Press Release

Dimitri Tsamados (Eric Salmon & Partners) & Rob Bier (6:30 Partners) & Yale-NUS Consulting Team

Beyond the Age of Innocence

Study jointly prepared by Eric Salmon & Partners / 6:30 Partners / Yale-NUS Consulting

Can Southeast Asian start-ups build world-class organisations?

The Southeast Asian digital eco-system is at a crucial juncture of its development.
Having surpassed India last year with 3.4 billion dollars in funding*, many of the start-ups are now morphing into substantial and successful businesses. While the growth is giving a boost to an entrepreneurial spirit across the region, it is also throwing up new challenges for the founders, especially on the leadership front.
Founders are no longer having to only think about turning their ideas into reality and raising the next round of funding, but are also having to build cultures and develop world class leadership teams.
Confronted with all the burdens and responsibilities of managing people and shaping an organisation, it is not unusual for a founder to question whether they are fully prepared to be an effective CEO at all stages along the way. And even the most confident amongst them are still faced with some tough dilemmas. Here are some of the issues that many Southeast Asian tech CEOs are grappling with:
• Should I follow a Silicon Valley model, or is there a Southeast Asian approach to building start-ups?
• Do I hire the best I know, or invest in finding the best there is?
• Can I build a world class corporate culture, or is that a superfluous luxury?
The study, “Beyond the Age of Innocence – Can Southeast Asian start-ups build world-class organisations?”, conducted jointly by Yale-NUS, Eric Salmon & Partners and 6:30 Partners, looks to address these questions.
The study is based on interviews with 32 CEOs and founders of Southeast Asian leading start-ups as well as 6 of the best-known venture capitalists. in the region. The start-ups these CEOs lead have received funding in excess of 3 billion dollars and are at a stage where they have had to find solutions to some of these issues.