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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Robinhood, Google Cloud collaborate to develop Thailand’s first super app

Thailand – Robinhood, a Bangkok-based food delivery and all-in-one travel service platform under SCBX Group, Purple Ventures Co., Ltd., has announced a multi-year strategic alliance with Google Cloud and MFEC Public Company Limited (MFEC) to advance its mission of building a homegrown super app that delivers inclusive growth opportunities to small business owners, delivery riders, and diverse users in metro and non-metro areas. Robinhood had already started planning late last year.

A super app is basically a unified app that has everything a person needs. This includes ride-hailing services, food delivery, payment wallets, flight and accommodation bookings, groceries, and many more. Currently, there are over a dozen super apps in Southeast Asia, each with its unique offering apart from integrating the other services that are offered in the app. In Thailand, super apps are available for consumers as well. However, there still isn’t a homegrown super app. The current super apps available in the country are from enterprises that have a strong business presence in the country.

April Srivikorn, country manager, Thailand at Google Cloud, pointed out that pandemic-driven shifts in consumer behaviour are expected to have a lasting impact, with food and transport, e-commerce, online travel, and digital financial services the key growth verticals in a resurgent internet economy that’s set to be worth US$57 billion by 2025.

Adopting a zero-commissions stance to give small businesses and riders a larger share of earnings, Robinhood was launched to alleviate the financial hardships faced by local food and beverage operators during the height of the pandemic and support the local tourism sector’s economic recovery. The three organizations will join forces to strengthen Robinhood’s culture of innovation, modernize its IT infrastructure, elevate user experiences using data-driven intelligence, and co-create new digital services.

According to Thana Thienachariya, chairman of the board at Purple Ventures, Robinhood’s differentiated business model enables them to generate revenue from other independent services, such as providing loans to individuals in their ecosystem, instead of charging smaller restaurants and hoteliers platform fees that erode their earning.

Thienachariya added, “With a fleet of 30,000 riders supporting 225,000 eateries, and 16,000 hotels already listed on our platform, Robinhood has become the food and travel application of choice for 2.8 million users. Together with Google Cloud and MFEC, we hope to build on the very warm response to our platform in the past 20 months and supercharge our expansion into the tour, car rental, flight bookings, and grocery and express parcel delivery services. This super app vision is an extension of our steadfast commitment toward assisting smaller players and revitalizing the grassroots economy.”

On the partnership with Google, Srihanath Lamsam, CEO of Purple Ventures, shared, that this was due to Google’s superior data cloud infrastructure which runs with net-zero operational emissions, and its rich experience in mapping the world and building open platforms and ecosystems. These capabilities, along with MFEC’s technical consulting and implementation expertise, will amplify Robinhood’s ability to create value for society, while contributing to our sustainability commitments.

The strategic alliance will encompass five core pillars including: 

  • Cultivating skilled talent and a culture of innovation – the three companies will establish a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) consisting of cloud architecture, data management, and application modernization specialists.
  • Enhancing the quality of digital services – the CCoE will tap microservices and extended Google Play Store support to ensure Robinhood’s customer and rider applications remain robust, reliable, and lightweight – even as new services are added and accessed by a high volume of users.
  • Serving hyper-personalized user engagement – the CCoE will build and manage an intelligent data engine using Google Cloud’s leading analytics, AI, and ML technologies. The data engine will also engage Robinhood users with hyper-personalized product recommendations on behalf of small businesses, to boost these merchants’ revenue streams.
  • Increasing income opportunities for riders – Robinhood will explore using Google Maps Platform’s software development kits to fast-track the creation and integration of on-demand mobility features. Potential use cases include providing riders with in-app, turn-by-turn navigation after identifying the shortest or fastest routes, so they can ride safer, fulfil orders quicker, and earn more.
  • Making financial assistance easily accessible – Robinhood will explore co-innovation initiatives with Google Cloud to embed virtual banking and microlending services into its application. This would allow small business owners to seamlessly apply for financial assistance to purchase new equipment and hire staff, or for prospective delivery riders to rent electric motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Siriwat Vongjarukorn, CEO and President, MFEC, commented, “With our newly formed CCoE imparting critical cloud skills, adopting an open cloud architecture, implementing data governance best practices, and automating application deployment, Robinhood can achieve performance at scale, optimize IT costs, uphold the highest data security and privacy standards, and empower its developers to release continuous software updates – without downtime – to enrich its entire digital ecosystem.” 

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Platforms Featured ANZ

AirAsia makes available flights from Air New Zealand on super app

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia The list of airlines available on the airasia Super App’s Online Travel Agent (OTA) platform continues to grow as Air New Zealand become the latest airline to authorise the sale of its flights on the region’s growing super app. 

Through this commercial collaboration, Air New Zealand’s flights will be available under the ‘Flights’ section of the airasia Super App, aimed at bringing the authentic Kiwi experience to everyone and connecting travellers to discover over 20 New Zealand destinations such as Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch and more. With its innovative ideas, onboard products, aeronautical design, brand identity and customer service, Air New Zealand has won numerous awards, most recently crowned the World’s Safest Airline 2022 by AirlineRatings.com.

Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App said, “The airasia Super App is a robust and complete OTA platform which is underpinned by a wealth of data that we have gathered over the past two decades, making it the perfect marketplace for airlines around the world to reach the right target audience. Since our completion as a full-fledged OTA in October last year, we have been observing double digit growth month-on-month for bookings of other airlines through our OTA platform.” 

“We would like to welcome Air New Zealand onto our OTA platform, and we look forward to providing all travellers with the best deals with our airline partners through the airasia Super App,” Woo added.

General Manager Asia of Air New Zealand, Jonathan Zhang, commented “With borders reopening, we are excited to welcome back international travellers onboard Air New Zealand through the airasia Super App platform. We continue to offer wide choices, flexibility and our unique Kiwi experience for our customers to fly comfortably and confidently.”

Aside from Air New Zealand, the airasia Super App OTA platform also includes over 700 other airline partners, such as, Air Canada, Air France, Air Mauritius, BQatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Airlines, amongst others.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Gojek, MoMo announce strategic partnership in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Indonesia super-app has inked a strategic partnership with Vietnamese e-wallet MoMo, entailing MoMo to be integrated in the Gojek super-app in the local market. 

Through the partnership, Gojek and MoMo will combine their technological strengths and large ecosystems to jointly raise the level of use of cashless payment methods among Vietnamese people, and at the same time provide a better customer experience.

MoMo will support Gojek’s ecosystem of millions of users who are using online technology ride-hailing services such as GoRide, GoCar, and online food delivery GoFood. This then gives Gojek customers the option to pay via MoMo’s e-wallet in addition to credit, debit and cash payments.

Gojek will have the opportunity to reach out to MoMo’s ecosystem of more than 31 million users, and at the same time meet the growing demand of customers who want more payment options on the app, especially the use of contactless payments amid the COVID-19.

Speaking about the partnership, Nguyen Ba Diep, co-founder and vice president at MoMo, said, “I firmly believe that this partnership will bring optimal payment options and experience. for users. With this cooperation, we hope to partly help technology drivers and partners of Gojek and MoMo to reach more customers, increase sales and quickly recover from the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Pham Huu Thanh, operations director of payments division at Gojek Vietnam, commented, “Through the integration of MoMo e-wallet on the Gojek application, our users will have more choices when paying for services, thus having a smoother, more convenient, and safer experience when paying for services. use Gojek. Together with MoMo, we are delighted to continue to contribute to the promotion of cashless payments in Vietnam, by influencing to change user habits and constantly expanding the payment ecosystem.”

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

SME superapp Enstack launches in PH

Manila, Philippines – Enstack, an SME superapp, has launched in beta in the Philippines late in February, and after only two weeks, announces its strong entry in the market with over 10,000 merchants signing up on the platform. 

Enstack as an SME superapp provides entrepreneurs with all operational, logistical, and financial tools they need in a single platform. On Enstack, businesses can accept orders from customers over the phone, in person, and online via its Chat Store. With the Chat Store, merchants can automatically receive orders via their Facebook Messenger accounts, without replying to each message, and directly fulfil them using the Enstack app. 

SMEs can also offer customers multiple payment options and ship packages with integrated logistics providers directly from the app. Other management tools include sales and expenses recording, inventory management, and analytics. 

Behind Enstack is Oriente, which has provided Filipinos access to credit through their Shop Now, Pay Later services. With Enstack, it expands its focus on Southeast Asian SMEs. 

“After supporting the biggest merchants through our digital credit services, we now want to optimize the smallest of businesses so they can keep up with the rise in digital consumers. After seeing the swift growth and adoption of our free easy-to-use superapp, driven purely by word-of-mouth, we know we’ve created a game-changer with Enstack,” shared Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente

“We’re glad to see our initial group of over 10,000 SMEs, led by merchants in food and beverage, feel empowered as they take their first step towards digitization so they can be more efficient, profitable, and thrive in today’s economy,” adds Prentice.

Enstack is available in the Philippines and Vietnam and is set to launch in other Southeast Asian countries in the next 18 months. It is free to download on the App Store and Google Play.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AirAsia’s rewards program to now be integrated into its super app

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – BIG Rewards, AirAsia’s lifestyle rewards program, will now be integrated into the airasia Super App family; to now be called airasia rewards. It would be recalled that the rewards program even underwent a rebranding at the start of 2020, coming from previous name, ‘BIGLIFE’.

The brand new move will merge all features from the previous BIG Rewards app to be available within the airasia Super App. Users can now expect a more seamless app experience, now eliminating the need to have two separate apps for earning and spending their reward points.

With the new integration, all user details and remaining points will be merged into the Super App and be renamed as airasia points. The loyalty rewards points will now be the digital loyalty currency that can be used throughout the entire Super App ecosystem. 

Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App, said that the airasia Super App has now become a way of life, and its enhancement is in line with the airline’s core value of providing value and best deals to flight passengers and everyday app users.

“We are proud to see a phenomenal growth of airasia Super App in recent years since its launch in October 2020. With our digital businesses that include nearly 20 travel, delivery, and lifestyle offerings, we have successfully transformed into a data and tech-driven company, even being recognized as one of the three ASEAN Unicorns based in Malaysia by a Credit Suisse report,” said Woo.

She adds, “[It’s] not just for users; the addition of airasia rewards will spark new and exciting collaboration opportunities with our flight and hotel partners, merchants, and even riders. In return, our app users will benefit greatly from better deals and different ways to redeem their airasia points.”

Ong Wai Fong, chief loyalty officer, shared that the app integration has 3-pronged benefits for members, partners, and businesses. 

“Members will be able to enjoy more deals and promos in the Super App, while conveniently earning airasia points for every transaction and using points to pay for their orders. Partners, on the other hand, will have wider access to the millions of Super App users to boost sales and grow their businesses with us. These in return will enhance our data and help us design better products to increase member stickiness and transform it into enduring customer loyalty,” shared Ong Wai Fong.

To celebrate the integration, from 16 to 20 December 2021, airasia rewards is giving app users up to 20X airasia points for every purchase they make on the airasia Super App. App users who book or purchase flights, hotels, SNAP, food, grocery, and duty-free items using their airasia points will be able to enjoy a special redemption promotion of 50 points to RM1, whose normal rate is 125 points to RM1, during the promo period as well. 

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Main Feature Platforms Partners Southeast Asia

Spotlight: How a PH-made esports super app is bringing every stakeholder into one united esports community

Esports is growing exponentially and on a global scale. According to a report by Newzoo, in the Asia-Pacific alone, the revenue within the gaming market has reached US$84.3B in 2020, making the region the largest market in the world. 

In the Philippines, the number of games has now reached 43 million, and one esports platform in the country, KALARO, is on the mission to be at the forefront of the esports industry in the country and engage these players – and more. 

Launched in October 2020 for its close-beta testing, KALARO was launched by The-AsiaGroup.com Inc. as a fully integrated end-to-end esports digital platform. The application includes features like tournament management, one-on-one challenges, and team competitions as well as coaching, and buy-ins, among others.

Almost one year after, we touched base with its Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco to get to know how much it has grown since its entry into the industry – the platform itself and its vision and mission – and ultimately, after delta and beta testing for the period, finally, the launch of its first public version 1.0.

Watch the full MARKETECH Spotlight episode on KALARO feat. KALARO’s Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco

KALARO, the esports super app by the Filipino for the Filipino gamers

Before getting into KALARO’s sophistication as a tech platform, KALARO first and foremost has a mission at its heart, and that is to fulfill the needs of both esports enthusiasts and professionals in the country

Jun turns to a study similarly by Newzoo wherein 100,000 gamers across the globe were surveyed and discovered the three main motivations behind getting into esports: to unwind and relax, to engage in some form of competition, and interestingly, the social aspect of the game.

KALARO_esports_Newzoo

“More than providing a digital platform, one of our core missions and advocacies is being actively part in helping the youth in their mental health issues…and hopefully, KALARO will be one of the major platforms, social platforms, where they can engage socially, and compete, and be able to [have a sense of achievement], and unwind and have fun,” said Jun in the MARKETECH Spotlight interview

Today, KALARO is an esports super app with online tournament management integrated into its own video hub, brand integration, and social networking capabilities and with its very own e-wallet.

KALARO is the Filipino term for playmate, and true to its origins, the platform carries the mission of bringing out the world-class talent in every Filipino stakeholder in the industry which includes the caster, gamer or player, team, the tournament organizer, and brand-product creator, for them to discover and be discovered by others. 

“And again, we’d like to showcase KALARO as a world-class product and a product that all the stakeholders in the industry can really benefit from,” said Jun.

Releasing KALARO’s public version 1.0

So after a year since it was piloted, we asked, is KALARO now ready to launch its public version 1.0? 

Jun answers a firm yes. 

After beta- and delta- testing since October, and with now more than 7,800 gamers on the platform doing it on a nationwide scale, KALARO is ready for the next stage, officially launching its public version this September 2021 to start its journey towards its first one million users. 

“Yes, definitely, we’re ready to launch version 1.0. This is the first public release of version 1.0. of KALARO. [We’ve been] fine-tuning the application [since] October last year [up until] end of August [this year]. And we are now ready to package version 1.0 and release it starting September 18,” revealed Jun. 

KALARO's Public Version 1.0
KALARO’s Public Version 1.0 Signup Page

Jun said that the goal has always been about bringing a world-class app with a solid product-market-fit, which is why it took the company almost a year before it launched its public version.

Launching KALARO in October 2020 was far from an easy feat, where Jun revealed the challenges they had to go through before they launched the beta version in the middle of the pandemic. 

“The beta launch is very significant, because it was really challenging, working together in a virtual environment,” shared Jun. 

Right off the bat, the predicament that the KALARO team had to face was not being together physically and communicating while being from different parts of the country. Like the proverbial genius working in their garage, KALARO was developing and programming the platform in the night. 

Soon, following the beta launch, KALARO had 750 gamers to close-beta-test the platform, and from their feedback, the real fine-tuning began. And now here one year after, KALARO is growing from strength to strength. 

After the public version is launched this September, Jun reveals, “We will have a very aggressive set of activities and campaigns for the last quarter of this year, so that the market [of almost] 50 million gamers and our fans would realize the benefits and the value that make KALARO really enjoyable.”

The mission and vision of KALARO 

One year after its official foray into the esports scene, we touched base on how KALARO sees its role in the lives of gamers and Filipinos. 

At its core, KALARO was built to give every gamer an equal opportunity to learn, be discovered, and gain mastery, and most of all, to have fun and to also present opportunities to earn a living. But as a super app, KALARO isn’t now merely attending to the hunger for esports action but has moved to become so much more for its users. 

Jun summarizes KALARO’s mission in the three major areas: financial wellness, mental health, and most of all, national pride. 

Jun shared that the goal is to develop a platform that would serve gamers’ financial wellness because as Jun puts it when someone becomes a member of KALARO, the platform would want to provide a facility and features that will help people earn extra money. 

“That’s why we have our own e-wallet and are partnering with UnionBank [of the Philippines], and so on. Financial wellness is very important,” said Jun. 

With esports and social platforms cited as beneficial channels to manage mental health, this has become one of KALARO’s main advocacies. Jun says KALARO is like a Facebook for gamers

“KALARO being like the Facebook for gamers will allow gamers to really socialize, interact, [and] enjoy freedom in the games that they love,” said Jun. 

Above all, as a team in a country where there aren’t yet many tech innovations, putting the Philippines on the map will always be a mission. In fact, in April 2021, KALARO has begun to see its hard work and talent pay off, being named as one of the top 5 esports startups in Asia in the Esports X Business Asia Summit (EXB Asia Summit), held in Singapore.

KALARO represented the Philippines among a sea of companies from top tech innovator countries Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. In addition to this, KALARO has also successfully secured a partnership with multinational technology company for gaming, Razer, in June 2021.

“As they say, when you create a product, or when you create a service, there has to be a deep meaning as to why you’re actually building it. And again, from October last year, we have received lots of feedback and lots of suggestions, and we adapted the product of KALARO to be able to really connect to the market, and [to meet] the needs and aspirations of the gamer,” said Jun. 

What’s next for KALARO? 

KALARO’s growth trajectory is obviously on a promising level, and so beyond the launch of the public version, begs the question, what else is on KALARO’s future plans? 

As an end-to-end esports platform, KALARO doesn’t only answer to gamers, taking a whole lot of other stakeholders within the community as the platform’s priority. Aside from the gamers, KALARO caters to streamers, casters, team managers and owners, league and tournament operators, and corporate brands. 

“Since KALARO is a super app, by design, each of these stakeholders has a special role and participation inside KALARO,” said Jun. 

He further shares that building an all-in-one platform has always been the objective especially in the Philippines and even in Southeast Asia as a whole where the market isn’t necessarily tech-savvy. 

“You know, when we were conceptualizing KALARO, and we were going through the process of design thinking, focus group discussion, mind mapping, and so on, we really made sure that we will be able to build a holistic [and] an all-in-one solution for the esports industry. Especially here in Asia, or Southeast Asia, in particular, it could be very difficult for the stakeholders to be using say, five different applications just to be able to actively participate.” 

He adds, “And the major motivations for vendors and players to participate are all inside KALARO.” 

As a super app for esports, Jun shares the upcoming developments within the platform in line with its mission – and even more. 

For one, the platform has partnered with one of the leading banks in the country, UnionBank, to boost KALARO’s financial service offerings. More interestingly, Jun shared that on this front, it’s not a distant possibility that there would be a Visa card for KALARO soon and even an insurance offering. 

Still in line with its mission for financial inclusion, Jun also revealed that KALARO is looking into crypto- and blockchain-related features and services within the platform. Due to the growing interest of the younger generation in cryptocurrency, Jun says that KALARO is sure to leverage the power of cryptocurrency, where NFT and blockchain will be part of the roadmap. 

In terms of the social aspect, KALARO will be exploring live video and voice calling features in order to heighten the experience of playing together.

“So imagine if a student or a young person in the Philippines can play with his dad, or kuya (brother) somewhere abroad, and they can interact live or play together and do other things,” said Jun. 

Other than the fact that KALARO is disrupting tech in the Philippines, what is truly inspiring and makes KALARO the platform to be is above all, its advocacies to the stakeholders, who are mostly the younger generation.

“We really want to give all the chances in the world for every Pinoy and level the playing field. Even if you are not in the country’s major cities, we believe that there are huge hidden talents across the over 7,000 islands in the country,” said Jun. 

“When you join KALARO, you will have instant visibility even if you are 5,000 miles away from the nation’s capital. KALARO will give you that online presence and opportunity to be seen and participate,” added Jun.

Listen to the full conversation between MARKETECH APAC’s Regional Editor Shaina Teope and KALARO’s Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco on Spotify:

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

airasia kicks off first ‘Super Sale’ of the year

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Airasia has announced first-ever ‘Super Sale’ this year, offering shoppers more deals and discounts in the airasia super app from 5 to 11 April 2021.

Throughout the ‘Super Sale’ period, shoppers can enjoy up to 70% off on products such as fresh produce, groceries, and food deliveries to lifestyle products, as well as Muslim-friendly services, and health and wellness packages on airasia’s super app or airasia.com. 

Karen Chan, the CEO of airasia’s super app, said that they have aggressively expanded their super app offerings during the first quarter of the year with the launch of airasia shop in the Philippines and airasia food in Singapore, and more to follow in other ASEAN cities. 

“We have expanded our portfolio of brands and merchants allowing us to offer customers a bigger variety of products at a greater value. From having biryani rice to beauty products delivered to your doorstep, we hope everyone will have an enjoyable experience shopping on our airasia super app during the Super Sale,” added Chan.

During the ‘Super Sale’, deals will include up to 50% off selected merchants on airasia food, 20% off for Santan Cafe storewide via delivery on airasia food, and up to 60% off selected items on airasia fresh, as well as up to 70% off on airasia shop with delivery fees as low as RM0.99 using the promo code ‘99DEL’.

Airsia guests can also enjoy up to 60% off hotels on their next staycation and earn five times more BIG Points for their booking, while on airasia health, guests can book a one-year dental care package for as low as RM999. 

Meanwhile, IKHLAS, the Muslim-friendly digital business unit, is also offering 10% off for all products. Shoppers on this platform can also earn 1 BIG Point for each RM1 spent.

BIG members also have the option of paying using BIG Points, while BigPay users can use ‘One-Click’ immediate checkout using the BigPay card.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

AirAsia readies for travel’s reopening, launches ASEAN pass for unli travel

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Now that vaccination efforts are fast developing in the region, AirAsia has readied itself to welcome travelers with open arms when travel restrictions further ease with the launch of ASEAN Unlimited, a new product that would offer unlimited travel as well as free e-commerce delivery on its Asean super app for Malaysia-based AirAsia BIG members. 

The users can enjoy unlimited flights to destinations within Malaysia, which include Alor Setar, Langkawi, Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Johor Bahru. They can also opt to travel around ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

By purchasing ASEAN Unlimited, consumers can also enjoy unlimited free delivery for every order made on AirAsia Shop, Fresh, and Food, which is available until 26 March 2022 for deliveries in the Klang Valley with more locations in the future.

The pass is priced at RM599 and is available to purchase on airasia.com/deals or the airasia ASEAN super app from 3 March (1000hrs MYT) to 7 March 2021 (2359h MYT). BigPay users will enjoy RM50 off their purchase when they pay with BigPay until 5 March 2021.

AirAsia has also extended the travel period of its previous AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia from 31 March to 30 June 2021. Launched in June 2020, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia, which costs RM399, allows pass holders to redeem unlimited flights (flight code AK) within Malaysia.

Furthermore, the AirAsia X Unlimited Pass and AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia pass holders are also entitled to Unlimited Free Delivery on airasia shop, food, and fresh until 30 June 2021.

CEO of AirAsia Group Tony Fernandes commented that they have always been a disruptor and this time they are taking another unprecedented step to launch ASEAN Unlimited, as Airasia has expanded into a super app, offering much more than just travel products, e-commerce, and fintech products. AirAsia has received many positive responses and support on their new offerings, and they want to continue providing value to the customers.

“With positive developments on COVID-19 vaccination across the region, we are revving up our engines to ensure a smooth take-off when travel returns. As part of our preparations to welcome the recovery of air travel in the region and to further stimulate the local economy, we hope that this product can also catalyze as the ASEAN tourism industry gears itself for a post-Covid revival,” said Fernandes.

Meanwhile, the CEO of airasia.com Karen Chan said that they are thrilled by the highly positive response when Airasia Unlimited’s buy-now-travel-later pass was introduced in 2020.

“This time, we are offering even greater value to our customers by allowing ASEAN Unlimited pass-holders to redeem unlimited flights both domestically within Malaysia and internationally across ASEAN (when borders reopen on flight code AK) for future travel from 17 March 2021 up to 26 March 2022, subject to availability of flights. Aside from flights, pass-holders will also have unlimited access to free delivery services across the airasia shop, airasia food, and airasia fresh. Delivery is currently available within the Klang Valley with upcoming expansion into more cities across Malaysia,” added Chan.

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Main Feature SME Southeast Asia

Philippine-grown super-service app MyKuya unlocks critical job opportunities amid lockdown

The COVID pandemic has seen a plunge in the employment rate for most industries and according to the Philippines’ statistics, the country’s unemployment has risen to 17.7 percent in April.

Homegrown super-service app MyKuya which launched in 2018 has been since handing out opportunities for its would-be partners, but the ongoing retrenchments in businesses have further proven the app’s value proposition.

MyKuya is a mobile-based application and technology platform which allows users to quickly hire trained partners to run jobs such as grocery delivery, personal shopping in malls, plumbing and carpentry works, and even on-demand tasks for small businesses.

These partners, called Kuyas and Ates (brother and sister), are able to become part of the on-call workers by signing up through the app, and going through just like any normal hiring process, that of with document requirements. 

As of current, the app has signed up 10,000 partners, and they are nowhere near from stopping at that, as MyKuya is rallying to create 1 million job opportunities by 2022.

With this massive goal, how do then the company plans to reach out to prospective Kuyas and Ates?

MyKuya’s Marketing and Communications Manager Gab Billones said that hyperlocalizaiton of content and simplification of narratives are some of its top strategies.

“One of the most effective strategies that we do is hyperlocaliczing our efforts, really targeting communities, condo associations, and different particular groups where interests of the majority, particularly the target market that we have are present in these online communities,” Billones said.

“We also do simplifications. We’re not just doing hyperlocalization, we also simplify the messaging, and the narrative of MyKuya, so it becomes more relatable to as many people as possible. We curate stories, particularly highlighting the activities that our partners do, and the kind of value that our customers actually find with MyKuya services. So those are the kinds of narratives that we actually highlight on our Facebook messaging, and we’re still trying to reach out more and more communities, in preparation for our expansion activities as well,” he added.

Presently, MyKuya has established online presence on the major social media channels of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On Facebook, they present real-life testimonials of individuals who have already worked as partners for the app, integrating the promotional hashtag #MyKuyaMyHero. 

“How do our Kuya and Ate exemplify heroship during the pandemic? Each Kuya, a different story! Read on the inspirational stories of our partners in this time of lockdown and ECQ, and find out how they are able to help many people!” said one of the posts, followed by quote cards of partners, bearing their images and testimonies. (Translated in English)

In terms of the app’s users, the super-service app has also responded to the hard times that the pandemic has thrusted many into, and has made service rates more wallet-friendly amid users’ tightened budgets.

One thing that it has already done is to reduce the rates for their Pick-up & Drop service, lowering it from P150 per hour to P99 per hour within the MECQ period. 

Reduced rates will also be seen on the app’s services for their enterprise owner users such as BizHelper and MotoToday services. BizHelper is help in tasks like packing, sorting, and organizing, while MotoToday is for those that require motorcycle delivery or pick-ups. Under the MECQ, the lower minimum number of hours to avail of these services has been reduced from 6 hours to 4. 

Enterprise owners are one of the main stakeholders of the app. As of today, it has over 100 SME users. 

When we asked about their approach to business development, just like how they reach out to potential partners, MyKuya’s Country Head Dennis Bunye said that they go for a personalized approach, even implementing an SME club.

“We reach out enterprise partners in terms of in-person, face to face conversations, and we also get referrals in terms of how we can gain access to certain communities, which we hope to serve as well in order to be able to provide more value to them,” said Bunye.

“We are also having this what we call SME club, wherein we will make use of the spirit of community and provide value through not only giving advice and not just being salesy about it, but really sharing what we learned as we get to understand further the requirements of our SMEs right now,” he added.