Kenny Teoh is the co-founder of PaSangLang.com, a popular and fast-growing Malaysian information portal with social networking features, that primarily shares important information regarding the happenings around the Malaysian town of Klang. Born and bred in Klang, Kenny personally experienced real difficulties in finding out and getting up to date with the local happenings in Klang. It was this deficiency and more specifically, the lack of a central information portal that a person in Klang could rely on, which led Kenny and his fellow co-founder to consider the idea of creating an online information hub, which everyone in Klang could rely on and turn to for the latest news in Klang. This eventually led to the birth of PaSaLang.com.
The Asian Entrepreneur sits with Kenny Teoh today, to interview him about PaSaLang.com and story behind it.
Kenny, in your own words what is PaSangLang.com?
I think before we go into what PaSangLang.com is all about, let’s first get to know what the name means. ‘PaSangLang’ is actually a Hokkien word. Hokkien is of course the main dialect in Klang. ‘PaSang’ in Hokkien means Klang, and ‘Lang’ means people. Therefore, when we say ‘PaSangLang’, we are referring to the Klang people.
So, PaSangLang.com is basically a community website, or rather, much better described as a social network, where we, Klang people, can share info related to Klang. So some of the stuff, we could share include latest local news, crime alerts, charity events, job vacancies, entertainment, information about new food outlets, new promotions, just to name a few. In fact, we gladly encourage all Klang-ites to head over to our website in order to contribute any info pertaining to Klang. In short, if you need to know anything about Klang, PaSangLang.com is the definitive place to be!
Kenny, tell us the story behind why you guys started PaSangLang.com?
It’s quite a personal experience. My partner and I noticed how at times we couldn’t find out about the happenings around Klang town. This is quite ironic given that we are actually Klang people living in Klang. It came to a point when, we thought that it’s about time someone came up with an online portal that all of us PaSangLangs could rely on for all things Klang. Hence the birth of our site.
Our objective is very simple, to provide anything related to Klang! To be a useful platform for all Klang people and create something that everyone will want to use on a daily basis. We also plan to make PaSangLang.com a household name, particularly in Klang, whereby if anyone needs to know anything at all about Klang, then PaSangLang.com will be the first place they can go to for guidance!
How has growth been like since launch?
Since PaSangLang.com mainly targets the people of Klang with local news and information, hence it is very relevant to the Klang people. I am very glad to say that PaSangLang.com has been very well received by the people of Klang even from its launch on 01-Apr-2013. In fact, what is surprising is that we even have a small number of fans that are from outside of Klang, which shows that there are people from outside of Klang who are also interested with the happenings around Klang. We are very pleased to know that, actually!
What was your method for building the user-base when you started up?
It started with a very small group of supporters on Facebook, mainly friends and family members. But the support started to grow as our friend’s friends, and their respective friends learn about what they can gain by following PaSangLang.com, hence the increase of fans on PaSangLang.com Facebook page. In order to keep the momentum going, we sometimes post light-hearted articles, for example, jokes, cartoons, and funny pictures on our Facebook page for the viewing pleasure of our fans. However, most of the time our main focus is in sharing information relevant to the day-to-day lives of our supporters. In other words, we post lots of local news and information, both on Facebook and on our website, that are very relevant to the people of Klang, the kind of information that will interest people to keep on coming back to us for more info!
Did you encounter any major difficulties implementing PaSangLang.com?
PaSangLang.com was initially incepted as a hobby, where we could share information for the benefit of our fellow Klang-ites. And if you’re already running a Facebook page or Website, you somehow bear the responsibility of keeping your Website up-to-date, so as to not bore your supporters. However, all the above requires lots of time and effort, and since we at PaSangLang.com still have day-jobs to go to, this only means we have limited time to do all of the above. Hence, we juggle between our paying day-jobs and voluntarily updating our Website and Facebook page. Sometimes, we even work late nights just to ensure that our Website and Facebook page are updated with the latest info before going to sleep, all for the love of our fellow PaSangLangs!
Have you guys gotten support in managing it, given the workload?
Yes, we’ve asked for the kind help of a few friends who are willing to contribute voluntarily to our Website and Facebook page. So, we take turns to update the contents, this has lightened our workload.
Are there a lot of competitor sites out there and if so, what has been your strategy agaisnt competition?
To be honest, there are lots of other portals with more or less similar concept with ours. However, we would rather not go head-on with those portals. Instead, we would prefer to present PaSangLang.com as something new and different from the rest. That’s why we put lots of emphasis on the features on our Website in order to keep it fresh and exciting. Being a community page, PaSangLang.com strives to share as much relevant info as possible for the benefit of fellow Klang people. We hope by doing so, our supporters will continue supporting us. In the meantime, we are also looking at upgrades & add-ons to our Website in order to make it more exciting.
So how is it actually like running PaSangLang.com?
It’s actually lot of hard work! Firstly, there is the content management. The Facebook page and website needs to be updated frequently, so that it remains fresh and relevant. Secondly, we have a very hands-on approach to customer service. Every supporter on our Facebook page and website is basically a customer in our eyes. If they have any questions that require answers to, we will need to tend to them professionally and within a reasonable timeframe. Last but not least, we all know that a website is basically I.T. and I.T. stuff needs to be regularly maintained, updated, upgraded, and backed up. Since we are still doing everything voluntarily now and at this stage don’t have I.T. staffs to handle all of the above tasks yet, this means we have to do it all by ourselves! Trust us, this is not something that everyone enjoys doing, but at the end of the day, someone has got to do it!
From your journey of starting up the site, what are some important entrepreneurial lessons that you have learnt?
I think there is nothing you can’t do if you put your heart into it. Really, nothing is impossible. Something may be difficult, but not impossible. All that’s needed is passion and maybe lots of hard work. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I would say, never give up. Just do it and if you fall, get up and try again!
So what are your future plans for PaSangLang.com?
We’re not sure yet… maybe come up with a voice-activated helmet, like an Iron Man helmet, with heads-up display that contains all information about Klang?
Connect with Kenny and PaSangLang.com today:
Email: [email protected]