“Southeast Asia has been growing surprisingly new every time we tour the world. I think there are a lot of opportunities for start-ups aiming to extend their businesses abroad.”
On the 26th [October 2017], the “Asia Beat Seoul 2017” event place was held at the Seoul Startup Hub, Gongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. The appearance of Seungri, a member from Korea’s most popular K-pop group Bigbang, attracted foreign participants’ attention.
The surprise visit of Seungri, which was not scheduled for this day, was due to his individual interest. Having done business actively in Korea, he said that he is looking for business opportunities in Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. He especially visited because he received that information technology (IT) start-ups aiming to enter Southeast Asia opened a lot of booths in this event. Looking around the event hall, he stopped at the booth of LokaLocal, Malaysian Travel Startup, and asked questions about the business model and how much demand of service is increasing in Malaysia, using fluent English.
“Southeast Asia has been growing surprisingly new every time we tour the world. I think there are a lot of opportunities for start-ups aiming to extend their businesses abroad. “
Among the companies that have opened the experience booths, there have been many cases where their personal interest in the Korean wave became the driving force for their advancement into Korea. Chin Yoon Khen, the founder of LokaLocal, said, “In Malaysia, the demand for tourism has changed from seeing to experiencing Korean culture after the drama ‘Descendants of the Sun’ was televised and many people have wanted to know what kind of things are in Korean traditional culture, and experience making Kimchi and Hanji.” This company is making travel packages that introduce Korean farming and fishing culture.
K-Beauty was also another overwhelming business item. Hana dang, who came from Vietnam, is operating a women’s beauty community application. He recently added Korean Beauty Corner in his application. His company will form a partnership with Korean plastic surgery centers. The consumers can share reviews of the Korean plastic surgery and be connected to the centers directly by this application. He said with confidence, “Because of persisting Vietnam economic growth, young people’s income is increasing, and they are willing to ‘open their wallet’ when it comes to Korean beauty. In the case of women in their 20s, they are likely to spend 80% of their income buying cosmetics to take care of their appearances”.
On that day, many Korean startups also participated in this event and so to introduce their technology and attract investment. Dongho Shin, managing director of Interior Brothers, which offers interior experts matching service to the consumers, said that as China’s standards of living improve, they become interested in decorating their residential environment. First, his company is going to get established in Korea then seek business expansion in China and Southeast Asian markets.
First published in Korean on sedaily.com