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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Society Pass, Magnite team up to develop retail media network in SEA

Singapore – Society Pass, through its digital advertising arm Thoughtful Media Group, has recently announced that it is teaming up with global independent omnichannel sell-side advertising platform Magnite to create a retail media network in Southeast Asia through delivering targeted content, messaging, and experiences to the region’s concentrated populations of online consumers and merchants.

The TMG Media Network offers brand advertisers exposure to consumers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, including the more than 3.3 million registered consumers on SoPa’s ecosystem. The network features premium inventory spanning its owned channels and the wider web, including display, mobile, video, social and digital out-of-home when fully deployed.

Meanwhile, Magnite enables programmatic activation and expands demand facilitation for TMG Media Network across its omnichannel inventory. Advertisers and publishers are then able to activate data from TMG Media Network through Magnite, unlocking new opportunities to reach audiences at scale across ad formats for brands.

Dennis Nguyen, chairman at Thoughtful Media Group, explains, “We are excited to launch the TMG Media Network, which provides advertisers access to influencer content creation, highly targeted 1st party e-commerce data, and social commerce opportunities at scale. As a leading retail marketing solution in SEA, the TMG Media Network incorporates a multi-faceted, data-driven approach to audience reach, engagement, and conversion, which provides for a more impactful brand and consumer experience.” 

He added, “And as data-driven social commerce becomes increasingly pervasive, TMG is well-positioned to power the region’s first media and advertising network with an end-to-end content, data, and supply solutions.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Buxton, managing director for Asia at Magnite, stated, “We are excited to work with one of Southeast Asia’s most innovative brands and platforms to drive meaningful growth through game-changing content, data, and technology. Activating SoPa’s expansive and growing audience data to scale impactful, multi-channel experiences shapes the way consumers engage and interact with brands.”

The recent partnership with Magnite comes weeks after Society Pass welcomed Rokas Sidlauskas as its newest chief marketing officer, as well as the recent beta launch of their loyalty app. Thoughtful Media Group is one of the many acquisitions Society Pass made, including Philippine delivery platforms Mangan and Pushkart.ph, and Vietnam-based delivery service Handycart under Dream Space.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Rokas Sidlauskas joins Society Pass as chief marketing officer

Singapore – Rokas Sidlauskas, formerly affiliated with Hello Health Group, joins the leadership roster of loyalty platform Society Pass as its chief marketing officer

Prior to joining Society Pass, Sidlauskas held several roles at Hello Health Group, including leading its corporate development and handling the roles of head of product business solutions and head of branded services. He spent over two years at said company.

Sidlauskas was also the co-founder of digital marketing agency Lion&Lion and served as its vice president for business development from 2013 before moving to Australian social commerce company ENSOGO in 2014 as its vice president for sales.

Following the closure of ENSOGO’s Southeast Asian operations in 2016, Sidlauskas moved to gym-sharing platform start-up Passport Asia as its vice president for international business development. He then moved to fitness company CMG.ASIA as a director and venture lead, and served there for over two years. Lastly, he served as the chief executive officer and co-founder of home-based healthcare solution company GO.CARE.

Sidlauskas’ recent leadership announcement comes on top of its numerous acquisitions in Southeast Asia, including Philippine delivery platforms Mangan and Pushkart.ph, Thailand-based Thoughtful Media, and Vietnam-based delivery service Handycart under Dream Space.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty platform SoPa makes another acquisition in SEA

Singapore – In the recent months, Society Pass or SoPa, the data-driven loyalty platform in SEA, has been ramping up its expansion in the region with a number of acquisitions; the most recent being MVNO Gorilla Networks in Singapore, and digital video multi-platform network Thoughtful Media in Bangkok. 

Today, SoPa marks a new buy-out under its group – Mangan.ph, the local restaurant delivery service in the Philippines. 

Founded in 2017, Mangan delivers restaurant food from over 1,200 partner restaurants to its over 500,000 registered users. According to the company, the delivery platform has generated more than 100,000 mobile app downloads to date. 

Operating in the country’s province Pampanga, Mangan’s geographic reach focuses on provincial areas and extends to 16 other cities such as Angeles City, San Fernando, Clark, Dau, Mabalacat, and Guagua among others. The newly acquired business will be integrated into SoPa’s F&B vertical, which includes Pushkart, which it acquired in February this year.

Country Manager of SoPa in the Philippines, Arbie Pagdangan, shared that they will be combining the robust technology and operational efficiency of Mangan with their own brand-building expertise. Combined with Pushkart, which delivers grocery food to consumers in Metro Manila, SoPa aims to create a food delivery behemoth to serve the Philippine market. 

“SoPa aims to double the number of registered users to over 800,000 and drive app downloads to over 200,000 by the end of 2023. We look forward to building out our next generation loyalty platform as well as opportunistically [acquiring] market leading companies in F&B, lifestyle, digital advertising and travel verticals in [the] Philippines for the rest of 2022,” said Pagdangan. 

Ralph Rile, co-founder and CEO of Mangan, commented, “When we started Mangan five years ago, our vision was to deliver delicious dishes from Pampanga’s wide array of cafes and restaurants right to our customer’s doorsteps in a hassle-free way. We have witnessed tremendous success in our initial goals, and now, aim to expand Mangan beyond Luzon Island to other regions in Philippines.”

“This is why joining forces with SoPa is our logical next step, and we are excited about the combined capabilities we will now bring to Mangan’s partners and customers,” added Rile. 

Louie Alcantara, co-founder and also chief technology officer of Mangan, added, “In a short span of time, with our easy-to-use technology interface, Mangan has established a reputation of being the top online local food delivery service, achieving over US$2 million in gross merchandise value yearly. Leveraging SoPa’s marketing platform and capital, we aim to increase GMV multiple fold by the end of 2022.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty marketing platform SoPa acquires Bangkok-based Thoughtful Media

Singapore – Society Pass (SoPa), the data-driven loyalty platform in SEA, has announced the acquisition of Thoughtful Media Group (Thoughtful Media), a social commerce-focused and premium digital video multi-platform network headquartered in Thailand which has an operating presence in the US, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

The acquisition of Thoughtful Media marks SoPa’s first foray into Thailand and adds to SoPa’s growing ecosystem of technology-enabled companies located in the SEA countries of Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Just recently, SoPa has also acquired Singapore-based Gorilla Networks, a next-generation Web3-enabled MVNO.

Thoughtful Media creates and distributes digital advertising campaigns across its MPN in both SEA and the US. Advertisers leverage Thoughtful Media’s wide influencer network throughout SEA to market and sell advertising inventory exclusively with specific placement and ‘effect’. 

Thoughtful Media’s social commerce platform will be amplifying the reach and engagement of SoPa’s e-commerce ecosystem and retail partners. With this acquisition, SoPa aims to increase customer engagement whilst also focusing on the quality of relationships through a campaign-based approach enabled by this synergistic acquisition.

Specifically, Thoughtful Media’s digital advertising tools and expertise bolsters Society Points, SoPa’s paradigm-shifting loyalty platform. Through data-driven marketing campaigns, advertisers of all types utilise Society Points’ proprietary 1st party data to improve the targeting, efficacy, and efficiency of their digital marketing spend. SoPa’s product offering is seen to uniquely position Thoughtful Media as a leading SEA retail marketing and advertising hub for international and regional consumer brands.

Dennis Nguyen, SoPa founder, chairman, and CEO commented, “We are thrilled to have Thoughtful Media join the ever-expanding SoPa ecosystem. Thoughtful Media’s social commerce-focused business model perfectly complements our future growth strategy for Society Pass as we drive consumer eyeballs and generate revenues for riveting consumer brands throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, Society Pass is excited to complete our first Thailand acquisition and look forward to launching our SoPa loyalty platform to the 65 million consumers in Thailand”.

Meanwhile, Dan Thorman, Thoughtful Media CEO, said, “Partnering with Society Pass allows Thoughtful Media to unlock strategic opportunities with influencers and advertisers as well as design cross-marketing synergies for companies in the SoPa ecosystem. In doing so, we expect to drive tremendous revenue growth in 2022 and beyond.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Society Pass launches beta version of its loyalty app

Singapore – Southeast Asia’s data-driven loyalty platform, Society Pass (SoPa), has launched the beta version of its universal, open-loop loyalty application, Society Pass, to earn and redeem loyalty points, Society Points, endeavouring to create permanent customer loyalty and replace cash discounting while generating additional revenues for merchants. 

According to SoPa, digital loyalty programmes are key to customer retention within highly competitive verticals and now call for interconnected experiences more than ever, and e-commerce shoppers demand multiple touchpoints to purchase goods and services, earn redeem loyalty points, and refer friends with frictionless ease. The platform’s multi-brand ecosystem allows consumers to earn and redeem points at numerous types of retailers, while facilitating a unified approach to customer rewards and incentives for merchants.

SoPa expects to finetune and integrate the beta version of its loyalty platform with selected groups of consumers and merchants in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as Thailand, and Singapore in the second half of 2022. With the view of hard launching the loyalty platform in the fourth quarter of 2022, at such time, users can pay for goods and services in-store, in-app, or online. Society Pass’ digital wallet will allow users to pay for goods and services by scanning QR Codes and making payments via credit card, debit card, or Society Points. SoPa aims to provide an easy and convenient online e-commerce shopping experience, with a single UI/UX that integrates with all the businesses within its ecosystem.

Dennis Nguyen, Society Pass’ founder, chairman, and CEO, said that they designed a gorgeous user interface backed by sophisticated backend end infrastructure to kickstart a virtuous cycle of revenue generation and loyalty creation, where Society Pass and Society Points generate more revenues for merchants by retaining existing customers, attracting new customers, reducing customer turnover and syncing customer data through real-time, personalised marketing campaigns.

“As we said in our IPO last November 2021, we introduce Society Pass in 2Q 2022 with the view of creating permanent customer loyalty for merchants by designing unique, personalised experiences [for] consumers and make shopping even more rewarding across our family of brands. Our business strategy encourages cross-vertical shopping, ultimately keeping an increasing share of wallets within SoPa’s ecosystem. We are confident that our customers will redirect their spending to where they gain the most value: our loyalty program,” he added.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty platform SoPa acquires SG-based MVNO Gorilla Networks

Singapore – Society Pass (SoPa), the data-driven loyalty and e-commerce ecosystem in SEA, has acquired Singapore-based Gorilla Networks (Gorilla), a next-generation Web3-enabled MVNO.

Established in Singapore in 2019, Gorilla utilises Web3 technology to operate an MVNO for its users in Southeast Asia. With network coverage to over 160 countries, Gorilla offers a full suite of mobile communication services such as local calls, international roaming, data, and SMS texting. Moreover, Gorilla enables its customers to convert unused mobile data into digital assets or Gorilla GO Tokens through its proprietary blockchain-based SwitchBack feature. 

Dennis Nguyen, SoPa founder, chairman and CEO, explained, “We are excited to make our first acquisition in Singapore, and welcome Gorilla into our SoPa family. Gorilla’s technology platform aligns well with our acquisition strategy as we incorporate Gorilla’s blockchain and Web3 capabilities onto the SoPa ecosystem and enable the new meta-economy for all our portfolio companies.” 

“From our Leflair lifestyle e-commerce platform to our Pushkart/Handycart F&B delivery services, as we roll out the Society Pass loyalty platform in the coming months, we leverage Gorilla’s technology to drive customer retention for merchants and create innovative revenue models for our ecosystem,” added Nguyen.

With the rebound of the travel market throughout Southeast Asia, Gorilla expects to dramatically increase its customer base by marketing to the region’s business and leisure travellers with its user-friendly technology platform. It plans to expand its MVNO services offering to Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia over the next 12 months.

“When we started Gorilla Networks three years ago, our vision was to build a democratised mobile communications service platform where users regardless of nationality, home location or mobile subscription plans can access essential telecoms services such as roaming and mobile data anywhere and everywhere throughout the world. Gorilla is currently transitioning existing web 2 telco services onto the web3 economy by tokenising mobile data as digital assets,” said Xanne Leo, founder and CEO of Gorilla Networks.

“In 2021, we digitised eSIMS, data plans, and mobile numbers as NFTs, which dramatically transformed how our users purchase, interact and experience mobile services. By joining forces with SoPa’s extensive ecosystem and large user base in Southeast Asia, we are thrilled about the combined marketing capabilities we will now bring collectively to our partners and customers,” added Xanne Leo. 

For our Empowered Women Series last March, we sat down with the women leaders of SoPa – PH Country Manager Abie Pagdanganan and CEO Pamela Aw-Young. 

Pagdanganan shared about the platform’s goals, “So our business on the consumer-facing side, we aim to integrate everything that you need into just one ecosystem. This is where consumers can easily search books or order anything they want or need, through our values interconnected that works.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SoPa spins off Leflair into Leftlair Group in Vietnam, name leaders

Singapore – Society Pass Inc (SoPa), a loyalty and data marketing ecosystem, which is parent company to luxury e-commerce retail brand Leflair in Vietnam, has announced Leflair’s reorganization into a separate entity – Leflair Inc (Leflair Group).

In line with the restructure, SoPa has appointed Loic Gautier as the new group chief executive officer and Ngo Thi Cham as the group’s new chief operating officer of Leflair Group, who will work alongside Loic to drive the firm ahead in its next stage of expansion. Ngo Thi Cham is the current managing director of the Leflair Group and the Vietnam country head of SoPa.

As part of the Leflair Group’s expansion strategy, Loic will oversee the group’s acquisitions, which aim to diversify the company’s product offerings in the lifestyle retail business. He will also oversee the group’s expansion into other Southeast Asian countries.

With this corporate restructure, the Leflair Group is now set to become Southeast Asia’s next lifestyle retail super distributor nexus, evolving from a single discounted platform to providing shoppers with an integrated and unique shopping experience from online to offline. The fields of e-commerce, lifestyle retail, and online advertising are all being targeted by Leflair Group for acquisition.

Since its IPO on the Nasdaq last year, SoPa has focused on M&A activities to expand the ecosystem with other online platforms across 6 verticals: lifestyle, F&B, travel, digital media, and B2B software and loyalty technology in the top three V.I.P countries of Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines. Through these business lines, SoPa is able to improve the interconnectedness and support within its ecosystem, fulfilling its mission to connect millions of registered consumers and thousands of registered merchants across Southeast Asia. 

On his appointment Gautier, said, “It’s an honor to receive SoPa’s trust. With this spin-off, Leflair now has a new medium to maximize its full growth potential. By pivoting from a single platform to an integrated lifestyle retail ecosystem, we seek to connect all players within the lifestyle retail value chain, from brand distributors, to offline stores, ecommerce platforms and delivery companies. The new vision makes Leflair a pioneer in redefining the lifestyle and ecommerce retail market across Southeast Asia.”

Meanwhile, Ray Liang, chief financial officer of SoPa Group, shared that after the IPO of SoPa last year, they have been working on a new growth strategy for Leflair in order to maximize its potential to become the destination for lifestyle shopping in Southeast Asia.

“In order to facilitate that growth, we are happy to welcome back Loic Gautier to join our executive team and become the driving force for Leflair Group in the future. At Society Pass, hiring key talents is always among our top priorities as a company and we always welcome Leflair’s old talents to come back and work together to bring Leflair to new heights. Having Loic to come back as the CEO of Leflair Group ensures continuous and sustainable growth for Leflair in the years to come,” Liang said.

Liang added, “The new recruitment also enables us to carry out a bigger plan for Leflair, evolving from a single online platform to become a true ecosystem for lifestyle shopping.”

According to Loic, Leflair Group’s ambitious plans include extensive funding rounds and a roadmap to IPO in the near future. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SoPa names Arbie Pagdanganan as country head for PH, unveils new office

Manila, Philippines – Southeast Asian loyalty and e-commerce ecosystem Society Pass is steadfast in the company’s growth as it amplifies its operations across Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, a group it dubs as its ‘VIP’ markets. Alongside this, SoPa has announced the opening of its office in Manila along with the appointment of VP of product design, Arbie Pagdanganan, as the new country head.

On SoPa’s new Manila location, it is strategically located in the central business district of Makati, Metro Manila. This is SoPa’s second office in its VIP priority markets and employs over 20 staff in the Philippines with an aim to grow this figure to over 100 by the end of 2022.

Dennis Nguyen, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Society Pass, said that the Philippines is a cornerstone of SoPa’s VIP acquisition strategy. Nguyen added that he is proud to appoint their VP of product design, Pagdanganan, as their country manager in the Philippines and looks forward to her expert leadership in steering our operations to greater heights.

“Also, this new office is part of our business strategy during this critical period of economic transformation for the Philippines. As we grow our Philippines business, we are confident that the SoPa ecosystem will nurture and accelerate the growing portfolio of brands,” Nguyen said.

As country head, Pagdanganan manages the country operations with P&L responsibility while coordinating regional finance, operations, and technology teams to conduct due diligence on future acquisitions in the country. Pagdanganan brings with her a rich background of over a decade of experience in visual design, branding, user interaction and experience, and product design across leading organisations including SoPa’s Leflair. In her dual role as VP of product development, she will be spearheading an organisation-wide transformation of design systems and front-end apps of all business units.

Sharing her excitement for the joint growth vision for the Philippines and SoPa, Pandanganan said, “Given the immense potential of the Philippines market, I am looking forward to herald the next e-commerce revolution in the country with SoPa’s unique modus operandi and look forward to taking my team along in this successful journey.”

SoPa also recently acquired Pushkart.ph, an online grocery delivery service in the Philippines to kick-start its expansion into the country. Pagdanganan will lead SoPa’s aggressive new plans for Pushkart.ph which include adding more hubs in key cities and regions and increasing its manpower.

In an exclusive interview for MARKETECH APAC’s Empowered Women Series, a special series to celebrate women leaders in marketing, Pagdanganan shared what made SoPa’s policy and philosophy on gender inclusivity great.

“We are a very diverse and inclusive organization. And we believe that it creates a huge impact on our productivity and success. So take, for example, in a male-dominated industry, like tech and operations, we don’t exclusively really look for men, nor do we seek women actively. But of course, it’s a breath of fresh air if a woman applies, like, for example, for a tech position, because that doesn’t usually happen. But really, all we care about is if the candidate shares our vision, passion and mindset,” shared Pagdanganan.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Expert Up Close: The women leaders of Society Pass

Women in marketing, media, and technology enterprises are increasingly embracing the reins of their respective organizations. This connotes how women are excellent, not only in management but as well as handling business transformation. 

In this podcast episode, we are featuring two industry leaders who are ‘Empowered Women’ in their own way, handling top management and executive level of leadership at Society Pass.

This episode will discuss topics focusing on the career journey and leadership of Arbie Pagdanganan, Philippines country manager & vice president of product development and Pamela Aw-Young, chief operating officer at Society Pass as well as their insights on the recent announcement of SoPa to transform the Philippine market with the strategic purchase of an online grocery platform as part of their Southeast Asian expansion. 

Society Pass Incorporated is a Southeast Asian e-commerce loyalty platform that will transform how consumers and businesses in the region engage with one another. With their society points, they are generating long-term client loyalty by adding value to every transaction.

Expansion to the Philippine market

Filipinos have embraced e-commerce like a fish to water, and the market has flourished tremendously over the past years. By 2025, the Philippines’ e-commerce business is predicted to generate $7.67 billion in revenue. Following the SoPa’s $28 million IPO on the stock market, the company has decided to expand to the Philippines.

The announcement comes at a time when the Philippines’ internet economy is predicted to rise by 24% from US$17 billion in 2021 to US$40 billion in 2025, accelerating the rapid growth of delivery services in the country. To date, Pushkart.ph has amassed more than 125,000 registered members, 35,000 social media followers, and more than 20,000 mobile app downloads in the Philippines. For the company to commence operations in the Philippines, acquiring e-commerce based businesses is a necessary first step.

SoPa’s VIP (Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines) regional expansion strategy includes the Philippines as a significant component. By using SoPa’s capital, Pushkart.ph plans on expanding its food delivery services to more people and businesses in the Philippines, starting with Metro Manila.

To further serve its clients SoPa can now provide consumers with even greater value by letting them purchase whenever and wherever they choose, without having to deal with any hassle, through Pushkart.ph. A major objective of the organization is to make it easier for local businesses in the Philippines, both established and start-ups, to expand their reach into the internet marketplace.

Commenting on this strategic step Pamela said, “Philippines is an exciting space for us with a population of 112 million economic growth forecasts 6% new young median age of 26 that represents the future for us. It has a high Internet penetration rate of 67%. What we would like to do is give opportunities to entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, integrate platforms for users, and create efficiencies in this ecosystem.”

SoPa’s aggressive new plans for Pushkart.ph, which include expanding its network of hubs in key cities and regions and boosting its workforce, make this acquisition of this company extremely important to the end customer. By 2022, SoPa hopes to increase the number of registered users to over 300,000 and the number of app downloads to over 150,000 by expanding Pushkart.ph’s technological capabilities. Using Pushkart.ph, Metro Manila residents will be able to get their purchases delivered the following day in 19 cities.

Creating an interconnected loyalty program

Building a reward system that stands out in the world of customer loyalty programs is a huge undertaking for any organization, and it can be a game-changing opportunity if done with care and accuracy.

At its core, SoPa’s primary goal is to keep clients abreast of the most recent goods and services. It is possible to increase customer retention and revenue by building emotional connections with customers and developing long-term relationships with them.

On the subject of SoPa’s priorities and programs, Arbie discussed during the ‘Empowered Women’ interview, “[Because of the sheer number of orders], delivery, and loyalty programs available for virtually every type of business or service, customers are becoming increasingly disenchanted with online shopping. In addition, it is time-consuming and cumbersome to utilize multiple applications or reward programs for different purposes and at different points in the purchasing process. So our business on the consumer-facing side, we aim to integrate everything that you need into just one ecosystem. This is where consumers can easily search books or order anything they want or need, through our values interconnected that works.”

We also asked Arbie on what are the most important verticals that SoPa needs to revisit in terms of customer loyalty and programs, she discussed, that she would revisit food and beverage and as well as lifestyle verticals.

Arbie highlighted, “So in theory, rewarding the customer’s loyalty is a great way to boost customer interaction and engagement for a business. So we do think that this is one way for them to be a frequent customer, right. But actually, from the customer’s perspective, sometimes it’s challenging to redeem the points awarded to them. Take restaurants, for example, the only time a customer can redeem points is when they return to the restaurant that awarded the points to them. And normally, a person does not eat at the same restaurant every day unless they have limited options.”

“Furthermore, most loyalty points have an expiration date as well and this withholds consumers to maximize or enjoy their points. So I believe that for a loyalty program to be effective, it has to be interconnected and accessible. Like the number of points I earn at store A, I can also spend it at store B,” Arbie adds.

Pamela also shared her tips for brands when it comes to creating loyalty programs, “Think beyond value creation. Consumers always look for choices and variety as Arbie said earlier. But connecting with other like-minded businesses, you can grow your business faster and drive efficiencies. This is what our ecosystem is all about.”

SoPa as a female-dominated company

Alongside SoPa’s expansion is its commitment to promote equality and diversity for women in the organization. With the two highest positions occupied by a female, it tells how SoPa is a company that values gender equality.

We also made sure not to miss Arbie’s take on how SoPa came to encourage gender equality and diversity in the workplace.

Arbie underscored, “To be transparent, we are a very diverse and inclusive organization. And we believe that it creates a huge impact on our productivity and success. So take, for example, in a male-dominated industry, like tech and operations, we don’t exclusively really look for men, nor do we seek women actively. But of course, it’s a breath of fresh air if a woman applies, like, for example, for a tech position, because that doesn’t usually happen. But really, all we care about is if the candidate shares our vision, passion and mindset.”

Meanwhile, Pamela discussed the importance and influence of women in marketing decisions, she shared, “Well, there are two forces driving the retail landscape, women and technology. Women drive 80% of all consumer purchasing decisions and are great influencers. Even before the time of social media. Women are great at spreading information through word of mouth, e-commerce combines retail and technology which makes it interesting. Who understands women best? It takes one to know one.”

During the conversation with Arbie and Pamela, we asked them about their advice to those who want to become part of SOPA, Arbie said, “In terms of what advice I can give for them to have an edge to be selected. Actually, we equally value technical skills with both soft skills and attitude. So having an entrepreneurial spirit with a clearer sense of ownership, and if they have our results and data-driven and being able to adapt it to a fast-paced environment, will give them the upper hand. And also we would love to work with people with the ‘right now’ mindset [or simply being diligent and persistent].”

Arbie emphasised, “Our culture at SOPA is something we are incredibly proud of, we get to spend our time collaborating with warm, talented and motivated colleagues. So what we are currently looking for is expanding our marketing. So that includes digital marketing, search engine optimization, and content managers, for example. And we would also want to expand our business development and customer support teams.”

Listen to the full conversation of Arbie and Pamela over at Spotify, where they deep-dive about loyalty marketing as well as the recent announcement of Society Pass entering the Philippine market – and the qualities that they are looking for in those who want to become part of SoPa. You can also view the video highlights of the conversation on our YouTube channel.

If you are a marketing or tech leader who wants to share your industry journey and insights, email us at [email protected]

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA loyalty platform Society Pass acquires Dream Space, Handycart

Hanoi, Vietnam — Southeast Asian data-driven loyalty platform Society Pass Incorporated, also known as SoPa, announced its buyout of Dream Space Trading Company, the operator of Handycart, an online grocery delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dream Space will be integrated into SoPa’s F&B delivery vertical with SoPa’s existing merchant software platform HOTTAB.

In addition to the buyout, Handycart Founder and CEO Seo Jun Ho have been named head of the new business unit, managing both Handycart and #HOTTAB in Vietnam.

Handycart, founded recently in 2019, is an online grocery delivery app with its own fleet of delivery vehicles that focuses on the Korean restaurant market and F&B sector in Hanoi. Vietnam has embraced the ‘Korean Wave’; a recent survey by market research firm Q&Me found that 58 per cent of Vietnamese favour Korean cuisine.

Ngo Thi Cham, country general manager of SoPa Vietnam, commented on the strategic step, saying that they are excited to welcome Handycart to the larger SoPa ecosystem which will enable it to harness integrated marketing and technology proposition while also strengthening its collective senior management resources.

“We endeavour to combine the robust technology and operational efficiency of a speciality e-commerce brand like Handycart with our brand-building experience. SoPa has witnessed, with our runaway success of Leflair, in Vietnam, that this move will lead to immediate returns in terms of cost optimization and increased revenue generation. We are determined to increase merchant coverage to 500 restaurants in Hanoi by the end of 2022 and look to expand to HCMC in 3Q 2022​,” Cham said.

With Handycart leveraging on SoPa’s integrated technology platform to drive operational efficiencies and business performance, the platform will focus on increasing on-demand grocery shopping services to more consumers in the country, while empowering speciality F&B restaurants to transform business models and further increase reach in online markets.

Seo Jun Ho, CEO of Handycart, said, “Handycart was established in 2019 with a mission of connecting Korean patrons seeking a taste of home through its established network of authentic Korean restaurants right here in Vietnam. Providing businesses with speedy access to authentic Korean products has helped us gather a loyal user base of over 3000 with more than 26,000 orders in 2021 alone. SoPa will now be able to accelerate Handycart’s growth given our well-established positioning as a go-to online grocery delivery service. Partnership with Society Pass will enable us to unlock growth opportunities within the industry and I am glad that Handycart can now avail itself of SoPa’s synergistic ecosystem.”

Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing economies within SEA over the past two decades. The country’s e-commerce is growing tremendously, valued at 13.2b USD; it is expected to grow steadily from 2021 until 2025.

Recently, SoPa entered the Philippine market with its acquisition of Pushkart.ph as the loyalty platform is an acquisition focused e-commerce holding company with focuses in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.