In Oct 2016, Ginny packed a bag and transported her entire life and career to Malaysia from Vietnam. Within a month she made a new friend, Jack, her co-Founder, and started Shoe Mo. I guess being decisive isn’t something that Ginny lacks.
Shoe Mo is a shoe cleaning and customisation business that has expanded into e-commerce, selling DIY cleaning and customisation sets for sneakerheads in Malaysia. It has grown into a small outfit run from her rented house to multiple outlets across Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
As a former Grab alum, Ginny isn’t new to the startup scene, but working in one is different from running a startup. Her background in digital marketing was instrumental in helping her launch the business, but she didn’t focus only on that. She’s currently in charge of Marketing, Operations, and Business Development.
She lives by the saying:
Be the change you want to see in life
If you want someday to change the world you’re living in, change yourself first.
If you can’t find Ginny in the Shoe Mo office, she might on one her rare diving trips or on a calm beach somewhere. Unlikely that will be case, because her business is growing faster than she could have imagined.
Find out her story below.
Sell us your company/service in 300 words?
Shoe Mo started in Nov 2016 as a shoe and sneaker care service provider. We provide cleaning, repainting, repairing, restoration and customization service for your shoes and sneakers. We were a bunch of sneakerheads that gathered to provide professional services, with love and care are given to each and every pair of shoes. Eventually, we introduced hand-picked shoe care products, which we tested and used, to our customers.
Knowing that technology is a part of daily life, we focus on growing our presence from online to offline, from via e-commerce website to brick-and-mortar workshops. We adopt technologies, marry it to traditional retail service, to make it related and accessible to the young generation.
We carry a mission that is bigger than ourselves, that is to raise awareness of footwear hygiene in Malaysia and the region. We push ourselves every day to be the industry standard and making shoe care a well-establish habit among the young generation.
What is stopping you from having the largest company in the world?
Having the biggest company has never been my goal. We focus on providing the best service and the most suitable products that take a part of increasing life standard.
What could possibly stop us from growing is the lack of knowledge and awareness of such needs. For us, it could be the biggest barrier, but also our biggest advantage. There is a huge market to conquer with unlocked needs.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry in Southeast Asia, what would it be?
At Shoe Mo, even though we are not a traditional tech company, technology has been one of our operational pillars. We have chatbots to handle our inquiries on social platforms, paperless POS system, internal process tracking that enables the customer to track and see their service status without contacting our customer service, we automate most of our finance and admin work. We want to take the business, that seems to be “not sexy” and “not hygienic” by its name, become something trendy, efficient, and “clean”.
The technology scene in the region is very exciting. What I wish I could see changing is that businesses could adopt technology faster, that eliminates unnecessary manual work, facilitates growth and empowers staff to deliver more quality work.
Name one person in the region, who is making a difference in Technology?
It’s never been one person who can make the difference, to me its a collective effort of startup founders and professionals. A standout would be Anthony Tan and Grab team – To me, Grab has dramatically changed the perception of people towards technology. They have implemented an enormous of amount of technology into just one app that solves the biggest traffic problem in the region, from pairing drivers – passengers to solving language barrier between countries among the Southeast Asia region using technology and now making e-payment accessible to every country their presence is felt?
They seem just like Google (back in the early 2000s) in the making to me. And for such reasons, they are changing the way the rest of the world sees the region. And there are many other hustlers who are pushing every day for innovation and advanced technologies, that contributes to the tech scene of the region.
What would you want people to remember you for, 100 years from now?
The one who hustles, embraces uncertainty and dares to change. And I want to be remembered as someone who started and set the industry standard for shoe care services and products in the region.
Ginny is the co-founder of Shoe Mo, a shoe and sneaker care service and product provider based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is an expatriate marketer from Vietnam, with 6 years working in advertising and marketing industry. Coming to KL to pursue her dream to be the CMO of a tech startup, but life has another plan for her. Now Ginny is running Shoe Mo full-time to expand the business in Malaysia and to the region.
Views expressed by the interviewee are not necessarily shared by Tech Collective. Some minimal editing is done for clarity’s sake.
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