“Henry Chan and Joel Leong, whose rewards platform has driven US$1 billion in sales this year despite a deepening recession, are nurturing tomorrow’s tech leaders by hiring not only fresh graduates, but also those who aren’t from e-commerce backgrounds.
The former hostel mates at the National University of Singapore joined Zalora without any experience in e-commerce, and subsequently garnered enough skills to start and scale their own cashback platform. Since its inception in 2014, ShopBack has raised US$113 million in funding and awarded US$115 million to its users.
And now, the duo hopes that Singapore’s inexorable digitalisation – coupled with the growing prominence of tech firms – will herald a fresh wave of entrepreneurialism.
“The digital sector has continued to hire despite the economic downturn, which will nurture more talent. We are cognisant of this and take in a lot of fresh graduates, as well as people who aren’t from e-commerce. These individuals learn the trade and stay in the industry even after leaving our company,” said Leong, who shared that ventures started by former ShopBack employees include FinTech startup Seedly – later acquired by the company.
For Chan, the rising appeal of start-ups lies in their potential to ameliorate everyday challenges.”