#52: Eugene Lee Chief Operating Officer of GOGOVAN

#52: Eugene Lee Chief Operating Officer of GOGOVAN

Eugene Lee Chief Operating Officer of GOGOVAN

Listen to the full discussion here:

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GoGoVan is Asia’s leading on-demand logistic, transportation service provider. With over 70,000 registered drivers across Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, India, and China; GoGoVan is aggressively expanding across the region, and aim to dominate this fast and growing last-mile logistics sector. The company is evaluated at over 1 billion USD and raised a total of $276.5M USD so far.

Eugene is taking care of the company’s direction and strategy, overall planning, execution and management, global expansion and development and mergers and acquisitions.

Connect with the Guest:

Eugene Lee: Linkedin

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Eugene’s journey of 20 years and experience in the startup space.
  • How did the collaboration with Alibaba help GoGoVan implement its services in China?
  • GoGoVan and network utilization
  • Why GoGoVan is considered as the Uber for logistics?
  • Three Customer Segment of GoGoVan – how do they each operate
  • How does GoGoVan handle liabilities and unexpected events?
  • “The last thing you want, especially for a young company like us, is to hire and then fire.”
  • “We try very hard to create an environment in a company that allows people to grow, to be heard and that allows people to learn.”

Show notes:

  • [01:23] How Eugene Lee moved from HP to the advertising industry, having his own company and joining GoGoVan. 
  • [02:34] How did you find GoGoVan? Or how did they find you? 
  • [04:01] How did your collaboration with Alibaba helped you be where you are today?
  • [04:50] We are currently working with China and Alibaba to implement electronic trucks and vehicles into different cities. 
  • [05:51] What is GoGoVan and what is the model you are using?
  • [06:00] To put it simply, GoGoVan is the Uber for Logistics. We have an app, a web app, and an API solution depending on the sectors of customers to go after.
  • [06:34] How do you ensure process consistency given that you have so many drivers and platforms?
  • [07:07] Consistency is always a challenge because you optimally don’t own the asset class that you manage.
  • [08:15] Regarding the ownership of the assets, do you own some of the vans or is it all owned by the drivers?
  • [08:49] When the push for the electric vans will come in, do you think your current arrangement with the drivers will also work?
  • [10:19] You had a recent merger with 58 Suyun, what were some of the challenges you encountered and how did you solve them?
  • [11:00] Instead of competing and creating heat in China,  which is a huge and expensive market. We thought that it would be a good decision on both sides to come together. 
  • [12:33] How do you, as a group, ensure that there’s a consistency of culture and teamwork upon the merge?
  • [13:14] We spend a lot of time, effort, and money on making sure that communication is transparent and everybody’s on the same page and it’s a continued effort on the outside to make sure there’s consistency and we all are culturally aligned.
  • [14:52] Tell us one or two examples of corporate clients that use your services and how you are helping them improve their last-mile operations. 
  • [16:46] If you look at people on the enterprise side, if you’re on your own trucks or vans, 60, 70% of the time, they are not utilized more depending on companies.
  • [18:12] Are considering clients like Apple and Huawei into your portfolio at the moment?
  • [19:59] I think that the whole psychology of consumerism is driving demand and growth a lot.
  • [20:28] In cases where there is a loss or damaged good, will you be the one to cover it? What would happen in that event?
  • [22:23] The first line of defense would be the driver’s liability. But if it is nobody’s fault, the platform being a good company, like us, we would cover the liability of a maximum of $200.
  • [24:12] Are there any cost-effective strategies you use in order to mitigate your cost of transportation?
  • [27:21] In terms of profitability versus achieving scale versus international expansion, what do you think of these things?
  • [30:56] What are some of the biggest challenges from an operations perspective that you have today in terms of continuing this fast-paced growth?
  • [31:42] Before we go into a particular market, we spent probably three to six months to understand the last-mile market, which is very different for each country.
  • [33:10] What are some of the differences and commonalities in terms of the markets that you operate?
  • [35:37] How do you make a decision when choosing a market?
  • [36:26] We stay focused on making sure that we do a good job in stabilizing the market of the countries we decide to go to.
  • [38:16] “70 countries tomorrow” is sometimes nice to say, but I’m not sure if it is the right thing to do.
  • [38:40] Are you looking into a cross board product or into a longer duration in between cities? 
  • [39:36] To answer your question, we will stay focused on the intracity of the asset class we are managing.
  • [40:23] How do you look and think about attracting and getting the right person to move into the new city?
  • [41:00] Forr us, it’s really looking for people with passion, commitment, willingness to learn- more EQ than IQ. 
  • [41:45] The last thing you want, especially for a young company like us, is to hire and then fire because it disrupts everything from people, training, culture, communication, and learning. 
  • [42:44] How do you attract people like data scientists to go to GoGoVan?
  • [43:37] We try very hard to create an environment in a company that allows people to grow, to be heard and that allows people to learn. 
  • [45:03] What would be some of the key values that you drive through in and out with your colleagues?
  • [45:24] What we do very hard is to “walk the talk,” meaning if you would say something, you need to do it.
  • [47:34] What would be some advice or some sharing that you can impart in terms of principles that have helped you the most?
  • [48:08] One is to be open and learn everything and secondly is to see things in a different light.

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Episode #02: Charles Brewer CEO DHL e-commerce

Episode #09: Chang Wen Lai CEO at Ninja Van

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