Searching companies by sector & business lines at ScoutAsia

Sector - Business Lines header

When bringing business ideas to life, you may have many reasons to learn about the local businesses. Your goal could be identifying potential customers, partners, competitors, or next investments.

There are many ways to go about it. You could search through websites or news sources, but either way is time-consuming and it remains doubt on missing piece of information.  

For example, if you are looking for a list of local logistic companies who can handle local delivery in Indonesia, this is how you can explore with ScoutAsia. 


Start your search by selecting the sector 

The first way to kickstart a company search is by selecting from the sector filter. This feature can be found on the left of the search bar. If you are searching for businesses in industrial transportation, you may wish to select “industrial” and expand the filter layer to search for “industrial transportation”.  


This layering gives a better structure to the complex information around Asian businesses with the help of the global standard of the sector classification framework. ScoutAsia’s feature classifies companies across the region based on FTSE Russel’s Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB)  


What is an Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB)? 

Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) is a detailed and comprehensive structure for sector and industry analysis used across FTSE Russell indexes. ICB is also widely adopted globally by asset managers, data providers and exchanges for the categorization and comparison of companies. The classification system allocates companies to the Subsector whose definition most closely describes the nature of its business as determined from the source of its revenue or the majority of its revenue. For more information about ICB, please click here


At ScoutAsia, there are three levels of sector filtering. This structure corresponds to ICB’s first to third tiers.


Narrow down your search by finding the right “Business Lines” 

Once you have specified your sector, you will notice our machine will crawl out a recommended list of business lines. 

Business Lines is another company search filter that allows you to dive deeper into each sector. It is developed based on The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), 6-digit NAICS codes, which gives you industry clustering at a greater level of detail.   

What is North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)? 

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a 6-digit code system that is the standard used by businesses and governments to classify business establishments in North America. NAICS codes array the economy into 20 sectors, separated into subsectors, industry groups, and finally disaggregated into over 1000 6-digit industry codes. For more information, please click here.  

Before you take any step further, this will be the best time to specify the remaining parameters. For this case study illustration, we would specify Indonesia in the country filter. With this, you can instantly see companies in each Business Line category. You may wish to scroll through and select your preferred business line. ScoutAsia machine has crawled out 36 related business lines, ranging from “Air Transportation” to “Long-distance Trucking” and down to “Packing & Crating”. You may even wish to narrow it down to “postal service or couriers” & “express delivery”. This will allow you to find more precise search results. Feel free to either add them to your target list for monitoring purposes or export the entire list. The system will only export up to 500 companies. You may wish to refine them further before exporting.    



Another method to conduct companies search is by keywords.

Apart from our recommended sector-based suggestions, you may wish to go directly to the Business Lines feature and search by keywords. This method works well if you have particular words or types of business activities in mind. Once you have found and tick the specific business lines, our machine will generate a list of related companies. 


For example, when we key in the search term “casino”, there is more than one “casino” type of business. To better understand the associated keywords to the listed business types, you may wish to click the “hide/show” button. During this process, you may want to select business lines relating to target audiences and vice versa. If you are looking at a specific type of casino, such as “Casino Hotels”, you may wish to tick only the “Casino Hotels” and exit your search filter. This will then generate a list of companies within the selected industry. 


PRO-TIP: Take a step further by exploring a company you are familiar with  

While curating this list, you may come across companies that spark your interest. In such a case, you may wish to search the company first, then find a list of associated Sectors or Business Lines on the right column on the company page. Click on any related Sectors or Business Lines; you will find other companies in the same category. You can narrow down the list by additional filters such as region, financials & ownership. 


Partnering with globally trusted brands such as FactSet, Bureau van Dijk and CreditSafe, ScoutAsia web app currently provides a database of 1.8 million private & public companies across 24 countries & regions in Asia. The data coverage is supplemented by some country-specific sources & partners such as Venture Intelligence (India), FiinGroup (Vietnam), and FWP Research (Myanmar).

If you want to explore the features mentioned above, we are pleased to offer a 2 week free trial of the ScoutAsia web app. To kickstart the trial account, please fill up this form or contact us at [email protected].

In this series of #know_how articles, we will be sharing more on how ScoutAsia can help you in detail. To receive our latest updates, you can follow us on Facebook or Linkedin.   

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