by Samuel Quek
Internet services company Organic Inc., whose list of clients have included Barnes & Nobles, Lucent Technologies, Compaq, CDNow and Textbooks.com, launches its regional office in Singapore today
Singapore, 11 April 2000 - A full-service solutions provider, Organic began operations in Singapore in the third quarter of 1999, and has already signed on clients such as DBSLand, Times Publishing in Singapore, and TOM.com in Hong Kong.
Organic's charter is to develop an end-to-end solution for tom.com's english site, and will also assist in launching the english version of the portal in the US.
At the launch of Organic's Asia Pacific regional office was BG (NS) George Yeo, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, and Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Organic.
"Singapore is an ideal base for our regional operations," said Nelson, who has been recognized by USA Today and The New York Times for his innovative thinking.
"Its excellent physical infrastructure, strong governmental support, and the fact that it is the region's Internet, business and logistics hub makes it a perfect springboard for Organic to expand its operations in Asia," he added.
"We're trying to raise the bar here," said Russel Cheng, vice-president and managing director of the Singapore office, "to move the standard of e-business to a higher level."
Said Nelson: "At Organic, we believe that it's actually consumer-to-business (C2B) - the Internet has shifted the balance of power over to the consumer."
"The Internet is going to be so pervasive that it's going to fade into the background and become transparent," he added.
Said BG Yeo: "For Singapore to become an e-commerce hub, we need the strong presence of i-Builders here to serve companies in Singapore and the region."
"To encourage more Singapore businesses to move into e-commerce, [the] EDB (Economic Development Board) is enhancing its Total Business Planning (TBP) incentive scheme to include e-commerce business strategy consulting. Under this enhanced TBP scheme, EDB will co-share 50% of a local company's cost in engaging consultants for e-business," he added.
The EDB was instrumental in Organic's decision to set up a regional office here in Singapore, said Nelson.
Citing the assistance of the EDB - as well as the quality of the workforce and the educational system - as reasons to set up here, Nelson also noted other attractive factors such as the state of the financial industry and the public/private sector partnerships, and the trend toward broadband and wireless technologies.
"The value of going online far outweighs the cost of going online," said Nelson, adding that he would like to see broadband and wireless technologies roll out more quickly.
US-based Organic sees a vast opportunity in the C2B market and has set up shop in Singapore to share its expertise and extensive experience with companies in the region. Its aim is to raise the quality of online businesses here to the next level, so that companies will be able to attract the local online customer, and subsequently expand their businesses via the Net.
In Asia, the company is targeting a broad range of industries. But, for a start, it will focus specifically on industries that are information-rich, such as insurance, banking, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. It will also be targeting companies that have regional HQs in Singapore, as they intend to work with these companies in developing online businesses that will encompass the region.