DSC_6470MEF Asia recently hosted the second MEF Connects Thailand, sponsored by Telenor and supported by Mono Group & TIMWE. MEF Asia General Manager Linda Ruck shares her account of the evening.

With a population of more than 68 million, Thailand has more than 100 million mobile phone subscribers and is a country mad about social media, with 30 million Facebook accounts, 33 million LINE users, and ranks as the second most instagrammed place in the world.

That’s rather amazing when you consider there are only 5.5 million household computers, and it was only two years ago that 3G was introduced to the market.  With a large percentage of the population unbanked, mobile and prepaid rule this market, and as more consumers live in rural areas than urban, a mobile phone is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

With fierce competition and little consumer loyalty around mobile services, it is a challenging market to enter. Creating relationships is the key to doing successful (mobile) business in Thailand.  And so MEF Connects Thailand provided members with the perfect platform to meet up and fast track business opportunities with others in the global/local mobile ecosystem in this fast growing but complex market.

Karianne Melleby, Head of Digital Partnerships at Telenor Group opened the evening with a keynote on the importance of local content and services as a key enabler for making the internet attractive to mass audiences in Asia, and was followed by a great panel moderated by Amarit Charoenphan of e27 Thailand with expert representatives from Agoda, Google Thailand, Mono Technology and Playlab.

linda

Linda Ruck

Asia GM

MEF

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The DTAC session highlighted some of the Accelerator Programme’s most talented startups, who were introduced by DTAC’s Head of Strategy, Andrew Kvalseth. With just a three minute elevator pitch to get their business across, the startups impressed the audience with their creative presentations. You can find out more about them in Andrew’s recent guest blog post.

A big thank you to our gracious partners Telenor, Mono Group, TIMWE and media partner e27 Thailand, and of course to all members who travelled from around Asia Pacific to attend, for making the event such a success. Personal thanks go to MC for the evening; outgoing MEF Asia Chairman Colin Miles – thanks for all your support over the years and best of luck for the future!

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