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Four sustainability tips for startups in Asia

Nayela Deeba | April 17, 2017
Luc Andreani, Managing Director, Foodpanda Singapore shares tips on how startups in Asia can drive sustainability to succeed in the competitive, customer-oriented market at CIO Conference Singapore 2017.

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"Startups in Southeast Asia need to alter their business model to ensure sustainability and enhance customer experience," said Luc Andreani, Managing Director, Foodpanda Singapore, at the recent CIO Conference Singapore.

This is because there is competition from MNCs which are expanding and bringing their products over to Asia. Andreani cited Lazada and Alibaba as tough competitors in the market.

Andreani advised four methods startups could implement to drive sustainability, improve customer experience and ensure success.

Firstly, startups need to maintain a healthy topline growth; and strike the right balance between customers and their brand.  In order to do so, startups should keep track of their competitors, areas which bring in revenue and make "smart" investments which will ensure profitability.  For example, online retail startups should provide discounts on products to enhance customer experience (however, be sure to not provide discounts too often).

Secondly, startups should focus on building an efficient operational setup to enhance customer experience. For example, food startups that provide an online delivery service should refund customers if the delivery process has been delayed.

Thirdly, startups need to build a "lean team". Don't "overhire"(quality over quantity); hire people who are talented and driven to bring new ideas to the table.  This will also allow startups to facilitate positive change in the workplace and ensure customer queries are responded to in a "timely manner".

Finally, startups need to accept cash on delivery (COD) as a mode of payment. This will be effective in countries like Indonesia, where most people do not have bank accounts or credit cards.

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