The scale of opportunity for any business in Asia has been significant for many years now, but in a young industry such as Fintech, given the problems that it is solving and the growth that it is facilitating, the sky is truly the limit.
Local governments and authorities understand the impact of this technology on both businesses and consumers. Each country is competing with the next to be the home of the next innovation, but given the nature of the service, once a company is established on one geographic area, pan-Asia coverage is very possible.
As with any new market, there are always challenges to be overcome and the success of any Fintech company is to an extent dictated by the decisions that it makes. Where to enter the market, how to enter the market and creating a sustainable path to growth are three key aspects of the best Fintech entrants of recent years.
We have been busier than ever finding talent for these businesses, and of course have a vested interest in their growth. From our point of view, here are four factors that can help or hinder a company’s success:
1. Diverse markets require complex solutions. Each market in Asia is unique and poses its own set of challenges, with each economy at a different stage of development. As a Fintech provider is able to tailor its offering to the needs of each individual country, this does not pose the obstacle that it might have done previously. Agility and localised thinking are the key to assuming a position of leadership in each market.
2. Singapore deregulation is showing the green light. Singapore offers the conundrum of a highly developed market that is simultaneously highly regulated. Companies looking at set up a base in Asia have sometimes avoided Singapore for the ease of doing business in Hong Kong (for example), but with the streamlining of regulations, authorities have shown that they are ready to act when they see something is stifling development.
3. The MAS is a beacon for innovation. As well as providing investment, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is acting in all sorts of innovative ways to attract Fintech innovation to its shores. It is reaching out to the international financial community, even to the extent of cooperating with the UK’s FCA on how best to take the industry forward. Its “sandbox” opportunity for Fintech start-ups is being copied across the region, and it is the shining example for other countries who will follow its path in the years and decades to come.
4. Opportunities for expansion. Markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore offer a door into the wider region. While this might not be as easily as entering a number of European countries (for example), the size of the prize is that much bigger because of the unrealised growth that is yet to come. When you marry up a tech-savvy populace with fast-growing economies you have a recipe for breakneck growth. Fintech companies see Hong Kong as the gateway to China and many of them are already making significant inroads.
Of course, all of this growth only comes with talented people making the right decisions.
Let us help you to find those individuals and drive your expansion.
Alan Anwar is the Managing Director at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.
You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent - 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here. Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a more detailed discussion.
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