Startup Grind KL: A session with Chris Leong

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 Laís de Oliveira and Chris Leong

Chris Leong started off his career in an oil and gas MNC, he realised that old technology standards and procedure-oriented organisations just didn’t challenge him enough, in fact it bored him. He left the company to start a retail business, which failed before moving on to work for Microsoft Malaysia. He later then joined Cradle Fund to work with entrepreneurs to know and assist the industry’s growth.

Naturally being a rule breaker and a person who likes to explore new things, has helped motivate Chris to be an entrepreneur. An E&E engineer, he moved on to programming and soon found his sweet spot, the combination of business and technology.

Witnessing Soft Space’s rapid growth, Chris believes in creating value for both the company and himself. Though landing the first client was difficult, Soft Space currently has 13 bank clients across South East Asia. The challenge has always kept Chris motivated and enabled him learn how to get things done more efficiently. Sharing his journey with Soft Space, below are the key takeout points.

Key Takeout’s

  • For Entrepreneurs who wants to start a business: It is easy to start a business but is it a business that you want? Keep your intentions behind your business in check – “What do you want to create and why do you want to be there?” This will ensure you avoid feeling trapped or stuck in your business.
  • Create Value: Don’t fall into the trap of just building the solution without asking whether you are creating value for your users. Business is about creating value. Ideally the business you are in, is making a positive impact to the world
  • Competitors: Know who your competitors are but don’t be consumed in what they do. Focus on creating more value than your competitors rather than being reactive.
  • Scaling your business: Think of growth and ways to expand business. . Think outside of Malaysia immediately even before getting your first revenue. There are many examples of Malaysian companies that had expanded beyond its shores. In Malaysia, it is possible to scale big and fast enough.
  • Investors: Welcome investors that bring value to your business and not just money. It is important to know his goals and expectations. Bare in mind, it’s not just about the money but how far the both of you can grow the business.

The session ended with a networking session.

The upcoming Startup Grind KL would feature Joel Neoh, who is currently the Head of Groupon Asia Pacific and listed as one of Asia’s Top 10 young entrepreneurs. For more information and event details, check out STARTUP GRIND KL.