Planning: is there an opening for another factory outlet centre?

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Start-ups need to reimagine business post-pandemic: Sequoia Capital India

first_imgStarting or managing a business during the COVID-9 pandemic is a challenging task as many companies, including Indonesian and global start-ups, have been pushed to permanent closure. Several unicorns and decacorns have had to lay off employees to streamline business and survive the pandemic’s impacts. The Jakarta Post’s Eisya A. Eloksari interviewed Sequoia Capital India managing director Rajan Anandan via email on June 22 and discussed ways start-ups can survive the hard times, as well as the future potential in the start-up scene in Indonesia and Southeast Asia post-pandemic. Sequoia Capital India manages start-up acceleration program Surge, which trains several Indonesian early-stage startups.Question: How has the pandemic affected Sequoia Capital India’s investment and accelerator program? Metrics are important if a business has already launched but a lot of seed-stage companies’ focus is entirely on the founding team and the size of the market they are addressing as they may not have user or business metrics at the time Surge partners with them.Founder-market fit is important as we want to know which founding team has the unique ability to win in a particular market. On market size, we try to deeply understand whether the market is big enough to build a very large business.For companies that have already launched, Surge looks for early signs of customer love such as through early user feedback, product reviews and customer retention.Surge is currently looking at companies that are building for a post-COVID world such as in e-commerce and the remote work and collaboration sector. We believe they will be resilient in the near to medium term as they will be positively impacted in the long term due to faster digitization.What kind of start-ups do you project will have higher growth and which ones will be impacted negatively by COVID-19?Ed-tech has been one of the industries that has seen a significant change in growth trajectories across the world. Digital health, e-commerce – especially online grocery, online food delivery and cloud food brands, are all examples of this.Industries that are largely offline, dependent on physical proximity or focused on travel, are all adversely affected – and we are already seeing that happening. International travel, hospitality, offline retail, offline events are not going to be the same again for a long time. Startups in these types of industries will all need to find ways to reimagine their businesses.What is your advice to existing start-ups, as well as to those that plan to commence operations, to survive in times of crisis?Throughout history, some of the best companies have been formed during the toughest times. Existing startups should first focus on ensuring they have enough runway to last into the next year. Then, they will need to reimagine all aspects of their business for a post- COVID world. If they get that right, they will come out of this stronger than ever. I believe innovative, lean, agile startups will be built during the next 12-18 months.If a start-up is in a sector that has been deeply impacted, they will need to consider changing many aspects of their business – be it in the way they sell, marketing spending or where they can find new customers. If the start-up has enough runway, it should even consider completely changing its industry of focus. Founders need to deeply think through how the consumer and buying behavior is likely to change because of COVID-19 and evolve accordingly.For those who are planning to start from scratch, make sure that your product or service is a “must-have”— something that is addressing a real problem and one that can be solved at scale for a large segment of the market.How does Sequoia see the start-up potential in Southeast Asia in the coming years?We are seeing a rising interest in entrepreneurship because of success stories of SEA’s start-ups. The first generation of entrepreneurs from unicorns such as Gojek and Tokopedia have paved the way for a new wave of founders who are willing to take risks and are not afraid to chart their own journeys.A decade ago, Southeast Asia did not have any unicorns; today the ecosystem has evolved tremendously and the region now has more than 10 unicorns, including four from Indonesia. The region has also seen exponential growth over the past few years. Today, there is over $6.5 billion invested in SEA by venture capital firms, six-fold the amount in 2015.How has the start-up scene in Indonesia been the past few years and how is the current scene amid the pandemic?Over the last five years, Indonesia has been one of Southeast Asia’s key centers for start-up activity, in terms of the numbers of new start-ups. We see a lot of potential for start-ups that are technology-first, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly accelerating digital transformation.An example of this can be found in Indonesian start-ups in the Surge 03 cohort, such as cloud kitchen Hangry, the popularity of which has soared during the pandemic, as there has been a shift in customer behavior from dine-in to food delivery. This creates demand not only from young people but also the older segment.The fact that the start-up scene has scaled so tremendously in the last few years alone speaks volumes about the technical and entrepreneurial talent in the country.Topics : Even though our current accelerator program, Surge, is being conducted entirely online, the level of engagement we have seen from Surge start-ups has been incredible to witness.The pandemic has not affected the program’s mission to rapidly scale-up participating companies. Even in the current situation, Surge is still actively seeking mission-driven founders from across the region who are going after a large opportunity in their markets.Surge is committed to investing between US$1 million and $2 million in all technology-enabled start-ups, such as in agriculture technology, direct-to-consumer brands, education technology (ed-tech), e-commerce and telemedicine, among other things.What are some of the key metrics Sequoia will be looking at while evaluating which start-up to invest in during this time?last_img read more

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Chinese Embassy vows cooperation with Boracay laws

first_imgChinese liaison officer Peter Tay saidConsul General Lou Gang with the Chinese Embassy officials for culture andtourism, met acting Malay mayor Floribar Bautista and other governmentofficials of the island to cooperate with the local government. Leonard Tirol, officer of the BoracayFire, Rescue and Volunteers Incorporated (BFRAV), said the ATVs will bestationed at the front beach. Others will be given to the Philippine NationalPolice for patrolling purposes. Chinese Embassy Consul General Lou Gang gives instructions to Chinese liaison officer Peter Tay during their visit in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. JUN AGUIRRE/PN Korean tourists came in second with334,201 tourist arrivals. Last March, Gang met with theofficials of the Department of Tourism to promote Boracay to the Chinesetourists. The Malay Municipal Tourism Officerecorded a total of 389,885 Chinese tourist arrivals from Jan. to Oct. thisyear. MALAY, Aklan – The Chinese Embassy inManila vowed cooperation in abiding with the local policies being implementedin Boracay Island. China together with Korea remained asthe top two sources of market, recording an 81 percent total of internationaltourist arrivals from Jan. to Oct. Aside from the courtesy visit, theChinese Embassy also donated six All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) worth around P1.4million to be used for Boracay’s local baywatch program.  “Mayor Bautista told the Consul aboutthe petty issues involving some Chinese nationals penalized for theirinvolvement in littering and smoking violations at the front beach. Hearingthis, Gang seeks a full copy of the existing local ordinance. This will be thentranslated into Chinese and the embassy will distribute it to the visitingChinese tourists to Boracay for their information,” Tay added.    They were followed by Taiwanese touristswith 28,455 arrivals./PNlast_img read more

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