Digital Mission: Singapore & Hong Kong Meetup: Discussions & Next Steps

Singapore by Manvendra Bhangui

For the least three years, over 150 companies have taken part in Digital Missions to the tech centres of the US. The week before last, we met with a group of companies interested in heading East, to South East Asia and China.

Gathering at the offices of our hosts, Pinsent Masons, we talked through the outline plans that have been brewing at Chinwag Towers and had an in-depth discussion about the priorities for a potential Digital Mission™ to Singapore and Hong Kong including the primary objectives, timings and possible companies to meet on the trip.

Here's a quick summary of the discussion and an outline of the plans for what happens next and how to get involved:

Discussion Summary

Mission Objectives - There was general agreement that this mission should focus on getting a comprehensive understanding of the local market, the types of clients, audience and business available and the competitive landscape. On the practical side, objectives include the practical implications of setting up including office space, recruitment and legal issues. 

Destinations - Singapore and Hong Kong provide potential bases for doing business in South East Asia and mainland China, respectively. Delegates wanted to understand the advantages and opportunities for each location. The mission should include briefings on neighbouring countries (Singapore) and mainland China (Hong Kong).

Meetings - For financial and logistical support, meeting government agencies who could provide support and connections was a priority. Understanding the local business market, delegates wanted to meet multi-national and regional brands, publishing, broadcasting, media companies as well as tech companies. Staffing was mentioned several times, so recruitment and head-hunters were also mentioned to give insight on jobs market, particularly key hires e.g. senior managers.

Types of Mission Companies - Like most Digital Missions, a range of companies have expressed interest, for this location the majority have come from the agency sector (web design/build, marketing), serious games, SaaS and online services with a smaller number of startup firms.

Timings - Sooner rather than later, with over half the companies at the meeting wanting to the Digital Mission™ to take place before Christmas, probably at the end of Nov/early Dec, depending on logistics and potential clashes with events such as LeWeb.

Next Steps

Costs & Funding - The million dollar question, well, not quite, but without sponsorship or government support the cost for companies to take part in the Digital Mission is likely to be so high as to discourage all but the largest firms from taking part. The aim is to support the whole range of SMEs. We're approaching UKTI, regional funders, government departments and corporates for support, but as always, any pointers are samatchinwag [dot] com (gratefully received).

Programme - The preparation is already underway and once dates and funding are confirmed will swing into full action. Alongside country and market briefings, corporate visits and business culture briefings are planned. Networking with key contacts and potential partners will be included in the agenda along.

Getting Involved

If you're interested in participating in the Digital Mission there's a number of ways of getting involved:

  • Digital Mission delegate - apply to join the trip when applications open
  • Digital Mission Observer - for larger companies, advisors and academics to join the trip, missionatchinwag [dot] com (contact us for more information)

Keep in touch via:

If you have any queries, please contact us via email missionatchinwag [dot] com or call +44 (0)20 7183 2923.

Photo (cc) Manvendra Bhangui.