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Expansion solutions provider Velocity Global picks Singapore for APAC HQ

Global Managing Director Nicholas Yap on business in the Lion City.

Velocity Global, the leading provider of global expansion solutions, has announced it has selected Singapore as the location for its APAC headquarters. The company has appointed business growth veteran Nicholas Yap as Managing Director of APAC based in Singapore. Here we speak to Yap on what it means for the Denver-based company. 

Why are you choosing to set up operations in Singapore at this time during the pandemic?
Velocity Global announced its regional headquarters in Singapore as a commitment to match the growing demand for expansion from its clients. With 30% growth in our client base across APAC this year, and double that pace in Singapore, we established our APAC headquarters here in the gateway to the region.

Local presence, market knowledge and cultural awareness are critical for delivering a personalised experience for supported employees throughout APAC. Singapore is the top regional destination for global expansion among our clients due to its business-friendly culture and regulations, as well as its geographic location and digital connectivity. Velocity Global established its initial presence in Singapore in 2018, and has overseen steady growth since.

What is the current demand, and from which industries do you find wanting to enter Singapore?
Our clients expanded to Singapore at a 60% growth rate this year in both number of clients and number of supported employees to serve those businesses. The industries expanding to Singapore diversified in 2020 compared to the traditional tech domination. Still half of the companies are in technology, while the other half are spread across energy, FMCG, digital media, healthcare, nonprofits and even space industries.

Do these companies have plans to scale up or is it a matter of restructuring, and why?
Our clients expand internationally for two main reasons: to grow revenue and scale, or to access top global talent. In our 2020 State of Global Expansion report, tech companies in the US and and the UK name APAC as the top region for talent to help their businesses grow.

Most companies leverage Singapore as a springboard into the wider region, and they look to scale up once they determine that there is growth potential. However, the opposite is true too. There are companies that would like to scale down in Singapore or other regional markets and use Velocity Global to enable that strategy as they may shift their focus to another country of opportunity. We also see a rising number of M&A opportunities in which the companies seek a service like ours to manage the transition of employees while they streamline their entities to mirror the new organisational structure.

What significance do you think this will have on Singapore’s economy and job sector?
We expect continued growth in Singapore and across the region. We plan to partner with hundreds of new companies expanding to APAC, with personalised service centered from our Singapore headquarters. That translates to more than 1,000 new PMET jobs to serve the needs of those clients. Additionally, as companies shift to more remote workforces, the barriers to top global talent are removed to create opportunity in Singapore and the broader region.

And finally, given Velocity Global’s rapid growth globally, could you share three key points for businesses in Singapore who are looking to expand beyond our borders whether regionally or internationally?
Our fundamental business purpose is to help other companies grow, so our growth parallels that of our clients. Three keys to success we see across the growth businesses we serve: smart capital allocation, global talent, and flexibility.

Capital is accessible through Enterprise Singapore together with private partners, which are expected to provide more than S$8 billion to businesses over the next three years as part of the Transformation & Growth Strategy. Another government investment of S$300 million in startups is expected to draw S$800 million in private investment to propel startups.
Local talent is critical to success, be it here in Singapore or in a new market abroad. Businesses seek top talent to compete globally, and can utilise that talent remotely now more than ever. Finally, flexibility allows a growth company to put its resources toward the greatest likelihood of success. It is important to explore new markets with the agility to expand quickly or pull back if market conditions change.

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