And my feedback on each one for your convenience
It is Day 56 since the Singapore 🇸🇬 circuit breaker was announced and I have already lost count of the days since I stopped going to office. If there is one thing that I look forward to every afternoon though, it’s that evening run 🏃♂️ 🏃♀️ where I can zone off from work 💻 and tune into something else.
During these runs, especially when I’m alone, I have started renewing an old habit: listening to podcasts 📣. Call me a workaholic, but these podcasts are not just for fun, they are centred around the Asian startup ecosystem. What better way to zoom out from the daily work routine than by getting a macro perspective on varying topics affecting your startup ecosystem?
Let me start with my favourite podcast of all: Masters of Scale. Reid Hoffman’s deep and articulate voice, questioning some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, interspersed with Reid’s thesis and analysis, gift-wrapped with Hollywood-level post production, podcasts can’t get better than this. Unfortunately, not much, if at all, of the content here is Asian and hence around a year ago I decided to discover similar stuff in the land of the billions.
It took me a good year or so to curate these podcasts and as I did not find any lists out there talking about relevant Asian startup podcasts, I thought I’d enumerate 10 of them that I specifically listen to, while giving some feedback on each to help you decide the ones you might want to subscribe to yourself.
Created by Accel Partners from India, this is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to mostly due to their deep dives into SaaS industry. The podcast tends to feature the who’s who of Indian ecosystem with some great lessons from star founders. Occasionally it features senior partners from Accel India giving their opinions on all things tech.
Previously known as 996, this is a highly popular podcast by GGV Capital. In-depth conversations with some of the best Chinese and now other Asian, founders, there is never a dull episode to this podcast. Hans Tung’s nimble thinking combined with an analyst’s thoughtful questions keeps the content engaging, although a bit longer than typical podcasts. It’s also fun to mentally spar with the thesis of the famous VC firm.
If there is one podcast that I can rely on to give me the most transparent version of news on China, it’s this one. Rui and Yingying, the podcast’s popular hosts, unearth meaningful and intricate stories on popular startups and sectors from China. While there are usually no guests in this one, the hosts have perfected the art of building engaging audio content with stories frequently weaved in and concluding summaries. Coupled with business model evolution of growth stage startups and unicorns from China, this is my favourite way to learn more about the Chinese ecosystem.
Among the longest running and most consistent podcasts from India, it features the up and coming VCs and entrepreneurs from the country. While the content can be long and monologuish sometimes, overall I like the honesty and candidness of the speakers.
Ankur Warikoo, a well-known founder from India was hosting this one for the longest time. For the last few months the show has been a bit inconsistent with it’s episodes though. That said, it tends to host a lot many serial entrepreneurs from the Indian startup ecosystem.
It’s one of the few podcasts coming out of Indonesia. It is also one of the rarer occasions where a growth-stage startup talks about the ecosystem and company building at large. Nadiem Makarim, Indonesia’s most celebrated startup founder, used to be a regular host. They haven’t posted an episode since November 2019, but even the older content has unique insights into the build-up of a unicorn in Southeast Asia.
Another of those podcasts that seems to be weakening in terms of new episodes, but started by Daniel Song, a VC-turned-founder this one covers short sessions with investors from Southeast Asia. The library of existing content should be enough to get you upto speed with what’s happening in the region.
One of the freshest podcasts in Southeast Asia started by my good friend Yash from Jungle Ventures, this is the newest and currently the most active podcast in town. Looking forward to more fresh content here!
When scouring for more content, it’s hard to miss the biggest tech media company in town — TechInAsia. This podcast, while featuring journalists’ point of views on startup topics, is probably the only one in Asia that comes even close to the post-production levels of Masters of Scale mentioned above.
And last, but not the least by miles, how can one miss Asia Tech Podcast? With well over 500 shows and counting Graham Brown has interviewed probably every possible founder and VC you have heard of. I guess he’s giving things a pause for now, but I hope to see this one return soon to the mix.
And that completes the round up of the top 10 Asian startup podcasts list. Do note, lower ratings ⭐️ from my side doesn’t necessarily mean that the content is not good. It’s my very subjective opinion comparing each of them. Regardless of the ratings, I like all these 10 podcasts and regularly listen to them. I’m also thankful to the creators, hosts, and guests for sparing their time to create and provide this content for free, for our benefit. Keep hosting!