307: Simon Kemp – How Asia’s Middle Class Youth will Change the World (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 00:43 Simon Kemp, Founder & CEO Kepios, shares how he was stunned with a statistics shared by Graham of how China, despite not being featured in the FIfa world cup, sold more tickets to its citizens than England
  • 20:00 SImon explains how music has evolved over the years, sharing examples from his younger days as to how limited the music options were compared to the current times where one can easily access apps like spotify to listen to different kinds of music from various cultures across the globe
  • 53:33 Simon shares how Asia and its culture inspired him to build his businesses here, further explaining the impact travelling has made by exposing him to different cultures and influences, activating the ability to be innovative as well

281: Quantifying China’s Appeal to the Next Generation of Talent with Andrea Myles, the #ChinaGeek (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 06:35 According to data from the Modern Language Association (MLA) in the United States, since 2016 the number of students at US universities studying Chinese in any form has gone down. How can we explain this given the relevance of China at the moment? — In Australia the pattern is similar. Historical legacy is part of the reason, there is a shortage of qualified Mandarin teachers. This helps explain the lag in students studying Mandarin. So there are systemic factors at play too and not just purely political ones.
  • 25:48 Tell us a bit about your day job focusing on millennials in China. What’s that about? — CEO and co-found of the China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP). We try to bridge the gap between Chinese and Australian innovators by running an incubator of sorts which puts 50 Chinese and 50 Australians into a 100 day learning program. We challenge them to build the next Uber, or the next Didi. We’ve had 300 people come through the program so far. It’s really cool to see how diversity powers new insights. Each cohort is completely different; but you see commonalities in they all have a curious mindset and a desire to engage digitally.
  • 40:00 In China right now how are young people approaching entrepreneurialism? — It’s important to remember there is not simply one type of Chinese millennial, and things differ a lot depending on geography, class, and even gender. Overall there is a shift where people no longer see government jobs as the ticket. There is still a long way to go before things really change, but you see signs it’s beginning.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Andrea Myles, the #ChinaGeek, also co-founder and CEO of the China Australia Millennial Project to Asia Matters with host Graham Brown.
  • 01:00 How did you earn the moniker #ChinaGeek? — It’s completely self-titled. The story starts in 2002 in New South Wales, Australia. Had never been overseas, so went off to China and backpacked across the country for three months…Beijing to Kashgar. Before this had very little China exposure; didn’t speak Mandarin at all. This ended up being the trip of a lifetime considering that since then have gotten two Master’s Degrees in Mandarin studies.
  • 06:35 According to data from the Modern Language Association (MLA) in the United States, since 2016 the number of students at US universities studying Chinese in any form has gone down. How can we explain this given the relevance of China at the moment? — In Australia the pattern is similar. Historical legacy is part of the reason, there is a shortage of qualified Mandarin teachers. This helps explain the lag in students studying Mandarin. So there are systemic factors at play too and not just purely political ones.
  • 09:50 Are universities prepared today to nurture the talent of students who are China-curious? — Universities are academic institutions and they often miss the practical element of studying a language. Take textbooks as an example, these tend to be extremely boring and fail to truly show what it’s like to use Chinese in China. What’s needed is to find ways to blend the experiences of Chinese international students with language learners on campus so everyone can benefit from the exposure this generates.
  • 15:15 What’s it like talking to people in Australia about your experiences in China? — Mostly people’s reaction when you try to explain modern China and what’s going on is they say they didn’t realize it was like that. China is endlessly fascinating. Consider there are 415 million millennials in China, if they were a nation unto themselves, they would be the world’s third largest and they would be the most digitally engaged. In the next ten years the impact of this will be felt in the West.
  • 22:30 Is there an appetite in China for non-native Chinese key opinion leaders (KOLs)? — There is. It’s certainly seen as something different versus being a Chinese born and bread KOL. By the time students in primary school today enter their prime influencing years in say 10 to 20 years time, we will see hundreds of Chinese-speaking foreigners working as KOLs. Right now the number is only a handful.
  • 25:48 Tell us a bit about your day job focusing on millennials in China. What’s that about? — CEO and co-found of the China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP). We try to bridge the gap between Chinese and Australian innovators by running an incubator of sorts which puts 50 Chinese and 50 Australians into a 100 day learning program. We challenge them to build the next Uber, or the next Didi. We’ve had 300 people come through the program so far. It’s really cool to see how diversity powers new insights. Each cohort is completely different; but you see commonalities in they all have a curious mindset and a desire to engage digitally.
  • 32:40 When you put these kids together, what things do they tend to take away from each other? — The Australians tend to have difficulty identifying what leadership looks like when Australians and Chinese equally comprise the team. Also in Australia, we tend to mistake confidence for competence. The future of Chinese innovation is cross-border; but it’s still clear it takes work to convince entrepreneurs in the West the opportunities in China are real and achievable.
  • 40:00 In China right now how are young people approaching entrepreneurialism? — It’s important to remember there is not simply one type of Chinese millennial, and things differ a lot depending on geography, class, and even gender. Overall there is a shift where people no longer see government jobs as the ticket. There is still a long way to go before things really change, but you see signs it’s beginning.
  • 44:40 Why does it seem there are so many more female entrepreneurs in China than anywhere else in the world? — It could be there are just more women in professions in China. When doing events in China, at least 40% of people in attendance will be women. This really contrasts to what you see in Western countries. This doesn’t mean there aren’t significant barriers faced by women in China and any woman who is successful there deserves all the praise in the world.

260: Michael Bloomberg On-board for the Asian Century? (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 02:42 Michael Bloomberg’s vision for an Asian Davos
  • 19:56 Asia Tech Podcast gets a new studio in Singapore
  • 31:05 Podcasting and the future of branding
  • 55:15 Asia Tech Podcast’s new internship opportunity

Podcast notes:

  • Note: This podcast contains explicit language
  • 00:05 ATP650 – Asia Matters with Graham Brown
  • 02:42 Michael R. Bloomberg, American businessman and philanthropist, wants to create a rival to the Davos-based World Economic Forum that will focus on Asia and the Asian Century. The inaugural session will take place this November, 2018 in Beijing. — This is certainly a way to acknowledge China’s lead in the global ecosystem.
  • 07:50 Data from the #AsiaMatters Report published this year bolsters the case for Bloomberg’s vision. Key takeaways include Asia is a US$27 trillion economy. This is 50% bigger than either the US or the EU. By 2030, the Asian middle classes are expected to grow to 3.2 billion people — an enormous market potential!
  • 12:09 The Asia Matters Report talks about four steps that will bring about the Asian Century. 1) The demographic advantage that allowed for low-cost manufacturing production. 2) Capital reinvestment that helped build the Asian middle class and a skills, talent, wealth, and innovation boom, which is now allowing for 3) an increasing innovation advantage (AI, autonomous vehicles, etc). Asia is taking the lead in innovation. Finally, 4) Asia will eventually become the global hegemon and the “default option” for business.
  • 17:12 The Asia Matters Institute was created as a forum to help foster these connection. The goal was helping experts outside Asia find their counterparts in the region, and also to help people in Asia better find and communicate. If you are a speacalist with something to offer, get in touch!
  • 19:56 Exciting news from Singapore as Asia Tech Podcast opens its own studio! Special thanks to the team at Platform E for making this possible!
  • 22:18 Platform E is a co-working space, incubator, accelerator, and community. Shout-out to Rina Neoh and Abdul Malik! They get things done!
  • 26:06 Thunder and lightening shenanigans!
  • 26:25 On networking. There are two types of people: energy-takers and net energy-givers. Find the energy-givers and work with them!
  • 31:05 Why podcasting is the future of personal branding. Conferences and traditional networking events almost never give you information beyond what’s available on someone’s website. Nothing “wow’s” us at those things. Podcasting, on the other hand, brings out the human element. That’s what people want!
  • 38:08 Revealing your vulnerability and humanizing yourself to others is one of the most effective ways to get ahead. Show that you have the confidence to take the arrows of criticism. Blaze the trail! Give people the Oprah moment! People want to know about you!
  • 43:10 The vision for Asia Tech Podcast is to create the platform for those human conversations…to give that voice to the Asian tech ecosystem. The new studio will really help to make live radio shows…to make real conversations!
  • 52:28 For all the talk about the digital world being the future, you can’t fake a real, human conversation. This is what makes podcasts. And this is what will make the Asian Century. There are countless stories waiting to be told! That’s what we’re going to do here on Asia Tech Podcast.
  • 55:15 If this sounds like your passion, apply to be our intern. Come be a part of the Asian Century!

252: Ria Lao – Groupstar (Founders in Asia FIA4)

  • 06:30 The key question of when to pivot and what to focus on, the curse of the entrepreneur – everything is an opportunity
  • 24:20 Is it necessary to have a co-founder when starting a business? Ria and Jodie share their thoughts
  • 34:02 Ria’s number one tip for others who are interested in setting up a business in this region- don’t quit your day job!

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 FIA4 – Founders in Asia with Ria Lao, founder and CEO of Groupstar, hosted by Jodie Collins
  • 01:14 Ria talks about her background and how she ended up in Singapore
  • 03:00 All about Groupstar and how it transforms communication within large companies using video solutions
  • 06:30 The key question of when to pivot and what to focus on, the curse of the entrepreneur – everything is an opportunity
  • 09:03 The importance of having a clear vision for your team and not just focusing on the product offering
  • 12:02 As a founder, is the decision making backed by data points or gut feel? Ria’s views on this
  • 14:33 Where does Ria see the greatest opportunities across the region?
  • 15:47 Ria addresses the perceived challenge of selling technology to less developed markets
  • 17:52 Examples on how companies use Groupstar to turn internal information into videos
  • 21:49 Ria shares the lessons she has learnt and the mistakes she has made throughout her journey as a founder
  • 24:20 Is it necessary to have a co-founder when starting a business? Ria and Jodie share their thoughts
  • 26:51 Ria dispels the myth that you need investor money up front to get started with a team
  • 28:28 How various areas of expertise in startups are being handled by other markets abroad like in India or Philippines
  • 30:23 Where in the region does Ria see the most exciting growth potential for her business? From Indonesia, Japan to Australia
  • 32:03 The surprising demographic uptake of Groupstar, senior management are more interested in using it than the young millennials
  • 34:02 Ria’s number one tip for others who are interested in setting up a business in this region- don’t quit your day job!

241: Horace Dediu – King of Apple Analysts on Asia’s Tech Future

Podcast highlights:

  • 28:45 Horace frames the story of Asia in the context of innovation and growth, with comparisons to the American and European Industrial Revolution in the mid 19th century
  • 35:03 The Wild West atmosphere of the transportation industry in Asia, with micromobility vehicles, new energy vehicles and shared vehicles (bike sharing) in China
  • 48:44 The connotations of the brand ‘Made in China’ and how it might one day suggest high quality products

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Horace Dediu to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham Brown
  • 01:16 Horace’s journey from being a data analyst at Nokia to creating Asymco, his own data analysis website
  • 06:15 How did Horace earn the moniker ‘King of the Apple Analyst’? Horace’s journey to success
  • 10:40 Did Horace experience the ‘imposter syndrome’ when he achieved sudden success and fame in the business world?
  • 13:39 Horace’s strategy to produce site content worth sharing – he explores both emotional and analytical angles when analysing data
  • 16:28 Horace shares how he was criticised for oversimplifying when he published an article explaining Apple’s cash situation on his website
  • 19:02 Graham shares experiences of his Mobile Youth business in 2000 and how big companies like Nokia reacted to the idea of focusing on the younger generation
  • 21:42 The paradox of focusing on where the money is- the profits are there but the innovation is absent
  • 23:51 How Youtube trumps Netflix as the big player in the online video industry as short videos are more appealing to children
  • 28:45 Horace frames the story of Asia in the context of innovation and growth, with comparisons to the American and European Industrial Revolution in the mid 19th century
  • 35:03 The Wild West atmosphere of the transportation industry in Asia, with micromobility vehicles, new energy vehicles and shared vehicles (bike sharing) in China
  • 37:31 The role of media in influencing the way the West reacts to China and its innovations
  • 42:11 Germany was lagging behind in the automotive industry before World War Two because it lacked a production system
  • 45:15 Does history repeat? The parallels between Germany’s autooative industry lapse in the past and Asia’s struggles in the present
  • 48:44 The connotations of the brand ‘Made in China’ and how it might one day suggest high quality products
  • 52:20 The 20th century was the US Century but now, the 21st Century today is the Asian Century
  • 53:25 Everything has a precedent, nothing comes out of nowhere and ‘amateurs copy, but real artists steal’
  • 54:28 Find out more about Horace by following him on Twitter, visit his website asymco.com, and listen to his podcasts The Critical Path on 5by5.tv/criticalpath

218: Simon Kim – FASTx and The Startup Ecosystem in Tokyo

Podcast highlights:

  • 24:44 The population fundamentals of Japan and how demographic changes shape the startup ecosystem
  • 36:29 Start up founders in Tokyo tend to get bank loans by default instead of seeking angel investors – does this present a challenge to Japan?
  • 40:48 The city of Fukuoka and its top down approach to building an ecosystem. Is it sustainable long term?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Simon Kim to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham Brown
  • 01:00 A little bit about Simon Kim’s background and how he arrived in Japan
  • 02:00 All about FASTx, a start up accelerator platform and coworking space
  • 06:00 Bringing a Western influence into Japan
  • 07:20 Was not speaking Japanese when coming to Japan an issue for Simon?
  • 10:40 The reasons Simon chose Japan as a place to base FASTx, a start up accelerator
  • 14:55 Risk adversity in Japan. Why be a start up founder when you can work for Mitsubishi?
  • 15:55 The distinct lack of success stories about Japanese entrepreneurs
  • 18:45 The history of Japan often changes from the outside. Is that what Simon is trying to do?
  • 21:50 How is the typical start up founder in the Japan different compared to founders from other countries?
  • 24:44 The population fundamentals of Japan and how demographic changes shape the startup ecosystem
  • 27:40 Simon’s experiences of mentoring young start up founders in Japan
  • 28:56 The Japanese idea of starting a side business to supplement income
  • 31:48 The Japanese buoyance and passion about making things, and how this is reflected in start ups
  • 34:40 Business failure in Japan and facing debts when a start up fails
  • 36:29 Start up founders in Tokyo tend to get bank loans by default instead of seeking angel investors – does this present a challenge to Japan?
  • 40:48 The city of Fukuoka and its top down approach to building an ecosystem. Is it sustainable long term?
  • 44:25 Can the alternative lifestyle of Fukuoka be extended to Tokyo and other cities?
  • 49:50 Would Simon consider working with someone who is doing their start up on a part time basis? Does age matter?
  • 53:37 Founders need to have a good ability to present and sell their product
  • 55:26 Go to fastx.jp to out more about FASTx and sign up for the upcoming competition in April.To get in touch with Simon, email [email protected]

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

163: Latest Data on Asia’s Trillion Dollar Tech Market(Asia Matters)

Welcome back to 2018, where we’re talking about the Asia Matters Report. We talk about all the key stats you need to know about Asia in 2018, and why Asia will be the most important startup ecosystem in coming years. Highlights include: the $1.3 trillion Greater Bay, Vietnam’s 6.3% growth rate, how China leads the US in innovation patents, when Indonesia will surpass the GDP of the UK, what it means for Asia and its tech startups to be home to 750 million (or 60%) of the world’s youth population. Listen to get insights into the latest trends and what it means for the Asian startup ecosystem in 2018.