Hello everyone, today I am in conversation with Chee Hau, cofounder and MD of TheLorry – a fast an easy lorry rental platform in Malaysia
Sapan: Chee Hau you are very young, let me ask you this – does successful entrepreneurship essentially need people who have decades of experience? Do you feel limited in anyway?
Chee Hau: Short answer to your question – No, age is not a factor.
Let me give you some context to my argument here. Before I started this venture, I was attached to an aviation logistics company, a medium sized organisation where I got a chance to learn a lot. My direct supervisor is a well known expert on logistic and a very learned individual – learnt a lot from him in my short span on 6 years while I was working for him.
This initial learning gave me the confidence and conviction that I can not only spot an unmet need in the market but also create a viable solution to address it adequately
Sapan: What would you say to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Chee Hau: As entrepreneurs usually we get too stuck up with our BIG idea and start to focus all our energy and resources to perfect the first product. This drains the limited resources available and entrepreneurs are left with a product that has zero proof of market viability
If you have a big idea, just build a basic MVP. Launch it, test it and once you have the proof that it works, get down to the specifics
Sapan: Walk me through your own journey, where did your organisation’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Chee Hau: With a background in aviation logistics, I wanted to do something in that industry however aviation involves a lot of variables – airlines, regulations etc. So road freight seemed like a logical low hanging fruit to me.
The journey started in April of 2014 and by September of the same year we launched our first version of the website. The same month we got our first booking and we were ‘in the game’. I still had my day job then while bookings were increasing – so was work pressure for me since as entrepreneurs we did everything ourselves between me and my co founder.
Fast forward a few months and we found a mentor – an established and successful entrepreneur who liked our idea and offered mentorship and advice. Later he even introduced us to a few VCs.
Two weeks into the introduction we received our first funding and the rest is history.
Sapan: Lets talk about your business a little bit, whats your pitch to our audience?
Chee Hau: TheLorry – is an on demand logistics market place/platform to connect drivers to customers. it is the go to place whenever the client needs a lorry thinks of TheLorry.com
But hang on – TheLorry.com is not just a platform to hire lorries. We are thinking bigger than that.
Let me tell you there are over 42,000 logistics companies in Malaysia with over 200,000 registered commercial vehicles. However, these companies don’t work with each other since there is no common platform to collaborate.
Imagine creating a shared economy that increases the income of the drivers by maximising utilisation of the vehicle. If you need a lorry, go to the platform and utilise capacity that is under utilised from other companies.
Sapan: I get the drift but how exactly will this work? Do you mean cargo space is shared just like we now share cab rides?
Chee Hau: Cargo and passengers are different – size, pallets, types of cargo is very diverse – so space sharing for customers is difficult. However, the truth is most of the drivers return from destination with empty lorries.
Imagine we match a customer who needs a lorry to a driver who is scheduled to return empty – what happens – the customer gets a cheaper price, the driver gets additional income and the cargo gets transported in a lorry that was returning empty anyway. A perfect win-win-win
However, to do this, one must understand this is not driven by the customer anymore. The design now shifts focus to the drivers’ schedule instead of the customers.
While the customer driven solution is working very well, we believe we can drive logistics costs significantly down with this additional feature given we get the volumes
Sapan: Besides such disruptive features and capabilities what else does the future has in store for you?
Chee Hau: We are expanding geographically beyond Malaysia now. Three months ago we set up an office in Singapore and have started the ground work.
After Singapore, we are considering entering Thailand by the end of this year.
However the most exciting thing on our minds right now is how do we then connect these three countries with the shared economy mechanism that I just talked about – Singapore all the way to Thailand!
That was Chee Hau. He will be part of a panel discussion at Growth Innovation and Leadership (GIL) Congress in Malaysia by Frost & Sullivan on the 13th of April 2017. Do signup for the event and get an opportunity to meet and hear from Chee Hau in person and feel inspired
Goh Chee Hau Chee Hau is the Co-founder and Managing Director at TheLorry, the first on-demand platform for logistics in Malaysia. He is passionate about building a sharing economy in the logistics space to minimize capacity wastage.
Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org | +603 6204 5830