What's Next 2016: SEA’s most valuable startup, Garena Interactive, joins What's Next

  • Nick Nash of Garena Interactive to talk about his digital native users
  • Nimal Manuel of McKinsey & Co, Yasmin Mahmood of MDEC part of steller lineup

WITH a March injection of US$170 million (RM690 million) in Series C funding led by Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s government investment fund, SingapWhat's Next 2016: SEA’s most valuable startup, Garena Interactive, joins What's Nextore-based Garena Interactive is now widely considered the most valuable internet company in South-East Asia. And I am happy to announce that its group president, Nick Nash (pic), will be one of the featured speakers at What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology. Nash will talk about “Life Going Digital - Why This Is No Drill, the Garena Experience."

Nash joins Vincent Tan, founder of Berjaya Corporation group of companies and others steller speakers in an exciting program DNA is putting together bringing brick and mortar (B&M), startups, venture capitalists and top consultants to talk about not just the impact of digital disruption on B&M companies but to also hear from B&M CEOs about how they are leading their companies through this mega trend.

Consumer facing B&M companies are especially vulnerable if they do not manage this transition well as not only will they face the possibility of losing their customers to faster adapting competitors who can offer services and products that meet the increasing digital expectations of customers, but they have to contend with hungry and well funded startups coming after their customers as well.

Nick’s session will offer What’s Next attendees a real time feel for how today’s digital natives are living their lives and prefer to be serviced by companies they interact with.
Nick’s experience in a startup is interesting as he joined Garena in 2014 after having been a private equity investor for over a decade with General Atlantic (GA) partners. He was was persuaded to sit on the other side of the investing equation and joined Garena, a company he was already well familiar with. It was the first deal that Nick worked on when he came to Singapore from the United States.

In an interview with the Asian Venture Capital Journal, Nash shared that the experience has changed him more than he could have imagined.

"One of the pieces of advice that I give to friends and former colleagues in private equity is that at some point in their career they absolutely must do what I've done, and spend at least 3-4 years in a senior leadership position in a high-growth company," says Nash. "It completely transforms your perspective as to how to invest, and more tactically what are the right questions to be asking when you're investing. So I wouldn't trade this experience for the world; the learning has been phenomenal."

From his vantage point in building platforms, Nick also has an enviable view of what could possibly work and it is by virtue of this experiene that he has joined What’s Next as one of our cornerstone speakers about why and how his 30 million customers have adapted to life going digital and what B&M companies need to understand about this.

Meanwhile, in an effort to understand and identify key traits, Yasmin Mahmood, Malaysian Digital Economy (MDEC) CEO will be part of a three person panel to talk what makes successful entrepreneurs tick. As an agency tasked with powering and driving Malaysia’s digital economy.
On the other hand, I am also equally excited to welcome Nimal Manuel, Principal Partner at McKinsey & Co who will share with us what makes the new {digital} consumer tick. Pulling from his own near 2-decade experience as a sought after managment consultant, Nimal will share with the audience how today’s consumer has changed – triggered mainly by rising smartphone adoption.

All three are morning sessions and lead up to Vincent Tan’s Keynote in the evening with me being the moderator for that keynote where I will be having a conversation with Tan around how he views digital impacting his many B&M businesses and how he sees them adapting and winning.

Do watch out tomorrow for my next  What’s Next article as I introduce a few more speakers, including a High Touch High Fashion leader in Asia with a fast growing high street fashion empire worth almost RM500 million (US$123 million) annually.

What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology will be held on July 28 from 9am to 5.30pm at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Contact [email protected] for information or visit the microsite here to get your tickets directly.
What’s Next is also proud to welcome Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as its Supporting Sponsor.
Stay tuned to Digital News Asia for more on the conference and its speakers in the coming days and weeks.

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