Was interviewed by a group of UTEM students about my entrepreneurship journey. See below for their writeup.
I was asked about my best achievement recently but i couldn’t work out the answer.
Few days later, the same question pops up in my mind and this time, the first thing that came to my mind is my ability to handle stuff with my hands. I write with my left hand so i assume I’m generally categorize as left hander but i seems to be able to use my right hand too (i write Chinese calligraphy with my right hand, for example. I’m able to do it pretty well considering the prizes i won in calligraphy contests back at primary schools.)
Anyway, here’s the summary. Haha. So What’s yours?
I’m trying to raise fund for Softinn Solutions (a tech travel startup that I founded in 2013). While doing so, I came across plenty of nice websites that I thought I should have found them earlier (or should I have taken the initiative to put our startup profile there earlier). Not only because it’s a good place to raise fund but also it’s good place to showcase your startup.
So here’s the list
- CrunchBase – http://www.crunchbase.com/
- Techlist.Asia – http://techlist.asia/
- AngelList – https://angel.co/
That’s what I got for now, feel free to add or suggest in the comment. Cheers.
Manage to complete my very first Windows Phone app after attending the awesome ICONN Windows Phone training. My app – GarageFinder locates the nearest car repair shops! A handy tool if you car breaks down in an unfamiliar place.
I’m getting a Windows Phone 8 to test it (as my Lumia 900 stuck at WP 7.8 update, can’t upgrade further). Anyway, here’s the video demo.
Here’s some of the screen shots of the app. :D
Here’s the Windows phone download link We are working on Android version and will announce on our website once it’s done. http://cardiary.bizvise.com
04.Feb.2014: Here’s the Android Download Link
Finally, after months of hard work, we finally pull together and completed Softinn version 1.2.0.
Here’s the print screen of the room booking system dashboard.
It’s not an easy journey. Started this in 2009, won the business plan competition, learning about entrepreneurship & startup, juggling between projects, study etc, fell on mistakes, revive and start it all over, picking up new programming frameworks, planning, debating about business model… it’s finally here. Finally, my baby product is ready for commercialization; with the new version, we can scale our business faster and with the right model, i believe (we found the right business model this time) we can grow and sustain this round. Finger Cross.
Here’s the link to the project website – www.mySoftinn.com
Here’s more print screen of the product
I had developed my first hotel room booking system back in year 2005 but not much that i know how important this tool help hotels to make more sales.
Until I follow up with the first client (6 months later), I quickly realize the tool plays a vital role when it comes to convert a page visitor into paying customers for hoteliers.
Then, I decided to start building a more scalable hotel booking system that runs on cloud and help sell more with marketing tool last year. While pitching to the first batch of potential customers, our ideas seems promising and more than 10 signups (our target for beta users).
But the whole point of this post is not about how we pitch to hotels etc but it’s about true understanding of why a hotel need the tool.
While waiting for the cloud application to be ready, we helped the first batch of beta users setup their website and run a few portal that listing homestays etc. Yes, we manage to sell quite a reasonable rooms with the website alone but one things that keeps bother me and my partner (Ken) – “low conversion”
“Why you no book!?!”
We sit down together on an off to discuss, debate about our products and analyze our current ways of doing business. At one point, we realize a lot of page visitors (a lot means quite a number ;) – they google, search, found us and actually spending time screening options of lodge we listed online) but the number of conversion is far below from industry average (or our satisfaction per se). Lots of potential clients wrote to us, called us but the closing is far below from our acceptable level.
Then, we dive deep to analyze, a lot of travelers has this “purchase impulse”, that means when they feel like they wanted to book your hotel room, they really want to make the decision within an hour (if not less than 30mins). If they get no reply or response from the mail (within an hour), they will go to the next option for sure! Yes, we learn this from the data we collected! That’s why, a hotel need a room booking system that show the room availability and eventually close the sales online (without the need to go back and forth or mails or calls).
That means, the urgency to get the booking system ready is critical for us to keep this going. Like what my partner describe – “We are catching fish with bare hands now, but with the tool, we catch with nets.“
Well, going to stop here. IF you are interested to learn more you can visit (and of course comment)
www.MySoftinn.com – for the room booking system
www.kzlee.com – for the thoughts wrote by my partner Ken Lee.
Selamat Buka Puasa and Bulan Ramadan ;)
[Update 03.Aug.2013 - the booking system is finally complete.]
This morning, I went to buy my breakfast as my usual Sunday morning routine before coming back to office (Yea, i come to work occasionally to tight up some lose ends). So happen, it’s a rainy day today. Below is the conversation between me and the stall owner and it really inspires me…
Me: it’s raining…. is business affected because of rain? (i’m asking but i knew i wasn’t asking but just to create a topic to talk but the answer given was totally out of my expectation)
Owner: not really, because of rain, lots of shoppers are trapped here (at Pasar/Marketplace) and they are force to hang around because of the rain. And because of this, we got new customers trying food from our stall and some of them eventually became new regular customers.
Me: … wow (I was amazed and just smile back).
I was impress by how this stall owner look at “Disadvantage” that i perceived as a way moving forward. With that mindset, i guess they have no problem moving forward. No wonder, they are doing so well in the pass few years (started with one stall and basically owner them-self and now occupying 3 stall lots and hiring 4-5 workers, acquired their neighbor business in the process – a coffee shop lot).
This inspired me to think that – “There’s nothing like Disadvantage, just a matter of how you perceive and win it!”
Note: Just in case you are interested, here’s their location – Bukit Beruang Pasar (next to BB Mall). They serve pretty nice vegetarian breakfast. I personally like their Mee Rebus the best (only available on Sunday morning).