Daisy Helps Companies Save Time and Money on International Air Freight
What’s your story?
I started my career in professional services, working my way up to becoming a senior marketing consultant at an international law firm. During this time, I became more interested in working at and building a startup. So I moved to a startup in Hong Kong whose focus was on making warehousing easier for small businesses. This exposure led me to the world of logistics, where I saw how difficult and time consuming it was to get a simple air freight quote. After researching the space more, I realized that there was a ton of opportunity to really make a difference in customers’ lives, and that is when I started BookAirfreight.
What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me about shipping logistics is the very thing that makes it unappealing to so many people in a startup/high tech space. It’s a low tech space that has really lagged behind others in terms of customer service, transparency, and overall technology adoption. And, I knew the best way to positively impact customers is to fix these issues. The appreciation that our customers have for our company really keeps our team driving forward. We are proud to have a 90% customer return rate and a phenomenal 40% referral rate.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Originally from mainland China, I have lived and worked in Hong Kong for seven years.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Shenzhen. It’s the heart of Chinese manufacturing, with products being shipped all over the planet. It’s the backbone of e-commerce, which is estimated to generate 4 trillion USD in sales this year.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Not to worry about all the external noise when running a company – there’s a never-ending stream of events to attend, and many potential opportunities to follow. But what really matters, in the long run, is making sure you’re focusing on giving your customers the most value and the best possible experience.
Who inspires you?
At this point in time, it’s not about a single individual, but the group of people across the world who are working to keep us safe and keep countries running. People like grocery store workers, doctors, nurses, and other emergency personnel. These dedicated people have inspired me and my team so much that we started a new arm of our business, working with certified factories to provide protective face masks to individuals and organizations around the world.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I discovered information about how people are not necessarily stuck with their past. I was reading this book, “The Courage to Be Disliked,” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. It states, “one of our most dangerous beliefs is that our past determines our future.”
The key word in Freudian psychology is “trauma.” It asserts that most of our self-image is deeply rooted in our psyche at a young age. We can actually unpack all our trauma and flaws and trace them all the way back to our childhood.
According to Adler, however, this isn’t true. While he agreed that we form a style of life early on, whether that’s being an optimist or a pessimist, for example, he didn’t believe this was a fixed point in our character. Adler defended the idea that we can change who we are in any given moment.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I strongly believe that so much of who we are today and where we are today is the sum of all of our past experiences, both good and bad. I’m so thrilled to get the chance to do what I do, and wake up every day excited to take on the next step of challenges for my business. With that in mind, I would do it all over again, but I might spend less money testing Google Adsense.
How do you unwind?
Whether it is dawn, dusk, afternoon, or midnight, it doesn’t matter. I lie on the ground and look up at the sky. I observe the beautiful, magical changes, happening right before my eyes.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand! But I’d enjoy going anywhere I could get away from concrete jungles and the speed of day-to-day business.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Not a business book, per se, but, “Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius. It’s a book of personal writings of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Of course, many of his musings don’t translate to our world today, but surprisingly, a lot of them do, especially those about only worrying about those things that we ourselves can control and help. Having that level of focus, I believe is critical to achieving business success, especially during the incredibly difficult early stages.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are BookAirfreight, a company that helps e-commerce businesses save time and money on their international shipments. We combine technology with an intense focus on strong customer service to make international freight not only easier and cheaper, but also a really pleasant experience for our customers. Our online platform gives price transparency with instant quotations and the ability to manage shipments, end-to-end, from the time they are picked up from the factory to when they arrive at their destination.
And, with the current situation, we are also using our expertise in this space to source face masks for individuals and organizations that need them. You can get more information about our services on our website at www.bookairfreight.com.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.