In the last 10 years, Australian entrepreneurs have been looking to Singapore’s dynamic market to launch business ventures and start-ups. As a leading Innovation Nation, technology and finance hub, and cornerstone for development, Singapore is an ideal gateway for tapping into regional and global markets.
Although we pay lip service to expansion into Asia, in reality, our progress is slow. This year, the Turnbull Government announced the NISA initiative, in an effort to drive innovation and R&D in Australia.
In contrast, Singapore – which has an economy five times smaller than Australia – recently announced an $18 billion investment in R&D across five years. This investment is significantly larger than Australia’s NISA initiative.
Here are my 4 top tips on how to expand into Singapore:
1. Get immersed
Australian tech companies need to gain first-hand experience and taste of Singapore’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. To unearth Singapore as a launching pad, get immersed! For example, to unearth Australia’s up and coming tech talent in the right places and networks, Gemstar takes companies to Singapore for Trade Missions and TechVentures. Last year’s TechVenture was the first time in the conference’s 20 year history that Australia was formally showcased – and Gemstar was invited back in this year, to introduce more budding Australian talent.
2. Determine your strategic angle
The right strategic framework is crucial to lasting success. Companies need to identity what differentiates their brand, product and/or service from others. Ask yourself: what is your target market? Who is your target customer? How will your product or service enrich people’s lives? Conduct research into your target markets, customers, development opportunities and potential sources of investment and funding.
3. Tell the right story
Storytelling is often not the cornerstone of business strategy for entrepreneurs, who tend to focus more on their technologies and services. However, to sell these products and services, it’s crucial to form an emotional connection with your target audience through a clear, concise story and relevant story. Profile your company as the one to do business with. Ensure that your story showcases what differentiates your brand, how you will leverage regional growth opportunities, and why your technology is relevant to the market.
4. Build a presence and profile
Once you have opportunities underway and partnership in place, keep building a distinct presence and profile! Networking in Singapore will open up opportunities to connect with influential investors, partners and customers, fast-tracking your progress regionally and globally. Establishing a dual presence across Australia and Singapore is a sure-fire way to further growth. Gemstar has recently set up an Innovation Centre of Excellence as a hub for Australian companies looking to create a concrete presence in Singapore. Having a presence on the ground is a low-risk and highly effective path to business success.
Read the full article in The CEO Magazine.