From our community: Paypal’s leader on fintech boom in Asia, women leaders on diversity at workplaces and more…

Contributor posts

Starting yet another quarter on an exciting note, are we? We just wrapped our quarterly OKRs and we are increasingly going to focus on highlighting the unsung heroes of the tech and business ecosystem. While founders and investors receive their due media attention, startup employees and professionals are often forgotten.

We are expanding our Contributor Programme to include diverse voices from across the organisation hierarchy and to emerging markets like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. This month we will also be supporting the Earth Day theme and run a number of clean tech and sustainability articles.

Share your opinion and earn a byline by submitting a post. And for some much-needed inspiration catch up on all the contributor community action from last week!

A better way to make impact: Why we decided to start a social impact network by Lucy Bennett Baggs, CEO and founder of Force For Good

“How many times have you made a donation this year? Yet I imagine you have no idea of your cumulative impact, where the money has gone or how you’ve helped to make the world a better place?

With an ever-growing spotlight on social media and its role and influence on the world, I’ve become increasingly driven to create a social network that is simply for good. No negativities, no bullying, no filters, no irrelevant adverts.

Based in Singapore, Force for Good is a soon-to-launch, angel-funded platform. We’re always looking for interesting advisors and investors to join us on the journey.

I — as the founder and CEO of Force for Good — and our Head of Impact Partnerships Christine Amour-Levar I, would like to share our motivations in creating the world’s first social impact network.”

Why women are better leaders

Two women entrepreneurs on why hard work and diversity are the keys to their companies’ success by Phung B, Febe Ventures

“The Founder on Founder Podcast series uncovers stories from outstanding entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia on their journey, insights and advice on running a tech company. The first one in the series is Hang Do, the COO of SCommerce, a Vietnamese logistics provider and Fanny Moizant, co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective, a luxury retail platform startup founded in 2009.

They offer insights on what it’s like to be women in leadership positions within two different tech industries, by sharing their experiences and thoughts on how to create greater impact by empowering and leveraging women at all levels of the workplace.”

Levelling the playing field: How to build a home for women in tech by Jessie Xia, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks SEA

“While I have faced my fair share of challenges as a woman working in tech for two decades, it has been encouraging to see the rise of diversity and inclusion as boardroom priorities for many organisations, not just in technology, but also across various sectors in Southeast Asia.

This is indicative of real, positive change being driven by generations of female tech trailblazers who have ignited conversations and lobbied for equality. It is now up to us, the contemporaries in technology, to honour and build upon these efforts in creating an even more equitable and inclusive future for the sector.”

Why fintech sector is booming

From startup to scale-up: How fintech startups can get on the front foot by Tim Fu, of PayPal East Asia

“Recently I had the honour to become a judge of a fintech startup pitching competition. This was a good chance to reflect on where the emerging opportunities are and what are the traits of successful startups.

Let’s take the payments space as an example. The move to online shopping was already a trend prior to 2019 but the pandemic has accelerated this. This has created new challenges, and therefore new opportunities for startups to address.

One such challenge is the increasing complexity and choice in payment options. Hong Kong is unique in that it has a very diverse range of payment options, ranging from stored value card to digital wallets and QR payment codes.

With even more payment methods expected to come into the market, there remains a need for a solution to integrate these payment methods and manage the increasing complexity across the payment ecosystem to provide consumers an enhanced user experience.”

What is Open Finance and how can it help Indonesia’s unbanked? by Diego Rojas, founder and CEO at Finantier

“With over 360 registered fintech companies within Indonesia, the growth of the industry is well documented. However, the financial data of their customers is often stored in silos and not exchanged.

This creates a significant problem for both companies and consumers, as the former lack the necessary information to confidently offer loans and other financial products for the latter. As consumers are unable to access the right financial products to help improve their financial wellbeing, a financial divide is created.

With ‘Open Finance’, such an issue could be easily solved.”

Notes for founders

Lesson learned: Conviction is most essential virtue while building a startup during a pandemic by Earl Martin Valencia, cofounder of Plentina

“As I write this article today, only one word comes to mind that probably exhibits the spirit of many of my peers who are starting or pushing through building companies that try to solve large difficult system problems during a time where their personal and professional job securities are at risk daily, it would be the word conviction.

For entrepreneurs, conviction is often seen as the will to move forward despite overwhelming odds. I am sure that most of us know the story of David vs. Goliath, or the battle of the 300 Spartans, or maybe Frodo in The Lord of the Rings.

Conviction for most startup entrepreneurs is deeply rooted in achieving a world-changing idea because we fundamentally believe that if we are successful, the world will be better with this technology being utilised.”

Dinner date with data: How F&B retailers can use retail data to drive sales in a post-pandemic world by Vernon Chua

“Going digital makes collecting data easier than ever — and the collection and use of consumer data is a key part to the success of the new trends we’ve seen emerge during the pandemic.

Besides food delivery services, another trend that has seen a surge amidst the pandemic are cloud and ghost kitchens: food production and delivery services that are entirely online, with no physical store presence whatsoever. An idea that is more than a decade old and originally conceived as a solution to increasing property rentals, the cloud kitchen’s catapult into prominence came amidst the pandemic, when social distancing norms and quarantines kept people out of physical restaurants.”

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