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CEO INTERVIEW- Payboy: a cloud-based Human Resource Management System



New Success Stories - Asia

Exclusive for HR Digital Today with market-leading HR Tech pioneers -  

NIGEL LIM, CEO, and co-Founder of Payboy



Please share with us briefly what you do.

I am the co-founder of Payboy and mainly focus my time on increasing our customer base and ensuring that our product exceeds the expectations of our clients.


What were you doing before this?

Running another startup called Shopaholics in the B2B2C space.


Describe your product. How does it work?

Payboy is a cloud-based Human Resource Management System with advanced Payroll, Leave, Claims, Time Attendance and Shift-scheduling functions






What are the key benefits?

  •  * User-friendly and scalable system for businesses of any size.
  •  * Seamless and fuss-free HR software experience, trusted by more than 300 companies and 25,000      users.
  •  * Direct API integration with IRAS.
  •  * Employee onboarding system is amazing at helping companies with high turnover save time on repetitive employee data entry.


Who are your closest competitors?

Legacy based HR systems as they customize solutions for their clients. Their clients tend to remain with them even if we provide better value and efficiency as most of them are priced in due to the high upfront cost and low maintenance fees.


Who is your first customer and how did that happen? What were they using before this, and why did they switch?

It was a group of 5 customers whom we pitch the idea of having a cloud-based Human Resource Management System automating their HR processes. These customers were either using an excel spreadsheet or MYOB to manage their payroll and employee which was highly inefficient and inaccurate.


What motivated you to start this business?

When I was helping my father, I interacted with many SME bosses who experienced challenges keeping their data updated. Many of them were using Excel spreadsheets and Word documents to keep track of their data which was inefficient and cumbersome due to the lack of proper data trials. What struck me deep was when one of my dad’s foreign employee went missing and we had to retrieve the documents to be submitted for MOM. Going through his filing to extract what MOM needed was such a pain it sparked me to create a product that could help remove this headache away for SME owners.

What is your biggest sacrifice to make this work?

We were working long hours as we were bootstrapping the business. Being a new player in the market with zero marketing budget, Terence and I went door-knocking in industrial estates looking for new clients. The rejections we faced were painful but everything was worth it in the end as I’m proud to say we have a product that our clients love and we are looking to expand out of Singapore this 2019.


How did you get funded?

Our initial capital came out of our own pockets and we had a $10,000 grant from Ngee Ann Polytechnic when we incubated with them. I’m thankful to say that our clients are our best source of funding to date.


What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Our in-house event - #Grantsboy where we educate our customers on HR related grants that they can tap on. Many SMEs are unsure of the grants available and usually need assistance applying for these grants. We started out advising our own clients on how to obtain a subsidy for their interns and was overwhelmed by the number of requests for a repeat event for other grants. We decided to make the event public and we’re holding another one at the end of the quarter.


Describe a typical workday

  •  * Meetings, meetings, and more meetings.
  •  * Looking at potential partnerships & new distribution channels.
  •  * Charting our roadmap for South-east Asia.

Who has been the greatest influence in your business and why?

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce - He is the pioneer of SaaS and I learned a lot of strategies from his book “Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry”.


I really respect the Salesforce 1-1-1 model which dedicated 1% of Salesforce’s equity, 1% of Salesforce’s product and 1% of Salesforce employees’ time back to communities around the world. One day, I hope Payboy can contribute to communities the same way Salesforce is doing it.


What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?

Building a great team. I believe people are the driving force of business and I’m thankful to have all the Payboys that have contributed and are still contributing to our growth today.


What is your favorite business failure (and what did you learn from it)?

Shopaholics. We started out Shopaholics as a pioneer in the m-commerce back in 2013. And we tried to grow the business organically. Larger companies like Zalora caught on and entered the m-commerce space as well. We decided not to compete as we did not believe in spending extravagantly on discounts to woo consumers. Now, space is overcrowded with many m-commerce apps dominating the marketplace like Lazada & Shopee compared to 2013. I learned many things when I was running Shopaholics which I brought over with me to Payboy like tracking the right metrics for growth. We spent too much time woo-ing consumers onto the application that we neglected growing the boutique shops that were on our platform.


If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him/her?

Focus on identifying the right metrics before deep diving into anything.


 What’s one productivity hack you can’t live without?

I find that actively delegating routine task is very important to me as it frees up time for me to stay on the big picture. Being swept up by too many small tasks leaves me inaccessible to my colleagues and can be detrimental to the business.


Where can people find out more about your product offerings and you online?


More about Nigel:

  • First job - Warehouse packer at Popular
  • Someone you admire - Lee Kuan Yew, he was a true entrepreneur of his time and I am inspired by his leadership in turning Singapore from a backwater country into South-East Asia’s Financial Hub.
  • Favorite book - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It was the first book prize I won in primary school and got me hooked on reading from a young age.
  • Favorite Film - 500 days of Summer. I love the narration of the film and the cinematography.
  • Favorite Music - Sun & Moon by Above & Beyond
  • Favorite author - Dan Brown. His books always keep me turning the pages.
  • Favorite Gadget - My Fitbit
  • Last holiday - A short trip to Bangkok
  • When you are not at work, where can we most likely find you? A cozy café with a book in hand


For more information and details  :

(65) 9684 8620

71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #04-10, Singapore