Josephine Chow sped her way to the top of ShopBack. She recognises, “Speed is truly the crux of the startup industry.”
What’s your story?
I’m a communications graduate who chanced upon the startup world about 6 years ago at a late night lan-gaming session in Singapore. I had just completed my post-graduation work holiday trip and my research project stint for my professor was just ending.
My fellow gaming mate that same night told me about the opportunities of eCommerce in Asia (and mid-game too!) knowing that I had no plans at the time, and invited me for a job interview that would change my life.
Speed is truly the crux of the startup industry. I went for the interview the next morning, got the job and started immediately at the then lesser known Rocket Internet, bringing me 4 years later to ShopBack with absolutely no regrets.
What excites you most about your industry?
Mostly the people and the uncertainty.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My parents hailed from Hong Kong and I was raised in Singapore. I travel extensively for work across Asia Pacific because of my roles past and present, and am fortunate to have experienced life in not only my home countries, but Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam as well.
Today, I take care of the international expansion for ShopBack and can’t get enough of travelling across APAC. I’ve taken a total of 77 flights in 2017 and hope to beat that this year!
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
This changes, but I’ll have to say Thailand. I was there for the last 8 months and can only say that the drive, ambition, ethic and culture of the Thais are phenomenal. People are what define the core of every business, and that’s why Thailand is ranked so high up for me; the Thais are fantastic.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
(Pertaining to joining ShopBack in its early days) ”If not now, then when?”
Who inspires you?
Henry Chan, CEO of ShopBack. No biases there but Henry’s tenacity really does it for me. He truly embodies especially 2 of ShopBack’s core values of “Can’t is not an option” and “Inspire, not require.”
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
How many talented individuals underestimate themselves. Or basically the Dunning-Kruger effect. It’s so important to get your team to recognize their strengths and maximize it.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Maybe to do a Computer Science degree instead. But there’s honestly no regrets at this stage.
How do you unwind?
Ironically, travelling. And also through my Xbox (I’ve got 2. One at home in Singapore, one for travelling).
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Hong Kong, because that’s where family is at and I know exactly where the best restaurants are. Read my post here.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One. It highlights the importance of providing outstanding value propositions and creating a monopoly as opposed to competing in an already saturated market.
Shameless plug for your business:
Buy stuff online including flights, hotels, clothing, electronics etc? Use ShopBack. I’ve earned exactly SGD$1,852.97 to-date in Cashback AKA real cash that can be transferred into my bank account. Here’s a screenshot of my account for proof:
How can people connect with you?
Find me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseychow/
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’.