Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Chalawan, a company of passion focused on the Southeast Asia (SEA) Consumer space. Our mission is to understand this space better than anyone else, share our knowledge, and build or grow consumer businesses here for the long-term.
We’re building Chalawan on equal parts curiosity and frustration. Curiosity about the region’s diversity, complexity, and immense promise of growth, but also frustration that Southeast Asia – a region of more than 650 million consumers – is so hard to understand.
We’ve spent the last nine years growing and operating consumer businesses in Southeast Asia, and while quantitative consumer research has gotten better, we think that the space is lacking in qualitative insights and narratives that explain, inspire, and spark new ideas. And we want to do something about that.
Our approach is simple and divided in three pillars:
1. Learn and research
We will spend time and effort documenting and synthesising important topics in the SEA Consumer space. Some of the topics we’re currently working on are:
- What Southeast Asia’s massive social commerce trend really means, both to the region and to the rest of the world
- What might come after mega-marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada’s domination of organised e-commerce in the region, as the needs and wants of buyers and sellers evolve
- What Southeast Asia’s internal consumer market might look like in five or ten years, and what that will mean for the formation of brands, trade of goods, and collaboration across economies
2. Publish and build community
We will share everything we learn through the Chalawan Insights newsletter, and might branch out to other media down the line. Our principle is to publish when we have something great to share, but we’re aiming for no more than one newsletter a month. We’re writing the newsletter for an audience of operators and investors who are curious about SEA Consumer.
3. Monetize and make bets
Our business model relies on the value we generate from our research and publishing:
- Consulting: We offer advice and hands-on support for consumer brands and investors who are looking to grow in Southeast Asia. We can help find answers to hard questions across the SEA Consumer landscape, and within our functional areas of expertise, namely e-commerce, retail transformation and digital growth. We’re well versed and well connected across Southeast Asia, and travel extensively in the region.
- Own bets: We invest in Southeast Asian consumer businesses that we believe in, and will launch our own experiments in categories where we see extraordinary opportunity. We’ll fund this on our own to start, but we might seek outside investment for promising ventures if we find partnerships that make sense.
For now, our only ask is permission to send you an email with insights now and then. You can sign up to Chalawan Insights below.