interest in reading fiction, an interest in multi player gaming and being an immigrant
  • 47:45 The mindset shift when becoming an entrepreneur and having to do it all yourself
  • 50:00 Find out more about Ramesh on LinkedIn

185: Between Two Bays – San Francisco and The Chinese Greater Bay (Cross Border Kyle KYL1)

Podcast highlights:

  • 06:10 What’s it like to experience China’s Greater Bay Area for the first time? Kyle Ellicott shares his story of how entering Shenzhen and Greater Bay was like walking into a new world.
  • 14:15 Comparisons between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. How are these startup ecosystems both similar and different? What can these startup ecosystems learn from each other?
  • 24:45 Doing business in China. How does China and doing business with the Chinese compare with business in the US

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Cross Border Kyle with Kyle Ellicott, hosted by Graham Brown
  • 00:47 A quick recap on the latest travels in Asia
  • 05:25 Where does Kyle spend most of his time in Asia?
  • 06:10 What’s it like to experience China’s Greater Bay Area for the first time?
  • 10:06 Experiencing that unique natural born hustle of Asian cities like Hong Kong
  • 12:12 Kyle’s experiences of landing in Shenzhen
  • 14:15 Comparisons between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. How are these startup ecosystems both similar and different?
  • 18:36 Travel tip number 1: Apple Maps in China
  • 19:24 The language barrier when travelling to HK and China and tips on overcoming it
  • 22:06 Being a solo traveller travelling for business
  • 24:45 Doing business in China and how it compares with business in the US
  • 28:32 Business hierarchy in the US versus China and Asia
  • 29:34 Entrepreneurial anecdotes – Kyle giving a speech in Shenzhen
  • 31:39 Lessons learnt about speaking internationally
  • 32:30 Coming soon in Part 2, the George Clooney lifestyle of Kyle Ellicott

170: Jen Loong – WanderSnap, Philanthropist

  • 00:08 Welcome Jen Loong from Wandersnap
  • 00:51 Jen shares her background & why she started Wandersnap
  • 04:50 Defining “Wandersnap” and where it has reached today.
  • 08:45 How Wandersnap acts as a platform for content creators and customers
  • 11:21 Why visual contents are important for businesses & travelers and what role Wandersnap plays here.
  • 17:35 Rationale behind scaling up the business fast & covering major metropolitan areas
  • 19:23 Challenges faced & measures required to standardize customer experience across all the regions
  • 22:49 How can the creator of Wandersnap improve quality of work and what points they look after?
  • 26:00 Jen tells about an amazing experience of how wandersnap creators helped a client with his mother’s reunion at Kinmen Island
  • 30:10 Why Wandersnap created a live photo android app to provide instant delivery of professional photographs
  • 35:28 The important role post-production plays in photography
  • 41:25 What are the future possibilities of photography market?
  • 46:03 How Wandersnap can actually use their reach to provide live photos
  • 53:00 How Wandersnap can make big difference by teaching photography and create more job opportunities.

We spoke to Jen Loong, the Founder of WanderSnap, which she humbly describes as an Airbnb of travel photography connecting travelers with local snappers to create selfie-free memories and purposeful jobs. For every booking, 5$ will be contributed towards photography training of underprivileged groups, as a way to inspire the next generation of visual storytellers. Jen is and has been innovator…whether for brands entering Asia / China or through her social impact activities. Jen is constantly looking for new ways to do things and new things to accomplish. Her energy is contagious and boundless.

127: Florian Cornu – Founder & CEO of Future Flow

Florian Cornu originates from France and has been living in Southeast Asia for 8 years.  Florian joined the fast moving digital world by starting a company at StartUp Weekend in Singapore.

FLocations was founded on the premise that Southeast Asia provided the perfect opportunity to build a travel site based on destination discovery and weekend getaways as opposed to picking a location first and then determine how to best get there.

Florian’s love of maps lead him and the team to innovate around maps as a discovery mechanism, used to show what was close by and spark interest in travel that way.  His innovations lead to great traction and interest from investors and ultimately lead to the sale of FLocations to Kei Shibata’s group of Japan based travel assets.

Listen to Florian as he tells the story of his inspiration, his learnings and how he employs that knowledge and experience to help budding entrepreneurs raise capital and build their businesses.

117: Sahib Anandsongvit – CEO Seekster

We spoke to Sahib Anandsongvit about the struggles of entrepreneurship, the pressures of failure and the expectations of success.

Entrepreneurs that come from entrepreneurial families are a special group and Sahib is squarely in this category.  He is third generation Indian-Thai and his family came to Thailand, built a business and in many ways that experience directly influences the story of Seekster.  Sahib is sharp…and built and conceived Seekster out of his own experiences trying to get the proper level of service for a hotel he was managing.

He realized there was a market gap for the type of service he wanted and also noticed that simply creating a marketplace for that service was not good enough.  Listen as he explains how he changed to building a robust platform and how it changed his business into the growth opportunity it is today.

114: Yu Tazawa – Building Unique Art Hotel Experiences

Yu “Taz” Tazawa is the co-founder of BnA (Bed n Art) – a concept hotel Japan.

BnA provides guests with ability to live inside and experience installation art. Local artists who need exposure design and create the rooms around unique themes, themes which guests love. BnA has already been featured by a number of Japanese TV programs, as well as in Elle Decor magazine who rated them as one of the 3 hotel experiences you “must try” in Japan.

We also discussed the challenges of entrepreneurship in Japan and also the relevance of Taz’s multicultural background in giving him the confidence to thrive in unknown environments.

067: Bart Bellers – Startup Studio Xpdite Ventures

Bart Bellers is currently setting up a new venture: a startup studio called Xpdite Ventures, that expedites travel tech startups in Asia Pacific to scale to Series A. The startup studio is a hybrid model to achieve product-market fit by investing in startups and providing an operating platform to build great companies.

As founder and CEO of Atum Consulting, a management consulting company specializing in innovation, business development and collaboration between startups and corporations, he held several executive positions for the worlds leading travel tech company.

019: Mobile Roaming in Asia

Mobile Roaming in Asia. With the boom in tourism to the Asian region, how are consumers and mobile network operators adapting to mobile roaming? While most networks seem geared towards voice and text based roaming, it’s mobile data that consumers increasingly want. Current offerings tend to be leave most network users hunting for free WiFi at airports or Starbucks. But, what if you could address this consumer pain point in the Asian mobile telecoms market? And, what kind of opportunities exist if you can build a billing relationship with regular travelers? Featured in this week’s episode of Asia Tech Podcast: Asian mobile network operators, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, LINE, WeChat and other messenger services, Skype, TripAlly, dual SIM cards, travel and tourism in Asia, travel insurance and enterprise mobile