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Xero's Singapore expansion a two-way learning experience

18 Jul 2016

Original article from BusinessDesk

​Xero's expansion into Singapore is proving to be a challenging endeavour with 'massive potential' for the company and SMEs - but there's still work to be done, according to Shaun Burke, Xero's Asia sales director.

"We've got a huge opportunity here in the tens of millions of SMEs across what we would consider English-speaking southeast Asia. The adoption of cloud and integrated solutions at the business level is still something that's a little bit new here and I think from an accounting firm perspective, moving over to those technologies is a bit of a step change when some firms are still using Excel," says Burke.

Xero's core business focuses on its New Zealand, Australian, United States and UK markets, while its revenue from the Singapore market is classed as "rest of the world". This category makes up 3.4% of its subscribers, and 4.5% of its total sales - but with a revenue jump to $9.4 million.

Burke says that the Asian market is a diverse market with different cultures, which produces some new challenges, including developing infrastructures and broad regulations, considering many Asian SMEs just use Excel and hand-written ledgers.

Xero trains people in general cloud and integrated solutions, and then builds Xero access through that mechanism, Burke says.

Competition in the market is fierce, as MYOB and QuickBooks online also operate in southeast Asia. Intuit has already been adopting a cloud strategy.

Burke says although they're marketing the cloud, Xero is the one coming in with the better solution, describing it as a "Double-edged sword" for the competitors, and great news for Xero.

Original article from BusinessDesk