Unicorns are a tad special, in that, alongside a good business strategy, they have the position, product, and right skills for a massive expansion, which could potentially bring in billions upon billions in revenue. And that comes more big backing and further growth curves. These businesses are stuck in what is called a “growth loop”. They keep growing, somewhat impervious to legal, financial, and political changes.
The benefit of this, especially to a locality that houses a unicorn, is obviously the boom in job opportunities. Growing companies need people, and that’s enough said. And since most unicorns are tech-related, it’s a magnet for complementary businesses to also set up shop within the vicinity. Aligning governmental ideals and visions are also an attractant for these stellar-performance companies, naturally speeding up the country’s journey to reach it.
The Main Panel for the Event. Source : gevme.com
This was seconded by VNLIFE’s De Silva, stating that their company has a local presence for its RND and Engineering division, citing quality talent and skill as the main driver of the decision. Vietnam’s largest digital payment and cashless network provider also spoke of the presence of other symbiotic companies based in Singapore, making it the obvious strategic choice for most unicorns in the region and out. With plans to offer their services across Southeast Asia (SEA), De Silva marks Singapore as a key unit of their growth, once they complete their plans to establish a local regional headquarters.
Strategies from the Unicorn’s pocket
The Unicorns’ Strategic Planning Structure Leave Them Members of the “Growth Loop”. Source : pixabay.com
They’ve also led themselves into a locally-backed partnership with UK banking giant, Standard Chartered. The digital-banking-focused unit will be headquartered in Singapore and is tasked with investigating ways to scale larger, more cost-effectively. Their main reason for this is the local policies that embrace the Fintech-friendly economy, outlined by the Singaporean government.
From startup to a billion-dollar valuation
These High-Functioning Startups Reach the $ 1b Valuation Without Stock Market Help. Source : istockphoto.com
Another factor in common is their need for a multi-skilled workforce. This was described by Song as a challenge of compatibility, rather than one of knowledge and experience. He quipped that a team, made up of suitable people, who knew the industry, market, and its funders were more valuable than a team made up of people with just on-paper credentials.
Song, Sharing Linklogis’ Journey to Being a Unicorn. Source : gevme.com
Management tools and decision-making were also talked about. Song decided that a proper strategy and a set of working tools were crucial to a unicorn’s well-being. Linklogis employs a simple 4-point process known as STAR – strategy, team & talent, actions, review. AIG’s Chen added that alongside tools, a good balance between centralized and decentralized decision-making is necessary, especially when one wants to expand to markets across regions and cultures.
The winning culture formula
The Key Is to Formulate a Culture that Fits a Diverse Team. Source : unsplash.com
The company also takes an outsider’s view on its operations and structuring, as well as business positioning. This allows a proper, unbiased assessment to be done, thus identifying fault lines and inefficiencies throughout the firm. In line with the decentralization of decision-making, AIG finds that empowering people to take key decisions at divisional and group levels is beneficial for a company’s growth, especially one that branches out across people, cultures, and societal norms.
Chen, Speaking About the AIG Culture. Source : gevme.com
Linklogis also stands by the idea of leadership by example, adding to it the factor of communication. Song stressed the importance of ideas, vision, and goals to be shared via a two-way communication channel. Letting the team know what needs to be done and receiving their feedback not only ensures that everything gets done right the first time, but lets your people know that they are heard and valued. It also invites innovation and creativity, whereby people within the firms’ ecosystem begin looking for unusual and unique ideas to achieve the vision and goals set at the top.
Solving Problems – the Unicorn way
How Do Unicorns Solve Problems? Source : unsplash.com
The magical future of Singapore – SEA’s regional Unicorn arboretum
Can the Merlion Nation Handle the Heat? Source : unsplash.com
De Silva comes in with a message on understanding the customer as well as investing in relationships with strategic partners. He encourages building connections from early on, even when they seem to be less beneficial during the active growth spurt of every startup. Understanding the customer was also another counsel of De Silva, supported by Song.
Chen closes the panel discussion with pointers on focusing on the details, especially in customer-facing processes. He also says that it helps when startup companies work from their goal backward, and not be afraid of change, creative movements and continuous innovations – be it processes, operations, product, or organizational structure.
De Silva, Sharing Some Insights with Budding Startups. Source : gevme.com