BLM Interview: with the CEO and Founder of glomp!

Zachary Lai1. Tell me more about this company and where do you see glomp! in the next 5 years.

glomp! was developed as a deliberate, strategic exercise in exploring a business model which goes to the next level of digital connectivity. Ever with an eye on the business viability standpoint, we carefully refined the model from an engagement and experience perspective to ensure that it would be operationally and financially sustainable. Plans are in place for the next 2 years with a big picture roadmap of what’s to follow from there but I believe realistically that the business will naturally evolve and we must ensure that we have the resources to take advantage of developments as they present themselves.

I’m confident that this model will become entrenched into digital connectivity. The key goal is to establish glomp! as the default and winning brand and service globally so hopefully, that is what we will be 5 or even more years down the track.

2. What do you do on a daily basis? 

Founder and CEO officially but in terms of my role and tasks I am involved in, its very much a mixed bag involving pretty much every facet of the business especially at this early stage. Right now I continue to refine the product with my team as well as being involved in discussions with merchant partners and guiding business development staff to further that process in Asia, the US and the UK. A key function is also in the planning and working with in-house and out-sourced marketing professionals for our communications and growth strategy and executions. A good deal of time is spent recruiting new team members in various roles as we grow. And of course, fundraising.

In the future as we bring on more senior managers and directors, I plan to spread the load more and focus on product development, marketing and of course any big picture issues.

3. The entrepreneurship route is typically riskier than the tested and proven employee one. What do you think about it?

Clearly there is greater opportunity coupled with the greater risk. But for people considering which path they should pursue, I don’t think its simply a matter of personal risk appetite. Career (and life) goals should be at the centre of the consideration.

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone though. Being hardworking or smart are not enough in some cases. Its definitely more suited to those who have sufficient drive and sufficient strength in character to ride the ups and downs.

4. What are the key success factors that you have identified as part of your business strategy? And can they be easily replicated?

The fundamental keys are an understanding of a combination of behavioural traits and being able to shape the model to fill the gaps relevant to our business. Growth is clearly key from here as is maintaining a quality product and brand. Its certainly possible for future clones to try to replicate but there are a lot of not-obvious subtleties in our model and operations which are hugely important and I don’t believe they can be easily devised from outside observation. Establishment in key markets such as the US and China with quality brand partners is something we are strongly focused upon and this along with our strength as a brand will give us a huge advantage over any to follow. This obviously requires a lot of hard work and the ability to combat any challenges which present themselves.

5. The startup firm is currently in its stage of infancy. If you had the opportunity to start all over again, what would you have done better on hindsight?

We faced a few stumbling blocks in terms of tech developer resources which cost us more time than we would have liked but other than that I feel our path has been the right one.

6. What is your philosophy with regards to business? What values does the company espouse?
Personally, I’m only interested in businesses which I have a passion towards and which are innovations in their space and meaningful to my target market.

I am and have been in business for quite some time but I’m not a business person per se. I like to build things and maintaining a successful business is necessary to facilitate these motives. So I do what I need to do rather than approaching my ventures purely as a business.

As to how I do run my business, I believe it must be fair and beneficial both internally within our organisation as well as externally with the partnerships we build with other companies. Internally I believe its important for our team to feel a sense of ownership and achievement for what they do. Externally we want sustainable long term partnerships so both sides must feel that the terms are good and the communication healthy.

And of course for our target market, we aim to provide a great product and experience that will be a genuine and enjoyable benefit.


About glomp!

glomp! is an online and mobile social platform launched first in Singapore and Hong Kong in November 2013, and operated and owned by glomp! Pte Ltd. Founded by Zachary Lai, the glomp! platform partners with quality retail and service outlets to offer a selection of enjoyable treats for users to treat and receive from each other. Aside from the basic function of enabling treating of products, the platform comprises of a number of smart and engaging features for enhanced user enjoyment. Targeting to expand the platform across the globe, glomp! is expected to hit other parts of Asia, the United Kingdom and United States of America by early 2014. glomp! is all about positivity, with the aim to deepen digital connectivity between people.


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