The Asia Pacific Fintech Market Needs Dynamite People to Explode
Alan Anwar

The Fintech market in Asia is forecast to grow by 21%* annually until 2022.

To my mind, this is a conservative estimate – based on our discussions and considering the amount of support that the region’s governments are pouring into the sector.

To give just one example, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is aiming to harness Fintech to create a Smart Financial Centre, encourage innovation, and supercharge the local economy yet further. The MAS has launched a standalone office for the sector, and is following the lead of other Asia Pacific countries in creating a sandbox environment in which innovations can be safely tested. Funding is readily available for the most promising ideas.

When a government is so behind a sector, it has every chance to explode.

Which comes to the key challenge:

If an industry is to explode, it needs some dynamite people.

Blue-chip Fintech companies are still the leading recruiters. While there are increasing numbers of start-ups, top local talent tends to prefer the security of the more established players. The vibrant and innovative approach of the bigger companies belies their size, and in many cases, employees get the best of both corporate and start-up worlds.

Having said this, our work for a couple of (well-backed) start-ups has been some of the most rewarding recruitment that we have done. When a company has a service that is sure to rock their market, everyone wants to get involved. With such a rapid pace of change, there are a wealth of opportunities for candidates who want to help to create something truly unique. Getting in on the bottom floor of such a company can teach Fintech professionals so many vital lessons, even though the risks remain high.

In terms of functional specialties, for the local market, sales and technical professionals are always in huge demand. As foreign companies look to enter the market and local companies are looking to branch out across the region, we have also found ourselves busy with general management and regional roles. Singapore and Hong Kong continue to lead in job vacancies although we are seeing strong growth in other centres such as China, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

If we consider areas where there is a high level of interest from talent, then the Blockchain, Machine Learning, and AI focused sectors are at the top of the list. Job seekers are keen to get involved, but their relative lack of experience and overall market maturity means that salaries are not so high. Until these technologies catch fire, we won’t see the mass emigration of talent just yet.

All in all, I am looking forward to a year of growth and excitement in this wonderfully fast-moving industry. I am starting to write a few blogs, and I hope to share a few insights where possible along the way. I see a blog as a chance to share a bit about myself and my company – getting to know people has never been more important, and I hope that my writing will offer a little window on my world.

What will the 2018 Fintech market bring for you?

* Statista


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” hereAlternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on for a more detailed discussion.