Former salesperson turned entrepreneur, David is not your typical CEO. Malaysian by birth, but his background is as varied as his sporting interests. He’s worked in the US, Malaysia, China, and Singapore, so he’s got the global and regional experience.
Now he’s changing the golfing game with his brand new venture. He started Deemples to solve a problem. More specifically, a problem he had, which was finding golfing buddies whenever he wanted to play a round or two. With Deemples, he says you can easily connect with and either join groups of golfers or create your own game, looking for people to join you.
David has over 15 years in sales under his belt and a lot of that has been in technology, setting up sales teams and launching new markets. When’s he’s not playing golf of course.
When David isn’t in his office or on the golf course ‘working’, you’ll find him wakeboarding, rock climbing, or just watching action movies.
Find out more about David and Deemples below.
1. Sell us your company/service in 300 words?
A round of golf takes four 4 hours not including having some food, showering, and traveling time back and forth, so the whole activity takes about six to eight hours.
With schedules becoming tighter and tighter, and people becoming busier, there is just less time available. This makes organising golf a hassle for most golfers, checking who’s available when, where each player prefers to play and so on.
It got to a point where most golfers just want to get a game in regardless of whether their friends could make it, but then again who likes to play alone? Or worse yet, rock up to the golf course just to find out there are no open slots and everyone there is in a foursome.
Deemples was created exactly for this reason, to help both new and seasoned golfers to get a round in whenever they want, at wherever they want.
Browse through available games in the app in your area, or if nothing fits, create your own and let others join you.
Play more golf, meet more people. Help the newbies get started, and seek advice from the more experienced. The game of golf will only grow if more people play it.
2. What is stopping you from having the largest company in the world?
I don’t need to have the largest company in the world. All I need is to be able to help as many people get into the game of golf, and existing golfers to play as much golf as possible. This can be done in many ways – continuously connecting, educating, and equipping people to be able to enjoy the game of golf.
Golf is shifting, habits are changing, but the golf industry hasn’t. The golf population is aging, and more exciting, less expensive and time-consuming sports are being invented every day, making it the choice for younger people with packed schedules. However, because of the barriers of entry to golf, only a select few (1% of the population of the world) play the game, making it an exclusive community that is targeted by all luxury players.
There are golfers and non-golfers out there who want to get into the game or play more golf, it’s our duty to help them get connected so that they can get a game going whenever, wherever in the world.
With all the rules, regulations and etiquette of golf, it makes the game intimidating. We make it our responsibility to help golfers have fun while still understanding the rules of the game, allowing everyone to enjoy the game whether they play it competitively or socially.
Finally, once we have connected and educated all golfers, we would love to equip the golf industry with better equipment, golf facilities, golf machinery, knowledge, while also equipping aspiring golfers with scholarships, job opportunities, formal education, to allow them to get to a position to be able to play golf, forever and ever.
3. If you could change one thing about the tech industry in Southeast Asia, what would it be?
More like an add-on, instead of a change. Is for the tech big boys to give back to the community, sharing best practices and education on product development and design. Large corporations have CSR giving back to the less fortunate.
I think the tech industry should help itself grow even more by giving back in terms of education.
4. Name one person in the region, who is making a difference in Technology?
There have been so many people who have been instrumental in the growth and success of Deemples so far. This includes my family, friends, and investors.
However, if we’re looking at whom I believe is making a difference, it would have to companies like Grab.
For SEA, we can’t run away from the fact that Grab has the largest muscle in making a difference in technology. With them focusing very clearly on a mass problem across specifically this culturally and regulatory diverse SEA region, using technology to aim to help the community get around, and make seamless transactions, is definitely making a difference now, and for years to come.
5. What would you want people to remember you for, 100 years from now?
I don’t need people to remember me. I just need to help people enjoy the game of golf just like I enjoy the game of golf. I faced a bunch of barriers getting into the game and continuously being able to play it, so I don’t want others to face the same barriers as me since we can solve it with technology.
For more great interviews, visit 5 Questions.
An avid golfer, new wakeboarder, jazz lover, occasional poker player, semi-health freak, sweet talker.
Finance degree from Indiana University. 15 years in sales, launching markets, building, and managing teams. Last 9 years in digital media focusing on social, technology, data, analytics, programmatic, and playing lots of golf. Previously based in the USA, Malaysia, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore.
Views expressed by the interviewee are not necessarily shared by Tech Collective and some minimal editing is done for clarity’s sake.
To read more great interviews with your favourite startups, click here.