On Tuesday, 31 May, our CEO, Christopher Lim, attended the ‘Technopreneur Series 2022’ at the Institute of Engineers(IES). With Glee Trees Pte. Ltd. being a leading Cognitive Automation company in Singapore, Christopher shares how he transitioned from a software engineer to a Technopreneur. This article will feature some of his sharing.
Gleematic is Singapore’s first home-grown Cognitive Automation software. One of the driving force in creating Gleematic is due to Christopher’s strong interest in how robots and A.I can change the landscape of work since 2009.
Why become a Technopreneur?
Christopher shared that since young he have always enjoyed and do well in Science and Mathematics, hence during his early school years he wanted to be a scientist. Continuing his academic journey, Christopher had a realisation: “Scientists invent things. However, in order to create things that people get to enjoy, that is when we turn to engineers.” Christopher’s interest in engineering started when he had the opportunity to work as an operator and along side with engineers on designing hard disks and testings. He learned that as an engineer, he could create many things to benefit a lot more people.
However, the transition into being a Technopreneur happened due to the need to understand the business side of things. “The business people are the one who tell you what kind of decisions to make and how to make it happen.” Christopher added. Despite knowing that starting a business comes with its own risks, Christopher gained a new perspective, “Risk is when you know your career will change”.
Having control in business decisions and having multiple streams of income are crucial to Christopher, when running a business you’ll gain many customers, and some customers might not be satisfied with what you provide, but there’s always potential to find more customers. But when you just rely on one job and it depends on whether your boss like you, there’s a higher risk of losing that only income.
What do you need to start a business?
Starting a business requires a good mix of hard and soft skills. Christopher also had experience in Sales and Marketing to learn about the business side of things, but his focus was not just about financial gain. “Before starting any company, you should think about what problem you would like to solve. And then from there you can think about how you can benefit the lives of people”, said Christopher.
Coming up with business idea and testing the market
When Christopher first started with Glee Trees, the initial business idea was not RPA related. After speaking to different businesses and understanding their needs, data-entry was mentioned as they business still need to manually enter a lot of data from various documents.
A lot of the times the original business idea might not be the one that the market needs, therefore it is important to talk to businesses and find out what are the current problem that they are experiencing, and how can we solve them using our resources.
What are the main difference between Singapore and China Market?
Glee Trees have established our subsidiary in Shanghai, China. There are some key differences between the two market that Christopher noticed:
Speed: China businesses generally moves at a much faster pace than Singapore businesses. China businesses would like to see results at a much shorter time frame.
Scaling up: The scale of China businesses is usually bigger, therefore more partners and resources need to be deployed to support projects.
Shared value: There are similarities in the languages as both Singapore and China uses Mandarin, however the words that we use might be different from each other.
What are the opportunities and challenges faced in China market?
Bigger ‘cake’: Regional connections, very large market around 25 million people.
More Connections：Existing resellers, partners, acquaintances
Cost: Asian companies have the most competitive pricing in the market compared to Chinese companies.
Culture: Despite Singaporean companies have cultural similarity with China companies, bridging differences in both companies is needed.
Competitive: China market is very competitive.
We’d like to thank the Institute of Engineers for this opportunity to share Christopher’s Technopreneur journey.