After facing some challenges with cross-border logistics, Ng Yi Ying founded Allsome to help solve parcel tracking issues.
What’s your story?
I was working as an SAP Consultant in Malaysia and left to pursue my Masters in Tsinghua University, China after receiving a scholarship. During that time e-commerce in Malaysia was just beginning where in China it was well underway. My co-founder and I believed that there was an opportunity and we started a cross-border e-commerce venture to bring colorful product choices from China to Malaysia. Soon we realized there were huge challenges with cross-border logistics and we launched a startup to solve cross-border parcel tracking issue.
To support our startup, we imported Chinese products and sold them to Malaysia to make a profit. Unfortunately, we were burgled and lost RM200,000. After we recovered from the loss, we continued to start up AllSome – for merchants. I’m the founder of AllSome (pronounced as awesome), we’re a cross-border logistic company that keeps things moving.
What excites you most about your industry?
We see great opportunities in cross-border logistics and want to see how we can contribute to the industry to make merchants truly break the boundaries for e-commerce and sell freely around the globe.
There are endless possibilities for logistics. People now are seeking a comfortable and flexible lifestyle. Logistics is an investment-heavy industry which provides less flexibility. AllSome sees how we can break the traditions and make things move around in a flexible, comfortable and reliable way.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Asia.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
Amazing location: It is an international city with foreign cultures from all around the world. It is very near to Hong Kong international economy center, and mostly only 3 – 5 hours of flight to other countries in Asia.
Business opportunity: It’s a mature city for startups and businesses, easy to find talent, business partners and clients.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t (always & only) listen to investors.
The reason is that different investors have different opinions in making money. Investors advice should serve as a reference but the decisions should be made based on customer demand, business needs and strategy.
Who inspires you?
William Bao Bean – Managing Partner @ SOSV
He is a risk taker where he believes and invests in people. Within his investment portfolio companies, many are early stage startups. Together with higher investment risks, the return will be higher too. Therefore, I believe that launching as the first-to-market solution is always risky; it may also bring a great return.
What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
While studying e-commerce industry in South East Asia, I’ve learned that though e-commerce is booming, it’s only occupying 2% of the transaction. Consumers prefer to do Cash On Delivery (COD) even though they have online payment methods.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would do more traveling. Different countries have an interesting localized culture that we can learn and experience. I find it especially important to learn how things work in every region to offer a localized solution for users.
How do you unwind?
Writing code for fun. For example, I wrote an application that generates startup names based on the descriptions that are keyed in. And, yes, this is how we got “AllSome”.
Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Genting Highland, Malaysia. Because it has a theme park, casino (with good coffee), shopping mall and good weather. It’s a great place for a group gathering where everyone can relax and find their favorite activities there.
Everyone in business should read this book:
A Brief History of Humankind
Shameless plug for your business:
AllSome is a platform that connects modern online merchants to warehouses to receive, store and send cross-border shipment in a painless way. Instead of placing huge investment in traditional warehouses, AllSome transforms extra space from a residential area, shop lots and warehouses into smart fulfillment centers. Modern merchants can now focus on just sales and marketing while AllSome will be safeguarding the after sales e-commerce experience, ranging from branding & packaging, delivery, return & exchange and after sales support. AllSome enables merchants to be nearer to suppliers, delivery partners, and customers.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.