Indonesia in the Spotlight

Indonesia has proven to be an attractive investment proposition this year and now represents approximately 10% of our GEM portfolio. A key rationale for our positive view of this market is a major derating of our favoured businesses coupled with a macro tailwind. The economy has benefitted from an increase in exports, notably from commodity products which has helped improve the government’s fiscal position. Additionally, GDP is expected to grow by 5% over the next few years. We focus on companies which are domestic champions in their sector and have identified several that will perform whilst consumers’ behaviours are changing due to increased prosperity.

It is well known that the country has abundant natural resources including nickel deposits which make it the largest global supplier of the raw material. In 2021 Indonesian mines accounted for over 35% of global supply. This year, output has increased by 41% meaning that, year-to-date, Indonesia has supplied 47% of the world’s nickel.

The dominant position in this market meant that, in 2020, Indonesia’s government decided to take advantage of the growing demand generated by the electric vehicle manufacturers and banned raw nickel exports. As a result, battery and EV manufacturers such as CATL and Tesla have formed partnerships with local companies (as evidenced by Tesla’s USD 5bn nickel purchasing contract) to develop domestic refining and processing facilities. This has led to a lasting job and wealth creation rather than just a simple revenue stream from exports.

The rise of commodity prices has been benefiting Indonesia’s trade balance and fiscal position. This in turn allowed the government to increase the 2023 infrastructure budget by 8% and set a c. 90bn USD investment target for next year. Other initiatives such as easing regulations to enable further job creation, increasing minimum wage by 7% and increased support for the national health insurance programme will help consumer confidence of the population that exceeds 270m (of which, Gen Z and the millennials make up over half).

Historically, Indonesia has been seen as more dependent on commodity cycles and at risk of currency depreciation. Post covid, the government has exhibited good fiscal policies. Indonesia’s economy is running steady and the G20 summit this month is an opportunity to showcase this stability to a global audience. Furthermore, the government has been able to manage the reduction of the fuel subsidy efficiently in response to higher global oil prices. Costs have been gradually passed on to consumers, hence sentiment and actual spending remain relatively strong. We have taken this as an opportunity to invest in consumer companies that have been on our watchlist for some time.

Bank Rakyat is Indonesia’s largest bank in terms of assets and is recognised as one of the world’s leading microfinance institutions. It has a rural network of some 10, 000 branches and five hundred thousand agents enables them to reach smaller towns across the archipelago and a 30m strong client base, many of whom prefer face to face rather than online interaction.

Telkom Indonesia is the largest telecommunication operator in Indonesia with 175m subscribers. The company has benefitted from consolidation in the sector as five operators have been reduced to three. We believe Indonesia is at the sweet spot of consumer data adoption via mobile phones and fixed telecom acceleration as users demand for content increases.

Sumber Alfaria is a leading player in the growing mini-market sector with its Alfamart brand attracting 6m customers to their stores every week. This number is likely to grow as Indonesians move from the traditional wet-market to the more modern mini-mart shopping experience. Sustainable GDP growth will support the disposable income growth and, in turn, will drive sales increases.

Kalbe Farma is a pharmaceutical company in a fragmented marketplace serving over two hundred thousand outlets nationally. Its offerings include nutrition products such as powdered milk, prescription pharma and consumer healthcare. The government has suggested that the support for the Indonesia National Health Insurance programme will increase, and Kalbe Farma would be a key beneficiary of this development.

With the 2024 election in mind Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, will have consumer confidence and increased prosperity at the forefront of his efforts to cement his popularity for re-election for an unprecedented third term. Further measures to this effect are likely to benefit our domestic champions in the medium and long term.

China Calls for Digital Cooperation to Boost Global Economic Recovery

Building global consensus and bolstering confidence in world economic recovery is a critical task for the 17th G20 Summit, with the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.”

As a new driving force for global economic growth, the digital economy has great significance. The added value of the digital economy in 47 countries around the world reached $38.1 trillion in 2021, with an increase of 15.6 percent year on year, according to a report titled “World Internet Development Report 2022”.

Against this background, China on Wednesday called on G20 members to make joint efforts in invigorating digital cooperation so as to let the fruits of the development of the digital economy benefit people of all countries.

Building global digital economic paradigm

China stands ready to continue cooperating with the G20 members to jointly build a global digital economic paradigm featuring benefits for all, balance, coordination, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation and common prosperity, said Chinese President Xi Jinping when attending and addressing the summit in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

Multilateralism must be upheld, Xi stressed, calling for strengthened international cooperation.

Noting that development should be prioritized, the Chinese president said the digital gap must be bridged and innovation should serve as the driving force for promoting post-pandemic recovery.

During the 2016 Hangzhou G20 Summit, China for the first time put the digital economy on the G20 agenda, vowing to innovate development patterns and tap growth potential.

At the following summits of the group in 2017 and 2018, world leaders also held extensive discussions on how to strengthen cooperation in developing the digital economy while addressing the challenges brought about by new technologies.

During these years, multiple G20 summits have made it clear that the digital economy is an increasingly important driver of global economic growth, and the G20, which includes the world’s major economies, represents the leading force in the development of the digital economy.

China in action

The Chinese president also underlined that China will continue to work with G20 members to foster a “balanced, coordinated and inclusive” global digital economy landscape that brings benefits to all and features win-win cooperation and shared prosperity.

China has launched the initiative of building a Digital Silk Road, and has identified digital economy as a key area of cooperation under the Global Development Initiative, according to Xi.

China has proposed the G20 Action Plan on Digital Innovation and Cooperation, which is aimed at promoting the innovative application of digital technology and making innovation outcomes beneficial to all and shared by all, and welcomes the participation of all parties, Xi said.

China, as the world’s second largest economy and the largest developing country, has attached great importance to developing the digital economy, and its digital development will inject new impetus into global economic recovery and create new opportunities for common development.

Over the past decade, China has witnessed remarkable progress in its digital economy, the value of which reached 45.5 trillion yuan (about $6.3 trillion) in 2021, accounting for 39.8 percent of the country’s GDP, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies on November 9.

By June 2022, there were 1.05 billion internet users in China, and the internet penetration rate had reached 74.4 percent, read a white paper titled “Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace” released by China’s State Council Information Office on November 7.

The country hosts the world’s largest 5G network and is one of the global leaders in 5G standards and technology, with 1.85 million 5G cell towers and 455 million 5G cell phone subscribers, according to the white paper.

Still, the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and long-range objectives through 2035, which map out a blueprint for the country’s new journey toward the full construction of a modern socialist country, makes it clear that China will continue to put efforts in promoting the digital economy.

The country aims to raise the proportion of the added value of core digital economy industries in its GDP to 10 percent in 2025, up from 7.8 percent in 2020, according to the plan.

By 2025, China will see the digital transformation of industries reach a new level, digital public services will become more inclusive, and the digital economy governance system will improve noticeably, as per the plan.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-11-16/China-calls-for-digital-cooperation-to-boost-global-economic-recovery-1f0OuLDSeCQ/index.html  

SOURCE CGTN

7 Steps Businesses Should Follow In a Blackout

1.) Call your utility provider and report the power outage, or call 999 in cases of immediate danger.

During a blackout your utility company needs to know when and where it occurs, so make sure to call your utility’s designated line as soon as possible to report the blackout and provide any information that may help. You can also call 105 free to report issues or get information about blackouts in your local area. Make sure to only call 999 if you or others are in immediate danger.

2.) Turn off and disconnect equipment which may be damaged by temporary power surges.

When power returns after a blackout, electrical surges may cause circuits to fry which can result in damaged equipment and create a fire risk. Make sure to turn off and completely disconnect all your business’ large appliances, assembly lines and other equipment, including laptops and computers, to keep employees and customers safe and reduce any potential damage to your equipment.

3.) Try not to use candles or lanterns for emergency lighting.

When the power goes out, the first instinct is to light candles and lanterns for easy illumination, however, candles and lanterns are fire hazards and can be major causes of death and damage in power outages. Opting for battery-powered torches will reduce this risk, and means you don’t have to worry about burning candles.

4.) Leave one light turned on so you know when the power comes back on.

Blackouts can cost businesses thousands of pounds an hour in lost revenue and productivity. Ensure all unnecessary appliances are switched off but leave one light on so that you are aware of when electricity has returned and you can get started on responding to the blackout. 

5.) Conserve your phone’s battery.

During a blackout, your business’s Wi-Fi will cut out meaning your phone will be your connection to the outside world. Reduce your screen’s brightness, activate low power mode and turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to conserve your phone’s battery power to ensure you have a way to contact others, including building management, local authorities and supervisors for any status updates.

6.) Clear pathways to prevent falls.

During a blackout, all lights will go out except the emergency lighting system. Slips and trips are a major hazard in low light, with it being more difficult to see obstructions and obstacles. Make sure pedestrian routes are clear and check your emergency lighting regularly for any faults to prevent tripping and falling.

7.) Ensure employees have work to do offline.

During a blackout, you may need to send your employees home and they may be concerned about the lack of work they will now be able to complete. Ensuring you are able to provide work for your employees that they can do offline will improve business productivity and also the well-being of your employees. 

James Longley, Managing Director at Utility Bidder has commented on the importance of UK businesses being prepared for a blackout:

“The UK is currently preparing to face what could be an unprecedented winter, with potential electricity blackouts that would directly impact business functions. Whilst blackouts are currently looking unlikely – unlikely does not equal impossible. With businesses’ reliance on electricity, preparing for potential blackouts is vital to protect both the interests of the business and your employees. 

“Here at Utility Bidder, we wanted to share some easy steps businesses can follow if they do suffer an electricity blackout this winter to prevent seeing their business and employees dramatically affected.

“Simple tips such as turning off your electronic equipment, conserving your phone battery and ensuring employees have work to do offline will enable businesses to continue to run smoothly, reduce employee stress and minimise any potential business losses.”

The Chinese Economy Has Recovered – Here’s What It Means for Investors

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Advice at Freedom Finance Europe, explores how China’s economy could gain momentum despite adverse factors of the Covid-19 pandemic and what investors need to know.

The Chinese economy has returned to a state of growth since Covid-19 restrictions lifted in 2021. This continued until Q2 2022 when lockdown and a slowdown of 0.4% y/y (-2.6% q/q) hit. Despite this, manufacturing and services rose in June for the first time since February with the manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) rising to 50.2 points (up from 49.6 in May) and services rose to 54.5 (up from 41.4 in May). In addition to improved domestic demand, a record trade surplus of $98 billion (£87 billion) contributed to the recovery.

The support businesses are expecting to receive to stimulate the economy may have been the catalyst that enabled recovery.  In Q2 2022, Beijing switched to a more expansionary fiscal policy and announced a set of measures to support the economy, including new tax incentives and infrastructure investments amounting to ¥2.6 trillion (2.2% of GDP – $370 billion or £330 billion). These are typically financed by local government bond. For example, more than ¥2 trillion ($290 billion or £258 billion) worth of such bonds were issued in the first five months of 2022.

These measures are likely to increase the budget deficit, which has already reached ¥3 trillion ($430 billion or £383 billion) in the first half of 2022, and together with local government finances, ¥5 trillion (4.3% of GDP – $720 billion or £642 billion). Nevertheless, China has a relatively strong fiscal position – its debt burden does not exceed 80% of GDP.

China’s relatively strong economic outlook compared to the EU and US

In the USA the trade deficit decreased from $84.91 billion (£75.79 billion) in May to $70.7 billion (£63.1 billion) in July. At the same time, the budget burden is increasing year on year. In the Eurozone, the negative balance has only strengthened since the end of last year, increasing to €26.3 billion (£2.26 billion) in May, €24.6 billion (£21.4 billion) in June and €34 billion (£29.6 billion) in July of 2022.

Chinese imports to Germany have been rising strongly over the last few years, while exports have remained unchanged. China has generated a deficit of €220.6 billion in seven months with Europe. This trend is extending the supply of Euros, as buying Chinese goods requires the sale of Euros and the purchase of Renminbi. Overall, the EU trade balance is in deficit, as indicated by factors such as imports exceeding exports, which is not in favour of a rise in the Euro. This indicates a worsening situation in the Eurozone.

Looking ahead, there will be a stronger focus on consumption, which could support economic growth. In the short-term, China will focus more on shifting from an export-led economy to consumption-led growth.

China’s IPO market

From January to August, China’s IPO market rose 44% y/y to $58 billion (£51 billion) a record high for the period. In the US, there was a 92% y/y decline during this time. China has already had five IPOs worth over $1 billion in 2022 and another is being prepared. There has only been one such public sale in New York and Hong Kong and none in Europe.

The oil and gas company CNOOC and the telecoms provider China Mobile are the biggest debuts this year. They have raised $5 billion (£4.4 billion) and $8.6 billion (£7.7 billion) respectively. The technology sector dominated the Chinese IPO market. Demand for $1.6 billion (£1.4 billion) from the computer components maker Hygon Information Technology exceeded supply by a factor of 2000.

What can investors expect from the Chinese stock market?

Chinese industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment increased faster than experts had expected last month. Economic data for August showed that China withstood the impact of many negative factors and maintained the momentum for economic recovery. Equity investors want to see a significant softening of China’s Covid-19 policy to make it more constructive.

Importantly, investment in Chinese startups and companies has been increasing since 2019. Last year, investments reached $118 billion, the second highest on record, with US venture capitalists involved in about a quarter of these deals. Alfonso Alba, the  head of Bayer Crop Science, headquartered in Germany and China, says the company is very optimistic about the Chinese market. Bayer Crop Science has developed an ambitious development plan for the next 10 years in China. Jeremy Yeo, the acting CEO of US plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, says the company sees significant potential in the Chinese market and will increase investment.

Is it time to rethink the way we approach our anti-fraud defenses?

Cybercrime is not going anywhere. According to the PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey from 2022, 46% of surveyed organizations reported experiencing cybercrime in the last 24 months. Just in the APAC region the number of cyberattacks grew by a staggering 168% year over year, according to Check Point researchers. Cybercrime is no longer a distant reality, but something is happening now and to everyone. Nobody is safe anymore. What are you doing to protect your business?

Is your fraud prevention preventing you from reaching your maximum?

Companies are increasingly working on developing cybersecurity strategies that can help them protect their data, business, and customers, but often that can result in disrupting their relationship with customers. Regardless of how much effort you have invested in maximizing business growth, having anti-fraud defences that are not properly executed can cause more damage than good.

Your customers want quick and efficient service, and anything that impedes that can cause customer friction. While it might be true that friction is inevitable as customer expectations are constantly changing, companies that manage to minimize it will have better customer retention while maximizing their revenue. When it comes to retail, around 68% of potential customers who reach a payment page will never complete the checkout process, creating a large number of missed conversion opportunities.

Overzealous anti-fraud defences often cause this as they prolong the checkout process by implementing additional verification steps or asking the customers to provide too much information. Having a cybersecurity strategy is more important than ever, but not at the expense of your business. Introducing frictionless and positive customer experience will directly increase your sales as over 6 in 10 consumers in the APAC region are willing to pay more to companies that deliver excellent service. Customer expectations are changing and it is the end time to adapt to them.

How can you combine an efficient cybersecurity strategy and customer satisfaction?

Having proper anti-fraud defences in place is no longer an option; it is a must-have if you want to ensure your business keeps growing. The risk of cybercrime and fraudulent activities will only increase as more people gain access to the internet and companies from different sectors fully embrace digital transformation. New threats like application fraud, synthetic identity fraud, or IOT risks will continue to infiltrate our world, and it is the end time to join the fight.

Yes, it is more important than ever to know who our customers are and if they are legitimate actors to reduce the risks of your business being exposed to fraud. But this can be done without causing unnecessary customer friction. Cybercriminals and fraudsters continuously use new technological developments to update their schemes, so why not take a page from their book? New cybersecurity trends are being developed daily, with AI and machine learning taking the lead in transforming the sector. Cybersecurity solutions do not have to cause customer friction, and that should not even be an issue anymore. With all the technological advancements we can implement, not only that effective cybersecurity solutions can minimize user friction, but they can also be used to improve conversion rates and increase customer satisfaction.

While customer verification was an extensive and tiresome process in the past, with risk analysis mainly being conducted manually, that is no longer the case. These recent innovations offer the chance to gather additional information about the users from internal and external sources, reducing the need to request that data from them and having them go through long checkout processes. This also allows businesses to conduct automated risk analysis in real-time, effectively preventing fraud while minimizing the risk of unnecessary user friction. 90% of Chinese, 84% of Indians, and 81% of Singaporeans are willing to buy more from organizations that make interactions easy, and implementing effective cybersecurity strategy can help you achieve this.

Conclusion

We live in a fast-moving world, and technological developments will only continue making it faster, changing customers’ expectations in the process. They want what they want, and they want it now. If you can’t provide the service they want, your competitors will. Don’t let your anti-fraud defences become your downfall. Embrace the change new cybersecurity trends can bring to your business, and ensure you provide the best possible service while protecting your business from growing online dangers.

Best B2B eCommerce Platforms: Comparison Table

As a business owner, you can make your company known across the world through the use of the best B2B eCommerce platforms. Not only can they help you reach more customers, but they can do so in an easier way. If you’re looking for a B2B eCommerce platform that will allow you to create your online store, then this article is for you. In it, we will discuss nine popular B2B eCommerce platforms used by businesses today and how they differ from each other.

How to choose the right B2B eCommerce platform

When choosing a B2B eCommerce platform, you must consider the following:

Your business: What’s your main focus? Do you have a unique selling proposition (USP)? How long have you been in business, and what kind of growth do you expect to experience in the next year or two? If possible, try to choose a platform with capabilities that complement your strengths and weaknesses.

Your customers: What are their needs? Which products or services do they want to find on an eCommerce site? Be sure to choose a platform that offers features that allow for easy integration with other platforms, such as search engines, social media channels, and payment processors—this will be easier for potential customers who are already familiar with those platforms from other websites regularly.

The budget available for technology purchases: There may be some elements within each system that could be eliminated if cost savings were more important than efficiency gains (e.g., complex reporting modules). Consider hiring someone with technical expertise instead of purchasing software vs. hiring an employee whose salary would equal out over time anyway.

Spryker

Spryker is a B2B eCommerce platform used by some of the largest companies in the world. Spryker is a multi-channel platform, meaning it has both B2B and B2C functionality.

Spryker allows you to manage all your company’s online stores from one place, saving time and money spent on maintaining multiple platforms. You can also quickly scale up as your business grows because you don’t have to worry about finding new software or updating it regularly as you would if you were using separate systems for each store channel (i.e. if we had two different platforms for each physical location).

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for small and medium-sized businesses. It has a free trial, a free plan that includes unlimited products, orders, and traffic, and an advanced feature set.

The platform’s user interface is modern, responsive, and easy to navigate. New features are being added to help merchants manage their stores more efficiently. BigCommerce also offers integrations with third-party apps like WooCommerce and Magento and support from its Community Experts community forum (though this last resource isn’t always available).

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-grade eCommerce platform that provides more than just simple storefront management. It’s a full suite of tools for B2B eCommerce businesses, including inventory management, order processing, shipping and fulfilment, marketing automation, and more. Shopify Plus can help you run your entire business—not just your web store.

Shopify Plus is ideal if you want to focus on your brand rather than managing the technical aspects of running an online store. Suppose you don’t have enough time or resources to learn all the ins and outs of an eCommerce platform. In that case, Shopify Plus is an excellent option for B2B retailers looking for a hands-off solution that makes it easy to start selling online without having to hire staff or learn how everything works in detail.

Magento

Magento is a flexible and scalable eCommerce platform that provides everything you need to create an online store. Magento is an open-source platform that is free to download and install.

The Magento community has created several add-ons for the platform. These modules allow users to add new features like social media integration, coupon codes, product reviews, and more.

Magento offers many integrations with other services, such as Google Analytics and PayPal payments.

OroCommerce

OroCommerce is an eCommerce platform. It is designed for SMBs and enterprise businesses since it offers B2C and B2B sales features. It also includes a content management system (CMS), allowing you to create your online store easily.

This platform allows you to customize your website with unique themes, extensions, and over 200 third-party applications. This way, it will be easy for you to find a solution that fits your needs perfectly.

OroCommerce’s main advantage is its scalability: It can grow with your business as you need more advanced features or traffic on the site. The Oro team offers assistance during this process so that everything goes smoothly during each development step.

Shopify Enterprise

Shopify Enterprise is a powerful eCommerce platform that allows you to sell online, on social media, and in person.

Shopify’s products are engineered to help you build a business with their robust features, including inventory management and fulfilment, payment processing, and reporting tools. Shopify’s enterprise solutions are designed for companies who want to scale their businesses quickly by providing them with the best tools possible.

In addition, they have partnered with many Fortune 500 companies worldwide, such as Walmart or Kroger, making it easier for large organizations to manage multiple stores without having to deal with separate platforms (like BigCommerce).

Episerver

Episerver might be the right choice for your business if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution. It comes with tools such as:

Content Management System (CMS) to help manage your website and online stores.

Analytics to track performance and customer interactions.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology to improve your website ranking on Google search results.

Payment Gateway so customers can purchase goods or services securely online.

WooCommerce for WordPress

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce platform for WordPress. It’s the most popular eCommerce platform on the web, and it’s easy to use and customize. WooCommerce is also open source, which means it can be used to build almost any kind of online store you can imagine—from simple online storefronts to complex multi-channel marketplaces.

WooCommerce has been around since 2011 and has over 35 million downloads in its repository at WordPress.org alone. Many users prefer WooThemes’ paid versions of their plugins (including WooCommerce), which come with additional features such as advanced inventory management tools and customer support plans.

Squarespace for Commerce

Squarespace for Commerce is an excellent option for companies that need a simple eCommerce website. It’s easy to use, and it’s affordable. The platform has a limited feature set, but it’s a good choice for small businesses that want to sell products online.

Squarespace for Commerce offers a primary site builder with drag-and-drop functionality and templates designed specifically for eCommerce stores. It also integrates with Stripe and PayPal, so you don’t have to worry about setting up payment processing or inventory management tools.

To summarize

We hope that this comprehensive look at the top B2B eCommerce platforms has helped you to make a better decision about which platform is best for your business. If you’re still unsure, we recommend you take some time to research each of these platforms and compare them against each other based on the criteria that matter most to you. Remember to find one that fits your needs and grows with your needs over time as well.

More Business Opportunities Await Foreign Investors in the Philippines with Amended Foreign Investment Act

Liberalizing its economic policies and laws, the Philippines continues to transform itself as an attractive investment destination by allowing foreign investors who are considering doing business in the country to set up and fully own domestic enterprises through the recently-amended Foreign Investment Act or the FIA.

The law is a testament of the Philippine government’s resolve and commitment to further create a business-friendly landscape so that foreign investors can grow and flourish their businesses.

The law establishes the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC), integrating all the investment promotion activities of various Philippine government bodies with the Board of Investments (BOI) as Secretariat. The IIPCC is set to convene its inaugural meeting on November 8, 2022.

Here is the rundown of the salient features and provisions of the FIA that would offer an array of business opportunities for foreign investors who are eyeing to invest in the Philippines.

FIA slashes barrier on foreign ownership of small and medium-sized enterprises

Amending the 30-year-old law, the new measure will ultimately improve foreign investments in the Philippines by providing less stringent requirements for potential foreign investors to enter the roaring Philippine market.

Primarily, the law allows – for the first time – foreign investors to set up and completely own domestic market enterprises categorized as micro-enterprises. The said economic measure gives way for foreign nationals to invest and fully-own micro and small domestic market enterprises with paid-up equity below the stated threshold but not below USD100,000.

The enterprises, however, must fulfill the following criteria: (1) use of advanced technology, (2) endorsed as startup or startup enablers by the lead host agencies according to Republic

Act (RA) No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act, (3) employ Filipinos as a majority of its direct employees.

The amended FIA also trims down the employment requirement for foreign investments in domestic market enterprises from 50 direct employees to now at least 15 Filipino employees. Notably, the amended FIA cuts the list of investment areas exclusively reserved for Filipinos, namely: defense-related businesses and small and micro domestic market enterprises with paid-up equity capital of below USD200,000, subject to certain exceptions.

In addition, foreigners engaged in export enterprises can secure 100 percent ownership in areas outside the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL).

The inception of the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee

Another major feature of the law is the establishment of the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC), which is tasked to integrate the promotion activities to woo more foreign investors to do business in the Philippines. It also aims to achieve a world-class brand image for the country within the intertwined approaches of image building, investment generation, and investment servicing.

Ushering in a culture of cooperation, the law removes competition for investments among the investment promotion agencies (IPAs), resulting in the best possible locational choice for investments. The Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall be the Chairman of the IIPCC, while the BOI, headed by the Executive Director for Investments Promotion, shall be the IIPCC Secretariat which will provide administrative support to the said Committee.

As the leader of the country’s investment promotion agencies (IPAs), the BOI is set to play an important role in spurring the growth of the country’s economy. The revised law will foster a “culture of cooperation” among the IPAs by coordinating investment promotion efforts in the country.

Through the amended FIA, the IIPCC – led by DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual – is resolute to make more business opportunities happen in the Philippines for foreign investors. Before the creation of the IIPCC, there was the Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PIPP) – an informal grouping of 19 IPAs –  in which the BOI headed both the Steering Committee and Technical Working Group.

With these amendments, foreign investors are at an advantage. The FIA is an opportune moment for foreign investors to complement the recent full reopening of the Philippine economy. The said consequential economic law, along with the Public Service Act (PSA) and Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives Act (CREATE) makes the country’s business climate more conducive to foreign investments.

Catching Up With the Global E-invoicing and E-reporting Developments: The E-invoicing Exchange Summit Asia Re-Opens Its Doors in Singapore

E-Invoicing is no longer the future – it is happening now, and at lightning speed. All around the world businesses and governments are implementing systems for E-Invoicing and E-Reporting. In several countries it is mandatory already or will become soon. But only if implemented in an efficient and consistent way, the huge benefits e. g. real time early warning systems for fraud or cost saving invoicing and reporting processes will be fully realised.

As good as this sounds, there are challenges and hurdles still to overcome: How can processes be standardised and optimised across the globe? How can a truly global interoperability lead to benefits for all stakeholders?

The E-Invoicing Exchange Summit Asia will re-open its doors in Singapore on December 7 and 8, 2022. After a 3-year interruption experts and thought-leaders will share and discuss in-depth information about the recent developments and future trends in the field of E-Invoicing and E-Reporting – with a strong focus on APAC countries. A unique opportunity to get in personal contact with leading experts from governments and industries to elaborate and answer these questions.

Among others, these speakers have confirmed:
Leong Der Yao, Geok Seong Wah, and Bill Xiao, IMDA, Singapore – Craig Smith, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand – Ellen Cortvriend and Brecht Van Petegem, PwC, Belgium – Hiroyuki Kato, Digital Agency, Government of Japan and Atsuya Sugawara, Delegate of Japan Peppol Authority, Japan – Bimal Jain, Chairman of Indirect Tax Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce, India – André Hoddevik, Secretary General, OpenPeppol – Todd Albers, Sr. Payments Consultant Payments, Standards and Outreach Group, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, USA – Ivo Moszynski, Chair Forum for Electronic Invoicing Germany and Richard Luthardt Member of the Board of European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association – Vinicius Pimentel de Freitas, Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, Panama

Furthermore, the event will host two thought leading panel discussions addressing the Upcoming drivers and shifts for national E-Invoicing initiatives in Asia-Pacific and the Next steps for truly global interoperability.

Information on the E-Inavoicing Exchange Summit and special ticket rates valid for public sector and typical senders of a high volume of invoices: www.exchange-summit.com/asia

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Australian Made Awards

United Kingdom, 2022– APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Made Awards programme.

The inaugural edition of APAC Insider’s Australian Made Awards programme was launched to recognise an industry that is so often overlooked, those manufacturers, producers and creatives who invigorate the Australian market and ensure a continuation on multiple fronts.

On the eve of the official announcement Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson spoke on the success of the programme: “It has been a delight and a pleasure to reach out to those recognised in this inaugural awards programme. It has been an incredibly challenging couple of years for business around the world – manufacturing and production perhaps some of the hardest hit. With that in mind, I offer a sincere congratulations to all of those listed here and hope you all have a wonderful 2023 ahead.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/australian-enterprise-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to Editors.

About APAC Insider

Here at APAC Insider, our approach reflects the innovative, dedicated and results-focused culture that has seen the Asia Pacific region become home to some of the most prominent industry-leading businesses in the world.

Playing host to more than one third of the world’s biggest businesses and boasting more Global 2000 members – among them worldwide brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Bank of China – than anywhere else on Earth, we are rapidly becoming the region to watch for those seeking the corporate world’s next big thing.

Exploring everything from business strategy and analysis to emerging trends and growth opportunities, APAC Insider is an invaluable resource for more than 160,000 leaders and decision makers looking to be kept fully informed of all the major developments in this most vibrant of business arenas.

We can see the great success of our platform with over 255,322 page views in the last 12 months averaging at 21,200 page views per month we can see our magazine is loved by many. The unique users average at an incredible 6,830 per month and we can’t thank our readers enough for the amazing support they give us to bring this content to you.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

A New Dawn for Global Value Chain Industry Clusters to Start Industrial Transformation for the Philippines—World Bank Report

The World Bank (WB) said it is hopeful that the Philippines can take advantage of the new dawn for global value chain (GVC) industry clusters by repositioning itself and enhancing its participation in the global context of reconfiguration. Achieving this according to the WB requires no less than concerted effort from the government and private sectors and other key players by executing a plan that can guide investments from both domestic and foreign investors.

This was the statement of WB Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand Ndiame Diop said as he opened the bank’s recent release of its report “A New Dawn for Global Value Chain Participation in the Philippines” as it eyes increasing the country’s GVC participation in a post–COVID-19 world. The report was released recently (October 6, 2022) at Fairmont Hotel in Makati and was attended by public and private participants actively involved in providing inputs and insights into the report.

“For the Philippines, this is an opening to embark on industrial transformation, reconfigure our exports into industry clusters and strengthen GVC participation; and make the Philippines a more attractive investment destination. We in the new administration are committed to steering the country back to its high-growth path and keeping the momentum toward an inclusive and resilient society,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in his keynote message.

Secretary Pascual emphasized that the country is already having signs of an economic recovery as its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.4 percent in the second quarter of this year which marked the fifth consecutive quarterly growth since the start of 2021. “Challenges remain. Inflation stood at 6.9 percent this September and increasing costs and supply chain disruptions slowed the country’s economic momentum. Despite these challenges, the government remains focused on fully reopening the economy and its goals to reduce costs, stabilize prices and ensure health, food, and energy security,” he pointed out.

Pascual said that implementing an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient industrial policy is imperative for building a more competitive economy, and through science, technology, and innovation (STI) and essential digital technologies, industries will be better positioned to face competition in both domestic and export markets and pave the way for industrial transformation.

“We will prioritize four industry clusters to drive our country’s growth. The selection of these clusters is guided by the WB’s analytical report on the reconfiguration of GVCs last year and is affirmed through the report being launched today.” Pascual added.

The clusters are identified as (1) the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Transport (IMT) cluster; (2) Technology, Media, and Telecommunication (TMT) cluster; and (3) Health and Life Science (HLS) cluster. “We have added the Modern Basic Needs and Resilient Economy cluster, fostering economic resilience and long-term sustainable and inclusive growth. Supporting the country’s enhanced participation in reconfigured GVCs is a long-term pursuit that entails addressing structural, systemic, and sector-specific constraints to growth.”

“In terms of policies to make the Philippines an attractive destination for FDIs, we are implementing recently-passed laws or reforms that either ease foreign ownership restrictions or incentivize investments. These include the CREATE Act, amendments in the Public Service Act and Foreign Investment Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. CREATE, in particular, is supported by the Strategic Investments Priorities Plan (SIPP). Through SIPP, CREATE serves as a tool for innovation, digital transformation, and industrialization,” Pascual expounded.

The DTI is also advocating for legislation that will further enhance trade and industry development. “We are adopting export measures to promote domestic processing for greater value addition from our reserves of green metals, such as nickel, cobalt, and copper. These measures should complement our effort to enable 100% foreign equity in solar, wind, tidal, and other renewable energy (RE) projects by amending the Implementing Rules and Regulations of our Renewable Energy Act,” Pascual said.

The Secretary further added that the Board of Investments (BOI), of which he is Chairman, is working with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on the National Skills Mapping and Survey on Human Resource Development. “I am pleased to share that BOI is also promoting Academe-Industry Matching or “AIM!” These projects shall identify appropriate interventions to minimize skills mismatch at the regional or provincial level; they foster interest among university students to take future-ready programs.”

During the event, Souleymane Coulibaly, WB Program Leader for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions and the author of the New Dawn report, presented the highlights of the GVC launching. He said that within the next six months ”the Philippines will have to address constraints to FDI attractiveness and facilitate trade through full implementation of key recent economic bills adopted. Within the next three years, the country has to promote investment and competition in logistics and connectivity services along with the development of an innovation ecosystem while advancing the digitalization agenda to boost manufacturing.”

When asked how the public would easily understand GVC during the panel discussion, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo laymanized it by quipping “just look at my cellphone. The camera system is from the Philippines, LCD from the Philippines or Vietnam, chips from Indonesia or Thailand, and the software from the Philippines or Malaysia.”

“This New Dawn for GVC Participation in the Philippines presents a golden opportunity for the country. By working together, we can Make It Happen in the Philippines,” Undersecretary Rodolfo summed it up.

In attendance were officials and representatives from the government like DTI-BOI and DOF-FIRB along with corporate officers representing the manufacturing sector, especially automotive; the technology sector, with IT-BPO in particular, as well as the Health and Life Science sector.  

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Reels

Our modern world revolves around the idea of virtual reality. Everything around us is turning online, and the business world is no exception. Online advertisement tools, for instance, came as the answer to how to grab the customer’s attention. Whether an Instagram reel, a logo maker, or a banner creator, they have all contributed to making the process of presenting the best image smoothly and easily.

In this article, we will cover Instagram reels, for no one can deny they are captivating.

Why Instagram launched Reels?

Instagram reels are short, light-hearted vertical videos inviting the audience to infinite scrolling. In 2019, New York Times reported, “Tik Tok will change the way your social media works.” The video app gained wide popularity in a short period, and in response to that came the Instagram release of reels in 2020.

Later on, reels proved to be a successful marketing tool. Indeed a less than one-minute video was the reason for many businesses to flourish. 

How to make professional Instagram reels

Instagram reels provide the chance for a good presentation of a product to customers, an influencer to the audience, or simply showing off creativity. A combination of factors plays a vital role in creating professional Instagram reels, and below are the top four tips to consider when making a reel:

Create engaging reels

Keeping the audience attached to a reel means the content presented is exceptional, and adding a catchy title is a good starting point. Plus, engaging with the viewers in the comments section would improve the content through the feedback received. All of which would make reels hook the viewers. 

Use music and voice-over

Since Instagram added many creative tools that have eased the process of creating a reel, the sound is an enjoyable feature to add. Audio mix and voice-over options are going handy in creating better content. Furthermore, making a product personalized with your voice on it is even available now. Eventually, adding audio to a reel will make it inviting, and music will spice things up! 

Add timed text to reels

In most cases, adding text will highlight a reel’s context. In this case, even for users who do not keep the sound on when scrolling reels, multiple-timed texts will raise a viewer’s curiosity to keep watching. Moreover, multiple-timed texts mean more focused content. So, even if customers mute reels, they will still be reading the texts presented.

Add graphics to reels

Instagram reel editor allows adding one picture only for five seconds. So, using the background of a reel is another kind of advertisement. Still, the choice of using a video editor outside Instagram is possible, and extending the picture time is probable. In brief, adding an image that best represents your business and letting it go viral would sound reasonable.

Advantages of using reels for business

Despite the many available marketing tools, reels proved to be one of the most effective tools. As a business owner, choosing reels to complement a marketing strategy will bring many advantages. We will list below the top three advantages: 

Keep a business as a top trend

Reels have become the medium for spreading trends because they make reaching new audiences and higher engagement possible. Therefore, a pro reel will push a brand to become a trend if we choose the content wisely.

For example, reels about the making process of a product proved to be a successful trend, which means embracing such a trend will push our product to be a top trend as well. Hence, keeping an eye on what is trendy will keep what we also present as a trend.

Raise a brand awareness

Reels have made a turning point in raising brand awareness. They are highly shared and interacted with. So, branding colors or the logo shared in a reel will reach a larger audience. Moreover, working with micro-influencers, which are more affordable and effective, has taken part in shedding light on the brand presented. All in all, reels are short, but the message they deliver lasts long.

Allow more freedom of editing

Unlike other features available on Instagram, reels come with many options. Changing the duration and speed (to slow it down or speed it up). Plus, alignment with other clips is just one click away when it comes to reels, as Instagram has broadened the choices of editing them quickly.

In a nutshell

Social media have provided different platforms to promote business with. Yet, Instagram has proved itself among the best platforms to choose from for advertisement. Reels have stood out as an exceptional marketing tool that gained international recognition in no time. Therefore, if you want your business to spread wider and have not stepped into the realm of reels, now is the time.

Celebverse Goes Live on Metaverse

~ World’s first and only virtual world dedicated to ‘Adam & EU’, an original human couple and parents of the human race.

 

Celebverse aims to empower celebs across all walks of life.

 

 

Celebverse, a leading virtual real estate offering exposure to the burgeoning industry via Metaverse, is now live. It is the world’s first and only virtual world dedicated to ‘Adam & EU’, an original human couple and parents of the human race. With its help, one can acquire virtual property / NFTs and take advantage of various virtual accurate estate-centric services.

 

Celebverse is the revolutionary step towards Metaverse, providing users with the privilege to purchase parcels around celeb’s Metaverse Land. With the freedom, individuals around the globe can now enjoy their choice neighbourhood and own their space in the Celebverse.

 

As the name suggests, Celebverse is a first-of-its-kind celeb-centric virtual world where users can have an exclusive experience of celeb cities, concerts, studios, events, gigs, fashion shows, merchandise, stores, and much more. And at the same time, embracing a world built with celebrities across all walks of life, top brands, top entrepreneurs, anyone and everyone from sports, performing arts, entertainment, literature, influencers, etc., are all celebrities here. 

 

Talking about it, Yogesh Dixit, Head of Operations, Asia Pacific, Celebverse said, “We aim to create an ecosystem where people can test their imaginations’ limits, enjoy the rights from minting a city to owning citizenship in their favourite celeb or brand city. Characters of Celebverse will be upto 85 percent of human reality. Driven by Web 3.0 solutions, users not just buy/trade or sell virtual assets but explore the unending possibilities supported by powerful, unshakable and trusted Smart Audit Contracts of the Ethereum Blockchain.”

 

Celebverse is a peer-to-peer network highly facilitated in the Metaverse. The platform offers detailed FAQs and a roadmap to acquisition. Citizens can own their NFTs, design, mint, buy, sell, and auction the land parcels. Newer celebs shall also benefit from having enthralling neighbors in the new world.

Wysa to Develop Hindi Version of World’s Most Popular Mental Health App

Plans to offer AI therapy chat over WhatsApp for easier access

Wysa, the world’s leading AI-based digital companion for behavioral health, today announces plans for a Hindi language mental health app, which will also be accessible through WhatsApp. ACT, a non-profit venture philanthropy platform, is supporting the initiative and is seeking a co-funding partner to propel the development further. The pilot is expected to commence in early 2023.

Says Neetha Joy, Director – Healthcare at ACT, “This is a first of a kind effort for us, to partner with an established player to make a proven solution accessible to millions. With 14% of our population suffering from mental health disorders and the pandemic exacerbating the lack of access to quality care, we need innovative solutions to address this chasm as there aren’t enough trained care providers to meet this latent demand.”

The first iteration of the Hindi app will guide users through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) exercises via text with a mobile phone-based conversational agent, to help users manage depression and anxiety. The app will guide users who show moderate to severe symptoms towards a clinical program and wellness tools to others.

Wysa is popular with employers and healthcare providers due to its scalability and low cost. Being an AI based app, Wysa overcomes the stigma and privacy concerns that often prevent people seeking help for their mental health. Wysa’s English mental health app has to date served approximately 528,000 people in India, primarily through large multinational employers and direct-to-consumer downloads.

Despite its popularity, the lack of Hindi language support remains a barrier in reaching diverse socio-economic groups and demographics. Offering an app in Hindi aims to reduce this access barrier, as a large proportion of the country is conversant in Hindi, and it brings a proven and tangible mechanism to increase communication and access for the vast majority of communities in India.

As well as overcoming the language barrier, making Wysa’s AI therapy conversational agent available through WhatsApp aims to appeal to people who prefer to avoid downloading new apps. There are 487 million WhatsApp users in India, making it the top messenger application in the country. WhatsApp is not only ubiquitous but also ensures high user engagement, as much of the population relies on it for regular communication, helping therapy dialogue become a part of everyday life.

“In our ambition to help 50 million users by 2025, we must go beyond the barriers of literacy and language to create access to mental health support for all. We’ve shown that therapy through Wysa appeals to those who are unwilling to come forward to talk about their mental health problems. We have a long way to go in overcoming mental health stigma in India, but with this Hindi version of our universally popular app, delivered through Whatsapp, is a great place to start,” said Jo Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder at Wysa.

“Ludwig Wittgenstein’s said ‘The limits of my language online mean the limits of my world.’ By providing mental health support in Hindi, one of the most popular languages used in India, via Whatsapp, a platform that most Indians have access too even in rural areas, we are lowering the digital divide, moving closer to our goal of providing scalable, equitable and accessible emotional support,” added Smriti Joshi, Chief Psychologist at Wysa.

“A large part of the population in India primarily speaks in Hindi, which poses a huge language barrier for availing mental health support in addition to the stigma. Wysa in Hindi has the capability of reaching not just the metro cities but also tier 2 and 3 cities where mental health issues are more prominent and less talked about. With the simplicity of this app and science-backed techniques such as CBT, it is hugely beneficial for Hindi speakers to get guidance in their native language. In my many years of working in the mental health field, I have never seen such an initiative and I am positive that it will benefit a lot of people.” says Dr. Roma Kumar, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Consultant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

Worldwide Earthmoving Solutions

Heavy earthmoving equipment is essential across all industries. From agricultural applications, and the Building Industry to large-scale commercial and civil construction projects, Including predominantly the Mining industry. Earthmoving equipment contains a broad range of machinery that has the ability to excavate grade soil and rock in a fast, efficient, and functional way. Much of this equipment is designed to have multiple functions that make them indispensable on job sites. Leading supplier of new and used equipment, Australian International Equipment Group (AIEG) is a supplier in the Australian market with its fingers in all the pies domestically and across the world. Here we take inspiration from AIEG as it supplies Equipment that is the cream of the crop to its many customers.

 

The world of earthmoving equipment is an absolutely necessary and in-demand part of the present day. It is of utmost importance that businesses are able to receive the right equipment for their projects and beyond.

It’s not simply the equipment provided, but it is about the level of customer service and invaluable solutions that businesses can provide to their clients. Earthmoving equipment needs to be up to scratch and maintained in the most specialist way on the market. Earthmoving equipment is usually comprised of heavy-duty vehicles that are made for construction operations involving a plethora of earthworks. By moving large masses of earth to dig foundations for landscaping projects, excellent earthmoving equipment is absolutely imperative for every successful job.

Earthmoving equipment – or heavy trucks, heavy machines, construction equipment, engineering equipment, heavy vehicles, and heavy hydraulics – is precious and important for a glut of projects everywhere. As most earthmoving equipment uses hydraulic solutions as the primary source of motion, it is something that needs to be correctly created, operated, and maintained by professionals who deeply understand what they are doing. Rooted in experience, each business providing earthmoving equipment must weigh up its services so as to provide not only the best equipment but the most significant forms of customer service. This is how a business thrives, for itself and for its clients.

Earthmoving equipment includes excavators, loaders, Bulldozers, and much more within these categories. It is this range of equipment that is needed for a wide selection of plans and developments of the modern age. With the world as it is, it seems that the Asia-Pacific has the greatest market share for earthmoving equipment which accounts for more than two-fifths of the global market. Right behind the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America have their sights set on equipment that can help to form a foundation for intricate construction advancements.

With increasing demands for better facilities and projects, there are huge growth opportunities for the construction industry – increasing the need for heavy machinery that can be used for earthmoving purposes.

This is where Australian International Equipment Group (AIEG) comes into play. As a seasoned team of professionals looking to make its mark on the industry, it is continuously adding to its roster of experience and equipment so that it can reach all kinds of clients that have elaborate, sophisticated, and complex needs. Not everything is straightforward in the earthmoving sphere, and so AIEG’s work is of major significance. With its ear consistently to the ground, AIEG has been improving the industry for many years – and that’s not about to change.

Wielding over 25 years’ experience in the industry – and all around the world – AIEG is making its mark on the realm of earthmoving equipment.

Providing new and used equipment and machinery to businesses around the globe, AIEG relishes its ability to build connections with its wide variety of clients. By finding and supplying the most appropriate equipment for each project, AIEG is able to ensure the greatest outcome, every time.

As AIEG sells new and used equipment, it highly values honesty and reliability for all. Its ability to deliver on target and in good time means that AIEG can offer its help in a highly desirable way – so that its customers feel heard and prioritised. With varied purchase options and detailed reports, AIEG can approach each client with a tailor-made experience that will leave them assured and fulfilled. Its specialist equipment doesn’t ever disappoint however if there were to be any changes in the client’s needs, AIEG has multiple tricks up its sleeve to be able to fix any issues or make any preferred changes.

With its on-site service and support, AIEG provides its earthmoving equipment support, devoted professionals, and solutions to clients from the initial consultation right through to operation and fittings. AIEG has a fine ability with regards to service, repair, fittings, and maintenance that will get clients on their feet in no time – regardless of the amount of experience they have in the industry, there is advice and equipment to suit them.

AIEG’s equipment repairs field service and customer support experts specialise in repairs and maintenance to a variety of mining and industrial equipment that will get any project up and running smoothly and swiftly.

Its infield planned maintenance and breakdown maintenance covers all kinds of earthmoving and mining equipment such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Terex, Hitachi, Liebherr, and overburden drills.

Taking pride in its incredible team, AIEG supports each team member as they offer training, maintenance support, and field servicing – alongside any other training required. These exceptional services and solutions are always bespoke to the needs of the client, as no project is the same.

AIEG’s field service team assists with all onsite support of equipment, and it does so seamlessly, with every project in the forefront of its mind. This includes repairs, diagnostics, and servicing using up-to-date computer-based systems such as Electronic Technician (ET) and Service Information System (SIS) – it is this kind of commitment and expertise that makes AIEG stand out from the crowd.

The team provides focused labour-hire for short and long term hire – this entails the provision of on-site supervisors, diesel fitters, and boilermakers who all keep the well-oiled wheel turning. Its customer service is of the highest standard as the team has endless knowledge in the huge range of mining and industrial equipment across the board. No job is too big or too small for AIEG.

By offering its broad, client-focused solutions and guidance, AIEG’s quality control standards guarantee accomplishment and achievement from all angles. Its supply of machinery and equipment are all of gold-standard and top-tier materials and operating systems that make every job possible.

Exceeding all client expectations means a great amount to AIEG, as its mission is to make things easier for each client as they embark on their earthmoving journeys across the world and locally. Its values all circle around its passion of helping clients to feel valued, happy, and satisfied with their results. Its overall goal is to create and expand on relationships with clients so that it can understand their needs and requirements – with long-lasting relationships and returning clients as well as brand new connections and networks.

Credit One – Smarter Finance and Insurance are proud to be finance partners with Australian International Equipment Group and are able to offer low-rate finance solutions on the full Australian International Equipment Group range.

With over 40 leading Australian financiers and insurers, Credit One is able to provide AIEG’s valued clients with the ability to receive the most comprehensive range of finance and insurance goods attainable in the industry. Its finance is accessible, flexible, trustworthy, comprehensive, and efficient. AIEG’s finance options allow for online quotes with same-day approvals – you could save money with AIEG and Credit One combined.

AIEG is more than able to deliver high-excellence professional solutions, services, and maintenance to all of its clients. With offices across Australia including international offices in the UAE and Hong Kong.  AIEG has bases in developing hotspots that ensure a sturdy relationship and accessible services. Its consistency, swift service alongside its subject matter skills make complex – or even seemingly impossible – tasks entirely achievable. There to save the day AIEG grants its clients’ wishes, making their dreams a reality. AIEG is at its clients’ service and offers help at their earliest convenience.

Delivering results across diverse industries and sectors, AIEG guarantees distinction throughout the agricultural, construction, mining, and forestry areas. It offers well-known brands such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Kobelco, John Deere, Case, Terex and much more so that clients can get everything they need to carry out their plans. For construction, AIEG supplies new and used equipment with assorted attachments,( Supplied from Roo Attachments. https://rooattachments.com/) spare parts, and servicing on equipment from Skid Steers, Backhoes, Telehandlers, and mini Excavators in addition to new Excavators and Positack loaders as well as telehandlers.

The mining industry is a huge part of the modern world, and it is important for it to receive the highest functioning equipment. By listening to its customers AIEG utilises its decades of experience to evaluate and support the clients in a way that is unbeatable in the earthmoving sales Industry.

Managing director John Wells says, “We treat all our clients no matter how large or small as if they are our number one customer. We listen, We are honest and We act with Integrity. “

Australian International Equipment Group is a proudly Australian and Veteran-owned business. We are honoured to support those who have and those who continue to serve this great country. Respect, commitment, loyalty and sacrifice. Great ingredients for a successful business and we are honoured to be considered a part of the team”.

AIEG has received spotless reviews and testimonials from its clients and has been referred to many via word of mouth. One of its favourite testimonials, and featured on its website, is from Kira Seeley – Global Account Manager of WRL Shipping Pty Ltd (https://www.wrlshipping.com/) – who says, “We have been working closely with John and the Team from Australian International Equipment Group Limited for over 10 years, providing all their freight forwarding needs. They are great to work with and are prompt and friendly. I highly recommend Australian International Equipment Group to any prospective equipment buyer.”

APAC Insider is proud to present AIEG with the respected title of Best Earthmoving Equipment Supplier 2021. You could say AIEG is truly ground-breaking.

 

For business enquiries, contact Blake Burgess, National Sales Manager from Australian International Equipment Group Pty Ltd on their website – https://www.aiegroup.com.au/ or on their social media profiles:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/69640773/admin/

https://www.instagram.com/aiegrouppl/

https://www.facebook.com/aiegrouppl

https://www.tiktok.com/@australianinternational1?lang=en

Q4 2022

Welcome to the Q4 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

APAC Insider Magazine brings you another issue reflecting the last quarter. There have been huge shifts in many industries, as the world reacts to a myriad of situations. We can’t predict all outcomes but we can certainly take control of our own businesses to impact our clients’ lives for the better. Finding security and order in a world of uncertainty, these companies and individuals alter our perception of life – not just business.

These companies are all offering insight, innovation, and answers to problems for the foreseeable future. They have come a long way and deeply value their loyal customers, as well as newcomers to their services.

Customer service is just as important as the solutions provided by businesses, and Australian International Equipment Group Pty Ltd is bringing everything together as it wins Best Earthmoving Equipment Supplier 2021. Australian International Equipment Group is truly stunning us as it continues to provide functional and reliable earthmoving solutions – all whilst taking care of its many clients.

We are proud to present Australian International Equipment Group alongside a variety of other businesses as they all win such prestigious accolades. Unparalleled in their fields, we enjoy their unique stories.

We hope you enjoy this issue; we wish you all the best for this coming quarter, and we can’t wait to welcome you back for Q1 of APAC Insider Magazine, 2023.

Business Expansion Guide For Entrepreneurs

Thanks to the advancing technology and communication infrastructure, business expansion has become easier. Whether setting up a new branch in the North American region or planning to invest in a new Italian startup, there is an ocean of opportunities for you to explore.

For instance, if you buy stakes in an innovative Italian startup, you can associate your brand name with it. Additionally, these types of investments also make you eligible for residency-by-investment programs and avail citizenship. If this idea seems lucrative, you can contact Bersani Law Firm & Partners for assistance in learning more about the investor visa and citizenship requirements.

Nevertheless, for a successful business expansion (regional or international), you must have an effective plan in hand. And that’s precisely what we’ll discuss in this article. So, let’s cut to the chase.

  • Understanding Market Demand

The first and most critical step of every business expansion is to study the market you are willing to invest in. There is no point in investing if there is a lack of demand for your product or service. Furthermore, consumer preferences vary from country to country. Conducting proper market research will help in making a well-versed decision.

For instance, the Italian government announced an investment of $291 billion in transportation infrastructure. It will facilitate the logistics and transportation businesses in the upcoming years. So, you can make investments in the freight or shipping industry to expand your business operations.

  • Focus On Brand USP

If you are reluctant to switch to a brand new industry, you can focus on setting yourself apart from the competition. Showcase your target audience the brand USP and encourage them to connect with you.

Now, here’s the catch- Do not show your customers what you have to offer. Instead, explain why and how your product or service will add value and convenience to their life.

Believe it or not, it will surely help your brand build a loyal customer base all across the globe.

  • Recruit Local Talent

Hiring local talent is an age-old tactic to boost brand recognition in a new location. It serves two purposes; businesses get to learn about the local culture and market. Secondly, recruiting a local team is more affordable than transferring a few members from your existing team. It ensures that productivity is not hampered with the whole business expansion scenario.

In addition, local talent will add diverse educational backgrounds and proficiency in the language to your business. Thereby, you’ll be able to establish a robust relationship with your customers.

  • Look For Other Investment Opportunities

Bear in mind that business expansion is not restricted to your brand. Instead, you can look for other investment opportunities available in the market and partner with them. For instance, you could invest in Government bonds to enhance brand recognition.

Or, you could become an angel investor of newly found startups and assist them with their financial needs. It will allow you to tap into the new markets and build your business with ease.

To Sum It All Up

Business expansion is a significant decision and must be taken after careful consideration. Hopefully, this short guide will help you cover the key areas of expansion and streamline the further steps.

How Low-Code Development Can Power Healthcare Industry?

A developmental environment that is used to create application software via a graphical user interface is provided by a low-code development platform. There might be two scenarios: a low code platform would require additional coding for specific situations or produce entirely operational applications.

During and after the pandemic, the healthcare departments needed an upgrade. But some companies were left with a siloed legacy problem. How should they keep up if they neither have the time nor the budget to do so? Well! low code development is the answer and the best possible solution. By research, low code is now the best alternative to custom coding. Further details on low code development for Healthcare Industries are mentioned down below.

Healthcare Professionals Get Involved in Production

Low Code platforms are pretty simple; even people with zero coding experience can handle them. In the healthcare department, this plus point is of great importance because it would allow the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, nutritionists, and other medical staff to be involved in the architectural development of the system and its production.

The medical staff is the one who knows more about how things work. So, shouldn`t they be the ones creating the system? Sometimes because of their field, it gets difficult to do such things, but low-coding platforms have made it easy because there are no coding skills required to do the task.

Cut Down on Costs and Maintenance

When a health care department uses other platforms, it strains the IT of the system. Low code reduces that strain and the overall costs of the software development life-cycle. These solutions allow you to deploy a minimum viable product or a working prototype quickly, efficiently, and with minimal coding. And in the meantime, you get more ideas and validation to support your idea to secure some potential investments.

As mentioned earlier, low code systems don`t need a professional to do the job, and anyone can handle it. This means it would reduce the effort and cost of hiring a professional to do the job. You can do it, requiring fewer skills, which will reduce the overall costs and save you lots of money.

Fast Development

The low-code approach reduces engineering effort by helping junior developers and senior engineers work more efficiently.

Because boilerplate code, reusable components, and pre-built templates to speed up development are provided by these platforms. In easy words, instead of making an application from scratch, you are using building blocks to make it. It`s not a head-to-toe development of software. You can always add some solutions to your platform. Low code systems provide faster answers to problems if we compare them to other systems. They work efficiently well, and better than the other platforms of the same type.

Architectures are Easily Scalable

When you are creating a healthcare developmental application, at the start, you have no idea about the number of people using it. It is a factor that depends on marketing. If you have marketed well and the app gets popular. This results in an influx of healthcare professionals using it, and then you will have to make some changes according to people`s feedback. In low code platforms, it is not that difficult to make some changes as the system`s architecture is easily scalable. Most enterprises are now using low code platforms because they are easily scalable.

Replacing the Legacy Modules

Many companies and enterprises in the Healthcare Department are still stuck with the isolated legacy system. Updating and adding new features to this system is an actual headache. This is why they need to shift the low code developmental platforms.

The low code platforms replace the legacy modules because it is easy to add new stuff while using the low code platforms. They make life easy.

Wrapping It Up!

The low code platforms are all about reducing the costs of engineering and professional coders. They power the healthcare industry by involving healthcare professionals in the architectural development of the system. Once developed, the system is not difficult to modify and is easily scalable. The low-code platform does not require some high-tech skills to get the job done. Even if you have never done coding before in life, you can handle it. The low code development platform is the only option to make the process faster, cheaper, and accessible to people outside of IT.

Best Boutique Dispute Resolution Firm – South East Asia

Having extensive experience, Judy Lim Pek Eng decided to set up on her own nearly three decades ago and hasn’t looked back since! We find out more from Judy, and her legal associate Joshua Wu Kai-Ming, in the wake of the firm being recognised in the APAC Legal Awards 2022.

 

Founded by Judy Lim Pek Eng in 1997, P. E. Lim is a boutique civil litigation law firm based in Petaling Jaya.

Throughout her 25 plus years in legal practice, Judy has appeared at all levels of the courts in Malaysia and is regularly engaged as a counsel in appellate matters in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

With a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of London, she went on post LL.B to obtain her Certificate of Legal Practice.

Having chambered at Messrs. Chan & Kiru, under the tutelage of Dato’​ K Kirubakaran, Judy was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1992. She was also a legal associate at Wan Haron Sukri & Nordin and Chung & Chan before deciding to venture into sole proprietorship by setting up P. E. Lim.

“My practice areas include commercial law, construction law, family law, insolvency law, property law, succession law, and tort law,” Judy enthuses.

The firm has more than 100 clients and have completed more than 800 cases since the firm was established 25 years ago.

Judy is joined at her practice by Joshua Wu Kai-Ming, who came onboard in March 2021 following his role as a Legal Associate at Josephine, L K Chow & Co.

Joshua obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), Upper Second Class Honours, from the University of London in 2017. He then went on to pursue the Certificate in Legal Practice and completed it in 2018. He was a Pupil-in-Chambers at Sreenevasan and was called to the Malaysian Bar in 2019.

“As a civil litigator, I am passionate about public interest litigation,” Joshua states. “Specifically matters involving administrative law and constitutional law.”

Joshua is experienced in administrative law, commercial law, employment and industrial relations law, insolvency law, family law, and succession law.

  1. E. Lim combines litigation experience with youthful dynamism.

Recently, P. E. Lim was recognised in the APAC Legal Awards 2022 and bestowed with the prestigious title of Best Boutique Dispute Resolution Firm – South East Asia and the future for Judy and the firm is looking bright!

For business enquiries, contact Judy Lim Pek Eng from P. E. Lim on their website – www.pelim.my

Best Business Law Firm 2022 – Greater Western Sydney & Client Services Excellence Award 2022

It’s not always easy to be innovative in the world of corporate law, but that is just what Zohra Ali has done – and continues to do – with the launch of her boutique ‘online-only’ law practice, Corporate Legal. We look at how the firm has fared over the last three years since its inception, in the wake of it being recognised in the APAC Legal Awards 2022.

 

Founded in July 2020 by Zohra Ali, Corporate Legal is a law firm with a difference in the fact that it is designed to be the ‘one-stop shop’ for small to medium-sized businesses in Australia, providing all their business legal service’s needs, and operating entirely digitally, reserving face-to-face interactions for customer relationship-building purposes only.

Having worked for more than five years at a boutique law firm, Zohra discovered that there was a large gap between the service needs of customers and what they were getting from their law firm partners. Zohra also discovered the potential for leveraging systems and processes using the technological advancements of the last decade to provide legal services to customers at a lower cost.

These realisations led to Zohra’s motivation to launch a law practice that would make customer service the number one goal in servicing clients and doing so at a low cost. “By operating digitally, Corporate Legal has become easily accessible to its clients,” she elaborates. “It has, since its launch, serviced its clients to the highest standard and to date has a 100% 5-star review score on Google.”

Having been an active member of the legal profession since 2011, Zohra has developed a wealth of knowledge spanning across several legal practice areas, including debt recovery, business and contract disputes, conveyancing, leasing, estate planning, and probate and administration.

With her area of specialty being corporate legal services, Zohra also has extensive experience in civil litigation matters, and complex commercial litigation matters involving property, deceased estates, and family provision claims.

Her educational background comprises of a Bachelor of Social Science and a Bachelor of Laws completed with Western Sydney University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice completed with Australian National University, and a Master of Laws (Business Law) obtained from Southern Cross University.

Zohra’s innovative thinking has had a significant impact on the growth of the business. By having an innovative approach to developing systems and processes, by which Zohra constantly assesses how things be done more efficiently and effectively using systems and processes, Corporate Legal has been able to more than double its revenue within the first two years of business.

Just because the firm operates digitally, it doesn’t operate less effectively. Zohra tells us that it provides top notch customer service, with a specific setoff KPIs relating to customer service that are rigorously met every single time, with every single client. These objectives centre around being polite and courteous, responding to missed calls and emails within a specific period, providing honest advice, and always listening to the customer.

“I believe in always being kind, polite and respectful of people,” Zohra enthuses. “It is very easy to be kind, and sometimes we forget that when servicing customers in the legal world. Lawyers generally love to problem solve and often go into problem-solving mode immediately not realising that by doing this, we sound like we are rushing the customer off the phone, and making the customer not feel listened to.”

Moving forward, Zohra is fully committed to providing the same stellar corporate legal services she has become renowned for, always assessing and improving wherever she can.

“Constant feedback from clients ensures that Corporate Legal can continue to improve its customer service levels and fill any ‘gaps’ which may be identified,” she says. “This is my commitment to my clients.”

Recently, the firm was rewarded for its diligence and dedication by being recognised in the APAC Legal Awards 2022 and crowned with not one, but two prestigious titles. First, it receives the Best Business Law Firm 2022 – Greater Western Sydney, and secondly, it gains the much-coveted Client Services Excellence Award 2022.

 

For business enquiries, contact Zohra Ali from Corporate Legal on their website – www.corporatelegal.com.au

Best Small Business Employment Law Advisory – Malaysia

Opening its doors in January 2021, the past year has been a whirlwind for Irene Wong Chambers, a fledgling business law firm. Irene Wong Chambers has emerged as one of the leading small law firms in the nation, with clients turning to the firm for its expertise and unique perspective.

Irene Wong Chambers (IW Chambers) is, in essence, a one woman show. Led by Irene Wong, from whom it takes its name, the small business law firm offers an array of services, ranging from business advisory to dispute resolutions. The company firm has extensive experience in advising SMEs and businesses on employment matters, contracts and licensing, shareholders and partnership issues, breach of fiduciary duties, recovery of monies fraudulently misappropriated and debt recovery. IW Chambers takes pride in its ability to offer such services to an exceptional standard whilst remaining competitive in cost.

‘IW Chambers works to resolve business legal troubles as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible to enable business owners to return their full attention to operating their businesses successfully,’ Irene explains. ‘No one wants to spend time working on a business, they much rather work in the business and grow it.’

Indeed, this is why clients turn to IW Chambers – they want expert advice and guidance that will empower them to get back to what they do best. IW Chambers endeavours offer its clients excellent value for its services, providing them with tried and tested solutions that are guaranteed to cultivate efficacy. The highly focussed practice leverages advanced technology in order to supply clients with the knowledge and sophistication of a large law firm, but with the one-on-one attention and value that only a small firm can offer.

Much of this expertise links to Irene’s impressive resume; she has spent over 15 years aiding businesses, resulting in her unique ability to view an issue from all perspectives. Irene notes, ‘having practiced in larger law firms, I have vast experience in advising and litigating many complex business-related matters for listed companies, private companies and individuals. I routinely handled cases involving business partners and employees’ dishonesty, breach of fiduciary duties, shareholders and boardroom disputes, recovery of monies fraudulently misappropriated, emergency injunctive reliefs, breach of contracts and debt recovery.’

Consequently, her approach to business has been shaped drastically by such experiences. Her style has become one of innovation, transparency, and accessibility, with client-centricity being the fundamental element within her method. Simply, Irene is a forward-thinking problem solver who always has her clients’ best interests in mind; she knows that no two clients or situations are the same.

‘My clients rely on me to be a highly-efficient and strategic voice of reason as well as their legal expert. They appreciate having my attention and services rather than from some junior lawyers’ she adds.

The company’s unprecedented success over the past year has allowed Irene to focus on expanding IW Chambers the future, for which she is incredibly ambitious. But rest assured, Irene will still be very much hands-on and the firm will continue to leverage on technology to help better serve their clients.

IW Chambers hopes to see more businesses – particularly young solopreneur and entrepreneur as well as start-ups – thrive, therefore, the firm has started to offer Outside General Counsel Services, where it takes on the role of an external general counsel. In this capacity, IW Chambers advises clients on operational legal issues as they arise, provides assistance with contracts, customer or vendor disputes, employee issues, and legal compliance matters. Of course, in true IW Chambers style, the rates are negotiable depending on the client’s individual needs.

For business enquiries, contact Irene Wong from Irene Wong Chambers via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.iwchambers.com

A Guide to Business Continuity: Implementing a Plan For Your Business

What Is Business Continuity? 

Business continuity is a company or organisation’s ability to retain and maintain essential business functions during a disaster as well as how well it can recover from the situation. By ensuring that there are sufficient business continuity resources in place, an organisation can prevent serious interruptions to mission-critical operations and services.

Why Is Business Continuity Needed?

Having a business continuity plan means your business can react and adapt to situations and interruptions, such as cyber attacks, extreme weather events, power outages, political unrest and more. Having a plan in place means financial losses can be avoided, time can be saved and reputations protected, which is beneficial to your business, employees and customers. 

Protecting reputation and third-party relationships 

Businesses need to prevent unwanted downtime to ensure that critical functions and services aren’t affected. Any suppliers or external stakeholders that your organisation works closely with will also suffer the consequences of business disruptions, meaning your reputation is at risk too. A good response to interruptions will instill confidence in your brand and could attract new business and solidify your relationship with current clients and service providers.

Protecting employee well-being

Without business continuity, communication could break down as employees  scramble to try and restore order, while no one will know who to report to or what actions need to take place which could affect the well-being of the employees under your care. Every employee should know how to move forward with operations in an emergency, with a clear hierarchy structure in place. Pre-planning and preparedness are crucial when the unexpected happens. 

Ensuring regulatory standards are met

Globally, there are corporate governance regulations that require directors and key stakeholders to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence to mitigate risks facing an organisation. With an effective business continuity plan in place, you can ensure you’re meeting the requirements of a growing body of legislation.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan is a document used by organisations to outline procedures to follow during emergency disruptions. This comprehensive document covers a wide range of contingency plans to ensure that all areas of your business are covered, including business processes, assets, human resources and business partners to ensure a consistent and effective response. 

How Do You Begin a Business Continuity Plan?

The first step is to conduct a full Business Impact Assessment (BIA) which predicts the consequences of a significant disruption to your business processes and clarifies the potential losses that could be incurred in each circumstance. 

Please see this guide for a comprehensive list of what to include in a BIA. 

Writing Your Plan: Step By Step Instructions 

  1. Identify your business-critical processes — Critical business processes are those necessary for the survival of the company in the case of loss of revenue, customer service interruption or reputation damage. E.g. Manufacturing — what you would need to keep your production line going. Finance — how to recover important documents that contain sensitive information. IT — is home working feasible for your business?
  2. Specify the target recovery time for these processes — How long would it take for the loss of a business-critical process to do irreparable damage to your business? Your target recovery time for each process you identified should be within this window. Determine how long you could tolerate a disruption: this is known as a recovery time objective (RTO). Your business continuity plan should enable you to mitigate disruptions within this time window.
  3. Define the specific resources needed for each process — Once you’ve identified how long you’ll need to restore a process, you’ll need to outline everything you’ll need to do so, and plan within that time frame. You could split this into internal resources (key people in your organisation, passwords, office space, specialist equipment) and external resources (e.g. supplies, transportation). Along with identifying how readily available they can be, and for how long you’ll need them.
  4. Describe the steps needed to restore each process — If your business is disrupted by an IT failure, fire, flood or an extreme weather event, what is your plan to address this? Devise a backup plan for each key operation you have, detailing who to contact, what resources you’ll need, and how much you might need to spend in order to restore each process.
  5. Decide on a schedule to update the information — Once you’ve compiled the above 4 points, you’ll have a strong business continuity plan that you can action. But it won’t be bulletproof forever. As your business evolves, so will the technology it uses and the relationships it has. Therefore, you need to plan ways to keep the information up-to-date. It might be that you decide on a regular date that the whole plan needs to be revisited, whether that’s yearly, quarterly or even monthly. Alternatively, you might decide it’s better to update small elements of the plan as and when they change: e.g. if a password to a critical folder is changed, there’s someone in your organisation who is responsible for updating your business continuity plan accordingly.

Remember The 4 P’s of Business Continuity Planning 

Use the four P’s below when reviewing the initial draft of your business continuity plan to ensure you’ve considered the impact on each of them at every stage

People — This covers your staff, customers and clients.

Processes — This includes the technology and strategies your business uses to keep everything running.

Premises — Covers the buildings and spaces from which your business operates.

Providers — This includes parties that your business relies on for getting resources, like your suppliers and partners.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 APAC Legal Awards

United Kingdom, 2022- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2022 Legal Awards.

Now in its seventh year, the APAC Insider Legal Awards recognises the efforts of law firms and legal advisors throughout the Asia Pacific Region. After a difficult couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the legal sector has rallied to regain lost ground, and arguably come out the other side stronger.

On the eve of the announcement, Awards Co-ordinator Holly Blackwood commented on the success of the deserving winners: “I would like to congratulate all of the winners in this year’s Legal Awards. After another difficult year in many industries, these businesses have continued the thrive under pressure. We all wish you the best for the coming year ahead and can’t wait to see what you do next!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/legal-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region.

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 85,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

How Much Does Business Electricity Cost?

Running a business can be a very stressful enterprise. Beyond trying to provide the best possible product or service, you have a plethora of aspects to worry about; your expenses are one. Here’s our guide on business electricity prices and how to handle them.

How Does Business Electricity Pricing Work?

Business electricity pricing, like domestic, is primarily based on consumption, but the greatest factor that influences business electricity pricing is the size of your business.

Your bill is based on a unit rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and can either be calculated on a fixed or variable rate tariff.

The Average Price For Business Electricity

These are the current business electricity prices UK customers may get, on average:

Business Size

Average Annual Electricity Usage (kWh), Daily Standing Charge, Average Price Per kWh (GBP)

Micro

5,000 – 15,000, 39p , 44p

Small

15,000 – 25,000, 33p, 44p

Medium

25,000 – 50,000, 47p, 43p

The prices in the UK are quite high compared to other parts of the world:

Country – Average Price Per kWh (USD)

China- $0.084

Australia – $0.172

New Zealand – $0.153

India – $0.092

Malaysia – $0.070

Philippines – $0.165

What Influences Business Energy Prices?

Energy markets can be highly complex, here are some factors that influence business energy prices:

Currency – Many countries import electricity and gas, and electricity prices are linked to gas prices, so the price of gas and electricity is influenced by the exchange rate of the currencies in the two countries involved.

Temperature – When there is a measurable change in temperature, energy prices may change too. For example, if the temperature falls then the demand for gas and electricity can go up, which will inevitably increase prices.

Global events – Global events such as conflict or natural disasters in countries that produce oil or gas can significantly hinder production and accessibility, which then pushes the price up.

What Is A Good Rate For Business Electricity?

Determining whether a rate is ‘good’ largely depends on the size of your business. It’s best to compare different suppliers and look at the amount you’re spending on electricity, in conjunction with your monthly revenue, to determine whether your current rate is befitting.

How To Reduce Your Business’s Energy Bill

In order to reduce your energy bill, you can employ most of the same practices that you would if you were trying to do the same in your home. Try the following:

Switch to energy-efficient appliances – Buying energy-efficient equipment is a once-off cost that potentially could pay off well in the future. You might not see the benefit of doing this immediately, so bear in mind that this is more of a long-term solution.

Develop a culture of sustainability – Apart from investing in energy-efficient equipment, you need to communicate the benefits of operating sustainably to your staff, the most pertinent benefit being bettering your financial health. This could also come in the form of implementing simple work policies such as switching off equipment that is not in use.

Perform frequent energy audits – As the name suggests, an energy audit is the assessment of your business’s energy consumption, needs, and efficiency. After the audit, you will be provided with bespoke recommendations to better your energy efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Switch Energy Suppliers? There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to switching energy suppliers. However, with commercial gas and electricity, there is generally a limited timeframe in which you can do this, primarily because of the nature of energy contracts.

Commercial energy suppliers will typically differ very slightly in terms of their rates and energy prices rarely drop. So, if there happens to be a drop in price, then capitalising upon it to lock the price in may be a good idea.

Is Business Energy Cheaper Than Residential? If you’re pondering whether your business should switch to being fully remote, then you might be contemplating whether business energy is cheaper than residential. If using average unit rates for reference, businesses pay substantially less. Additionally, you’ll find that the larger the business, the lower the unit rate. However, there are other factors to consider.

Do Businesses Get Support For Energy Bills? Luckily for businesses, some energy suppliers offer schemes or grants geared towards improving your energy efficiency, which can, in turn, decrease your energy bill. A prime example would be the provision of subsidies for the purchase costs of energy-efficient equipment.

CGTN: China Offers Solutions to Fix Deficit in Global Security, Development

Development and security are the common concerns of all countries, the pursuit of which is hampered by once-in-a-century global changes intertwined with the unprecedented pandemic.

In the Uzbek city of Samarkand, leaders from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries along with multiple observer countries and dialogue partners are meeting in person from September 15 to 16, setting an example of how countries can better work with each other in the face of global challenges.

Having committed to building a community of a shared future, Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed a series of initiatives for global development and security, contributing Chinese wisdom to solving the pressing problems now facing mankind. His proposals have been greeted with praise from the international community, not least the SCO countries.

Common security, development for all

At April’s Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), an idea taking security as the guiding principle, mutual respect as the fundamental requirement, indivisible security as the important principle and building a security community as the long-term goal, in order to foster a new type of security that replaces confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win results.

During his bilateral meetings with world leaders in Samarkand, the Chinese president reiterated that countries should support each other on issues concerning sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and other core interests, echoing the GSI.

Xi also urged efforts to safeguard the security interests of the region as well as the common interests of developing countries and emerging markets during his talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying China and Russia need to enhance coordination under multilateral frameworks including the SCO, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and BRICS to promote solidarity and mutual trust among the various parties.

“In the face of changes of the world, of our times and of history, China will work with Russia to fulfill their responsibilities as major countries and play a leading role in injecting stability into a world of change and disorder,” Xi told Putin.

At the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2021, Xi put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which emphasizes openness, coordination and sharing.

Xi, during his bilateral meetings in Samarkand, repeatedly voiced China’s willingness to expand cooperation with other countries and build stronger synergy between respective development strategies so as to help achieve common development and prosperity.

Leaders endorsed the GSI and GDI during their talks with Xi. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov on Thursday said he viewed both as important initiatives for promoting world peace and development, while President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov said the initiatives were conducive to achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Usher in a better future

This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Kazakhstan as well as between China and Uzbekistan. On Wednesday and Thursday, President Xi paid state visits to both two countries, bringing bilateral ties to a higher level.

Both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been a part of the ancient Silk Road linking Asia and Europe. Now the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Xi has carried forward that spirit across the Eurasian continent, bringing SCO members even closer.

The import and export of goods between China and Kazakhstan totaled $25.25 billion in 2021, up 17.6 percent year on year, and the trade volume between China and Uzbekistan amounted to $8.05 billion in 2021, up 21.6 percent from 2020, showing bilateral cooperation has withstood the test of the pandemic and shown strong resilience.

The unbreakable friendship between China and Kazakhstan will contribute to the growth of positive and progressive forces in the world and to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi told Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday.

Tokayev hailed Xi’s visit as a new milestone in the history of Kazakhstan-China relations, adding the BRI has become an important engine driving the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Thursday called the Chinese president’s state visit “historic,” saying it would help consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, chart a course for future cooperation, and elevate the bilateral partnership to a new height featuring new vitality and new prospects.

Xi further noted that China and Central Asian countries have a shared future and a deep stake in each other’s security and stability, and called for efforts to building a more just and equitable international governance system during talks with other leaders.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-09-16/China-offers-solutions-to-fix-deficit-in-global-security-development–1dmIiiQWTeg/index.html

CGTN: China Takes Concrete Action in Boosting Global Economic Recovery

At the recently concluded Samarkand summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China expressed its readiness to work with the global countries to deepen practical cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, infrastructure, and maintaining the stability of supply chains.

Efforts are already under way. The International Forum on Resilient and Stable Industrial and Supply Chains began in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in east China on Monday.

Serving as a platform where global industrial insiders can boost exchanges and cooperation, the forum aims to improve the resilience and stability of global industrial and supply chains by promoting experience sharing and building a broad consensus, according to Zhejiang Provincial Government.

Vital guarantee for promoting world economy

China attaches great importance to maintaining the resilience and stability of industrial and supply chains and has called on the global society to jointly build and share global industrial and supply chains on many occasions.

In his congratulatory letter to the forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping also noted that maintaining the resilience and stability of global industrial and supply chains is a vital guarantee for promoting the development of the world economy and serves the common interests of people globally.

China will unswervingly ensure that the industrial and supply chains are public goods in nature, safeguard the security and stability of its industrial and supply chains, take concrete actions to deepen international cooperation on industrial and supply chains, and make sure that people of all countries share the fruits of development, he said.

China ready for more effort

During the first half of the year, solid effort has been made to smooth the industrial and supply chains, consolidating the recovery momentum of the industrial economy as factory activities were disrupted, and logistics bottlenecks emerged in some regions due to the epidemic, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Thanks to the effort, the industrial economy maintained recovery growth. From January to July this year, the added value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 3.5% year on year, as per the ministry.

Xi said in the letter that China is willing to work with other countries to seize the new opportunities presented by the latest scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation and build a global industrial and supply chain system that is secure, stable, smooth, efficient, open, inclusive, and mutually beneficial.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-09-19/Xi-sends-congratulatory-letter-to-forum-on-industrial-supply-chains-1dse5hIiRIQ/index.html

Everything You Should Know About Car Loans

Cars are expensive. Hence, buying one requires a lot of research and planning. While cash purchase is simpler and cheaper than loaning as no interest is accrued, such bulk payments can often lead to financial risks. Therefore, a majority of people choose car loans to finance their cars.

But you might get overwhelmed with so many things to consider to acquire a car loan.

So, you can check the information below that could help you understand car loans better.

How does a car loan work?

When you don’t have enough cash to make full payment of your car outright, you can take a loan from a lender. Usually, the loan term ranges between 2 and 7 years.

The longer the loan term, the lesser your monthly payments are. However, you may pay a lot more due to the interest on the borrowed sum. So, it is best to know the cost you might incur for different loan periods.

Should you go for a personal loan or a car loan?

If you take a personal loan, you either have to go for a secured or unsecured loan. For a secured loan, you have to offer up collateral so the lender can claim it if you default on loan repayment.

However, for unsecured loans, you don’t have the concern of collateral but may have to worry about higher interest rates.

Opting for a car loan eliminates the risk of losing your asset as the car is repossessed if you default on loan repayments. Also, car loans are secured and offer lower interest rates than personal loans. So, you can easily qualify for car loans. However, you must understand loan terms and conditions before signing the agreement.

What is a balloon payment?

A balloon payment is a form of loan where the monthly payment amount decreases when you make a single substantial payment at the end of the loan term. So, while lower monthly payments may help you deal with your finances better, you must remain prepared for the big pay-out by the end of the repayment term.

How much should you put down as a down payment?

Down payment is what you pay upfront to secure your loan and the vehicle. Paying a higher deposit is always advantageous as it will reduce the interest rate and the amount you pay for monthly payments.

It is best to deposit at least 20 per cent of the purchase price. Also, if you own a car, you can sell it or trade it to secure the deposit amount.

What is the best loan term for your car?

The choice of the loan term will depend entirely on your ability to make loan repayments. So, you must check your finances and get an estimate of costs. Knowing your affordability, you won’t have to stretch your budget or incur high-interest rates.

How can you compare car loans?

You must have some basic information to compare car loans. They include:

The vehicle’s cost

The amount you can deposit

The sum of money for monthly repayments

Way of using the car

Financial condition

The above information can give you a head start on some loan options so you can pick the vendor that provides you with the best deal for your situation.

When you take a loan, your reliability and integrity are tested, affecting your credit score. One late payment may not make much difference, but if you make recurring defaults, it will reflect poorly on your credit history, and your future loan applications may not get approved. So, you must know what you can afford before proceeding with the loan.

Asia’s Fashion Showcase CENTRESTAGE Concludes – Sustainable Fashion is seen as a Key Promotional Strategy

Asia’s premier fashion event CENTRESTAGE, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK), which is backed by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region*, drew to a successful close on 11 September. The extravaganza brought together more than 240 fashion brands from 15 countries and regions, offering visitors a trip through numerous phygital experiences, including visits to the metaverse. More than 2,700 trade buyers visited the physical fair and joined online business meetings. As of today, the HKTDC has arranged about 740 business meetings, enabling exhibitors to explore business opportunities both online and offline. The three-day fair also attracted more than 22,500 public visitors to shop for fashion items, up 30% from last year.

HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Sophia Chong said: “Technology has become an integral part of our lives. In this digital era, the fashion industry has been at the forefront and is making forays into the area where technology meets fashion, opening up new possibilities for the industry. At the same time, environmental protection remains a topic of global concern and an imminent issue which businesses need to respond. “Inclusion and Diversity”, the central theme of this year’s CENTRESTAGE, not only emphasises individual uniqueness and aesthetics, but also promotes caring for society and the pursuit of sustainability in fashion to achieve diversity and gain forward momentum in the industry.”

Industry cautiously optimistic, nearly 30% expect sales growth

An on-site survey during the show gauged product trends and the fashion industry’s outlook. Regarding sales prospects and the market outlook for next year, 28% of respondents expected an overall increase in business in the coming year, while 39% thought it would remain steady, reflecting a cautious optimism among industry players. More than 50% of respondents expected production or sourcing costs to increase, while 44% saw no change. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industry’s operations over the past two years; 66% of respondents indicated that the impact included a decline in sales/profits, 28% reduced the number of brick-and-mortar stores, while 38% expanded e-commerce business.

Focusing on technology to address environment and sustainability issues is the biggest trend in the fashion industry, with 30% of respondents expecting sustainable fashion or functional outfits to be the most popular next year. In addition, 62% agreed or completely agreed that launching sustainable fashion collections will be the key promotional strategy next year. Meanwhile, 42% of respondents agreed that seasonless fashion collections was trending, while 41% believed the see-now, buy-now strategy was also trending.

Riding the tech wave to promote sustainable fashion

This year’s CENTRESTAGE attracted 60 local and global sustainable fashion brands among other labels, showcasing cutting-edge designs and trends in sustainable fashion. At the Fashion Hong Kong Runway Show held on the first day of the event (9 September), six local designer brands – namely 112mountainyam, ANGUS TSUI, Bettie Haute Couture, BLIND by JW, SUN=SEN, and V VISSI, showcased their environmentally friendly spring/summer 2023 collections using upcycled fabrics. ITOCHU Textile Prominent (Asia) was one of the local buyers in attendance. Celia Lo, Manager of the company’s apparel department, said the event helped promote local designer brands. She found that Hong Kong sustainable fashion label, V VISSI, which uses recycled fabrics in its collections, is very appealing, saying that ITOCHU will explore business collaboration with the label.

Hong Kong exhibitor Match Showroom showcased 14 sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands at CENTRESTAGE this year. The company’s Founder and Brand Director Maggie Lui said the fair offered a comprehensive platform to promote brands that embrace sustainability, upcycling and the use of natural fabrics. “We have successfully raised our profile, enhanced the brand awareness and promoted our philosophy on sustainable fashion and lifestyle products through our presence here. Two watch companies exhibiting at the concurrent Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair approached us to explore the possibility of collaboration. This is the perfect place to gain exposure and to promote our brands,” Ms Lui said.

Host of runway shows promote local design talents and create business opportunities

The three-day exhibition featured 30 fashion shows and events. The spotlight opening gala show CENTRESTAGE ELITES included the 2023 spring/summer collections from local designers Derek Chan and Mite Chan’s renowned brand “DEMO”, as well as acclaimed Japanese designer Hideaki Shikama’s brand “Children of the discordance”. The show attracted scores of industry professionals, celebrities and fashionistas.

In addition to the main runway show, FASHIONALLY Collection #19 featured a number of local brands, including ARTO., CAR|2IE, FromClothingof, KEVIN HO, Lapeewee, REDEMPTIVE and WHY. Lenzing Group, headquartered in Austria, is a leading supplier of textile fibres. The company’s Global Head of Digital Brand Marketing, Vincent Leung, said Hong Kong is a hub in Asia and has the edge as a platform for businesses expanding into Mainland China. The fair is a great place to understand the latest market trends and discover local rising fashion talents. “Hong Kong’s young fashion designers have strong potential for growth,” Mr Leung said. “We have already collaborated with local brand ARTO., and identified two other designer brands – ABI and moonone – we will work together on launching new collections using our sustainable fibres.”

Three other FASHIONALLY presentations were held, with three emerging local fashion brands – Wilsonkaki, along with first-time exhibitors Kowloon City Boy and VO-YAGE – showcasing their latest collections. Focusing on supply and trading of high-end yarn from Japan, Sawada Hong Kong is a well-established garment manufacturer with a history spanning 54 years. Vivian Tam, the company’s Manager, said CENTRESTAGE helps fashion industry players explore new partnerships and opportunities. The company connected to two local menswear brands, Sred Namal and VO-YAGE during the fair to explore future collaboration.

* Disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organisers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.

ADDX Launches Cash Management Solution, in Tie-Up with Lion Global Investors

Dubbed “ADDX Earn”, the first two funds launched are managed by OCBC Group’s Lion Global Investors and they comprise high-quality, low-volatility liquid debt instruments.

Asia’s largest private market exchange ADDX has launched a cash management tool that allows investors with excess funds in their wallets to earn interest, instead of letting their cash sit idle. Named ADDX Earn, the solution aims to withstand short-term volatility while preserving capital.

The product line was curated to boost the returns of investors who have deposited money in their ADDX wallets, but have yet to decide on which private market product to take part in. Some of the idle capital may also have come from previous investment earnings on ADDX. Target returns for products under ADDX Earn are designed to be higher than short-term bank deposit rates – which is where many investors otherwise store undeployed capital.

The first two funds to be launched under the ADDX Earn umbrella are by Lion Global Investors, a fund manager that is a part of the OCBC Group.

The LionGlobaI SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund and LionGlobaI USD Enhanced Liquidity Fund are invested in high-quality portfolios of debt instruments, diversified across a wide range of issuers and tenors while maintaining weighted average credit ratings of “A”. The two funds have weighted average portfolio durations of less than a year, which gives Lion Global the flexibility to adjust portfolio allocations in response to changing interest rates and market conditions. Investors can redeem their investments through ADDX on a weekly basis. In addition, the funds target low-volatility assets, which are well-suited for the current market environment that has seen increased volatility in other asset classes.

For both funds, interest is accrued daily. As of 31 July 2022, the LionGlobaI SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund had a weighted average yield to maturity of 2.22% p.a., while that of the LionGlobaI USD Enhanced Liquidity Fund was 2.38% p.a. These rates change monthly depending on the prevailing interest rate environment and the underlying assets held by the funds.

Gerard Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Lion Global Investors, said: “Our liquidity funds are typically used by financial advisers and more recently by digital players.  We are therefore delighted to have a private market exchange use our liquidity funds to provide a solution for their investors’ excess cash.”

ADDX Chief Executive Officer Oi-Yee Choo said: “Cash should never sit idle. This is especially true at a time when investors are turning to cash cushions as they carefully weigh their investment options amid rising inflation, a volatile market and an uncertain global economic outlook. With ADDX Earn, we are presenting to investors low-risk, money market funds in a format that is liquid and reduces the likelihood of negative returns.”

She added: “ADDX Earn represents an expansion of our product range in our constant effort to improve as a private market exchange through observing and responding to investor behaviour and need. It is an important building block in the financial services ecosystem we are constructing that is designed for investors, and not just for large corporations. We want to offer investors a full shelf of products – ranging from those with a higher risk-return profile such as hedge funds and venture capital, to those with a lower risk-return profile, such as real estate funds, investment grade bonds, as well as cash management solutions at the tail end of the spectrum, such as these two Lion Global funds.”

Founded in 2017, the SGX-backed ADDX currently serves individual accredited investors from 39 countries spanning Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas (except the US). Using blockchain and smart contract technology, ADDX reduces manual interventions in the issuance, custody and distribution of private market products. The resulting efficiency from the use of digital securities allows the platform to fractionalise investments in a scalable and commercially viable manner, bringing minimum investment sizes down from US$1 million to US$10,000 and thereby widening investor access to the private markets. To date, ADDX has listed around 40 deals on its platform involving blue-chip names such as Hamilton Lane, Partners Group, Investcorp, Singtel, UOB, CGS-CIMB, as well as Temasek-owned entities Mapletree, Azalea, SeaTown and Fullerton Fund Management. Asset classes available on ADDX include private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, private credit, real estate, debt and structured products.

Is China Becoming a Green Colussus? New Solar and Wind Park to Produce 240% More Energy Than All Renewables in Germany combined

  •  New solar and wind park in China: Total output 240% higher than all renewables in Germany combined
  • The Middle Kingdom’s planned park would even have a higher total output than all the wind energy and PV plants in the EU
  • China aims to be climate-neutral by 2060
  • Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant (2020) are 8.2 tonnes in China and 13.7 tonnes in the USA
  • Ukraine war could give renewables a boost worldwide
  • Stock exchange floor: Global Clean Energy ETF up 3.3% in 3-month review

China wants to build a huge solar and wind park in the Gobi Desert, which is planned to have a total capacity of 450 gigawatts. To put this into perspective: the total capacity of all renewable energy sources in Germany is 132.3 gigawatts. The planned park in the Middle Kingdom would thus even have a higher total output than all wind energy and PV plants in the European Union combined, as shown in a new infographic by Block-Builders.de.

In the European Union, for example, the total capacity of wind energy is 220 gigawatts, with PV systems responsible for 165 gigawatts. Wind and solar energy play an almost equal role in Germany, whereas other renewable energies such as biomass, hydropower and others are declining in significance.

Comparing the most prominent countries in terms of installed capacity of wind turbines, China is already in undisputed first place – even without the giant park currently being planned in the Gobi Desert. In 2020, China generated 273 gigawatts with onshore wind turbines alone. The United States of America comes in second place with 118 gigawatts, followed by Germany with 54 gigawatts. Of the 10 largest manufacturers of onshore wind turbines (in terms of new installations), 7 are from China.

China is constantly pushing for a green turnaround and aims to be climate-neutral by 2060. In absolute terms, the most populous country still has the highest CO₂ emissions on earth – but in relative terms, this is far from the case. In 2020, China emitted an average of 8.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per inhabitant, while countries such as Saudi Arabia (17 tonnes), Australia (15.2 tonnes), Canada (14.4 tonnes) and the United States of America (13.7 tonnes) emit considerably more.

Although China is making rapid progress, other countries are also increasingly focusing on renewable energies. The Ukraine war has also made it painfully clear to German players how strongly dependent they still are on fossil fuels. Investors stand to profit considerably from the green turnaround – yet the corresponding securities have been rather quiet recently, as a look at the performance of the Global Clean Energy ETF makes clear. The 3-month review shows a gain of 3.3%, although it has lost almost 3.3% of its value in the last six months.

The Trajectory Of Growth In E-commerce In Southeast Asia — A Case Of Indonesia

Countries in Southeast Asia are experiencing serious growth in e-commerce.

E-commerce sales are expected to reach nearly $90 billion this year, up about $16 billion from last year, according to eMarketer. E-commerce in the region is projected to pass the $100 billion mark by 2023, a significant increase from $37.22 billion in 2019.

Unlike other geographies that are forecasted to experience moderate growth, Southeast Asia might witness a 20.6% increase, the largest globally. Behind Southeast Asia is Latin America, which would be the only region to hit the 20% threshold this year.

Which Countries In Particular?

E-commerce sales in four countries are projected to grow faster than in all of Southeast Asia this year, and two of them — the Philippines and Indonesia — are in the region.

The Philippines ranks first with a growth rate of 25.9%, while Indonesia comes third at 23%. The other countries are India with 25.5% and Brazil, which is expected to grow by 22.2%.

Why Indonesia?

Indonesia’s e-commerce adoption is one of the largest in the world. In 2020, up to 90% of internet users between ages 16 and 64 purchased something online.

Indonesians are “among the world’s most passionate adopters of digital technology”. According to the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., an average Indonesian spends four hours per day on the internet using a handheld device — twice the time spent by a U.S. resident.

With 99.15 million users, the country has the fourth-largest population of Meta Platforms Inc.’s (NASDAQ: META) Instagram users and the largest in the Southeast Asia region. The country also is among the largest for number of Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR) users at 18.45 million.

E-commerce In Indonesia

Of Indonesia’s 278.3 million people 138 million do their shopping online, according to a report by the Institute of Southern Asian Studies. The e-commerce industry accounts for 72% of the total value of the digital economy.

Indonesia’s e-commerce sector is expected to reach almost $63 billion in 2022, according to Statista. By 2025, the market is projected to reach $90 billion.

The e-commerce market seemingly runs on two models: e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Tokopedia and Bukalapak and social commerce, which involves buying and selling goods on social media platforms. E-commerce platforms account for 60% of all transactions while 40% of shopping is conducted via social commerce.

Society Pass Inc. (NASDAQ: SOPA) is an example of an acquisition-focused e-commerce holding company that could be looking to become the Goliath of e-commerce in Indonesia and overall Southeast Asia. The company operates in six verticals: loyalty, lifestyle, food and beverage, telecom, digital media, and travel. It reports connecting millions of consumers and merchants in the region.

SoPa Rolls Out Loyalty App

On June 27, SoPa announced the launch of a beta version of its loyalty app that enables customers to earn and redeem points at different retailers while building customer loyalty for merchants. The company reports that the app helps merchants generate more revenue by retaining existing customers, attracting new ones, reducing customer turnover and synching customer data through personalized advertising campaigns.

“The Southeast Asian retail sector is at the cusp of a massive transformation powered by the data-driven meta economy. We designed a gorgeous user interface backed by sophisticated backend infrastructure to kickstart a virtuous cycle of revenue generation and loyalty creation, where Society Pass and Society Points generate more revenues for merchants,” SoPa Founder, Chairman and CEO Dennis Nguyen said at the launch of the beta application.

SoPa reported plans to modify and integrate the app with select customers and merchants across Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the second quarter of the year. The company expects to fully launch the app by the end of the year, when customers will be able to pay for goods and services in-store, in-app or online.

As a loyalty and data marketing ecosystem, Society Pass operates multiple e-commerce platforms across its key markets in SEA. Its business model focuses on analysing user data through the expected launch of its Society Pass loyalty platform and circulation of its universal loyalty points, which seamlessly connects consumers and merchants across multiple product and service categories to foster organic loyalty. Since its inception, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants/brands on its platform. It has invested 2+ years building proprietary IT architecture with cutting edge components to effectively scale and support its consumers, merchants, and acquisitions.Society Pass provides merchants with #HOTTAB Biz and #HOTTAB POS – a specialized POS technology solution, a comprehensive system for payment, loyal customer management, user profile analytics, and convenient financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises.In addition, SoPa operates Leflair.com , Vietnam’s leading lifestyle e-commerce platform, Pushkart.ph , a popular grocery delivery company in Philippines, Handycart.vn , a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Gorilla Networks , a Singapore-based, blockchain/web3-enabled mobile virtual network operator.

For more information, please check out: http://thesocietypass.com/

What Is Making This Grocery Delivery App A Preferred Choice In Southeast Asia?

E-commerce, made possible by the internet, is still booming. Businesses like Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), and Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP) are soaring, with more people ordering products online than buying them in stores.

While most businesses nose-dived during the COVID-19 pandemic, movement restrictions induced by the pandemic fueled online retail sales. Online sales grew from 16% to 19% in 2020, with Southeast Asian countries significantly contributing to the growth, according to numbers in a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report.

Southeast Asia, which includes countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, is home to more than 681 million people — 47% of whom prefer online shopping, with about 144 million people regularly purchasing online.

E-Grocery Boom

Consumers can shop online from anywhere and choose from a wide array of products such as groceries to be delivered directly to them. Online grocery, or e-grocery, shopping has also been gaining momentum for some time.

The e-grocery market is quickly expanding throughout the world, with players like Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER), Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct serving customers in North America and Europe.

Southeast Asia is also seeing significant growth in the e-grocery market. A breakdown of the market by IGD Asia indicated:

  • Asia, the largest regional grocery market in the world, is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% between 2018 and 2023.
  • The grocery market will be worth $4.2 trillion by 2023, up from $3.1 trillion in 2018. Its share of global grocery spending will be 37% in 2023, adding around $1.1 trillion to the worldwide grocery market.
  • China, India and Indonesia will be the biggest contributors to the region’s top-line growth, accounting for 74% of new sales added by 2023.

A Convenient Grocery Delivery App?

That level of growth could be a boon for a company like Pushkart.ph, an online grocery service started in 2017 that delivers fresh goods to consumers who use its feature-packed app.

Pushkart’s platform was developed by a group of young Filipino millennials whose goal was to ensure fast, convenient and safe grocery delivery to customers’ doors.

From Day One, Pushkart.ph — available on the web, Google Play Store and the Apple Store — said that in addition to serving consumers, it wants to be the platform of choice for retailers and help them sell their products quickly without learning the technicalities of running a digital platform or managing a logistics fleet.

From a single flagship fulfillment center at Fisher Supermarket, which has been operating since 2017, the platform is now supported by three additional hubs: Market! Market!, Ayala Malls Feliz, and AllDay Supermarket — Global South.

What Makes Pushkart.ph Say It’s Confident It Stands Out From The Rest?

  • Consumers — The company wants to bring value to consumers by allowing them to shop for their basic needs anytime from anywhere they want while sparing them from heavy city traffic or the hassle of carrying heavy bags of groceries.
  • Companies — The company wants to make it easy for corporate clients to purchase every office pantry supply they need from a single source and with the convenience of having flexible payment schemes.
  • Merchants — The company plans to empower retailers to reach the online market by giving them the means to easily transform their shops to include digital sales.
  • Society — The company wants to bring more jobs through online commerce.

Pushkart.ph is a division of the Society Pass Inc. (NASDAQ: SOPA), a Southeast Asian acquisitions-focused e-commerce holding company.

Currently operating six subsidiaries, SoPa plans to expand to more than 10 more subsidiaries in eight verticals — loyalty, merchant software, lifestyle, food and beverage delivery, travel, digital advertising and telecoms — by the end of 2022.

Since its inception in 2018, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants and brands on its platform.

Apart from Pushkart.ph, SoPa provides merchants with #HOTTAB Biz, lifestyle e-commerce through Leflair.com and Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam. In addition, SoPa operates Gorilla Networks, a Singapore-based, blockchain/web3-enabled mobile virtual network operator.

About Society Pass (NASDAQ: SOPA)

As a loyalty and data marketing ecosystem, Society Pass operates multiple e-commerce platforms across its key markets in SEA. Its business model focuses on analysing user data through the expected launch of its Society Pass loyalty platform and circulation of its universal loyalty points, which seamlessly connects consumers and merchants across multiple product and service categories to foster organic loyalty. Since its inception, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants/brands on its platform. It has invested 2+ years building proprietary IT architecture with cutting edge components to effectively scale and support its consumers, merchants, and acquisitions.Society Pass provides merchants with #HOTTAB Biz and #HOTTAB POS – a specialized POS technology solution, a comprehensive system for payment, loyal customer management, user profile analytics, and convenient financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises.In addition, SoPa operates Leflair.com, Vietnam’s leading lifestyle e-commerce platform, Pushkart.ph, a popular grocery delivery company in Philippines, and Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

For more information, please check out: http://thesocietypass.com/.

How To Integrate Your Secure Online Payment Solution Into Your E-Commerce Website?

Nowadays, Customers anticipate receiving the same quality of care through online mode as they would in a conventional brick-and-mortar retail location.

A reliable payment gateway must be integrated into your service to offer a quick and secure checkout process on your e-commerce website.

Discover the crucial details you’ll require before integrating a payment gateway for your online clients to smoothen the acceptance of online payments.

A payment gateway: what is it?

No matter how you bring customers to your website, once they decide to buy, you need to make sure they have a quick and dependable way to handle payments. To accept payment online from customers, payment gateways give ecommerce websites access to merchant services. Similar to a conventional cash register, a payment gateway functions similarly. 

It uses an automated service between the many parties involved to process credit cards (or other online payment systems).

It will first gather and encrypt the customer’s data directly from the website. The payment gateway will get in touch with the relevant financial institution and request authorization using pre-established procedures. The payment gateway will enable the website to move on to the following stage of fulfilment after gaining permission.

Why you require an eCommerce payment gateway and how it operates

Online payment systems can generally be compared to a point of sale, where you can use your bank card to make any kind of payment. The only distinction is that you don’t need to use a physical point of service; instead, its primary responsibility is to authorise and approve the transaction.

If you own an e-commerce website but aren’t sure if you need to add a payment gateway, the answer is unquestionable yes. You must put this into practice if you want to have the chance to receive money directly from your clients. 

Even if you also operate a physical store, it still makes sense to include a payment gateway into your website to attract more clients and boost sales by catering to those who would never be able to visit your actual location.

Adding payment gateways to your website

You must choose the platform you wish to use before you can begin accepting payments on your website. Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce are popular choices for online retailers. You must adhere to the developer’s instructions to add it to your site, whichever one you choose to use.

Adding Shopify to your website

There are two ways that Shopify can be used on your website. The first step is to establish a Shopify store and lead customers there when they are ready to pay.

The second choice is to employ a Shopify “Buy” button, which will let visitors to your website add your products immediately to a shopping cart. Every product, item, or collection must have a button.

When a customer is prepared to check out, he or she will be forwarded to the Shopify website to finish the transaction.

On the Shopify website, you may find comprehensive guidelines for both of these situations.

Updating a website with WooCommerce

To handle payments, WooCommerce makes use of WordPress. After setting up your website on WordPress, you may add the WooCommerce plugin by either manually installing it there after downloading it, or by looking for it in your dashboard.

Before the plugin can be activated, you must have a WooCommerce account.

Website created with Magento

Magento installation is a bit difficult. The organisation offers a wide range of items and commerce solutions, but you’ll need to plan your site with their solutions keeping in mind.

You would probably need to rebuild the website on Magento’s platform because integrating Magento with an existing website would be very challenging.

How to evaluate your payment gateway’s performance

You must pay great attention to the performance metrics of your site, just like with anything else about online marketing and shopping. If more customers are leaving their shopping carts empty, your payment gateway may be the source of their annoyance.

Businesses ought to have come up with solutions to the 80% cart abandonment rate during checkout.

Customers of today demand services and platforms that are convenient and simple to use. You must make sure that the checkout and fulfilment procedures are streamlined to avoid impeding customers from completing purchases.

Integration fees for payment gateways

Examine the costs associated with each stage before integrating online payment into your website. They frequently pile up, therefore it’s preferable to make a list of what matters to you so you can pay close attention to how those components are developing.

There is always setup, registration, and monthly expenses to start. Also included are transaction, processing, refund, and chargeback payment fees. Avoid forgetting about these unnoticed elements to avoid unpleasant surprises later. There are also termination costs and fees for the transfer of funds. Although the difference is frequently not very noticeable, these vary depending on the various payment methods.

Due to their complexity and frequent multifunctionality, gateways provide several benefits in addition to just accepting online payments. You might include features that will make money transfers for your users safer or more practical depending on what you need. Payment gateways frequently assist with additional tasks, such as:

  • PCI Compliance to prevent penalties
  • Recurring invoices using a price model based on subscriptions.
  • notification of transactions for verification.
  • Storage of payment information to save your consumers from having to enter their personal information again.
  • For convenient input, a virtual terminal imitates a real credit card terminal.
  • To meet particular demands, developer information and API tools are available.
  • High degrees of security using encryption for sensitive user data integration with other technologies, such as shopping carts or accounting applications.

Exactly how important is it?

With the aid of payment gateways, all business dealings between your clients and you are to be processed quickly and securely. Customer annoyance and revenue loss will result if they cannot access a shopping cart that is directly integrated with a payment gateway.

Portfolio diversification: what is it and why is it so important?

If you’re an investor, you will almost certainly be exposed to a degree of risk when buying and selling stocks, shares, forex, or any other security. Reducing this risk is paramount to making sure your investments turn a profit, and one of the best ways to do so is via portfolio diversification.

In this guide, learn what portfolio diversification is, why it matters, and how you can diversify you investment portfolio.

What is portfolio diversification?

Portfolio diversification is the process of building an investment portfolio full of securities which are different to one another. By having investments within different niches, industries, asset classes, and security types, if negative economic shocks affect a single company or industry, then your portfolio will be less likely to significantly lose value.

This approach works for day trading securities too. If you engage in CFD trading, for instance, having a diversified range of trades open at any given moment can shelter you from unpredictable swings in the value of individual assets.

The importance of diversification

The reason diversification matters is all down to risk. Less diversification, and the chances your investments will be negatively affected multiplies. The
Australian Investors Association outlines
five key types of risk – all of which can affect those with poor diversification.

Volatility – It’s impossible to predict the value of some securities. Values can drop precipitously, and if all your money is in the one stock that drops, then you’ll lose out much more than if you had
a diversified portfolio.

Knowledge – If you don’t have all the information on a company or industry, you may get caught out. Diversification stops this from happening.

Events – Disasters, economic crashes, policy changes; a lot of unknowns can affect single stocks.

Credit risk – If you own shares and a company folds, you may not get your money back; if you diversified your portfolio, you won’t lose all your money.

Sleep-at-night factor – If you’re not diversified and your stocks are hit by bad economic news, then you’ll likely feel poor mental effects. Diversification can help the situation feel less
bleak.

How to diversify your portfolio

If you want to diversify, there are some quick ways you can do so.

First, consider asset allocation based on your age and lifestyle – if you’re young and have no family, go for riskier assets like tech stocks. Older with a large family, safer assets like US government bonds. Next, assess the risks to any investment before you commit, and make sure to hold onto investments for long enough time so they can grow.

Lastly, learn about the markets and economy – more information equals a higher likelihood of picking better and more varied investments.

Diversifying your investment portfolio is a great way to protect your money from risk. With the global economy facing all manner of threats, be sure to analyse your portfolio today and take steps to diversify – your financial future could rely on it!

Most Innovative Luxury Beauty eTailer 2022

‘Luxury delivers always,’ is the motto that influences every element of Beauty Affairs’ business – from the products it provides, to the way the website operates, the company exudes luxury. Henceforth, customers always come back for more, be it for the excellent customer service or the company’s vast inventory of skincare and cosmetics. Chanel, Elizabeth Arden, and Versace are just a taste of the near epicurean brands that Beauty Affairs prides itself on carrying – therefore, join us as we delve into a world filled with opulence and glamour.

What’s your skin type? Combination, dry, or oily? Whatever it may be, Beauty Affairs has the right products for you. From luxury skincare to cosmetics and fragrances, Beauty Affairs boasts an impressive array of products, including Armani perfumes, Elizabeth Arden’s range of premium skincare, and Dior’s opulent cosmetics. Indeed, Beauty Affairs caters to a multitude of clients with a primary focus on up-market customers. However, the key aim, no matter who the customer is or what their basket includes, is to provide its customers with a true, enhanced beauty affair.

Luxury is simply at the heart of Beauty Affairs. From the moment you log in to the site to the moment you check out, each element is optimised, seamless, and glamorous, providing a one-stop online shop for high-end cosmetics and skincare products.

Every detail of the customer experience is carefully thought through: shipping is expedited with same-day dispatch for orders placed before 1PM AEDT, orders are carefully wrapped in bespoke tissue-paper and customised packaging, and samples are added to orders to create a top-shelf experience.

However, Beauty Affairs understands that these products aren’t within everyone’s budgets – some can’t afford to spend money on products that won’t work for them – therefore, it has created a method that ensures accessibility called Try Before You Buy Upon utilising the skincare analysis tool, the customer has the option to obtain some complimentary skincare pots. The only cost the customer faces is the price of shipping and packaging. For $19.95 AUD clients are provided with three Luxury Mini Jars that contain 2.5gr of the original product – this includes brands such as Dermalogica and SK-II, whose products can reach up to $379.00 AUD. This is perfect for those who want just a little taste of luxury beauty before committing to a full-sized skincare routine, plus incentivises shoppers by allowing them to use that $19.95 against the full-sized products once they’ve decided to make a purchase.

Of course, this ties in with the company’s belief that luxury skincare should be personalised, accessible, and, most importantly, effective. Whilst Beauty Affairs works to curate the best luxury brands and products all in one place, it also places an enormous emphasis on education – not every skincare product will work for your skin type. It is vital to choose products that work for your skin. Beauty Affairs has invested a great amount into supplying authentic, science-based education from its global beauty experts, and be it via the blog or the skin analysis, provides a vast amount of information on the best skin care routines for a range of skin types.

Additionally, Beauty Affairs truly believes in the products it supplies. Whilst many brands on the market feature the same ingredients, there is nothing quite like the results and experiences that luxury products can create. Using luxury products can guarantee an overall superior experience – not only in the results they can provide, but with the way they feel on the skin, the way they smell, and the way they are capable of brightening a bad mood. The decision to use luxury products is a responsible one, almost always guaranteeing that the product is cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable, and, perhaps more importantly, luxury skincare  offers a sensational experience that cannot be found elsewhere. As the company states, ‘luxury delivers always.’ 

Home to over 70 brands, Beauty Affairs hosts the best of the best – skincare titans that have become globally renowned for their upmarket ranges and effective products. Elizabeth Arden, for example, is one of the most prestigious and oldest luxury skincare and cosmetics brands on the market. Founded in 1910 as Red Door, the company passed through numerous hands, before being purchased in 2003 by FFI for $225 million USD. It was here that the company gained its iconic name which it acquired from Elizabeth Arden (1881-1966), the founder of the company. In 2016 the company was taken over by Revlon, and at this time it was estimated to have annual gross sales amounting to over $3 billion USD. Elizabeth Arden’s products have grown to be incredibly popular, particularly in recent years due to the boom in skincare popularity. Numerous products are available on the Beauty Affairs website, including the Elizabeth Arden Prevage® Anti-Aging Daily Serum, the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum, and the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Youth Restoring Essence.

Aside from a plethora of skincare products, Beauty Affairs supplies designer perfumes in abundance. Women’s, men’s, and unisex fragrances are all available through the website, featuring deluxe brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, and Yves Saint Laurent. Tom Ford’s Black Orchid also makes an appearance, with the 100ml bottle being priced competitively at $277 AUD. Launched in 2006, the fragrance has become a recognisable and sought-after product, with its sultry tones making it an incredibly unique scent for women. Straying away from the typical sweet and floral scents, Black Orchid combines an aromatic formula of black truffle, black plum, patchouli and, of course, black orchid, to create an unforgettable perfume.

In the men’s range, Beauty Affairs advertises Paco Rabanne, Penhaligon’s, and Versace. For $499 AUD, buyers can indulge in the woody undertones of Creed’s Viking scent. Launched in 2021 by Olivier and Erwin Creed, the fragrance harbours top notes of mandarin orange, pink pepper, lemon, and bergamot, which is blended with base tones of vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, olibanum, and patchouli. The fragrance is a pleasant addition to the Creed line, of which many of its fragrances feature on Beauty Affairs and can be described as an elegant and fresh aroma.

Yet if fragrances and skincare aren’t what you’re looking for, Beauty Affairs possesses an overwhelming amount of haircare, health and wellness, and cosmetic products. Hair straighteners, beauty supplements, concealers, and more, are all highlighted on the website. It is safe to say that when Beauty Affairs names itself as a ‘one-stop shop’ it is a completely accurate statement. Quite simply, it is Australia’s leading online authority on all things luxury and cosmetics related. Consistently the company goes above and beyond the call of duty in order to infuse luxury into its clients’ lives – and this includes its VIP member deals.

Using luxury skincare is one thing but indulging in a world of luxury treatments is another. As a Beauty Affairs VIP member, you will be invited to experience one of Sydney’s best non-invasive luxury treatment spas as an exclusive offer. These deals are only available via the VIP package and cannot be found elsewhere, and the luxury packages must be booked through Beauty Affairs. Moreover, the experience in its entirety can be personalised, involving skin treatments and products that suit the customer’s skin. The treatments take place in a single treatment bed room and are carried out by highly qualified and professional aestheticians, ensuring a relaxing, attentive, and comfortable experience. Indeed, each of the treatment partners has been hand-selected by Beauty Affairs for their level of customer service, knowledge, and most importantly, luxury experience. Many that have taken this offer have complimented the service, leaving it numerous five-star reviews. Jenny R., a VIP member who completed the offer, left a testimonial stating, ‘Highly recommend! The staff are very professional and understanding of my sensitive skin. Their beautician does the most relaxing treatments – my skin is supple and settled after any treatment.’

Furthermore, Beauty Affairs has designed an awards scheme that allows members to build up a collection of points by completing tasks. For example, adding your birthday will give you 200 points, and leaving a product review awards 500. These points add up quickly and can be redeemed in return for a discount – 500 points can be exchanged for $5 AUD off your order, and 2000 for $20 AUD. When redeemed, the customer will receive a code that they can use during the checkout process. Beauty Affairs could not have made the process any simpler, it is quick, easy, and streamlined, and perhaps best of all, it provides a great incentive for customers to buy the products that they have been eyeing up.

If the customer is in need of any further assistance, they can refer to the company’s blog or social media pages. Filled with helpful articles such as Does Lash Serum Actually Work? and Everything You Need to Know About Azelaic Acid, the blog acts as a magnificent guide to skincare and skin issues. It features advice, recommendations, and information surrounding common skin issues, and serves as that little extra push for clients hesitant about purchasing luxury skincare. Being able to educate customers about skincare by using high-performance beauty products from around the world as examples elevates Beauty Affairs head and shoulders above the competition, making them the obvious choice for the luxury skincare & cosmetics connoisseur.

However, for more visual learners, the Beauty Affairs TikTok page serves as a treat. Since its creation, the account has amassed over 22 thousand followers and 78 thousand likes, all pouring in from skincare fanatics from around the globe. Featuring short videos about skincare hacks, peptides, cleansing, skin types, and recommendations – the list is endless – the TikTok page is a crash course in all things skincare. In addition, the page deconstructs the common lies and myths shared by skincare brands and consumers, including the claim of products being ‘chemical-free.’ Dozens of the videos have gone viral, with some garnering hundreds of thousands of views. The most popular video is titled Skincare Mistakes Volume 1 and has received 458 thousand views and over 30 thousand likes – the video teaches to apply oil after moisturiser, to apply retinol if needed as it is beneficial for skin rehabilitation, and to not wash your face with hot water. 

The company’s online presence alongside its devotion to quality has placed it at an advantage in a booming market. According to Statista, the global skincare market is expected to be worth around 189.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2025 and, in 2022, is currently estimated to be standing at 163.5 billion USD. This dramatic growth can be attributed to the shift in the skincare consumer base. In recent years skincare has seen its audience become younger and younger as people are becoming increasingly aware of its benefits, particularly in terms of anti-aging solutions. Contrasting this, the global cosmetics market decreased to 85.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, however, according to the Statista Consumer Market Outlook, it is estimated that revenue will begin to increase over the next few years, and by 2025 reach over 122 billion U.S dollars annually.

Beauty Affairs biggest advantage? Its devotion to pleasing customers. The power of the customer cannot be underestimated, especially in a cutthroat industry such as cosmetics. In essence, the customer is what guarantees the company’s survival, and if it can capture their loyalty then it is set for long-term success. Beauty Affairs has been successful in this endeavour, satisfying customers across the globe, and this is reflected in the reviews of the company. Maintaining a five-star rating on Google Reviews and Facebook, the company has clearly cultivated a positive reputation. In one review, Madeline De Neeve stated, ‘The overall experience was absolutely stellar, don’t think it can be better than this.’ Meanwhile, Isabelle Seddon summed Beauty Affairs up as, ‘undeniably superior to the rest.’

Consequently, it is blatant that Beauty Affairs is the premium source for online luxury skincare services, and it has certainly earned the title of Most Innovative Luxury Beauty eTailer 2022. There is no doubt that at Beauty Affairs the customer experience comes first, and that it works to provide an unbeatable experience that is educational, elegant, and efficient. Henceforth, Beauty Affairs has accomplished its mission. 

For business enquiries, contact Elly Agronov at Beauty Affairs via http://www.beautyaffairs.com.au.

The Benefits of a Smart Connected Commerce for MSMEs in APAC

Micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) contributions to the economy and exports have steadily increased over the last few years due to technological advances, government policies, and increasing levels of entrepreneurship across Asia-Pacific (APAC). MSMEs contribute an impressive amount ($15 trillion in 2021) to APAC’s gross domestic product (GDP), and about 20% to 30% of this contribution goes to the manufacturing GDP. In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesian MSMEs contribute the largest percentage (61%) to their country’s GDP. In South Asia, India’s MSMEs have one of the highest shares (49% in 2020) in exports. The number of MSMEs in the region, according to the World Bank, is about 170 million. They outnumber large enterprises and, therefore, employ a significant portion of their countries’ working population. In APAC, exports from MSMEs accounted for approximately $896 billion in 2020.

MSMEs contribute significantly to the exports of APAC countries, ranging from 15% to 49% of the total exports. As commerce became smarter and more connected, MSMEs turned to electronic commerce (eCommerce) to access a more extensive network and a larger regional and international consumer base. MSMEs significantly contribute to their GDP, making them a driving force behind developing APAC markets. Countries incentivize and support MSMEs to solidify and expand their businesses within and beyond the region, and MSMEs in APAC with the need to access international markets challenged their expansion. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing market dynamics, however, the upsurge of eCommerce resolved the issue. MSME businesses require digitalization as they grow rapidly.

To download Frost & Sullivan’s complimentary executive brief, Smarter Connected Commerce, please access here.

“MSME suppliers experienced an increase in customer base locally and internationally during the pandemic due to the boom in eCommerce and mobile commerce. MSMEs in APAC will increase focus on export opportunities and trade barriers will diminish among countries to create high intra-regional trade growth as regional integration stems from free trade agreements (FTAs). Adoption of technological trends boosted last-mile operations and created new customer expectations,” explained Janesh Janardhanan, Practice Area Leader – Advisory, Supply Chain & Logistics, Asia Pacific, at Frost & Sullivan.

To take advantage of smarter connected commerce and thrive in this market, MSMEs must:

  • Adopt digital tools to expand their customer base into international markets and provide digitally advanced services to gain and maintain a customer base.
  • Partner with strong logistics companies for seamless logistics operations, resulting in greater customer satisfaction. The partnerships also minimize risks and challenges associated with potential supply chain disruptions, enabling business continuity.
  • Adopt smart business logistic solutions as eCommerce expands and the number of parcels rise.
  • Leverage technologies, such as Big Data, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT), to predict any supply chain disruptions and take actions to eradicate them for a smoother logistics experience.
  • Adopt a technology-driven approach to logistics based on route optimization and delivery automation to enable efficient and quick dispatch and delivery times to meet customer expectations and improve customer experience.
  • Implement paperless digital trade solutions and customs clearance solutions to improve logistics efficiency and competitiveness of MSMEs, enabling cross-border trade.

“Digital platforms will help MSMEs recover and increase their business in the post-COVID-19 era. With the shift in consumer behavior and sharp rise in online shopping, cross-border purchases will gain prominence between 2022 and 2025,” said Salil Chari, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience, FedEx Express AMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa). “Smarter, more connected logistics services—such as FedEx International Connect Plus Services (FICP)—will help address cross-border logistics challenges, including more flexibility and control over the delivery process, and navigating diverse shipping regulations and customs in different countries, to improve customer experience and support business growth. Through solutions like FICP, FedEx helps facilitate and nourish cross-border trade so MSMEs can expand their reach at a greater value.”

Digital tools improve efficiency of logistics operations to help MSMEs gain a competitive advantage, with optimized efficiency, productivity, and flexibility to their customers through smart connected commerce. FedEx customizes the location and timeline of deliveries to extend delivery flexibility to customers, supporting the development of MSMEs. Some benefits of smarter digitalized logistics solutions include:

  • Improved efficiency and reduced costs associated with administrative delays, such as customs clearance and cross-border movement of freight, enabling timely delivery of goods and no cross-border delays.
  • Quick and more accurate monitoring and prediction of logistics delays in real time, enabling MSMEs to take suitable actions to manage risks. This prevents delays that can lead to customers canceling orders.
  • More efficient last-mile operations, making failures and mistakes negligible and preventing business loss.
  • Greater trust and long-term customer relationships for MSMEs due to the ability to track and trace goods via sensors

To learn more about how digitalization is powering smarter connected commerce, watch Frost & Sullivan’s latest Analyst Insight Video, Ensuring Smarter Connected Commerce, by clicking here.

PIMCO: What China’s Recovering Supply Chain Means for Global Inflation

By Carol Liao, China Economist, and Allison Boxer, US Economist 

  • Renewed growth in China’s manufacturing activity, coupled with softening developed market demand, should ease some supply-side pressures – but several other inflation risks remain prevalent.

After months of COVID-related disruptions, China’s economy looks to be on the path to normalization. In June, new daily coronavirus case counts stabilized in the low hundreds. More people are hopping on planes and trains, intercity highway traffic has rebounded to pre-outbreak levels, and city traffic is congested again.

Factory activity in June expanded for the first time since February, as manufacturing hubs emerged from lockdowns, production increased, and supply chains eased. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) crossed the 50 mark into expansionary territory, and industrial production rose 3.9% year-over-year (y/y). In particular, China’s June exports rose at the fastest pace in five months, indicating resilience in the country’s manufacturing supply chain.

The Chinese government has prioritized production and delivery of exports. To be sure, the robustness of China’s supply to the global goods market has been tested repeatedly since 2020, through waves of COVID outbreaks, power outages, and regional geopolitical crises – all without major bottlenecking. As China’s domestic supply chain continues to normalize, supply-side pressures should ease. In addition, soft domestic demand has helped China keep its inflation under control and producer price inflation (PPI) has been moderating in recent months. This, together with the depreciation of the yuan in early 2Q 2022, has resulted in a moderation of China’s export price inflation to the U.S.

Given softening demand in developed markets along with rising recession risks (see our Secular Outlook for details), going forward, we don’t believe the nation’s supply chain poses a major concern for inflation globally, despite ongoing uncertainty over COVID’s trajectory.

Furthermore, while China has stepped up stimulus to support infrastructure spending, the property market outlook remains gloomy, mitigating China’s demand for global commodities. Therefore, it is unlikely to be a dominant factor in global inflation.

Developed market inflation risks are broadening and shifting away from China

In the U.S., supply chain recovery also appears to be underway thanks to a combination of shifting consumer preferences back towards services, slower overall spending, and higher inventory levels. This has resulted in fewer backlogs at ports, increased freight capacity, and declining transport prices. Inventory-to-sales ratios for sectors like general merchandise, home goods, home electronics, and building supply stores, which are the major categories of Chinese exports to the U.S., have normalized. Import price inflation from China has also been moderating in recent months.

Despite these signs of healthier supply chains, U.S. goods inflation has recently reaccelerated (read our latest U.S. CPI blog). The continued acceleration of retail inflation – despite a slower recent pace of spending and this easing in supply chain pressures – suggests that inflation may be more entrenched than previously thought. While we still see reasons to think that goods price inflation will ultimately moderate, we’re also seeing inflation broaden to other categories.

Shelter inflation has risen sharply in recent months and geopolitical risks remain a worry for the commodity price outlook. The net result is that inflation risks appear to have migrated away from being primarily driven by supply chains and disruptions from China, to a broader set of areas that tend to be stickier, less sensitive to Fed policy action, and harder for consumers to substitute away from. This raises the risk that any further upside inflation surprises are also accompanied by a sharper slowdown in consumption.

 

Implications for investors

In the near term, disruptions to the global supply chain may persist, despite China’s continued recovery. Disruption from the war in Europe and strikes in some major markets could still pose risks to global supply chains. Disrupted food and energy supplies are already spurring global inflation, but growing risks of gas shortages and the associated rationing in Europe could compound supply chain challenges if factories are forced to close to ensure sufficient energy supplies for households. Inflation could remain high, contributing to a higher risk premium.

In the longer term, we see rising risks of deglobalization and more fragmented capital markets (read our latest Secular Outlook here). China’s role in the global supply chain could diminish over time, as the U.S. government seeks to ease America’s reliance on China’s massive manufacturing base for goods, spare parts, and materials of all kinds.

These trends may augment economic inefficiencies and increase inflationary pressures in the years to come, prompting many investors to focus on building resilience in portfolios.

Is it Safe to Borrow From a Licensed Money Lender in Singapore?

In life, we sometimes encounter sticky situations–ones that need an extra boost in the form of dollars and cents. It may be an upcoming wedding, a newborn on the way, or even healthcare emergencies that leave us blind-sided.

Some of us may turn to banks, others to family and friends for help. But not everyone is as lucky to not be turned away. That is where licensed money lenders can play a part.

Borrowing from a licensed money lender in Singapore is safe, but you need to make sure the money lender you’re getting the loan from is legal. It is a common misconception that getting a loan from a licensed money lender is akin to borrowing from a loan shark, but the truth could not be further. Loan sharks, who claim to be “licensed” money lenders are in fact not legal entities.

In this article, we’ll share what to look out for when borrowing from a licensed money lender in Singapore.

What are licensed money lenders?

Licensed money lenders in Singapore come under the regulation of the Ministry of Law. Firms that wish to provide financial loans are required to obtain a license from the ministry and have it regularly renewed to operate.

There are several rules which licensed money lenders to have to abide by, such as keeping to a stipulated ceiling on interest fees and administrative fees. These lenders are also barred from advertising their services on mainstream media, both print and online.

Above all, licensed money lenders are prohibited from using harassment tactics in any manner.

What are illegal money lenders?

Illegal money lenders, also known as loan sharks, are unlicensed lenders. They sometimes claim to be licensed money lenders but are actually not registered under the Ministry of Law to provide loan services.

These illegal lenders often resort to soliciting business through SMS or WhatsApp and coerce their victims into repaying via intimidation.

Things to do before getting a loan from a money lender in Singapore

Check the Ministry of Law’s registry. Do confirm first that the money lender is indeed licensed before approaching any of them.

Get familiar with the stipulated cap on interest rates and fees. Licensed money lenders in Singapore are allowed to charge a maximum of:

4% interest rate per month. 10% in administrative fees upon approving the loan.

On the occasion of a default, lenders can levy:

Late interest fees of up to 4% per month. Late repayment fees of up to S$60 per month. Full legal costs were ordered by the court.

The total charges imposed by a moneylender on any loan cannot exceed the loan principal. This includes interest, late interest, administrative fee, and late fee.

Ensure the money lender has a physical office. All licensed money lenders in Singapore should conduct their business only on the premises of a registered office. Take note of lenders who insist on meeting in public spaces when procuring a loan offer–these are most likely to be illegal lenders.

Pay attention to employees’ behavior. Always meet your loan officer in person, which lets you understand and see if the company you are borrowing from makes you feel safe and at ease. They should go over the entire contract with you and explain every single term clearly.

Look for someone with professional and polite conduct because chances are, having someone pay close attention to your needs will make the negotiation process much smoother. A thorough loan officer is also a telltale of a good business process, unlike illegal money lenders who are often in a rush to move the loan through.

Search online for reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from people who’ve used the service provides valuable insight into the company’s reliability.

What would happen if I cannot repay my loan?

If you’re worried about the endless phone calls, and the physical and mental harassment that loan sharks often use, rest assured that a licensed money lender will, under no circumstances, be allowed to exert such means. In the unlikely event that it does happen, do not hesitate to call the police.

However, even though licensed money lenders in Singapore are not allowed to cause any property damage or other acts that would constitute harassment, they are permitted to mail or email you a letter of demand. They may also visit your home or office to issue the letter of demand and are permitted to take legal action against you if you do not repay your loan on time.

2022 China UK Green Finance Development Forum Successfully Held Online

On July 15, the 2022 China UK Green Finance Development Forum, jointly hosted by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of the Central University of Finance and Economics and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), was successfully held online. Leading experts from the industry and academia were invited to attend the forum to discuss how to coordinate the balance between climate, energy and development, promote the green recovery and development of the global economy, and explore how China and the UK can further deepen cooperation in green development.

Professor Yao Wang, Director General of the International Institute of Green Finance at the Central University of Finance and Economics, and Simon Culhane, CEO of the CISI and a CISI Chartered Fellow, delivered an opening speech for the forum.

Professor Yao Wang expressed her sincere welcome to all the guests in her speech. She stressed that vigorously developing green finance is an inevitable choice for the high-quality development of China and the global economy and society. Green finance will effectively guide more public and private capital to flow into relevant investments to support the realization of carbon neutrality and sustainable goals. The urgency of “green change” requires all countries in the world to adjust their policies and development directions, establish active and effective cooperation mechanisms, and strengthen their determination and efforts to promote global sustainable development. She said that China, as one of the first countries in the world to establish a green finance policy system, and the UK, as a leader in the environmental protection movement and climate movement in developed countries, both sides play a leading role in international climate issues and green finance cooperation. China UK Green Finance Cooperation has a good historical foundation and has more room for further development in the future.

Simon Culhane expressed his thanks to all experts in his opening speech. He pointed out that every financial practitioner needs to have the ability to apply knowledge related to climate change and sustainable development, so as to effectively integrate ESG and sustainable development issues into investment, loan and other decisions, and help improve the policy standards of financial activities. He hoped that China and the UK could work together to promote the development of green and sustainable financial education, training and qualification certification, and create efficient and long-term solutions for the global response to climate risks and biodiversity challenges.

Deyun Cao, Secretary of the Party Committee, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of China Insurance Asset Management Association, Chun Cui, Chairman of Huatai Securities (Shanghai) Asset Management Co Ltd. Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Research Director of The City UK, and Leon Saunders Calvert, Head of Research and Portfolio Management of the London Stock Exchange Group made keynote speeches.

Deyun Cao pointed out in the keynote speech “exploration of green finance development and due diligence management in China’s insurance industry” that as a long-term fund, insurance funds should give full play to the advantages of long-term funds, grasp the investment opportunities brought by the dual carbon goal and green transformation, and actively provide green financial services. He said that as an organization in the field of insurance fund utilization, the China Insurance Asset Management Association should promote the development of green finance and sustainable investment in China’s insurance industry from many aspects in the future: first, actively organize and carry out special research on green investment in the insurance industry, lay the foundation for the formulation of supporting green investment and ESG information disclosure standards, and also point out the direction for the future development of relevant ability improvement courses; Second, cooperate with the release of the “green finance guidelines for banking and insurance industry”, organize industry forces under the guidance of regulatory authorities, promote the research of ESG investment guidelines for insurance funds, develop supporting green investment information disclosure and evaluation standards that adapt to China’s national conditions and industries, improve the quality of disclosed data, and reduce the cost of data acquisition and analysis; third, continue to develop and launch the due diligence management standards for China’s insurance asset management industry; fourth, continue to promote ESG capacity-building and talent training in the industry.

Chun Cui gave professional opinions on “promoting the development of ESG investment and leading the green transformation of asset management” in her keynote speech. She said that green development has gradually become a global consensus. The green transformation of China’s asset management industry is gradually on track and driving into the fast lane. Green finance has become a new label of China’s asset management ecosystem. She suggested that as an important part of the financial system, asset management institutions should play a deep role in resource allocation, long-term investment, risk management and other aspects, and guide funds to flow to green industries; second, continue to practice the ESG concept, build a bridge between ESG investment, customers and public welfare and environmental protection projects at the product and investment ends, and make two-way enabling and responsible investment; third, financial institutions need to pool industry forces to enable green development through two-way development of investment and financing, innovation of green financial products and strengthening scientific and technological integration.

Anjalika Bardalai introduced the research results of her institution in her speech entitled “Green Finance – quantitative assessment of market trends”. She pointed out that the green financial market of a country is closely related to its overall financial market and the size of the national economy. She said that in the future, financial institutions should provide assistance to the government in defining “green” standards for investment projects and quantifying green finance, and work together to promote the positive impact of the real economy on sustainable development.

Leon Saunders Calvert’s speech focused on “mitigation and adaptation to climate change – decarbonization is imperative”, emphasizing the relevance between finance and ethical investment. He said that climate risk cannot be simply and directly reflected in risk safety assessment and financing transactions. In the process of promoting the realization of decarbonization and sustainable development, first, regulators, enterprises and investors should improve the value standard and decarbonization concept, and internalize the carbon cost into the enterprise value and decision-making; Second, we need to increase investment in scientific and technological innovation to help different industries achieve decarbonization in different periods; Third, we should attach importance to the data analysis and methodology related to the evaluation of investment, and include ESG factors into the investment standards.

In the round table discussion session of the forum, Juzhong Zhuang, Academic Committee member of the International Financial Forum (IFF) and visiting professor of  Fanha International School of Finance, Fudan University; Alderman Michael Mainelli Chartered FCSI, Senior Councillor of the City of London and author of the Global Green Finance Index; Alexander Van de Putte, Professor of Sustainable Foresight at IE Business School in Spain, chairman of corporate governance and management of Astana International Financial Center, and director of the national investment company of the National Bank of Kazakhstan; Linlin Wang, assistance director of the Finance Accounting and Auditing, State Grid Energy Research Institute launched an in-depth discussion on “balancing climate, energy and development”. George Littlejohn MCSI, Senior Adviser at CISI, presided over the round table discussion.

During the round table discussion, experts put forward their own views on the challenges faced by green development from their own professional fields. Juzhong Zhuang pointed out that green finance puts forward higher requirements for market infrastructure, which will bring challenges to the construction of the financial system of developing countries around the world. It is suggested that developed countries and market participants in developing countries promote cooperation in knowledge sharing, capacity-building and sound investment principles. Developed countries should also actively fulfil their commitments to provide funds for climate action to support the development of capital markets in developing countries; Alderman Michael Mainelli said that the biggest problem with the current development of green finance is that it heavily relies on the policy regulatory framework and public awareness publicity of climate change. There is still room to improve the effectiveness of methodological applications such as ESG, effectively combining green and financial incentives, and continuously improving carbon market transactions Promoting the optimization and innovation of carbon financial products such as sustainable development linked bonds will provide key assistance to promote global green and sustainable investment; Alexander Van de Putte suggested that a sustainable and inclusive global renewable energy Internet could be built by promoting the integration of digital ecosystem, information technology and media industry, improving the resilience of the global value chain, giving full play to the advantages of technology integration and international cooperation, and promoting the realization of the global sustainable goals; LinLin Wang said that energy transformation is the key to the realization of the “double carbon” goal. As a bridge connecting primary energy and terminal energy, electricity will be the core element of the gradual transformation of modern energy systems to diversification, low-carbon, clean and intelligent. In the future, power grid investment should be included in the catalogue of green finance and transformation financial support, and at the same time, financial innovation in the green industrial chain of the energy industry should be vigorously carried out, take electricity and power grid as the carrier to promote the green transformation of the entire energy industry chain and even a wider range of industries.

This forum aims to further deepen the international cooperation and exchanges between China and the UK on green finance and jointly promote the green and low-carbon transformation. A wide range of audiences from relevant government departments, financial institutions, academic institutes participated in this forum online.

How to Find Top PHP Developers for Your Online Asian Business?

Creating an online platform for any business necessitates deciding on the technologies for this digital product. Which programming language comes to mind first when you think of website development?

We can assume that it’s PHP. It is a widespread open-source programming language for creating websites and web applications. According to W3Techs, PHP is used on the server-side of about 77.5% of all websites.

Today, PHP is employed in well-known platforms like Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Yahoo. Of course, given the language’s prominence, the labor market is flooded with PHP developers.

But how can you find PHP developers that are indeed competent and experienced? You will discover the answer to this question in our article. We will also tell you about the main responsibilities of PHP programmers and other popular IT outsourcing professionals.

All You Need to Know About PHP Developers

If you want to boost your company’s online visibility, you’ll need the help of PHP professionals. They are an integral part of your team in developing websites and web apps and connecting your product with other services.

PHP experts are significant for your product development as they work on the backend of your website. They ensure that your product’s server part works properly and fix any code errors.

Here are some more reasons to hire a PHP developer:

Cost-effectiveness. PHP is an open-source language. It means that your developers can use this technology for free.

Time-saving. With PHP, your developers can reuse some parts of the code and not spend time writing everything from scratch.

Compatibility. PHP works with many operating systems, such as macOS, Windows, or Linux. This language supports over 20 databases and services such as Caudium, Apache, or Tornado.

Large community. PHP has a large community of developers worldwide, so solving any issues has never been easier.

Source: Mobilunity

So if your way is to employ a PHP developer, you should know what skills and knowledge this specialist should possess. Consider the following:

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or related specialty

Knowledge of PHP frameworks (Laravel or CodeIgniter)

Understanding of interface technologies (JavaScript, CSS, and HTML)

Experience with databases (SQL or NoSQL)

Experience with APIs

Experience in object-oriented PHP

Experience in testing and debugging

Where to Locate PHP Developers for Asian Businesses?

If you want to hire PHP developers for your business, there are some aspects to consider.

First, you need to decide whether you want to hire a development company, a freelance PHP developer, or a dedicated team.

By contracting a development company that offers PHP specialists, you get access to a high level of expertise, certified PHP developers, and timely project implementation. However, using the dev company’s services can be a bit costly.

A freelance PHP developer is a perfect solution if you have budget limitations. You can find such an employee anywhere and take advantage of a flexible work schedule. However, such an expert can work on several projects at once, and you can not be sure he will devote enough time to your product.

Hiring a dedicated team is probably the best solution to guarantee your online business’s success. Such developers will work purely on your project and understand all its features. They will invest their knowledge, experience, and time to ensure the prosperity of your product.

If you plan to hire remote workers, the best location for this is Eastern Europe. Countries in this region can boast experienced and qualified technical staff and, at the same time, a moderate level of hourly wages. One of the top destinations to employ PHP developers is Ukraine.

Where should you look for PHP developers? We suggest you consider the following:

Freelance platforms. Freelancer, Upwork, or Truelancer are places where you can find freelance PHP developers.

Social networks. You can try to find a qualified specialist in such a social network for professional networking as LinkedIn.

Job aggregators. Platforms such as Indeed, CareerJet, or Glassdoor contain many offers for developers. You can post a vacancy on one of these websites and thus find a PHP specialist.

Recommendations. You can also take full advantage of networking to search for PHP developers. Maybe one of your acquaintances mentioned something about such specialists?

Other Popular Outsourcing Specialists to Consider

Today we also want to mention two more specialists now popular for outsourcing. These are remote mobile developers and React specialists. Let’s talk about each of them in more detail.

Mobile app development is now at an all-time high, given that about 84% of the world’s population uses smartphones. That is why there is a demand for mobile developers. These can be specialists who are familiar with the creation of cross-platform apps, as well as applications for iOS or Android.

React.js is the most popular JavaScript framework, allowing you to build a frontend for digital products. Over 40% of developers worldwide have been using this platform as of 2021. So it’s a good idea to set React developer to handle your frontend.

Conclusion

PHP is the most often used language for developing server-side web solutions. Because of its prominence, the demand for PHP developers will only increase.

If you need specialists who know this programming language, you can find them anywhere in the world. However, our recommendation is to aim for Eastern Europe.

Locating a PHP developer is relatively easy. But finding an experienced and highly qualified one may be a real challenge. We suggest you hire dedicated teams. In particular, we offer such teams in Mobilunity.

Rise of the East: AsiaPac Banking Makes Gains on Europe & North America As Volume of New Hires Increases by Over +60% in the Past Year

  • 64% global growth of job roles in financial services
  • London has experienced the highest job growth of any banking hub (101%)
  • Singapore financial services talent almost matches the number of global leader London
  • 2 in 3 banking professionals in AsiaPac are actively looking to move job roles
  • Recruitment of senior-level professionals in FS has tripled since start of pandemic
  • +40% pay increases offered for remote roles to tackle global talent shortage
  • Asia leads the way on gender diversity, with a near 50/50 split in workforce

Hiring has reached peak levels for financial services across the globe – where across the eight major hubs the number of job roles advertised has increased by +64%, making the sector one of the fastest hiring industries post-pandemic (after technology).

Whilst London powers ahead as being home to the most financial services professionals working in any one city (293,700) – AsiaPac have steadily made gains in the past 12 months with Singapore (250,000), Sydney (167,364), and Tokyo (166,000+) the most notable cities with high levels of financial services talent.

Job Growth in the Past Year by City

  • London: +101%
  • New York: +78%
  • Tokyo: +77%
  • Singapore: +76%

 

Job Growth by Region

  • Europe: +62%
  • North America: +60%
  • AsiaPac: +61%

New York (48,595), London (38,945), and Paris (24,165) continue to dominate on the hiring front – having the greatest number of advertised job roles. However, it is across AsiaPac where we see the best conditions for hiring, with professionals in Sydney (81%), Singapore (76%), Hong Kong (67%), and Tokyo (60%) all expressing a high willingness to leave their role despite this being the tightest candidate market seen in decades.

The findings come from a new report from global professional services recruitment consultancy Robert Walters – Hiring Trends in the World’s Leading Financial Services Cities – which puts a lens over the labour market across 8 key banking hubs; London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters comments:

“The global financial services system is as solid as it was before the pandemic – and much healthier than after the last crisis in 2008 (GFC).

“Whilst the pandemic did not have the expected harmful financial effects on the global banking industry, it has certainly accelerated change in a multitude of other areas. Digital banking boomed whilst cash use fell, savings expanded and credit card debts were paid-off in record time, remote became a way of working, data-capture and usage is a central business function, and environment and sustainability are now front of mind for customers and regulators.

“All of this change has led to exponential hiring in the sector – with each hub trying to fight for the same talent at the same time, the results being a fiercely competitive recruitment market like we’ve never seen before, with execs being offered over +30-40% pay increases with the option to work from anywhere in the world.”

Asia Leading the Way on Female Diversity

It is across Asia where we see the most gender diversity in the financial services sector – in fact, Singapore (46%) has near 50/50 gender diversity, whilst women make up 44% of the banking workforce in Hong Kong.

Whilst the likes of New York (36%) and London (36%) lag slightly behind in gender diversity, they continue to make strides in cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity – with many firms having advanced recruitment programmes to ensure their workforce is representative of the diverse population of the city they are based in.

Toby adds: “As a whole the global financial services sector has made solid strides in gender diversity – with near half of the entry-level workforce in financial services being women.

“The task now is to equal representation at the top, where in banking less than a quarter of high-level senior positions are held by women. We are seeing some worthy gains been made in this area, and I think the increasing diversity in senior positions will only help to speed up the rapid rate of innovation and change within the sector.”

An Imbalance of Seniority

Not surprisingly the recruitment of senior professionals – who have been in the industry for 15+ years – was rife as the pandemic hit, as major institutions snapped up professionals who had experience of dealing with the GFC.

Where typically senior hires represent around 8-10% of all new hires – with the bulk of hiring being at junior and mid-management level – this figure sky-rocketed in the past 12-18months where in some hubs up to 1 in 3 new hires in banking has been at a senior level.

  • London: 20% of new hires is for senior roles, an increase of 5%
  • New York: Team/Department Heads was the only area to experience growth in the pandemic (+26%)
  • Tokyo: 19% of new hires are at a senior level
  • Sydney: 28% of new hires is for senior positions, an increase of 5%
  • Paris: 63% growth at Manager-level and above
  • Singapore: 31% of new hires is for a senior role

Investment into training programmes and graduate hiring all came to a standstill in Q1 2020, with the ramifications of this being felt at mid-management level who have reported the highest levels of burnout due to having a weaker support team beneath them.

Toby comments: “Employers will continue to experience challenges in attracting junior analysts and associates as the traditional appeal of working for a large Financial Services organisation now finds itself in a battle with the lure of a career in a start-up or major tech firm.

“Reputational issues suffered since the GFC and workplace-related perceptions – around hours, flexibility, and culture – will all need to be addressed head on by financial services firms if they want to build out their future talent pipeline.”

Your Strategic Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?

The Emergent Approach
Your Strategic Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?
By Peter Compo*

More than anywhere, because Asian companies are growing fast and serving diverse markets, metrics are an essential management tool for understanding whether strategy is leading to the achievement of objectives.

But with the digital revolution, the ability to measure is nearly limitless. How many numbers can people absorb and process? Twenty, thirty, or fifty at a time? When does a dashboard become a blur? After a relatively small number of metrics, the more you measure, the less you will see. The less you see, the more opportunity for cherry-picking and seeing what you want to see.

The Emergent Approach to Strategy presents several techniques to measure less and spend more time choosing the right metrics and understanding what they tell you. These are particularly important for Asian companies that have the advanced digital capability to easily collect and display data.

Consider three key points,

Use a Four-Station Dashboard

The idea here is to spend less time measuring results and more time measuring causes of results. The four stations used are,

Foundation metrics:  these audit whether the assumptions on which your strategy framework was built are still valid, including items like the action of competitors, economic conditions, and market trends

Adherence metrics:  these measure whether the organization is adhering to your strategy framework, including policies in areas such as marketing, product development, and personnel management, and also your overall strategy rule

Progress metrics:  These are indicators of progress towards the bottom line and the most common form of metric, including the success of the various functional groups in the company, milestone completion, and ratios of various types including benchmarks.

Bottom-line metrics:  These capture what ultimately matters and include overall financials and performance against core values such as safety and people treatment.

Minimize the number of process metrics

The process metrics are easiest to pile onto your dashboard because there are so many categories. For instance,

People (turnover, satisfaction surveys, training success)

Milestones (sale funnels, product development, stage-gate, projects in general)

Financial (costs, prices, volume, taxes)

Customer satisfaction (survey results, net promoter score, advertising performance)

Production performance (asset utilization %, asset turns, first quality rate, overtime)

High-level financial measures (inventory day’s supply, days sales outstanding, RONA, EBITDA, debt to equity ratio, margin)

Ratios (results per person, or cost per sale),

Benchmarks (any measure versus competition or some other target, including high-level aggregate financials numbers such as economic value add (EVA).

Question whether you need process metrics by asking if there are a few numbers that will give you most of what you need. Some measurements may be traditional in your business but no longer essential.

Measure at the bottleneck

Perhaps the best way to limit progress metrics is to focus metrics on the bottleneck to progress.

In the Emergent Approach, strategy is defined as the central rule or policy aimed at busting the bottleneck to achieving your overall aspiration. The bottleneck is what’s in the way of achieving your aspirations (i.e., goals, mission, vision)—what’s limiting progress.

The key is that it is impossible to make progress unless you improve what’s in the way of your overall aspirations.

Bottlenecks can be found in many areas, including,

People or culture related

Intelligence-related (lack of knowledge about competitors or markets)

Lack of process capability; digital capability

Lack of methods (for instance, management, technical, or marketing)

Lack of capital/resources

Complexity

Lack of alignment and common language

Bad framework or missing strategy

Conclusion

Your strategy framework should have programs, plans, and tactics to bust the dominant bottleneck to achieving your goals, mission, or vision. Measure the adherence and progress on these aspects of your framework because only improvement here will enable achieving your aspiration. If you measure all aspects of the business equally, you dilute the focus on what matters most.

*Peter Compo, a former veteran of DuPont, is the author of The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design and Execution (Business Expert Press, May 2022). A 25-year veteran of DuPont, Compo held leadership positions in R&D, product management, marketing, supply chain, and business management, and was the corporate lead for integrated business planning. For more information, go to: www.emergentapproach.com

Your Strategy Framework: Are You Measuring Too Much?

More than anywhere, because Asian companies are growing fast and serving diverse markets, metrics are an essential management tool for understanding whether strategy is leading to the achievement of objectives.

But with the digital revolution, the ability to measure is nearly limitless. How many numbers can people absorb and process? Twenty, thirty, or fifty at a time? When does a dashboard become a blur? After a relatively small number of metrics, the more you measure, the less you will see. The less you see, the more opportunity for cherry-picking and seeing what you want to see.

The Emergent Approach to Strategy presents several techniques to measure less and spend more time choosing the right metrics and understanding what they tell you. These are particularly important for Asian companies that have the advanced digital capability to easily collect and display data.

Consider three key points:

Use a Four-Station Dashboard

The idea here is to spend less time measuring resultsand more time measuring causes of results. The four stations used are:

1. Foundation metrics:

These audit whether the assumptions on which your strategy framework was built are still valid, including items like the action of competitors, economic conditions, and market trends.

2. Adherence metrics:

These measures whether the organization is adhering to your strategy framework, including policies in areas such as marketing, product development, and personnel management, and also your overall strategy rule.

3. Progress metrics:

These are indicators of progress towards the bottom line and the most common form of metric, including the success of the various functional groups in the company, milestone completion, and ratios of various types including benchmarks.

4. Bottom-line metrics:

These capture what ultimately matters and include overall financials and performance against core values such as safety and people treatment.

Minimize the number of process metrics

The process metrics are easiest to pile onto your dashboard because there are so many categories. For instance,

  • People (turnover, satisfaction surveys, training success)
  • Milestones (sale funnels, product development, stage-gate, projects in general)
  • Financial (costs, prices, volume, taxes)
  • Customer satisfaction (survey results, net promoter score, advertising performance)
  • Production performance (asset utilization %, asset turns, first quality rate, overtime)
  • High-level financial measures (inventory day’s supply, days sales outstanding, RONA, EBITDA, debt to equity ratio, margin)
  • Ratios (results per person, or cost per sale),
  • Benchmarks (any measure versus competition or some other target, including high-level aggregate financials numbers such as economic value add (EVA).
  • Question whether you need process metrics by asking if there are a few numbers that will give you most of what you need. Some measurements may be traditional in your business but no longer essential.

 

Measure at the bottleneck

Perhaps the best way to limit progress metrics is to focus metrics on the bottleneck to progress.

In the Emergent Approach, strategy is defined as the central rule or policy aimed at busting the bottleneck to achieving your overall aspiration. The bottleneck is what’s in the way of achieving your aspirations (i.e., goals, mission, vision)—what’s limiting progress.

The key is that it is impossible to make progress unless you improve what’s in the way of your overall aspirations.

Bottlenecks can be found in many areas, including:

  • People or culture related
  • Intelligence-related (lack of knowledge about competitors or markets)
  • Lack of process capability; digital capability
  • Lack of methods (for instance, management, technical, or marketing)
  • Lack of capital/resources
  • Complexity
  • Lack of alignment and common language
  • Bad framework or missing strategy

Conclusion

Your strategy framework should have programs, plans, and tactics to bust the dominant bottleneck to achieving your goals, mission, or vision. Measure the adherence and progress on these aspects of your framework because only improvement here will enable achieving your aspiration. If you measure all aspects of the business equally, you dilute the focus on what matters most.

*Peter Compo, a former veteran of DuPont, is the author of The Emergent Approach to Strategy: Adaptive Design and Execution (Business Expert Press, May 2022). A 25-year veteran of DuPont, Compo held leadership positions in R&D, product management, marketing, supply chain, and business management, and was the corporate lead for integrated business planning. For more information, go to: www.emergentapproach.com

Crypto Exchanges in Australia to be Licensed by the AU Government

Governments around the world have different relationships with crypto. 

In China, for instance, all cryptocurrency-related activities are banned. In the South American country of El Salvador, the government has approved Bitcoin as legal tender – the first country to do so in the world. In the United States, cryptocurrencies constantly come under regulatory watchdog. 

The same goes for much of Europe, barring a few countries where it is either mainstream or banned.

Crypto regulations around the world

While the United States of America is and was the major hub of crypto, the numbers are now changing. For example, the country with the highest number of crypto investors is now India, despite even some ongoing legislation tensions. It has more than three times the number of investors in the US. But considering the overall population of India, it is still a small percentage of the population.

Once we look at Africa, we get another glimpse of how things are changing. Nigeria has 13 million active crypto investors, which is around 10 million less than the US. It still has almost 10 million more crypto investors than the United Kingdom. Vietnam also has more crypto owners than the UK. In many of these third-world countries, people are seeking financial freedom through crypto trading or passive income with copy trading.
 
What these numbers suggest is that cryptocurrency is no longer an American phenomenon. In fact, it’d be wrong to call it a first-world phenomenon. Some of the most utilitarian applications of crypto were in African countries.

Amidst this wave of crypto adoption, Australia has steadily seen a rise in the number of crypto users. Today there are more than 1 million crypto investors in Australia. The population of Australia is 27.10 Million, which makes 1 million a sizable proportion of the country. To foster this growing interest in crypto and a general mistrust of US dollar-backed currencies, Australia is adopting a unique stance toward crypto. 

What Australia is doing

Before we jump into what steps the Australian government is taking with respect to crypto, it is important to give you some context. First, we need to understand why governments around the world are against crypto, some more fervently than others.

The first, and primary argument is that cryptocurrencies can destabilize a nation’s economy. For example, if everyone invested all their money in Bitcoin, no one would invest in the country’s stock market. As a result, business and commerce would collapse. This argument does not take into account the fact that no trend or pattern has indicated anything similar to such a doomsday scenario.

The second argument that governments give is more valid. As we already know, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. If a crypto exchange steals your money and runs away, you can technically go nowhere for justice. As such, governments do not want to handle crypto fraud management.

Cryptocurrency frauds and scams are pertinent issues in the crypto ecosystem. In 2021, for example, more than $14 billion was lost to scammers and cybercriminals. People who are not comfortable with technology are often at the brunt of attacks. 

Several crypto exchanges also get a pass to operate without KYC compliance. Given such an epidemic of money laundering scams involving crypto, governments took harsh steps. While they were well-intended in some cases, they ended up stifling growth and innovation in the crypto sectors.

What Australia is doing differently
Australia has a way of doing things differently than the rest of the world. But what the country is doing with cryptocurrencies is not exactly unique. UAE, among a few other countries, has adopted the same stance. Australia is giving a “Badge of Approval” to the cryptocurrency exchanges that it deems safe for its citizens.

Jane Hume, the Minister for Digital Economy of Australia, spoke in favor of cryptocurrencies and Defi at the Australian Blockchain Week 2022. In her long speech, she spoke at length about how Defi and crypto are the most exciting prospects for the Australian people. Under the Morrison government, the digital market economy of Australia is around $AUD 2.1 billion. It is very close to toppling gold and taking its place in terms of market share.

At the same event, Senator Hume spoke about how the government is trying to address this issue. The key highlights of her speech were:

● Introducing safe labels for cryptocurrency exchanges that are deemed fit legally

● Making crypto taxation processes simple

When we take into account the major hindrances that crypto investors face, these two problems come out on top. In India, for example, the crypto taxation framework remains unclear months after its declaration.

Will Australia be able to tackle the crypto exchange issue?

What Australia is trying to do is not unprecedented. Other countries have tried to do similar things to curb the problem of crypto scams. Several European countries have strict guidelines on cryptocurrency advertisement. That’s yet another way governments are trying to protect their citizens from crypto-related scams. Australia, however, is taking a softer stance.

Whether or not Australia will succeed depends on how well the Senate handles the issue. If the government can arrive at a mutually agreed-upon stance, it would not be difficult to legalize this stance. But that’s only the first step towards adopting crypto institutionally.

What parameters the evaluating body chooses to grade cryptocurrency exchanges is the most important factor. Many governments make a mistake here since their panels do not include people who are real crypto experts. If Australia manages to get a grip on these two factors, its policies can have very beneficial effects on the crypto landscape of the country.

Will Australia set an example for the world?

As of now, it is too soon to say whether Australia will set an example for other countries to follow. The policies are still at an ideation level and their execution may not be as promising. Most importantly, several governments have a deep-rooted anti-crypto stance. It’s highly unlikely that their stance would sway due to what happens in a distant country.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 South East Asia Business Awards

United Kingdom, 2022- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2022 South East Asia Business Awards.

The events of the last two years have proven to be a challenging gauntlet for businesses of all sizes across the world. For new businesses looking to build and settle on robust foundations, the global pandemic proved to be a baptism of fire defined by uncertainty and overcome only through sheer creativity and adaptability. Of course, online businesses faired better overall, and it is here that many South East Asian companies gained ground that would have otherwise been lost. All in all, South East Asia, as a region, has showcased a steadfast ability to find success.

It is with this in mind that APAC Insider Magazine launched the 2022 edition of the awards programme. On the eve of the announcement Awards Co-ordinator Victoria Cotton commented on the success of the deserving winners: “It has been a delight to reach out to those selected in this year’s programme. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of those recognised, and I wish you all an amazing rest of the year ahead.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to editors.

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly by AI Global Media, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region.

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

What makes a good business broker?

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a business broker. A good business broker should be knowledgeable about the industry, experienced in brokering deals, and have a solid reputation. They should also be able to provide valuable advice and guidance throughout the sale process. In this article, we will discuss what makes a good business broker and what you should look for when making your decision.

Relationship Oriented.

If you’re looking for a business broker that can help you sell your business, it’s important to find someone who is relationship-oriented. A good business broker will be interested in understanding your needs and goals and will work with you to get the best possible outcome for your sale. They will also be able to provide valuable insight and advice throughout the process and will be trusted partners that you can rely on.

Persistent And Motivated.

A good business broker is someone who is persistent and motivated. They will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and they won’t give up until the transaction is complete. They are also very knowledgeable about the industry and the market, which allows them to provide accurate advice to their clients.

Good business brokers always have their client’s best interests in mind and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for them. If you are thinking about selling your business, or if you are looking for a broker to help you buy a business, make sure you find someone who has these qualities. You won’t regret it.

Patient And Understanding.

One of the most important qualities of a good business broker is patience. Many business owners are under a lot of stress during the sale process, and a good broker will be understanding and help to ease that stress. A good broker will also be patient in explaining the process to the business owner and answering any questions they have.

Another important quality for a business broker is the ability to negotiate. A good broker will be able to negotiate on behalf of their client to get the best possible price and terms for the sale of the business. They will also be able to navigate any difficult conversations that need to take place during the process.

Knowledgeable.

A good business broker is knowledgeable about the businesses they represent and the industry as a whole. They understand the process of buying and selling businesses and can provide valuable insights to their clients. A good business broker will also keep up-to-date on trends in the industry, so they can better advise their clients on what to do next.

Trustworthy.

A good business broker is someone you can trust. They will have your best interests at heart and work to get you the best deal possible. They will be honest with you about what they think your business is worth, and they won’t try to pressure you into selling for less than what it’s worth.

Summary.

When it comes to finding a good Lloyds business broker in Melbourne, there are a few key things to look for. First, the broker should have a lot of experience and be able to provide a lot of valuable advice. They should also have a good network of potential buyers and sellers, which can help speed up the sale process. Finally, the broker should be honest and trustworthy, as you’ll be sharing a lot of confidential information with them. If you can find a broker who meets all of these criteria, then you’re on your way to a successful sale.

ADDX Is First Singapore Financial Institution to Recognise Crypto Assets of Accredited Investors

Amid rising crypto ownership, the move expands the universe of individuals who can invest in private market products

Private market exchange ADDX has become the first financial institution in Singapore to recognise cryptocurrency assets for the purposes of onboarding accredited investors.

The move opens the way for more individuals to qualify for accredited investor status. They can thereby participate in more sophisticated investment opportunities in the private markets, which tend to be more resilient in times of market volatility. These include asset classes such as private equity and venture capital funds, hedge funds and pre-IPO companies.

In line with regulations, ADDX will implement appropriate risk management measures that take into account the price volatility of crypto assets. For example, ADDX will recognise only cryptocurrencies with a higher market capitalisation and will apply a discount rate when valuing the assets.

Under Singapore’s regulatory regime, individuals have to meet any one of three criteria in order to qualify as accredited investors: their income in the past twelve months exceeds SGD 300,000, or their net financial assets exceed SGD 1 million, or their net personal assets exceed SGD 2 million. While crypto assets are not currently recognised as income or financial assets, they can be recognised under the third category of net personal assets.

As part of its process for verifying accredited investors, ADDX will begin recognising three coins – Bitcoin, Ether and USDC. The discount rates ADDX will apply when calculating the value of these crypto holdings is 50% for Bitcoin or Ether and 10% for USDC. These coins and discount rates will be reviewed at regular intervals and may be revised as market conditions change. To qualify as accredited investors, individuals can provide documents to show that the value of their net personal assets meets the SGD 2 million threshold after the inclusion of crypto assets with the discount rate applied.

The latest development comes at a time when crypto ownership rates are at record levels worldwide. According to a global survey by Gemini, crypto ownership rose by more than 80% in 2021. Ownership rates have hit 30% in Singapore, 24% in Hong Kong, 20% in the US, 18% in the UK and 17% in Germany.

ADDX CEO Oi-Yee Choo said: “Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. They no longer exist only on the fringes of wealth and investment conversations. With a large minority of investors owning crypto, it is reasonable for these digital assets to be recognised as a part of one’s portfolio – not unlike any other assets that can be valued in the marketplace, such as real estate or equity. In line with ADDX’s mission of democratising private market investing, recognising crypto holdings helps us to serve a much wider segment of investors – not just investors with traditional holdings, but those who hold crypto as well. At a time when the markets are volatile, this move is also designed to enable crypto investors to diversify into the regulated private markets, which tend to be more stable across different phases of market cycles.”

Ms Choo added: “As a regulated financial institution that understands blockchain technology, ADDX is well-positioned to bridge the two worlds – traditional finance and digital assets. Investors increasingly expect a seamless view of their complete holdings because their traditional wealth and crypto wealth ultimately belong to a single portfolio. They want the best of both worlds. Last year, ADDX listed our first fund with exposure to crypto, and today we are recognising crypto assets for accredited investor verification. These steps form part of a more strategic and comprehensive crypto roadmap for ADDX. In time to come, we are likely to enable customers to fund their investment wallets with cryptocurrencies and to convert their assets between fiat currencies and crypto.” 

Founded in 2017, ADDX is Asia’s largest private market exchange. Using blockchain and smart contract technology, ADDX tokenises private market investments such as private equity funds, hedge funds, pre-IPO equity and bonds. The resulting efficiency allows the platform to reduce minimum investment sizes from USD 1 million to USD 20,000. ADDX has listed more than 30 deals on its platform involving blue-chip names such as Hamilton Lane, Partners Group, Investcorp, Singtel, UOB, CGS-CIMB, as well as Temasek-owned entities Mapletree, Azalea and SeaTown. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) backed company is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a digital securities exchange.

Ready to expand to the UK? Everything you need to know

Ongoing trade talks between India and the UK could double bilateral trade by 2030 and are said to be ‘worth billions’, presenting huge opportunities for Indian businesses looking to set up shop in the UK. According to the UK’s Department for International Trade, the proposed arrangement between the two countries should be finalised by 2023 and would ensure the development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. So, what do businesses need to know when expanding to the UK?

Setting up a company in the UK may seem like a daunting task but with the right plan in place, it is relatively straightforward, even for those with no previous experience of doing business in a foreign country. It has never been easier or cheaper to register a company in the UK, making now the perfect time to consider this business move.

Many of the company structures available for new businesses in the UK will be familiar to Indian enterprises, as Indian and English laws share many similarities. The limited liability company (Ltd) is one of the most common corporate structures in the UK and it can provide an advantage for Indian entities looking to create UK affiliates, as the directors of the company do not have to live in the UK on a permanent basis. Registering a limited company can cost just £12 and take as little as 24 hours.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that limited company structures confine a business to only seeking private investment to fund their growth and development. A public limited company, in tandem with a listing on a stock exchange, allows access to a broader range of investment, and investment structures, and is more appropriate for expanding businesses and/or larger, more established companies seeking to tap markets. Other structures, such as limited liability partnerships (LLPs), have the advantage of not being required to pay corporation tax.

Further UK governance that companies should be aware of when expanding to the UK includes the form of a company’s articles of association, which forms the  rules and constitution governing a business. Shareholders and board members should be aware that certain decisions must be made in accordance with these rules and evidence of some decisions will need to be filed publicly at Companies House, the UK registrar of companies, or else a fine may be issued.

Businesses setting up shop in the UK can either opt for model articles, provided under the Companies Act 2006, or create their own Articles of Association tailored to meet their individual set-up. Generally, model articles may be a suitable choice for small companies, whereas more tailored articles may better suit larger companies, or those with complex shareholding classes or structures.

Whilst it is not necessary to have a UK bank account to conduct business in the UK, it can provide administrative convenience for companies looking to make and receive payments in the country. Setting up a UK bank account can be a time-consuming process, so businesses should make a start on arranging one as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

While having a business plan is not a legal requirement for starting a UK business, it is useful to have a blueprint for the company’s future development. As well as helping to provide the rationale behind securing additional investment as the business grows, it can also help in flushing our and then navigating any potential obstacles that may arise in the first few years of settling in the UK.

Many Indian companies in sectors such as garments, agriculture, and advanced technology, are already setting up UK based affiliates to take advantage of the country’s new trade opportunities. It’s important to remember that when it comes to setting up a business, location is everything.

London remains a prestigious destination for global businesses, but other UK cities also have competitive advantages to offer companies in specific sectors. For example, the Southeast of the UK is home to globally linked service industries, such as banking, finance, and legal services with easy access to the main UK airports and transport links. London and the Southeast are also hotbeds for finance and fintech start-ups, and as of 2022, almost one third of entrepreneurs in the UK were based in the region. However, property in the Southeast, and particularly London, can be very expensive. Therefore, new businesses should carefully weigh up whether having a headquarters in these locations is essential.

Birmingham, Manchester, Humberside, and the Northeast have taken the lead in sectors such as driverless cars and industrial hydrogen technologies, with the Midlands and the North of England having strong connections to the automotive and energy industries. Developments in driverless cars and clean energy technologies will likely happen in these locations first.  

As the UK undertakes its ‘net zero’ energy transformation, companies involved with new technology hubs in these regions will have a clear advantage, due to their proximity to a host of potential new partners, collaborators, and customers. Warehouse and property space, as well as rent and living expenses, are much cheaper outside of the Southeast. As such, Indian companies may want to consider basing themselves in the Midlands and Northeast, especially those in the automotive and energy industries, to take advantage of both the areas’ reputations and their cheaper costs. Easy connectivity to rail, road, air, and sea transport links makes these locations (particularly the northern cities) even more desirable.

From a global immigration perspective, business owners will need to consider visa types and requirements for any workforce members that will be migrating from India to the UK. There are a range of immigration visas available for business and staffing requirements, including Innovator, Start-up, Global Talent and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas. Each of these should be researched thoroughly, with advice sought from a legal professional, to ensure the correct decisions are made.

The UK offers a legal and business framework that is conducive to the growth of Indian businesses looking to thrive in a new and promising marketplace. By making prudent and well-informed decisions early on, they can ensure that they are positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that are likely to arise from the India-UK trade partnership in the coming years.

Sneha Nainwal, partner and Head of India Desk at Shakespeare Martineau

Westin Hotels and Strava Collaborate for Global Running Day

A champion of Global Running Day, Westin Hotels & Resorts – part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands – today announced it has joined forces with Strava, the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world, to reward fitness enthusiasts of all types for getting their hearts rates up beginning June 1. Through this new collaboration, 500 Marriott Bonvoy members will have the chance to earn 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each by completing the month-long global ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’ using the Strava app.

As the preeminent well-being brand in hospitality, Westin has consistently supported Global Running Day for more than five years as a means to further encourage guests to stay active while on the road. Westin empowers guests to transcend the rigors of travel through its Six Pillars of well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. Inspired by the brand’s Move Well pillar, this new collaboration with Strava continues to build on the industry-leading programming by Westin.

“The philosophy of Westin has always been rooted in empowering our guests to maintain, and even enhance, their well-being while traveling, so they leave feeling better than when they arrived,” said Jennifer Connell, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Vice President, Distinctive Premium Brands, Marriott International. “With this in mind, and inspired by our foundational Move Well pillar, our unique partnership with Strava aims to motivate a global community of fitness enthusiasts and Marriott Bonvoy members to make wellness a priority and get rewarded for doing so.”

The ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’

Marriott Bonvoy members participating in the Challenge must complete 10 hours of physical activity within the month of June by running, in addition to other types of exercise including walking, biking, wheelchair, and hiking. The challenge of 600 minutes or 10 hours of activity for the month is informed by the American Heart Association’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes – roughly 2.5 hours – of physical activity per week[1]. Upon completion of the Challenge at the end of the month, 500 participating members will then be selected at random to receive 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each.

How to Participate

Marriott Bonvoy members can begin registering for the ‘RunWESTIN Challenge’ on May 25 via the Strava app. The Challenge kicks off June 1 and closes June 30 at 11:59 p.m. in each participant’s respective time zone. Members can register at any point throughout June and complete their 10 hours of activity throughout the month in order to be eligible for the 40,000 points.

“Strava empowers athletes everywhere to find joy through movement,” said David Lorsch, Chief Revenue Officer, Strava. “We’re excited to celebrate Global Running Day with Westin and inspire Marriott Bonvoy members around the world to stay active with the power of Strava Challenges this June.”

Go The Extra Mile at Westin Hotels and Resorts in Asia-Pacific

To celebrate Global Running Day, on June 1st, enjoy a 5-KM Run Westin at the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, accompanied by a stretching session guided by Estalitaa Pinto, the resort ́s Fitness Instructor. Run Concierge from The Westin Singapore will lead a scenic group run through some of the city’s most iconic sights including the Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay. Post run, guests are invited to the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool for refreshing treats packed with nutrients and antioxidants to aid recovery.

From a scenic run around Tokyo’s Shibuya Scramble and Roppongi Hills at The Westin Tokyo to a leisure beachfront run along a 5km trail around the neighborhood adjoining Anjuna beach at The Westin Goa and running through the picturesque gardens in Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition Park at The Westin Nanjing Resort & Spa, guests can stay active with an extensive collection of signature Move Well program at Westin properties in the region throughout the month of June.

Slated to open June, The Westin Yokohama is strategically situated in the new Central Business District of Yokohama, Minato Mirai, offering easy access to popular sightseeing spots such as Japan’s largest Chinatown and the city’s renowned Sankeien Garden.  As part of the brand’s signature Move Well pillar, a local RunWESTIN® program provides jogging maps that offer a choice of either a four-and-a-half or nine-kilometer scenic route around the futuristic Minatomirai waterfront area.

To learn more about well-being at Westin, visit www.westin.marriott.com and join the conversation @westin and #runwestin. To download the free Strava app on your smartphone, visit the App store and search for Strava. To download Strava on your desktop, visit https://www.strava.com.

Forex Patterns You Must Know

Common Forex Chart Patterns Every Beginner Must Know

While it is always difficult to predict what a currency and market will do, there are multiple breadcrumbs that charts leave behind that help you gather enough information to form a well-educated guess. This post will help you identify some of the most common graph patterns and help you understand what they mean and how you can take advantage of them. 

Head & Shoulders

A head and shoulders pattern is probably the most recognisable one. The highs and lows look like a mountain range, with the graph having one peak, a drop, a bigger peak, a drop, and then a smaller peak again. 

A head and shoulders pattern shows a tug-of-war of sorts amongst the stock or currency. Combined with what is happening in a company or with an economy, this pattern can indicate when peaks will come and subside again. This pattern is the basic rule to understand forex trading

Rising & Falling Wedges 

A rising or falling wedge pattern will look like a triangle. These patterns will indicate a stock or forex price rising and falling in a triangular shape but within either a constant upward or downtrend. 

In short, a falling wedge is a bullish pattern that takes place during an upward trend, and a rising wedge is a bearish pattern that is found within a downward trend. 

Engulfing Patterns

An engulfing pattern is fairly easy to spot. An engulfing pattern is when a peak closes higher than the previous day\’s opening after opening lower than the previous day’s high, in most charts. 

As mentioned, it is quite easy to spot; you need to find a small black candlestick, immediately followed by a taller white candlestick.

Double Top

A double top is pretty self-explanatory and often easy to spot. It is a pattern that will follow a steady incline and will have two high price peaks one after the other, with only a small and short fall in between them. 

Another distinctive feature of a double top is that the fall in between the two peaks won’t fall below the support line. Double tops often indicate a medium or long-term change in the asset class. 

Double Bottom 

A double bottom is the opposite of a double top, with the line reaching two long prices right after each other. It is important to note the time between the two drops, as this can tell you some vital information. 

The longer the gap is between the two drops, the greater the probability of the chart pattern being successful. This time isn’t a couple of days or weeks either, with many analysts and experts agreeing three months is a long enough time to establish the chart. 

Rounding Bottom

Rounding bottom patterns are usually found at the end of a long downturn and are U-shaped. A rounding bottom trend can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form, with many analysts agreeing it is relatively rare. 

What a rounding bottom means is that the downturn indicates an excess in supply and, therefore, a price drop. The curve will continue until it bottoms out, and then new buyers come in, and the price begins to rise again. 

Symmetrical Triangles

A symmetrical triangle pattern is a neutral pattern that sees the new low as higher than the previous low or the new high being lower than the previous low. The graph will be shaped either like ascending or descending triangles. 

Symmetrical triangles are a sign that neither the bulls nor the bears are able to provide enough pressure to form a definitive trend. This type of pattern pits buyers and sellers against each other, with the first one to crack being the loser. 

Cup & Handle

A cup and handle pattern is made up of two parts. The cup part of the pattern is similar to a rounding bottom, with the price falling on a curve and then rising again after it bottoms out. However, the handle is what makes this pattern different. 

The curve will rise again to the heights of the previous high but will then fall; this clearly indicates sellers cashing out after the long wait for the last high to come back. The pattern will then stabilise and will then either fall or rise again. 

APAC Insider Announces the Winners of the 2022 CEO of the Year Awards

United Kingdom, 2022– APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2022 CEO of the Year Awards.

Strong leadership is, by all regards, vital in business. Whether it be driving growth, or steering the company down a profitable path, leaders play a fundamental role in companies of all shapes and sizes. While it is true that a company’s overall success lies in the efforts of the greater team, CEOs, Managers and Directors all have the weight on their shoulders when it comes to weathering particularly intense storms.

APAC Insider has always endeavoured to recognise companies and individuals who are redefining their respective industries and changing paradigms. This year, we hosted the CEO of the Year Awards as an endeavour to recognise greatness in the face of an extraordinarily challenging year. A year that is not yet over. On the eve of publication, Awards Co-ordinator Gabrielle Ellis commented on the success of the winners: “It has been a delight to helm this year’s CEO of the Year programme. I offer my heartfelt congratulations and hope you all have a wonderful rest of the 2022 ahead.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/ where you can view the award supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly by AI Global Media, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

International Employers Must Act Now or Face a Great Resignation on a Global Scale

The great resignation is not just an issue for the UK, it is a phenomenon happening around the world.

With more flexibility than ever in the way employees work, employers must keep pace in terms of the health and wellbeing support they offer if they are to retain talent on a global basis. This means meeting the demands of more frequent moves from country to country, supporting an increase in local employees, and plugging the gaps of struggling global healthcare systems.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “While the great global resignation is now a well-known phrase, it is not a fait accompli. Understanding the specific needs of overseas employees and having the support in place to meet these needs will go a long way to proving and securing loyalty on both sides. But change is happening now, and employers must act.”

Flexibility required on both sides

Overseas assignments have changed, and employers must respond to this. Global mobility now often means much shorter stays at a wider variety of destinations, with a greater tendency for employees to spend just a few weeks at a time in any one place. Employers need to move quickly to provide the appropriate cover for these new global movement trends.

Increased in-country employment

There is a growing move towards global companies employing people from within each relevant country, as opposed to posting staff abroad from the home country. This means that there is a greater need for employers to source local health and wellbeing support for local people. For employers based in a different country from their staff, for instance if they are UK-based and trying to arrange support abroad, this can be challenging. It is important to tap into local expertise as there are different health and wellbeing regulations in each country. Introducing the appropriate support is vital or employers will leave themselves open to issues.

Global healthcare systems under pressure

The UK has become very aware of the pressures on the NHS, but this is not confined locally. Healthcare systems around the world are struggling and costs have increased greatly. Employers must now reassess what options they really need to offer for health and wellbeing and what areas are most important to their staff. More emphasis may be needed on screening and diagnostics, to identify issues early. Employers may also want to look at putting more comprehensive support in place, for overseas staff in particular. Flexibility over benefit design will be important to ensure the support meets individual needs.

New demands from overseas employees

Employees working abroad are looking for their employers to support them in new ways. There is now a greater focus on health and wellbeing. With people working remotely, their needs have changed and so have attitudes and ways of accessing support. Digital healthcare is now in greater demand, with virtual GPs and wellbeing apps and hubs embraced. Employers must look to adopt new technologies for greater support if they are to retain their talent.

Sarah Dennis says, “The requirements for health and wellbeing support differ from employer to employer and from country to country. What one employee may not need whilst in one area, may be vital cover in their next location. The impact of the great resignation will differ by sector and by country. Retaining talent comes down to offering a flexible approach, tailored on an individual basis. With global employees, this support will also need to adapt according to the country they are working in at the time. Benefits in 2022 are about flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.”

Bangkok to Host ICCA Congress 2023, Signalling Thailand’s Return as a Contender for Large-Scale International MICE

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has chosen Bangkok as the host city of its annual general meeting next year. The 62nd ICCA Congress will be held from November 12-15, 2023. A major event in the global MICE calendar, the ICCA Congress is attended by members who represent more than 1,000 private and public organisations from over 100 countries.

ICCA’s decision reflects the association meeting industry’s confidence in Bangkok and the interest among ICCA members to get reacquainted with Thailand after a two-year break. Supported by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the 2023 congress also promises to be an especially memorable one as it will take place at a time when Bangkok will be showcasing its achievements from the first half of its 20-year Strategic Development Plan (2013–2032) to transform itself into the “Metropolitan City of Asia”.

By hosting the ICCA Congress, TCEB hopes to impress upon association meeting executives not only Bangkok’s exceptional credentials but also the many MICE destinations to be found throughout Thailand. Having developed their business events infrastructure over the years with input from TCEB, Thailand’s other MICE Cities – Chiang MaiPhuket, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, Phitsanulok, Udon Thani and Surat Thani – are now more ready than ever to host international meetings.

TCEB President, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, said: “We thank ICCA for this great opportunity to host the 62nd ICCA Congress in Bangkok. Thailand has been a member of ICCA since 1974 and we are absolutely confident that it will continue to play an exemplary leadership role in promoting international association meetings. We look forward to welcoming ICCA delegates to the city of Bangkok as we celebrate an important milestone in the city’s transformation to become the “Metropolitan City of Asia” – a safe, green, and economically and culturally vibrant city – under its 20-year Strategic Development Plan (2013-2032).

“Hosting the ICCA Congress 2023 will generate substantial economic returns and uncover countless new business opportunities for our MICE community. With more than 1,000 overseas and 200 Thai delegates expected, we estimate the congress itself will generate 3 million USD in revenue and other positive impacts, such as job creation, tax revenue and added values to the economy.”

Mr. Chiruit pointed out that one segment of the congress programme is particularly important for Thailand’s MICE professionals. The ICCA Business Exchange – the session where ICCA members share commercially important information on the bidding process, selection criteria and budgets of their recent events – can provide essential guidance for Thai MICE players in crafting winning bids. With more than 30 executives of international associations participating in the session, this is also a golden opportunity for local associations and regional stakeholders to form network and drive business development.

The ICCA Congress 2023 will also be a tremendous learning opportunity for Thailand’s MICE Cities and local associations. TCEB has invited the governors of all Thailand’s MICE Cities to participate in dialogue sessions alongside experts on international academic conventions. Their exchange of ideas and experiences will help each city further refine its MICE strategy. TCEB will also invite at least 20 local associations to attend ICCA’s Incredible Impacts Programme meeting where the spotlight will be on how international conventions have helped bring positive change to societies around the world, while leaving behind inspiring legacy for local communities and the next generations. TCEB hopes that the local attendees will be inspired to create similarly impactful programmes following their interaction with at least 30 of their overseas counterparts.

“2023 will be the year of economic revival for Thailand. Our country will open to the world again and we will join hands with the world and ICCA to reimagine a new future for business events,” said Mr. Chiruit.

Mr. Senthil Gopinath, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) said, “I thank TCEB and Thailand for the ambition to host the ICCA Congress 2023. TCEB clearly demonstrated structured planning, support from crucial partners in the region, and offering a beautiful setting for guests to come together. There is no doubt that the ICCA Congress in Bangkok will showcase how business events can contribute to socio-economic development, enhance the intellectuality of the meetings industry, and be prepared for the future. I am sure ICCA delegates will be able to experience memorable Thai hospitality and professionalism at ICCA Congress 2023.”

PIMCO – The Big Freeze: Sanctioning Russia Raises Questions on Other Currencies

By Gene Frieda, Global Strategist at PIMCO

Freezing a central bank’s currency reserves is not new, but Russia is the first globally integrated economy to suffer this fate. Thus far, we have seen dramatic ramifications for Russia, with potential implications for the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s main reserve currency and strength of China’s renminbi.

The potency of sanctions on Russian central bank reserves has stemmed from coordinated actions of the U.S., Europe, the U.K., Canada, and Japan, among other jurisdictions. That unity created de facto near unanimity, as Chinese banks became reluctant to deal with Russia for fear of secondary sanctions. However, for most countries outside China, sanctions risk should remain low.

A big question is to what extent will existing foreign exchange (FX) reserve allocations and indeed the portfolio allocations of international investors be adjusted out of fear of future sanctions, as foreign investors seek to avoid risks of capital lost or trapped onshore? If these reserves cannot be shifted to safe locations, then their insurance value may be deemed limited and, accordingly, the extent of sustainable foreign liabilities may be less than previously assumed.

Our view is that reserves will shift to currencies of countries deemed as sanctions-remote. A corollary is that a sanctions-risk premium on FX reserves realistically applies only to countries where the risk of globally coordinated sanctions is high.

Ultimately, we believe the U.S. dollar will come out at least as strong as before, while the picture for the renminbi is more clouded.

China’s challenge

From China’s perspective, sanctions could be disruptive given ongoing tensions with the U.S. China lacks obvious alternatives for its $3.2 trillion in FX reserves to traditional reserve currencies and gold. While China could sell down its FX reserves, this seems highly implausible given its large gross foreign liabilities and its desire for currency stability. Total foreign liabilities have risen to $3.6 trillion as of end-2021.

If China concludes its reserves no longer provide much insurance, a logical conclusion would be to allow the exchange rate to fluctuate more. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) continues to tightly manage renminbi (CNY) volatility. Convergence toward realized volatility levels in line with G-10 and Asian peers would imply a 100%–125% increase in realized CNY volatility. Carry could still be attractive relative to regional peers, but its status as a top carry trade would be undermined.

Diversification imperatives

Coupled with ongoing trade tensions between China and the West, the freeze of Russia’s reserves have again raised fears of an exodus from the U.S. dollar (USD), but to where?

While the CNY should continue to benefit from China’s strong trade linkages, its status as a potential challenger to the USD is likely to suffer from greater uncertainty around rule of law and sanctions-risk premium. Larger central banks may be more reluctant to hold CNY due to potential Western sanctions risk and the corresponding need for China to re-impose capital controls on foreigners. The CNY should continue to attract reserve flows from smaller countries that China dominates as a trade partner and to some extent from commodity exporters, but it should remain a fractional share of global reserves.

The euro’s (EUR) share of global reserves should rebound if yields return to positive territory. Recent progress in reducing eurozone break-up risk is the precondition for both higher rates and a larger EUR share in global reserves, currently about 20%.

Conclusion

We believe the USD’s anchor status has arguably been reaffirmed by the freezing of Russia’s reserves, if not buoyed at the margin. At last count the dollar’s share of global reserves was 59%, little changed from a decade ago. We do not see much immediate spillover risk from Russia to other countries, including to China.

However, we foresee lingering consequences through three channels: China’s efforts to insulate its existing reserves from potential sanctioning; commodity exporters’ consideration of how to invest freshly minted FX reserves stemming from the current commodity boom; and foreign investors’, both public and private, consideration of collateral damage from financial sanctions that might affect the convertibility of CNY assets onshore.

Sanctions risk to China and indeed China’s increasingly conservative economic policies work against the CNY’s rise as a reserve currency. The lesson from Russia is that sanctions on FX reserves can be potent, effectively forcing currency non-convertibility on the country. The share of CNY’s weight in global reserves, while still set to rise, will likely be capped in mid-single digits.

For countries fearful of being sanctioned, reserves may be less of an insurance buffer than previously assumed. If diversification is not an option, then reduced external borrowing – another form of secular deglobalization – is the logical consequence.

Finally, if global reserve growth accelerates again (for example, due to the persistence of high commodity prices favoring commodity exporters), developed market government bonds would likely benefit more than any individual currency as reserves are recycled back into traditional safe assets.

How To Safely Invest In Real Estate In The UK

How To Safely Invest In Real Estate In The UK

In 2021, the UK house market reached new record highs after rising by more than 10% over the previous year. The increase also marked the fastest growth rate seen in the past 15 years. The housing boom that started during the COVID-19 pandemic continued strongly in the first months of 2022 as well. By the end of April, the average property prices had surpassed a new record high of £360,000. The increase represented a 9.9% price growth since the start of the year. A still hot market can represent an exciting opportunity for overseas investors, including interested parties from the APAC region.

As with any investment, there is a significant risk involved. Investors should find reliable partners within the UK to help them navigate the local laws and tax regulations. In the more serious cases, having the assistance of experienced insolvency practitioners London could also help organizations find suitable options among the available choices to move forward in a more stable and positive financial condition.

Rising Rent Yields

Accompanying the thriving property market in the UK, the rental sector also experienced significant growth. According to estimates, the average rent in the country reached £1,060 at the end of December 2021, just £1 shy of the previous record that was posted just three months earlier. Naturally, the tremendous growth has resulted in impressive rental yields from properties in the UK, with certain areas such as Liverpool and Manchester reporting returns of over 10%. The potential profits far surpassed what other popular countries and regions such as Shanghai could offer during the same period. Non-resident investors from all over the world could find that buying a property in the UK is becoming an ever more attractive venture.

Securing Funds

Investors from the Southeast Asia region who wish to secure and buy a property in the UK but do not have sufficient funds on hand are not automatically excluded from the market. There are several possible options to find outside funding. One popular choice is a buy to let mortgage. It usually covers 75% of the property’s value. However, the buyer will need to cover the remaining 25% as well as any additional taxes that might apply, including stamp duty land tax, legal fees, and land registry fees.

Unfortunately, some UK lenders may not be willing to approve a non-UK resident or will offer such individuals far higher interest fees. They may also demand larger deposits. To avoid such issues and make the whole process much smoother, overseas investors could retain the services of specialized lenders or international banks to help them secure a UK mortgage on the residential property.

Tax Implications

Investors who purchase or rent a property in the UK will be liable to pay various taxes. Most commonly, these will include an Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Non-resident investors will only be taxed on their income earned within the county and not on their entire income, which could include profits from operations in other countries. Furthermore, the income tax can be paid in one of two ways. First, the investor can earn their full income and pay the applicable tax via a self-assessment tax return. Alternatively, they can allow their lettings agent or tenants to deduct the necessary tax automatically.

When the chosen property is located in England or Northern Ireland, it will also be subjected to a Stamp Duty Land Tax. Similar taxes are also in place in Scotland and Wales. The SDLT tax is based on the purchase price of a property. Buying a second property that is not considered to be your home incurs an additional 3% charge on top of the standard SDLT rates. In addition, foreign buyers are liable to pay an additional 2% surcharge. Keep in mind that the SDLT rates start at 5% for values under £125 000 and reach 17% for sums above £1.5 million.

Under UK law, profits earned by selling a property are subjected to capital gains tax. The amount of the owed tax depends on the level of the reported profit, but other factors may also influence it. The incurred tax must be paid within 60 days from the date of conveyance. Investors considered to be non-residents of the country are subjected to non-resident capital gains tax. That tax rate also changes based on whether the non-resident investor is an individual, a company, or a trust.

How To Select Suppliers For Your Manufacturing Business

Manufacturers are businesses that create a product by adding different parts or ingredients that they receive from other companies. These outside sources are called suppliers. Without them, many companies would have very high production costs.

Making everything from start to finish in one manufacturing plant is just not feasible. Each part of the final product would need specialized equipment to make and put together. One business can’t have all the human resources or capital to run such a large operation. 

Finding suppliers that would be able to contribute to these more minor parts of the whole would be the manufacturer’s best option. There are a few things to consider when looking for suppliers that manufacturing businesses should keep in mind:

The Supplier’s Location Should Be Convenient

Depending on the products that a manufacturing business would need, a supplier with a convenient location would make procurement easier. Manufacturers can opt to import parts from a supplier overseas, and some can source locally.

Before considering a supplier, look at their location and decide if it would affect their delivery time and output. It’s necessary to have a supplier with a secure site that can provide a steady stream of products that won’t delay the manufacturing business.

Suppliers Should Be Reliable

Businesses can find reputable suppliers like reidsupply.com and other online websites or local suppliers available in your area. Suppliers should deliver on their promises for quality and quantity.

Suppliers that don’t provide the products needed on time, in the right amounts, and of the highest standard would affect the manufacturer’s output. Manufacturers not having enough parts to assemble an item or broken parts due to poor quality would cause non-completion of client orders.

Investigate how long a supplier has been in business too. It’ll give the manufacturer a good idea if the company is sustainable and will continue to be one of their partners. Unfortunately, companies that recently opened their doors have a higher risk of closing down, and manufacturers need reliable support.

Multiple Suppliers Are Sometimes Needed

Manufacturers with a high output should consider finding more than one supplier for the same product they need. One supplier would have a production speed to supply the manufacturer with some orders, while another could stock up the warehouse for the following products.

The two suppliers must share the same qualities in their products, so the manufacturer’s end product doesn’t lack because of the difference. Clients would notice the difference quickly and cancel orders when they’re not satisfied with what they receive.

Pricing Of The Supplier’s Goods Should Be Affordable

The manufacturer should decide which supplier they will use, and a significant deciding factor would be the price of the supplies. Manufacturers market the end products at a specific price, and having increased production expenses would affect the manufacturer’s bottom line.

It makes no business sense to have expensive suppliers that would mean less profit for the manufacturer. Choosing wisely which ones to board and which ones to pass by should be part of finding the best supplier.

Use Suppliers With Good Business Values

In any field of business, there are specific values that some companies have that help their customers trust them with their investment. If a supplier has these exemplary values, manufacturers can do business with them without worry.

Principles like honesty, pride in their work, and strong business ethics are indicators that the supplier would more likely provide an excellent service to the manufacturer.

Find Referrals Or Reviews About The Supplier

Manufacturers can ask business partners and find a review about suppliers online. These reviews would indicate if others were happy with the products and service from that supplier.

Keep in mind that people will all have their own opinions, and manufacturers should consider only the overall impression given by all the reviews. Reviews can be honest, and manufacturers can pick up many concerns from others who have written it. 

Reading reviews or asking for referrals from associates would help form an idea of how the supplier would be as a manufacturing business partner.

The Takeaway

Manufacturers and their suppliers have a unique relationship with mutual benefits if all runs smoothly. Suppliers that are reputable, reliable, and trustworthy would make for the best partners a manufacturing business could have.

When finding a supplier, the decision could sway depending on the output, pricing options, and location the goods would be coming from for delivery. Manufacturers shouldn’t let suppliers fool them with false promises and poor work ethics disguised as excuses. Create lasting bonds with like-minded suppliers to help the manufacturing business thrive.

Will the Australian Economy Bounce Back after 2 Years of Constant Lockdowns?

Besides a handful of Asian and European countries which remain to have strict enforcement of Covid restrictions, Australia has been one of the most cautious countries in the world when it comes to lockdowns. It wasn’t until late 2021, which until then had essentially seen constant lockdowns in one region or another, that lockdowns began to cease.

Heading into 2022, with a realisation that the country had surpassed its vaccine targets and that Omicron was milder than Delta, it was now time to “live with this virus”. Cautious policy and a willingness to protect lives over the economy wasn’t the only reason for the lockdowns, of course, but also Australia’s strong financial position heading into it – with relatively low debt to GDP and strong reserves.

For some more perspective of the extent of Australian lockdowns, the UK had phased out lockdowns since the 8th March 2021. Although some of the rules had fluctuated since then, gyms, cafe’s and businesses remained fully open since – which is coming up to a year ago now. However, since the 8th of March in Australia, we saw Sydney impose limits on visitors to the home, Victoria entering its fourth, fifth, and eventually, sixth lockdown, Sydney announced lockdown measures and restricted it to be 5km from their home.

Not only are these lockdowns recently ending, but the borders have just been announced to fully open up to travel too for fully vaccinated travellers – with Australia having a fairly big tourism industry. Finally, the Australian economy prediction for 2022 is looking like it’s getting back to its usual self despite cases rising.

The health of Australia’s economy

In late 2020, when the pandemic was peaking to its worst stage – prior to sufficient knowledge, healthcare, or vaccines in its response – the Australian economy entered its first recession in 30 years. This alone tells the story of just how much Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns impacted the economy in 2020, with otherwise buying customers locked in their homes, only to be allowed to go to the grocery store or for a walk.

GDP shrank by 7% in the second quarter of 2020, its biggest fall since 1959. Given that it saw a fall of 0.3% in the first quarter, Australia had entered its first recession in decades – a fact that had been separating Australia’s strength from other western economies, which were deeply damaged by both the dot com bubble and the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

In response to this recession, we saw some instant rebound growth – with a 3.4%, 3.2%, 1.9%, and 0.8% quarterly growth following the recession – until an eventual -1.9% contraction in the economy 5 quarters after the recession. This somewhat represented the cyclical nature of the virus, with the virus spreading more in winter, along with a cyclical nature to the lockdown restrictions.

The upside of this cyclical nature is that it soon became apparent, and therefore businesses could have some level of foresight into this for cash flow planning – though having the foresight isn’t necessarily enough.

However, before looking at SME’s cash flow, it’s important to point out the supply chain disruptions. Australia is already a remote country, far away from the EU – which is one of its largest trading partners. Travel bans, workforce disruptions, and a deep chip shortage led to supply chain issues in Australia, with tech companies struggling to build their products and costs on the whole rising.

Like with most economies, this led to cost-push inflation (not demand-pull), which is the worst kind. Although this wasn’t a huge issue during the peak of Covid in 2020, in part because demand had also reduced (thus creating a fairly stagnant equilibrium), as consumer confidence rose, the supply issues became even more apparent, leading to inflation rates of nearly 4%.

Whilst this sounds bad, being almost double the 2% target rate, it actually fared a lot better than the EU and US inflation, with the latter climbing steadily from near-zero in mid-2020 to 7.5%. In other words, the US Federal Reserve has reacted to this inflation by hiking rates up, whilst the Reserve Bank of Australia has remained stoic – even if the inflation rise was much greater than the RBA forecast.

At the end of 2021, the unemployment rate was 4.2%, which is fairly good compared to its peers, but the low unemployment doesn’t seem to have translated into wage growth (around 2.2% in September 2021), which could be a concern given the current inflation rate. Wage growth is currently 5% in the US and 4% in the UK, in comparison. However, worker shortages due to Brexit are playing a role here. On the flip side, it can be argued that this lower wage increase is at least not exacerbating inflation.

SMEs struggle and loan guarantees resume

Small to medium-sized enterprises account for 99.8% of all Australian businesses – a very high proportion. SMEs also account for employing 7.6 million workers in Australia (around 68% of the employment in the private sector), so their health also impacts everyday Australians – not just the small business owners.

In fact, whilst Australia used to rely more on the mining boom, SMEs played a central role to the transitioning of a broader economy that now has a growing tech sector. Because of this reliance on SMEs, it meant that a core goal of the Australian government was not to neglect them during the pandemic – not least because SMEs were likely to be the shops and companies that were told to close due to restrictions, along with shifting workers to online.

One scheme brought in by the Australian government was JobKeeper payments, which meant eligible businesses could receive $1,500 per fortnight to cover wage costs. However, when the programme ended in March 2021, it was predicted that thousands of businesses would default in the following months – and many did.

Another programme that was due to end was the SME Recovery Loan Scheme, which helped provide financing support to small businesses. It allowed credit to be cheaper, with the government guaranteeing 80% of the loan amount. This SME Loan Guarantee Scheme was vitally important to the cash flow of small business finance, allowing them to have the capital to adapt to the Covid-19. Not just in paying wages and surviving, but proactively adopting new strategies that were more aligned with e-commerce, remote work, and the drastic changes that the pandemic had on our lives and habits.

Whilst the scheme has been extended now to the end of June, 2022, the government guarantee has dropped to 50%.

It certainly signals a winding down of government grants in Australia, and general financial support, despite the hangover effects that the pandemic has had. Small businesses are still struggling, having larger amounts of debt and supply chain issues remain. Many territory schemes are absent too, like no local schemes in NT or Queensland. Furthermore, we are only a few months from June 2022, when the SME Recovery Loan Scheme ends.

As a result, many small businesses are using a guide like Small Business Loans Australia for extra private financing, and this will be particularly popular come June. The way Australian small businesses seek small business loans is drastically shifting away from banks and onto the web, with online lenders having flexible creditworthiness standards and rapid application approvals – often being within 24 hours, making it ideal for impromptu and last-minute cash injections.

The northern and capital territory governments remain the most generous, though there is still a nationwide winding down of programmes.

The future of Australia’s economy

With restrictions and schemes winding down, we would expect to be optimistic for Australia’s economy throughout the rest of 2022. However, Covid-19 cases can affect consumer confidence (as well as possibly introducing new measures again), and we are seeing a fairly steep increase in cases each day. In late February, there were 18,000 new cases per day. From each day on, cases climbed on 5 consecutive days in a row, reaching 35,855 new daily cases on March 3rd.

As we have seen in the UK, however, Omicron’s presence was rapid, milder than previous strains, and left the UK with high immunity – with cases now falling there. It is expected that the same will occur in Australia.

What has more impact than cases, though, is restrictions, and the winding down of them will undoubtedly be a boost to SMEs. After 2+ years of absolutely no profits, the tourism industry is set to reignite, particularly with the high vaccination rates among countries that frequently and historically visit Australia.

Omicron is expected to “drag on economic activity during early 2022”, because high cases mean more workers isolating – and worker shortages can also cause wage inflation and CPI inflation. Total hours worked and consumer spending is also looking likely to decline in the short run due to this Omicron spike. So, it’s certainly too early for small businesses to celebrate.

However, most analysts are seeing the light – and a lot of that comes from the anticipation of Omicron cases quickly peaking and declining due to the high vaccination rates and milder symptoms. Around halfway through the year is when the bounceback is forecast, with consumer and business confidence set to rise once again – and hopefully, sustained, presuming there are no new Covid-19 variants.

Broad economic growth is expected to be boosted from July onwards, particularly in part due to the strong labour income growth and strong savings and wealth from Australians.

We can’t ignore the current political situations in Europe, of course, with the recent invasion of Ukraine. The economic impacts of this are less immediate than in Europe, of course, but oil price rises have already been introduced, and business with Russia has become more difficult. Speculation on the military events are too difficult to predict, but Australia is not protected from the economic ripples that could occur.

Inflation is set to level out at a healthy 2-3% from 2023 onwards, whilst disposable income and consumption is set to continue growing. Not only is this good news for Australia in isolation, but it’s even more impressive in relation to their peers who are suffering steep inflation that far outstrips their wage increases.

Some other possible risks for the Australian economy comes from China’s slowing economy, which is likely to reduce demand for some exports, mostly commodities like iron ore, and construction.

Looking back, it is easy to point out the shortcomings of the Australian government along with the struggles of SMEs, but it’s important to see it within the context of its peers. What stands out is Australia’s foresight in its previous economic success over the past few decades. Despite Australia withstanding far more lockdowns than the US, and thus longer pandemic relief programmes, we have seen less of a rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio, signalling that Australia had built up healthy reserves and savings when the times were good.

For comparison, Australia’s debt-to-GDP climbed from 41% in 2018 to 62% in 2021. In the US, these figures were 107% to 133%.

PIMCO: China Growth Outlook – Counting the Cost of Lockdowns

By Carol Liao, China Economist at PIMCO

After a promising start to the year, China’s economy is now facing its worst disruption since the beginning of the pandemic.

Both the manufacturing and services Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) in March fell below 50 points – the level that separates growth from contraction – for the first time since February 2020. Measures to contain COVID outbreaks concentrated in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Jilin have caused sharp declines in mobility and disruption to production, further hurting consumption and services.

Domestic logistics face friction caused by movement restrictions on truck drivers, and strict pandemic controls at major Chinese ports may exacerbate global supply chain woes as port congestion worsens worldwide.

With China unlikely to give up its zero-COVID stance, we expect another month of disruption in the mainland before the situation normalizes in May. Given significant headwinds to the nation’s economic growth in the first half of this year, we have revised down our baseline GDP forecast for 2022 to mid-4%, with a wider forecast range to account for heightened uncertainties in both the Chinese and global economy.

Pressure mounts on China’s ambitious 2022 GDP growth target

At the National People’s Congress (NPC) in early March – about a week before Shenzhen’s 17.5 million residents were placed in a week-long lockdown – Beijing had announced a growth target of “about 5.5%” for 2022, beating market expectations.

Although that figure would represent China’s lowest year-on-year GDP growth in more than three decades (with the exception of 2020), it faces challenges including global geopolitical and economic uncertainty, the ongoing pandemic, a troubled domestic housing market and lacklustre consumption.

Along with the target, Beijing also revealed a fiscal stimulus plan that surprised to the upside, with tax cuts and fiscal spending on infrastructure projects the main approaches to boost growth. In spite of the lowering of China’s deficit-to-GDP ratio to 2.8% for 2022 from 3.2% in 2021 (a decrease of more than 200 billion yuan), on-budget fiscal expenditure is expected to increase by more than 2 trillion yuan compared with last year, thanks to the significant fiscal carryover from 2021.

In addition, about 1.2 trillion yuan of local government special bond (LGSB)1 proceeds that were not used in 2021 could offer extra support to infrastructure spending this year, even as land sale revenue falls short.

Increased policy support to sustain economic and social stability

At the March NPC, Premier Li Keqiang’s Government Work Report emphasized Beijing’s shift of focus from tough structural reforms to economic stability – a particular priority given the political importance of October’s 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China and the government reshuffle.

A slew of economic and social development goals for 2022 were unveiled, such as creating more than 11 million new urban jobs and keeping Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth at around 3%. We expect the CPI to average around 2.5% this year, factoring in higher commodity prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis but weaker domestic consumption demand.

On the property market, the report reiterated that “housing is for living, not for speculation,” but also stated that the government will support reasonable housing demand, indicating a more balanced tone on property market policies.

With sustainable energy, China will be more flexible with its decarbonization target and take a more scientific approach to its energy structure transformation. This contrasts to the specific target of trimming energy intensity by 3% in 2021, which triggered disruptive power rationing.

We expect policy easing to accelerate in the near term. Fiscal policy has been in action with front-loaded LGSB issuance to support infrastructure and swift relief programs to help small and medium-sized enterprises that are struggling with the current COVID wave. The People’s Bank of China has stepped up credit supply, but aggregate credit growth remains constrained by weak demand, and thus we expect further sectoral regulatory policy relaxation, especially in the housing market, to lift demand. Interest rate and reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts are also likely to follow in 2Q 2022.

Impact on growth will depend on length of lockdowns

Our mid-4% China GDP forecast for 2022 takes into account the fiscal upside surprise, the better-than-expected economic performance in the first two months of this year, as well as the impact of the Omicron wave and the Russia-Ukraine crisis – and assumes that the current outbreak will get largely under control by May.

We think the impact on China’s exports could still be manageable if lockdowns are not synchronized across major ports and domestic production remains intact. When Shenzhen’s Yantian port suspended operations for weeks in May and June last year, for example, large quantities of cargo were diverted to ports in other areas, thereby keeping summer exports strong at nearly 30% year-on-year.

Overall, we think the length of disruption will be key. China will likely prevent a large-scale synchronized lockdown across the country and we expect further outbreaks to face the same strict – but short – lockdown as Shenzhen, rather than Shanghai’s unsuccessful attempt at phased lockdowns. China’s flexible labor market and domestic supply chain could help mitigate the impact on production if disruptions are temporary. However, the longer local lockdowns last, the harder it will be for factories to make up losses.

Top 10 Benefits of Outsourcing CFO Services

If you are a self-made entrepreneur, chances are you have the idea of how tedious it can be to look after your business finances. In fact, managing the business and the finances side-by-side can be quite a hassle, especially in the established company’s early stages.

However, even after that, when your organization is finally established, ensuring all the financial basis is legally covered is a complicated factor. Therefore, outsourcing your CFO services is in everybody’s favour in such a situation.

Why Invest In Outsourced CFO Services?

It is a perfectly reasonable question to ask why you would need to make a considerable investment in outsourcing CFO services when you can hire a CFO for your company. However, the thing is, while CFO is an invaluable asset to an organization, they come with a hefty price tag.

So unlike some corporate giants, business owners can’t afford to hire a CFO. Moreover, not to mention, you may not even need a full-time CFO in the first place – so why bother with having one on your payroll when you will make no use of their expertise. Hence, investing in outsourced CFO services is completely favourable.

10 Benefits You Get To Enjoy With Outsourced CFO Services

Now that you understand why outsourced CFO services are what your business may need, here are some incredible benefits you may enjoy if you invest in one. Let’s take a look, shall we?

i. A Skilled, Knowledgeable, Experienced CFO at Your Disposal

Naturally, with many benefits that you will enjoy by outsourcing CFO services, there is no comparison to the skills, knowledge and expertise you will be putting under your organization right from the get-go. In fact, this carousel of useful qualities would be at our disposal at all times. Safe to say that no financial jeopardy would be that bad if you have an experienced CFO at your service.

ii. Time Saving Attributes

A self-made business owner already has a lot going on for them. They don’t have time to run financial errands to the dot and ensure all the legalities are met with precision. In fact, sometimes, there are deadlines and severe time constraints that a lone person can’t handle. That is exactly when your outsourced CFO services step in. It will save you time by covering all the financial basis for you without any hassle.

iii. Impeccable Financial Reporting

You are receiving outsourced CFO services. So naturally, it is a given that CFOs have the unmatched skills and knowledge to deliver the best financial reporting duties, unlike anybody else’s. Moreover, they will analyze all your financial reports and documents for you before the taxing or audit period. They will help you utilize your funding to expand your business in ways you wouldn’t even have thought of.

iv. Profitable Financial Projection & Future Planning

Similar to financial reporting, outsourcing CFO services means receiving incredible insights on your financial projections and future planning ideas accordingly. The CFO would let you in on how you can work on increasing the numbers or maintain substantial business growth in order to make full use of your potential. Not to mention, strategies would be made tailored to your business profile.

v. An Upper Hand at Risk Management

CFOs have extensive experience working with unpredictable market conditions, volatile industries and many types of business. Outsourcing CFO services means that you get to use this sense of experience at your convenience. They would predict the risk involved in any new financial upgrades or investments and help you make a consequent decision accordingly. Predictability of the risk involved allows for better preparation in case things take a turn for the worse.

vi. Budgeting For the Company Expenditures

Another vital aspect of outsourcing CFO services is that they would create a healthy budget for your business expenditures. They will help you stay on top of your expenses and dealings that cost more money than the amount you make. This will allow for a better hold at a long-term view of your business growth and expansion prospect and make better decisions and budget as you go with all your future clientele dealings.

vii. Human Resource Analysis

Naturally, with all the insights you will have, you will receive analysis based on human resources. You would know how much of your profitability is due to your hired workforce. This will allow you to hire better talent if needed and let go of stale employees who bring nothing to the table. Moreover, you can involve your staff in making better decisions on the HR level for you.

viii. Product Portfolio

Now that you have so much financial integrity and information, you will likely look toward expanding your business. And what better way to do it than expand your product portfolio. Outsourcing CFO services would allow you to understand what you can do better, which features to exploit and what market to target. In turn, it will lead to a better uphold of your business future in terms of product-market.

ix. Taxing Compliance

Taxes aren’t easy, and that is a well-established factor. Moreover, you have a consequent involvement of law and legal proceedings within your business that need upkeep too. The investment in outsourcing CFO services easily allows all these matters to be checked and more. It is safe to say. You won’t have to worry if anything mutual between your financial and legal works is going unchecked.

x. Towards Business Growth

Lastly, but more importantly, a CFO is your ultimate pit stop towards ensured business growth. As we said earlier, you can by no means imagine your business doing numbers until you have a CFO looking over your financial matters. Hence, your overall business will become more efficient and allow you to generate better revenue standpoints leading toward business growth and expansion.

Bottom Line

We greatly hope that the ten benefits we have mentioned help convince you to outsource your CFO services to a reputable accounting service provider. After all, it is the next big step you can ensure in favour of your business to grow and expand over the years. So it only makes sense that it is completed with rightful analysis and the best you can afford. Cheers!

Role of HR to Boost Business’s Growth

The planning and control department of an organisation is human resources. For example, it serves as a central point of contact for different departments like procurement and finance. HR focuses on departments functioning properly. In this blog, we have discussed the role of HR.

The HR department monitors the company’s day-to-day operations. Staff recruitment and selection is the HR department’s primary goal. The department provides preparing and training for recruits once the recruiting process has been completed. As a result, the HR department knows how to care for the workers in terms of incentives, acknowledgment, and other advantages.

Why Is Human Resources Management Important?
Promoting a positive work environment relies heavily on the efforts of the human resource department. They handle everything from staff recruitment to welcoming new employees to development and training, payroll, and performance management. It includes all of the important factors to promote a pleasant workplace environment. Its only purpose is to simplify and improve the efficiency of the organisational process.

The following are the responsibilities of a human resources consultancy firm:
Staff Recruitment
For HR, the most essential and initial step is to hire a worker. Recruiting is a time-consuming and costly procedure, although it is rewarding when you meet new people and get the opportunity to evaluate their abilities. The design of a hiring method is a crucial HR duty. In this procedure, the organisation’s requirements are identified, and then a set of criteria is used to choose those requirements. The selection of the ideal individual may boost the organisation’s morale. When you’re in charge of these roles, you must do a comprehensive market study before beginning the recruiting process.

Hiring the Ideal People and Placing Them in the Correct Positions
A well-chosen worker may make all the difference for a firm. The HR department’s primary responsibility is to manage overall hiring procedures.

The first step is to put up an advertisement on the recruitment sites. Applicants are chosen for interviews after the HR department has reviewed their applications. Furthermore, getting the top employees requires a company’s positive image within the job market.

Payroll Processing
People need to figure out how much tax they’ve paid, how much money they’ve added to their gross wage, and many other things. When a worker’s gross salary is calculated, the HR officer must consider any appraisals or incentives. The HR department is very important for the organisation’s payroll process.

Take Disciplinary Measures
When you want to succeed, it’s stated, you have to be committed. Therefore, strict attention to professionalism is a must-have for everybody when you wish to manage a successful business with a flawless workflow. Employees must maintain discipline in the workplace; that’s the HR manager’s responsibility. Discipline in the workplace is sometimes essential if the employee isn’t up to the task. The HR manager has the authority to terminate the worker for the organisation’s good.

Updating and Designing Policies
To get the best results from your organisation, you must comply with strict rules and regulations. If you’re looking for the human resource manager position, you must ensure that the company’s rules and policies are continuously updated. In certain cases, the policies fail to operate due to the bad conduct of the people in charge. If a regulation or policy isn’t being respected or is too complicated, HR will have to revise it to fit the needs of the business. Human resources have to keep an eye on what strategies are functioning and how many workers are regularly complying with the company’s standards.

Keep track of Staff Information.
The HR department must keep track of every employee of the organisation due to the many employees. Staff files are the best way to learn about a staff’s past. It’s useful for identifying where workers could have gaps in their knowledge and abilities. Each staff member’s family members’ names, addresses, and phone numbers are in the file. When an employee leaves a firm, the files are always kept in storage, even if they no longer work for the organisation.

Responsible for Staff Benefit Program
An organisation needs to arrange for excellent rewards for its workers since every worker desires perks. It strengthens the company’s relationship with its employees. Several organisations provide low wages but considerable perks. An employee with a high level of expertise may choose to work for a firm despite poor wages. It’s because she’s more interested in the perks that come with the job. Health coverage, house loan options, and more are all examples of possible perks.

Training New Recruits
Human resources must give employees proper training and prepare them to get familiar with the company’s workflow from the beginning.

Help them understand the atmosphere, administration, and functional procedure. It is essential for their success as it gives employees a chance to get a sense of the company, meet their co workers, and learn about their role in it.

Designing and Job Analysis
In order to meet the dept’s demands, the Human resource manager must give each worker a position. It is the responsibility of human resources to develop jobs that are consistent with the job role. The HR department must consider employees’ strengths and weaknesses while creating a new position. There are a variety of topics to consider throughout the process of job analysis, including job roles, staff responsibilities, and much more.

Evaluate the Performance of Employees
It is necessary to monitor the growth of workers from the time they join the company until the time they leave. Workers compare their current job to their prior efforts to gauge their growth. The variation may be decreased when there are any delays between the actual work done and the work process. A raise or promotion in the organisation may also be achieved using this technique.

The Bottom Line
If you plan to run your own HR business, you must get in touch with a professional human resource consultancy like HR coach or study the market and consider the important factors for running your own HR business.

Q2 2022

Welcome to the Q2 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

As we explore and consider the second quarter of 2022 through this issue, we are invited to fix our eyes upon some incredible businesses from the Asian Pacific region. Weaving a cloth of pure innovation in an ever evolving reality is no small feat but, here, we would like to showcase some show stopping business plans for a more sustainable, creative, and reliable future. With online platforms for fabulous luxury items, programs for revolutionary data dissection – and everything in between – APAC Insider Magazine is presenting a wide variety of invaluable business experiences.

Our cover, City Chain Stores, is continuously rejuvenating the luxury watch world. By working with Swiss watch brands, and by doing so with elegance and style, City Chain Stores has entered a realm of corporate excellence. With its founding company Stelux Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong stock exchange mainboard, City Chain Stores has a lot of experience that is transferrable to its current position on the market.

We are excited to present you with more stories such as this. We wish you the best for these upcoming months and look forward to welcoming you back for Q3 of APAC Insider Magazine 2022.

Current Events Highlight Need for Global Employers to Have Security Evacuation Plans in Place

The current situation in eastern Europe has highlighted how quickly things can escalate and the vital need for employers with overseas staff to have an emergency plan in place in case of political or civil unrest.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection says: “Employers need to be aware of the differences between security and medical evacuation plans. They must have both in place to ensure all bases are covered and they must be aware of the level of the support offered.”

Security evacuation

International medical insurance is specifically for the sick or injured. Security evacuation is different. While a political incident could result in grave physical harm or death, it is not actually a medical emergency and is unlikely to be covered by a medical emergency plan. Any region or country in which employees are working can be at risk. Terror attacks, for example, happen all around the world and often with no prior indication. With support ranging from ‘point of incident evacuation’ and ‘political or natural disaster evacuation’, to ‘security evacuation’, it is vital to take specialist advice on exactly how to offer emergency support for employees abroad.

Evacuation and repatriation

Employers and their employees abroad should be aware that evacuation is different from repatriation. With regards to medical evacuation, for example, this means that if there are no appropriate medical facilities in the employee’s current location, they will be evacuated to the nearest centre of medical excellence to undergo care. Repatriation, however, means that the employee will be transported back to their home nation for treatment. Under security evacuation, an employee may find they are taken to the nearest safe location, rather than to their home country, unless repatriation is a specific part of the support offered.

International medical insurance

International medical insurance is also crucial for any employee abroad. It must be fit for purpose, and this will be different on a case-by-case basis. If an employee falls seriously ill abroad, it is imperative that they are fully covered for all eventualities. Travel insurance is for short holidays and is not to the level required by someone working overseas.

Local expertise

Local knowledge can form an important part of the decision-making process when sending employees abroad. Guidance from experts in country can provide an insight into the situation into which staff are being sent. They will be able to give guidance on the risks associated with an area, and help employers to make informed decisions on what support is required.   

Sarah Dennis comments: “Support for employees abroad is not something that a company can take short cuts on, neither is it something that should be undertaken without advice. It is a very specialist area. Hopefully, employees and their employers will never have to rely on evacuation or repatriation services, whether for medical or security reasons. It is vital, however, that both are in place in case it is needed, and that the extent of the support is fully understood.”

Shopify vs. Neto

Hundreds of thousands of people have used Shopify since its early 2000s to fulfil their e-commerce needs. It’s currently the gold standard for e-commerce integrations into small businesses. However, a new Australian platform, Neto, is now trying to compete with Shopify. Is it bringing something new to the online transaction scenario, or is it just another low-budget Shopify rip-off? Let’s find out.

What Is Shopify?

Currently, Shopify is the most popular e-commerce integration platform available online. It offers many easy-to-use designs and templates on which you can build your online and offline shops around. Shopify is to online store owners what WordPress is to web developers. It is easy to use and has been perfected over the years to make e-commerce integration seamless and easy for Shopify designers.

What Is Neto?

Neto is the Australian competitor of Shopify. It is the only B2B Australian e-commerce platform, and the Australian population currently favours it. There are already thousands of Australian stores using Neto to integrate ecommerce into their platforms. It aims to make online transactions seamless and efficient for merchants and customers alike.

Neto is now also getting international recognition, and people have begun using it for their online platforms. It offers all the necessary POS, inventory management, and order management features.

Differences Between Shopify And Neto

While Shopify and Neto are competitors and have quite a few similarities, certain differences set the two apart. These include the following:

Signing up

It is easy to sign-up for both platforms. You will need to provide very basic information, such as the name of your business and the email address. After which, you’ll be directed right to the platform, and you can begin working. There are no significant differences between the sign-up process of both.

Payment Plans

You can start using Shopify and Neto both by first using their 14-day free trial. The trial will give you insight into what both platforms have to offer you, and you can make use of some of their free features. Only when you are satisfied with what you are getting should you then make a proper payment and choose a plan for the platform of your choice.

Both Shopify and Neto offer three different payment plans for their users. The standard starting price of the Shopify plan is slightly lower than that of the Neto plan. However, Shopify charges a certain amount for every transaction you make through their service. Neto, on the other hand, does not deduct these external charges.

Both platforms offer unlimited products on the websites, and therefore there is no extra charge for adding more products.

Neto does charge an extra fee for Amazon integration into their platform, though. This extra fee could be quite the deal-breaker since Shopify offers Amazon integration for free.

Designs

Shopify has many themes for merchants, and they keep updating them every day. Besides that, Shopify also has some very functional free themes and designs that merchants can easily use.

Neto does not have as many themes and designs as Shopify, and of the themes they do have, not many are free. So selecting a good theme on Neto will generally be pricier than selecting a theme for Shopify.

Shopify and Neto themes and designs are also available on third-party websites.
It is also easy to modify and develop your own themes on Shopify, even if you have minimum coding skills. For Neto, you will need to hire a developer to modify the themes and customise them to your liking.

Interface

The Shopify interface is minimalistic, easy to use, and easily understood. You can access all the stats and the order inquiries from your dashboard, and the minimalist outlook makes it easy to manage a Shopify platform.
Neto’s dashboard is slightly more cluttered and complex since you have sales and comparison stats on the main page. This makes the Neto dashboard slightly trickier to navigate, but it is also quite easy to use once you’ve adjusted to it.

E-Commerce Integration

If you have a website or a Facebook page, you can integrate Shopify into the page, and it will help you add transactional features. You can even use Shopify for Amazon and eBay.

People can use Neto in many ways to integrate online shopping on their platform. Neto provides merchants with an online store, Amazon and eBay integration, a POS system, wholesale and B2B integration, and many other options as well.

In some ways, Neto’s online shopping integration offers more easily available options than a Shopify store.

Customer Support

With both platforms, you can easily have customers added to your database once they have completed a purchase from you. Other than that, you can also modify the customer database, adding and removing customers as needed.

Both platforms also allow the integration of loyalty programs and reward points, which can help retain their customer base.

Customers on both platforms can also track their own order history as well.

Inventory

Both Neto and Shopify order easy inventory management options where the inventory count is automatically adjusted and items that are no longer in stock are removed. There is also automatic currency conversion on both platforms, which means people around the globe can easily use it.

You can also use Shopify to automatically track incoming inventory, such as new shipments, which will help with the automatic inventory updates.

The Neto inventory management system is slightly less automated, and you have to add new stock to the inventory and make a lot of updates on your own. All these updates are easy to make and will likely be automated in the near future.

 

Conclusion

Shopify and Neto are both trustworthy e-commerce integration platforms. They are easily integrated on any page and offer many distinct features.
Shopify has been around for a long time now, so its features are easier to use, and the platform is slightly easier to manage. Even though Neto is newer, it is quickly gaining traction and will be giving Shopify quite stiff competition in the long run.

IEE Expo and E2 Forum 2022 to Highlight Transformative Technology and Safety Standards in Elevator and Escalator Industry

To support the growth potential of the Indian elevator industry, IEE Expo 2022 along with E2 Forum will bring latest elevator trends and technologies into focus through its September edition in Mumbai.

Demand for faster, safer and intelligent elevators is increasing day by day fueled by increasing population of high-rises, metro and other large infrastructure projects. Even in tier 2 cities, the demand for elevators has grown significantly overtime accompanied by enhanced standard of living. Along with improving standard of technology and innovation in elevator systems, safety standards need to be more meticulously maintained.

Prioritising safety and convenience through innovation

While periodic maintenance is staple, a majority of elevator accidents can be avoided by replacing older models with sophisticated elevator technologies which are advanced and way more reliable. Another major factor in maintaining elevator safety is the quality of components. It is crucial to use authentic components from licensed OEMs when repairing an elevator instead of spurious counterparts which can seriously compromise the safety and integrity of elevator systems.

Smart elevators are also turning out to be a game changer in implementing safe, smooth and reliable vertical transportation in modern buildings. Equipped with IoT-enabled intelligent systems, smart elevators can pre-determine faults that might arise in the system and notify the authorities beforehand. Furthermore, they also have the potential to make mobility much faster. For instance, some smart elevators can sense proximity of approaching individuals through their mobile or any connected device, and by analyzing their preset record it can also book an elevator for them in advance.

International Elevator and Escalator Expo 2022 to provide ascent to innovation and b2b engagements in the elevator industry

IEE Expo is a platform where the elevator industry and realty sector’s elite can witness evolution in elevator and escalator space. Slated to be held from 6 – 8 September 2022 at JIO World Convention Centre (JWCC), IEE Expo 2022 has garnered support from Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs alongside All India Lift Upliftment Federation (AILUF), Karnataka Elevator Manufacturers Association (KEMA) and Gujarat Elevator Association.

The first post-pandemic edition is set to converge premier industry brands including Bharat Bijlee, NBSL, Arkel, Bestomech, Celikray, City Lifts, DATIS, Esquire, Excella Electronics, Expedite, Genemek, Giovenzana, Hohner Automation, Invt Electric, Jainox, Mahabali Steel, Mother India Forming, Nidec Control Techniques, Puretronics, RB Electronics, Rolliflex, Schindler, Techtronics, Universal Hydraulics and Ziehl Abegg who will showcase technologies that will steer future trends in vertical transportation. It will also connect realty firms, architects, builders and consultants and make way for meaningful business interactions with international as well as domestic players. Additionally, it aims to enable the real estate community who are looking out for the right solutions for better infrastructural development in the future.

Affirming his intentions of visiting IEE Expo 2022, Mr GS Balaji, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Committee Member & Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries stated: “Without doubt IEE Expo is an excellent platform to witness new developments in the elevator industry. It serves as a strong channel for the elevator industry and realty sector’s elite to come together and interact productively. We are very much excited to visit the fair and connect with the industry in September.”

On the second day of the exhibition, organiser Messe Frankfurt India will host a series of intriguing knowledge sessions and panel discussions for industry members.

CREDAI-MCHI extends association with IEE Expo

Extending their association for the third consecutive edition, Mr Boman R Irani, Vice President, CREDAI-MCHI, shared: “The real estate sector in India is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030 growing by 19.5% CAGR. This is a clear indication that buyers are now ready to make a move and the future of the real estate sector will remain robust. Our tie-up with IEE Expo for the past two editions has given the construction industry access to intelligent vertical transport and parking systems. I am confident that the next as well, will continue to provide the best architectural mobility insights and solutions for high-rise buildings in the country.”

Owing to the strategic alliance, IEE Expo as a brand has become a trusted choice for real estate moguls like DLF Ltd, The Wadhwa Group, TATA Realty and Infrastructure Ltd, Marathon Realty Pvt Ltd, Kalpataru Group, Shree Naman Developers Pvt Ltd, Dosti Realty Ltd, Oswal Realty Pvt Ltd, JP Infra Pvt Ltd, Ashar Group, and Lodha Group. Hosting more than 125 procurement experts over the last two editions, the exhibition has successfully brought decision makers face-to-face with tech experts to analyse the industry needs and facilitate overall business.

Having visited the exhibition to gauge insights on the elevator technologies beneficial for buildings, Mr Mukesh Jaitley, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Committee Member & COO Kolte Patil, shared: “As buyers, people just look at the finished product and don’t know what technicalities go inside creating the product. But the last edition of IEE Expo gave us insights about the components used to assemble elevators. With this information on backend automation, it will be interesting to see how OEMs utilise these technologies in their finished products.”

Sharing a similar sentiment, Mr Nimish Ajmera, CREDAI-MCHI Procurement Wing Convener & Director, Ajmera Realty and Infra India, shared: “We are especially looking forward to engage with businesses returning after a long haul of the pandemic. It will certainly be interesting to discover technological advancements that have taken place over the last two years in the elevator space. September 2022 – IEE Expo is the place to be!”

E2 Forum Mumbai 2022 to host discussion on changing elevator trends and safety standards

As a part IEE Expo 2022, E2 Forum Mumbai will present potential solutions that can contribute in the overall development in the elevator and escalator market on 7 September 2022. The conference will take up topics of industry’s interest, including: global and Indian trend analysis, demand in real estate and infrastructure sectors post COVID, Indian elevator market 2022 & beyond, technological innovations and safety standards, and more.

Amidst the escalating demand for in-building and inter-building transportation, IEE Expo will serve as a ground for elevator businesses to showcase their growing technological capabilities and product developments.

Learn to Maximize and Make Your Business Stand Out

Maximizing in a business means doing things that positively affect your business performance and growth. The small, consistent improvements that you make in your business, be it small or big, are significant for it to become successful and sustainable to its customers.

Keeping on monitoring cash flow in your business and using social media for your marketing will go far in helping you maximize your business. Also, identifying your strengths as you ask for help where things are not going as planned from different sources will help you find ways of improving the areas that offer the most profit to your business.

For example, expocart.com is one of the shops that stand out, and thousands of customers trust it. This is because their goods and services are always quality, reliable and accessible from anywhere, especially within the UK.

Starting up a business in the Asia-pacific region requires you to be very knowledgeable. This is because of their culture and local market that has never been seen in any other parts globally. To set up a market that will last for a long time amidst other highly-competitive markets such as Korea and China, you need to develop unique factors to help your business stand out.

The main challenge affecting the business in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is too many brands of a product in the market.

However, to have a successful business within these regions, the main thing is keeping things local. It’s important to note that using technology in marketing within these regions is not very efficient in a local market, although it still plays a part. This is unlike other parts of the world where technology in marketing your goods and services is one of the key things towards a successful business. Technology is not the in-thing in APAC since it has to adapt to the culture and needs of engaging in business in Asia.

The following are ways that you can use to maximize and make your business stand out;

Planning on a Location to Overcome Cultural Differences

To introduce your product in the APAC region, you need to have unique marketing strategies. These strategies should be based on the cultural and linguistic factors in the specific location. Your products might be successful in some regions and not successful in others. Therefore, you should have a strategy to ensure that the product will still be accepted in the area you want to locate your business.

For Asian customers to appreciate your products, you probably need to use different materials that conform to their culture. You should use techniques that will capture the customers’ attention in Asia.

It is also essential to look for and work with a specialist who understands the customers of the APAC region much better. Doing this will help you get what the customers want and know the target audience. This will help your business grow and become outstanding.

Engage more Frequently and Freely with Your Customers

You can engage with your customers through different ways to help build a strong relationship. A strong relationship with your customers can lead to a successful business. You can create a strong relationship with your customers by using technology.

The use of mobile phones has dominated the world over the use of desktops, especially in the field of market and business. However, this development has not surpassed the markets in Asia, where app usage is the in thing. To easily engage with customers in the APAC region, mobile phones are recommendable.

Creating a mobile app offers a direct connection with your customers, and you can also communicate easily. You can send messages of promotions through the mobile like discount codes and offers to the customers. Customers can also reach you and readily give their views on your products and services. Negative feedback will help you improve your services, while positive feedback tells you to keep on doing good work.

Push for High-Quality Campaigns

To push for high-quality campaigns, you should choose a team that will produce the best content to use in campaigning your business products. The team must be conversant with the economic and cultural background of the target customers in the APAC regions. This will help them push the essential quality campaigns to promote the goal or objective of your business.

If you have already made up your mind on targeting the APAC region customers, you should create high-quality content to capture their attention for the success of your business.

A business that is conscious and respects customers and their culture within that region will easily win your trust, which will set your business to stand out.

Improve Your Online Presence within the Available Networks

In China, the most popular social media platforms are not available. This is because of the internet censorship program in the country. Therefore, to reach customers in such regions, your business has to adapt to the communication platforms available in the targeted countries.

You should find out the platforms that most of your customers use to engage with them easily.

Conclusion

In conclusion, to maximize and make your business stand out, you should first find out about the culture of your target consumers to help you come up with the products and services that will suit them. You should also engage frequently with your customers to get feedback on your products. This will help you become aware of what to improve in your business to sustain the customer needs.

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Australian Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2022– APAC Insider Magazine has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Enterprise Awards programme.

Now in its sixth year, APAC Insider’s Australian Enterprise Awards programme has had a successful history in celebrating successful and pioneering businesses and professional individuals who have played a crucial role in contributing to one of the largest economies in the world.

This year, the Australian Enterprise Awards programme has been designed to recognise and award those businesses, enterprises and individuals who have demonstrated their perseverance to allow Australia to retain its position as a major player in the world economy. The programme recognises talent across all industries, from construction and engineering, to banking, finance, energy, life sciences, travel and tourism.

Our Awards Coordinator, Steve Simpson, has spoken on the success of the Awards programme: “After the difficult times we have all been though, it is heartening to see these businesses and individuals strive for the best and thus reap the results of that. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and wish them all the best for their future endeavours!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/australian-enterprise-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

Notes to Editors.

About APAC Insider

Here at APAC Insider, our approach reflects the innovative, dedicated and results-focused culture that has seen the Asia Pacific region become home to some of the most prominent industry-leading businesses in the world.

Playing host to more than one third of the world’s biggest businesses and boasting more Global 2000 members – among them worldwide brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Bank of China – than anywhere else on Earth, we are rapidly becoming the region to watch for those seeking the corporate world’s next big thing.

Exploring everything from business strategy and analysis to emerging trends and growth opportunities, APAC Insider is an invaluable resource for more than 160,000 leaders and decision makers looking to be kept fully informed of all the major developments in this most vibrant of business arenas.

We can see the great success of our platform with over 255,322 page views in the last 12 months averaging at 21,200 page views per month we can see our magazine is loved by many. The unique users average at an incredible 6,830 per month and we can’t thank our readers enough for the amazing support they give us to bring this content to you.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

OPPO Engineered the Extraordinary 5G Signal Solution In Find X5 Pro With Better, Faste and Stronger Experience

By 2025, 5G networks are expected to serve one-third of the world’s population. As part of its never-ending strive for perfection, OPPO develops 5G smartphone solutions that provide an unparalleled experience, offering users with stable, uncompromised 5G connections for maximum enjoyment.

Laying the foundations

The quality of a smartphone’s signal is determined by its antenna, and its positioning within the phone itself. In 2020, OPPO released a groundbreaking 360-degree Antenna Design in Reno 3: where the antenna is arranged along the outer frame of Reno 3’s frame, allowing a better signal regardless of whether it was held horizontally or vertically.

This was particularly important for gamers, as many AAA smartphone titles are played horizontally to maximize the use of the screen. In regular phones without such a novel solution, gamers may suffer from poor signal, slower speeds and lag, giving them a noticeable competitive disadvantage.

Adapting to life

But sometimes, users may still experience dropped connections, low signal, and lag while they are on their phones in challenging environments like parking lots or trains. In those challenging environments, the Power Amplifier (PA) plays a critical role in amplifying a smartphone’s signal enough to provide users with a strong and stable connection.

Most phones only have one PA for a corresponding frequency band, and it’s up to this single PA to choose the most suitable of four antennas in a phone to receive the signal. The flaw in this design is that there is a large burden placed on the PA itself, in addition to a delay. That’s because it takes time for the PA to decide which of a phone’s four antennas is best when gamers change grip from horizontal to vertical.

In order to combat this issue, OPPO’s engineers worked on a solution that expertly blends software and hardware to improve the layout of the antennas, as well as including not one, but two PA components. After a year of engineering, the Dual PA Four-way Connection System was first launched in OPPO Find X5 Pro, positioning it well ahead of any competition.

This innovative system is driven by a crucial component which is developed by OPPO Research Institute – Fast Matching Algorithm. It enables the phone to select the PA that’s most suitable for sending and receiving signals at any given time automatically. Not only does this massively increase the efficiency of the PA system itself, but their location also corresponds closely to their respective antenna bands, improving both the quality of the signal, as well as power consumption.

Moreover, OPPO also applied Dual PA Four-way Connection System on 4G bands. Signal that’s both powerful and fast, with silky smooth video, streaming and gaming experiences without any lag or stutter to be seen. According to laboratory data, Find X5 Pro sees far fewer freezes with lower latency, even in extremely weak signal scenarios – specifically 30% less latency and 50% less freezes compared to the previous generation Find X3 Pro.

Striving for perfection

OPPO has always placed importance on quality communication, and this was cemented further by establishing a communication standards team in 2015. More recently, OPPO has spent the past few years actively promoting the development and adoption of 5G around the world, in addition to submitting 5G communication standard patents in more than 30 countries and regions around the world. In fact, in 2021, OPPO became one of the top ten companies in the world for holding one of the highest numbers of 5G-specific patents.

Despite its world-leading innovation with Reno 5G and Find X3 Pro (the first commercial 5G-supporting and 5G-standalone handsets in Europe), along with, of course, Find X5 Pro, OPPO remains committed to more research and innovation to push industry boundaries to provide the best possible experience for its users. From working with chip suppliers to refine and optimize chips’ capability, to exploring new antenna solutions, partnerships and new possibilities beyond 5G, OPPO’s quest for excellence is always on-going.

How to Choose the Right Dropshipping Products For Your Brand

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Everything you sell online defines your business, so product research is vital. Even one bad review can harm your online E-commerce business. According to Printful, though the investment is small, it is essential to avoid fragile or more oversized products that might backfire in shipping fees.

A product’s weight and size will cut down on your profit margins, so you should focus on medium-to-small sized objects, such as customized clothes, or sell products that are easy to use to ensure customer satisfaction.

With that being said, here is how to choose the right dropshipping products for your brand and stay away from negative reviews!

Avoid Expensive Objects

Depending on your budget, you might head or ignore dropshipping’s easy yet low-cost features. Selling overpriced products might not guarantee an improvement in sales. Think about this for a second; a higher price means a customer will have higher expectations.

It’s easy to miss those expectations, resulting in negative feedback, especially if they have to return that product. If you focus on simple yet affordable products, you will have a higher chance of raising your online business.

Easy to Use Objects

Though you may choose some abstract items to sell, you must understand how they work. If you struggle with it, your clients will as well. Instead, focus on selling items that are easy to use and won’t leave customers scratching their heads.

Every frustration can turn into a returned product or negative review, which is something you want to avoid in the E-commerce business.

Focus on Pain Points

Do your research appropriately to get the most out of your dropshipping products. Focus on how to solve the consumer’s pain points. This means that you have to offer products that the consumer can use and solve their needs.

This is a great sales booster if you understand your customer base well.

Sell Unique Items

Unique items are great dropshipping products to sell, as long as they are helpful, aren’t overpriced, fragile, complicated to use, or too big. Such items can be easily made through customizations.

You can choose a T-shirt, blankets, cups, just about anything! Most people can enjoy a unique item, and the best part is, at least when it comes to customized clothes, is that you can also choose the fabrics.

This way, you can make your products of higher quality, and get some great reviews from your customers, which will slowly yet surely boost your sales and online presence.

Don’t Pick Large or Fragile Items.

Let’s face it; you don’t have any guarantee that the fragile items you are selling through dropshipping won’t arrive broken. Even if it’s not your fault, that negative review might be just around the corner.

Apart from this, it can also cause you some additional costs, such as sending a new item. Due to their volume and weight, you will inevitably have to pay additional shipping fees when it comes to big products. These fees will cut down on your profit, so make sure to avoid more oversized or fragile items while dropshipping.

Big items are also prone to damage, so you can again risk upsetting your customers. In the world of e-commerce, reviews are a breaker or a maker. Be a maker and act smart with your dropshipping products for your brand.

OPPO Uses Advanced Engineering to Build Find X5 Pro

OPPO conducted more than 300 tests to build a smartphone with high intelligence, 5-axis camera stabilization, waterproof, durable and long lasting

OPPO designed and optimized the hundreds of processes that go into the construction of the OPPO Find X5 Pro, to ensure the first phone off the production line and the thousandth are not just identical twins but of world-class quality.

A trip to the factory floor

The human brain has countless folds. The OPPO Find X5 Pro’s motherboard structure is a little like that of the human brain, connecting all the phone’s components together with an ultra-fine labyrinth of miniature metal paths.

These roads are printed onto the motherboard, in rooms full of robotic printers that can produce up to 10 million boards a month. High-speed modular machines would mount components like the CPU and capacitors onto the board at a level of accuracy that would likely be impossible with the human hand. The smallest component measures just 0.4mm by 0.2mm, and the chip mounter can place more than 400,000 components an hour.

OPPO uses an Auto Optical Inspector camera to check for any minute errors in the process. Every pathway on the OPPO Find X5 Pro motherboard is bespoke, each component is either custom-designed or carefully chosen. The Auto Optical Inspector is programmed to notice any slight deviation from the blueprint.

The last line of solder printed and last chip inspected, the OPPO Find X5 Pro board is baked to melt the metal powder into a rigid conductive map. Every part of this process is carefully controlled, from the humidity and temperature of the factory floor to X-ray testing of the solder every two hours to check its quality. A solder paste inspection machine (SPI) reviews each board. When the smallest steel mesh opening measures just 0.18 mm × 0.18mm, only the highest level of precision is acceptable.

90% of the testing is automated, meaning OPPO’s production experts largely only need to step in at the first signs of any potential issue.

Such attention to detail is all the more important in ensuring the quality of brand new features, like OPPO’s revolutionary 5-axis camera stabilization. Each OPPO Find X5 Pro camera is put through an OIS test for both the lens image stabilization and the sensor image stabilization, checking for its ability not just to function, but operate at the peak of its expected performance.

The OPPO Find X5 Pro is mounted to a machine set to provide a jitter angle of three degrees and 6Hz frequency. This means it wobbles back and forth by 3° six times per second, mimicking handshakes in daily scenarios during photo shooting. The new 5-axis system also compensates for sensor roll, so OPPO also applies a 0.7-degree rolling motion in testing. On top of the traditional OIS motor, the OIS test for sensor-shift (x-axis/Y-axis) and sensor-rotation (Z-axis) are also tested separately. It is the first of its kind and offers the best optical stabilization experience in the industry.

During the tests, shutter speed is set to 167ms which is the same as the frequency of vibration. To pass the test the final image must appear sharp, not blurred.

 

A look inside the OPPO QE Reliability Lab

There are two sides to the OPPO Find X5 Pro testing program. Some tests are run on every single phone, rooting out any defective components or manufacturing errors.

However, some of the most intensive testing takes place at OPPO’s QE Reliability Lab. It is where OPPO undertakes a kind of torture testing that compresses the hard treatment of years of normal use into a much shorter time window.

In-production testing makes sure specific OPPO Find X5 Pro stacks up to OPPO’s meticulous standards. The QE Reliability Lab makes sure the original design can handle real-world stresses, involving over 150 tests. Here are some of the highlights.

In the Tumble test, the OPPO Find X5 Pro is placed in a 1-meter-long turning chamber that rotates 3.5 times a minute. It emulates the force of the phone being dropped 300 times from a height of a meter, onto a hard surface. Common Drop Test is also conducted as it simulates a typical free-fall scenario from various height from 1 meter to 1.5 meters.

Another test sees the OPPO Find X5 Pro dropped from a height of 10 centimeters to more than 28,0000 times. This simulates the kind of everyday drops,but can eventually weaken the structure of a less well-designed phone.

In QE Reliability Lab, OPPO not only required the phone to meet industry standard but for many tests with even more rigorous standards because OPPO aims to provide not just solid device longevity and reliability but impeccable durability. This dedication to quality is why OPPO put so much work into the strength and finish of the ceramic casing – a 45-stage process that includes calcination at 1000 degrees centigrade.

For further testing on durability, the OPPO Find X5 Pro is kept in both high 75 degrees centigrade and freezing minus 40 degree environments for a full week, and tested afterwards to ensure there is no damage or corrosion. The phone is submerged in water at a depth of 1.5m and held there for 30 minutes, before being dismantled to check for any liquid ingress.  

OPPO Find X5 Pro, a phone that can withstand bumps, drops, freezing, shock, being doused with water and soaked with sweat. Buttons, sockets and fingerprint scanners are tested more than tens of thousands of times to prove the design works in practice just as well as it does on paper.

The OPPO Find X5 Pro is a phone brimming with advanced features and ambitious engineering, but OPPO’s rigorous manufacturing standards ensure they are ready not just for day one but years of use.Read more on the OPPO Find X5 Pro’s camera, display and design technologies at the OPPO website.

4 Tips For Streamlining Your Machine Learning Process

Machine learning (ML) is a process that employs algorithms to make machines more intelligent. This involves feeding datasets into the machine and getting it to learn from them. It’s a component of artificial intelligence (AI) and is commonplace in business models as it helps to improve operations and productivity by mimicking human intelligence but reducing errors. While the machine will learn to develop algorithms and perform functions on its own over time, you have to set a baseline for the learning process.

The best way to get the machine to learn to perform more accurately is by streamlining the process. This makes it easy for your artificial intelligence systems to pick patterns and standardize features.

Here are some essential tips for streamlining your machine learning process:

1. Outsource the Process

One of the most convenient ways of streamlining your ML process is by letting the experts handle it. It’s no surprise that machine learning is even being outsourced. This is because the process involves managing data, training algorithms, testing, and deploying it to an AI ecosystem. One wrong step in the process could mess up the whole thing, and you may be forced to spend time correcting it.

Therefore, it may be more convenient to let experts handle the whole process, especially if you don’t have the technological know-how or resources. As many companies realize that an expert can handle this process more efficiently, that’s the step you should also take. Additionally, outsourcing may be more cost-effective. You can look over at this website to see how an outsourcing company will train your models to work for you in any infrastructure you’re using.

2. Understand the Data

A model is only as good as the data it’s based on. Thus, make sure your data is up to scratch. Start by finding sources of relevant data, making sure it’s consistent. If it’s not, try cleaning it up or implementing new collecting processes. Then look for trends or connections in the data. If you notice anything intriguing, think about how that could be applied to the business objectives you’re trying to achieve with ML.

Understanding your data also involves knowing what data is available, where it comes from, and how it can be used. You may need to get additional data sources or combine information from multiple sources such as internal databases and third-party applications programming interfaces (APIs). Once you understand your data and know how accurate it is, how big the distribution is, and how it can be stored, you’ll have a better foundation for building your models. Remember that data is the backbone of any ML process, so focus more on it to streamline the process.

3. Choose An ML Framework

It’s extremely tempting to jump from one framework to another, especially when you’re searching fruitlessly for something that’ll work better than what you have. However, this is a mistake. Every framework has its syntax and quirks, so jumping around will only slow you down. Instead, pick something and stick with it. This will help you become familiar with the framework and learn how to maximize its potential benefits.

Moreover, as the team developing an algorithm or a model increases with time, you should focus on maintaining consistency. Consistency will help you build an effective AI ecosystem that’ll perform as required. In contrast, using different ML frameworks brings chaos and makes it difficult to document or track performance.

4. Set Up a Standard Data Pipeline

A pipeline refers to a set of linked processes in a sequence. Pipelines are useful for handling data because they can be used to standardize outputs and prevent errors. For example, you can use pipelines to:

  • Clean the training data. Fill in missing values and format the data to be processed by your model.
  • Convert categorical variables into numerical ones if needed.
  • Split the data into training and test sets so that the ML model doesn’t overfit the data.
  • Transform your data using polynomial features or other feature engineering techniques.


By using a standard pipeline, you can quickly start iterating on it as you discover what works and doesn’t work in your data cleaning and modeling process.


Conclusion

Developing a working model in machine learning can be a tedious task. The algorithms may not always perform in the first trial, so you need to test and train the models you’re building. To achieve the desired results in your machine learning process, you should ensure that it’s streamlined through the four tips discussed in this article.

How Online Bookkeeping Services Enhance Business Productivity

Small business owners would agree that bookkeeping can take up all of your days, which is why a bookkeeping service is essential for any business. From recording each financial transaction accurately to interpreting the data to help make informed accounting decisions, it contributes to the efficiency of your work.

One must have a secure, effective, and reliable bookkeeping system to help manage your everyday bookkeeping requirements. It is a pretty big deal for small business owners who may find it time-consuming and challenging. If you’re constantly dealing with the stress of manual bookkeeping, now would be a good time to check out how Gecko Bookkeeping Brisbane can speed things up.

Here’s how online bookkeeping enhances business productivity.

Allows Your More Time To Manage High-Priority Tasks

Manual bookkeeping is known to hogg on all of your time and slows down your productivity level throughout the day. An excellent way to combat this everyday situation is to revamp your bookkeeping system and bring in an online bookkeeping service that will allow you to be on your A-game. The result? More time to spend on the things that only you can do!

Moreover, you will save a lot of money on additional working hours, unnecessary hiring, low productivity, and wrong decisions. All this will allow you to maintain steady growth from the start.

It Allows You A Great Deal of Guaranteed Security

Fear of hackers, computers breaking down, etc., poses a significant threat to small business owners. If you’re doing your everyday bookkeeping manually, you know the fear of losing your records to a fire or being stolen. Those who use excel sheets to record their bookkeeping realize they are one virus away from losing their entire data.

However, an online bookkeeping system is all set to protect your privacy thanks to the antiviruses and firewalls installed, which help reduce the risk. And that’s not all they do to protect your data. They help create a backup storing all your essential data, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Error-Free Work

With manual bookkeeping, you are bound to have errors and mistakes. Whoever you hire for your bookkeeping services will take up more time than an online bookkeeping system. Double-checking would be standard, and a fear of missing out on detail or messing up a transaction will always be there at the back of the mind.

This is where an intelligent bookkeeping service comes in – they will help minimize mistakes and make your data more reliable and accurate. It ensures one-time work as now you know there won’t be any going back and checking and finding errors. It will allow you to relax and focus on other essential tasks for your business.

24/7 Access To Your Records

One of the most significant problems for small business owners is getting fast and easy access to their bookkeeping records at all times. With the help of an online bookkeeping system, there’s no need to panic as now you can access your record any time of the day. If you wish to confirm some records after hours, you don’t have to be in the office to do that. You can easily access your bookkeeping records from the comfort of your home via your laptop, smartphone, or desktop.

Share Your Records With Ease

Say you’re in a call with your bookkeeper and accountant, and they don’t have access to the file. Now, if you were a manual bookkeeper, this would be difficult to manage as you’d have to go to the office to do so; however, with an online bookkeeping service, there is no need to worry about finding a particular record or transaction. You can easily give them the required access to view the files and avoid lengthy processes.

It won’t require you to go to the office as you’ll have everything on your smartphone. It depends on the access rights you’ve given to your team members.

Worry-Free implementation

Software implementations can be intimidating; there is a fear of them taking up too much time and disturbing your workflow. A streamlined digital bookkeeping service makes it easy for any size and type of organization to upload their information and get started right away.

A bookkeeping system helps with data entry, bank reconciliation, invoicing, payroll processing, etc. addition. It will save you significant time, improve efficiency, and help lead to more growth in business as compared to earlier.

Whether you’re still getting set up or you are an existing business that wants to transition to a more efficient and reliable bookkeeping system tailored to help small businesses, Gecko Bookkeeping is the one-stop solution for all your needs.

5G to Unleash a Digital Revolution That Will Power Industry 4.0

Enterprises set to deliver a faster, better service with a simpler 5G path from BICS

The number of digitally-enabled products jumped ahead by seven years during the pandemic, and the number of connected things around the world is set to reach 42 billion by 2025, eclipsing the 5.7 billion people predicted to use mobile devices for the same period. The digital revolution across several industries, from manufacturing, to logistics, health care and automotive, is on the horizon and will be fueled by new mobile technologies. Faster, better and universal connectivity is key – to both operational excellence and a better experience for customers.

Private 5G networks and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) signal a new era in connectivity. They allow businesses access to high bandwidth, ultra-low latency and high reliability. This makes high speed operations like smart manufacturing, next generation logistics and self-driving vehicles possible.

Being able to process real-time data quickly and securely will lead to massive improvements in production by transforming processes, supply chains and delivery. The right telecommunications partner will guide enterprises in optimizing their business to stay competitive and reduce costs with the right mobile solution.

Will 5G and IoT connectivity end costly recall in the automotive sector?

Next-generation mobile technologies will play a crucial role in how the automotive industry evolves. It will mean manufacturers can better manage complex supply chains by embedding data into the systems used for buying and delivery decisions. Robotic manufacturing will be taken to a new level by pulling together data across multiple production sites to crowd-source machine learning.

The benefits extend well beyond the production floor. Today, the fall-out from auto recalls causes manufacturers significant reputational damage and cost. On average, a recall costs $500 per vehicle, often involving millions of vehicles.

Embedding IoT connectivity within vehicles will usher in a new age of driver safety and could make costly auto recalls a thing of the past. Thanks to SIM technology, manufacturers can keep constant track of vehicle performance and feed this data into its 5G-enabled private network. By looking at data across all vehicles, manufacturers can identify issues much quicker, notify drivers and correct the defect before more vehicles are produced and sold. 

The blurring of industries – enterprises becoming mobile operators

Building the level of advanced connectivity to realize Industry 4.0 is complex. It requires not just the radio spectrum and hardware, but essentially turns enterprises into mini-mobile operators.

A global automotive brand, for example, will need to connect all its private networks across its different manufacturing sites to leverage the value of all that data. Any person, vehicle or device that travels outside of the private network will need to move across public networks to stay connected. If enterprises go it alone, they will need to go through a very lengthy and cumbersome process of setting up individual roaming agreements with each public operator. This will take years to develop and delay the return on investment in deploying these technologies.

“While the business benefits of 5G and Industrial IoT are clear, many companies simply don’t know where to start. To unleash the true transformative power of these technologies, companies need access to an entire telecommunications ecosystem,” comments Matteo Gatta, BICS CEO. “However, this is not their core business and they need a partner to guide them along the way. BICS is leveraging its leadership in mobile technologies to replicate these services for enterprises. Together with our partners, we simplify a very complex environment so companies can deploy this technology, effortlessly and securely.”

BICS is a leader in global mobile connectivity and can easily guide enterprises along their journey to deploy and connect their 5G private networks on a global scale and embed international connectivity into their smart devices. Rather than replicating what has taken decades to build, through BICS, enterprises can gain direct access to a global telecommunications ecosystem and knowledge base.

A Guide to Choosing a Business Entity In the Asia Pacific

When starting a business, there are many factors to take into account, such as the structure and the location. To have a successful venture, you must think about how the company structure will affect the overall outcome of your business. But the location plays a major role, too, so choosing the ideal location wisely should also be a priority. 

Why the Asia Pacific?

When choosing a country to set up your business in, the location plays a role in determining the ease of doing business there. The Asia Pacific region is a popular location to set up your business because it has many opportunities to offer entrepreneurs from different backgrounds.

There are many different business entities you can register within Asia. Among these are subchapter S corporations (S-Corp), limited liability companies (LLC), C-corporations, cooperative corporations, and general partnerships.

Because there are plenty of options, it’s necessary to understand which type of business entity suits your needs best before opening a company. This article explores the different types of business entities available in Asia and looks at their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Subchapter S Corporation (S-Corp)

The first business entity to consider is the Subchapter S Corporation (S-Corp). This entity is taxed like an individual, and there are restrictions on the number of shareholders that can register. The main benefit is that it only has one level of taxation and it also provides limited liability for its shareholders. 

Also, it can be difficult for creditors to serve a shareholder since they don’t have direct control over the company. However, this business entity isn’t available in all jurisdictions, and it’s also more expensive to register. The main downside of an S-Corp is that it may be required to file a tax return as an individual.

2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The second type is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). This company structure is prevalent in Singapore, Hongkong, and Japan. To register, you only need one person involved in the process, and it has fewer administrative requirements than the others.

An advantage of LLC is that it’s not taxed as a separate entity. The company taxes only fall on the members and not the company itself. It means that individual members aren’t accountable for any debts or liabilities incurred by their respective LLCs. One downside is that owners may need to file tax returns.

When compared to an S corporation, an LLC doesn’t have strict rules regarding the number of allowed shareholders— look at this article on Florida S Corp vs LLC to better understand the differences between an S Corp and LLC.

3. C Corporations (C-Corp)

Unlike LLC, C-Corps are separate from their owners and are also taxed as a separate entity. Its main benefit is that it can raise capital more easily than other entities since it offers corporate-level protection. C-Corps are also attractive to financial institutions since the debts are tax-deductible.

Another benefit is that it can offer employees more attractive compensation packages since the corporation covers half of the required payroll taxes. Any income incurred by a C-Corp through dividends, interest, or capital gains isn’t taxed at the business level, which means that the income is taxed only once. However, in this structure, creditors can sue a shareholder if the company incurs any debts or liabilities.

4. Cooperative Corporations

The fourth type is cooperative corporation (co-ops). Co-ops are formed when an individual or group of individuals contribute money to start a business. While this company can be more expensive to register than other types, it benefits its members in many ways.

In a Co-op, a member can participate in decision-making processes and is minimally liable for any debts or liabilities incurred by their cooperative corporation. It also allows for equitable distribution of profits and earnings without distributing dividends. Additionally, members have full voting rights in place, and they can directly influence the business policy of their cooperative corporation.

5. General Partnerships (GP)

The last is the general partnership. The main benefit of a GP is it doesn’t require much paperwork or administrative work. However, the individual partners are accountable if the company incurs any debts and liabilities. It means that the company’s success depends on its partners’ combined expertise and knowledge. If one partner leaves, there can be massive repercussions.

General Tips For Choosing Your Business Entity

After choosing the best business structure for your future company, it’s essential to follow some principles to help you maintain the entity properly. 

Here are some general tips for choosing the best business entity:

  • Avoid double taxation: Understand taxation and ensure you’re not paying more than you should. You can steer clear away from double taxation by keeping the business profits rather than distributing them to shareholders as dividends.
  • Get help from an experienced attorney: Ensure you get help from a knowledgeable attorney for professional advice on remaining compliant with local rules and regulations.
  • Get a certified public accountant: Hire a good accountant for sound financial advice and guidance all throughout your business venture.

Bottom Line:

When expanding your business across international borders, try to research first and fully understand all the details regarding your business venture before choosing the business entity that you think is suitable for your field of business. Keep in mind that each of these business structures has unique benefits that can cater to different requirements. So, take your time to research these options before making a final decision.

Three Mindsets that Facilitate Sustainable Development Goals-Relevant Collaboration

By Shameen Prashantham*

Even before the Covid pandemic changed our lives in the way that it has, business leaders were gravitating to the view that their organizations had an important role to play in addressing societal challenges facing the world, as evident from the 2019 statement from Business Roundtable asserting that the purpose of business was to serve all stakeholders.

This broader view of the role of business is consistent with the growing recognition that businesses have an important role to play in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), arguably the most coherent expression of a global agenda to promote societal wellbeing. Moreover, the pandemic appears to have deepened the strong yearning of business professionals to lead meaningful lives with a purpose that transcends the narrow pursuit of profit.
Non-traditional allies with complementary capabilities – such as corporations and startups — are well placed to generate solutions that have both an economic payoff and social impact.

Doing so calls for three mindsets – and board members in both large corporations and startups would do well to foster and affirm their importance.

Entrepreneurial mindset – Making things happen

An important starting point is an entrepreneurial mindset which entails three key factors: proactiveness, innovativeness and risk-taking. Proactiveness is evident in the recognition of potential win-wins in working with startups. Innovativeness can be seen in the creative efforts through which entrepreneurs incorporate startup engagement; out of the box thinking can help save time and resources. Finally, there is an inevitable element of risk involved in embarking on startup partnering. Risks can be mitigated by starting small and under the radar, working hard to create quick wins, especially in the early stages, and enlisting support from formal and informal partners. A key message here is that the impetus to engage with external startups can’t always be expected to come from on high. In fact, in numerous instances that I’ve studied, the driving force has been individual managers, often without a fancy job title or any mention of being entrepreneurial in their job description, that were the catalyst of startup partnering in their company.

Collaborative mindset – Joining forces with others

Another important mindset that companies need is a collaborative mindset. My research reveals three important aspects of this mindset: leveraging networks proactively, discerningly and reflectively. Leveraging networks proactively in relation to HOW goes beyond merely recognizing the WHY, and is reflected in the three-fold partnering process described in this book, which entails synergy clarification, interface creation and exemplar cultivation. Leveraging networks discerningly – in terms of understanding which startups are more suitable than others – is inherent in making choices of about who to engage with, how, and to what extent? Finally, in terms of leveraging network reflectively, learning from startups is important in terms of identifying and cultivating certain success stories (the exemplars), and gaining feedback from startups in terms of how to enhance the partnering process.

Global mindset – Engaging with the world

A global mindset entails curiosity, competence and connections. Curiosity is the basis for exploring novel technologies and ideas in other geographic contexts. Competence – particularly in terms of partnering capability – is an important basis for startup partnering globally, but there is also a need for cross-cultural competence to deal with both internal managers and external startups in entrepreneurial ecosystems in varied locations. An important manifestation is learning to adapt to other conditions. Connections can help to enrich the corporate-startup partnering experience for both parties. For instance, startup-partners’ own global expansion can be enhanced and the global startup partnering capability of the corporation strengthened, thus adding to value co-creation through corporate-startup partnering.

In a world where covid-related restrictions has curtailed international travel, and geopolitical tensions prevail, it may seem that globalization is losing steam – and consequently that a global mindset is not as relevant as it used to be. And yet the SDGs represent a global agenda which calls for the efforts of all nations, especially with regard to challenges such as the climate crisis (SDG 13). Thus globally minded corporations and startups have a vital role to play in forging effective collaborations around the world.

To illustrate, the digital health startup, mPharma, embodies all three mindsets – entrepreneurial, collaborative and global – and has looked for inspiration and input from around the world. Its founders came up with the idea in the US, gained support from the Israel ecosystem, and launched the company in Ghana. During the pandemic, a board member with ties to Silicon Valley and networks around the world helped mPharma connect with a supplier in China that could provide affordable equipment to support its diagnostic efforts which proved to be extremely timely in meeting the large demand for Covid-19 testing. A company like this is poised to continue contributing to SDG 3 (good health and well-being) in Africa and beyond.

Indeed, the last of the Goals, SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals – ought to be construed not merely as the collaboration of non-market actors such as government and civil society, but also, my research suggests, market actors including large corporations and smaller startups. As a world battered by Covid-19 grapples with addressing the SDGs in the lead up to 2030, it can do with all the ingenuity and creativity it can harness from high-quality startups as they dance with gorillas. Entrepreneurial, collaborative and global mindsets will be especially important in making this happen.

*Shameen Prashantham, the author of Gorillas can Dance: Lessons from Microsoft and Other Corporations on Partnering with Startups, is Professor of International Business & Strategy, and Associate Dean (MBA), at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, China. For more information, go to: link

OPPO Sets to Strengthen Presence in High-end Market with New Find X5 Series

OPPO today launched its latest family of flagship smartphones, the Find X5 Series, marking another decisive step into the high-end market for the leading smartphone brand. The new addition to the Find X Series is the first smartphone series to be powered by OPPO’s MariSilicon X imaging NPU and other industry-leading features. With its futuristic design, seamless ceramic back panel, and premium International Warranty Service, every aspect of the Find X5 Series has been tailored to deliver the best possible user experience.

“At OPPO INNO DAY 2021, we announced our brand proposition of ‘Inspiration Ahead’, defining our commitment to constantly redraw the boundaries of the smartphone experience to make life better for everyone, regardless of the challenges and uncertainties faced,” said William Liu, Vice President and President of Global Marketing at OPPO. “With the Find X5 Series, we have raised the bar for flagship smartphones in terms of style and performance, while never stopping in our exploration of new possibilities.” 

Rapid international growth reaches new heights

Last year saw OPPO establish itself in high-end markets worldwide while delivering strong growth for its high-end devices. Through successful partnerships with leading mobile operators, growth in the $600 segment surpassed 200% in 2021, while global shipments of the OPPO Find X3 Series increased by 140% compared with the previous Find X Series.

As of December 2021, OPPO has filed for over 75,000 patent applications and over 4,500 of them are related to 5G. With these strong technical foundations, OPPO delivers a portfolio of high-performing 5G products, the success of which have resulted in the brand ranking the second for two consecutive years in global 5G smartphone shipments among Android manufacturers according to the data from Canalys.

Global partnerships with the likes of Roland-Garros and Wimbledon have also driven awareness for the OPPO brand worldwide. According to the data from Canalys, in 2021, OPPO held on to its place as the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide, with a total market share of 11%.

 

Taking the end-to-end smartphone experience to the next level

The OPPO Find X5 Series raises the bar for flagship smartphone performance across the board with OPPO’s best-ever technology, product experience, and customer service.

MariSilicon X – OPPO’s recently-unveiled self-designed imaging NPU – makes its debut on the Find X5 Series. The NPU and its advanced in-house algorithms, including AINR, deliver a leap in computational photography performance. With MariSilicon X, the Find X5 Series is the first flagship smartphone series capable of capturing clear 4K Ultra Night Video that can rival what is seen by the human eye. Following its long-held mission to bring both natural and professional colors to smartphone imaging, OPPO has joined hands with Hasselblad to bring its Natural Color Calibration to the Find X5 Series, empowering users to unlock more emotive moments.

Elsewhere, many of OPPO’s breakthrough innovations can be found on the Find X5 Series. OPPO’s upgraded 360° Smart Antenna 3.0 ensures stable connectivity, with greater signal strength and range than other models. The series also features enhanced Flash Charging technology for faster charging, while a multi-tier cooling system ensures smooth overall performance and efficient dissipation.

Beyond the phone itself, OPPO has turned its attention to the entire customer experience. Find X5 Series owners will have access to OPPO’s premium International Warranty Service, which can be used at over 2,500 service centers in 62 countries and regions worldwide.

A standout flagship, driven by OPPO’s human-centric insights

Guided by OPPO’s brand mission “Technology for Mankind, Kindness for the World”, the Find X5 Series represents OPPO’s pursuit of human-centric product features and designs aimed at improving the day-to-day lives of its users.

The design of the Find X5 Series reflects every aspect of the user experience. Built with advanced manufacturing technology, the curved and continuous ceramic back panel is anti-fingerprint and comfortable to hold while also providing greater protection and heat dissipation.

OPPO’s thoughtful consideration of its users is also manifested in ColorOS 12.1, which includes features such as the O Relax digital relaxation suite and Color Vision Enhancement for those who perceive color differently or have color vision impairments.

Looking at the bigger picture, OPPO strives to be a sustainable company and remains committed in its responsibility to the protection of the planet. In May 2021, OPPO was among the first companies to join the Eco Rating Labelling Scheme established by leading mobile operators in Europe. OPPO has also adopted green product design practices into the entire life cycle of the Find X5 Series: about 45% of the packaging is made by recycled fiber, and the overall plastic used in the packaging has reduced by 95% since 2019; for plastic materials that cannot be replaced for now, OPPO choose to use the biodegradable polylactic acid material; meanwhile, OPPO’s Battery Health Engine ensures the phone’s battery is able to maintain more than 80% of its effective power after 1,600 charge cycles – which greatly extends the product durability. To inspire more people to preserve the biodiversity of the planet, OPPO also collaborates with National Geographic to capture beautiful imagery of endangered and at risk animals, and supports National Geographic Society and its wildlife conservation efforts as part of the Endangered Colours campaign for the second consecutive year.

With the new Find X5 Series, OPPO is breaking new ground in technological innovation and human-centric user experience in the high-end market while sticking to its core values – a trait that OPPO will maintain as it continues to explore new possibilities in technology and products that help make life better for users worldwide.

Employers Must Put Disease Preventions in Place Beforehand for Overseas Staff

Employees are at increased risk of additional diseases if they travel abroad for work. Employers must act against these extra risks before staff embark on global assignments, warns Towergate Health & Protection, and not let Covid requirements overshadow other important preparations for travel.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection says: “Employers must do their homework in advance. A lot can be done beforehand to prepare employees before travel in order to help prevent illness. Trying to arrange medical treatment is much more difficult after the event.”

Increased risk

Employees abroad are at risk of different diseases than those based in the UK, and longer trips abroad, such as working overseas, increase the risk of catching some diseases. Studies have shown that population growth and climate change mean that neglected tropical diseases are re-emerging and are no longer necessarily the preserve of the tropics. So the risk of such diseases must now be considered for all overseas postings, not just those in remote or developing areas.

Vector-borne diseases

Vector-borne diseases are spread by living organisms like fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Environmental changes, increased international travel and trade, changes in agricultural practices, and rapid urbanisation have been shown to increase the number and spread of many vectors worldwide, making more people vulnerable, notably business travellers.

Malaria

Malaria is now found in over 100 countries, including large areas of Africa and Asia, Central and South America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Middle East and some Pacific Islands.

Zika virus

Mainly spread by mosquitos, Zika virus is a very mild infection but there is evidence it causes birth defects. For employees relocating to Central and South America and the Caribbean and planning to start a family, this could be extremely problematic.

There are also numerous vector-borne diseases that affect more temperate climates. So when a company sends employees overseas to work, they need to be aware of the risks in every country and seek health advice before the trip takes place.

Mumps and measles

There has been a recent resurgence of mumps and measles in the UK and globally. These contagious diseases are preventable through vaccination but there have been severe outbreaks in pockets across the world.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a simple and effective way to prevent many diseases. The NHS schedule of vaccines that UK citizens have as children are focussed on UK diseases, so further vaccines are likely to be required for those planning to work abroad. Taking expert advice is very important. Global mobility programmes can help with the planning as there are many aspects to consider and each country will have different risks and requirements.

Repatriation and evacuation plans

It is important to have plans in place before travel. For example, Ebola has not gone away, and it is not easy to get employees out of countries where there are severe outbreaks, as the country will go into immediate lockdown. A repatriation strategy is essential.

An evacuation plan is not just about removing employees from an area quickly in case of disaster. If an employee becomes ill in an area where medical care is inadequate, then they may need to be evacuated to another area, with better, more suitable, medical care. This can be astronomically expensive if the right cover is not in place prior to the event.

Sarah Dennis says: “The simple message is to plan ahead. The risks of diseases that can be caught abroad are quite different from those in the UK, and it’s important that employers and employees are aware.  And it’s very important that everything is in place before an employee travels.”

APAC Insider Announces the 2022 Singapore Business Award Winners

United Kingdom, 2022- APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2022 Singapore Business Awards.

The corporate landscape of Singapore is very diverse, despite Singapore being one of the smallest countries in Southeast Asia. Despite its size, it is still home to every sized business from global conglomerates to SMEs, including a wide variety of sectors such as Fintech, ecommerce, and healthcare are represented within their economy.

Now in its fifth year, the APAC Insider Singapore Business Awards aim to recognise and shine a spotlight on the businesses and individuals working tirelessly to help the economy grow. This year’s winners come from many sectors including finance, cyber security, interior design, and many more.

Awards Co-ordinator Harwinder Pawar commented on the success of the deserving winners at the launch of the supplement: “From all of us at APAC Insider, we offer our sincere congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the 2022 Singapore Business Awards! It has been an honour to work closely with these innovative companies, and we wish you all the best for the future.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/awards/singapore-business-awards/  where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 

About APAC Insider

Published quarterly, APAC Insider endeavours to bring you the latest need-to-know business content and updates from across the Asia Pacific Region

Keeping pace with a vast array of ever-changing sectors thanks to regular contributions from some of the region’s foremost corporate professionals, APAC Insider is home to the very best news, features and comment from the people and institutions in the know.

 

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences, and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

UK/India goods trade deficit reaches record high but Free Trade Agreement creates huge opportunity for SMEs

  • Export volumes reach £4.7 billion and return to growth after two years of declines
  • But trade deficit widens to a record £3.7 billion as imports from India return to peak levels of £8.4 billion after pandemic dip
  • FTA negotiations with India should be starting gun for UK businesses to increase trade

The UK’s goods trade deficitwith India reached its widest ever gap in 2021 as imports reached arecord high while exports levels are witnessing a slower recovery after two years of decline.

The volume of goods exported from the UK to India returned to growth in2021 after two consecutive years of decline. A total of £4.7 billion worth of goods was exported to India through the year, up from £3.2 billion the previous year and broadly similar to 2019’s total (£4.6 billion), but still well short of the peak of £6.4 billion in 2011.

Imports however rebounded to record levels with £8.4 billion worth of goods travelling to the UK from India in 2021 – a similar volume of goods to 2019, but significantly higher than the pandemic-affected total of £6.1 billion in 2020.

The continued growth of imports through the previous decade and flatlining exports meant that the 2021 trade deficit with India reached its highest ever level at £3.7 billion.

However, in the first month of 2022 the UK government launched talks with India ahead of an ambitious Free Trade Agreement which it says could double UK exports to India and lower importing costs.

The negotiations are an opportunity for UK businesses to both diversify their supply chains and start targeting India more as a purchaser of goods, according to Cornelius Clarke, Head of Desk at Ebury, but companies need a strategy to deal with the idiosyncrasies of trading with India.

“India is already an important trading partner for the UK and so it is positive that imports are recovering from the pandemic’s disruption and exports are on the up again,” he said.

“The launch of bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations between the UK could turbocharge this momentum and SMEs in the UK should be alive to the opportunities it presents.

“A successful conclusion to these talks could make trade easier and cheaper with one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies. The government has committed  to a deal that slashes barriers on UK exports and allows manufacturers in the UK to source cheaper parts which could bring significant benefits.

“UK SMEs should be actively looking to see whether the Indian market could offer future opportunities for their business. While an FTA may not be finalised for some time, establishing contacts and processes in advance could give these companies an advantage in the future to capitalise on reduced barriers and tariffs between the two countries.”

Mr Clarke urged companies with visibility of rough supplier costs over a period of 3 months or more, to put in place an effective hedging strategy to mitigate FX risk. Neglecting to manage this can damage relationships, disrupt cash flow and eat into margins, he said.

“When dealing with countries that welcome currencies other than their own, such as India, it is important to understand whether there is an indirect FX risk caused by the supplier taking on the danger of currency fluctuations. Suppliers are likely to manage this themselves by implementing a price buffer which can take the form of a hidden 5% FX service charge on their bill to the importer.

“When the currency the supplier receive fluctuates beyond this 5% buffer, for example, the supplier is forced to implement an additional and abrupt price on importers which we see regularly in geographies like China.

“Service providers that can hedge and deliver the local and operating currency of their suppliers are able eliminate this charge and ensure importers have future clarity over supply and prices.”

Marriott International Plans Further Asia Pacific Expansion with 1000th Property Anticipated to Open in 2022

Marriott International, Inc. today announced its plans to further expand its portfolio across Asia Pacific, targeting to open its 1000th property in the region in late 2022. The company expects to open nearly 100 properties in the region this year. With a vision to deliver exceptional and distinctive travel experiences, Marriott is committed to bringing the benefits of good travel to its guests, owners and communities in Asia Pacific.

Craig S. Smith, Group President, International for Marriott International, said, “I am very pleased with our 2021 development results in Asia Pacific. We have worked closely with our owners throughout the last two years to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, adapt quickly, and grow. Last year in Asia Pacific, we signed two new development deals a week on average, with deals signed in 13 different markets across the region. This year, we expect to continue to drive demand and growth which is a testament to our talented teams committed to operational excellence, and the relationships we have with the customers we’re privileged to serve and the developers, owners, franchisees and partners we’re honored to do business with.”

In line with the company’s recent update around key trends shaping hospitality development, Asia Pacific sees similar trends poising Marriott to further grow in the region.

Luxury Demand Continues to Boom in Greater China

According to research by ILTM Asia Pacific, Greater China’s affluent population contributes to  half of Asia Pacific’s total spending on airfare and lodging. Affluent travelers in Greater China continue to look for luxury travel in new and emerging destinations. Greater China remains an engine for the company’s growth, as it accounts for more than half of the company’s anticipated luxury openings in Asia Pacific in 2022. Ritz-Carlton Reserve anticipates expanding its highly curated portfolio in Greater China, debuting its first rare estate in the historic Jiuzhaigou valley later this year. Additional expected luxury openings in 2022 include JW Marriott Hotel Changsha and W Macau – Studio City.

Leisure Demand Paving the Way for Travel Recovery

Research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) suggests that leisure travel demand has been booming at an accelerating rate. In 2022, as leisure demand continues to outpace business travel, Marriott is poised to strengthen its presence across several leisure destinations. In South Korea, the company expects to bring its JW Marriott brand to Jeju with the opening of JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa in May 2022. The expected opening of W Sydney in late 2022 will mark the third W hotel in Australia.

With wellness and well-being remaining a continued priority for many travelers, the company’s leading wellness brand, Westin Hotels & Resorts, is expected to celebrate two new debuts in Yokohama and Cam Ranh in 2022.

Select Service Brands Cement Their Position in Asia Pacific

Marriott’s select service portfolio is driving momentum for growth, providing a wide-range of amenities and offerings across well-established brands such as Courtyard by MarriottFairfield by MarriottFour Points by SheratonAC Hotels and Moxy Hotels. In Greater China, the openings of select service hotels will further expand consumers’ travel choices, bringing guests a diverse range of experiences in emerging Chinese destinations. Four Points by Sheraton expects to continue its growth with five planned openings throughout the year, while Moxy Hotels anticipates continuing to share its playful spirit in destinations such as Suzhou and Xi’an.

Outside of Greater China, the company expects to debut its AC Hotels brand in Korea with AC Hotel Seoul Gangnam and in Australia with AC Hotel Melbourne Southbank. In Japan, Fairfield by Marriott expects to continue to strengthen its presence with six new properties planned to open across Nara, Hokkaido and Hyogo along ‘Michi-no-Eki’ roadside stations aimed at revitalizing the country’s local sightseeing spots and well-hidden rural destinations.

Marriott Bonvoy Builds Meaningful Connections with Members

Marriott is committed to inspiring travel and strengthening its relationship with its more than 55 million Marriott Bonvoy members in the region. In 2021, Marriott Bonvoy introduced several innovative initiatives:

  • Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy kicked off the company’s aspiration to provide meaningful travel experiences. The program is set to expand in 2022 with a range of curated, purpose-driven experiences available across hotels and resorts in the region.
  • Marriott Bonvoy launched two co-branded credit cards in South KoreaMarriott Bonvoy® The Best Shinhan Card and Marriott Bonvoy® The Classic Shinhan Card, providing travelers new ways to earn their points through daily spend.
  • The company entered into a strategic collaboration with Rakuten connecting Rakuten members to Marriott Bonvoy’s unparalleled experiences.

Geberit Recognised As the Global Leader for Sustainable Sanitary Products

Geberit, a market leader in sanitary products, has received a Platinum seal from EcoVadis in recognition of its best-in-class sustainability management. This is the second consecutive year that Geberit has attained the Platinum rating and cements the company’s position as a sustainability leader within the sanitary industry.

EcoVadis is the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. Every year, the provider assesses and monitors sustainability practices for more than 75,000 businesses worldwide. The Platinum medal is the highest possible rating awarded by EcoVadis and places Geberit in the top 1% of all companies evaluated in the sanitary industry.

Innovative water management and eco-design principles

One keyway Geberit is creating a sustainable future is through the conservation of water throughout production processes, ensuring its products require as little water and energy as possible to operate. With its water-saving flushing systems, the company helped customers save over 3,350 million m3 of water in 2020 alone.

All Geberit products are also developed in line with its eco-friendly principles, which state that each product must be better than its predecessor from an ecological perspective without compromising quality, functionality, or durability. These principles inform the entire product life cycle from the provision of raw materials to working with the right suppliers, local production, green logistics and service lifespan.

“Most recently, the company made significant breakthroughs in ceramic manufacturing, one of its most energy-intensive production processes, thanks to new energy-saving Enervit burner technology. By retrofitting ten kilns in seven ceramic plants, Geberit was able to achieve energy savings of more than 20% per plant,” said David Lee, Head of Sanitary Systems at Geberit North and Southeast Asia.

AquaClean Sela: Saving Water, Paper and Energy

A strong example of Geberit’s commitment to sustainability can be found in its AquaClean Sela range. AquaClean products feature eco-friendly materials and are made in energy-saving kilns, which has reduced water consumption in ceramic production by 5 percent between 2018 and 2021. Shower toilets from Geberit also perform well in life cycle assessments.

AquaClean shower toilets save water without compromising design or comfort. The AquaClean Sela consumes less than 1 liter of water in each shower, while achieving the very best clean with WhirlSpray shower technology. Moreover, all AquaClean models are equipped with an economy mode for greater energy savings and fulfill European Energy-Related Products Directives.

Carving a greener future

Recognizing the importance of supporting green building practices within the community, Geberit also partnered with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) on Green Means Go in 2021 a public education campaign that empowers homeowners to make decisions to build green. The company is also a member of the United Nations Global Compact, which calls companies to align strategies and operations with the Sustainable Development Goals.

5 Ways to Maximise Business Growth

There’s no sure-fire way for instant business success, but there are some ways to boost your growth. However, you cannot expect to see results overnight. Growth should be an ongoing process that requires hard work, dedication, and patience. There is no special step involved to achieve immediate success. But there are proven ways to reach growth milestones that could catapult your business to success. 

Below, check out some ways to maximise business growth. 

1. Maximise Current Sales 

Maximising sales volume is one way to enhance business growth. If you have enough sales, you’d be able to move inventory faster and make space for incoming stocks. Sales volume refers to the number of products you end up selling over a given period. Having a high sales volume is a good indication that the company’s marketing and sales strategies are truly effective.

You can grow your business by looking for ways to increase sales volume. To increase sales, you may need to consider introducing new products or services, improving your marketing strategies, improving customer service, and expanding your market. If your business is in the manufacturing field, you may need to increase your productivity to meet customer demand and increase your sales.

When maximising your sales volume, you also need to be aware of your competitors’ activities. Knowing what your competitors are doing can help you better understand their limitations, capabilities, and behaviours. Once you have fully understood how your competitors work, you’ll be prepared to defend your position in the market, react to changes, and search for a new niche.

2. Creating a Strong Brand 

Creating a strong brand is one way to improve business success. Unfortunately, some companies do not realise the importance of branding. Your brand might only consist of logos and colours when you look at it from the outside, but it’s more important than you think. It gives you personality and represents the entire identity of your company.

Branding has always been an essential aspect of any business, but it’s even more important now than before. Thanks to the Internet and social media, consumers are exposed to different brands every day, which is great since it provides many options. However, this also means businesses need to work even harder to stand out from their competitors and make customers choose them over others.

There’s obviously a huge amount of competition in this day and age, so businesses have to go the extra mile to ensure that they stand out from the rest. One way to do this is to invest in a strong brand that will easily capture your target consumers’ attention. If you have the right branding, you can control how people will perceive your business. So, make sure you don’t overlook this.

3. Get Expert Advice 

Hiring a business coach who can provide expert advice on scaling your business operations is one way to help your business grow. Another way is to outsource your recruitment to sector experts, such as development embedded systems jobs, getting a software expert onboard who knows the industry can help scale your business quicker.

When getting expert advice, you are not only limited to business consultants. You can also attend seminars and workshops or read self-help books on business. While attending workshops and reading self-help books can provide generic advice, hiring a business coach who can deliver one-on-one mentoring that’s specific to your industry would be a better option. Choose a business coach who has several years of business experience. That way, he can use his expertise to analyse your business model, suggest improvements, and identify any flaws in your day-to-day operations.

Also, consider hiring a coach who has a broad background in business and not just someone from your niche. To ensure creative problem solving, choose an open-minded advisor who is not shackled by the preconceived notions of your business.

4. Looking after Your Customers 

Studies show that loyal customers are worth ten times their first purchase. Therefore, showing your customers extra appreciation is a more cost-effective option to growing your business than acquiring new customers. But how do you look after your customers?

One way to keep your customers coming back is by rewarding them with loyalty perks. Surveys show that most customers would be willing to change where they shop if rewarded for their purchases. One way to reward your most loyal customers is to invite them to exclusive perks and events. The special invite will make your customers feel special, further encouraging them to choose you over your competitors. 

When it comes to taking care of your customers, you need to improve your customer service. Make sure you immediately respond to customer complaints. Customers will appreciate it if you listen to their feedback or complaints and respond with a genuine apology.

4. Develop Your Employees

Employee development helps in the growth and development of a business. Remember, the employees are the real assets of an organisation. If you want your business to grow, you must make your employees feel appreciated. The best way to do this is by providing them with employee development activities that will prepare them for their current and future roles. Employees cannot stay in the same positions forever. You need to help them develop their skills to help them grow with time.

Employee development is essential for employees to enhance their skills and upgrade their knowledge, helping them perform better at work. By providing them with training and other development activities, they will be more aware of the latest developments in your industry. Employee development is not just for professional growth, but it also contributes to personal growth. Development activities like training can help prepare them for any unforeseen situations in the company. Furthermore, professional growth development training courses can help an employee perform at their best, eventually benefiting the organisation and leading to business growth.

Employees wanted to acquire new skills and learnings at work. It gives them a sense of pride if they feel that their employers invest time and resources in training and developing them to become better at what they do. In essence, employee development brings the best out of employees.

India’s Budget Deficit to Narrow Down to 5.3% of GDP in FY22, Forecasts GlobalData

The upcoming Union Budget of India (2022-23) is expected to focus on bringing in economic reforms to ease supply-side bottlenecks, provide production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes to domestic MSME’s* sector, asset monetization and privatization. Along with this, the government needs to strike a balance between fiscal expenditure and fiscal consolidation. Against this backdrop, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, expects the budget deficit to narrow down to 5.3% of GDP in 2022 compared to 5.6% in 2021.

With the expected higher tax and non-tax revenue collection, GlobalData forecast the revenue and expenditure to grow by 13.4% and 9.3% respectively in 2022.

To foster green energy, the budget might focus on tax relaxations to promote investments in renewable energy sector. Aviation sector might hope for tax cuts on jet fuel to increase overall sector growth. To encourage inbound domestic and international tourism, GlobalData expects tax concessions to hotels and resorts.   

Gargi Rao, Economic Research Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With the Delta and Omicron variant causing a mayhem on various sectors including tourism, manufacturing, retail, and housing, GlobalData expects strong targeted incentives in 2022-23 budget estimates. To increase consumer demand and disposable income for the salaried class, the budget may increase the basic tax exemption limit. To empower entrepreneurs, the budget might introduce new start-up friendly policies and tax reductions.”

With a high COVID-19 positivity rate of 19.5% as of January 27, 2021, the budget is expected to keep health sector as a major priority. The country needs to ramp up its vaccination rates along with provision of booster doses to the country’s eligible adult population in the coming months.

To re-instate the farmer’s confidence, the upcoming budget might focus on developing Agri-tech industry and allied sectors along with prioritization of minimum support prices.

Rao continues: “The country needs to overcome from the perils of jobless growth. A push to manufacturing, textile, and construction activities is anticipated which may lead job creation. However, a prudent balance between job creation and inflation has to be maintained.”

Furthermore, with prudent policies to tackle the non-performing assets, the overall banking sector has shown signs of recovery. The upcoming budget could introduce policy initiatives to give impetus to innovations in the banking sector, by offering incentives such as tax subsidy in the form weighted deductions.

Rao concludes: “The focus of the upcoming budget is to achieve steady economic growth in all sectors and reduce widening income gaps. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth is the way forward and GlobalData projects India’s real GDP growth to grow by 7.8% in 2022, fastest among all other peer nations.”

*MSME- Micro-small and medium enterprises.

Electrical Transport: The Sustainable Alternative for the Future

Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, and transport is pushing the trend of sustainability with greener alternatives. Between commuting, sport, and public infrastructure, electrical enabled devices and vehicles are changing our expectations for the future. Here, we look at the technology which is changing transport.

The extra push

While it is not exactly reinventing the wheel, electric bikes have revolutionised the way that we cycle. Strangely, the e-bike has been around for the best part of a century, but its prominence has been propelled in recent years as commuters look for greener and safer ways to commute.

The e-bike does not replace effort completely — users must still pedal to activate the motor. But the assisted momentum is useful for those difficult hills or long routes. In fact, where the average cyclist may only travel at about 10 miles per hour, e-bikes can hit speeds of 15.5 miles per hour in the UK, as is their legal limit. For people who use bicycles for commuting, this may reduce their journey time by 50 per cent.

Of course, e-bikes are a unique piece of technology as they encourage less-active individuals to take on a more active form of transport. Even light pedalling to activate the motor has health benefits. In time, the accessory may encourage people to ride a normal bicycle and put in the work for more health benefits. E-bikes, in this sense, can be a gateway to a healthier lifestyle.

Throttle to the future

Green alternatives to travel are not just shaking up commuting. Motorsport is the latest activity to be launched into a technologically enabled future. Formula E is a single-seater motorsport championship which uses only electric cars.

Its popularity is growing. Google has recorded an increased search power of 135 per cent between its conception in March 2011 and the closing of its sixth season in August 2020.

The sport has been hailed as an innovation to the traditional fuel-guzzling nature of motor racing. The sport was championed by MEP and then future-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. He believed that the sport would inspire the electrification of the automobile industry, helping to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions through the introduction of hybrid and electric systems.

In December 2019, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, decided that from its 2020–21 season, Formula E would be given world championship status. This was a monumental move for the organisation, not to mention for a sport so young. The decision made Formula E the first single-seater racing series outside Formula One to be given world championship status. The popularity and new-found prominence of the electric sport prove the willingness of fans and the public to accept greener innovations of traditional activities.

The driver on the bus… isn’t there

The traditional children’s song may have to rejig a verse or two when they appreciate the future of public transport. The bus industry is now becoming both greener and more intelligent, with autonomous and electric vehicles.

In 2019, Volvo unveiled the world’s first full size autonomous electric bus. Two of the vehicles would be launched at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, trialling their use in a dedicated smart campus.

Of course, electric buses are not such a recent innovation, being common for public use across the world. There are currently 51 electric buses operating in London.

However, the innovation of autonomous electric buses makes the proposition of future public transport even more exciting. The Stagecoach Group has said it is trialling autonomous buses in a depot in Manchester.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has defined five levels of autonomy. Stage five means that vehicles are completely autonomous. Stagecoach has said its buses will operate at level four. This means that the buses will drive themselves, will not require the driver to take over for some manoeuvres, but it must meet specified conditions to engage in autonomy.

Technology has given us a reason to be excited about the future. Whether it means we can travel further afield on our bike or enjoy sustainable sport, technology means that everyone can have a stake in a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. A small investment in these incredible innovations means that we can turn most aspects of our life into one of prosperity, be that commuting or enjoying time at home with the family.

Amid Pandemic-Driven Logistics Boom, ADDX-Listed Real Estate Fund by Elite Exceeds 2x of Target Returns, After Completing EUR 520m Sale to Blackstone

Focused on European warehouses, Elite Logistics Fund I benefited from a significant increase in investor demand for logistics and e-commerce assets

A European logistics real estate fund managed by the Singapore-regulated Elite Partners Capital has completed a EUR 520-million sale of its entire portfolio to a fund managed by the US private equity firm Blackstone Group. Launched in early 2020, Elite Logistics Fund I is a two-year, closed-end fund listed on the private market exchange ADDX. With its sale of all 18 properties to Blackstone, the fund by Elite has achieved annualised returns more than double its 12% per annum target.

Individual accredited investors on ADDX had subscribed to the Elite fund in two separate offerings in June and December 2020. Fund units were tokenised by ADDX, and the efficiency of blockchain and smart contracts allowed ADDX to reduce the minimum investment size as set by Elite, to EUR 20,000 from EUR 1 million. ADDX investors have received 98% of the proceeds from the sale to Blackstone. The remaining funds will be distributed after the fund is formally concluded later this year.

The Elite fund was invested in mature, income-producing logistics warehouses in the UK, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain. Tenants consisted of large multinational corporations such as DHL, Pepsi, FM Logistics, Fiege, Havi Logistics and Next.

Enoch Tan, Portfolio Director of Elite Logistics Fund I, said that with the pandemic, the demand for space in logistics and e-commerce facilities skyrocketed, as supply chain disruptions prompted companies to increase inventory levels for food, essential goods and other consumer products, to ensure they could meet demand consistently. The high-tech facilities at the cargo terminal at Prague airport were also involved in vaccine storage and delivery.

He said: “Our investment approach focused on well-performing logistics real estate in developed European markets. Even prior to the pandemic, we were bullish about logistics because of the broader expansion of the e-commerce industry and new demand for space in the UK arising from Brexit. This strategy paid off, as we acquired assets which were fully tenanted and achieved 100% rent collection throughout the pandemic. In contrast, rent collection for retail and office space plummeted to under 50% across Europe. In the past two years, the rate of rental collection became one of the key performance matrices for real estate investments, and because of this, logistics assets were highly sought after due to their consistently low rates of rental delays and defaults.”

The travel restrictions that began in early 2020 posed a challenge to real estate transactions in the early phase of the fund, when it was procuring warehouses. This was mitigated by two factors, noted Tan. First, the fund manager had viewed a large number of the properties physically by the end of 2019, before travel to Europe became difficult. Second, notwithstanding that Elite had full-time employees based in the UK and Europe, it  was able to rely on strategic partner Macquarie Capital Principal Finance, which was also a key investor in the fund, to follow up in person on transactions, as Macquarie had a network of offices and employees in Europe. The Singapore-based members of the fund manager had to follow site visits and meetings with tenants by way of Zoom, which was a novel method of real estate assessment made necessary by the pandemic.

According to Prologis Research, the global e-commerce penetration rate is projected to rise to over 25% in 2025, from around 15% in 2019.

As the pandemic wore on, wealth portfolios globally were rebalanced in favour of logistics real estate. Investor demand for assets rose significantly, leading to improved valuations and contributing to the higher-than-anticipated returns by Elite Logistics Fund I, Tan said.

He added: “As we approached the end of the fund’s two-year mandate, we considered all possible options, including an IPO for the fund, which would allow Logistics Fund I to follow in the footsteps of its sister company Elite Commercial REIT which completed its IPO in February 2020. Following a thorough assessment, we concluded that the private sale to Blackstone yielded the highest returns to investors, which made it the most attractive option.”

ADDX Chief Commercial Officer Oi-Yee Choo said: “Private real estate funds continue to look compelling in the current market, offering an income play along with the potential for asset appreciation. Investor demand for real estate offerings has therefore been robust over the past year, especially when they involve the logistics sector.”

She added: “The stellar performance of this fund also underscores the importance of investing with experienced, high-quality asset managers like Elite, who are equipped with a well-thought-out investment strategy as well as a proven ability to execute on it. The case for investing in a fund also becomes stronger when there is a strategic limited partner (LP) investor with global reach, such as Macquarie in the case of this fund.”

Elite is an alternative asset management company with more than SGD 1 billion of assets under management. Among the portfolios Elite has assembled is Elite Commercial REIT, which is currently listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Q1 2022

Welcome to the Q1 edition of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

As we enter the first quarter of 2022, we are able to gaze towards a busy and progressive year for the APAC region. With amazing achievements across all industries and sectors, the Asia Pacific region is truly excelling at everything that it does.

All things considered, with the global pandemic stunning and slowing the world, the Asian Pacific region has excelled and produced a high number of successful businesses. Turning everything that it touches to gold, these companies have made huge differences to the way we see low carbon construction, luxury electric vehicles, sustainability through eco-friendly products, and the security industry.

With a wide variety of businesses winning prestigious awards such as these, despite the tumultuous nature of the last couple of years, APAC Insider Magazine would like to present you with big brands and clever companies that are altering the trajectory of their sectors.

We hope you enjoy perusing this quarter’s edition of APAC Insider and its insight into the corporate landscape of the region. As ever, we wish you all the best throughout 2022 and we hope to see you again for Q2.

Top 8 Trends for the Security Industry in 2022

Entering 2022, the world continues to endure the pandemic. But the security industry has, no doubt, continued to shift, adapt, and develop in spite of things. Several trends have even accelerated. Beyond traditional “physical security,” a host of frontiers like AI, cloud computing, IoT, and cybersecurity are being rapidly pioneered by entities big and small in our industry.

By all appearances, the security industry is in a stage of redefining itself. It is moving from mere security and safety protections to encompass a wider scope of activity that will expand safety while also bringing new levels of intelligence and sustainability to communities, companies and societies.

Here, Hikvision would like to share some of our ideas and expectations about key trends that will likely affect the security industry in 2022 and perhaps even further into the future.  

1. AI will be everywhere

Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is quite common in the security industry. More customers in the industry have recognized the value of AI, and have found new uses for AI applications in various scenarios. Along with ANPR, automated event alerts, and false alarm reduction, AI technologies are being used for wider applications, like personal protective equipment (PPE) detection, fall detection for the elderly, mine surface detection, and much more. Meanwhile, we also have seen more collaboration across the industry, with security manufacturers opening their hardware products to third-party AI applications, and launching open platforms for customers to create and train their own AI algorithms to meet customized needs.

AI has been one of the fundamental technologies to reshape the security industry. Benefiting from the optimization of algorithms, as well as the improved  computing performance and the decreased cost of chips due to the advancement of semiconductor technology in recent years, AI applications are gradually forming the basic functions and capabilities accepted by all sectors in the industry, and we predict an even stronger tendency to assert that “AI will be everywhere.”

2. AIoT will digitize and pervade industry verticals

With more security cameras and other security devices being connected to the network, the security industry is becoming an important part of an IoT world, enriching its visual capabilities. It’s apparent that the boundaries of the security industry are blurring, going well beyond the physical security arena. Meanwhile the popularization of AI technology enables the connected devices to become intelligent “things” in the IoT world. The combination of AI and IoT, or as we call it, AIoT, is taking the security industry to a higher plain, automating the workflows and procedures of enterprises and aiding in the digital transformation of various industry verticals such as energy, logistics, manufacturing, retail, education, healthcare, etc.

From our perspective, AIoT brings more possibilities to the industry with rapidly expanding applications for security devices and systems. Meanwhile, more perception capabilities like radar, Lidar, temperature measuring, humidity sensing, and gas leak detection are being added to security devices and systems to make them more powerful. These new devices shoulder a multiplicity of tasks that just a few years ago required several different devices, covering both security functions and other intelligent functions for an ever-advancing world.

3. Converged systems will break down data silos

Workers throughout private enterprises and public service sectors alike would jump at the chance to get rid of obstructive “data silos.” Data and information scattered and isolated in disparate systems or groups creates barriers to information sharing and collaboration, preventing managers from getting a holistic view of their operations. Here, the convergence of various information systems has been proven to be an effective approach – hopefully enough to break down those silos.

It’s clear – the trend in the security industry has been to make efforts to converge systems wherever possible, including video, access control, alarms, fire prevention, and emergency management, to name a few. Further, more non-security systems, like human resources, finance, inventory, and logistics systems are also converging onto unified management platforms to increase collaboration and to support management in better decision-making based on more comprehensive data and analytics.

4. Cloud-based solutions and services will be essential

Like AI, the cloud is not a new trend in our industry, but it is an expanding one. From small business markets to enterprise levels, we can see the momentum push more and more businesses to leverage cloud-based security solutions and services. And as we are witnessing even now, the pandemic has accelerated the movement to cloud-based operations for people and businesses around the world.

All businesses want platforms or services that offer simplicity, with as few assets to manage as possible, and a setup that’s as simple as possible. This is precisely where the cloud delivers. With a cloud-hosting infrastructure, there is no need for a local server or software. Users can conveniently check the status of their assets and businesses in real time, receive security events and alarms quickly, and accomplish emergency responses simply using a mobile app. For security business operators, the cloud enables them to remotely help their clients configure devices, fix bugs, maintain and upgrade security systems, and provide better value-added services.

5. Crystal clear security imaging will be standard in any weather, under any conditions, any time of day or night

It is always vital for video security cameras to maintain image clarity and capture details 24 hours a day, in any weather and under any condition. Cameras with low light imaging technology that renders high-definition and full-color images at night and in nearly completely dark environments have been very welcome in the market. We are seeing the impressive technology applied to more camera models, including 4K, varifocal and PTZ cameras. Moreover, for clearer video security imaging in poor visibility – especially in severe weather – high-performance imaging sensors, ISP technology, and AI algorithms are being employed, enabling cameras to maintain clarity and details of view.

Speaking of imaging technology, the trend toward incorporating multiple lenses in new cameras cannot be ignored. Single-lens cameras are limited in their ability to get more details at greater distances and get the whole picture in large-scale places. They do only one or the other. But by employing two or more imaging lenses in one camera, multi-lens cameras can simultaneously deliver both panoramas and detailed, zoomed-in views of the same large site. Applications including airports, harbors, transit stations, parking lots, stadiums and squares will see these multi-lens cameras as a boon on every level.

6. Biometric access control will bring higher security and efficiency

In the past decades, authorized access control has moved a long way away from keys, pin codes and ID cards. We now find ourselves stepping into the era of biometrics. The access control market is rapidly becoming occupied by biometric authentications, from fingerprint and palmprint recognition to facial and iris recognition.

Biometric access controls bring inherent advantages, like higher security and efficiency with reduced counterfeiting. They verify within seconds – or fractions of seconds – and prevent unnecessary physical contact. Iris, palmprint, and facial recognition offer touchless access control, a hygienic practice more and more favored as a result of the pandemic.

7. The Zero Trust approach will take the cybersecurity spotlight

With more security devices connecting over the Internet than anyone ever imagined, cybersecurity has become an immense challenge in the industry. Stricter data security and privacy protection regulations have recently been introduced in the world’s key markets, like the EU’s GDPR and the Data Security Law in China, placing higher demands on cybersecurity. And in 2021, several landmark ransomware attacks on a variety of enterprises convinced us in no uncertain terms that companies in every industry must reinforce their network security architecture and strengthen their online protections.

So how do we address growing cybersecurity concerns? Though the concept actually developed in 2010, the term “Zero Trust” has become a hot word just in recent years. A strategic initiative that developed to prevent data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust from an organization’s network architecture, Zero Trust is rooted in a philosophy of “never trust, always verify.” The concept has been roundly accepted within the IT industry and it is now also slowly but steadily moving into the physical security realm, as it gradually becomes an important part of the IoT world.

8. Green manufacturing and low-carbon initiatives will take big strides

The consensus is in: low-carbon initiatives are valued by societies around the world. In the security market, we have seen products featuring low-power-consumption become the preferred options for customers, and demands for solar-powered cameras are increasing.

Meanwhile, local laws, regulations and policies that restrict carbon emission standards for manufacturing enterprises are pushing industries toward adopting more environmentally-conscious practices in their daily operations and production, which includes using more environment-friendly materials and adopting multiple energy-efficient designs in product manufacturing processes. We are delighted to see that more security industry manufacturers are exploring “green” manufacturing, and are committed to lowering their carbon output. Though it will take time, the movement has begun. We expect to see significant strides in this area in 2022.

Why Experienced Remote Workers Are An Untapped Resource

Survey highlights value that experienced remote workers can bring to new ways of working.

Eighty per cent of regular remote workers have not been promoted since working remotely and 44% have not had access to training, according to a survey from workingmums.co.uk in partnership with The Changing Work Company.

The qualitative survey highlights the experiences of those who have been working remotely or in a hybrid way, half of them since before the pandemic, and aims to give them a voice on how to improve these different ways of working.

It found that the majority of respondents worked for smaller companies with under 250 employees. The figures showed that smaller companies were more likely to offer remote working – 41% worked for companies with fewer than 25 employees and 20% for employers with 26-250 employees.

Better work life balance (28%) was the top reason for choosing to work remotely, although another 20% said their role required remote working. Caring reasons and Covid were other reasons given. Thirty per cent found it difficult (22%) or very difficult (8%) to negotiate remote working.

The survey also showed that employers are missing a trick by not asking those who have done remote working pre-Covid for advice on how to do it better: 68% of respondents had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during Covid.

Two thirds (66%) of respondents were offered resources such as laptops by their employers but 71% said their employer did not pay for things like work-based calls.

The survey also showed that:

– 31% felt they missed out on crucial information. But over half of those who said they didn’t (55%) said this was down to their own efforts to find out what was going on, with just 32% saying their employer made an effort to ensure they didn’t miss out

– A third (33%) didn’t have access to technical support

– 36% felt they were not included in decision-making due to being remote, which one in five (20%) said was the most difficult thing about working remotely.

– 63% have a distinct start to the day vs 18% who don’t.

– 53% have regular breaks vs 15% who don’t and 32% said they do not always have regular breaks.

Participants were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.

Asked what skills they think are needed to work remotely, 85% think self motivation is a vital skill; 68% said independent thinking; and 58% said resilience. 74% said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking.

Communication skills was by far the most popular skill they felt managers needed to manage remote workers.

Asked what would improve their situation they said better communication and appreciation of what they do. While 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.

On the positive side, participants said they had learnt discipline, to value their own capability and resilience from remote working. Their advice to others included organising and planning, having a structure, sticking to your working hours and thinking about alternative forms of social interaction.

Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for workingmums.co.uk, workingdads.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, said: “This survey was driven by a sense that the voices and experiences of those who have worked remotely or in a hybrid way for years are often not heard and that they must surely have a valuable contribution to make on how to make remote and hybrid working work better.

“We know that employers who seek feedback from their employees through employee network groups or other forums, listen to what they are saying and take action are the most innovative and attractive and have the highest engagement scores. Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits.”

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company said: “More than four in five people surveyed are either working remotely now or have done so in the past. Half of them have been working that way for more than three years and a quarter for more than five years. This represents a wealth of experience that, surprisingly, most employers have not yet tapped into.

“68% of those surveyed said their employers had not asked them to share their knowledge to help colleagues suddenly switching to homeworking nor have they been consulted for their special insights on how to make the hybrid mix of office, home and remote working work. Although usually provided with equipment, the majority had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, having received no training. They know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.

“As employers struggle to understand the hybrid future of work post-Covid The Changing Work Company is delighted to be supporting workingmums.co.uk in exploring this rich untapped vein of down-to-earth real-life experience.”

New Microsoft Data Reveals the State of Frontline Workers in Asia

  • Released report reveals trends that businesses need to address to align business outcomes with employee well-being and growth, amid economic and pandemic uncertainty.
  • Microsoft announced new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically to empower frontline workers.

Microsoft Corp. released a Work Trend Index Special Report, “Technology Can Help Unlock a New Future for Frontline Workers,” and announced new features in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva designed to serve millions of frontline workers.

The 2 billion frontline workers worldwide represent 80% of the global workforce, with 88% of organizations employing people in frontline roles. Increasingly, companies are investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernize workflows, enhance job performance, and improve workplace culture and communication. Microsoft has seen 400% growth in monthly active usage of its Teams collaboration platform among frontline workers since March 2020.

The Work Trend Index report reveals key insights that impact nearly every segment of the workforce:

  • A culture of caring is the new currency on the frontline: 76% of workers feel bonded to each other, yet over 60% say their company should better prioritize culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in nonmanagement positions on the frontline don’t feel valued as employees – in AustraliaIndia and Japan, this figure is 52%, 23% and 75% respectively.
  • Frontline workers are at an inflection point: Amid the Great Reshuffle, frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance, and flexibility as reasons for considering a job change. Skills development is also an important factor for frontline workers in India.
  • Optimism for tech is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities tech creates and tech ranks third on the list of factors workers say could help reduce workplace stress. In Asia:
    • Frontline workers in Australia look to tech to help them with scheduling of team members (33%), onboarding new team members (32%), and disconnecting outside of work (30%).
    • In India, frontline workers are looking to tech to help them with team usage of VR/AR (52%), real-time updates (51%), scheduling of team members (51%), managing schedules (51%), and outside communication (51%).
    • In Japan, frontline workers look to tech to help them with automating repetitive tasks (23%), onboarding new team members (20%), scheduling of team members (19%), fewer applications (19%), and less device usage (19%).
  • There’s an opportunity to bridge the tech and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new tech or fear losing their jobs — but 55% say they’ve had to learn new tech on the fly, with no formal training or practice. In Asia, this number is 51% for Australia, 56% for India, and 66% for Japan.

Today, the company is introducing new joint offerings with industry partners as well as capabilities specifically designed to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform introduced in early 2021.

  • Microsoft is deepening its strategic relationship with Zebra Technologies Corp., a world leader in innovative digital solutions, including software and hardware such as rugged Android mobile computers for the frontline workforce. The two companies are delivering the Teams Walkie Talkie app on a wide range of Zebra mobile computers, including a dedicated push-to-talk (PTT) button to access Teams Walkie Talkie functionality on Zebra devices. In addition, Teams Walkie Talkie digital PTT is now available on all iOS mobile devices in addition to Android.
  • Microsoft is enhancing Teams’ integration with Zebra Reflexis™, which connects the Reflexis Workforce Management solutions with the Shifts application in Teams. This new integration streamlines shift scheduling and time off requests in Teams, making them easy for managers to approve.
  • Scheduled queuing for virtual appointments are now available in Teams, providing one location for real-time updates on wait times, missed appointments and staffing delays to create a transparent and stress-free experience for customers and patients.
  • The Viva Connections app in Microsoft Teams links frontline workers to company culture, resources and tools, news and employee resource groups in the flow of work. Integrations with strategic partners such as Workday and Espressive make accessing important resources easier and put actions like payroll and HR resources in one location.
  • The Viva Learning app enables frontline employees to discover, share and track learning content right from Microsoft Teams — making it easier for a company’s entire workforce to stay up to date on required and recommended training. New updates make it easier to assign learning from partner solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand and Saba Cloud. And partnerships with learning providers like EdCast and OpenSesame enable an extensive content library to help frontline workers upskill and train with relevant learning content in the flow of work.
  • For IT, improved device management helps ensure that misplaced shared devices can be easily secured and located.

“It’s no secret that the pandemic is reshaping work for all workers, and at a faster pace than we have ever seen,” said Emma Williams, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “Empowering frontline workers remains essential for digital transformation. Together with our partners, we’re equipping frontline workers with tools that allow them to stay connected with their team and company leadership while concentrating on the customer or job at hand. If done well, we believe technology can modernize workflows and enhance job performance while also improving workplace culture and communication.”

In addition, on Feb. 1Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be generally available. Microsoft Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with retailers’ existing systems. It starts by unifying disparate data sources across the end-to-end shopper journey, allowing retailers to maximize the value of their data, resulting in one holistic view of the consumer. Once connected, data and AI help retailers better understand and elevate the consumer shopping experience. In providing more relevant and streamlined experiences throughout the retail value chain, retailers can build a real-time sustainable supply chain. The solution also includes the Teams and Viva capabilities announced today, all working toward empowering store associates.

6 Ways to Write Flawless Blog Introductions Loved by Your Readers and Search Engines

Do you own a blog? If so, you might be familiar with how difficult it is to write solid blog introductions. After all, it is a crucial part of a blog post – it is what can draw a person in and entice that person to continue reading. It does not matter how much effort you put into the rest of your blog post – if the introduction is lacking, the reader will not stay around to read it.

On top of that, you want your blog post to rank high in search engines, which means that you will have to communicate the topic of the blog post clearly, make search engines understand it, and ensure that it is indexed correctly. Learning some tips for improving communication might be a good starting point, but it may not be enough.

Do you want to know how to write blog introductions that will both help your content rank in search engines and appeal to your readers? If your answer is yes, you came to the right place! Here, you will find a list of tips that will help you write flawless blog introductions!

 

Use an Interesting Statistic

The first thing that you can do to start a blog post is to use an interesting statistic that is relevant to the topic that the blog post is about. For example, imagine that you are writing a blog post about how to pick a firm that specializes in public relations services.

You can quote a statistic related to the amount of money that an average corporation allocates to public relations on a yearly basis. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can really put the topic of your blog post into perspective!

 

Ask a Direct Question

What about asking your reader a direct question that is related to the topic of the blog post? For instance, if you were to write a blog post about how to create a marketing campaign for a hair care line, you could ask the following question in the middle of the introduction. “How do you get people to buy it, though?”

That way, you will make your blog post engaging. The reader will try to answer the question, but the model answer will be located in the body of the article. The only way for the reader to discover the model answer is to check out the entirety of the article!

 

Write a Relatable Description of the Problem

Writing a relatable description of the problem that the reader is facing and presenting that problem from the perspective of the reader will make the reader feel understood and encouraged to read past the introduction.

For instance, imagine that you want to get the reader to book a consultation with a marketing agency. You can write about how the pricey ads that the reader is investing in are not producing the desired results and describe how frustrating it is. It is that easy!

 

Describe the Blog Post in a Few Sentences

If you feel stuck and unmotivated, take the easy route and write a short description of what your blog post is going to be about. Ideally, it should consist of two/three short sentences. Here is an example!

“In the following guide, you will find a list of techniques that you can use to write engaging blog introductions. Read on to discover the best ways to write interesting blog introductions and increase readership of your blog!”

Including such a description in the introduction of a blog post will help the reader see what the post is about and decide whether it is worth reading. Unfortunately, it is not that interesting. Because of that, you should not be using it often.

 

List Questions That Your Reader Might Have

One of the methods that you can use to write a flawless blog introduction is to list a few questions that your reader might have. It will allow you to use a wide range of keywords and make the introduction more relevant to the reader.

It is important that you do not give the reader an answer to each question right in the introduction. It will make the introduction long and difficult to understand. Instead, tell the reader that the answers to the questions you listed can be found in the rest of the article.

Suppose that you want to write a blog post about buying a pet rat. In such a scenario, you could list three questions. “Where should you buy a pet rat from? What kind of cage should you keep it in? What should you feed it?”

You do not answer any of the questions, but encourage your reader to see what the rest of the article is about. “If you want to know the answer to each of the questions here, you should definitely keep reading!”

 

Use a Call to Action

Finally, you should end your introduction with a call to action. Do you know what a call to action is? In a nutshell, it is a sentence that encourages the reader to do something specific. In an introduction, you want the call to action to get the reader to read past the introduction.

Here is a combination of an interesting statistic and a call to action. “Did you know that 50% of companies lose money due to ineffective public relations strategies? Read on and learn how to avoid ending up in such a situation!”

 

In Conclusion

As you can see, writing a flawless blog introduction is not as difficult as it might seem! First, you can start with an interesting statistic and ask the reader a direct question related to the problem that your blog post is meant to address.

Second, you should write a relatable description of the problem that your reader is dealing with. Other than that, you can describe the topic of your blog post in a few short sentences, as well as list the questions that your reader might want to find answers to.

Doing the things listed here will help motivate your readers to continue reading. In addition to that, it will help search engines understand what you are writing about and index your article correctly!

Vietnam’s Leading Digital Bank Timo Secures $20 Million Fresh Funding Led by Square Peg

The investment round is led by Square Peg, a leading global VC firm whose investments include unicorns such as Canva, FinAccel and Airwallex. Other participants are Jungle Ventures, Granite Oak, FinAccel, Phoenix Holdings (existing investor) and other super angels.

How Timo is redefining banking in Vietnam

Established in 2015, Timo is Vietnam’s first digital bank and has steadily evolved to become the country’s leader in digital banking. In 2019, the bank announced a strategic partnership with Viet Capital Bank, further accelerating its growth.

Timo – which stands for Time and Money – has consistently emphasized customer-centricity at its core. The company is widely recognized as being one of the first banks in Vietnam to offer eKYC services. Operating in a country where banking adoption rate is still relatively low, this helps customers save time during on-boarding and allows them to access other banking services online faster through its platform. More recently, the company has been accelerating its vision of social banking, recognizing that banking and financial services always are embedded in a broader context.

Securing the backing of Square Peg

With over US$1 billion in assets under management, Square Peg has backed category-defining companies including Southeast Asian fintech giants like Kredivo, StashAway and Pluang. Square Peg’s mission is to empower exceptional founders, and has invested over US$200M in Southeast Asian startups.

Tushar Roy, Square Peg Southeast Asia Partner said: “We have been impressed by the Timo team’s vision to transform banking in Vietnam. In a market with almost no other independent, digital-native players – Timo stood out from the crowd. It is a mission-oriented team aligned around creating beautiful experiences for customers and bringing more people in Vietnam into the financial ecosystem. We are excited to support Timo on its journey.”

Henry Nguyen, CEO Timo Digital Bank said: “This funding round is not only a signal that digital banking is the future in Vietnam, but It also demonstrates investors’ confidence that Timo is leading this important sector. We are deeply committed to our mission of setting the benchmark for modern banking in Vietnam while bringing greater financial inclusion and accessibility to the large majority of the population which remains unbanked. Timo aims to become the bank that is at the center of our customers’ financial lives. We are delighted to have world class investors led by Square Peg joining us on our journey.”

30 Helpful HR Statistics Every Recruiter Must know In 2022

Recruiting candidates to fill available positions in an organization is a constant necessity. No organization can function without human capital despite the current level of technological advancement. It is important, therefore, for recruiters to keep abreast of key statistics affecting the employees both existing and potential. HR professionals carry out timely surveys to learn more about the workforce in general, their motivations, satisfaction, loyalty, and many more. The data collected enables recruiters to make informed decisions concerning their employees.
The employment sector was one of the worst-hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be better prepared for such emergencies in the future, it is important to stay informed on current trends relating to the hiring of staff both locally and internationally.
In this article, we have compiled 30 of the most current trends and statistics that will be useful in your organization’s recruiting process.

HR Recruitment Statistics

This refers to information on applicants, such as their salary expectations, possibilities for their growth, a balanced career and personal life, etc. It also contains information on the recruiting practices that HR recruiters like.
● Eighty-four percent of potential candidates tends to make research about a company and its reviews before applying: individuals seeking to apply for a position in an organization are more than likely to read reviews about the company they are about applying to. A company with positive reviews might get more applicants than a company with an unfavorable assessment.
● Eighty-nine percent of candidates believe that it is easier for them to accept job offers faster when they are being reached out to by their employer, while 94 percent believe that being contacted by their potential managers will help them accept the offer faster. So, if a company finds a professional they want to hire, they should aim to start the hiring process right once; they could just get fortunate and acquire a top dog in the sector.
● There are currently 487 PEOs in the US: these PEOs (Professional Employers Organisations) have employed approximately 4 million individuals, and these employees are paid over $200 billion annually. These PEOs are HR specialists who handle the recruitment process on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses and ensure that the best hands are employed. The return on investment of using a PEO in cost savings alone is 27.3%.
● LinkedIn is the most popular platform for finding outstanding prospects. Employee recommendations, as well as online employment sites and other social media, are increasing in popularity.

Workers’ retaining Statistics

A challenge facing executives of organizations is the retention of the employees they have or plan to hire. Recruiters and managers need to follow up on their recruits to ensure they are doing everything right to retain their staff. A high employee turnover rate will lead to increased disengagement and recruiting expenditure. HR statistics that would help increase the retention rate include:
● Extreme physical and social exhaustion are regarded by forty-six percent of human resources executives as the cause of up to 50 percent of their annual employee turnover. Stress levels have risen significantly as a result of increased workload. United States alone masses up to $200 billion on health expenses, and over $120000 stress-related deaths have occurred. The COVID-19 pandemic might have put a damper on these numbers but they are rising again as businesses again resume their activities. Companies should work towards including wellness packages in their compensation as a lot of applicants now look for this when choosing where to apply to.
● Opportunity for career development is the No.1 reason people change jobs. Individuals are constantly looking to become the best at what they do. Unless the organization they work with is passionate about developing the potentials of its workers, recruiters might soon find themselves on the hunt for replacements.
● 34% of employees will leave a job if they feel undervalued. According to surveys carried out, above 30% of workers will look for jobs elsewhere if they feel their company does not consider them important. Therefore, companies must encourage feedback and communication within their organization to let their staff know they are seen and heard. Workers should not only be encouraged to participate but their ideas should be implemented provided it is worthwhile.
● Employee disengagement costs American businesses up to $550 billion per annum. Employees that are unmotivated and unproductive eventually have an impact on a company’s profitability. It is far preferable having a smaller, well-motivated workforce than a large number of disgruntled employees searching for a way out.

Applicants’ Past Encounter Statistics

The qualifications of applicants for a vacant job role are critical to the performance of a business. Companies have to ensure that the right candidate in terms of education, qualification, and work experience is employed. They need to make sure that their staff is not over-employed or under-employed as this has a major effect on their performance.
● About 50% of companies have seen an increase in the number of candidates with a master’s degree for entry-level positions. This shows that on average, every job seeker is well qualified by certificate for any position applied for. This might imply that organizations’ job descriptions and compensation packages need to be adjusted to accommodate higher levels of credentials. It also means that employers may start to anticipate above-average results from their employees.
● Employer branding boosts a company’s chances of hiring a high-quality candidate by three times. Companies must have something to stand for, such as a value or mission. They may be certain of recruiting people with similar thoughts and beliefs to their organization this way. A company’s website, professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and social media platforms are the most effective branding tools. It is extremely beneficial for businesses to have a website and to make frequent updates on their activities there so that future employees may learn more about the firm and what it stands for. This will ensure that only qualified individuals with similar interests apply.
● By investing in a great application experience, you may improve the quality of new hires by seventy per cent. Most applicants are keen to join an organization if they believe they will be able to enhance their careers. In order to increase their performance, businesses should prioritize investing in their employees’ education.

Human Resources Tech Statistics

Every activity, including labor recruitment, relies heavily on technology. HR managers and staff are increasingly embracing the use of software and other technology tools to streamline and simplify their organization’s recruiting process.
● Cloud computing is used by seventy-five per cent of businesses. Many HR processes are increasingly digitalized, making HR managers’ and workers’ jobs easier. Organizations now utilize HR systems and have at least one HR process online. Cloud computing in HR also facilitates data security.
● 25% of companies are planning to incorporate cloud computing in their subsequent HR processes.
● Artificial intelligence is presently used by 88 percent of enterprises worldwide, and seventy-six per cent expect it will play an important role in the future. Artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing, and it will have a significant impact on human resources and recruitment. AI is increasingly assisting in the collection of data and analytics relating to human resources, making it simpler to follow and forecast trends in HR..
● 60% of recruiters and hirers use video technology. Any recruitment that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic was most probably carried out online with interviews taking place through video technology and teleconferencing application software. Despite the reopening of businesses worldwide and the increase in movement, it looks like video technology has come to stay in HR. With video technology, interviews can now be conducted across borders without any barriers such as distance or costs.
● 75% of recruiters use tracking software to find potential applicants while a greater percentage (79%) use social media. The internet is not a viable way to find competent candidates at the drop of a hat. There are specialized software and sites dedicated to helping companies find the right applicants for the job position(s) speedily and efficiently. Individuals now use their social media pages as an XV of some sort especially with professional networks, making it easier for businesses to discover and employ them.
● Virtual recruitment has become the most common choice in the hiring process. Only sixteen per cent of HR professionals in the United States are ready to adapt to a virtual recruiting and hiring process. Only thirty-seven per cent of HR managers are confident in their ability to deal with essential changes and utilize artificial intelligence technology.

Onboarding Statistics

The onboarding process is an essential one for any organization. Onboarding involves adequately preparing and instructing a new hire on the company culture, work ethics, job descriptions, and organizational structure.
● Proper onboarding of new employees boosts productivity by over 70%. When newly hired staff are properly informed about the company culture, job requirements, and specifications, they find it easier to perform their duties and be productive.
● Employee engagement is improved by a better onboarding process, according to fifty-three of HR specialists. If the onboarding process is enhanced, employees will be more likely to assimilate into the workplace and will be more likely to come up with ideas that will help the firm as a whole.
● 58% of new hires will stay if the onboarding program is well structured. An onboarding program is meant to motivate an employee. A well-planned onboarding process prepares the newly hired employee for his/her in the organization. It makes the workers feel valued enough to be given all necessary details concerning the company, its structure, and hierarchy, it also presents a positive view of the company as one that is aiming for the best.
● Onboarding matters so much that over half of employees who had a poor onboarding experience think their company is doing poorly overall. Only 1 in 10 persons agree strongly that their company is doing well in onboarding. Employees who find themselves in organizations where they were not properly onboarded are likely to believe that the company is not serious about growing since it has not properly included its staff in the business. The below-average rating of companies that do well in onboarding shows that HR personnel still have a long way to go in ensuring that their workforce values are properly aligned with the companies.

Human Resources Heterogeneity Statistics

Diversity has become an important factor in any hiring procedure. Companies are now seeking to have a diverse and inclusive workforce in terms of gender and race. It is therefore essential to know the stats as it relates to diversity to ensure that things are being done correctly and challenges are easily overcome.
● To mitigate biases, 64% of companies are reviewing their hiring processes, performance management, and succession planning processes. This has led to the increase in the implementation of the blind recruitment technique in which critical bias factors such as name, sex, and race are left out of the resume to further ensure an impartial recruitment process.
● According to studies, providing the opportunity to work remotely can improve geographical diversity among candidates by 20%. Employees of a corporation may now come from all over the world and work from the comfort of their own homes. This makes it easy to develop into new sectors and hire people from various backgrounds.
● Diversity, according to seventy-seven percent of talent recruiters, will be a key element in future hiring. As a result, most executives today regard diversity as the new normal. However, thirty-eight percent of HR executives feel that finding diverse individuals with the proper skills to interview is still a big barrier to workplace diversity.
● An ethnically-diverse workforce is 35% more engaged. When people from different races and ethnic groups are brought together in a work setting, it makes them feel accepted and increases their motivation and eagerness to work. A motivated workforce is a productive workforce.
● 73% of women doubt their feedback is confidential, while only 53% of male applicants think this. The gender bias in many companies keeps a lot of women on the hedge and makes them skeptical about the privacy of their information supplied to recruiting firms. It would be beneficial to s company to emphasize its privacy policy concerning its applicants and current employees irrespective of gender.

General HR Statistics

A lot of factors affect the HR industry today. The industry has a lot of potential for development and is constantly evolving to meet the changing global economy.
● In seventy-eight percent of situations, employees are satisfied with their current work. Workers become happy in a variety of areas, including salary packages, communication and relationship structures in place, wellness programs, etc.
● Human Resources executives make an average of about 120,000 USD annually. They are in great demand, and they are now among the top ten highest-paid positions in the United States.
● HR jobs numbered over 161,700, and employment of HR managers is predicted to expand by 9% by 2030. This is higher than the predicted combined average rise in employment of 8%.
● Impoverished imbalance in career and privacy (twenty-nine per cent), little to no potential for career advancement (33 percent), inadequate earnings and bonuses tops why workers abandon their jobs (49 percent).
● Corporate job vacancies attract over 250 resumes on average. This is a high number of resumes to go through for any HR staff. The process can be overwhelming and it can become increasingly difficult for the employees to keep up with the influx. Companies and HR executives should constantly review their screening procedures to make it easier and faster to go through the many applications. They can develop special systems based on job specifications to increase the speed of attendance. A lot of businesses simply outsource their recruiting processes to external firms (PEOs) that specialize in this function. ? PEO are professional employer organization that assist companies with HR responsibilities like talent sourcing, onboarding, payroll taxes, HR compliance, etc.

Importance of HR recruiter Statistics To An Organisation

With the recruitment process evolving daily across all businesses, it is necessary to keep up with the trend or risk poor performance and eventual losses. HR statistics and trends provide a futuristic view of what to expect when hiring; staying up to date with such information will not only ensure that the best hands are hired but that in the long run, the company is better off. HR statistics also draw the attention of senior executives to specific areas where they need to improve such as coping with the aftermath of the pandemic, candidate feedback, and use of technology in the human resource recruitment process; and helps them in developing strategies to foster such improvement.
If an organization realizes it needs further help in the hiring of staff and their onboarding, it can easily hire the services of a global PEO like Wehireglobally to ensure a seamless process.

How Airports Can Use Indoor Mapping to Improve Passenger Experience

Airports are often huge and confusing places, with passengers struggling to find their way around. The problem is that airports are complex and the problems aren’t always obvious. In order to understand how congestion is affecting your airport, you need to know what to look for.

Congestion can take many forms and affect different areas of an airport. Here are just a few examples:

Passenger traffic flow issues – Passengers can experience long lines at security checkpoints, baggage check-in, or customs. This can cause delays and missed flights. People often have to wait in long lines at the gates as well. It’s not uncommon for passengers to miss their flights because they were unable to get through security or customs in time. This is one of the most common problems with congestion at airports today.

Security screening – Security screening has become increasingly time-consuming due to increasing passenger volume and inconsistent staffing levels from TSA agents (who are sometimes hired on short-term contracts).

Cargo delays – Cargo delays occur when there are more aircraft than available gates, leading airlines to hold planes on the tarmac until space opens up inside the terminal or gate area so they can unload their cargo containers without incurring significant delay penalties from airlines’ cargo partners (i.e., FedEx, UPS).

While indoor mapping can\’t solve all of the airport\’s challenges, it can be a valuable tool for helping passengers get where they need to go. Here are a few ways indoor mapping can be used at airports to elevate passenger experience:

1. Improved Safety and Security

Mapping out all areas of an airport ahead of time will help ensure that security personnel are able to patrol the entire facility in a timely manner while ensuring that they do not miss anything – including hidden entrances and exits, places where someone could hide, security cameras that may not be working properly or at all, areas where someone could be hiding weapons or other contraband, etc.

Mapping multi-floor buildings and all areas of an airport ahead of time will also help ensure that there are no blind spots in any area – even those hidden from plain sight such as behind walls or underneath stairwells or elevators. The use of indoor mapping can help eliminate these blind spots so security personnel can see them clearly and know what is going on around them at all times.

2. Clear and Effective Wayfinding

One of the biggest concerns for airports is the safety of their visitors. A clear and effective wayfinding system can help reduce accidents, injuries, and lost visitors. By using indoor mapping to create a map that is easy to follow, visitors will be able to get around the airport with ease. This will reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for people to find where they need to go within the airport.

3. Improved Traffic Flow

Traffic flow through an airport is a major problem for many airports located in urban areas where there are many other busy roads nearby that lead to different destinations throughout the city or state – not just at the airport itself but also on highways leading away from it as well as side streets off those highways and side roads off those side streets leading away from it too!

Mapping out traffic patterns through an airport before giving it permission to open its doors will help improve traffic flow by eliminating bottlenecks caused by poor planning beforehand such as over-sized elevators designed for moving luggage carts instead of passengers which creates long lines of people waiting for elevators when there are only two available per floor instead of four which would allow more people access at one time which would mean less wait times overall!

Mapping out traffic patterns ahead of time will also help guide airlines on how they should run their flight schedules so passenger traffic flows smoothly through each terminal instead of bunching up in one terminal while leaving another virtually empty because everyone has already gone through this one first.

Not only does this save money on fuel costs but it also allows airlines more flexibility when scheduling flights so they can fill more seats on each flight!

Octopus Energy and Sterlite Power Team Up to Decarbonise India

● Partnership aims to create smart green power systems in both countries
● Agreement aims to build renewable generation, help decarbonise industrial sector and look at retail opportunities in India
● It also aims to leverage Sterlite Power’s transmission expertise in the UK

Energy technology pioneer Octopus Energy Group and leading Indian power transmission player Sterlite Power have signed an agreement that aims to help decarbonise Indian industry and bring cheaper green power to consumers around the world.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed at COP26, will see the two companies explore several joint retail ventures. It is the first UK-India energy partnership since the Green Grids announcement launched by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 in November 2021.

The tie-up will aim to apply Sterlite Power’s transmission expertise in the UK and bring more competition to the established grid monopoly. In India, Sterlite Power has been an advocate for unleashing market forces in the transmission sector, making the Indian power grid more competitive and cheaper to run. Since doing so, the sector has been able to operate power grids much more efficiently, with cost reductions of up to 40% compared to legacy methods.

Together, Sterlite Power and Octopus are aiming to build renewable energy generation and storage assets in India and deploy affordable renewable power to large industrial, commercial users. The companies are hoping to also supply this cheap, green power to domestic consumers once the necessary regulations are put in place.

India is now the third largest carbon emitting country in the world, producing over 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year1 as its industrial boom continues. The projects that Octopus and Sterlite Power hope to create will help drive down the needs for coal and natural gas, drastically decarbonising the country’s energy demand and using technology to reduce costs for consumers.

The agreement highlights Octopus Energy Group’s worldwide expansion which has seen it move into 13 different countries in just five years and may soon include the launch of a retail energy business in India.

Octopus Energy Group is the fastest growing UK energy provider, having gained 3.1 million customers since launching in 2016. Its success is based on Kraken, its proprietary energy technology platform, which provides operational efficiency and outstanding customer service whilst driving a greener grid by unlocking smart tariffs. The company recently received a $600 million injection from Generation Investment Management and a further $300 million from Canadian Pension Plan Investments to aid its rapid expansion. Octopus is now valued more than $5 billion, rivalling the valuation of many long-established energy giants.

Sterlite Power is a leading private sector power transmission infrastructure developer and solutions provider operating in India and Brazil. The company has been increasingly focused on integrating renewable energy to the grid.

Greg Jackson, CEO and Founder of Octopus Energy Group, comments: “Through this partnership with Sterlite Power, we will be able to offer greener, cheaper options to consumers in both the UK and India, and even help India with its goals for decarbonisation through relentlessly cutting emissions from large industrials there.

“The transition to a smart, green energy system has been hampered by unwieldy grid systems that were built to control a few hundred power stations. These systems are not fit to manage millions of electric cars, heat pumps, solar panels and batteries that are all connected to the grid at the same time. What we need is a smart grid that can balance renewable generation with energy demand and drive down the cost. Sterlite Power’s thought-leadership and expertise in this area will bring huge benefits to Britain’s green grid of the future.”

Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power said: “We are driven by our core purpose to enable access to reliable power while minimizing the impact on climate change. We are excited to partner with Octopus Energy who is equally driven towards a green energy future. Together, we look forward to exploring a host of opportunities that aim to decarbonise carbon intensive industries, and empower consumers with green energy options towards a sustainable lifestyle.”

Market Research on a Budget: Get More Done with Less

As businesses continue to flourish and operations expand, enterprises are seeking to leverage economical intelligence services, with in-house research teams increasingly reliant on outsourcing intelligence gathering activities, enabling smoother and streamlined functions.

The secret behind a successful business is its extensive network of market research activities. An enterprise devoid of robust market research capabilities is like a ship without RADAR- directionless and without purpose. Naturally, this entails heightened budgetary allocation with respect to deploying the most contemporary market research platforms. Studies have concluded that American companies spend nearly US$ 15 billion on third-party market research every year.

While this may not necessarily be a problem for large-scale corporations, small and medium sized enterprises need to look for ways to optimize operational costs. Hence, the popularity of low cost research platforms is being highlighted at various organizational levels. How to achieve maximum growth with minimal expenditure is the mantra of contemporary market research approaches.

When it comes to measuring the costs, the initial capital expenditure may be high, as it primarily involves spending on robust infrastructure- both hardware and software. When thinking about the long-term gains, this expenditure is negligible. This is because the presence of sound research infrastructure results in better outcomes, especially with regards to research quality. Here are some practical approaches to help achieve research costs optimization:

Incorporate Flexible Pricing Market Research Subscriptions

While conducting market research, industry stakeholders have highly customized research requirements. Realizing that the one-size-fits-all approach may not be applicable for clients demanding specific requirements, market intelligence providers have been capitalizing on the trend of flexible or dynamic pricing.

Simply speaking, dynamic pricing refers to charging different prices for a product or service rendered, depending on customer or client requirements. In the field of market research, this plays a critical role in determining service outreach. For instance, by utilizing market research subscription platforms such as MarketNgage, clients can avail the full experience of an exhaustive research study, while accruing 60% of cost savings prompting enhanced scale of operations.

Besides, deploying a pay-as-you-use research model would enable access to a select research category, say a particular segment, company or region. Also, renting out research services has emerged as a highly convenient option for clients, permitting them to visit specific sections without the need to actually purchase the report and store it on their database.

Limiting of Target Audience to Restricted Numbers

Concerned about exceeding budgetary limits with regard to sample size? The answer to this dilemma is quite elementary- reduce the target population numbers. While this could possible restrict the scope of analysis, commissioning focus studies to let’s say around 8 to 12 members instead of 20 to 25, it does save costs by as much as a quarter or half. In fact, it is reported that surveys from limited members offer deeper insights compared to a larger population size.

This approach is especially beneficial when the company deploys multiple focus groups, specifically if it’s a new venture. Officials can identify gaps mentioned by a modest number of participants if any, facilitating a smoother transition towards alternative growth mapping strategies. Furthermore, at any given point of time, it becomes impractical to obtain data from each and every subject in a large sample size, as it consumes immense time, energy and money to accommodate those findings.

However, this does not mean that the scope of the research study will not be limited. Without any doubt, increasing the sample or population size tends to drastically reduce error margins. However, studies also conclude that increasing the sample size does not necessarily affect survey bias. Moreover, a large sample size may not be able to correct methodological problems, including under coverage or non-response bias.

Use Social Media to Significantly Reduce Research Costs

Extensive virtual business networks can significantly aid corporations, especially smaller businesses looking to grow their enterprise size. Given the deepening penetration of digital literacy, companies cannot afford to relegate social media analytics to the backburner, this is probably the single most important way to understand the digital footprint of clients and prospects.

Over the years, popular social media platforms have enabled enterprises to segment and analyze desired prospects via demographic, behavioral or location-based tracking. Just through optimum social sentiment analysis, enterprises are able to generate leads anywhere from US$1-$20, in terms of cost per click. Naturally, figures such as these on a daily basis could lead to significant economization of budgets.

Platforms such as Kissmetrics, for instance, have been instrumental in facilitating enhanced customer engagement of prominent software-as-a-service (SaaS) corporations, enhancing revenue prospects and substantial cost reductions. A major beneficiary of this platform is PagerDuty, which reported a 25% boost in trail engagement by using Kissmetrics Cohort Reports.

Try Outsourcing Business Intelligence Services- Could be a Game Changer

Outsourcing has emerged as a highly budget friendly approach towards disseminating market intelligence services. In-house research teams in large scale enterprises outsource market research operations, which has yielded credible growth opportunities for homegrown market research companies, particularly across India.

Attributed to this trend, these homegrown market research companies have emerged as the potential leaders. While outsourcing market research & intelligence operations, expenditure on establishing required infrastructure can be done away with to a major extent. Furthermore, companies have to spend comparatively less on training and recruitment of professionals. This would help the organization devote more time on other aspects of the business.

Besides, there is always round-the-clock work when data and intelligence gathering operations are outsourced. Given that different countries operate in multiple time zones, one can ensure that there is minimal to no disruption in working hours, enabling consistent data accumulation and assimilation activities, helping maintain operational continuity. 

Conclusion- Future Possibilities for Low-Budget Market Research

In today’s age, research requirements are becoming increasingly disparate. Analysis have to be customized as per client requirements. Consequently, it has become important to allocate different budgetary targets to these approaches. Naturally, this tends to augment expenditures on building adequate research infrastructure. Hence, several businesses prefer to outsource market research operations to third parties.

With the size of businesses of major industry stakeholders expanding with each passing day, there is always the need to economize on spending, in order to broaden profit and revenue margins and ensure business continuity. Also, hiring independent market research teams is an expensive affair, prompting them to hire external market research providers, which translates into more accurate insights. Furthermore, hiring external research providers can validate internal research.