Saving the hassle
The company hopes to attract established Asian companies that already see the benefits of outsourcing but are wary about building an e-commerce site from scratch.
"By tapping into the expertise of e-commerce service providers, Asian companies can bypass a great deal of expense and time and reach the global marketplace more quickly," he said. Lim cites early customer Turoturo.com, an online store for handicraft and goods manufactured in the Philippines, that the Escalate.com team had up and running within four weeks.
Lim believes the key asset for Asia to leverage on in an Internet-driven world would be its existing manufacturing capability and natural resources. "Asia offers some of the best consumer products in the world in electronics, appliances, footware, toys and many others. The region has many other natural resources, and an enormous manufacturing capacity, which has already contributed significantly to the B2B phenomenon. At the same time, Asia has a vast pool of cultural and art products that will contribute strongly to the e-commerce market globally," he said.
In countries where the take-up rate of e-commerce has been slow, Lim believes that eventually every country may need to embrace the Internet to succeed in a globalized economy. "The digital divide is very real. Those who are learning how to work in and create e-businesses will have the upper hand in the marketplace. It will take a huge amount of effort and commitment for some countries to catch up. My fervent hope is that the divide will eventually dissipate. On the positive side, we are already seeing changes in countries such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia," he said.