Leow Wee Jonn started his career as a management consultant where he was able to familiarise himself with handling company due diligence, merger and acquisitions, business turnarounds, profit improvement and growth strategies. It wasn’t till 2012 where he had the opportunity to explore e-commerce as a 25-year old co-founder and managing director of Zalora Malaysia. Under his supervision, ZALORA Malaysia became a leading e-commerce company in Malaysia with brand presence, site traffic and revenue growing the fastest among all of Zalora’s regional operations.
In September 2013, he moved on to become the CEO of Photobook Worldwide, the largest online photo product company in South East Asia where he currently heads the commercial side of the business. He has successfully grown Photobook Worldwide more than five times and continues to spearhead several growth initiatives.
Watch this video to find out how Leow navigated his way through starting a business and gaining new business experiences in the e-commerce world as told in this interview with Matthew Naylor.
Here are some key takeaways from the interview:
- Finding the right business partner is important because you’d want to build the right culture together from the start, not try to change people to adhere to your culture.
- Nothing can substitute time. Spend time with your candidates especially if you’re unsure about them. Never come out of interviews with a 50-50 chance of hiring them. It’s a yes or no.
This might interest you: Leadership Nuggets: Why Spending Time With Your People Really Matters
- It’s important to find a good balance between having a short-term mentality and a long-term one.
- Change management is a challenge, but work one step at a time in order to create a culture of change. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with a lot of willpower, it can happen.
Also read: Change Management And The Iron Lid
- Know that you will have different opportunities to learn different stages of business growth: how to start a business, how to grow a business, how to run a public-listed company or even a billion dollar company. Sometimes you can achieve them all in one company and sometimes you can’t.
- Trust your business instincts. Sometimes it might lead to mistakes, but when that happens, don’t fall into the trap of constantly doubting yourself and listening to everyone else instead of your own instincts.