Rocket Internet eyes Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan markets

Rocket Internet, the German startup-builder, has big plans for Asia. Its Asia Pacific wing – a joint venture with Qatari telecom company Ooreedo – plans to launch at least one new company per quarter in the region.

Next up on Rocket’s agenda are countries not typically considered to be hotbeds for online startups: Bangladesh and Myanmar, and the company plans to expand its operations in Pakistan.

Rocket’s ventures in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan aren’t meant to look like German-funded companies – they hope to look like local firms, catering to local needs.

“It makes a lot of sense to start in these markets with straight-forward, simple business models,” says Hanno Stegmann, co-CEO of Rocket Internet’s Asia Pacific Internet Group. “Especially at the moment, where mobile penetration is picking up in these pioneer markets, it’s important to be first.”

But being the first one in the door for ecommerce in Myanmar is very different from Rocket’s Internet’s past record of startups such as grocery delivery in Singapore.

So much of Asia – and the world – is on-the-grid that it’s easy to forget what life was like before Taobao, Amazon, and Co. brought the world’s goods to our doorsteps. For its first expansions into these countries, Rocket is starting with the classics: basic ecommerce and classifieds sites.

Source: The Financial Express

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