Business Partnership between India, Hong Kong and China and where it’s heading.
Event Recap, Key Insights & Memorable quotes
Last week (20–23 November 2018), leading influencers and entrepreneurs from India, Hong Kong and China were part of a 4-day event: “Entrepreneurship and the India-Hong Kong-China Business Partnership” that took place in Hong Kong (first 2 days) and Shenzhen (last 2 day).
The main objective of the event was to build and deepen connections through collaboration and business linkages between Hong Kong and India.
The following paragraphs will provide an Event Recap, Key Insights & Memorable quotes from the past few days.
Day 1 (Tuesday, November 20, 2018) —
Showcasing the Startup Ecosystems of Hong Kong and India
The first day of the event showcased the Startup Ecosystems of Hong Kong and India at the Hong Kong Science Park. Both startup ecosystems were introduced by Mr. Raymond Wong, Head of Investments, HKSTP, Mr. Saurabh Srivastava, Co-Founder, Indian Angel Network and NASSCOM and Ms. Vani Kola, Managing Partner, Kalaari Capital respectively, followed by the presentation of 7 startups run by entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and India.
Interesting Facts about both ecosystems:
- Hong Kong is the 3rd most active foreign investor in Indian startups
- Hong Kong’s Total No. of Staff Employed by Startups has grown by 70% since 2015
- India is the world’s 3rd largest and fastest growing startup hub and unicorn base with 26,000 startups (projected to become 100,000 by 2025)
- 83% of the Indian workforce aspires to be entrepreneurs, compared to 53% globally
- India has the highest mobile penetration of internet (2017: 420 million, 800 million by 2025) in the world, highest in the world for Facebook and Whatsapp as well.
- India and Hong Kong have signed the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement
Startups that pitched:
Sattviko is India’s fastest growing food company. It is a healthy and pure food startup which combines traditional Indian recipes with modern food technology, providing new delicious and healthy snacks.
Based in Hong Kong, AMPD Energy is a award-winning company that develops and manufactures state-of-the-art lithium-ion energy storage systems.
Teabox is an Indian tea brand that delivers only the freshest, most delicious teas and tea-based products from India and Nepal to the entire world. Every day, they deliver to over 109 countries, tea that is often picked, packed and shipped within a week.
EverCarat is the first global diamonds trading platform powered by blockchain technology and exchange system in Hong Kong. Fully digital, transparent and secure, EverCarat connects sellers and buyers across the globe, so they can trade diamonds as easily as any other traditional assets.
Based in Singapore, ThreadSol provides garment technology solution for apparel brands and manufacturers by providing automation solutions.
Opharmic Technology (former Sonikure Technology), founded and based in Hong Kong, is a medical technology company developing novel ocular drug delivery technology and devices.
Young Master Brewery is Hong Kong’s largest, highest rated, and most awarded craft brewery producing a wide range of exciting craft beers.
Entrepreneurship: Startups to Make Change Happen
The latter half of the first day showcased founders and investors from entrepreneurial ecosystems in India, Hong Kong and China. The discussion was surrounded around the different stages of development of entrepreneurship in each market, and the areas of potential collaboration between these markets with the experience of their entrepreneurial background.
- “If you want to tap and venture into China and you don’t speak Mandarin, your life won’t be easy, so HK is better as well.” — Miles Wen, Founder & CEO, Fano Labs
- “India use to be complicated, closed, difficult to do business with. But India today is completely different. 3rd startup hub after the US and China, 3rd largest in terms of unicorns, 3rd fastest growing startup hub, we do an investment every fourth night with Indian Angel network.” — Mr. Saurabh Srivastava, Co-Founder, Indian Angel Network and NASSCOM
Day 2 (Wednesday, November 21, 2018)
Workshops on Entrepreneurship and the India-Hong Kong-China Business Partnership
The second day of the event was filled with interactive workshops focusing on strategy, financing, innovation, technology and building consumer brands, providing inspiration and connections to other startups and entrepreneurs.
Key takeaways from some of the workshops:
- The main form of talent recruitment in India is referrals. If someone within the company has prior work experience with the person, it is a big predictor of success.
- Specific to Hong Kong, the lowest end of the bracket is not a bad market, as popularly believed. Their spending patterns are higher than that of the middle class because of subsidized housing.
Scaling and fundraising is a never ending process for entrepreneurs, be well prepared, get advised properly and stay humble. Instead of talking about the technology you are using, show the impact you are doing and the problem you solve for your customer. This is your super power.” — Karen Contet Farzam
Keynote Luncheon Dialogue
The event included a discussion on: “AI, Big Data, Data Analytics; The India, Hong Kong, China Experience” with Srikanth Velamakanni, cofounder of Fractal Analytics, Esther Wong 王康曼, Managing Director of SenseTime 商汤科技 with Alan Rosling as the moderator.
The discussion summarized very well where AI is, where it isn’t and where it is going.
- In regards to AI, it is not smart enough to be a 3 year old by this time. As soon as you make narrow AI applications broad and general, they fail.
- There is a strong relationship between neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence, allowing one to learn the other better with a prior knowledge of one.
- AI, or rather AI plus another industry, is trying to benefit human beings. It doesn’t intend to wipe out the person who is doing the job but make it more efficient, cheaper and accurate.
Day 3 (Thursday, November 22, 2018)
Panel: India- China Connect: Startups to Make Change Happen
The panel explored the differences between the three tech & startup ecosystems: India, Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
When asked when the startup scene in HK started growing, Karena Belin (Co-Founder and CEO WHub, Co-Founder COO/CFO AngelHub) clarified: HK and its startup ecosystem may have had a late start, but we have proven that we can produce highly scalable and successful startups in a short period of time, sometimes less than 3 years, and now hold several records on a global level: One of the highest density of unicorns per capita (1 per million), most highly valued AI company (Sensetime), highest series A FinTech raise (TNG wallet). And HK remains one of the most diverse ecosystems when it comes to verticals, nationality, age or gender of founders. And the growth will continue to be exponential, especially in the context of The Greater Bay Area and leveraging the complementarity of the different cities, as well as building bridges to other ecosystems.
That’s why WHub is especially excited about the MoU signed with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in the presence of hon. CM Chandrababu Naidu, hon. IT Minister Nara Lokesh, and Sri JA Chowdhary, IT Advisor to the CM. Objective is to launch a soft landing program to help startups in India, HK and the Greater Bay Area to scale into the the others. WHub also launched WHub.io/India, to also help attract Talent to opportunities in the other ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about the local startup scene?
WHub’s Startup Ecosystem Toolbox examines insights and trends of Hong Kong’s startup scene, best of all, it’s FREE! Download here: www.whub.io/s/toolbox2018.
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