Vachara Aemavat, Vice Chairman of the Thailand Tech Start-up Association and CEO of Computerlogy, hopes for more ‘doing’, and less ‘talking’
Vachara Aemavat, the Vice Chairman of the Thailand Tech Start-up Association is travelling for his day job as the CEO of ad tech company Computerlogy, but his mind is on fellow tech entrepreneurs in his home country Thailand.
“We are partnering with a lot more national agencies,” says Aemavat.
The association, registered last year, supports conferences that encourage knowledge sharing between entrepreneurs and other working professionals, and even organises conferences of its own.
More than a trend
“It has become more popular,” he says, referring to starting up in the Southeast Asian country. “It’s getting bigger and bigger… starting up in Thailand looks like a trend now.”
People have grown more aware of entrepreneurship and what it takes to open their own business. The local and regional media in Thailand has showcased successful entrepreneurs, and shone a light on various businesses in the country. Enterprises are stepping in to show their support. The government is starting to see its value as well, albeit slowly.
However, a trend is not exactly the end-goal. Aemavat wants people to talk less and do more. “It would be cool if you’re doing something. But right now, people are just talking about that. They haven’t started yet.”
“But at the end of the day, … how many people are really doing a startup? [It’s] not that much,” he said.
For those who have been working on ideas and real businesses, Aemavat commends them for coming up with creative solutions. “They’re getting better and better. The startups right now, as compared to last year, are quite different. They are more creative. They are doing something that hasn’t been done before,” he shares.
“In the last two years, so many companies are doing the same thing,” he adds. New startups have also been entering industries that are not yet saturated like fintech or laundry delivery.
VC funding is healthy, but startups need to qualify
Aemavat says that the venture capital scene in Thailand is considerably healthy. “In the last two years, there were many funds investing, but not many qualified startups… But after the startups get better and better, with the same number of investors, they can invest more because more startups will qualify,” he says.
Thailand-centric venture capital includes a newly set up 500 Tuktuks, prominent firms like Ardent Capital, Inspire Ventures, Galaxy Ventures, CyberAgent Ventures (Thailand), and even some based out of Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.
More government support
Aemavat thinks that startups in Thailand are in need of support from the government. “We still need regulations that support us for ESOP (employee stock ownership plan), regulations that support us when we are exiting,” he says.
The current Thai administration is one ruled by a military junta. Aemavat says that the junta is aware of startups in the country and plans to do a lot more for them. But this will take time.
“The people who drive the regulations, they need to really talk to startups. And know what we want,” he says.
Aemavat concludes that startups need to be equipped with more practical skills and knowledge, ones that can help them while building a business. These could come in the form of understanding how they can generate more revenue, form a community and ace marketing.
Maybe then, starting up will truly become more than a ‘trend.’
Want to learn more about Thailand’s booming startup scene? Then get your tickets to Echelon Thailand this November 26 – 27. Join us as we connect the Mekong region through Bangkok, Thailand in two action-packed days. Learn more about Echelon Thailand here.
Disclaimer: Ardent Capital is an investor in Optimatic Pte Ltd, the parent company of e27.
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