May 31, 2011

LinkedIn to Open Its Doors in Singapore

Online networking service LinkedIn (News - Alert) has its eyes set on Asia-Pacific and has concrete plans to open its latest area headquarters in Singapore.

The office, due to start operations in June, will drive the company’s expansion and be the launch pad for future growth in the region. An office in Japan set to open later this year.

Leading LinkedIn’s push in the region is Arvind Rajan, the Managing Director and Vice-President, Asia Pacific and Japan. He is tasked with increasing revenue from recruitment licensing solutions, advertising sales and member subscriptions.

According to Rajan, the country was chosen because of its role for attracting the region’s best talent, and the company sees it as an ideal entry point into the local regional markets.

“We intend to focus our efforts on delivering the best product experience for our members in their careers, the brand marketers who want to reach them, and the recruiters who are looking to hire the best talent,” he added.

In a statement to WSJ, he said, “This headquarters will serve as a gateway for regional expansion, and support LinkedIn’s existing operations in Australia and India.”

The company which already has 50+ employees in its Australian and Indian offices, is planning to hire a dozen more, who will manage the sales and marketing operations of Asia Pacific region which already accounts for 18 million+ LinkedIn members.

Arvind Rajan further noted that they would be opening an office in Japan later this year since Japan is currently the priority market for LinkedIn, however they are also considering stepping into China which has 1 million+ LinkedIn members.

“We’re looking at it carefully, and thinking about whether it makes sense to get into the Chinese market, and if so, how,” said Rajan.

LinkedIn, which has ambitions of becoming a 'worldwide network for professionals,' knows it first “needs to be local and relevant to them at home. Singapore is a hub for talent, and we are establishing our regional headquarters here to serve as a gateway to the rest of the region,” Rajan said. Another reason was the presence of more than 4,000 multinationals in the area, which LinkedIn hopes to tap recruiters to search for potential hires.

Recently, LinkedIn inked a lease for an office in the CBD, and he is now “interviewing around the clock for its first dozen employees here, who will primarily be involved in sales and marketing roles. The company intends to hire more staff over time,” according to Rajan although the Singapore office is expected to remain an administrative and sales office.

The site has attracted more than 500,000 Singapore users since it was set up in 2003 and has more than 100 million accounts worldwide.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Rich Steeves