As a global financial hub, one of the largest ports in the world and the gateway to Southeast Asia, opportunities are abundant for MBAs in Singapore. On a recent trip there, I found a vibrant start-up scene that is not only supported by local accelerators, but one that has expanded to also include corporate sponsorship of hackathons to help identify new and exciting internet-enabled ventures.
There has been a flurry of recent high-profile mergers, with Lazada soon to be acquiring online grocery provider Redmart, and Alibaba now heavily invested in Lazada to gain access to six Southeast Asian markets. The region is poised to have a massive increase in mobile and internet spending and, it’s believed that Amazon is ready to launch in Singapore too.
Grab, founded by two HBS alumni, is also competing head-to-head with Uber. Grab recently teamed up with Lyft so while I was in Singapore, I was able to use my Lyft app to hail a Grab taxi and Southeast Asians visiting the US can use their Grab app for a Lyft!
While internet commerce is still in its early stages across Southeast Asia, it’s expected to surge with increased smartphone penetration and an growing middle class that has an appetite for consumption. This is an exciting region for MBAs looking for opportunities; not only are there great local companies emerging from the region, but giants from the US and China are competing head-to-head to enter this huge consumer market.