Monk’s Hill Ventures and Glints’ Report Identifies 8 Trends in Building Teams and
Attracting Startup Tech Talent in Southeast Asia
Singapore, March 30, 2021 – Monk’s Hill Ventures (MHV) and Glints today launched the “The
Southeast Asia Tech Talent Compensation” report. The first-of-its-kind report in Southeast Asia
(SEA) covers the latest data trends in building teams and attracting startup tech talent in
Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The report finds that as tech giants from the U.S. and China are expanding in SEA and driving
base salaries up, regional startups are facing an even tighter talent crunch. While
compensation packages for both tech and non-tech roles within SEA have increased, the
region remains an attractive market for securing experienced and diverse talent to build quality
The report covers more than 1,000 data points for tech startup talent and interviews with over
20 founders across Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The report zooms out to encompass
the wider tech talent landscape in Southeast Asia, and the motivations and drivers of both
startups and their employees.
The report examines:
● Current state and impact of the talent crunch as tech giants expand in SEA
● Compensation and equity data of founders and startups across geography (Singapore,
Indonesia, and Vietnam), funding stage, and core roles
● Data trends and insights into engineering, product management, data science,
marketing, and PR roles
● Impact of Covid-19 on company building in the region
● Role of culture in scaling startups and teams in SEA
Key findings from the report include:
1. There’s a talent crunch regionally – particularly in Singapore – for engineering and
product manager roles. U.S. and China tech companies entering the region – including
TikTok, Tencent, Alibaba, and Zoom – are more likely to pay above-market rates for tech
talent or, in some cases, write blank checks for high performers.2. Cash is still king, though things are changing. Fewer than 32% of participants
reported being compensated in equity. However, the report revealed that some
founders are spending time educating their teams on the benefits of equity.
3. Technical roles are still the most in-demand and highly remunerated across the
region. Technical roles (product, data science, engineering) earned 54% more than
non-technical roles (marketing, operations, sales, finance).
4. The differences in base salary between product and data science roles over
non-technical roles were 1 to 2 times higher than for engineering. This suggests
that while engineering skills are becoming more common across the region, specialized
product and data science skills remain hard to come by.
5. Salary differences for senior roles relative to junior roles were the highest in
Vietnam for both tech and non-tech talent compared to Singapore and Indonesia,
suggesting strong potential for upward salary growth within the Vietnamese tech sector.
6. Besides big tech companies, some startups are now offering annual wage
supplements (AWS), bonuses, restricted stock units (RSU), or employee stock
ownership plans (ESOP).
7. Remote work is here to stay. Most founders have adjusted to the new normal,
implementing staggered work schedules in the office or 100% work from home policies.
The report revealed the emergence of founders building completely remote teams and
being more flexible on where to source the best talent.
8. A regionally distributed talent strategy is a winning strategy. Given the wide range
of salaries across SEA, many startups are shifting towards a strategy of regionally
distributed teams, to take advantage of skill sets and compensation benchmarks across
The report also includes interviews with the following founders on their views on building
company culture and retaining talent:
– Dorothea Koh, Co-Founder and CEO of Bot MD;
– Marcus Tan, Co-Founder of Carousell;
– Oswald Yeo, Co-Founder and CEO Glints;
– Paul Hadjy, Co-Founder and CEO of Horangi;
– Roshni Mahtani, Co-Founder and CEO of theAsianparent;
– and Lai Chang Wen, Co-Founder and CEO of Ninja Van.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
###Notes to editor:
We interviewed 20 founders primarily in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and Thailand for
additional perspective. The C-suite compensation data survey was provided by over 20 startup
tech founders in the relevant markets, from all funding stages. Compensation data for
additional non-executive roles was derived from surveys with Glints’ senior recruiters,
combined with Glints’ proprietary database of over 1,000 data points for tech startup roles,
including job advertisements and placements made throughout 2020. We also conducted a
survey with over 175 tech and non-tech talent in the relevant markets. The data set also
included insights from Glints’ senior business leaders, in addition to Monk’s Hill Ventures’
portfolio companies across these markets.
About Monk’s Hill Ventures
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Peng T. Ong and Kuo-Yi Lim, Monk’s Hill Ventures (‘MHV’) is
a venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology startups, primarily Series A, in
Southeast Asia. Backed by institutional investors and family offices worldwide, MHV works with
great entrepreneurs to use technology to improve the lives of millions of people in the region.
Find out more at www.monkshill.com.
Glints is the #1 talent platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan that supports professionals for
their full career discovery and development journey. Over 4 million professionals visit Glints
every month to grow their careers. Founded in 2013 in Singapore, Glints has evolved from a job
board to a high-growth tech-enabled career and upskilling platform that empowers more than
1.5 million talents and 30,000 organizations to realize their human potential. Every day, we are
helping organizations build great teams and pairing talent up with great opportunities, one
match at a time. Glints currently operates in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and
Head of Communications at Monk’s Hill Ventures
Brand and Communication Lead at Glints
At the start of January 2023, a drunk man in an Air India flight’s business class urinated over a 72-year-old woman sitting beside him. The man, Shankar Mishra, was the Vice President of the financial services company Wells Fargo (he was fired following the incident). In itself, the incident is disgusting.