Steven Lam had an entrepreneurship spirit. He belonged to the low-income family. In this article, we will elaborate to you how he made the on-demand logistics startup GoGoVan successful. From teaching himself to fix bikes, serving hot dogs, and selling electronics, Lam got creative in his teenage, and the creativity of running an on-demand logistics startup changed his status of the low-income family to a high-income family.
The venture GoGoVan that got success and shot him to fame and became Hong Kong’s first unicorn, a startup valued at $1 billion or more came without any planning. Lam and his two friends thought the idea who took part in making it successful. They were working on another business which was a startup of selling advertising on takeaway boxes.
Lam told about the journey of becoming the successful businessman. One morning when they had to deliver 100,000 boxes, it was challenging for them to manage all those deliveries. Therefore, they decided to find a suitable solution to make their business successful.
They have found the ad opportunity while working together in a Chinese restaurant in California to support their MBA studies at Berkeley. Lam had reignited their academic career after moving to a stateside community college. However, bringing it back to their native Hong Kong, they found a significant problem in providing the boxes all over the vast city.
It was the year 2013, and ride-hailing platforms were gaining momentum internationally. However, the delivery industry in Hong Kong remained traditional in which Lam had to depend on call centers that were using radio frequency systems to hire drivers for jobs.
For Lam, Nick Tang and Reeve Kwan, this system was too inefficient because they had to complete the majority of their delivery orders by 10 a.m. Therefore, they thought to find a better way.
Here are the secrets to the success of GoGoVan:
Utilization of the WhatsApp Group:
When finding a solution, the three friends quickly realized they could work more effectively if they bring and manage all of their trusted drivers into a single platform.
At the time, they had no intention of altering the entire industry like Uber was doing in the U.S. they merely wanted to bring efficiency at their ad startup. Therefore, they started with the WhatsApp group to manage their business. They created a series of Whatsapp chat groups to post jobs for the city’s best delivery drivers.
Lam told that I didn’t know about the Uber at that time and we started to formulate our product on our own.
The idea worked, and drivers responded to jobs posting but because Whatsapp groups were then limited to 10 participants and drivers need to pitch for work on multiple chats. It became harder for them to give priority according to the arrival of request keeping the mind the first come first served policy.
It was effective and solved some of the delivery problems, but they did brainstorming to improve it to increase our business, which was not possible on Whatsapp at that time. Lam told that they were dissatisfied with the radio frequency system. It was the point which raised to on-demand logistics startups platform.
Getting on the Road to Success:
Lam and his two co-founders took into account all the business processes and hired the people to turn their idea into a reality. So they pooled together what they could that were 20,000 Hong Kong dollars and took office. They took their first two employees there to start working on the on-demand platform. The two employees were a technical engineer and a designer.
With a larger platform, they could increase the speed much more than the radio frequency system. The team quickly showed interest from drivers and other businesses. However, to proceed further, they needed cash, fast.
He told that by September they were running short of money. After nine months of starting the business, the company successfully became capable of securing the only single available funding schemes in the city at that time. Lam told that they were running out of money at that time and this funding scheme saved their lives from the edge.
They needed to work hard in the start, but GoGoVan soon gained enough cash through several investment rounds. They increase their office size and expand the business internationally.
In early 2016, GoGoVan got funding from Jack Ma’s Alibaba. After that, in mid-2017, it reached unicorn status after completing a merger with Chinese logistics company 58 Suyun. As a result, the startup today boasts a network of 8 million drivers over 300 cities and six countries.
Despite the increasing success, Lam keeps on working hard to get further success. He told that he frequently used to go into the office to clean it on the weekend. It is the mentality of not waiting for someone else to fix the problem, but just doing it yourself.
Advice from the Successful CEO of GoGoVan:
As CEO of GoGoVan, that is an attitude that he tries to instill in his 2,000 employees to enable them, successful entrepreneurs. He suggested to those who want to start a business to give a start instead of waiting. He said that you’d never get anywhere if you don’t start.
He learned in these past five years that there is no perfect timing. When you don’t know about the ideal time, then why you wait for the ideal time. Lam told that these things are essential to include in starting a company. So take a start, you will never get anywhere if you don’t start. If you intend to launch an on-demand business, you need the services of on-demand service provider company.
We offer an on-demand platform to make your logistics business, Uber-like transport business, or any other on-demand business successful, productive, and efficient. If you want to get a reliable solution, contact us today.