CEO INTERVIEW SELFDRVN
New Success Stories - Asia
CEO Interviews - exclusive for HR Digital Today with market leading HR Tech pioneers - SELFDRVN
Mun Choong Lam, Founder/CEO - SelfDrvn
Some of us may have experienced or delivered staff motivating plans or incentives, or other performance encouraging strategies.
But these can be piecemeal without a coherent strategy and long term delivery plan.
So sooner or later a product had to surface that was designed to deliver encouraging rewards and strategies to help company employees step up.
Started as an innovative rewards and recognition solution provider, SelfDrvn begain ideation on how to motivate the workforce.
We speak with Founder & CEO Lam Mun Choong to learn more...
1. Please share with us briefly what you do.
I am the Founder & CEO of Selfdrvn Enterprise, a SaaS platform that provides a single and comprehensive employee engagement solution. I am also managing Nettium, a tech company with 350 employees in Malaysia and Singapore.
I co-founded my first startup back in 1997. As my way of contributing and supporting the tech startup ecosystem, I am an angel investor and mentor to promising early stage tech startups in South East Asia.
2. What were you doing before this?
I spent 8 years of my career as a consultant in Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture) and Hewlett Packard Asia Pacific, where I was based in Singapore, and another 8 years in an Indonesian based tech startup Jatis Group that I co-founded in 1997 with 3 other Indonesian co-founders.
3. In one sentence, how would you describe what your product does?
Selfdrvn platform delivers a single, comprehensive and flexible solution, available as components such as social collaboration, pulse surveys, peer feedback, rewards & recognition & employee wellness that are gamified to improve organization-wide adoption, to help organizations engage employees and gather data-driven actionable insights to drive positive business outcomes.
4. How did the idea for your business come about?
Back in 2013, we were driven by the need to our team size in my company Nettium by 300% over a period of 3 years.
As a tech startup with no brand, short history and little marketing budget, we faced intense competition for talent from more established companies and global tech giants like Google and Facebook.
So, to stand out as an employer of choice, we tried to innovate by providing the best possible employee experience to help us attract & retain the best talent.
We worked hard on improving our culture and leadership. Being a technology company we also leverage mobile, analytics and gamification technologies to come up with a solution. We launched the Selfdrvn app successfully to Nettium employees in 2013.
Subsequently we validated our concept and expanded our product capabilities with a group of beta customers who, like us, wanted to improve employee engagement.
After a successful beta test over a year, we launched the Selfdrvn Platform to the public in October 2016.
5. How does it work?
Employee engagement is a process that requires organizations to execute many initiatives well.
For example, having regular engagement pulse surveys to gather actionable insights, with effective two way communication and agile collaborative platforms, flexible and personalized rewards and recognition programs, improving employee wellness, timely performance feedback with coaching and organization support for corporate social responsibility programs- all these initiatives work together and contribute to employee engagement.
We looked at many aspects of what engages employees from the above, and we simplify the user experience by making them available as a single app to employees accessible on the web and mobile.
Rather than having to use many disjointed, separate apps to meet the objectives of employee engagement, we enable organizations to take an employee-centric approach in providing a digital employee experience that will lead to higher employee adoption rate and a higher chance of success in engaging & motivating employees.
6. What are the key benefits that your product brings?
We help companies make work more human and thus create a more open and conducive culture and environment for talent to thrive.
Selfdrvn improves the efficiency and effectiveness in employee engagement initiatives, which will lead to positive business outcomes for the company such as improved agility, collaboration and productivity, higher level of employee engagement in learning, wellness and corporate social responsibility programs, better employee retention, more positive word of mouth about the company and more employee referrals for hiring.
7. Who are your closest competitors?
We believe we are ahead of the curve when it comes to our platform strategy. Many of our competitors have silo solutions that solve one engagement problem.
We have seen some US-based competitors who is beginning to consolidate their employee engagement platforms. However, they do not have a strong presence in Asia.
8. Who is your first customer and how did that happen?
Our first internal customer Nettium is also one of my companies with 350 employees.
As a product innovator, we believe in eating our own dog food to make sure that our solution will actually get the job done in a real-life environment.
Our first external customer was Privasia, a listed technology company in Malaysia.
9. What were they using before this, and why did they switch?
Both Nettium and Privasia had Microsoft Yammer and Facebook which were intended for collaboration and engagement, but our user adoption was not high because the Yammer user interface and features feel very corporate- it wasn’t very attractive to attract voluntary employee use.
Our employees wanted a less corporate and more consumerized app where the user experience is more fun and comparable to Facebook, Uber and Mobile Games.
As management of the company we also needed a solution that will support a structured process of engagement, feedback and recognition that can provide data to derive actionable insights from.
Lastly, we have used many apps and platforms like Survey Monkey and Google Forms in the past for engaging employees and collecting data where maintaining data integrity and performing analysis becomes laborious.
For those reasons, Selfdrvn was the right fit to solve the problems that we had.
10. How do you price your product?
Our product is priced on a monthly subscription by the number of employees. By signing an annual subscription with us our customers are entitled to an attractive discount.
11. What’s your business focus for this year?
We have several initiatives with our global consulting partners to help large enterprises engage their employees in their digital transformation journey.
Getting employees engaged and on-board by changing their mind-sets to be more agile and collaborative is always one of the biggest challenges in digital transformation, and organizations understand they can’t get good Customer Experience until they provide good Employee Experience.
From a revenue perspective, we are looking for business growth in Asia and Europe.
12. What’s one productivity tip/app/tool you can't live without?
Allocate regular time on your work calendar to spend time on 1) cultivating mindfulness 2) improving your execution.
For example, to improve my delegation I allocate time every day to do just that.
13. Where can people find out more about your product offerings and you online?
Interesting facts about Mun Cheong
- Born: December 1970
- Marital status: Single
- School: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and IUJ Japan
- First job: Consultant in Andersen Consulting
- Favorite book: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
- Favorite Film: Forrest Gump
- Favorite Music: 80’s Pop Music in General
- Favorite Gadget: The Muse Brain Sensing Headband
- Last holiday: Iceland, September 2017