September 1, 2014

Philippines the Tech Tiger?

I found an article from BBC with commentary on whether the Philippines can become Asia's "next tech tiger". It's dated May 30 so it's been some time since it was written and I'm surprised that such a positive article did not get more exposure on social media. We all know how we love to share news and commentary (whether positive or negative for that matter) written by foreign news outlets.

Link here to the original article from BBC

It's a shame that not more people are aware of the developing tech start-up scene in the Philippines. I myself only had my eyes open when I attended a IE Business School Masterclass held in Manila a few weeks back. The speaker, Liz Fleming, who is the associate director of the IE Venture Lab, spoke positively about how she was surprised to find a healthy start-up scene in Manila.

In relation to this, I heard the news that Xurpas, an independent mobile content provider, is hoping to raise Php1.44 billion via an IPO next month. It's the first time I'm hearing about the company but its definitely welcome news to me.

I hope that more people and the media talk about this emerging segment as I know that there are many talented Filipino programmers overseas working for some of the largest and best tech companies. With all that talent, we need more home grown tech companies so that we can provide more opportunities for growth locally. 

I personally think that developing the local tech industry will be a more sustainable model of growth, rather than training and educating programmers for export to other countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Just relying on remittances is never going to be a sustainable method of growth or development and I hope that this is something that our policy makers realize sooner rather than later.

You can read more about the Xurpas IPO here.