Planning to start a business in Asia? Read this

By Sabih Javed

The Asian economy is booming. Asian countries are growing rapidly and statistics show that the GDP growth of Asia is expected to multiply in the coming years. With the massive growth, there are several business opportunities in the region. Much of the Asian markets are still untapped, which can be an attractive proposition for entrepreneurs seeking a viable market.

However, most foreign entrepreneurs who do not know much about the Asian market might find themselves in deep trouble. It is, therefore, crucial to understand the Asian market and its people.

Understanding the demographics

Asia is a massive continent that hosts 4.3 billion people. As much as 60 per cent of the world’s population live in Asia while 62 per cent of the world’s Muslims live here.

Starting a business in the Asia is not the same as starting a venture in the US. For example, Islam and Hinduism are major religions, which count at least a billion adherents each. Thus, whatever you do, make sure you don’t ignore the religious factor.

Some types of businesses that you should try:

  • Technology: Asia is all about technology.
  • Internet security: As a lot of large businesses have their headquarters in Asia, they need security solutions.
  • Restaurants: Some of the most attractive tourist destinations are in Asia.
  • Outsourcing company: Massive workforce swill help your outsourcing business grow rapidly.
  • HR consultancy: HR firms do well due to less competition.
  • Manufacturing plants: Cheap labour and infrastructure will help keep the costs low.

Always keep the demographics in mind when starting a venture. For instance, starting a restaurant without a halal certification will not do well especially in a country with Muslim majority. Similarly, starting a beer business might not be a good idea in Indonesia. No matter how great your business is doing in Los Vegas, it just won’t do well in Indonesia or in any other Asian country where alcohol is taboo or prohibited.

Capital and expenses

While the cost of living in Asia is low, you have to choose a city that’s cheap. If your monthly living expenses are under US$1,000, you are good to go.

The cost of starting a business (such as building, rent, legal costs, etc.) are low as compared to what you will pay in Europe. This is one great reason why you should start your next venture in Asia.

At the end of the day, even if you are low on budget, you can still start your business in Asia. There are no hard and fast rules, except that you have to choose the location carefully.

It all comes down to the country and city you choose.

Bangkok, for instance, is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. It is, however, expensive as hell. However, countries like Nepal and Bangladesh are extremely affordable.

Choose your headquarters carefully.

Labour market

Unemployment is low in most of the Asian countries, but youngsters face issues finding decent (and well-paid) jobs. This means you can attract young individuals with good compensation packages. Finding and hiring professionals should not an issue.

It is never too late to move your business to Asia. We are a bunch of passionate individuals.

Sabih Javed is a digital marketer and a conversion specialist with a passion for online ventures.

The article entitled “Planning to start a business in Asia? Read this” first appeared on e27.

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