From our community: Green banking, tackling data breaches, tech solutions for the workforce and more….

Contributor posts

Multichannel vs DTC marketing: What works better for e-commerce players? by Rachel Lau, Managing Partner at RHL Ventures

“The D2C model of e-commerce refers to a situation where a business sells products and services directly to the end consumers. The key feature here is to eliminate the role of wholesalers, retailers, distributors, or any other means in the supply chain so that the business has a direct relationship to the end consumer.

Being able to curate a tailored message and brand directly to the customer can amplify the effectiveness of its marketing strategies. Take Oxwhite for instance, a clothing manufacturer and seller in Malaysia. Oxwhite’s initial product offerings were limited to casual and formal wear with simple designs.”

Data breaches are inevitable. This is how you can protect your startup by Siang Tiong Yeo, General Manager for Kaspersky in Southeast Asia

This is just the tip of the iceberg – the shift to remote working, as well as other trends as to how five in 10 organisations in the region are reportedly still using outdated and unpatched software – all paint a picture of the vulnerabilities companies and startups face in today’s digital age.

To remedy this, a shift from a reactive “will it happen” to a proactive “when will it happen” approach is crucial, with hybrid work environments and home offices here to stay. Businesses, particularly startups and their preference for nomadic life, need to be on alert as data breaches will become more commonplace.

Enabling the workforce

How this app is helping low-income workers to achieve financial stability of Phung B, FEBE Ventures

Featured in this episode is Dzung Dang, Co-founder of VUI App by Nano Technologies, who will share his 10+ years journey in tech and finance that led him to build his own fintech startup today.

Having experience working as a consultant at McKinsey to pursuing an MBA at HBS, his big leap was when Dzung took on the role of becoming the General Manager at Uber Vietnam.

“Everybody knows Uber now. Uber was famous back then in the US but in Vietnam it was nothing. When I consulted friends and advisors if I should do it, all said no. Number one, there’s a lot of taxis. Number two, you can never win taxis. Number three, what do you want to do with a taxi company? And so for the first time, I said okay I’m swimming against the current, against everybody else.”

How my startup is enabling homemakers make 2x the minimum wage in Jakarta by Rishabh Singhi, CEO, DishServe

The pandemic has brought on a wave of these with the increased demand for home deliveries, and certainly, that’s part of what led me to close in on this idea. But with Dishserve, there’s more than what meets the eye, and I didn’t want to settle for what other players were already doing

Why stick to a two-sided platform when you can be a three-sided marketplace creating livelihood opportunities for homeowners. While we use home kitchens for operations, the catch is that we do not actually own or operate any of these kitchens. These kitchens are fully operated by the homeowners.

Whereas other players own their kitchens and become a two-sided platform between F&B brands and customers, we also thought about the kind of value we could give to micro-entrepreneurs who cannot afford to go out to work, like stay-at-home moms or recently unemployed individuals.

Sprint or marathon? How to determine the balance in consistency vs intensity during COVID-19 by Michelle Lam Wei Wei, founder, The Little Black Book

A year on and industry leaders are still asking: how long till things go back to business (and bottom-line) as usual?

We do not yet know the answer and it could be years before we see a return to normal, if ever. Without a finish line in sight, companies are running in short, even dramatic, sprints to sidestep business hurdles as they come.

The more uncertain the situation, the more drastic the company’s actions are – sustained over a course of time, this knee-jerk ‘intensity’ can lead to poor business outcomes. However, building consistency around your organisation can see you through the recession and into recovery.

Tackle offshoring challenges in Vietnam: What to do to seize opportunities in this emerging market by Trung Ho, Marketer, Tech JDI

COVID-19 has become the force that shapes our present economy and creates new customer demands and needs, thereby challenging businesses to improve their performance.

However, history shows that disasters are not new; what has changed is the advancement of technology that enables organisations to shift toward decentralised and networked structures.

This in turn allows for offshore tech operations to become a favourable business practice during the pandemic, for its non-disruptive nature and significant cost saving. But here’s the catch, organisations must overcome these key challenges in order to manage their offshore developers.

How Southeast Asian businesses can overcome employee training challenges by Kay Banzon, fintech and security enthusiast

Despite the perceived inherent advantages, employees are not going to magically appear at a company and start working just like everyone else does. They also need to undergo training, and the process is unlikely to proceed without some challenges along the way.

Discussed below are some of the leading concerns businesses that operate in Southeast Asia are likely to face when it comes to hiring and training employees. They may not be critical factors that will immediately drive away employers, but it pays to know them and the corresponding solutions to avoid problems.

The evolving world of banking and fintech

Banking on a green future of finance: How to bridge sustainability and profitability by Benjamin Soh, cofounder, Stacs

While all stakeholders in the sector have their part to play in pushing the convergence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles in financial services, the approach taken varies depending on where you are sitting: as the technology provider, financial institution or bank, government/regulator, or something else entirely.

In the last few years, there’s no doubt we’ve seen a macro trend towards green fintech as a partnership between technology companies and financial institutions.

Building trust among young customers: How banks can benefit from open banking by Diego Rojas, founder and CEO at Finantier

More than 45 per cent of respondents to WEF’s Global Shapers survey disagreed with the statement that they trusted banks to be fair and honest.

Amidst this distrust, how can banks regain the trust of the next generation of consumers? The answer lies in how they approach storing the financial data of their customers. Hampered by the need to adhere to strict regulations regarding the exchange of such data, banks previously chose to store them in silos.

However, times have changed.

Powered by an open ecosystem where APIs facilitated the exchange of digital financial data across platforms, new-age fintech companies are now able to offer better financial products for their customers.

How to create a new normal for trade finance with blockchain by Amit Ghosh, Head of Asia Pacific, R3

In trade finance, importers and exporters struggle to navigate the opaque and fragmented nature of an ecosystem heavily dominated by paper processing and slow transactions involving multiple parties. These outdated systems are proving a challenge for all who are involved–banks, importers and exporters, insurers, export credit agencies, and various service providers.

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the trade finance gap has never been bigger and is expected to expand, especially in emerging markets.

As a result, players within the trade finance sector have been scouring for ways to simplify how trade is managed. The answer? Blockchain technology.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing contributions from the community. This season we are seeking op-eds, analysis and articles on food tech and sustainability. Share your opinion and earn a byline by submitting a post.

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