A few days ago, I had the pleasure of interacting with a group of Chinese entrepreneurs, brought to Jakarta by AWS to explore the market as well as collaboration opportunities with local partners.

Being originally from China myself and having been living in Southeast Asia for the most of the last 20 years, I gave the group a briefing about the region in general and Indonesia in particular.

To my surprise, this group is better prepared than many others I have encountered in the past. Many already did the homework and knew the macro numbers as well as challenges faced by their peers.

Targeted issues on localisation 

So the questions and discussion points quickly zoomed into how to slice the market, which target segment to focus on, the channels to distribute goods and services, and how to manage a cross border team with local culture in mind. These are the exact issues that those who are serious about investing in this market would consider.

This fits exactly the methodology of Momentum Works on market expansion & localisation:

MW Methodology for market expansion and corporate innovation consulting

I actually wonder, since this group is largely B2B or product faced – are they naturally more prepared and thoughtful about the deeper issues of localisation?

Either way, glad that the group recognised, without me prompting, that both lack of localisation and complete (over) localisation will lead to failures.

Another surprise to me was most of these entrepreneurs were already readers of Momentum Works’s Chinese blog hosted on WeChat – some of them have been following the updates for more than a year.

The group also had good interactions with a few portfolio companies of East Ventures, among others. The questions are focused on their strategies, and challenges – the level of interaction is, in my opinion, pretty mutually beneficial.

All the best to the groups, and thanks to the AWS team and its partners for putting it together.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].


Previous articleMany profitable startup models do not need the VC, for now
Next articleAll the best, FRANKpreneurs
Jianggan Li is the Founder & CEO of Momentum Works. Prior to founding Momentum Works, he co-founded Easy Taxi in Asia, and served as Managing Director of Foodpanda. The two years running Rocket Internet companies has given him a lifetime experience on supersonic implementation, and good camaraderie with entrepreneurs across the developing world. He holds a MBA from INSEAD (GMAT 770) and a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Unfortunately he never wrote a single line of code professionally - but in his first job he was in media, travelling extensively across Asia & Europe, speaking with Ministers & (occasionally) Prime Ministers. Apart from English and his native Mandarin, he is also fluent in French and conversational in Cantonese & Spanish. He tried to learn Latin (for three years) and Sanskrit (for six months) as well. In his (scarce) free time, he reads, travels, hikes and dives. Pyongyang, Tehran & Chisinau are among the interesting cities he has been to.