Start-up companies in Southeast Asia should recognize unique talents as they scurry to gain momentum in a rough-and-tumble world of competition, and overcome obstacles from logistics and timing to localization, entrepreneurs told CNBC.
Entrepreneurs need to know their core strengths and "it has to be something that only they can be good at," said Maximilian Bittner, CEO of e-commerce firm Lazada, majority owned by China's Alibaba Group Holding after a $1 billion investment in April.
Bittner, speaking at a CNBC Exchange panel discussion in Jakarta, said that for the Southeast Asian e-commerce marketplace, getting the logistics right was a key part of its success.
For example in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, Lazada had to build a logistics network that could cater to the needs of the market.
Another disruptive start-up in the region shared that getting the right mix of personalization was vital.
"We started by wanting to become the Netflix of Asia, but then we learned that we had to adjust greatly to make it compatible with each of the target Asian markets," said David Goldstein, head of Asia at iFlix and CNBC Exchange panellist.