Tell us about yourself?
Co-founder & CEO of Pawjourr, upwork for pet businesses. Before Pawjourr, i was working in the advertising industry serving MNC clients from all over the world.
I got burnt out from that life, and started thinking about my next career / milestone in life.
During this time of ambiguity, i stumbled upon pet accounts on Instagram and will spend too much time watching videos of my favourite dog personalities.
That’s when the idea of marrying pets and social media came to me, and bam — Pawjourr is born (after a few pivots and reiteration).
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
The media celebrates large fundraise, companies that continuously grew despite making huge losses and how easy it is to make 7 digits selling on marketplaces like Amazon.
Start-up is hard, and 99% of them fail (we just don’t see them).
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Hiring someone to solve a problem you don’t know how to fix as a founder is going to make it worst.
It will make more sense to run experiments and pilot program with freelancers, make sense of the entire flow before scaling with a full-time hire.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I’ve been told by different people that they would have expect me to give up but i didn’t. My greatest trait will be to keep going despite hurdles.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Does drinking coffee count? /laugh I’ve started using productivity and automation tool, as well as candle therapy and lo-fi music to make romance whilst hustling.
I think the best thing I’ve done is to enjoy the process as much as i can
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
At Pawjourr, we believe in 2 things:
1. Pets will be as big as any other categories (e.g. lifestyle, beauty) that deserve their own specialization.
2. The future of work is remote, and gig economy will continue to accelerate as Millennials and Gen-Z seek out opportunities other than their full-time job.
Where do you see your business in five years?
An ecosystem of different stakeholders in the pet industry to collaborate and work with each other to scale their business to the next level.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Scaling aggressively whilst being prudent with how we spend our money. We have been very careful with our runway till date and the current climate is not the best.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
This sounds like a vanity but being approached by numerous news media and seeing our company being featured on TV / Newspaper e.g.
BBC World, SCMP Online etc has felt surreal, especially for first-time founders like us.
Otherwise, winning our first MNC client after 7 months of pitching was a siginifcant milestone for us as well.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
These days, most of our clients find us through google search or referral (when people post about us on social media).
During the early days, I will reach out to brands individually and cold pitch them the idea of advertising with pets, which is very new and nobody has done it (so tons of rejection).
We finally got our first MNC client after 7 months of pitching, and the rest is history.
I truly enjoy talking to brands and customers because I’m a people person and being close on-ground means I get to hear first-hand the challenges and problems brands face and how Pawjourr can solve them.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Definitely have a strong support system and surround yourself with positive people who share the same values as yourself.
I’ve learned to cut off negative / toxic individuals IRL and online because your mental health matters.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
The goal is for Pawjourr to be the largest ecosystem for the pet industry to come together, collaborate and create new innovations to make the world a better place for animals.
On a personal level, growth as an individual is important and I’ve definitely achieved them whilst building Pawjourr for the past year.