Continued advancements in technology such as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the day-to-day lives of consumers and the continuously shifting landscapes that are social media platforms can sometimes create a window for market disruption. This is a fact across the business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) industries. Disruption affects markets worldwide as companies affected can be overlooked or completely overtaken by competitors, and in some cases, cease to function entirely. Typically affected by rapid changes, which result in a market decline, the easiest assumption is that these industries are only affected negatively and by external factors, such as the stock market. Depending on the industry, however, market disruption can be viewed as a positive change and can inspire a frenzy of product, and therefore, business innovation.
Disruption in the B2B industries
Businesses that focus on B2B continue to struggle to find a balance between using technology and/or algorithms that monitor growth and seek out potential clientele with the long-term loyalty that comes from using a personal touch to sustain said growth. The next generations of the consumer are highly tech-savvy, making it a top priority for B2B models to successfully balance acknowledging a customer’s experience, as well as the opportunities for product and service development. The stress of this reality, however, makes it less likely for B2B models to best predict how to strategise (digitally speaking) to motivate potential buyers. In the wake of this confusion, innovative business models all across Southeast Asia are finding success in market disruption and set a tangible precedence for what it means to profit from upsetting marketable industries for the world to see.
Take, for example, Omnistream, a Southeast Asian company focused on helping retail businesses turn data into a profit with an ‘outcome as a service’ partnership model. By adapting to the ever-changing market, applying predictive software and a heavy experience of managing retail in the region, Omnistream has navigated a pathway to success through disruption in the retail marketplace. With features in digital media platforms such as techinasia.com and jumpstartmag.com, the company has wedged itself in deep as a trusted foundation for data analytics for retail businesses.
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The Asian economy continues to flourish as the European and American markets limp passed the credit crisis that crippled industries on those continents for years. That being said, there are plenty of markets within Asia that are still exposed to the threat of disruption. The logistics market has seen an uptick in attention thanks to Asian-based giant Grab, but this market is still ultimately vulnerable to disruption. Singapore-based startup Ninja Van is an example, focusing on connecting businesses to hassle-free logistics. Leading with efficiency and affordability, Ninja Van streamlines the postal process, allowing businesses to connect directly with their delivery driver, track shipments and even returns all via the company’s application (which is available for both iPhone and Android user). Navigating logistics such as this from the palm of your hand shakes up this market significantly and brings it front and centre into the 21st century.
Disruption in the B2C industries
The financial sector is also no stranger to technology growth and by default, market disruption. With SaaS and fintech on the rise, B2C tech startups are exploding in the Southeast Asian region of the globe. Take Carsome, for example. This Malaysia-based startup allows customers to manage sales transactions of vehicles on an online platform; the first of its kind in the Malaysia market. Offering its clientele complete transparency, the business model is designed to provide sales comparables as well as up-to-date market pricing with the swish of a fingertip. Taking the burden of negotiating for bargain prices out of the equation brings the customer quick and efficient results.
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Not neglecting the insurance industry, organisations like PolicyPal, a Singapore-based startup, is one to watch when considering a shakeup in market disruption. By providing customers with access to trusted insurance groups via customised policies, PolicyPal positions itself as a broker (or liaison) between the partnering insurance groups and the customer. This makes coverage details and comparisons for insurances across the spectrum including health, whole life and even retirement available on-the-go via one easy-to-navigate mobile application. This kind of convenience in an industry that can cripple most with information overload provides invaluable solutions for the niche market. PolicyPal is shaking things up by keeping it simple.
Disruption is here to stay
With new business models designed to better serve customers and reclassify brokered transactions, the increase in Asian startups will undoubtedly continue to transform industries across a broad spectrum. Whether these startups focus on B2B or B2C, the need to develop products or services that provide a specific niche with solitary solutions must also circumvent probable performance gaps while managing to maintain a competitive edge. No easy feat. Southeast Asian startups, however, are up for the challenge and are meeting expectations tenfold and despite the rapid pace of tech. Business-savvy minds are using market disruption as means to fill gaps in industries that are too often overlooked by big brands paving the way for unparalleled success in the region.