Tell us about yourself?
I came to Australia from China at the age of 16, curious about what tomorrow brings. 24 years later, I grew a number of start-ups into well-established global businesses, and I’m still curious about what tomorrow brings!
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
Many people think “idea is everything”. Not necessarily true is my observation. Many start-ups failed because there’s lack of: (a) product/market fit (b) cash flow (c) purpose-aligned team to focus on execution (d) resilient founder(s) (e) get outcompeted (f) burn out..
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Stay curious. Listen to the clients, to the key players in the market, to your team, their feedback help us stay relevant, and provide us with inspirations, perspectives & innovative ideas.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I surround myself with many other entrepreneurs and advisors, such supporting ecosystem allow me to learn from others’ lessons and tips which save me from repeating others’ mistakes.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
I celebrate diversity & inclusion, this is one of my core values. I appreciate constructive voices from every team member of the business despite their age, cultural background, gender and position.
Each team member helps us stay relevant to the market and the audience we serve. No matter how busy my day is, I always have time and patience for our team members.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
In a globalised economy with varying jurisdictional regimes, the challenge of cross-border digital verification is fraught with complexity.
Such challenge is proven to be even more complex in Asia where the added barriers of cultural, business structural, and linguistic differences compounded by lagging direct access to real time official registries make gaining trustworthy business intelligence both incredibly difficult and costly for international businesses.
The problem is so prevalent, it’s estimated that 1 in 2 large APAC businesses falls victim to fraud, theft, money laundering or other fraudulent activities that damage business reputation. – Thomson Reuters, 2018. AsiaVerify was incorporated in 2019 to help international corporations and SME clients to onboard and monitor their Asian customers (KYB/KYC) and ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) automatedly, in real-time.
We exist to change the world a little. 3 years on, our award-winning proprietary technology and our ability to access the most challenging jurisdictions in Asia with the potential to expand worldwide make us the preferred trusted partner of international businesses over 17 countries.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Continue to be the leader of digital transformation, enable international businesses engage with Asia with ease and confidence by providing digital business and consumer verification and ongoing monitoring fully automated and translated in real time.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
The biggest challenge will be losing focus. As we continue to grow, many opportunities will present including commercial opportunities to build best spoke solutions for some clients which sometimes can be a distraction.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
Together with my team, we grew a small local business hired less than 20 staff to an international business operating in 7 countries in APAC, hired 350+ staff members within 5 years, partially during GFC.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
Most of them find me through referral. I am more of a listener and a believer of there’s a solution to each challenge. Sales is not my strength.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
There isn’t time to learn how to be an expert in every area of the business. Play to your strengths and specialize in one to two areas that you can do better than anyone else, then hire the people who are smarter than you in whatever area you’re hiring them for.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
The opportunity to grow with our clients, partners and the ecosystem we all belong to. Together we will enable each business to make data driven decision seamlessly, to be empowered by innovative technology.