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Market Bytes - September 27, 2023

Market Bytes | Regional Salary Comparison | Tech Roles


In recent years, there are more startups that have reached the unicorn status due to increase in fundings from the private equity markets and rising middle class. Based on a report by Credit Suisse, 19 startups in the region have seen an increase in valuation to above USD$1 billion in 2021 alone such as Carsome (MY), Go-Jek (ID), Carousell (SG), Revolution Precrafted (PH), Flash Group (TH) and many others.


Technology is one of the core pillars of any digital business out there. With over 600 million people in the region and steadily increasing GDP per capita, SEA is filled with top-tier talent that are highly attractive for businesses to invest in. With focus mainly on consumer-led businesses like ecommerce, fintech, logistics and internet/technology, there seems to be a rise in business-to-business services as more companies are open to revamp the way they use technology for their business. 


With all these demands, here at Kinetik, we always strive to share the best insights for the market and in this blog, we will cover the regional salary comparison when it comes to Technology roles. The technology roles will be divided based on specializations across each market:

  • Front-end
  • Back-end
  • Full Stack
  • DevOps
  • QA
  • Data

Some key findings that we can deduce:

  1. Singapore is at least 3 times more costly across the board for Technology talent, although we need to consider the attractiveness of Singapore as a Digital HQ destination and access to top international talent.

  2. Best value for technology talent is Ho Chi Minh as you can access very high caliber developer talents at reasonable cost when benchmarked regionally.

  3. Kuala Lumpur is no longer a low-cost destination as compared to others across the region. The attraction to invest in Malaysia is mainly due to the ease of doing business as well as strategic geographical location that allows access to neighboring and international talent makes it an increasingly viable alternative to Singapore.

  4. Bangkok and Jakarta both have rapidly evolving digital talent ecosystems and given the pace of growth and investment, it will be interesting to see how access to top talent, relative to cost, would develop over the next 3 years