Start-Ups tapping potentials overseas breed success in Singapore, say experts

Start-Ups tapping potentials overseas breed success in Singapore, say experts

By Nirendra Dev

Start-Ups, focussing on domestic front, failed to generate much success in Singapore recently, whereas newly-floated entrepreneurial projects tapping potentials overseas, have done well, an industry expert has said here.

The observation was made by Edwin Chow, Assistant CEO, Innovation and Enterprise Group, Singapore.

Experts like Mr Chow and Rani Shifron, CEO of Healthier Globe, Israel and Ralph Voltmer, Head of India Pacific Covington and Burling, and others discussed on various pros and cons of Start Ups functioning, their success stories and challenges across the globe at a seminar here organised under the theme ‘Innovating our Ways amidst Structural Disruptions’.

The experts felt that while several start-ups overcome the challenge and pass through one or two series or stages, several of them fail after reaching the next stage and then fold up.

“There is another facet of Start Up success tales in Singapore. Most successful Start Ups operating in Singapore have shown a unique trend. Such companies have at least one non Singaporean working. Some how these experiments have proved helpful,” Mr Chow told UNI on the sidelines of the seminar organised by CII and others.

At the global level, it has been revealed that Singapore and Israel are two countries where the success rates of Start Ups are quite high.

“Of course, there are various reasons for the same. Israel has emerged as global hub or the heart of startups. This is essentially because innovation is the at the heart Israeli public policy,” remarked Santosh Kumar, a Gwalior-based entrepreneur.

Many like him said it is the ‘innovation’ and ‘entrepreneurship drive’ those have resulted in immense success of start-ups in Israel.

“Of course it goes to the credit of Israeli people and their drive that an arid nation has become a water exporter,” said a woman entrepreneur from Mumbai adding Israeli case is a pointer to understand that it is the ideas rather than resources that drive change and bring in success.

Asia has also seen an unprecedented rise in the number of start-ups lately. In fact, Singapore is also seen at the centre of this boom.

Mr Chow and experts also say things have worked well in Singapore largely due to twin factors of its location and generous government subsidies.

However, some say start-ups in Singapore have shown another trend that many of them fall into the trap of trying to create companies with mass consumer appeal.

“Sometime, it works and often not,” says Lee Jiangg, another entrepreneur from Singapore.

In countries like Singapore and Israel; there are several reasons why these countries are still doing well and are also prosperous despite ‘recession in several ways’ – especially when it comes to entrepreneurship and start-up success.

Experts say both in Singapore and Israel, start-ups have benefited from an extensive variety of programmes and initiatives.

In fact, Israel has in place over 30-35 ‘programmes’ that are tailor-made for Start Ups to give them some secure funding.

In this context, it has been found that a small country like Israel with a population of just about 10 million people have over 6,000 start-ups.

This is also highest per capita globally.

On the sidelines of the seminar and during other sessions, views have been shared that using technology and innovation help develop new services and products and these are becoming the real differentiating factors between the winners and the losers.

On the whole, it has been underlined that a culture of mentorship, think tanks, sharing of ideas and partnerships help build up start-ups.

Experiences also reveal that start-ups have proved successful working in sectors like health, IT services, traffic, food and beverage etc.