THE SOUTH KOREAN television drama “My Love From the Star” features a dashing, 400-year-
old alien who falls in love with an actress. The plot isn’t difficult to grasp. It’s essentially a boy-meets-girl
story with an interstellar twist. The global appetite for such Korean entertainment — movies, TV
shows, and music videos — has exploded in recent years. For non-Korean-speaking viewers, subtitles
are crucial to the experience. Enter Viki Inc., a company that hosts content for streaming and provides
subtitles and closed captions. Viki both eliminates language barriers and introduces the content to an
otherwise unserved audience.
Traditionally, subtitles are created by a bilingual translator hired by the producer or broadcaster.
But the process is expensive and slow to scale. To overcome these challenges, Viki developed a business model leveraging a community of more than 150,000 volunteers. This model allows Viki to
crowdsource subtitles for Asian content in numerous languages. 1 Viki rewards volunteers with
The Next Wave of
Business Models in Asia
KEEPING UP WITH EMERGING MARKETS: BUSINESS MODELS
There’s a new generation of sophisticated entrepreneurial
growth companies in Asia — and they’re competing by
reconfiguring business models.
BY ASHER DEVANG, CHRISTIAN KRUSE, ANDY PARKER, AND PONTUS SIREN
NEIL WEBB/ THEISPOT. COM WINTER 2017 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 35
can be observed among
; Many of these start-ups are leveraging
innovation, not just
; They are using
; Some established
companies are also
exploring new business models in Asia.