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  • Jessica Poulter

Breaking ground: Challenges of tech businesses entering the APAC market

Do you want to crack the Asia Pacific (APAC) market? The APAC region, has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent decades. And in the ‘Asian century’, it makes sense to at least establish a branch office in the region. 


However, navigating the local regulations, understanding consumer preferences and adapting to unfamiliar market dynamics isn’t straightforward. 


A group of corporate workers in a conference meeting with graphs on the table.

The lay of the APAC land: Technology spending is growing fast

According to PwC’s research findings, the APAC region’s economic growth spurt won’t end anytime soon.  It finds that six of the seven largest economies in the world are projected to be emerging APAC economies in 2050, led by China, India (second) and Indonesia (fourth). A Forrester research report states that technology spend is set to grow by 6.4% in the APAC region, reaching US$710 billion in 2024 while software spending is expected to grow by 10.3% in 2024 and become the largest tech category in the region by 2027. 


Those are just the broad economic brushstrokes. As is the case in other markets, factors such as skills shortages, rising labour costs, increasing regulation and the emergence of technologies such as Generative AI may result in APAC businesses spending even more on high-tech solutions than predicted.  


At the recent Corinium CDAO event in Sydney Australia, AZK Media managing director Azadeh Williams quizzes some prominent local tech-industry players about their approach to entering and then thriving in the APAC region.  



How did Amperity prepare before entering the APAC market?


"When we brought Amperity to the market, we really tried to understand exactly which local businesses wanted to solve the problems that we aim to fix. The problem Amperity exists to address is the ‘customer identity problem’ and we solve it by creating industry-leading Consumer Data Platforms (CDPs). 


A company that is used to only dealing with, for instance, American customers will need to educate itself if it wants to be successful in APAC. That company’s employees will probably have to invest a significant amount of time ‘speaking to the market’ and working out how it will have to adapt its traditional modus operandi. But doing that hard work right at the start helps new market entrants be super aligned, which facilitates organic growth."


Rian Smith, New Business Director APAC, Amperity 


How is Tricentis overcoming the hurdles associated with the APAC region?


"The APAC region covers a range of diverse societies. That’s something I was recently reminded of when opening a new office in Japan. Having to go through things like localisation and working with new channel partners is always an interesting experience. But we’ve found leaders with experience navigating these kinds of challenges in other markets can do so in APAC. Of course, it’s also important to hire those with a deep understanding of the nation or region you’ve expanded into. We’ve just opened an APAC careers office. We’re increasingly bringing on the right local resources to help us deal with local challenges."

 

Robert Yue, VP and Managing Director, Tricentis


Describe the challenges of growing the Data School in the APAC region?


"The two challenges in growing the Data School in the APAC region have been identifying the top local talent and arranging to place them with sought-after employers. We’re training the next generation of data scientists, data engineers and AI specialists. In our latest intake, we had more than 500 people apply for eight glorified spots. We look for the best and brightest, then train them for four months to use solutions provided by Microsoft, Salesforce and Alteryx. After their training, we find placements for them in organisations. Those are the two challenging sides of our business – the people side of things and then placing those people with banks, insurers and other blue-chip companies." 


JJ Phillips, Director - Sales and Marketing, Data School 



How do marketing and PR help to drive business growth in a new market?

"Marketing and PR are fundamental. Our business has grown organically. Partly that’s from word of mouth, but it’s also because we’ve publicised the fact we want to train up top talent and get them jobs at top companies. We have had about 500 Data School students graduate in countries all over the world – Australia, Germany, the UK and the US. And those students have gone to work at companies based all over the world. Word of mouth plays an important role, both in terms of people praising the Data School and praising its graduates, but it’s difficult to scale up rapidly relying only on word of mouth. You can 10X the impact of word of mouth if you back it up with clever marketing and PR. That’s really where rubber hits the road for us."


JJ Phillips, Director - Sales and Marketing, Data School 


"Marketing and PR play an important part of all of our businesses, educating and building awareness in new markets of what Amperity does and how we can help businesses with their issues, specifically their data issues. Plenty of Australian organisations have been using our quality engineering solutions for quite some time, which for the most part, has been achieved through the power of marketing."

 

Rian Smith, New Business Director APAC, Amperity 


"Marketing and PR agencies truly are an extension of our team. They need to work with us hand-in-hand to understand what our needs are as we scale. We thrive when marketing and PR agencies share intel that normally we wouldn't get, in terms of what areas we should invest in and what events we should be at."

 

Robert Yue, VP and Managing Director, Tricentis


Is APAC your next growth opportunity?


As experts who have successfully entered the APAC market weigh in on the conversation, there is a mutual consensus that the region is teeming with untapped potential. And with national governments in the region also spending up big on technological infrastructure, opportunities abound.  


With the increase of investment from governments on technology infrastructure including the widespread roll-out of 5G, the rapid growth of APAC is certainly not to be overlooked. If your company can, with the necessary assistance, establish a beachhead in the region, there might be no limit to its future success in APAC.


Authored by Jessica Poulter, Senior Social Media and Communications Specialist at AZK Media. 


At AZK Media, we specialise in helping global technology companies get noticed in new and emerging markets. We make driving your growth, our business. Contact us today to see how we can strengthen your expansion efforts.

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