Week in Review: Of work, pace and positioning in the co-working space

  • A co-working merger in Indonesia positions for growth or acquisition
  • Catcha Group shares its 8 predictions for the Southeast Asia tech scene

THERE is an accepted belief that work slows down on the eve of major public holidays. And while that seems to be the case in the last two weeks of the year, not just because of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, but because executives, especially senior management, take leave to spend focused time with family and loves ones, in a multiracial country like Malaysia, where DNA is based, you also get two other major festive seasons which are the Chinese New Year, which was on Feb 16 & 17 and the Hari Raya Puasa, which this year, will be in June.

Does the pace at work slow on the eve of these celebrations? Of course it does, as those who celebrate it look forward to a short break. But what rubs me the wrong way is when even those who don’t celebrate these festivities end up using them as an excuse for their slowing down as well.

But I know this doesn’t apply to DNA readers who are all high performers who don’t use soft excuses to slow down their pace of productivity. And just looking at the news that happens in the tech ecosystem, I know that’s not true for you digital warriors. There’s users to be acquired and market share to be gained, more so if others allow themselves to slow down.

And speaking of work and pace, in Indonesia, we reported on the merger of two co-working space startups as the founders saw the value of working together to quicken their pace of market rollout. And frankly, their merger makes it more likely that if a global player such as WeWork expands into Southeast Asia, very likely with Softbank as its investor as well, it will seriously look at an acquisition to quicken its market entry. Here, the combined Go-Rework entity puts them at the head of the pack in Indonesia.

I wonder how Patrick Grove is positioning for this eventuality? He too has a stake in this co-working space through his Common Ground. It opened in March 2017 in KL with the then largest co-working space in the country (I am not sure if it still is the single largest co-working space now) and with the ambition of opening more centres. The key to success one of its founders, Erman Akinci shared with DNA then was about offering community and lifestyle to the market and this was a factor of scale as well.

There are already in five locations in the Klang Valley since that March opening and their website shows them planning to launch in four more countries in Southeast Asia soon. Talk about pace of execution!

And speaking of Grove, his Catcha Group produced their first study of the Southeast Asian tech scene and you can read about the eight predictions that they are making for the region over the next 24-months. That is definitely worth a read.

Another good read is Grab’s Open Traffic initiative in Kuala Lumpur in partnership with the World Bank and Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation. DNA co-founder and contributing editor Edwin Yapp had an interesting conversation with Ditesh Gathani, Head of engineering for Grab. My question for our Malaysian and Phillipine (it started the Open Traffic initiative there twp and a half years ago) readers is this – has traffic in your cites of Manila and Kuala Lumpur shown any improvement since the initiative kicked off?

With that, I leave you get back to work with my apologies for this late edition of the Week In Review, which should have gone out last night. Anyway, do have a productive week ahead and here’s wishing a most prosperous Gong Xi Fatt Choy to all readers!


Editor’s Pick:

GoWork and Rework merge to become Go-Rework

BookDoc focuses on strategic partnerships for growth

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8+ gets top marks

Machine learning drives Grab's Open Traffic initiative

Putting the fun back into maths with Zapzapmath

Catcha Group's 8 predictions for the SEA tech scene over the next 24 months

EasyParcel guns for more growth in the region

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