Week in Review: Startup nuggets from leaders of iflix, Grab, KFit

  • Beware that your mind will give up before your body, warns Azran Osman-Rani
  • 11Street survey finds 60% of shoppers willing to pay US$2 for express delivery option

IF you’re fancying your chances of launching a startup or know of someone who is planning to or if you are about to give up on your startup because it is just too darn hard, I would urge you to read our article from the Global Entrepreneurship Community (GECommunity 2016) conference last week where leaders from Grab, iflix and KFit Group shared what I felt was really insightful and useful nuggets from their own journeys.

Joel Neoh of KFit Group quoted Oprah Winfrey, Azran Osman-Rani of iflix group drew inspiration from Ironman – the sports, not the superhero – and Jaygan Fu of Grab Malaysia urged entrepreneurs not to rest on their laurels once they find something that works. Keep disrupting yourself.

While we all hear about the positives of failing fast as a learning mechanism, Neoh points out that the learning from failures must be communicated to the entire company so that everyone knows what failed and why  and are behind the company’s new direction. “What the company is doing may seem unclear from the outside but internally, the team knows where the business is going,” he says.

Not surprisingly, KFit Group is in the midst of a pivot itself.

Azran also emphasized the importance of getting the company culture right – sorry, there is no prescribed formula. Work that out on your own. But he does advice that time and effort be spent to hire the right people in and warns that hiring them does not mean you can switch off and assume the new staff know what is to be done.

He also used a term you don’t hear much associated with startups – systematic – but advices that a proper evaluation needs to be done and assimilation is critical as well.

“People get very excited about joining startups because of the dynamism, flexibility and opportunity to do many things. But what often happens is they get overwhelmed and paralysed. There are so many things moving too fast for them,” he says.

And if the startup has no system in place to help its people adapt, the younger ones will move and all the effort to hire the right talent has been undone in a few short months and the process has to start again.

So it’s not just about hiring right but then standing by your people until they fit into the company and the fast pace things are moving. The article is rich with advice and I like Azran talking about how our mind often times wants to give up first before our bodies do.

I won’t spoil it for you. Do have a read and share it with anyone who is thinking of starting on their roller-coaster startup journey.

I do seem to be talking about e-commerce quite a bit in my weekly thoughts and just yesterday, in Kuala Lumpur, we had the Malaysian subsidiary of Korean based 11street share the results of an e-commerce survey it did. What I found interesting is that 60% of shoppers are now willing to pay US$2.20 (RM10) for express delivery option, though 11Street does not specify what this translates to in actual hours.

But Tesco Malaysia knows exactly what this express delivery means, within one hour. And to fill this gap it sees in its own online delivery service, it has partnered with HappyFresh to fill this. That’s yet the latest example of an O2O relationship. And yes, we did ask Tesco if the partnership might eventually lead to them taking a stake in HappyFresh. But Tesco just sees HappyFresh as a complimentary partner.

Let’s see if that dynamic changes at some point.

With that, I wish you a restful weekend and a productive week after.

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