Disruptr: Jeevan Jayakumar, Co-Founder & CEO of ZoomItNow
Share with us on what you do and what inspired you to start the business.
- After graduating from Australia, I spent 14 years in the advertising and marketing industry, working in multiple Asian cities and enjoying the high-flying corporate lifestyle. Once my last company I was working for in Singapore was acquired by a large conglomerate, I decided to take a break and return home to Malaysia for a short break and re-gather myself
- When I got back home, I couldn’t find a corporate job that interested me and it was one random day that I spent a couple of hours at the mamak (a Malaysian favourite pastime activity) with some good friends to brainstorm opportunities. It was here where we came up with an idea to start a tech based logistics platform that enables e-commerce customers to make last mile deliveries effortlessly while harnessing the power of the gig-economy.
What has the journey been like?
- Lot’s more down’s than up’s I must say but i reckon that comes hand-in-hand with starting a business from the ground up. The issue has always been insufficient funding and getting quality staff that believes in the founder and company. But the challenges has been a real learning curve for me and truly what keeps me on my toes and always hungry.
- What has made the journey easier is the dedicated team members we have built, the trusting clients we have that gave us a chance when no one else did and also to our investors that has believed in us, invested in us and guided us all along the way.
Biggest achievement and what is one regret that you wish you had or had not done?
- So many proud moments that we have had from winning multiple tech awards for startup of the year to founder of the year. Represented Malaysia in tech shows in multiple Asian countries and speaking about our great country. Building and nurturing wonderful members of the company and working with young and hungry talent our country produces. So much to be proud off.
- In terms of regrets I can tell you only what my family thinks, which is why did I leave my cushy corporate job? As for me, no regrets, no do-overs, I think we walk on a path that we have decided and guided by a higher power. Never regret doing anything but the key is to learn and never repeat mistakes made.
Where do you see yourself in the next 1 year?
- To still be learning from my mistakes I make. As far as the business is concerned, I hope to have created to stable platform for us to start scaling our offer to neighboring countries and continuously enhance our system and enrich our employees.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- To be still be learning from the mistakes i continue to make. As for the business I strongly believe we will be in a strong position to drive value to our investors and customers. We have plans to move further upstream in the supply chain and build better relationships with clients that trust us. To be able to train the next generation of leaders we have and strongly position them within the company to be entrusted with larger and more important roles.
What keeps you going to keep running the business?
- The employees in the company that have trusted their livelihoods with the company. Without them we do not have a business and waking up everyday to be able to spend time and nature them while seeing them grow and become stronger is what keeps me going.
What is one local startup you would like to work together with and why?
- There are so many to mention! We would love to work with local startups that require help with last mile logistics and hopefully through partnerships we are able to grow our business together. From a technology stand point we would love to work with the likes of Aerodyne (no longer a startup) but we love to see how we can elevate delivered to a more automated model and less reliance on hard labour work.
Who is one founder (local or international) that you look up to?
- Being a die-hard sneaker head, someone I really looked up to was Virgal Abloh (may his soul rest in peace). He was a simple yet extremely creative person operating in an industry that was dominated by opposites yet he built a brand that resonated with the world and understood what customers wanted to buy and what would trigger them. Coupled that with his marketing wisdom created a brand that today does even better without him around.
Why should investors invest in your enterprise?
- Transparency and willing to grind. That is the reason why our current investors, invested in us. We are not afraid to put in the sweat and pivot quickly in tough times.