On September 13, 2022, Jianggan Li, Momentum Works CEO, was invited to give a keynote at Huawei Cloud China Enterprise. He shared insights about Southeast Asia, the commonalities and differences between the various countries, the fintech ecosystem and the region’s shared love for bubble tea!

Here are a few snippets from the sharing at the event:

  • Mega cities in Southeast Asia hold the key to conquering the region

The 7 mega cities in Southeast Asia represent one-third of the business activities and consumption. Any company looking to enter Southeast Asia should secure these mega cities before looking to expand across the region. 

  • The diverse demographics of Southeast Asia’s population

Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have a large young population and low median age in comparison to Singapore and Thailand, which have an aging population and a high median age (>38).

  • Though diverse, Southeast Asia is united by a number of commonalities – like bubble tea

The unanimous agreement among people in Southeast Asia is their shared love for bubble tea! Not just bubble tea, there are other commonalities as well – such as low credit card penetration (with Singapore being an exception). 

  • Bubble tea is a US$3.66 billion industry in Southeast Asia

At an estimated $1.6 billion, Indonesia is the largest bubble tea market in Southeast Asia, followed by Thailand which has an annual turnover of $749 million. To know more about the bubble tea industry and the different players like Mixue, HEYTEA, etc. read our Bubble Tea in Southeast Asia Report.

  • The fragmented nature and diversity make Southeast Asia a difficult market for tech companies 

The process of getting work done differs in each country in Southeast Asia. It is not as straightforward as in the US or China. It is important to understand the nuances of each country to get work done efficiently. This cultural diversity makes it difficult for tech companies to build, scale and manage their businesses in the region.

Huawei Cloud China Enterprise event was attended by key leaders and decision makers from tech companies such as Webuy, Digifinex, Sistema Capital, Nestia, etc. 

If you would like to get the latest trends and how they can be relevant to your organisation, feel free to reach out to Momentum Academy for an engagement through [email protected].

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].