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Asia Business Development – Asia Business Consulting » Spire E-Newsletter Q4 2013
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SpirE-Journal 2013 Q4

Spire E-Newsletter Q4 2013

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Spire E-Newsletter Q4 2013

E-Newsletter

Spire does an encore at the Vietnam Supply Chain Congress 2013

2 October 2013

Q4 2013 E-Newsletter - VSC 2013

Asia has long been an established hub for business outsourcing and re-location of manufacturing operations. To factors like low labor costs, abundant access to skills and fast-growing domestic markets, one more advantage can now be added – the rising quality of governance. Recognizing the potential of the Asian market for outsourcing manufacturing, the Vietnam Supply Chain Congress 2013 initiated a series of conferences on supply chain management to discuss the market outlook and current challenges.

Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, was honored to be invited as a guest speaker at the Vietnam Supply Chain Congress 2013 held in Ho Chi Minh City. In his presentation, Bahar identified the trends which were gaining momentum in the production outsourcing sector in Asia. He also highlighted that it was crucial for businesses to understand the risks involved, and set out crisis management plans before setting up business offshore.

Bahar opined that communication and inter-cultural understanding is key to doing business in Asia. He remarked that businesses should ensure the availability of expertise in each country, as well as address regulatory compliance and quality control prior to any agreement.

He emphasized in his closing that vendor management is a crucial ingredient when businesses are looking at off-shoring production. It is also a field where there has been evolution in best practices. Once this element has been taken care of, businesses can be assured of sustainable success, not only short-term growth spurts.

Spire shares its love with the Singapore Children’s Society for third consecutive year

19 October 2013

Q4 2013 E-Newsletter - VSC 2013

Spire Singapore has collaborated with the Singapore Children’s Society for the third consecutive year, in support of AmCham Corporate Community Day 2013. This is the sixth year that Spire has been involved in this meaningful initiative that promotes corporate volunteerism.

Spire Singapore spent a meaningful morning making paper plate crafts with the beneficiaries of Singapore Children’s Society. The children let their inspiration run wild and produced many beautiful creations! From masks to puppets, the artwork illustrated their abundant creativity and imagination.

The children also had the opportunity to fish in a “long kang” (drain) – capturing little fishes using buckets and nets. This activity appealed to both the parents and the children. The parents got to relive their childhood memories while the children gained a unique fishing experience.

We were honored to have Patrick Santillo, Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy, join us at the event. He interacted with the beneficiaries, as well as staff and volunteers from Spire Singapore and the Singapore Children’s Society.

It was a happy day for all, and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We were blessed with good weather and, of course, awesome company.

Spire Seminar: Cloud Computing – Peer into the thoughts of your customers

14 November 2013

Q4 2013 E-Newsletter - Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is already an established buzzword in the ICT space. With the advent of the cloud, businesses need not be bogged down by high set-up as well as maintenance costs, and can simply sign up for online facilities and pay as they go.

Spire Research and Consulting believes that cloud computing is more than just distributed computing over a network. In his opening address at the seminar held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, gave a broad overview of Malaysia’s cloud readiness and talked about how businesses have enjoyed higher levels of security with less spending as a direct result.

Keynote speaker Yap Far Loon, Business Development Director, Telecommunications of Spire Research and Consulting, highlighted that it is vital for cloud computing service providers to keep asking themselves: “What else can we make the cloud do?”, as businesses are presented with a dynamic environment where end-users’ needs and wants are ever-changing.

Yap also shared his insights on how businesses can leverage on cloud computing to gather insights on their customers. Through careful analysis, businesses would be able to understand the behavior of their customers, and adapt their marketing as well as business strategies to better reach out to their customers accordingly. Businesses can also identify the underlying business opportunities that would otherwise be overlooked.

The session concluded with a highly interactive panel discussion, where the participants raised questions from the floor and interacted with the panel of speakers.

Spire appointed as research partner for National Team for Accelerating Poverty Reduction workshop

10 December 2013

Q4 2013 E-Newsletter - Microfinance

Spire Research and Consulting embarked on a study to explore the potential of microfinance in Indonesia in collaboration with Microfinance Opportunities U.S. and the National Team for Accelerating Poverty (TNP2K). The study was conducted on the micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to ascertain their need for mobile money and financial services due to limited access to banking services as compared to medium-sized enterprises.

The study spanned four provinces in Indonesia. It found that MSEs face difficulties in accessing formal financial institutions. For this reason, they are incurring higher expenditures and facing business constraints to economic growth.

At the same time, new technologies and developments such as mobile money and branchless banking are enabling inclusive finance for MSEs. Further developments in IT and telecommunication infrastructure have also led to the expansion of financial services that are not under the coverage of banks, such as services rendered via banking agents, mobile devices and internet technology.

The insights obtained through the Spire study will help regulators formulate supportive policies and stakeholders shape business strategy towards these new and promising financial service solutions.

Spire Spire speaks at International Finance Corporation workshops on e-commerce trends and retail banking

13 November 2013 (E-commerce trends)15 November 2013 (Retail Banking)

Q4 2013 E-Newsletter - IFC Workshops

Retailers in Indonesia are now more prone to using cashless payment. Recognizing the rising popularity of e-commerce and e-payment, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) held several workshops to discuss how to expand retailers’ access to these types of transactions.

Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, was honored to be invited as a guest speaker at the workshops held in Jakarta, Indonesia. In his presentation, Bahar highlighted that the Asia-Pacific region was a key-global e-commerce hub with China as the leader. Indonesia is not far behind, with more than 56 million active mobile data users.

He remarked that the customer-to-customer (C2C) category will become the most popular mode of e-commerce – consisting of classified advertisements, social networks and forums. Modern gateways were overcoming the problem of fragmented payment methods by gathering various banks and credit card companies under a single platform.

On the other hand, traditional retailers still prefer to make cash payments to suppliers as they receive cash from customers. As retailers meet up with suppliers often, there is limited time to make cash deposits in the bank – inducing them to run a cash-in-cash-out system.

In conclusion, Bahar predicted the emergence of more e-commerce sites via mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. A more robust government regulatory regime was necessary to facilitate the expansion of the e-commerce industry.

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