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Rocket Internet opens its first engineering hub in Bangkok

Rocket Internet currently has 20 people at the base in Thailand, and it said it plans to more than double that headcount before the end of this year.

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Rocket Internet is increasing its focus on Asia after it opened its first engineering hub in the region.

The center is located in Bangkok, and it will house a tech team that carries out work for Rocket Internet’s portfolio of startups.

The firm currently has 20 people at the base in Thailand, and it said it plans to more than double that headcount before the end of this year.

The focus is very much on mobile, given that it dominates Asia as the primary method of internet connectivity.

The Bangkok hub is head by former Lazada executive Sohil Gilani, who is chief product officer for Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) — the joint venture that Rocket Internet operates in partnership with telco Ooredoo.

“Bangkok is poised to become the tech capital of Southeast Asia. We look forward to tapping into this talent of world class developers, product managers and designers,” Gilani said in a statement.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thai ecommerce sector expected to expand by 20% this year

The bullish forecast came as it was revealed the Southeast Asia ecommerce market in 2015 was worth $900 million (Bt31.7 billion) and is forecast to grow up to 16 times that figure , to about $11 billion by 2025.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency has forecast that the total ecommerce market in Thailand this year will be worth Bt2.52 trillion.

 Read the rest of the story here.

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Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?

Oxford Business Group

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Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?

– Covid-19 has facilitated the widespread adoption of remote working
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads

With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.

Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.

For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.

The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.

Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.

As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.

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Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?

Oxford Business Group

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Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?

– Before the pandemic, medical tourism was a major growth area
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.

The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.

The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.

Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.

Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients. 

Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.

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Thailand’s Stock Exchange (SET) welcomes cosmetic and skincare marketer KISS

KISS develops, contract manufactures and markets beauty and healthcare related products in both local and overseas markets

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BANGKOK, February 18, 2021 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will list Rojukiss International PLC, a leading developer, contract manufacturer, and marketer of skincare, color cosmetic, food supplement products, on February 19 under the ticker symbol “KISS”.

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