Remote Year – Part 2 – Thailand

Digital Account Manager, Kirsty Kirkhope gives us an insight into the second placement of her Remote Year – Thailand.

As part of my Remote Year programme, where I am fortunate enough to be traveling with digital marketing professionals to gain insight into different B2B marketing techniques around the world, I’ve just spent a month in Thailand.

Thailand’s economy has been steadily growing over the past couple years with powerful exports through vehicles and medical equipment. This month the country has been morning the death, on 13 October 2016, of King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died at the age of 88, after a 70-year reign. The popular monarch was seen as a provider of stability in the politically divided country and his death leaves the country almost at a standstill. This current state of mourning is likely to limit growth to some extent over the coming months.

The steady economic growth in Thailand prior to the death of the king was fostering a great environment for the growth of Thai tech start-up. The country increased the number of new tech companies from 300 in 2014 to over 2,500 in 2015. Incubation programmes set up by telecom operators helped those who received funds to accelerate their growth. And this anticipated take-off is not insignificant. Indeed Thailand is aiming to have a tech company with a valuation of £1billion by 2020.

This year more new players than ever before are cropping up in sectors as diverse as financial services, travel, logistics and real estate.

Thai Technology Start-Ups

Here are my top three B2B tech start-ups striding out in 2016: aCommerce is a logistics company based in Southeast Asia. Founded in June 2013, the company now has offices and distribution centres in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The company provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions to bring brands and retailers into online retail, including performance marketing, channel management, platform design and development, content production, order fulfilment and warehousing, delivery and logistics, customer service and call centres. Taking learnings from this company on web-design and user experience is worthwhile for BIG Partnership’s B2B ecommerce clients.

Hubba is Thailand’s first and largest co-working space network. Started in 2012 and based in Bangkok, Hubba has a presence in over seven locations, with minority investments in co-working in Chiang Mai and Vientiane, Laos. Hubba also entered a joint venture with Sansiri, a property development company, to launch Hubba-To, a co-working space and artisan hub concentrating on arts and crafts. It allows individuals or teams of entrepreneurs, tech start-ups or freelancers to co-work in the same space, alongside more established start-ups and even teams within larger corporations. This is a concept that is exciting to me, being a digital nomad for the next ten months, and one that I hope will become more mainstream in the UK.

Gitix is an e-marketplace for worldwide logistics services which covers pick-ups, trucks, freight and customs clearance. The website matches shippers with transporters, where transportation sales can be posted on the website. There is no start-up cost for transporters, but once they can sell the service, they pay commission to the website. Basically Giztix is like Uber for logistics and who doesn’t love Uber?!

Technology is empowering the people and organisations of Thailand to achieve more for society. During a recent conference in Bangkok, ‘Technology for Good’, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “That’s why I like the fundamental notion of empowerment. We seek not technology for technology’s sake; we see technology that — in the hands of people, with the ingenuity of the people — can really change the societies and economies of the world.”