MVL CEO Kay Woo Interviewed with Cambodian Podcast, Rising Giants

2022-06-13

On May 19th, MVL CEO Kay Woo was invited to Rising Giants, a Cambodian podcast channel, for an interview. Rising Giant is a top podcast in the Cambodian business sector, providing information on Southeast Asian start-ups and investment ecosystems through various interviews.


Kay talked about MVL's starting point, and local business progress, and he shared his vision and goals for future projects and blockchain ecosystem construction in this interview.


You can listen to the interview again through the link, and the script of the interview can be found below.


👉https://www.risinggiants.fm/podcast/episode/2d0a7e4c/rising-giants-n50-kay-woo-founder-mvlchain-tada-and-onion-mobility




[Host]:

Welcome back to Rising Giants. Today on the show, we are marking our 50th episode with a very special guest, Kay Woo. He is the founder of the MVL chain, TADA and ONiON Mobility. TADA is powered by MVL chain and is Southeast Asia's first blockchain based, zero commission ride-hailing service, having launched in Singapore and Cambodia. They closed a $5,000,000 Series A investment at the end of 2019 to further strengthen their position as an innovator in the mobility sector in Southeast Asia. Alongside this, they recently launched ONiON Mobility in Cambodia, a new venture of MVL and TADA that is marking the first electric tuk-tuks to be made available in the market and soon to be launched electric scooters. We hope you really enjoy this episode. 


[Host]:

Kay, thank you so much for coming on Rising GIants today. We really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us. It would be great to just talk to you a little bit more about how your journey started in entrepreneurship and what took you to Cambodia as you find yourself here now. 


[Kay]:

Thanks for inviting me here. It was quite a long journey for me. Back in 2012, I started my company in New York but we didn’t start it with the mobility service back then. We created social networking services or social gathering services. But we failed three different times very miserably. We’ve hit zero balance on our bank account multiple different times. But ever since then, in 2015 and 2016, we entered into the Hong Kong and Shenzhen market for the first vehicle reservation service; that was the first entry of our mobility service. And then, we were developing a flip management system, which helped us to explore Southeast Asia and the Asian market. So then, we went to Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia which helped us to explore this. And then, back in 2016 and 2017, we got the opportunity to learn about the blockchain and that helped us to change the game because as a small player or a follow-up, if you play the same game like Uber, Grab, or Didi, there was no way you could win because those investors and VCs wouldn't invest in you if you were just a follow-up. So, what we tried to do was to actually create a new game and completely change the rule of the game. So, we adapted the blockchain technology and started to utilize that concept and develop the blockchain and introduced the zero commission ride-hailing service back in 2018 in Singapore. But it was quite coincidental for us, because back in 2018, Uber and Grab actually merged together and Grab took over the whole Southeast Asia market; and that actually created a very interesting monopoly situation and lots of complaints from the drivers and users arose ridiculously. And then, we entered into the Singapore market and introduced the blockchain concept and we just declared that we are going to open a zero commission blockchain-based service. And everybody was really really interested in our service and on the first day of our opening of TADA ride-hailing with zero commission, our server exploded. So that was the experience that we’ve been through so far. The zero commission helped us to bring more drivers. The core concept of the blockchain goes with the zero commission, 100% income for them. And why we are ending up to produce an electric three-wheeler, which is ONiON Mobility T1, is because we wanted to help more on our drivers' journey, including their cost of ownership and saving the cost of energy or fuel spending. So, we have our platform on TADA and drivers are working with 100% income that they are taking. But on top of that, we wanted to bring more tools for them to fight back or bring more livelihood to them. So that’s how ONiON Mobility was created and it did not just come from our own idea. We do have strategic investors from the car parts manufacturing industry and those strategic investors actually supported us to produce these vehicles. So this is how we ended up creating ONiON Mobility and now we are experiencing a big interest in the momentum of growth in Cambodia. Now, we are changing the game with the electric three wheeler, zero commission ride-hailing and also the blockchain. And that’s what we have been doing.

 

[Host]:

What was the first kind of impetus for you to actually get involved in entrepreneurship yourself? Was that always an actual thing for you or how did that unfold?

 

[Kay]:

That is a very interesting question. Ever since I got into college, I felt that maybe I’m not the kind of person who should study longer. Whenever I talked to my friends, I’d say, “you study hard and then whenever I start my company, I will invite you guys”. And that is how my entrepreneurship started. Ever since the beginning, I always wanted to have my own company, my own project. But it started happening in 2012 and until now, for about 10 years, it has kept happening and kept on building. And “never give up”; that is one of the things I’ve learned for the past 10 years. Ever since the beginning, I wanted to have one.

 

[Host]:

What made you move into mobility and blockchain? What was the spot for this? Combining those two and building this zero commission innovative mobility company?

 

[Kay]:

So this is a completely different concept from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. Back in 2016 and 2017, there was no concept of Web 3.0, but all mobility services were following up, like commission based models such as Uber, Didi or Grab; but as a small player, there was no way that we could actually fight back because we didn’t have enough money for ourselves to give coupons or incentives to our drivers and if we followed that game rule, there was no way for us to actually change the train. So we looked for either of two things; to get lots of funding from VC or to find a new way of mobility service. But funding from VC wasn’t going to happen, so we decided to explore a little bit more on the technical level. And back in 2016 and 2017, the blockchain itself was booming in China as well, interestingly and luckily, when we were there in Shenzhen. So, lots of people were coming to us and some suggested us to create a crypto exchange and some suggested us to do a business together about crypto. So we learned that the concept of blockchain itself can liberate those drivers who are working for the commission based platform like Uber or Grab, by giving them 100% of their income. And by doing so, we can connect the value of this crypto asset and the whole platform can grow together; and that is why we decided to use the blockchain. Back then, there was no guarantee that we can make that happen but ever since then, we have been building that up for over 4 to 5 years and now we are experiencing very interesting growth and our asset value grew 10 times or even 100 times and our service values are growing more than 10 times to 100 times right now.

 

[Host]:

Okay, I am sure a lot of the audience listening to this are wondering, if you’re giving the drivers 100% of the income, how is it that your company makes money? How do you actually manage to monetize this in the long term?

 

[Kay]:

So that’s right, this is the question that I’ve gotten more than a thousand times. We did our ICO. We have our own cryptocurrency called MVL. The MVL, at the time of ICO, raised the fund for Ethereum and Bitcoin. With that, we had our own operational expenses that could be carried with; so this is how we developed our service with those expenses. After that, our services have been running and the data generated from the platform have fitted into the blockchain network. Also, our own cryptocurrency has been listed on the international exchanges and some Korean exchanges. And because of that, we had our liquidity on our own cryptocurrency so that we can liquidate a certain portion of our cryptocurrency whenever we need to use it for the operational purposes and for the marketing as well. Because of that, with the service growth and with the commitment into our platform, this actually increased the intrinsic value of our own cryptocurrency as well. So, that helped us to sustain ourselves. As you know, if you share more with your participants on your platform, they can actually contribute more to create the value, indirectly or directly, and connect to the appreciation of your own crypto asset; so that crypto asset can be the source of the operational fund for yourself.

 

[Host]:

Okay, just quickly, I just wanted to get your perspective on this. What is the scene like in Korea? You said you are originally from South Korea and I think it’s a country that has really pushed forward in blockchain and crypto.

 

[Kay]:

So, the adoption of the blockchain as an investment has become huge in the past 2 years. The rise of Terra is also one of very good examples that shows Korean society is supporting those blockchain projects as well. Also, interestingly, those more sophisticated investors from Korea are also investing their money into the crypto market. So, those stock investors and those sophisticated investors are actually looking into the fundamentals of the crypto project, whether they have their real business or what kind of values they are creating. So, the sophisticated view of those investors from Korea actually helped us to get traction from those Korean investors as well. So back in 2018, after the ICO and in 2019 and 2020, we called it the “crypto winter time”, right? During the crypto winter time, we did not focus on doing the “pump and dump”; rather, we focused on building the business fundamentals, which are TADA ride-hailing growth and electric vehicle production preparation. And now, in 2021 and 2022, we are producing electric vehicles and our service is growing very fast. Because of these business fundamentals, lots of Korean investors actually see our projects as legit and trustworthy projects. And they are starting to invest their money. At some point in the beginning of last year, our coin hit a billion dollar worth of daily trading volume in the Upbit Korean exchange. So that’s that. The Korean community is actually supporting us in a very good direction and now we are focusing on building community here in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore. So then, this will help us grow even further.

 

[Host]:

Okay, great. You know, this podcast talks a lot about Cambodia and we see huge potentials in the market. What was your reasoning for choosing Cambodia as your launch for Southeast Asia? I would just love to know how it compares to some of the other countries you looked at and what were some of the unique characteristics of Cambodia that made you want to go ahead here, as opposed to somewhere else?

 

[Kay]:

Sure, so to be correct, we opened up the ride-hailing service in Singapore first and the second choice was Cambodia. But back then, I didn’t have any plans to open service here in Cambodia for TADA ride hailing service. But one of my Japanese partners invited me to Cambodia to see their operation, but back in 2018 and 2019, my expectation for Cambodia was that it’s such a poor country and that there must be nothing to do. But when I landed at the airport, I was surprised by the super clean airport and when I went inside of Phnom Penh, which is the capital of Cambodia, the city center was nothing different from Singapore. Interestingly, almost all people, 99% of people, were holding a smartphone and they were calling a car through a smartphone. There were no taxi companies; all taxi companies went bankrupt here in Cambodia. And I thought that this was a very interesting situation here, because Cambodia probably has the base that they can leave off from the old traditional way to the new trend of platform services. Grab is not the number one player in this country and the local player called “PassApp” was the number one player in ride-hailing service. So I thought that could be a very good opportunity. And at last, the market here in Cambodia is not super big, with a population of only 16 million people; but the thing is, the decent size of the market here is also a very good size for startups like us. So those big companies, like Grab or other big giants, do not see this market as a very important market, but for us, it was a decent size and lots of people were using smartphones and they were ready to accept anything. So that is why I chose this market to build further.

 

[Host]:

And tell us a little bit more about “why electric”? Obviously you’ve got the “no commission”, which is part of the business model that really helps with the drivers. Talk to us a little bit about the electric angle and how that’s unique in Cambodia and how that differentiates you from your competitors.

 

[Kay]:

Sure. So, I first came to Cambodia and opened up the service. After that, I’ve invited those strategic investors and they decided to join us - start investing in us - including the car parts manufacturing industry. When they first got here, I showed them our platform and I showed the whole city and what’s the main transportation here. The electric vehicle could be a good hit for the market. The reason why? Because almost all people were using three wheelers, which are made from India, including Bajaj and other brands. And, interestingly, the LPG cost and cost of ownership are quite high. Interest rate that drivers pay is over 25% and sometimes 30%. The LPG cost also kept on increasing. So, during the conversation with my strategic investors, I told them that if we can transfer these three wheelers into electric vehicles, it could be a game changer. It’s because we can lower the cost of ownership since we do have our own platform and based on the platform data, we can actually do the alternative credit rating, so that we can actually partner up together with the bank and lower interest rate to around 10%. And also, the battery, as a service that we provide, we don’t give the ownership of the battery but the battery ownership goes into our company and the drivers’ cost of ownership for the vehicle will be lower because they don’t need to pay for the battery. Instead, whenever they come to the station, they just swap the battery and pay the swapping fee, which is like refueling the gas. But the cost of this swapping fee is less than the LPG cost; now, because of the increase in price of LPG, it is 30% to 40% less fuel cost for our drivers. So they can save the cost of ownership and cost of fuel. And by connecting themselves to our platform, they can get dispatched efficiently. It ended up doubling their income these days. So, this is one of the reasons why our sales of electric vehicles are going higher and higher these days.                 

 

[Host]:

Okay. It’s great to hear that the market has responded well to this roll out of the electric tuk-tuk option. Could you just talk to us a little bit about some of your milestones you expect to achieve over the next year and what your growth targets are for the coming years with the business? 

 

[Kay]:

Sure, by the end of this year, we are trying to deliver about 3,000 electric three wheelers into the market in Phnom Penh and next year, we are expanding station network and our electric vehicle network to nationwide, including Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Battambang; all those major cities are our target to expand. And our vehicles for electric three wheelers are likely to be produced for around 10,000 units next year. But the next big thing is coming by the end of this year, the electric motorbike. We are trying to sell electric motorbikes, around 20,000 units by next year. And by doing so, our TADA ride hailing platform, EV network and blockchain network will get bigger for next year; and we are expecting to grow further to other neighboring countries including Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.            

 

[Host]:

That’s extremely exciting and as you’ve mentioned before, in a recent article, I read that it was about 3,000 passenger tuk-tuks, 2,000 cargo tuk-tuks and 1,000 electric scooters. What’s your strategy around sales and achieving those targets? How have you gone out to the market and what’s been the strategy there?   

 

[Kay]:

As you know, with marketing or sales, there is no magic wand. It’s just word of mouth. So, for example, we started with our passenger vehicles, in which we'd target to sell these to our own platform drivers because zero commission helped us to acquire lots of drivers into our platform; and these drivers are willing to accept these EVs since they can make more money and save cost. So, that helped us a lot in sales growth. But this sales plan is not just marketing; we’ve been building this up starting from 2-3 years ago and that’s how we ended up to have this kind of sales result. Now, because of the electric three wheeler network, we’ve built battery stations, such as mega stations and hub stations in many different regions and partnered together with PTT and TotalEnergies. And this station network helped us to give confidence to the users to not have any problems to charge their electric motorbikes, electric three wheelers or swapping the battery. So, with that confidence, we are entering into the electric motorbike market with the incentive program, crypto and marketing channel. So, that’s how we are sequentially connecting all these ingredients into one sales result.

 

[Host]:

That’s very interesting and it goes in parallel with Cambodia aiming to have 40% of electric vehicles by 2052. So it’s really great that your company is at the front end of this whole wave of transformation within the market too. Just the fact that between stations and vehicles that are going to be built and sold within the market; that is very exciting to be on the front. Because I think in 2021, there were only under 50 electric vehicles in general that were even registered within this country, which is kind of crazy to think about.

 

[Kay]:

Yeah, that’s right, but now we doubled the number though.

 

[Host]:

Yeah! There you go, right? 100% growth. That is incredible. And plenty more zeroes on that percentage in the coming years too, so that’s very exciting. On the ground now, currently, you have a team and I am curious to know what it has been like building that team and what has human capital been like in Cambodia?

 

[Kay]:

Well, me and the general manager of TADA Singapore, we were the launchers in Cambodia. So we entered Cambodia and started to hire several new people. We started with three talented team members with passion. And now, after three years, this team has grown up to slightly over 100 people.

 

[Host]:

Are most employees Cambodian as well, if not, all of them?

 

[Kay]:

Yes, 100% Cambodians.

 

[Host]:

One of the interesting things that we hear from the founders within the country is that sometimes there can be a bit of challenge in terms of human capital. So I was wondering if you had encountered anything along this line or if you had some sort of a program that you were able to put in place that would get everyone up to speed. What was that like?

 

[Kay]:

Our decision-making process is simple and clear but what we wanted to do was to actually create and duplicate the decision making process locally. To be able to do that, we need to have the right management and talented ones. So whenever we pick the talented management team, our executives are involved in interviewing the talents. And after that, we let them hire their local staff so that they know who to hire and know how to work together. And my executive team members and I know how to communicate and work together with the management team locally. So that is how we are setting up those structures. We don’t get involved with local hires, so we give 100% of the responsibilities to our management team. That’s how we are doing it. From my understanding, my local general manager and local management team are doing the internship program with the universities and those talented people are invited to experience our platform services or electric vehicle businesses themselves. And if they are good, they are turned into full-time job positions. So that is one of the things that we are doing.

 

[Host]:

Yeah. That's an incredible flow, pipeline. Especially, from hiring great talent from the management level and having them be able to build the team; but also, that pipeline from universities and very talented/intellectual graduates there that come and join your company for an internship. And then eventually, will be able to learn the business at such an early age that as they decide to stay long term with the company, they will very much have value added and input any kind of growth that you have too. So, the implementation of that kind of internship, as well as putting the talent and hiring into the managers’ hands, is very positive to hear. 

 

[Kay]:

Yes. I mean here in Cambodia, they are very young. Max mentioned that 25 years old is the average age of this country. Those young talents are actually looking for the mentors and management that they can follow and learn. So, that internship program is a very good solution to acquire good talent, but as you know, the internship program also requires time to set up. Also, we need to go through certain reviews of those talents and it may take time, but it will bring good results though.

 

[Host]:

Yeah, entirely. And for yourself, did you have any mentors as you were building the business, that you turned to, who really helped? Not only in your own personal or business development growth, but maybe as part of the business too, if there were any strategic advisors or anybody that you can mention that you felt like was a really important influence?

 

[Kay]:

Yes, I do have several mentors. I cannot reveal the names but one of the mentors was the vice president of Samsung Electronics and one is IBM and those people actually helped me to focus on what I should focus on. For example, I don’t ask them many of those strategic questions of this market because they're the ones who have experiences of such big companies; but they may not have enough experience in such a market that we are in. But, what I'm asking them is how to deal with those management teams and how to invite those young talents or important people from other companies to our company. So, based on their feedback and advice, I was able to form a very strong management team from the ground and from the beginning. Now, that management team is actually creating huge value on our platform and the services and also for the society as well.

 

[Host]:

It just goes to show that especially at any sort of early staged company, it's so critical to hire the right people. I mean, especially the first 10 to 20 people that are going to be your core operators. You know, it’s really “make or break”. It's very interesting to hear how advisors from large successful billion plus dollar revenue corporations are able to help provide the kind of advice of finding, attracting and retaining that kind of talent which will ultimately grow your company in the right direction for years to come. 

 

[Kay]:

That’s true. Hiring the right people or inviting the good co-founder and partners is really really important. Even after, let’s say, several successful fundraisings and those founders would sometimes have a fight and end up being separated. But to me, I maintain the balance with my co-founder and we’ve failed together. Now, we have been building things together for over 10 years, so we have a strong but interesting relationship. And based on that, we have lots of other team members who actually have parts of ownership of the company and that’s also a very important part, as you know. Those beginning members or executive members should have a certain part of ownership of the company such as common stock or stock option. It helps us to actually keep ourselves together and then build this company together because they do have ownership.

 

[Host]:

Yes. Especially on those two points; having a very solid relationship with your co-founder and going through the highs and the lows, it’s very important. Especially any sort of challenges, I know. Max and I, over the past year and a half of growing Rising Giants, we’ve had roller coasters as well, growing the brand. But it's been great knowing that you can have somebody to lean on in any case, especially in business, personal things and having someone who’s understanding as well is very key. And then, that other part of having the early operators have some sort of ownership within the business too; it’s even more of an incentive for you to want to be successful and stay for the long-term as well.

 

[Kay]:

That’s true

 

[Host]:

And you touched on fundraising as well. With exciting news, I saw that you recently announced that you started your Series C funding exercise with an eye to raise around hundred million USD as you're preparing to launch the electric tuk-tuk businesses in the region. Can you talk to us a little bit about how that's like if you're able to? Or if not that, maybe how it’s different this time around from your earlier Series A raise in 2019?

 

[Kay]:

Sure, Series A round in 2019 was the turning point of our company. So back then, we invited one VC from Korea and there were 2 strategic investors from the car part manufacturing industry and these 3 investors helped me to make a decision to have a plan for this electric vehicle production together with our TADA ride hailing platform. And ever since then, Series B went through very interestingly well and now, we are almost on the closing of the bridge round before Series C. So Series C is going to be, we are expecting it to be like a unicorn round and now we started to talk with the investors and roadshow is going to be started on the third quarter of this year and we are planning to close it first quarter of next year; it's going to be a 100 million dollar raising and the raised fund is going to be used to have an expansion in Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and including Indian market as well. So far, we have raised a total of slightly over 50 million USD, but we do have our own crypto asset in which we can have a good enough runway. This helped us to have a better deal with our investors. So, that's our current status of fundraising.

 

[Host]:

Okay, just quickly on the fundraising point. So, would you be raising for just equity or is it for MVL specifically, you know, the new investors in that. What is the vehicle that people will be investing in?

 

[Kay]:

So now, this bridge round - so with the Series A and Series B, they were all equity rounds. Before Series A was ICO, the crypto round; now bridge round investment and for one investor, we're mixing together with equity and the MVL token or MVL crypto asset; and then, Series C will be the equity round.

 

[Host]:

Okay, great. Yes, it must be a really unique set of investors that you're looking to attract because as you know, there's so many different components to it. As you said, you got some strategic players that are in the manufacturing space or the car manufacturing space and you also got people that kind of understand the blockchain space. How unique do you think it is to find a company like yourself that’s pushing forward in this mobility sector while also having the blockchain component? Because for me, I haven't seen any specific competitors that I can think of. Is that the case? Do you see any other mobility companies that are launching with a blockchain component globally?

 

[Kay]:

I think that's one of the unique things that we have. The motto that we are building - the zero commission, blockchain fundamentals behind and the electric vehicle - with these three combinations, we are actually flipping the market here in Cambodia and eventually the whole Southeast Asia. But there's no such player who is doing it this way. Maybe eventually Tesla could do this, but no other mobility players, including Uber or Grab, don’t even think about adapting this blockchain model into their businesses because zero commision can hurt their revenue severely; they can’t do that. So, that's why we called them an old platform in Web 2.0. And Web 3.0, with this blockchain concept, ride hailing and electric vehicles, I haven’t found any player who’s doing this yet. But eventually, I am expecting that lots of players will follow this track and that would mean that this model is being validated by many different followers and that's also another guarantee or appreciation of our whole company value and our crypto value as well.

 

[Host]:

Okay, I’d agree with that. Even if you just look through the top blockchain protocols out there today, there's a very few that are in the mobility space. It’s mostly decentralized finance, GameFi and a few other things. So, I think it is very unique. I just want to ask for the last part of the podcast, which is asking you a few questions about your habits and advice that you may have for aspiring entrepreneurs. So one question to touch on is, what are some of the habits that you install in yourself on a day-to-day basis to remain self accountable or motivated?

 

[Kay]:

What I do is, actually, every morning, I play tennis and that allows me to sweat a lot and release my stress before starting the day. And then, I recommend all those entrepreneurs to - because they should be getting lots and lots of stress - they should have their own emotional shelter, which for me, is my lovely dog, Ellie. She’s the one who actually gives me a very good emotional shelter. These two are the things that I have. And in general, most entrepreneurs, they don't have time to exercise because of lots of stress due to fundraising and whatnots; but, you still need to exercise. That's the only thing that you can release your stress through. You don't want to do drugs or drink too much, right? So, exercises, that’s a thing and also emotional shelter. Either you should have your own pet or any other thing (one) that you can actually be loved by. So, that’s what I’m doing.    

 

[Host]:

That’s actually quite interesting because I also try playing morning tennis, at least trying to do it two times a week and I fully agree with you. You let out that angst for the day ahead and it just makes the whole journey of the day a lot more light. Just kind of following up on that, what are some of the most formative books that you’ve ever read that have kind of guided you on your entrepreneurial journey?

 

[Kay]:

Well, this is a very typical answer but “Zero to One” actually helped me a lot. Peter Thiel, who wrote “Zero to One”, actually very much helped me on how to focus on building from zero to one and become the number one player in a certain subject or certain focus. Then, that will help us to grow further and horizontally. So, before we become a very sharp spear of a certain sector or business, we shouldn't do a parallel expansion but once you make a very strong hole with your sharp spear, like Zero to One, then you can actually expand yourself horizontally. And that's what we're doing.

 

[Host]:

And what else do you admire about Peter Thiel in particular?

 

[Kay]:

As you know there’s also a lot of criticism about this guy, but interestingly that's one of the things that I like. Maybe he may not be able to make a good choice and a good decision every single time, but back then, he knew what he needs to do with that idea and his concept of “zero to one”, to be able to make zero to one and make the right decision at the right timing with the right people. So, those are things that I admire about him. But, I don't know about these days though.

 

[Host]:

Yeah, so, I didn’t mean to push it. I also think Peter Thiel has been, I think he is one of the most interesting entrepreneurs out there and he’s gone into so many different spaces before they were like, you know, trendy or cool. Even recently, he's a big investor in psychedelic mental health companies. He was there from day one and now it’s become a very trendy thing. But even with that decentralized finances, I thought he’s been quite early to that as well. Whenever I see him making a new move into something, it's always something to stay aware of. He's never been one to shy away from his opinions. Sometimes they’re controversial, but I think that’s a unique thing about him that probably made him so successful, it’s that honesty.


[Kay]:

Yeah, that’s what I understood.

 

[Host]:

Kay, just really quick, I wanted to ask you a question about back when you were in university. If I understand this correctly, you were part of the ballroom dance team. Is that correct?

 

[Kay]:

Yeah, that’s right.

 

[Host]:

I'm very curious about this because I've never been a part of or never really participated in any sort of ballroom classes or anything like that. So, I'm wondering what that experience was like, being part of the ballroom dance team and then, what were your biggest learnings or takeaways from being part of that organization?

 

[Kay]:

Okay. So, first of all, my choice of joining the ballroom dance team was for, let's say, it's kind of my emotional shelter. So while I’m dancing, I don't need to think about anything. I just 100% focus on dancing. And then, it's like a mutual partnership. So your partner, if she doesn't understand where you’re going to go and if she doesn't trust you, she won't move according to where you want to go. So, it's all about learning the partnership between the two. But also, the team itself, there is a team dancing and all those involvement. But some people say that's gay, but to me, it's an emotional shelter and also the mutual partnership that I've learned and how to coordinate myself to move forward with the partner. So that's how I learned it and I enjoyed it very much and I still want to do more ballroom dancing these days, but I choose to play tennis these days. That’s how I ended up joining the ballroom dance team.


[Host]:

That's awesome. I guess tennis is a different form of dancing, right? It’s more of a sprinting back and forth. I will say, back at university for me, I did take a swing dance class. It’s a particularly popular dance in the southeast, especially at universities there in the US. And one of the biggest things that I took away from that is trust. You and your partner have to create this mutual understanding, trust. So, if I'm going to try and flip you or you know, if I’m going to pick you up and spin you around, you’re going to have to know that I'm not going to drop you, but I can't promise that after having maybe a couple of cocktails. You know this conversation has been really great, Kay. Thank you so much for taking the time. Our traditional closing question that we like to ask each of our guests is, what is the greatest piece of advice that you've ever been given?

 

[Kay]:

So, this is like a life lesson that I've learned and many people including those mentors are actually telling me this, there’s no one day success. So, there’s no one day success; within a year or two years, you cannot make a couple million dollars or hundred millions of dollars worth company. It’s all about failure and just not giving up and building things up, like long enough and not giving up. And eventually, people will recognize you and that's what people call a success. So no success can come in a day, that’s what I’ve learned. So even now, I cannot say that I'm a successful one. But, I'm saying that I have a strong enough strength to not give up our company and then, it can last longer than 10 years, 50 years and 100 years; and that’s what I’m trying to do.

 

[Host]:

That's a really great piece of advice. Especially thinking about, you know, being better 1% everyday and building brick by brick; you know things aren’t going to change at a snap of a finger overnight. It’s about playing the long game and creating a culture of believing and knowing that the direction that you're heading is going to be incredible. So yes, thank you so much again for taking the time. Max and I both really enjoyed this conversation and we really look forward to seeing the full rollout of your vehicles over the following year and being able to use your platform and service.

 

[Kay]:

Alright, look forward to meeting you guys.