Bold Moves: Leading Southeast Asia’s Next Wave of Consumer Growth

Bold Moves: Leading Southeast Asia’s Next Wave of Consumer Growth

A SYNC Southeast Asia Report

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Bold Moves: Leading Southeast Asia’s Next Wave of Consumer Growth
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A thought leadership series about keeping in tune with the consumers of tomorrow. Through this series, Meta and Bain & Company, along with this year’s new addition of DSG Consumer Partners, take business leaders through trends and opportunities that are shaping the region.

In this year’s report, 'Bold Moves: Leading Southeast Asia’s Next Wave of Consumer Growth,' we provide insights into consumer trends across the region and the areas that businesses are scaling their efforts in.

The world is looking towards Southeast Asia as a bright spot for growth and experimentation amidst global turbulence.

We see consumers becoming more value-seeking in the shorter term, while some of their “wants” have emerged to become new “needs.” Gen Z is an influential segment due to their size and growing spending power. While they may have different values, they are not that different from other generations when it comes to online shopping and experimenting with tech. We also see the rise of a solo economy that is starting to redefine engagement models.

Insurgent disruptors have been increasingly gaining market share in the region by addressing these evolving consumer trends. With unparalleled diversity in the region, we also look at how the role of personalization and AI is growing to help businesses meet consumers where they are. 

Read the full report to discover how you can evolve to become a “scale insurgent disruptor” to lead the region’s next consumer growth wave.

Lead the next wave of consumer growth

1. Value-seeking in the near term, new needs emerging 

Consumers are prioritizing value in their purchases, and this near-term shift has given rise to a set of evolving needs—what were once considered “wants,” like social media and streaming, are swiftly becoming “needs” for consumers across income groups.

2. Gen Z is increasingly influential, same-same but different

With their growing size and spending power, Gen Z is an influential segment for businesses. They embrace digital-first and value individuality and authenticity, requiring marketers to tailor their messaging and how they engage with them. Though Gen Zs have distinct preferences, other generations are quickly catching up as they spend more time online and experiment with new technology.

3. The solo economy is on the rise

Single households are rapidly increasing in Southeast Asia, establishing them as a significant market influence that businesses must address. Known as the "solo economy," this group brings with it distinctive preferences and behavioral shifts in consumption, living, and leisure models that businesses will have to cater to.

4. Insurgent disruptors are stealing market share from incumbents 

Insurgent disruptors are increasingly gaining market share in Southeast Asia across several key sectors. These insurgent brands have effectively harnessed the consumer growth wave through their adept grasp of consumer needs and wants and their ability to address the changing expectations of Southeast Asia’s diverse consumer groups.

5. Wellness concerns grow, but say-do gap persists

Approximately half of the Southeast Asian population has expressed concern around their physical and emotional health, but the desire to spend more on wellness is challenged by a lack of affordability. However, some technology players in the region are now leveraging tech to bridge this gap.

6. Personalization is valued, companies to define model 

Southeast Asia is a diverse region with growing expectations, and consumers in the region value customization and personalization. Brands are also seeing pay-offs when they scale their efforts to personalize every stage of their consumer journey.

7. AI is shaping the consumer journey

As Southeast Asian consumers increasingly embrace AI and use cases expand, Southeast Asia is well-suited for AI to take off at pace. AI has already evolved into an accessible tool for marketers and plays an important role in driving highly engaging consumer journeys.

Make bold moves to drive growth

Businesses need an evolved model to drive the next wave of growth in Southeast Asia. Here are some next steps that businesses can consider:

  • Prioritize, sequence, and fund your Southeast Asia ambition
  • Build an obsession with the Southeast Asian consumers
  • Evolve your business models and consumer engagement
  • Become a ‘scale insurgent disruptor’

About Meta

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

About DSG Consumer Partners

Since its inception in 2012, DSG Consumer Partners has been one of a select few venture capital firms to focus exclusively on the Asian consumer segment, investing along emerging consumer themes and behaviors. Consumer investing requires a differentiated approach to business building, one that is sharply focused on business and brand fundamentals to drive sustainable growth. DSGCP’s approach is rooted in first principles, capital efficient scaling, and prioritizing long-term profitability over short-term growth. In the last decade, DSG Consumer Partners has partnered with over 100 exceptional founders across India and Southeast Asia, building the next generation of insurgent consumer brands like Oyo, Veeba, Epigamia, Sula, Chope, Saladstop!, and many more.


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