Our CEO See Wai Hun was one of the key speakers of BFM Breakaway 2017, an interactive peer-to-peer mentoring platform where entrepreneurs can get together, share knowledge and experience, and keep an eye out for potential business partnerships. The event was organized by BFM Radio, Malaysia’s leading business oriented radio station.
See Wai Hun spoke at a session titled “One Step Back, Two Steps Forward”. The theme of the session revolved around the concept that sometimes entrepreneurs need to take a step back and trim parts of their businesses that are holding them back, and invest time and energy into nurturing processes that are more likely to reinvigorate and future-proof their existing businesses.
See Wai Hun spoke about the start of her journey as an entrepreneur in 1997, during the Asian Financial Crisis of late 90s. At that time, no one wanted to buy anything due to the economy taking a plunge. But Wai Hun persisted, adopting a “blue ocean strategy”, systematically creating an entire new untapped market free of competition and ripe for growth. During the crisis, non-performing loans (NPLs) went through the roof, from 2% in mid-1997 to nearly 12% in July 1998. Wai Hun and her partners targeted banks who were struggling to recover their loans, and the rest, as they say; is history.
Over the next decade, Juris Technologies experienced spectacular growth. In 2014, Wai Hun and her partners at Juris decided to branch out in e-commerce and interior décor portal. Pretty soon, Wai Hun discovered that interior décor wasn’t her strong suit. Even though she could develop the necessary technology to run her new business, the business model was entirely different from creating debt collection and loan origination systems. Around the same time Juris started their new enterprise, Wai Hun and her partners, Naaman Lee and John Lim, were invited to New York to officially accept the honor of becoming Endeavor Entrepreneurs. While representing Juris Technologies at Endeavor’s 54th International Selection Panel in New York, Wai Hun came across Chris Zook, author of Profit from the Core. The fateful meeting made Wai Hun realize that the interior décor business was more trouble that it was worth. She and her partners took a step back, cut their losses and returned to investing their time and resources full-time into creating the most robust and efficient loan origination and debt collection solutions ever conceived in the FinTech industry, going toe-to-toe with global giants. Between 2014 and 2017, Juris Technologies experienced substantial growth and became a key player in the Malaysian FinTech industry.
One budding entrepreneur present at the session asked Wai Hun for advice on how to approach banks, since entry barriers for doing business with banks and other major financial institutions are quite formidable. Wai Hun revealed that during the inception of the company, Juris came up with an innovative business model that charged lawyers not the banks. For banks, the service was free of charge. She emphasized that for start-ups, business models are equally important as innovative technology and can turn the tides of the business.