Golden future for emerging startups in emerging markets
Experts say that the emerging economies in Asia seem to become the spearhead of global economic recovery inspired by cyclical recovery in Europe and America (Bangkok Post of March 28, 2016, Asia Focus page 3). Lower oil prices provide low income earners in emerging markets with more spending power and governments in Asia with bigger budgets for infrastructure projects.
The global economy grew at a rate of 3.8% over the past five years which is after all a higher growth rate than before the 2008 global financial crisis of 3.5% – but the economy of Laos for example grows at a rate more than twice as high with 7.8%.
Equity strategists evaluate the Chinese slow down as the start of a more sustainable growth supported by a rise of the service sector and resilient middle class income growth whose real disposable income grew by 6% last year.
Asian equities are regarded as particularly attractive, in particular in Thailand and Indonesia. In Thailand and Indonesia the credit cycle is expected to bottom out in 2016 and big infrastructure investments are projected.
Within this dynamic macroeconomic environment small, young and innovative entrepreneurs form the economic and business avant-garde at the cross-roads of education, technology and innovation: Ruangroj Poonbol (Krating), a guru of the Thai start-up scene is about to make Thailand a really competitive country by developing 10,000 young innovators and shoot Thailand into the group of the top 20 startup countries in the world (The Sunday Nation of March 27, 2016 Page 3).
Krating founded Disrupt University, a venture partner of 500 Startups. He envisions a golden future for Thailand, the golden land, based on startups. The source of such optimism is the insight that Thailand already offers a unique environment for startups. Chiang Mai is today labeled Asia’s Silicon Valley and such spark has the potential to ignite a golden future. Education and innovation are nowadays regarded as keys for Thailand’s future by the political and economic elites, and concerted efforts are made to educate a future workforce with such skills. Young Startups, which earn cash out of convention-breaking, are beside their economic potential real-life schools for young entrepreneurs and incubators of innovation.
By Christian Moser, Senior Associate