Asia to be the Global Hotbed of Innovation in the Near Future
Krishnan Rajagopalan, Head, stripe
In a recent interaction with Asia Business Outlook, Krishnan shared his insights on various aspects pertaining to the business ecosystem in the Asia region. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview -
What methodologies and techniques do you employ to gather market insights?
Similar to most MNCs, we rely on various kinds of inputs such as industry publications, market research reports and more. We also have an in-house team of local market experts who have been in the market for a long time now and thus provide us with valuable insights. We also gather prospective inputs from our potential partners whom we work closely with. Paying keen attention to these three data points has enabled us to analyze the market and decide on the way forward for us.
Tell us about a few major challenges that currently persist in the market.
There are a huge variety of markets segmented according to different dimensions in terms of market maturity, readiness for the product, regulatory compliance and many others. Since regulated markets always have a level of minimal investment needed to be fully compliant with local regulations, every product that will be launched into these markets must be localized. This is not only in terms of supporting the local language; also must have the right local infrastructure. Also, the scalability of a tech product is fastest and easier if a single product is able to effectively function worldwide. Failing at this will have a drastic impact on the innovation process and thus increase the product’s time-to-market.
The scalability of a tech product is fastest and easier if a single product is able to effectively function worldwide
Fintech being a very sophisticated vertical, how can organizations simplify their offerings to serve their customers better?
When Stripe started its operations, it used to be incredibly complicated to have a local processing partner to accept payments. Stripe is well-known in our industry for being a very easy and intuitive product for merchants and users to adopt. This was made possible by writing simple line of code and thus making our platform as user-friendly as possible.
Strategies every business must employ in order to be successful in the market
For any organization, product innovation plays a bigger role than its marketing strategies to stay competitive in the market. The reason for this is that if your product has a strong differential factor that positions it a notch higher than the rest, it will be very easy for other business functions such as sales and marketing in terms scaling the product further into the market. Thus, we at Stripe spend a lot of time on getting the right product experience & innovation for each particular markets. Since we invest heavily on product innovation, the barriers for entry into the market is much lower compared to our industry counterparts. This has been one of our key success factors in the market.
"The last decade has seen a thorough metamorphosis in the region in terms of infrastructure development, 5G connectivity, financial ecosystem and a lot more"
The business ecosystem shaping-up in the APAC region in the near future
There are exciting times for being part of the business community in the APAC region. When I moved to Singapore from US a decade ago, Asia was starting to shape-up significantly, wherein the tech adoption in Asia was faster than any other region in the world. The last decade has seen a thorough metamorphosis in the region in terms of infrastructure development, 5G connectivity, financial ecosystem and a lot more. Being home the largest part of global population, a large portion of Asia population is growing into being middle class and upper class with a lot of disposable income in recent times. As a result, the region will be one of the most addressed and sought-after markets across the world going forward. Also, there are a lot of region-centric innovations happening in the APAC region, thus making it one of the most active tech markets worldwide. Looking at the number of unicorns that are coming out of countries like India, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, there is no doubt that Asia will continue cementing its position as the new global hotbed of innovation