Number of millionaires on the rise in Asia

asia income china india malaysia hong kong thailand indonesia australia

Private financial wealth globally grew by 5.2% in 2015.

This is as per the BCG annual wealth report, which looks at private wealth in the form of cash, deposits and assets (excluding property).

A big chunk of this growth was due to the Asia Pacific region, which is on course to surpass Europe as the wealthiest region after North America, in 2017.


asia pacific richest people growth


Relatively stronger GDP growth in China and India, led to a big boost in the number of millionaire households in those countries.

This helped the Asia Pacific region to be the only one posting double digit wealth growth (13%).

global and asia wealth growth 2016


In developing markets, including in Asia, new wealth is driving growth. New wealth includes sources such as rising household income, as opposed to existing assets such as equity/bonds.

new wealth driving growth in asia


Similar to other regions, the wealth held by millionaire households is predicted to rise faster than non-millionaire households. This will continue to increase income inequality.

income inquality will rise in asia

Workplace lifestyle and health trends in Asia

sitting at desk at work asia

Leading a healthy lifestyle at work, is something that has been getting a fair amount of attention in Asia.

A recent survey by Herbalife Nutrition, looked into some aspects of working healthy, in particular how sedentary people are at workplaces in Asia.

As you might know sitting for prolonged periods of time is very unhealthy and people with desk jobs are especially susceptible to this.

The study engaged 5,500 full time employees across 11 Asia Pacific Markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The results?


healthy working sedentary asia


9 out of 10 employees in Asia, spend more than 6 hours at their desk, on an average work day.

Twenty-nine percent of Singaporeans eat lunch at their desks four to five times each week. The Asia Pacific average came in at 15 percent.

Furthermore, Singaporean women were more likely to lunch while working and spend more time at their desks in general than men, according to the poll. The average desk time for women clocked in between six and nine hours for 66 percent of the women, four percent higher than male statistics.

In other Asia Pacific markets, percentages fell to either side of the Singaporean results. Hong Kong professionals came in at 34 percent, with Malaysia trailing at a healthier 22 percent. Indonesia claims the highest percentage of workers lunching at their desks, 71 percent.

Increased efficiency and downsizing factor into the equation for Singapore. Maximum output with fewer employees requires greater time commitments. Longer hours and fewer breaks result.

While people in Singapore understand the need and value of pursuing physical activity, according to Dr. Luigi Gratton, vice president of Worldwide Nutrition and Education Development, their sedentary lifestyles highlight that many people are not acting on this knowledge.

This information also bears out in health-related concerns. Weight gain ranked as the top issue for men, 74 percent, and women, 81 percent. Less energy and poor digestive health were next in line, as the top concerns.

Survey respondents recognize the significant role corporate culture plays in enabling them to achieve a healthy lifestyle. They admit that they would be encouraged to adopt a physically active lifestyle if it were part of their corporate culture.

ExpertDB, An ‘Uber for experts’ launches in 150 countries worldwide

expert consulting marketplace asia

ExpertDB, is an online marketplace, which is like Uber for experts/consulting.

The service just launched in 150 countries. In Asia, at the moment, it is available in Singapore, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, China, Korea and Japan.

The idea and process is simple.

  1. Companies, both large and small, often need external experts to solve problems, provide insights and drive deals.
  2. These companies can use ExpertDB to create confidential projects, that get matched to relevant experts around the world.
  3. The companies can then vet the experts (and vice versa) and if everything works out, hire their services for the project.
  4. Projects can be tracked/monitored and once complete payment is made.
  5. Companies don’t pay anything to ExpertDB. They pay the experts for their services. The experts in-turn, pay 10% of their fee to ExpertDB.

The company was founded by Phalgun Raju (an MIT and Harvard alum), who stated:

“During our private beta, we were working with Fortune 1000 companies and top management consulting and private equity firms who were hiring experts in our marketplace across an amazing array of topics.

Managers and investment professionals at these firms were hiring experts to do everything – from solving engineering and data science problems to providing industry insights or driving small M&A deals.

But finding the right expert efficiently was next to impossible and is a very inefficient word-of-mouth process.”

According to Phalgun, ExpertDB is different from traditional expert networks such as Expert 360, HourlyNerd and Gerson Lehrman Group. The main differences are that ExpertDB does not charge a fee to companies and is 100% online, completely self service & greater in scope.

The company raised USD 500K in seed funding, which it used to get ready for launch.

Ranking of best Asian countries for women to live and work

best women work Singapore, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia

A study by  BAV Consulting, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. News & World Report, provides a ranking of the best places for women to live and work.

To score countries, they looked at the following attributes:

  1. Cares about human rights
  2. Gender equality
  3. Income equality
  4. Safety
  5. Progressiveness

The Nordic countries fared best in the ranking. Pakistan and Algeria, were ranked as the two worst countries for women to live and work.


Here are the top 20 countries globally for women to live and work:

  1. Denmark
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Netherlands
  5. Australia
  6. New Zealand
  7. Germany
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Luxembourg
  10. Austria
  11. France
  12. Ireland
  13. United States
  14. Japan
  15. Spain
  16. Italy
  17. Portugal
  18. Singapore
  19. Czech Republic
  20. China

Rankings of Asian countries, for women to live and work:

  • South Korea – 23
  • Malaysia – 35
  • Thailand – 36
  • Philippines – 41
  • Vietnam – 43
  •  India – 44
  • Indonesia – 50

Which countries have the highest paid employees in Asia-Pacific?

base salary in singapore 2016

Willis Towers Watson’s 2015/2016 Global Remuneration Report reveals that base salaries are highest in Singapore, as compared to other countries in Asia Pacific.

The survey looked at salaries across 3 job grades – professionals, senior management and top management.

Salaries in Singapore are 8% higher than Hong Kong on average. Hong Kong is the highest paying economy of the Greater China Region.

The largest salary gap between Singapore and China is at the professional level, where salaries double in Singapore. From middle management, up to senior and top management levels, employees in Singapore earn 28 to 52 percent more.


singapore asia salary levels 2016


“As a leading economy in the region, Singapore enhances the competitiveness in the international area. They want to bring in top talent with the best knowledge of practices from all parts of the world. It allows them to offer a higher competitive salary to bring in the managers,” stated Mr. Sambhav Rakyan, a data services practice leader with Willis Towers Watson in the Asia Pacific.

Aside from Singapore, eleven other countries were part of the Asia Pacific section in the report. Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are included in the report.

  • Indonesia pays their executives a higher pay grade than other countries in South East Asia, right behind Singapore.
  • However, Indonesia executive salaries are still five per cent to 44 per cent lower than China’s base pay for their employees.
  • Malaysia and Thailand pay their executives the least, and the professional levels are paid the least in the Philippines.

Mr. Rakyan declares the lower salaries in the Southeast Asian countries provide a competitive edge.

“Low-cost labor is not a major selling point of China, and the pay level illustrates that point. China is more expensive than other areas, and the developed infrastructure and skilled workforce will continue to bring in companies, compared to economies in Southeast Asia. An emphasis on quality and sustainability for products and services will continue to attract talent to China, and the base salaries will continue to be higher than other countries.”