We’ve interviewed more great startup founders and entrepreneurs since our original post. You can read it here.
The process remains the same, we’ve selected some of the best answers so far and included them here for your viewing pleasure.
Here are some highlights from our interview so far.
Julius Tan, CEO and Co-Founder, Electrify
A humble response, highlighting a strong core belief in the effectiveness of his service.
Our focus is not so much on the company’s size and market capitalisation. What’s most important is the product that we deliver and the impact that we bring to our community and users. I think driving real value through one’s product or service is the ultimate determinant of size.
The more lives you impact, the bigger you are as a company.
The only thing stopping me from having the largest company in the world is that I do not necessarily want the largest company in the world. I believe I speak for many business owners when I say that a company should be measured by the lives that it enables – the value it adds, and not only by the zeroes in the bank.
Read the original article here.
Shaun Heng, CEO and Founder, Eatsy
Shaun waxes poetic here but doesn’t hide the ambition for Eatsy.
There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Building a scalable international restaurant-technology company has always been the company’s focus since Day One.
We know that we are not just building a product for the Singapore market. However, our vision can only be achieved, if and only if, we have a great team in place. My focus at this stage is to make sure that we lay the necessary groundwork for a solid foundation so that when it is time for us to expand out of Singapore, we already have the necessary playbooks and systems in place to scale up fast in each city that we expand into, and in the most capital-efficient manner.
Read about his story and Eatsy here.
Kevin Williams, General Manager and Co-Founder, SmartRetail
There is a practicality to his statement that is shared by many founders in Southeast Asia. We sense his frustration in his words.
Limitations to hardware and the requirement of a local operations team to handle maintenance and repairs. It can be difficult to find a good team where you need it, especially when SmartRetail plans to expand regionally.
There’s only one of me, and this means that before we can expand overseas, there needs to be in place proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure regional teams can operate smoothly even in my absence. These 2 factors are what makes scalability difficult.
Read about Smart Retail and his unique journey here.
Dr. Koh Wee Lit, CEO and Founder, HabitatBlue
Maybe we’re feeling sentimental, but Dr. Koh’s words seem genuine and deserve a place on this list.
The needs of a company change over time at different stages of the growth, hence it is hard for me to say what is stopping me from having the largest company in the future. At this current point, I am content with building a capable management team to ensure sustainability. Once that is successful, I will like to be able to serve the South East Asian community. Building the largest company in the world is not my ambition, I prefer to have a small company where everything is more tightly knitted.
You can read his story here.
Edward Chen, CMO and Co-Founder, oBike
Edward’s story is different from your standard entrepreneur or startup founder, so he gets a place on this list because he’s unique.
From the very beginning, we have set our sights on becoming a substantial player in the bike-sharing ecosystem. In each of the market that we are operating in, we only hire the best: aspirational individuals who, like us, dream big. They embody the spirit of innovation, creativity, and fearlessness. Our people, combined with the right use of technology, has served us well in the past year – propelling us from Singapore to over 70 cities within a span of 12 months. And we’re not showing any sign of slowing down – we aim to be in 80 cities by March 2018.
Having said that, every market is unique and has its own challenges. To be a truly global player in the bike-sharing industry will require us to have a strong local team that is well-tuned and aware of the issues and considerations for bike-sharing to thrive in that particular city.
For example, we recently launched our lighter and more ergonomic Smart Generation bicycles in Singapore following feedback from the public, providing more options for our users, especially those who are of a smaller build. This is just one way in which oBike is demonstrating that our finger is constantly on the pulse and that we are working hard to make sure that we have the best product and service available for our users and the wider community.
Read about his entrepreneurial journey to oBike here.
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.