Overcoming Challenges: Entering the HMI Software Market in Southeast Asia

Entering the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) software market in Southeast Asia presents unique opportunities and challenges. This dynamic region, with its mix of rapidly developing economies and diverse cultures, requires a well-thought-out strategy for businesses aiming to succeed. 

Southeast Asia comprises 10 countries, with a combined population of over 650 million and a GDP exceeding $3.6 trillion. Key markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are witnessing robust industrial growth, with manufacturing contributing significantly to their economies. The adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, including HMI software, is accelerating, driven by government initiatives and private sector investments. 

  • International companies that are interested in entering ASEAN market must invest in market research to understand the unique demands of each country. For example, between 2019 and 2029, the global HMI Market is reported to grow at a CAGR of 7.9%, with the fastest growing market being the Asia-Pacific market, according to a study by Mordor Intelligence.
  • There is a growing interest of HMI among industries such as Automobile, Aerospace, Packaging and semiconductor and electronics. The global automotive HMI market is projected to grow from USD 23.9 billion in 2023 to USD 40.2 billion by 2028, at CAGR of 11%. APAC and ASEAN are turning to be among highest growing region for automotive HMI consumption. Thus, this could be right time for international companies to enter ASEAN
  • However, to capture that market, the international company needs to learn distinct regulations of each country within ASEAN, specifically for software deployment and data protection. Indonesia’s Personal Data Protection Law (PDP Law) and Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act which states that “a data user shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal data is accurate, complete, not misleading and kept up-to-date by having regard to the purpose, including any directly related purpose, for which the personal data was collected and further processed.” impose stringent data handling requirements.
  • Navigating regulations requires local legal expertise. For example, in Vietnam, obtaining licenses for software that interacts with industrial machinery can be complex and time-consuming.
  • On top of that HMI companies must also adhere to industry-specific regulations like the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) and the ASEAN Conformity Assessment Procedures. In the automotive sector, they need to comply with regulations like the ASEAN UN Mutual Recognition Agreement (UNMRA) for vehicle safety standards.
  • Other than regulations, HMI companies also need to localize software interfaces to support multiple languages and offer customizable solutions.
  • Companies need to develop scalable HMI solutions that cater to both advanced and less developed industrial environments. In Indonesia, where infrastructure varies greatly, scalable solutions are crucial. They also have to provide training and support to ensure smooth integration with existing systems.
  • Thus, it is important for an international HMI company to understand different requirement for different markets. Like the presence of over 200 local automation firms in Malaysia alone highlights the competitive nature of the market. At the same time, countries like Myanmar and Laos lag in technological infrastructure, affecting HMI software deployment.

Successfully entering the HMI software market in Southeast Asia requires a nuanced, data-driven strategy. By understanding and addressing the region’s diverse challenges, leveraging local partnerships, and differentiating through innovation and quality, businesses can effectively tap into the growing opportunities in this dynamic market. With careful planning and execution, the potential for growth and success in Southeast Asia’s HMI software market is significant. ASEAN business partners can assist you in tapping into the opportunities present in this growing market. With the help of our teams and strategies, ASEAN Business Partners can help you grow, understand and flourish in the south-east Asian market. Contact us for further details.

About the Author

Kavita Panda
Chief Operating Officer | Profile

Kavita Panda is our Chief Operating Officer and Country Manager for India. Kavita was Executive Director of The Walt Disney Company India, wherein, she spent a decade and half in various business roles across Content Syndication, Licensing and Merchandising, Solution Sales and Advertising Sales.