As the economy is back on track again, many entrepreneurs are eager to push through with their startups. Thye Yeow Bok, head of Startup Ecosystem Southeast Asia at Google, talked to VIR’s Nguyen Hai about the right strategies to conquer local and global markets.
How can Vietnamese startups adapt to the current situation and prepare for the future, and which methods can help them to power their global outreach?
|Thye Yeow Bok, head of Startup Ecosystem Southeast Asia at Google |
Many startups have been facing adversities to overcome the pandemic and maintain their businesses. In that scenario, Vietnamese startups had to adapt to changes by utilising all intrinsic and external resources. There are a few topics that startups should focus on improving so that they can adapt to the current situation and welcome future trends. Startups should learn how to adapt their human and leadership development to address an ever-changing workplace and hiring landscape in today’s new normal. They should understand the best practices and business models to optimise operations, in addition to learning about upcoming trends and resilient business plans.
In product management, they need to identify a variety of strategies and tactics to develop high-quality products and services and learn how to scale these solutions to untapped markets. In technology, they need to build and improve tech products to adapt to the future while also discovering new possibilities with Google technologies to enhance product features and remain competitive.
And in marketing, it is crucial to increase interaction with users and brand awareness.
With the support from the first Google for Startup Academy Vietnam, startups can prepare the essential business skills to speed up their business journey and prepare for global outreach.
What is the status of innovation models in Vietnam and the current digital ecosystem in this country?
Vietnam’s digital ecosystem is rapidly developing. The pandemic has accelerated the usage of digital services from non-metropolitan areas. Since the start of the pandemic, eight million new digital consumers have come online and embraced digital consumption. The sectors are experiencing high growth underpinned by 53 per cent growth in e-commerce. The increased demand paved the way for innovative solutions in industries such as finance, logistics, retail, gaming, and healthcare.
In terms of resources, funding has skyrocketed in the first half of 2021 and despite market uncertainties, global capital continues to pour into the country. Startups now have access to funding to adapt and build resilience and compete regionally.
Some argue that Vietnamese startups lack experience. What support can Google can provide to help them improve their skills?
Through the Startup Academy, Google is hoping to create a platform to bring the best of its technology, expertise, people, and network to help startups be successful through one-on-one mentoring and training sessions. Google will bring together mentors from within the company and its network to help startups and their founders to develop their leadership skills, business development, marketing, product development, and the necessary technical knowledge to build a successful and sustainable tech startup.
We hope to enable startups to build long-lasting relationships with mentors, investors, and Googlers who can continue to support the entrepreneurship journey.
Google also hopes to provide more learning and development opportunities for talents and startup businesses in Vietnam, helping to reduce the digital divide. Especially for startups in the early stages, we hope to accelerate their business growth and global reach.
With Google’s startup ecosystem, what are some solutions to support those startup communities and the links between them?
Currently, Vietnam has many startup communities in several domains and industries. However, there is a limitation as startups have few opportunities to listen and learn from corporates that were once successful. With our startup ecosystem, Google provides a professional mentor network and opportunities to connect startups via the Startup Academy Vietnam, which is co-organised by Google and Vietnam’s National Innovation Centre.
The programme will see the participation of more than 30 mentors from Google, local, and regional ecosystems. These mentors are successful entrepreneurs, investors, and high-level executives from renowned companies.