Jeevan Kumar left the corporate world to start a tech logistics company, Zoom.
What’s your story?
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. That all came to a stop when our company was bought out and after not agreeing with the new direction of the company, I decided it was time to pack my sneakers and head back home to Malaysia.
When I got back home, I didn’t find a corporate job that interested me and it was one lucky day that I spent a couple of hours at the coffeeshop, (a Malaysian favourite pastime activity) and I caught up with some good friends to brainstorm opportunities. It was here where I came up with an idea to start a tech based logistics platform that enables e-commerce customers to make last mile deliveries, effortlessly.
What excites you most about your industry?
Logistics is an age old industry and the majority of the big players that control it have not innovated and adopted technology as a way to increase efficiencies in speed of delivery and the power of the shared economy to drive scalability.
With the Malaysian government’s firm commitment to e-commerce growth and under its National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap, which aims to double Malaysia’s e-commerce growth rate, it opens up many opportunities for technology enabled logistic players like us to support the e-commerce players with a more robust last mile delivery solution.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Malaysia and spent most of my life there. I also had the opportunity during my corporate time to live and work in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. This gave me a good perspective of operating in Asia and dealing with the multiple cultures.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
We recently launched our business in Jakarta, Indonesia where the market is bursting with opportunities. The spending power and the speed of adoption of new technologies and services is something we didn’t predict. The business grew so fast we were chasing our tail.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Understand that every NO is actually a “not yet.” You will get a lot of NO’s and rejections in life but take every one as a learning opportunity. That’s how you grow as an entrepreneur.
Who inspires you?
My pet dog Shitzhu named Batman. He is 9 years old and spends all day alone at home but there has never been a day that he hasn’t greeted me with a big smile and a wagging tail. If only life was that beautiful and simple.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
“Put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza to keep the crust from getting chewy.” You can thank me now!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.I would do my life all over again, exactly the same way I have lived it. I would never give up all the experiences I have had, both good and bad, for anything else.
How do you unwind?
Looking at online sneaker stores for discounts and best buys for limited edition sneakers on half the window, while the other half is running some random TV series on Netflix.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali for sure. I visit Bali once a year minimum and the reason why it resonates so much with me is because it was where I made the biggest decision in my life. I am not referring to leaving my cushy corporate job for the risky life of an entrepreneur, but Bali is where I proposed to the woman who has been my pillar of strength and who has always believed in me when no one else did.
Everyone in business should read this book:
‘Crush It,’ by Gary Vaynerchuk
Shameless plug for your business:
Zoom is a technology enabled on-demand delivery service for businesses to help solve their last mile fulfilment problems. Mainly, we work with e-commerce merchants and landed vendors (restaurants, speciality stores) to deliver their products to their customers.
We increase efficiency and make the last mile process easy by using our robust backend that allows vendors to integrate fast (24 hours maximum), provide advance tracking and cost optimisation via an automated system that caters for multiple drop-offs. Our platform integrates deeply to the merchant’s pre-existing operations as we would like to offer them the peace of mind of having every parcel delivered. We offer insurance and we have a 99% successful delivery rate.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ 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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.