Tuesday, February 10, 2015

SMEs in Singapore

A Survival Guide for SMEs by Nitin Pangarkar

SMEs always fascinated me. I think it's because you seldom hear about them and yet they form the majority in terms of number of companies (revenue? employees? I have no idea) in the business landscape.

The title of the article naturally caught my attention but really the conclusion that SMEs survive better if they ally with diverse partners is not very instructive or illuminating. SMEs, given their size, tend to focus on a specific area of expertise, which makes it very natural for them to need partners to cover the whole value chain if they wish to succeed? Am I missing something here...? I think what would be interesting would be a deeper analysis of the types of alliances and business models that have flourished. It would also be interesting to compare the difference between countries. Do different operating environments/ business culture affect the way SMEs partner other companies, and how?

Monday, February 09, 2015

Sustainable Growth

Reading this article, and just want to capture some thoughts before I forget...

President Xi Jinping has taken some actions to slow China's economy in a bid to produce more sustainable growth:
(1) visa restrictions, (2) the anti-corruption campaign, and (3) UnionPay monitoring.

This has hit the gambling industry worldwide badly. With the implementation of the anti-corruption measures, the casinos had already felt the initial impact of the policies. But Xi is not going to stop there. A more targeted move against gambling shows Xi's resolve in this matter. Through limiting visas, monitoring frequent gamblers' spend, banning advertisements and such measures, the casinos are in for a bad year.

While this may not bode well for us, I think it's time someone took action on this issue.
It's not just about China and their need for sustainable growth.
It's about how the whole world is spurring economic growth today.

The whole world investing all their efforts and resources in this one country desperately needs to rethink their strategy. The mad investment (see all the reports on Chinese spending consumption behaviours, the crazy advertisements, the proliferation of Chinese-speaking sales staff all over the world) in this market is creating a bubble that would not last. When the spending began to slow a few years back, reports started coming up about targeting the wiser Chinese spenders who spend with greater discretion, every country fighting to win one another for a slice of the Chinese pie put in a disporportionate amount of effort to rework marketing messages to unearth the reasons for Chinese to spend, developing products that provides greater incentives for spending.

Now, with the impending slowdown, what would happen to all these efforts? Have we overestimated the potential of this market in a bid to outdo each other?

2015 feels like a scary year.