War for talent – 2

In the Silicon-valley focussed Software world, war for talent as a certain meaning. I touched on that in a previous post. Every new technology creates a vacuum and opportunities.

While there is not so much shortage of talents in Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, HKG, …), south east Asia is more problematic. Apart from Singapore which enjoys some universities ranked in the world top 100 (NUS #26, NTU #55), the other most developed countries in ASEAN have few, if any, universities ranked in the top 1,000 (malaysia #400-500, Thailand #600-800, and Indonesia, #600-800. None of the university in Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. Countries provided in GPD per capita order).

The situation in Singapore is not great either, since there is a systemic deficit of talent. The hardening of immigration in the past years (Nikkei Asian Review Article, The Economic Times Article) made it harder to recruit from abroad. Moreover, the attitude of locals towards risky jobs, including jobs at start up, even if changing in the recent years thanks to a great push by the government, makes it even more difficult. The result, as published last week in national newspapers, is an obvious Lack of talents in Singapore, the most successful and attractive country in ASEAN.

Add on top of that:
– the attractiveness of the Silicon Valley, which lures the good ones away,
– the attractiveness of Google opening a local R&D Center (here),
– the money Singapore government is pouring into very early stage start up, making starting your own company and getting anything from 50k to 500k a breeze,
– the pressure for telecom and VoIP vendors to adopt WebRTC, and the overall lack of webRTC expertise,
and you get yourself a nice explosive environment where good people stay only as long as a company is successful and/or they are learning, and move quick.

There are quite a few of companies working on, or with webRTC in Singapore. Temasys, of course, but also Wavecell, Nexmo, Twilio, and other companies have projects using it: Visa, MyRepublik, Starhub, Singtel, M1, Intercall, …..

One can take a look at Temasys as an example of talent hemorragy (*).

But more interestingly, there seems to be Talent available on the market now! Ludovic Roux, ex Temasys Deputy-CTO, is now apparently available (linkedin) since this month (Feb 2016). A good catch for anybody who wants webRTC expertise.

So all the bets are ope! Is Tokbox going to get this one too, and secure all the great WebRTC engineers in a “Dream Team”? Is Twilio going to  beat them at it? Is a Japanese or French company going to go after him, since he speaks both languages? Exciting times for webrtc experts.

Dr Alex.


(*) Disclaimer, I was a previous employee of Temasys, and am still a shareholder. For the purpose of this article, only public, verifiable informations were used. Screenshots and prints of all pages linked here are kept for verification.

LinkedIn is a good proxy in this case.

  • CTO and Co-Founder left on Feb 2015 (linkedin). He went on to be Principal Architect at Citrix.
  • Deputy-CTO Ludovic Roux is apparently available (linkedin) since this month (Feb 2016). A good catch for anybody who wants webRTC expertise.
  • Senior Engineer Manager – 1 (linkedin) went on to be CTO of another local company on June 2015,
  • Senior Engineer Manager – 2 (linkedin) went on to be a System Manager at Singtel, the national Telco on July 2015,
  • SVP Finance (linkedin) went on to be Finance Director to a company in Indonesia in August 2015,
  • VP Commercial (linkedin) had two jobs change in less than a year. While his linkedin listed his starting date at his latest job as Jan 2015, it’s likely a mistake, since the corresponding PR states january 2016. He then would have stopped working for Temasys on July 2015, just a few months after the public announcement of his hiring. He went on to great positions as senior executive, eventually in the media industry, going back to its first love.
  • VP of sales and Marketing (linkedin) moved on to the same position at another start up on march 2015.
  • 5~6 other engineers moved out in 2015.
  • Ex-CEO now COO is proposing is services “up to 30h a week” on upwork.
  • Director of Engineering took a side job at the university (linkedin) since september 2015.

Creative Commons License
This work by Dr. Alexandre Gouaillard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This blog is not about any commercial product or company, even if some might be mentioned or be the object of a post in the context of their usage of the technology. Most of the opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not of any corporate or organizational affiliation.

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