The startup ecosystem in Thailand has grown systematically as Asia’s hidden gem while attracting
investors moderately compared to Singapore, Hongkong and China. In various ways, Thailand is
more developed industrially and is tied to the West commercially than most of the Southeast Asian
countries. There’s also a massive amount of inbound tourism offering investment opportunities in
From the beginning of 2020 till now, the startup ecosystem in Thailand faced the greatest challenge
from the pandemic outbreaks which affected all the businesses. However, it also presented the
opportunities for the startups to alter their offerings and expand their business as well as market by
becoming fully digitalized for instance E-commerce platforms and Online services like Food Delivery
which has witnessed an incredible amount of growth. Digital Content and Online Education
Platforms have also seen a steep rise in user growth as well.
Thai Government Role in Supporting Startups
The Thai government is pushing for new regulations and is offering several government grants to
startups in the areas of eCommerce, tourism, smart city development, food tech, and others that are
considered significant to the Thai economy.
The National Innovation Agency is preparing to push the nation towards a ‘Country of startups’. The
NIA together with the public as well as the private sectors is trying to endorse a knowledge-sharing
culture and develop databases for the startups to help drive the Thailand market economy and the
country’s society forward. The board of national startups laid out four key aspects which include:
Thailand’s startup ecosystem is flourishing in a hyper-growth mode which could drive the country’s
economic recovery after the pandemic while the focus would be on large-sized investments in
mature startups. In the next 3 to 4 years, there would be startups jumping into the stock market for
raising funds, which implies a lot of opportunities for businesses in Thailand in various sectors
particularly Fintech, banking, etc.
Business opportunities in Thailand and its startup ecosystem can be grouped in the following
E-commerce – E-commerce offers a massive investment opportunity in Thailand. The Thai
population skews older; however, the Thai people are extremely receptive and adaptive to newer
and innovative technology and are also incredibly social media-minded. The island nation constantly
bags the spot in the top 10 countries globally for social media statistics on consumer adoption
growth and network usage. Investors and businesses recognize these trends and have responded by
shifting from old-style retail to modern-day online retail stores. In the last few years, online retail
sales have blown up as the eCommerce market has taken over by storm. It should be noted that the
consumers in Thailand are very price sensitive and would spend time hunting for deals and savings.
Read more about Thailand – the best country to setup a Ecommerce
Fintech – The Thai government as well as the local entrepreneurs have made several concerted
efforts in lending their resources for setting up business in Thailand. For instance, The Thailand 4.0
project is tasked with establishing the foundation required for large-scale fintech growth. These
exertions have paid off leading to increased investment through 2017-2019, and more foreign
fintech firms expanding their business in Thailand. Read more about why Thailand is best for
Foodtech – Thailand is one of the biggest food exporters and its food industry contributed 23 per
cent of its total GDP. There’s a trend for health consciousness and people are paying more attention
to innovative ingredients. Since Thailand has ample natural resources and optimal weather
conditions for food production, represents a high potential industry for startups in Thailand.
However, developing food innovation necessitates large investment which many local Thai
entrepreneurs may not afford which offers ample investment opportunities in Thailand for overseas
LogisticsTech – About 8% of all the funded startups in 2017 were in Logistics technology. This sector
is highly concentrated and companies focus predominantly on Thailand’s domestic market. Some of
the notable examples are eCommerce and GIZTX. Business analysts believe that the Southeast Asian
online market has great potential, given that nations are rushing to develop fifth-generation
network infrastructure amid the pandemic as customers shift to online due to lockdowns and
avoiding crowded places. This shift in consumer behaviour would generate a lot of opportunities for
startups in the logistics tech arena. Read more about why Thailand is the logistics hub of Asean.
E-Payment – The speedy development of Thailand’s e-Payment scene has made it an indispensable
part of modern life in Thailand, enabling unbounded global commerce and complimenting the rise of
the “New Normal” during the pandemic crisis, while setting the framework for Thailand to gradually
progress into a “cashless society. This sector isn’t limited to Thailand but focused on the larger
Southeast Asian region. E-Payment deserves the support and attention it is receiving in Thailand,
providing ease and financial enablement to individuals and a world full of potential business
opportunities in Thailand both at national and regional levels.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the startup ecosystem in Thailand as well. The impact on some of
the sectors like travel tech startups was severe with some fading out and others pivoting their
business. Despite some of the shortfalls, Thailand is making speedy progress, addressing its
structural problems, and developing favourable conditions for innovation. The Thai government
along with the private sectors are transforming the Thai startup community exponentially from a
hidden gem into one of Asia’s most promising ecosystems.
The startup ecosystem in Thailand is booming. For the last few years, big corporates have shown
interest in startups and developed accelerators for driving growth for businesses across different
sectors from medical technology to e-commerce. Entrepreneurs and investors are flocking to
Thailand to make the most of its strategic location which offers ease of doing business, lively
community of startups, well-connected transportation links, and digital businesses, together with all
the necessary infrastructure for setting up business in Thailand.
Do you have a plan of starting a business in Thailand? With the help of startup consulting services,
you can get a quick overview on how to start a business in Thailand and what kind of business suits
you best, the business and work visas requirements you would need, and dealing with company
registrations, etc. Get ready to explore Thailand’s startup ecosystem!
Source: Asian Correspondent
Thailand’s growing economy holds enormous promise for startups due to its strategic location and low-cost labour. But navigating the Thai market for unlocking this promise isn’t easy. It’s because more than any other global region, Thailand represents a grouping of economically, culturally, and commercially distinct regions. Investors and entrepreneurs alike need to consider the localization paradox facing startups in Thailand.
Thailand has made its mark globally both in terms of an attractive tourist destination as well as a profitable business setting. Overseas investors have proved this and attest to the success of setting up businesses in Thailand.
Starting a business in Thailand is always a difficult prospect. How do startups in Thailand overcome the hardships? Here’s a guide to staking a claim for Thailand’s startup success stories.
Ensuring a positive relationship with other Thai businesses is crucial to launching a startup in Thailand. However, for a startup to then grow its market, especially considering its limited resources, it’s imperious to leverage local Thai businesses rather than building everything in-house. Partnerships enable rapid market growth and enable startups to roll out products and services faster and more efficiently. Contrary wise this, building in-house is often more expensive and takes longer.
Developing and maintaining partnerships is particularly valuable in Thailand given its diversity as a region. Startups should partner with consulting firms in Thailand as well as local companies. A partnership success story worth mentioning is the partnership between Lalamove – a Hong Kong-based logistics startup and Line – a popular chat app in Thailand in 2016. Combining forces to create LINEMAN, Line used Lalamove’s delivery network for its entry into the delivery business, while Lalamove leveraged Line’s Thai user’s network of over 30 million for scaling into the Thai market.
Engaging With Thai Regulators
Each time a company enters or rolls out a new service in Thailand, it should initiate and engage in a proper dialogue with Thai regulators in advance. One of the key benefits of engaging early is it enables startups with an opportunity to build trust with Thai regulators. The difference between a successful startup and failed business model in Thailand could very well boil down to mutual understanding and transparency with Thai regulators–to the trust that the technology it uses is secure, that the startup promotes the best interests of Thai consumers, and that the startup’s goals and objectives are aligned with Thailand’s national objectives.
The foremost lesson for an existing startup in Thailand is to expand early–to activate and develop a market expansion strategy from its onset instead of waiting to scale and becoming entrenched in a single region in Thailand. The reason this factor is critical is because the experience of a startup scaling in Thailand is particularly determined by the rate it expanded across multiple regions, its relationship with Thai regulators and partner network, and its product development. E-commerce giant Lazada and transportation services app Grab are two key examples of businesses adopting the mindset of scaling from day one.
Early expansion doesn’t mean startups should expand throughout Thailand and nearby countries without proper market research. As mentioned above, localization holds the key in Thailand. Thailand market research firms can help you with this regard as each country contains its own consumer habits, consumer spending power and other market nuances.
Particularly for startups based in Thailand with fewer resources and capital, it’s imperative to be capital-efficient and ensure you get the optimal return for each dollar you spend. With this in mind, selecting the right market strategy in Thailand for early expansion will have reaching implications with scalable company growth.
Adaptability of Products/Services
While early expansion and having a dialogue with regulators and partners is crucial for scaling across Thailand, startups in Thailand can’t afford to lose focus on the development of their core offerings, and adaptation of those offerings in the Thai market. Often, businesses that are focused on a particular country for several years, take product development lightly and don’t have the budget and time for investing to differentiate their product experience in the Thai market.
Investing In Talent
The next success factor surrounds experienced talent, which is hard to find in Thailand. When a startup wishes to expand or start a business in Thailand, it is imperative to invest in robust senior talent. A leader who would manage the Thai market is very crucial, needs to be culturally sensitive, understands the business model thoroughly, and be watchful enough to learn from the Thai market and respond accordingly.
While employees have their influence over the execution of the overall company’s vision, it’s still the company’s vision at the end of the day. It implies when hiring the initial members of the team, a startup in Thailand needs to look for people demonstrating a clear understanding of its vision and having ideas that would help the business. A startup must have people who understand its purpose, its customers, and how to make the vision of the startup a reality.
Finally, you have a business in Thailand with the finest product line, still, people aren’t buying? Probably you haven’t done enough market search or selected the right niche very carefully to meet audience requirements. Reaching out to potential customers towards your business entails persistent efforts in marketing. If you’re starting a business in Thailand, you would need the help of Thailand market research firms that helps you in focusing on the overall process of providing customer service, choosing the right niche, delivering a message to the right audience, and promoting the niche in Thai market.
Marketing your business in Thailand is an art form in itself. Thailand is becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of its culture won’t budge for anything: Thailand’s traditions, humour, protocols, discourses, are unchanging and at times stubbornly unaccommodating. Hence, the identity of your product offerings needs to seamlessly fashion itself. Cultural sensitivity and sympathetic protocol are of paramount importance for marketing in Thailand. The intricacies of its beliefs can make or break your business.
When setting up a company in Thailand, it’s tough to do everything right and avoid any mistakes. There’s much work to be done, several KPIs to keep track of, and limited helping hands. In addition, you need to be aware of external forces beyond your control.
There’s no guarantee that a startup would succeed, but with a robust strategy built upon the above success factors, there’s a fighting chance that the startup’s idea might succeed. Startups that approach their business strategically without leaving anything to chance, generally stay in business longer and achieve scalability faster.
The Thai economy is ripe for disruption and the country is emerging as a mecca for both overseas and local startups with the Thai government concerted efforts of redirecting the country’s economy to a tech-based economy from an agriculture-based economy.
The post Top 7 Critical Success Factors for Startups in Thailand appeared first on StartUp in Thailand.
Source: Asian Correspondent
Looking to launch your startup in Thailand? Thailand is globally acknowledged for its rich culture, exquisite cuisine and natural beauty. But you might not be aware that Thailand is also a popular business destination for both Thai as well as foreign businesses to launch their startups. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product in Thailand was US $501.79 Bn last year in 2020, and is expected to reach 546.00 USD Billion by the end of 2021 as per World Bank.
Thailand GDP Over the Years
Thailand has a comparatively low cost of living, together with high-speed internet access practically everywhere, stable power, and low cost of food, housing, medical care, as well as transportation costs. Thailand is well ahead of the curve in enticing talent from the world over. Obviously, these factors aren’t exclusive to Thailand. However, what sets the country apart and makes it attractive for foreign investors is its strategic location and government support, plus all the benefits it provides to businesses` in the country. Let’s have a look at some of the key reasons why Thailand is becoming so popular business destination for startups.
Key Benefits of Launching your Own Startup in Thailand
Ease of Doing Business in Thailand Over the Decade
Thai Government’s 2021 Incentives
Foreign investors, professionals as well as retirees would be able to relish new incentives in Thailand, as the Thai government looks to interest high-earning foreign residents in helping Thailand’s COVID-19 recovery. On September 14, 2021, Thailand’s cabinet through a resolution introduced tax, immigration, and land ownership incentives designed for skilled professionals and foreign investors. These incentives are efforts to stimulate the country’s economy which has been severely impacted by the pandemic. As per a government spokesperson, the Thai government assumes the incentives would attract a horde of foreign investors as well as professionals in the coming five years, that would contribute over US $30 Bn to Thailand market economy.
These incentives are of three categories:
Immigration – Qualified applicants could receive a long-term resident visa for 10 years to live in the country, including spouses and children. Automatic work permits would also be issued to qualified applicants. This is one of a kind visa that didn’t exist previously in Thailand.
As opposed to other Thailand visas, those on this visa won’t have to provide written notices to the respective authorities for a stay exceeding 90 days in Thailand.
Tax – The qualified applicants would be able to enjoy income tax rates the same as available to the Thai citizens, and tax exemptions for the income earned overseas. Moreover, the qualified applicants will be able to apply for a 17% fixed income tax rate in line with the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.
Land and property – These qualified applicants would be able to enjoy eased out restrictions on foreign ownership as well rent of property and land.
These incentives would be supervised by the county’s Office of National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). They would be there from 2022-2026 for five fiscal years, at which their performance will be evaluated and further decision on whether to further extend them.
Finding the Productive Environment for your Startup in Thailand
Although you might be lured by the benefits that Thailand has to offer, you still might need some hand-holding opening a business in Thailand once you have arrived in the country. Even with a lot of streamlining of the process, still, a lot of operational details needs to be taken care of before starting a business in Thailand.
As a foreigner, you may not be conversant with the company requisition process. Therefore, for easing the registration process, it’s better to contact a startup consulting in Thailand. Business startup consulting firms in Thailand can work with you in reviewing your business model and assist you in identifying strategic initiatives that would support your business objectives. A Thailand representative through facilitated sessions would develop the right strategy for your business development in Asia. Also, these Asian business consultants would help you in executing, monitoring and making ongoing adjustments to your business strategy.
Developing a robust business plan is crucial for a successful startup. Consulting firms in Thailand work with you in building robust plans which involves detailed strategies such as finance, marketing, operations, sales, supply chain, engineering and procurement.
Along with the rapid growth Thailand is relishing, it also reaps the benefits of being a friendly, competent, hospitable culture immersed in history. Challenges are there everywhere in the world. Add start-up to that equation and the rate of failure is intimidating. But individuals don’t get into start-ups to be unsuccessful or repeat their past, they work to see that their ideas or concepts come to life. Thailand has made all the efforts for improving the country’s economy and promote foreign relations and technological advancement. It’s no surprise that Thailand is today among the popular business destinations for foreign investors. The foundation of the dreams starts here in Thailand and it’s exhilarating to imagine what boundless harvests lay ahead in Thailand’s evolving economic future.
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Source: Asian Correspondent