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Entrepreneurial Rise in South-East Asia examines the start-up scene environments in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.





Chapter 1. Entrepreneurial Rise and Technological Innovation in Southeast Asia

Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing debate about the role of entrepreneurship in regional development and competitiveness. Innovation and entrepreneurship have become core concepts in the strategic planning of organizations as means of achieving long-term growth and competitive advantages. Entrepreneurial initiatives may lead to investments with a high growth potential, compelling strategic change, increasing firms’ profits, and conducing to the adaptation of the corporate strategy. The benefits of entrepreneurial innovations are synchronously financial and strategic, meaning they enhance the operations of a firm, improve its competitive positioning, and maximize its financial return, which is affiliated to the risk connected to the investment.

Stavros Sindakis

Regional Innovative Capacity and New Business Creation


Chapter 2. Innovation Strategies of New Product Development (NPD): Case of Thai Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Several studies highlight the importance of new product development projects to the survival, growth, and sustainability of firms (Birou and Fawcett 1994, Brown and Eisenhardt 1995, Herrmann et al. 2007, Koufteros et al. 2005, Maidique and Zirger 1984, Mu et al. 2009, Rogers 2010, Zhao 2001) and emphasize the need for innovative methodologies for tackling the current high rate of new product development project failures, with the latter being a major challenge for both business practitioners and academics. This study ventures into theorizing of innovation strategy alignment with various stages of new product development process, and aims to raise awareness and understanding about the adoption of innovation strategies in the practice of new product development.

Preecha Chaochotechuang, Farhad Daneshgar, Stavros Sindakis

Chapter 3. Entrepreneurship in Singapore: Growth and Challenges

In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive and concise summary of recent entrepreneurial activities and attitudes in Singapore based on the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Singapore report (Chernyshenko et al. 2013). The 2012 GEM Singapore report included various key indicators of entrepreneurial activities and attitudes in Singapore in the prior year. Whenever available, we compare this recent survey with the 2011 and 2004–2006 surveys (Singapore did not participate in GEM survey between 2007 and 2010). Independent of the stage of economic development, entrepreneurship plays a significant role for the expansion, job creation, and overall economic health within a country (Shane 2008). Knowing the entrepreneurial aspirations of country’s residents is particularly relevant in Singapore’s innovation-driven economy given that the country’s prosperity depends largely on the economic activities of its citizens. This chapter on Singapore’s achievements and the challenges in promoting and understanding entrepreneurship may also provide some guidance and caution to other countries in the region and beyond.

David Gomulya, Olexander Chernyshenko, Marilyn Ang Uy, Wong Lun Kai Francis, Ringo Ho Moon-Ho, Chan Kim Yin, He Lu Calvin Ong

Wealth Creation and Entrepreneurial Financing in Southeast Asia


Chapter 4. Entrepreneurial Financing of the Asian Emerging Countries

Southeast Asia is one of the most successful regional economies of the world. Given the growing importance of the emerging economies in Asia, this study reviews entrepreneurship and innovation financing in the emerging countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Table 4.1 provides an overview of some Asian emerging economies. Overall, Singapore and Taiwan have more impressive economic growth in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, world competitiveness ranking (by IMD Business School), and Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) ranking than Malaysia and Thailand.

Jarunee Wonglimpiyarat

Chapter 5. Financing Technology Ventures—Building an Angel Community

In the investment community, angels refer to individuals who are not related to the entrepreneur, and who are investing their own money in private ventures—the common practices were among some of the oldest private funding commercial activities by humans, with records dating back to the golden age of Greece (Benjamin and Margulis 2005). Practices of an angel in the twenty-first century include providing the capital for start-ups, in exchange for ownership equity. While angels are generally high-net-worth individuals, most angels are successful entrepreneurs or senior retired executives. The normal size of an angel investment ranges from USD10,000 to USD250,000 per venture. A majority of angels tend to invest in the equity of start-ups or early-stage technology ventures with significant growth potential. Many active angels concentrate on the industries they understand or have direct experience in. They often provide mentorship and social network to young entrepreneurs of the ventures they have invested in.

Wilton Chau

Human Capital and Organizational Aspects of Innovation


Chapter 6. Entrepreneurship and the Human Capital of Organizational Innovation: The Intrapreneur

Whilst Vora et al. (2012) suggest that studies of entrepreneurship have been prolific since their origins in the 1930s, it is not until relatively recently in academic and business literature that we find the expression intrapreneur documented. Two names are commonly linked to its first usage: Gifford Pinchot III and Norman Macrae. The term was credited to Pinchot by Macrae in 1982. Bouchard and Basso (2011), Franco and Haase (2009), and Kneale (2011), among other authors also attribute Pinchot as the primary source of intrapreneurship to describe entrepreneurship inside the corporation, and that intrapreneurs will act as champions for new ideas progressing from inception to actuality. The infamous quote found in most references to Pinchot’s writings is that “intrapreneurs are dreamers who do” Cottam (1989: 522). Pinchot (1985) explains, “The intrapreneur may be the creator or inventor but it is always the dreamer who figures out how to turn and idea into a profitable reality” (p ix). Other widely used terms are internal entrepreneur, administrative entrepreneur (Gundogdu 2012: 298), intra-corporate entrepreneur (Antoncic and Hisrich 2004: 520), and corporate entrepreneur, the latter being attributed to the work of Drucker (1994). Kenney (2010) introduces an advanced term, globalpreneurship, to define the process of intrapreneurship in large multinational companies, introducing a further employee profile of globalpreneurs, capturing the specific challenges for intrapreneurship in corporate environments where stakeholder and stockholder requirements put considerable external pressures on operational performance metrics.

Sharn Orchard

Chapter 7. Intellectual Capital in Southeast Asia

Assessing the potential for innovation in firms, industries, and nations is a process with both a long history and numerous changes in emphasis. One of the most recent is attention to softer knowledge assets, referred to as intellectual capital within the field, a direction recognizing the value found in a wider range of intangibles within organizations. Flowing out of practitioner and scholarly interest in identifying these valuable intangible assets of the firm, both academics and government bodies have now moved on to scrutiny of national environments engendering growth in intellectual capital.

G. Scott Erickson

Chapter 8. An Entrepreneurial Approach to Human Resource Management in the Public Sector: Perspectives from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand

Outsourcing, or offshoring, is part of the neoliberal agenda for the public sector (Burgess and MacDonald 1999). It refers to the act of delegating or transferring some or all of the decision-making rights, business processes, internal activities, and services of an organization to an external provider that then develops, manages, and administers these activities in conformity with agreed-upon deliverables, performance standards, and outputs set out in a contract (Bensghir and Tekneci 2008). For this reason, the essence of outsourcing is captured in the contractual agreements that transfer the responsibility of delivering public services from the public sector as a principal or purchaser to the private sector as an agent or provider. The provider, for a negotiated price, delivers designated services that meet predetermined levels and performance criteria set by the purchaser. A large number of studies attempt to identify the drivers of outsourcing from both theoretical and practical perspectives through case studies and surveys. The core factors that motivate organizations in all industries to outsource can be chiefly categorized as economic, strategic, and environmental (Lau and Zhang 2006). In economic terms, outsourcing aligns with traditional private sector objectives such as more intense competition, enhanced productivity, lower operating costs, and accelerated business process reengineering.

Lina Vyas

Chapter 9. Current Practices, and Perceived Innovation Enablers and Barriers: The Role of Workers’ Competences. An Exploratory Field Study in a Knowledge-Intensive Firm in Thailand

Many scholars have stressed in the literature that the pressure to commercialize breakthrough innovation nowadays is a major challenge for a number of mature industrial companies (e.g., Farrington et al. 2011, O’Connor et al. 2001, Rice et al. 2002). Although globalization propels intensive competition between firms, they, nevertheless, invest in decentralized infrastructures and processes in order to take advantage of the economies of scale, and gain from the cultural diversification, resulting in the advancement of innovation and growth. Consequently, the amount and frequency of shared information and resources within and between companies have dramatically increased, while innovative companies benefit from this emphasis on information exchange between actors (Leiponen 2005). Over the last decade, academic literature has steadily underlined the role of dynamic capabilities in sustaining firms’ innovation performance. Recent contributions have taken into account the knowledge-based view of the firm, conceiving the dynamic capabilities as “a series of processes handling knowledge resources and aiming at addressing dynamic environments” (Zheng et al. 2011: 1048).

Audrey Depeige, Stavros Sindakis

The Role of Knowledge and Innovation in Regional Development


Chapter 10. Role of Business Plan Competitions in Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Southeast Asian Region

It is irrefutable that both entrepreneurship and innovation serve as catalysts and have omnipotent roles in contributing economic and social value to the global economy. Although both contributory agents share the similarity of creating new ideas, there is an apparent difference between entrepreneurship and innovation. Delia Smith of Greenfield Ventures encapsulates the difference as follows: “If innovation is the creation of new capacities for wealth creation, entrepreneurship is the exploitation of these capacities” (Thomas 2014). In terms of economic value, the results of the research done by van Praag and Versloot (2008) testify that entrepreneurs not only engender relatively much employment creation and productivity growth but also produce and commercialize high-quality innovations. Moreover, entrepreneurial firms generate significant spillovers that endorse regional employment growth rates of all companies in the region in the long run. Korsgaard and Anderson (2011) exhibit how social value is created in multiple forms from individual self-realization over community development to broad societal impact. As regards innovation, President Gerard “Gus” H. Gaynor of IEEE Technology Management Council (2009) asserts that academia, government, and industry struggle to various degrees to translate ideas into innovations that provide for economic growth and offer some social benefits.

Adith Cheosakul

Chapter 11. Digital Growth in the ASEAN Educational Community to Further Innovation and Scholarship: an Analysis of the Future of Knowledge Acquisition

The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint (2009) published in Jakarta, Indonesia, states in Article 4 that the strategic objective of ASEAN is promoting information and communication technology (ICT). The blueprint is to implement a human resource development program, which will facilitate the implementation of regional ICT initiatives. Among those initiatives mentioned, three are relevant to this chapter: 1) encourage the introduction of ICT at all levels of education, 2) initiate the early use of ICT at the primary school level, and 3) enhance the use of ICT to promote e-learning. What is not mentioned in Article 4 is how to go about implementing these initiatives, and what kind of instructions would be necessary to ensure these initiatives would be successful. Granted this is a difficult undertaking given the fact there are ten nations comprising the ASEAN community and all nations have different cultural backgrounds, the goal of this chapter, therefore, is to provide a few guidelines on how to go about understanding what some of the areas of concerns are, and how they should be looked at when overseeing those initiatives that will be impacted by the growth of knowledge and technology in the ASEAN community as we move further into the twenty-first century.

Willard G. Van De Bogart

Chapter 12. Evolving from the Triple Helix: The Innovation Models of Hong Kong’s Applied Research Institute

Since the return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong has attempted to define and shape her unique role in the larger context. Prior to 1997, Hong Kong enjoyed a prestigious status along with Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. Named the four little dragons in Asia, they were noted for their high growth rate and rapid industrialization in the period of 1960s to 1990s (Vogel 1991). In the early twenty-first century, global attention has, at least partly, shifted to other Asian economies that have experienced high growth and transformation. Hong Kong, on the other hand, has had to reposition itself from a 150-year-old British colony to a special administrative region of China (Mathews et al. 2007). Not only her people need to relearn to live with a new identity, but the city herself needs to find a unique role with China under the “one country, two systems” principle.

Irene Y. H. Fan

Innovation and Environmental Sustainability in Asia: Today’s Challenges Fuel Future Business Growth


Chapter 13. Environmental Threats and its Effects on the Innovation Landscape in Thailand: Toward a Quintuple Helix?

Several “helices multiple models” have been proposed for analyzing and to a certain extent for predicting innovation pattern in the twenty-first century. While the basic triple helix stresses the university-industry-government relation, the quadruple model embeds a technological-savvy civil society in this equation. However, other important factors have emerged to be especially sensitive in affecting—positively and adversely—societal conditions for innovation, and environment is certainly a key one. Both doctrine (Carayannis et al. 2012) and institutions have been discussing, directly or indirectly, about a quintuple helix, including ecology in its wider meaning. In the specific geographic and institutional framework of Southeast Asia, environmental conditions, and the unique challenges they present, constitute essential components to analyze and predict innovation forces. It is important to remember that environmental security has emerged as one of the most relevant non-traditional security issues in the region, and that migration, climate changes, and environmental hazards have always affected countries of this area in a measure even more significant than in other parts of the planet. It is not accidental that one of the first and most renowned centers of non-traditional security is hosted in Singapore—that is, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies—as a leading research center in the field for the last 15 years.

Stefania Paladini, Eleni Anoyrkati

Chapter 14. Environmental Protection and Pollution Management in China

It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that pollution problems are becoming more global in nature. That is, human activities in one region have a significant impact on the environmental quality many miles removed from that region (Sawyer et al. 1994). The quantity of some effluents has overcome the natural, self-cleansing powers of the atmosphere, waters, and earth and has exceeded the natural ‘digestive’ abilities.

Yiu Fai Tsang



Chapter 15. Reinforcing the Five Pillars of Innovation in Southeast Asia

This book set out to provide insights into Southeast Asia’s entrepreneurial rise and the influence of the quadruple helix on technology innovation, by exploring the topic from five different perspectives.

Christian Walter


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