This is our seventh annual project highlighting the generous and often innovative efforts of the Asia-Pacific region’s most notable givers. We feature biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who’s working to improve cancer care in India. And, below, we spotlight the 2013 crop of 48 leading philanthropists in the region. MORE
I contributed to this annual issue of Forbes Asia.
By Susan Cunningham
BANGKOK—Fueled by steady economic growth exceeding 6% annually, the rise of Indonesia’s middle class and its impact on the hotel landscape were prominent themes at Travel Trends’ No Vacancy conference in Bangkok last week.
Of the 248 million people in Indonesia, approximately 20%–50 million–now belong to the middle class, said Sonia Kapoor, client service director for Nielsen Singapore. Now compiling between $4 and $20 each day to save or spend on leisure activities, members of this group will comprise 50% of the population by 2030, she predicted.
The number of new hotels being built or in the pipeline is unknown. The breakdown of travelers also is hazy, but Scott Blume, group CEO of PT Raja Kumar International, provided an estimate: “At least 25% is probably business travel and the travelers are staying in the 3- to 3-and-a-half-star range hotels. That’s 400,000 to 500,000 rupiah, or about $40.” … MORE
Philanthropists from Southeast Asia–Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand–are building universities, developing youth basketball teams in remote communities and helping with flood relief. more
I was a contributor to this annual philanthropy issue of Forbes Asia.
As discount deal websites explode in the region, a Thai company shows how it’s done.
Deep-discount deal sites have been surging throughout the United States and Europe for almost three years, but they were late off the starting blocks in Southeast Asia – arriving only in mid 2010. Since then, they have moved and morphed, bought and sold themselves.
In June 2010, when Tom Srivorakul and his two younger brothers launched Ensogo, the first deal website in Thailand, they employed five people and had a single offer: a 60% discount at ice cream chain iBerry.
A year later, when Ensogo was bought for an undisclosed sum by LivingSocial–the second-largest US deal company with a monthly revenue of $50m as of the start of this year–the start-up had 430 employees, 17 city sites in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia and more than two million subscribers to its daily discount deal e-letter … MORE
Thailand’s Banpu digs for coal and generates power. And no one else in Asia is better at it.
Quiet but ambitious Thai coal miner Banpu made a splash in July when it reached a $1.8 billion deal to buy the 80% of Australian miner Centennial Coal it didn’t yet own. It seemed like a bolt from the blue, but Banpu, coming from a country with little coal of its own, has been steadily expanding overseas for 12 years. With shares of four mines in Indonesia and three in China, Banpu should soon have a stake in three of the world’s five largest ….more