It cannot be denied that in the digital era, Startup businesses are a strong trend in Thailand. Recently, both state agencies and private companies have provided support to promote new small digital operators, to give them inspiration and opportunities to build their startup businesses further than before.
Likewise, AIS is highlighting its leadership in technology and innovation to support an Ecosystem to develop startups on an ongoing basis via AIS The StartUp, a division focussed on enhancing the potential of and providing support for Thai startups to be resilient, so they can grow and develop to the international level.
Dr. Srihathai Prammanee, AIS The StartUp Program Manager said that the core mission of AIS The StartUp was to connect two business worlds to drive the Thai economy. The first world is small companies, and particularly Digital Startups and Tech SMEs. The second world is large enterprises such as AIS and other partners, making connections to create new business alignment and launch it to market.
As a result of these continuous operations, AIS The StartUp won The Corporate Connector award from Makers United 2023. Today we are talking about the reasons why AIS is the only one corporate in Thailand who won this rewards
Makers United 2023: The biggest event of the year bringing startups together
On 23 May, 2023, the Thai Startup Association hosted Makers United 2023, the biggest Startup event of the year, on the occasion of celebrating the Association’s 9th anniversary.
Dr.Srihathai Prammanee explained that the Thai Startup Association was an organization of entrepreneurs creating innovations and technology to drive the economy and deliver various services.
“The Association has been driving this in Thailand for over nine years now. Recently, groups of operators have been introducing various new technologies to Thailand, and there is a real user interest. Each company, such as iTax and ZipEvent, has a user base over 1 million. Thailand is not just a user of technology but is also has the group of people we call Makers.”
Also, at Makers United 2023, the Association hosted award presentation ceremonies for the first time, to recognize organizations who have been involved in driving Makers in Thailand. The One Million Club Is an award presented to Thai startups with more than 1 million users, while Friends of Makers Awards have been presented in 10 categories to partners who have been helping to power the Thai startup ecosystem.
AIS The StartUp and The Corporate Connector Award
AIS The StartUp is the only private corporate in Thailand who have been selected for The Corporate Connector Award, alongside the Stock Exchange of Thailand. A company winning this award must be a Connector between entrepreneurs and large enterprises and demonstrate clear performance. Judging is not just a matter of entering the contest, but the company’s name must be proposed by a panel of Association members and qualified experts.
“The judging panel proposes a name and makes their decision from a clear performance, rather than just documentation. The judging criteria are that this performance must have created value for the entrepreneurs, so the deciding factor is the direct benefit to the operators.”
6 strengths earning the award for AIS The StartUp
Asking about the factors enabling AIS The StartUp to be the only one corporate to win this award, the AIS The StartUp Manager gave the following 6 reasons to emphasize for leadership:
- Long-term and ongoing support for startups
AIS was the first company in Thailand to organize a program specifically for startups since 2011, which it has conducted to the present, governed by clear operational plans, both short-term and long-term. AIS has thus been able to systematically update its processes in line with Makers’ growth.
- Clear strategic plan to expand Partnerships and Business Models
The one essential for entrepreneurs to work with large enterprises is a strategic plan to expand Partnerships and Business Models between the startup and the large company, and AIS The StartUp has clear strategic plans to work with startups.
AIS ’philosophy on working with startups is to create business partnerships that align with assessments of Business Impacts from each collaboration. These are divided into three impacts which are Revenue Impact, Productivity Impact, and Customer Experience Impact.
- Operational results and performance coming from the partnership collaboration for Digital Startup and SMEs are outstanding and obvious.
Even more important than setting the plan, is that the plan is used and really works in the eyes of society. It is the same for entrepreneur who collaborating with AIS, who genuinely benefit from the collaboration with real customers. There is genuine joint marketing. For instance, FlowAccount, an online accounting program, has now partnered with AIS for a period of 6-7 years. The partnership with AIS has enabled them to study the market and learn how to work more systematically.
“A smart startup can create a service that is compelling for customers. The expertise of AIS is working systematically. Adding these together, we can build a Digital Service and bring it to customers in a much quicker time and with a better system. AIS is also currently working with over 200 startups. The results clearly demonstrate that we don’t just have a plan, we are producing tangible performance.”
- Teams are given real Assignments and real KPIs
At AIS, executing a strategic plan is not the work of one person or even one department. It is the result of a resilient internal structure that is conducive to working internally. The problem for entrepreneurs when they work with large enterprises, is that they cannot go through other departments to use their resources.
Meanwhile, AIS has an internal structure that is connected. We know how to make a connection with each department. We also have processes to monitor, processes of internal synchronization, and setting clear Common Objectives internally. Therefore, for any job being worked on in different departments, the common objective is the same for everybody, and clear KPIs are set for each phase of the operation, enabling performance.
- Developing the capabilities of Startup Founders in line with their growth
What AIS The StartUp has done throughout every year, is to develop the capabilities of our partners. This includes IT capabilities, management mindset, doing business, marketing or anything else. Once an entrepreneur has developed themselves, this leads to their capabilities in developing products, thereby increasing the potential of the whole organization to deliver better services to their customers.
- Start Locally, Grow Globally = Upgrading to the international stage
Another key mission of AIS The StartUp Is to support the upgrade of startups on the international stage by joining two programs of Singtel Group:
– Singtel Group Future Maker, for startups on programs concerned with sustainable business operations, according to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal no. 17.
– Singtel Innov8, for Singtel Group investors, which is used for investment in Tech Companies and startups worldwide.
These are the six key reasons why AIS The StartUp is different from other organizations with programs in the startup space, which led to AIS The StartUp being selected to receive The Corporate Connector Award at Makers United 2023.
Awards with Global guarantees
This is not the first award to underline the leadership of AIS The Startup. Going back to 2018, AIS The Startup received an award at the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2018’ in the category of The Best Accelerator and Incubator Program in ASEAN, as well as the People’s Choice Award, decided by voting from throughout ASEAN.
In 2019, AIS The StartUp represented all ten countries of ASEAN In competition with representatives from other regions and continents by proudly winning the Global Startup Award (GSA) as The Best Accelerator and Incubator Program.
“We have full confidence in our Partnership for Inclusive Growth. We cannot grow alone, but we bring the entrepreneurs collaborating with AIS, and the users of our digital services to grow with us. The use of these services also drives the country to grow, so the beneficiaries are not just AIS or startup operators,” concluded the AIS StartUp Program Manager.