The founding team.
A founders perspective.
We began our journey back in mid 2016, when short-term rentals were a relatively new concept and still untested. Our first unit was a spare dual key unit at Kuchai Lama, which could be considered a little out of the way with no particular tourist interest. It isn’t connected to any public transport, but the condo was extremely suitable for staycations and for local business travellers. We had only had this simple concept in mind : Beautifully designed space with a brilliant host. A space our guests would be more than happy to stay at and come back again and again.
So we whipped out our ancient DSLR, went out to furnish the room, studied up on Youtube videos on how to better showcase a bedroom and after about a week of prep listed our property! Within the first few hours, we got a booking for that night itself. Imagine how ecstatic we were. Maybe this concept of Airbnb wasn’t so difficult after all! (I look back and think, silly boy, silly silly boy, you have no idea how difficult its going to become).
After testing out the concept for about a month with back-to-back bookings and rave reviews, we decided to take the plunge and we both left our jobs – I left my job as a Product Manager at Novo Nordisk (It was a pretty sweet gig, high pay, lots of flights and superb benefits) while Vin left her job as a Vice President at Barclays to trying to start our own business. I have to admit I was pretty naive. I never took into consideration all the responsibilities involved. We never really considered getting funding at the start, so our plan was to grow it organically and then push, push, push. Which also meant that we pretty much had to do everything ourselves. Just in case you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s our org structure/ titles back then:
Sales, Marketing, Driver, Operations, Maintenance, Painter, Plumber, Electrician, Emergency Cleaner, Reservations Exec : Ken – Co founder
Admin & Accounting, CTO, CFO, HR, Sales and Marketing, Operations, Reservations, Pricing, Emergency Cleaner, Driver : Vin – Co founder
I love how co-founder pretty much sums it all up. It makes it so much easier to put on a name card. Things look a little different now – we have been extremely lucky with many talented individuals joining us.
We ended up starting our venture in KLCC after surveying and identifying the best units to use. 6 months down the line, we hit about 12 units. Looking back, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve built so far and also extremely happy that we managed to fulfill our promises to clients. It’s true that we have taken a more conservative approach, but we’ve also built it right the first time round. Sure, we made mistakes and looking back, we could have done it a lot better, but moving forward, I think that’s what we will work on. We’re still growing at an impressive pace and I believe we’ve built a great team to take on that challenge.
Happy Chinese New Year all!