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These Sectors are the Hottest In Asia Right Now The sun is shining on Asia, and experts say the 'next big thing' in business could come out of the region

By Aparajita Saxena

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

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In recent times, the Asia Pacific region has been touted as the fastest growing economy in the world, with investment opportunities across public and private sectors. Labelled "emerging economy", the region has seen an inflow of not only foreign funds, but also domestic, as Asians become more financially prudent.

All together, emerging economies are expected to account for 60 percent of global growth in 10 years' time, with China alone contributing 27 percent, a recent study by Swiss Re institute found. But with China at loggerheads with the U.S. over trade tariffs, countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore are taking the lead in tech innovations and homegrown solutions to problems, so much so that startups in these three countries captured the most funding from venture capitalists in 2019 thus far.

Since 2012, over $285 billion has been invested across over 11,000 equity deals in tech startups in Asia and the Pacific region, which stretches from China to New Zealand, a CBInsights study reported. Some of the companies that raised the most funding in the region included payments giant Ant Financial Services Group in China, on-demand logistic company Gojek in Indonesia, and Preferred Networks in Japan.

Asia is also the region where most of the tech innovation is happening, especially in the artificial intelligence and virtual reality world, spearheaded by Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, India, and Indonesia. But other sectors, such as consumer and retail, aren't very far behind either.

Victor Orlovski, managing partner and founder of Fort Ross Ventures, identifies three hottest startup sectors in Asia right now that are worth considering:

E-commerce

India is popularly expected to be the next big e-commerce market, with it's specifics of goods consumption, says Victor Orlovski, managing partner and founder of Fort Ross Ventures. The massive e-commerce boom in the last decade with Flipkart, Snapdeal and Firstcry in India paralled that of Amazon's in its initial days, and Orlovski says the new big players in the region will probably also be local.

O2O Businesses

China is a leader in online-to-offline business models and they will continue to evolve, Orlovski says. Online-to-offline is where digital platforms are used to make purchases from physical businesses, which is what Alibaba has been doing in China through its Hema stores, or JD.com in its 7Fresh stores.

Alibaba's Jack Ma dubbed this "New Retail" - a phenomenon where the boundary between offline commerce, such a brick-and-mortar shops, and online disappears, and "shopping' becomes an intimate, personalized experience.

Delivery and Logistics

Indonesia will be a hot delivery and e-commerce market, says Orlovski. Gojek, Lazada, Zalora, Bhinneka, Tokopedia and Blibli are some of the biggest names in the sector right now, and the industry is poised to grow annually at the rate of 9.3 percent, valued at $16.34 billion by 2023, a Statista report said.

The number of online shoppers is expected to grow to 43.89 million by 2022. while average online spend is seen going up to $375 million, Statista said.

Aparajita Saxena

Former Deputy Associate Editor, Asia Pacific

Aparajita is Former Deputy Associate Editor for Entrepreneur Asia Pacific. She joined Entrepreneur after nearly five years with Reuters, where she chased the Asian and U.S. finance markets.

At Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, she wrote about trends in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem. She also loves to look for problems startups face in their day-to-day and tries to present ways to deal with those issues via her stories, with inputs from other startups that may have once been in that boat.

Outside of work, she likes spending her time reading books (fiction/non-fiction/back of a shampoo bottle), chasing her two dogs around the house, exploring new wines, solo-travelling, laughing at memes, and losing online multiplayer battle royale games.

 

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