Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021: Doxa on MoneyFM

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Doxa is a Top 15 Finalist at the Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021 jointly organised by OCBC Bank and The Business Times (SPH).

Full Transcript

Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021 on Money FM 89.3 is brought to you by OCBC and the Business Times.

00:00:09 Bernard Lim

This is Money FM 89.3 and I am Bernard Lim. Well, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the businesses to pivot and diversify, and this year's Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021

00:00:20 Bernard Lim

is once again being held during the COVID-19 pandemic and we look to recognise small and medium sized enterprises that demonstrate innovation, resilience and sustainability, despite going through tough circumstances.

00:00:32 Bernard Lim

In its 14th year, the awards jointly organised by the Business Times and OCBC are held annually to celebrate and recognise emerging businesses with an enterprising mindset.

Catching up from 2019

00:00:44 Bernard Lim

And today we speak to Edmund Ng and Leon Yeo, cofounders of Doxa Holdings International — well Edmund, last we spoke was in September... I believe 2019.

00:00:54 Bernard Lim

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has kind of shaken the entire globe. How have you both been?  

00:00:59 Edmund Ng

Thanks for setting us aside and coming over to FM again, right?

00:01:03 Edmund Ng

I think it's, uh, years that changes and also a lot of things happen. We are pretty busy along the way and also definitely we are looking into more traction towards the procurement environment.

00:01:14 Edmund Ng

Especially we are looking into the Built Environment.

00:01:16 Edmund Ng

Definitely there's quite a numbers of our big players and big, so-called organisation has been signing up and also we are constantly improving to bring more features in and continue to build more modules to contribute to the Built Environment angles and to help companies to improve their more efficiency in this pandemic. Definitely, I think we also collaborate with a few of the banks in the financing space.

00:01:40 Bernard Lim

Well, Leon we’ll bring you into the conversation right now.

Pandemic's impact on business

00:01:43 Bernard Lim

Over the past pandemic period, what impact do you think it is had on your business?

00:01:47 Leon Yeo

Thanks Bernard. Being a Tech company, right? So we fare less worse. Obviously being tech we all can work from anywhere, so that helps. We do see some slight challenges that we are not able to meet, you know, companies face to face and especially in the Singapore SME space, a lot of face to face – it does help a lot. It didn't stop us from growing though, so our traction as Edmund earlier mentioned helps.

00:02:10 Leon Yeo

We also thankful that we have quite a resilient team to help us as well, and I think because.

00:02:15 Leon Yeo

What we do is to help companies to digitalise their workflow.

00:02:18 Leon Yeo

So in this pandemic period we glad that we're able to add value like you know to help them because you know at this stage where a lot of manual paperwork becomes more difficult.

00:02:27 Leon Yeo

So I guess this give us some opportunity to be able to help them as well.

Business growth

00:02:31 Bernard Lim

Well correctly mentioned Leon. As more businesses look to digitalise as well with their processes, what kind of growth have you seen, Edmund?

00:02:39 Edmund Ng

Oh, definitely, I think the growth has been ramping up and also especially in this pandemic. Using in terms of the SaaS models or even the cloud, everybody gets more acceptable to this angle [of digitalisation]. This will in fact also helped a lot of businesses that think through to actually digitalise their process.

00:02:56 Edmund Ng

This and this will allow the good positive feedback in terms of using the model.

Challenges faced by SMEs in digitalisation

00:02:59 Bernard Lim

What do you think in some of the challenges that SMEs face in this area of digitalising?

00:03:05 Leon Yeo

Think depending on the industry, so one of the industry that we are now serving is a construction industry, so for them they have for manpower issues and then they also have facing cash flow with all the delays, right.

00:03:16 Leon Yeo

That itself obviously have an impact, and then there are also other companies that actually have a good, right, because of the pandemic.

00:03:24 Leon Yeo

So you know those. For example, one of our client in the retail space moving into online that actually help them to grow even fast.

00:03:30 Leon Yeo

But for us, I think what we see is 2-part, one is because of this pandemic: the need to manage cost become very important.

00:03:38 Leon Yeo

And some of them may not know where to focus to manage costs right? And that's where we're helping. And the other one is obviously the cashflow side, with business slowing down.

00:03:47 Leon Yeo

So this is also something that we are trying to work quite closely with the close partnership with banks and we are launching our financing module right, linking with the banks to hopefully can help them, you know on their cashflows as well.

00:03:56 Bernard Lim

We're speaking to Edmund Ng and Leon Yeo, cofounders of Doxa Holdings International.

Responding to the current business environment

00:04:02 Bernard Lim

Well Edmund your technology can now enable businesses to make decisions faster by automating all their business processes. But how have you had to kind of pivot or expand on current offerings to kind of cater to the current environment?

00:04:16 Bernard Lim

We're in a new world right now.

00:04:17 Edmund Ng

I think difference in terms of the implementation processes is also something that we need to change because we need to adapt to the current. We can’t meet each other face to face. In terms of getting the people trained up is very different.

00:04:30 Edmund Ng

And also we need to have flexibility in terms of our platforms because different company have their own different needs and enhancements.

00:04:37 Edmund Ng

So we need to make sure that when we build these features, we have to be unified and also able to kind of [add] value to each individual so-called industry and also with our agile operations in terms of helping clients to rapidly change and improve.

00:04:49 Edmund Ng

Because we also hope that we can bring in the best practices because of our uniqueness and also understanding about the market needs and hope that we also have these experiences to

00:05:00 Edmund Ng

Also bring this value to each individual industry, especially the built environment and also right now we are looking into driving the analytics informations and allows enabling the financing to make financing much more easier, quicker and definitely hope that we can reduce the cost of fund for all the users.

What's next for Doxa?

00:05:17 Bernard Lim

What's next for Doxa?

00:05:19 Leon Yeo

So there are three main focus areas we start to gather some traction to the construction industry, which traditionally has been quite manual and a lot of paper physical documents in their workflow.

00:05:31 Leon Yeo

So we managed to get some traction, so the first focus really is for us to continue to introduce this platform to the industry and the way our platform is designed is such that, you know, the more companies adopt, it makes it easier for the others to adopt, so you know, it's a many-to-many connection

00:05:47 Leon Yeo

to form an ecosystem, our first aim is really is to double down to, you know, introduce that to the market, and I hope that everyone in the construction industry would then benefit.

00:05:57 Leon Yeo

The second area is to expand outside the construction industry and to other industries which

00:06:03 Leon Yeo

is also something that you know our technology can do. In fact, this one we are working on quite a number of other industries with our partners. There should be an announcement coming out quite shortly, in terms of that.

00:06:12 Leon Yeo

And then lastly the third focus area is to start to look outside Singapore, right, on the construction industry.

00:06:19 Leon Yeo

We know that what we do can also help other construction companies in the other countries that we have validated.

00:06:25 Leon Yeo

So this is also another area on the focus of which is to expand outside Singapore.

00:06:28 Bernard Lim

Well congratulations on being nominated for this year’s OCBC Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021.

00:06:35 Bernard Lim

So, in this entire nomination process, I'm sure there must be loads of opportunities for you to kind of learn things.

Learnings & takeaways

00:06:42 Bernard Lim

Tell us, what have you guys learnt and really, what's next?

00:06:44 Leon Yeo

We're just very grateful to be. You know, being selected as one of the top 15 finalist.

00:06:48 Leon Yeo

And ya, you're right, Bernard, there are many things that we can learn from, you know, just by having the interaction and joining the discussion with the other companies that's in the finalists.

00:06:58 Leon Yeo

There's a lot we can learn, which some of it probably able to help us to improve ourselves as well. This award, during the process, is quite stringent in that they emphasise that the business, not just.

00:07:09 Leon Yeo

To wow the market right? But it also have to be well managed. It also has to be sustainable and profitable right in addition to having a you know a good strong vision.

00:07:18 Leon Yeo

So in that sense, I think it's a good lesson you know to make sure that we manage them well, and then I think,

00:07:25 Leon Yeo

Lastly, one thing we learned is in a lot of emphasis on making sure that we are coming up with things to fill the gap that the market is facing right? It's not just coming out with something nice, but it has to really meet particular needs, particular problems.

00:07:38 Leon Yeo

that the market requires, in order for a business to be successful. I guess as much as we are, you know are nervous, you know, and prepare for that.

00:07:46 Leon Yeo

I think we also want to enjoy the process, you know, yeah?

00:07:50 Bernard Lim

Edmund, let’s say come December, Doxa Holdings is named as a winner.

What a win would mean to Doxa's cofounders

00:07:54 Bernard Lim

Yeah, So what does winning actually mean to Doxa and obviously you yourself personally?

00:07:59 Edmund Ng

Definitely we are grateful and I go back to what Leon mentioned.

00:08:03 Edmund Ng

We are really grateful for this even part of the finalist on this award and also to contribute to this ecosystem. Definitely it is so important for us as a further validation to this market,

00:08:14 Edmund Ng

and also what our business model will be, and the acceptance of the business model to the market.

00:08:20 Edmund Ng

At the same time, this will also encourage us to even move further and stronger and also further innovate and continue to introduce new offering to help companies to improve their processes.

00:08:32 Edmund Ng

And also, hopefully that definitely we can actually open more doors to grow even faster in other industries. And also definitely we are grateful, and continue to contribute to the ecosystem and together with more partnership.

00:08:46 Bernard Lim

Well Edmund and Leon, appreciate the time spent here with us here on Money FM. Edmund Ng and Leon Yeo, cofounders of Doxa Holdings International, one of the nominees for the Emerging Enterprise Awards 2021.

00:08:58 Bernard Lim

Well, I'm Bernard Lim and This is Money FM 89.3.

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