Cross a road in Vietnam and a motorcycle will miss you by a hair’s breadth.
That’s not surprising to locals. Ho Chi Minh City alone has 7.43 million motorbikes for a population of 8 million.
Bikes are integral to Vietnamese people’s lives. Some riders even make money by balancing huge advertisements on their backs while scuttling around the city. And when bikes are lost, lives are disrupted since the country’s transport infrastructure is underdeveloped.
A Korean startup will be helping people locate their motorbikes with their phones. Smart city solutions provider DSPOne uses mobile technology to provide real-time location and operational information of motorcycles to consumers on Mobifone’s 2G network.
Helping DSPOne expand abroad is the Korea World IT Show in Seoul, which aims to connect Korean companies with other Asian firms to solve local problems. During the show, DSPOne signed an agreement with Vietnam’s second largest telecom company Mobifone to provide the motorcycle tracking solution, called E-Moto.
The show was jointly organized with the Korean government agency KAIT (Korea Association for ICT Promotion).
Solving a real problem
“Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest motorcycle country. Motorbikes are a critical means of transportation and an important property. Countrywide, one motorcycle is stolen every five minutes,” says Jongbae Francisco Kim, vice president of DSPOne.
Motorcycle penetration rates are over 80 percent in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
After field testing for nearly a year, DSPOne was able to sign the two-year deal worth US$5 million.
DSPOne won’t just stop at motorbikes. Their experience in providing smart city solutions for Jeju Island in Korea has helped them clinch deals with the Malaysian government to build the Korea-Malaysia Smart Technology Park Malaysia (TPM). There are many islands across Southeast Asia and an increasing need for comprehensive connectivity solutions.
KAIT’s strong network with major telecommunications companies across East Asia played a critical role in introducing DSPOne to major telecom players in the region.
Now, DSPOne expects annual sales to double to US$35 million thanks to overseas sales.
Secrets to success
Korean companies have deep technology expertise, thanks to large research and development budgets from the government. Moreover, they are likely to have worked with large telecom companies such as SK Telecom and KT Corporation.
The Korean firm DSPOne closed tech deals across Southeast Asia through the Global ICT Partnership Program in the Korea World IT Show in 2016. This year, the Korea World IT Show sees its tenth edition. You can apply as an exhibitor or a visitor.
In the program, companies from different countries are matched after identifying partnership opportunities. Consultation and a one-on-one meeting are part of the process.
DSPOne exhibited at the Korea World IT Show to meet new partners and demonstrate their technology through actual case studies.
“The one-on-one meeting opportunities with potential buyers through Global ICT Partnership program attracted us. A large number of major telecom companies and partners in their ecosystem from Southeast Asia is a big draw as well,” says Kim.
Another startup, Korea-based hardware and software designer CobaltRay, closed a deal with Malaysia-based Acasia worth about US$10 million a year to distribute their smart point-of-sale and retail signage solution.
It plans to use this deal as a stepping stone into countries like Malaysia and neighboring Singapore. Allen Cho, CobaltRay’s CEO, thinks startups should first establish a detailed regional partnership management plan and create a local strategy for Korean solutions like theirs.
“Every overseas project succeeds by customization and modification for the market and its demands. Korean IT solutions can be customized quickly and with stable quality,” Cho says.
The World IT Show sees its tenth edition this year. It is the largest ICT exhibition show in Korea. It takes place May 24 – 27 (Wed – Sat), at Coex Hall A, B, and C, in Seoul, Korea. Key features in the IT show will be artificial intelligence, internet of things, smart cars, VR/AR, and big data. You can apply as an exhibitor or a visitor.
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