As one of the earliest and hardest hit countries in the region, Singapore’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 has been impressive to say the least. The preventive measures implemented, seem to have limited the spread of the disease to some extent.
Businesses are also doing their part by implementing work from home strategies to reduce the likelihood of infection and eliminating work travel.
One of the main ways business help manage the spread of the virus, but still maintain productivity is to track and implement safety measures for visitors to their office, and with their own staff as well. However, the challenge for small businesses and startups is how they can implement these safety measures with limited resources compared to larger companies or those based in larger corporate offices.
We spoke to their CEO and Founder Veemal Gungadin about the product and how they came up with the product within such a short span of time. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy day to share more about the business and how it works.
How do you see Wylcome helping businesses tackle the flow of visitors and their employees during this time?
There are two ways in which Wylcome can help businesses tackle the flow of visitors and their employees during this time. Firstly, we provide a seamless experience to the end users who are the visitors and the employees. We make the process of submitting their health declaration and temperature readings quick and easy which accelerates the whole flow without compromising their experience. Secondly, we provide the admins with a dashboard from where they can have a complete view of the visitors’ and employees’ health. And they don’t have to constantly monitor the reports since they are immediately alerted via robot-alerts if someone presents any risks. This is something which is really useful for small businesses that cannot afford to have someone dedicated to such activities.
GlobalSignin’s current technology products are focused around events and managing the flow of people – was this just a natural extension of your existing product line? If so, what were the learnings you adopted from your experience into this product?
It was a natural extension. Actually, this was a product extension which we’ve been eyeing for quite some time already. The virus outbreak accelerated the process of us deciding to actually develop it. We thought that our solution could really help other SMEs during these trying times, especially given the fact that we are able to make it affordable since we are using our existing tech stack. We did however have to develop some new features on top of our original concept, with most of these features being specific to the COVID-19 situation such as the temperature monitoring tool. Overall, I am very proud that we were able to develop an affordable solution for SMEs in such a short amount of time.
What was the collaboration with GovTech like in order to integrate SINGPASS into the product?
It has been a fruitful collaboration. We were able to leverage on their National Digital Identity APIs to build our integration with SG Verify which enables our users to sign in using SingPass. We have been in close contact with GovTech during the whole development process and we have been receiving some guidance from them along the way.
How has the pickup been so far and are any businesses currently using the product?
We have just launched but we are already noticing an organic interest for Wylcome. I believe that this is because we are solving a real need, which does not surprise me because we have developed it to streamline processes inside our own organisation. We noticed that a lot of SMEs have signed up for the free temperature monitoring tool. They are saying that it is facilitating the temperature check-in process, especially now that their staff is working remotely. This is very validating for us, We are also seeing some interest from larger organisations. We are now working to cater to this type of customers as well. It is a special time so we have got to move fast.
Is there a possibility that this solution could be adapted for other markets also facing the same issue with COVID-19?
Definitely. We are already looking into this. We initially built Wylcome with Singapore in mind because we could directly see the repercussions of the virus outbreak around us. But it has now become clear that it is a global issue. Businesses from around the world are now facing the same problems as we have been facing. What’s interesting is that Singapore has got the reputation of a country that has handled the COVID-19 outbreak quite effectively. Other countries are looking to adopt some of the measures that we have implemented. I think this could help us because the features of Wylcome based on the processes from government advisories.
What is next for GlobalSignin?
Like many other businesses, we are allocating a lot of our resources on dealing with the current situation. But I think that it is still important to start preparing for what comes after. Currently, as an event technology provider, we are seeing a lot of events being postponed or cancelled. When this has happened in the past, it was generally followed by what I call ‘crunch time’. Which means that all businesses race to get back on track. We are using this period of relative calm for the event industry to strengthen our offerings so that we are ready for when events start picking up again. Some of the technologies that we’ve been working on, mainly around experience and sustainability, are things that will become increasingly important in the years to come.