Disruptr: Johnson Lam, Founder Of KakiDIY and KakiRepair
Share with us on what you do and what inspired you to start the business.
- I am a Jack-of-all-trades with 22 years’ experience in corporate (10 years in IT and 12 years in Telco) and while I was working in the industry, I started to realise that more and more people were not innovating and solving problems; even when it came to fixing their own broken items.
- That inspired me to start KakiDIY to inspire and educate people to start DIY (Do It Yourself) mainly with resources or waste materials around us; and with that encouraging people to solve problems, be innovative and to some, building their own products, services and solutions and be entrepreneurs.
- KakiRepair started 5 years later to address the issues of people not fixing their own broken items and to also encourage people to be collaborative, knowledge sharing and environmental conscious by not throwing broken items away which usually ended up in landfills.
- Along with my career journey, I am also a motorsports enthusiast, TV Host, actor, startup mentor/coach, serial entrepreneur and a community builder.
What has the journey been like?
- It was quite painful starting up for the first few years as I pumped in a lot of my personal income and savings to grow the community. In terms of branding and networking, I started from scratch without knowing anyone but it was proven that by hustling, lots of hard work and reaching out to others to network does pay off.
Biggest achievement and what is one regret that you wish you had or had not done?
- Biggest achievement is definitely winning the Top In Tech Innovator of the year 2021 for KakiRepair.
- I regretted not scaling up KakiDIY fast enough and waiting for the right time. Later to realize that, there’s no such thing as ‘the right time’
Where do you see yourself in the next 1 year?
- I’ve just started collaborating and integrating KakiDIY with SOLS247 Group which is very aligned with my mission and vision by taking on the role of Chief Innovation Officer of SOLS247 while still managing KakiDIY fully. The next 1 year, I’ve set a very high target to continue serving the community, educating the people and empowering the society by creating impact in education, green solutions and entrepreneurship.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- I am hoping to expand my business to neighboring countries sustainably in not just financially but also in terms of community growth, impacts created and content generation.
What keeps you going to keep running the business?
- The impact that I am creating from my business, enriching people with knowledge and skill, the repercussion and sustainable growth of the community organically expanding with the same initial effort and the results of the effort impacting both the people and environment.
What is one local startup you would like to work together with and why?
- The green solutions company, SOLS Energy which is currently the No 1 home solar installer in Malaysia. I want to work together with SOLS as they focus on creating jobs for the Orang Asli and underserved communities by training them with language and technical skills to install Solar and other green solutions in Malaysia. Their aspiration in innovation and Greentech is aligned with our passion and vision at KakiDIY.
Who is one founder (local or international) that you look up to?
- Definitely Local Malaysian; Afzal Abdul Rahim, a tech entrepreneur, Commander-In-Chief of TIME dotCom Berhad, Independent Director of CIMB Group, Founder of MyIX, Board Member of Endeavor Malaysia and many other feathers on his hat.
Why should investors invest in your startup?
- We are among the very few out there focusing on creating impact for the community and environment by educating and empowering them via innovative technologies and sustainable efforts. And we can consistently do this all these with our solid business model to support all these efforts.