PWC's Accelerator programme, launched last week, will help mid-stage high growth technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies as they expand rapidly into the region.
Speaking to BizIT, Greg Unsworth, who is PwC's partner and Singapore TMT Leader, noted that the Accelerator programme targets both local companies as well as foreign entities looking to enter Asia by leveraging on the excellent infrastructure and strong support that Singapore offers as a gateway to many neighbouring countries.
He said that PwC's TMT industry team is dedicated to delivering effective solutions to the complex business challenges facing companies at the forefront of digital change.
"PwC's global network and expert advice in the TMT industry provide further support that will add to the success rate of the company's expansion," he said.
On what type of companies qualify for this programme, the PwC official said there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to selecting or identifying these high growth companies. Typically, the companies will have to have a proven business model and sales traction already. Other important factors to consider are the uniqueness of the product or service that the company has to offer and the quality of the management team, he said.
Last week's launch brought together potential investors including venture capitalist firms, as well as private and corporate investors, along with high-growth companies that are looking for funding and business partners to help them maximise opportunities.
"As new digital technologies change the way we work, play and communicate, we are seeing new innovation and new emerging business models like never before. The TMT sectors find themselves at the centre of these changes and Asia is increasingly seen as the driver of growth globally for organisations.
"We are seeing many high growth companies with tremendous potential and PwC's Accelerator Programme will help these high-potential companies accelerate their development and tap into Singapore's ideal location to rapidly expand into markets in the Asia-Pacific region," Mr Unsworth said.
Investing and expanding in a new and growing market is not always easy, he said, adding: "Once companies are ready to look at the potential in Asia, there are still many challenges to building a successful and sustainable presence in the market. This often involves establishing an effective base and structure for growth, sourcing funding and valuable business partners and establishing an effective business model and operations to support growth."
Singapore is well-positioned geographically to allow TMT companies to tap into the emerging Asian markets. Singapore's neighbours such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia are all emerging and sizable markets which are easily accessible from Singapore, he said.
"In addition, our excellent infrastructure, pro-business environment, technologically savvy customer base and strong support from the government are all attractive factors to overseas TMT companies looking to expand into Asia. As the gateway to Asia, Singapore stands to benefit significantly through these high-growth companies establishing a base in Singapore for expansion."
But he added that although Singapore has solid infrastructure to support the growth of TMT industries, it needs to ensure that the country remains innovative and stays ahead of digital and technology trends.
"At the same time, if it continues to develop infrastructure, further incentivise the development of new technologies and support creativity, Singapore can position itself as the gateway to the growing Asian market. If we look at the size and scale of the Asian market in aggregate Singapore can be what Silicon Valley is in the US," he said.
Talking about his company's role in helping TMT companies under this programme, Mr Unsworth noted that as a leading professional services firm, PwC will act as a trusted business adviser to these companies and help them accelerate through business growth.
"With a track record of working with the leading emerging and mature companies, PwC has extensive experience helping companies on industry specific strategic, operational and financial issues. PwC also has access to over 160 countries in our global network, which further helps both local and overseas companies looking to expand from 'local' to 'global'," he observed.
Mr Unsworth noted that PwC recognises the importance of this high growth sector and is keen to play a role supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. "Our role is to connect promising high-growth companies with established investors and business partners. For PwC this is about forging long-term relationships and acting as a trusted business adviser."
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