As Asia catches up with the Internet Age spawned by the West, cultural similarities are beginning to take shape. An upcoming trait includes the appearance of young CEOs and new ways to do business.
by Samuel Quek
SINGAPORE, 5th June 2000 - One of those young technoprenuers, is 25-year-old Quek Mei Hsien, CEO of plasticscommerce.com, a B2B portal for the international plastics industry.
Plasticscommerce.com has been online since September 1999, and already has over 10 offices worldwide, including London, California, Melbourne, Guangzhou, and Taipei.
"I knew that there was this niche, and that if I didn't do it now, somebody else would beat me to it."
- Quek Mei Hsien
They also have 10 sales offices in India alone, where they recently embarked on a joint venture with Satyam Infoway, India's second-largest portal.
Just about 9 months old, the company provides services like 'virtual offices' for clients, comprising of a web presence that enables the client to be contacted - even if they don't have Internet access. Plasticscommerce.com provides email-to-fax service for non-connected clients as well, notifying them of any correspondence coming in through the virtual office.
Quek, a graduate from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Mass Communications, joined Ernst & Young to do management consulting shortly after her studies.
She never thought she would leave E&Y so early, she says, but saw that there was a need in the market for such a service.
"I had a bit of experience in the plastics industry," she says, "I knew that there was this niche, and that if I didn't do it now, somebody else would beat me to it."
"There are existing competitors right now, who have set up plastics B2B portals, but most of them focus on a local or regional market - no ones focuses on an international market."