Markus Bihler

Entrepreneur, Millenial Investor, Keynote-Speaker
Markus Bihler: The World is now a Barbell.

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Millennial investor and keynote speaker Markus Bihler started his career as equity investor with The Blackstone Group in London and EQT Partners in Munich and Warsaw, and as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Berlin. Born in 1984, he is a silver fox of the millennial generation.

Markus is the founder & CEO of Builders Union, a technology-enabled global asset manager based in London & Singapore. The company’s Global Equities Fund invests behind the rising income and changing consumer behavior of the millennial generation, based on proprietary research about how this generation actually ticks. In addition, Markus Bihler serves as Venture Partner of Vertex Ventures, the early stage investment arm of Temasek Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. He was CEO and board member of HappyFresh Group, Southeast Asia’s leading online grocery company operation in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Prior to re-locating to Asia, Markus Bihler ran online retailer Tirendo in Europe and lead successful the integration of the two organisations.

A graduate of Balliol College, University of Oxford, Markus Bihler holds a first-class degree in Economics & Management and is a life time member of the German Academic Merit Foundation. The cosmopolite lives out of his suitcase in London, Singapore and Cape Town. The passionate amateur athlete with a weak spot for mountains & forests is always ready to take the extra mile for you!

Experience an inspiring and encouraging keynote by entrepreneur and finance expert Markus Bihler! In his keynotes and workshops, Markus combines the analytical perspective of an investor with that of an operational CEO and merges his view as a European with that of his experiences in Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, China). His keynotes also combine conceptual insight and analysis with great anecdotes and personal stories.

Markus focuses on topics of highest interest. He loves to customize the keynote on your individual requirement - having effectual impact to your organization and customers.

The Millennial Generation in 7 Myths - A Playbook for the greatest demographic shift in history and how it matters to you.

The rise of the millennial consumer may well be the most profound demographic shift in history. Yet amidst the daily news on technology, geopolitical tensions and market volatility, longer term trends such as generation change are easily overlooked. When people do focus on demographics, aging populations are generally front of mind – with young consumers dropping from the radar screen. We see three biases around millennials:
Ignoring the generation shift altogether, believing that changes in consumer spending are cyclical or technology-induced
Failing to grasp the magnitude and speed of generation change
Misunderstanding values and behaviours of young consumers

Based on this, Markus’ keynote unmasks 7 millennial myths. For example, look at these:
Myth #1: Millennials are broke. Economically, they are of little importance.
Truth: Millennial are spending $10 trillion per annum, growing at 15%. Outside of developed economies, millennials are the richest generation to have ever lived in their respective countries. Already today, emerging markets represent 90% of the generation’s population, 60% of consumer spend and 50% of the millennial wealth. This generation matters financially – and it is global.

Myth #4: Millennials are lazy, soft and entitled.
Truth: Millennial work more hours than previous generations, take less vacation days, and sacrifice more for their job. More importantly, the line between "work" and "free time" has been blurred by technology, evolving the debate from "work-life balance" to "work-life integration". We are thus dealing with an always-on generation who expect wifi coverage on their vacation, answer business emails at night and need a yoga retreat to actually switch off.

Myth #6: Millennials have no respect for traditions.
Truth: If millennials deserved a label, ‘retro’ would be one of them. This generation is reviving old handcraft techniques, conserves old languages, and buys more vintage, traditional and artisanal products than any other generation. Overwhelmed by an impossibly large amount of options for anything from what yoghurt to buy to what kind of life to lead, millennials are falling back to traditional models of family and society. Overlay this with the steady decline of alcohol, cigarette and illicit drug consumption by millennials and you might just be looking at a generation of organic food-shopping, exercising, experience-seeking, open-minded and responsible young parents.

Topic: "The World is now a Barbell"
Some things never change: people want to belong – feel part of a family, tribe or group – yet also feel that they are individuals, and be unique. In the ‘old days’, people came together around three channels of color television, a few newspapers and at the local pub. Most people were rather similar – the world followed a Normal Distribution with the majority the fat middle, few in the long tails.

Today, the millennial generation is facing a very different world: more connected than any generation before them, they now get personalized news feeds and online communities on any interest imaginable – thus they find belonging away from any mainstream. The world has become a Barbell.

This keynote examines what the Barbell-shaped world means for the consumer behavior of the millennial generation. What it means for Fashion, Travel, Grocery Shopping, Experiences, Retail, Health, or Politics. In short – what it means for your business and how you can prepare yourself for the largest demographic shift in history: the "Rise of the Millennial Consumer in a Barbell-shaped World".


"Markus has  been  a  speaker  at  our  global  annual Strategic Ownership Group Meeting in Dubai or the last two years. This multi-day event  brings  together  some of  the  most  established  investors,  families  and  CEOs  of the  Subcontinent,  Asia,  Middle  East  and  North  Africa.  His  presentations  went well beyond pure  business  updates,  and – given  his  experience  and  superior  public speaking  skills –were  greatly  insightful  and  very  entertaining  to  a  very  diverse international  audience.  We  look  forward  to  seeing  him  on  stage  again  next  year."
Shirish Saraf, Founder & Vice Chairman of Samena Capital

"Markus has been a speaker and moderator at Endeavor’s largesat events in Asia and the US. Based on his experience as both investor, CEO and entrepreneur and given his great public speaking and moderating skills, he has always been a highlight. We look forward to seeing him again on any of Endeavor’s stages."
Sati Rasuanto, Managing Director Endeavor

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Video & Audio
  • Markus Bihler, Interview with Bloomberg