Startups from Emerging Markets in Asia can compete globally through Innovation  

On Monday, May 18, 2014, the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and DBS BusinessClass jointly organised a workshop focused on how startups and SMEs can innovate to compete and drive business success on a global scale.











Prof. Sergeui Netessine, Timken Chaired Professor of Global Technology and Innovation and the Research Director of INSEAD-Wharton Alliance

Panel Discussion:

Ms. Vinika Devasar Rao (chair), Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute

Prof. Sergeui Netessine (panellist)

Mr. Lim Soon Hock, Technopreneur and DBS BusinessClass Advisor (panellist)

Mr. Sachin Mittal, Senior Vice President, DBS Group Research (panellist)

Takeaways from Serguei Netessine:

  1. Startups trump large companies in managing Business Model Innovation Because of established silos, it is very hard for big companies to innovate. Startups and smaller businesses have the advantage.
  2. Thomas Edison, Father of Business Model Innovation Thomas Edison did not just create the light bulb – he created the business model for electricity. Few of us know that at around the same time that Thomas Edison had invented the light bulb, 22 other people were doing the same thing. What made him gain strength in prominence is the fact that he had created a totally self-sufficient business model/ ecosystem around electricity.
  3. Superior case studies on Business Model Innovation by INSEAD alumni
    • Redmart
    • Lookbooker
    • Tabsquare
    • Editsuits

Takeaways from Vinika Devasar Rao:

  1. By 2050, more than half of the world’s 30 largest economies will be countries now classified as ‘Emerging’. Opportunities for startups and small, growing businesses in emerging markets, lie in innovation.
  2. Successful innovation is about more than a breakthrough idea – often the difference between success and failure for a start-up is more about commitment and organized execution than invention and creativity.
  3. INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute is committed to assisting start-ups/ smaller growing businesses in emerging markets to achieve business success through innovation.

Takeaways from Lim Soon Hock:

  1. Mobility is the future “Without the smartphone, the Ubers of the world would not exist.”
  2. Invest in the Entrepreneur Investors should attribute investment decision in a start-up to confidence in the founder(s) aptitude — not just to the product or to the business model.
  3. Focus on what you are good at The guy who is good at tech should focus on his tech skills and not think about being the CEO.

 Takeaways from Sachin Mittal:

  1. The Value of startups Singapore aims to nurture 300 startups here in the next 5 years.
  2. Singapore as the quintessential place for Startups Geographically strategic for the leapfrogging of businesses 2. Infrastructurally sound for businesses to grow (e.g. with ease of access to investors and seed funding)
  3. Investment in/ acquisition of low-hanging fruit ventures could present opportunities for disrupted Telecommunications industry players.
  4. Contentment as a trap for startups. It is essential as the next step, to think about seeking constant growth (i.e. by scaling). “In Singapore, entrepreneurs are happy with what they have.”

A call to arms to start-ups and growing businesses in emerging markets to participate and contribute to sustained dialogue on innovation.

To be part of the conversation on #EmergingMarkets and #Innovation, follow INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute on Twitter @INSEAD_EMI.



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