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Monday June 24, 2024

Asia’s young entrepreneurs introduce new business realities

Environmental considerations are also taking priority with many listers seizing opportunities in sectors with rapid uptake, like EVs and car-sharing

By Web Desk
May 18, 2024
Asia’s young entrepreneurs seen in this undated photo. — UNDP.org/file
Asia’s young entrepreneurs seen in this undated photo. — UNDP.org/file 

In an ever-changing world, Asia-Pacific’s young entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to navigate new business realities in the region and lead the transformation of various industries.

Sustainable growth and imminent profitability are high on their agenda—especially with VC funding becoming hard to obtain worldwide. And as AI defines the next generation’s success, many founders are joining the race to develop and commercialize this cutting-edge technology. Applications are wide-ranging, for example, to help manufacturers identify production defects and inspect equipment, as well as assist financial services firms with market research.

Environmental considerations are also taking priority with many listers seizing opportunities in sectors with rapid uptake, like EVs and car-sharing.

One example is 29-year-old Johnson Lim, who has built a profitable car-sharing business in just over two years, and is now looking to expand beyond Singapore.

Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora also saw an opportunity in the eco-friendly transport sector—with India’s EV market revving up at an annual 26 percent growth rate, according to Hyderabad-based Mordor Intelligence.

Their company, Statiq, provides a nationwide network of charging stations for electric cars, buses, trucks and three-wheelers. Its charging stations, which users locate through Statiq’s app, can juice up an EV in as little as 15 minutes. Statiq has so far raised $27.5 million in funding from investors and according to the cofounders, it will post its first operating profit in the next financial year.

In the Social Impact category, 29-year-old Bhagya Shree Jain founded The Disposal Company (TDC) in 2020 to advise mostly fast-moving consumer goods companies on how to reduce their plastic footprint.

TDC also brokers plastic credits, similar to carbon credits, for its customers. Others are using technology to serve sustainability goals. China’s Zhu Yueyang launched Small Eel, an energy-management company that helps commercial property owners reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, in 2020.

The platform’s smart sensors, today found in industrial parks, offices and malls in eight cities across China, monitor energy consumption to determine where cost-saving cuts can be made.