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Asian technology firms record phenomenal growth in Deloitte ranking

06 February, 2007

The Asia Pacific tech sector is in very robust shape according to Deloitte’s latest ranking of fast growing technology companies and its survey of their CEOs.

The 500 fastest-growing technology companies in Asia Pacific recorded an average three-year revenue growth of 399 percent and their CEOs remain confident of achieving even higher growth in 2007. Although the growth in 2006 moderated a bit from that of 2005, it is none the less still impressive.

Deloitte also released results of its Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2006 CEO Survey, the firm’s annual comprehensive analysis of business trends amongst these successful companies, revealing the key concerns and expectations of regional CEOs.

Igal Brightman, global managing partner of Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, said: "The 2006 rankings show that tech companies in Asia Pacific continue to achieve phenomenal success despite increased competition. The top five companies recorded growth rates ranging from 5,021 percent to 8,350 percent. This year Australia leads the pack, with three companies ranked in the top five and seven in the top 20—the most for any location—and recorded the highest average revenue growth of 687 percent. Altogether companies from 10 locations make up the 500—a wider geographical spread than last year and a strong indicator of the sector's robust health and continuing growth potential."
Key trends emerging from this year’s Deloitte Asia Pacific rankings are:

The three-year average revenue growth for all 500 companies is a remarkable 399 percent, although this is down 119 percent from last year’s figures.

- Top sectors are Semiconductor, Components and Electronics (127 companies) and Software (123 companies), showing increases in representation since 2005 of 2.8 and 4.4 percent, respectively.

- The Communications/Networking sector has fallen by 4.4 percent, a figure greater than the growth recorded last year and placing the sector’s growth below the 2004 level. Interestingly, three of the top five companies are in this sector.

- Korea and Taiwan, again have the highest number of participating companies in the rankings, with 100 each. Australia is close behind with 70, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2005. China and Japan experienced the largest drop in number of companies represented, of 4.2 and 3.6 percent respectively.
Two locations dominated the top five positions: Australia with three out of the five and Taiwan, two, with Taiwan claiming the number one and two spots.

China holds its strong position with two companies in the top 10, Beijing Capitalbio Co. (biotechnology) and NavInfo Co., Ltd. (software), six companies in the top 20 and an average revenue growth of 521 percent. For purposes of the ranking, China includes the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR.

The largest number of Semiconductor, Components and Electronics companies came from Taiwan (73) and Korea (42), a repeat of 2005. India once again provided the largest number of Software companies (27), followed by China (21) and Korea (20). Japan contributed the largest number of Internet companies (30) followed by Australia (23); and the biggest number of Communication/Networking companies are from Australia (15), followed by China (14).

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 ranking covers public and private companies across the Asia Pacific region, and is based on a three-year average percentage for revenue growth. The awards are researched and sponsored by the Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry Group.

Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey:

The record high level of CEO confidence in 2005 continues right into 2006, with 87 percent of CEOs either very confident or extremely confident of sustaining their exceptional growth rates in 2007. Deloitte’s survey identifies Asia Pacific as the geographic market with the most significant growth opportunities.

"Australia’s strong economy is being underpinned by the rapid growth of its technology sector, based on the number of companies among this year’s top 20. The country's skilled workforce is a key area where Australia’s competencies mirror the region-wide importance of strong tech talent," said Ian Thatcher, Deloitte partner in charge, Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Program and lead partner TMT, Australia. "The difficulties of finding and retaining the right people are not a surprise to anyone working in Asia Pacific. With such a diverse geographic region, getting strong performers into the markets where they are most needed is seen by CEOs as their most crucial challenge."

Brightman went on to say: "The undeniable message this year from the CEO survey is that people matter. A sound business strategy and strong leadership remain important factors, but the majority of our respondents indicated that retaining and finding talented staff is their biggest success factor. Interestingly, the respondents are not overly concerned about where their talent comes from, highlighting the increasingly international and mobile character of many regional workforces."

Highlights of this year's Deloitte CEO Survey include:

- Eighty-seven percent of Asia Pacific CEOs surveyed are either extremely or very confident that their company will sustain its growth over the coming year.
- CEOs are focusing much more on people than in previous years, with 44.2 percent saying that finding, developing and keeping good people is their most important task and biggest challenge.
- A sound business strategy (19.7 percent) and high-quality employees (16.7 percent) are listed as the two most significant factors for growth by the CEOs surveyed.
- The top personal challenge for nearly 33 percent of the CEOs is developing leaders and delegating responsibility, further reflecting the focus on staffing and management.
- Asia Pacific businesses are embracing offshoring, with 43.2 percent saying they currently offshore part of their operations and 52.9 percent having plans to offshore more over the next five years.
-  Internet/IP is chosen as the area with the greatest growth potential over the next 12 months and over the next one to three years, highlighted by 23.1 percent and 21.2 percent of respondents, respectively. Wireless communications is a close second with 22.1 percent (12 months) and 18.3 percent (1-3 years).
Asia Pacific CEOs identified more training and education (28 percent) as the best tool for stimulating tech sector growth.

"For Asia Pacific CEOs to remain so confident even when actual growth declined in 2006 is a powerful demonstration of the region’s high growth potential," said Brightman. "The move towards more offshoring shows the tech sector's flexibility and entrepreneurship. Companies that can support this growth with technologies that improve networking, communications and collaboration over the Internet are strong contenders for the top of next year’s rankings."

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