We’ve interviewed or spoken to hundreds of startup founders in the last year or so. We usually asked them what’s holding them back.
For this article, the team has voted on what the best responses to the ‘5 Questions’ part of what is holding them back from being the largest company in the world. You’ll notice an interesting trend from practical, to aggressive, to functional and so on.
Here are some highlights from our interview so far.
Dr. Snehal Patel, CEO and Co-Founder, MyDoc
A functional and confident response from the recently funded healthtech startup that highlights the confidence he has in the industry.
I don’t think there is anything that significant stopping us, to be honest. We see the opportunity in front of us, because in every industry or for every service you have a choice whether or not you’ll use. You don’t need to buy the latest phone or use ride-hailing businesses, there are alternatives. However, healthcare is the only industry where every single person in the world needs it.
This is why I am so excited about the industry and the potential. However, realistically we know the challenges of scaling a heavily regulated and complex business, so we are entering relevant markets and setting up the groundwork for large-scale expansion.
Evangeline Leong, CEO and Co-Founder, Kobe Global Technologies
Unfiltered, honest, and aggressive. Evangeline has been disrupting her industry since inception, bring micro-influencers into the mainstream.
I would definitely want to expand Kobe but it all comes down to timing. I am actually looking into expanding into the SEA market but before tackling that, I would like to first build a solid foundation as I strongly believe that a strong foundation is integral to the company’s success. My team is my main asset and I am sincerely appreciative of them as they helped Kobe achieve where it is today. Just like how generals don’t go to war without their well-prepared soldiers, I wouldn’t want to expand too quickly without a skilled team. Hiring the right people also becomes an issue because the quality is compensated with quantity if we’re expanding too fast.
By being the largest company out there doesn’t equate to being the best. Growth is good for the company but sustainable growth is better. Just like plants, businesses need time to be nurtured to grow.
Ethan Dobson, CEO and Co-Founder, iPaymy
iPaymy is coming off a fresh round of funding and trying to disrupt a crowded payments market. Their CEO Ethan’s honest and straightforward answer is a refreshing take on the jargon that currently fills the tech landscape.
It’s never been my motivation to have the largest company in the world, so I guess the primary thing stopping me is lack of motivation.
Kaikai Yang, COO and Co-Founder, Energo Labs
Jazz drummer and blockchain energy expert. Not exactly the most related statement ever, but Kaikai is changing perceptions and fighting for fair female representation in technology. Her answer is both informative and impressive in getting into the technicalities of the industry in an easy-to-understand manner.
The biggest challenge we face is the monopolistic structure of the energy sector. Majority of the countries in the world still have a traditional energy sector where electricity generation, transmission, and distribution capabilities lie in the hands of one or few organisations that make the majority of the decisions in the sector.
While this simplifies the grid, it leaves consumers with limited choices over where they would like their energy source to come from. Additionally, this highly regulated sector leads to less transparency about the impacts of the energy sector such as sustainability, billing, energy theft, metering, etc.
This traditional structure is now changing in many countries to give way to decentralisation of energy, which places a much greater emphasis on renewable energy sources compared to fossil fuels. Deregulation and decentralisation are helping start-ups like Energo Labs break the present monopoly and open up the market. This encourages the entry of virtual and independent power plants and gives rise to the phenomenon of prosumers, while allowing consumers to have more choices over where their energy comes from.
The challenges to that are navigating through and establishing a presence in the industry dominated by large companies, and carefully analysing the risks and consequences of restructuring this industry given its impact on the country as a whole. Energy, especially in the form of electricity, is the building blocks of all other industries in today’s digital world. This means that any action must be thoroughly analysed with safety measure implemented.
Matt DeSantis, CEO and Founder, MyBhutan
Last, but not least is MyBhutan founder, Matt. An explorer and former high-powered consultant. Matt left his previous life behind to explore and make positive change through MyBhutan. His answer shares the mission of his company rather than focusing on the financial or business side of things.
Striving to become the world’s largest company has never been one of our team conversation points.
We focus on identifying gaps and devising solutions to better user experience. We will continue to connect businesses online across the world and, concurrently, expand economic opportunity.
I have yet to identify any limitation to our business model that may prevent its growth prospects.
If you’re one the best up and coming startup founders in Southeast Asia and want to be featured in our interview section 5 Questions, drop us an email here. You can also check our other articles in the Voices section, for great insight into the startup and technology industry in Southeast Asia.