Clarist Chua and Gibson Lam are the co-founders of LeverBuy, an expansive Malaysian social media platform that features ‘deal-of-the-day’ services to users. Gibson was originally actively involved in the system automation industry before he ventured into the sales and marketing aspect of the real estate industry. Clarist was a qualified designer, who was involved in the field of design for several years before moving into the premium gifts industry, followed by the real estate industry. Possessing similar outlooks, interests and business drive, the two eventually started LeverBuy. Since its startup and under the guidance of the two entrepreneurs, LeverBuy has been growing exponentially and has evolved into a popular site for many Malaysians.
Clarist and Gibson are here to talk to us today, about LeverBuy and their startup experience and insights.
What exactly is LeverBuy?
It is a open platform for people to discover the latest promotions, discounts, sales, free gifts and all the best deals in Malaysia. Through it, we also help advertisers, be they online or offline to reach out to their potential clients and stay connected with their existing customers on the internet. At this point many may be confused about what we do and what other deal-of-the-day businesses do. The important distinction is that LeverBuy does not sell any coupons, instead, we only help advertisers to share the best deals to the public.
How did you guys get the idea of LeverBuy?
That was after a few years of working in different industries. We found out there is a common demand in almost all businesses which is advertising. It plays a crucial part in all businesses, as it is the key to public exposure and awareness of your products or services, which ultimately determine your revenue, doesn’t it? That realization was the point when LeverBuy was born. Our main intention was and remains as an intention to help business players reach their target revenue via our adveritisng services.
Do you guys think that such services are relevant to users in Malaysia?
Ever since Groupon became popular in Malaysia, everyone here has been keeping close tabs on all the promotions available on the market. This is an indication that more and more Malaysian are aware of the use of this platform and are willing to invest time on spending their money wisely.
Did you guys face any major challenges during the startup process?
Yes, of course. To start up a new business is always a big challenge in itself. For us, as we are still new in this field the major challenge is that we have to compete with the already experienced and big players in the industry. In this industry, there are already a few big players, and because they have existed in the market for quite some time, they are more experienced than we are. Obviously because of the length of their presence in the market, they also tend to have very strong bonds with clients and customers, as a result possess a wide network in the industry. So that presents a lot of challenges for us.
How did you guys respond to this lack of presence and experience in the initial stages of Leverbuy?
We had to invest almost all of our time to conduct thorough and deep research on the market and industry to stay competent and competitive. Sometimes this would mean having to sacrifice living our personal lives, for example, missing out on our personal events. Aside from this, there was also a very hands on element as we also consulted experts for their advice to help us excel in our work.
So what would you guys say are the common issues entrepreneurs may face if they were working on a startup like yours?
A strong knowledge-base in online marketing and advertising is necessary because the technical difficulties may arise with regards to those aspects. However, the main challenge would be time. Especially, if you pursued this online, a lot of time is required to build up your ranking in online market besides client database and network.
Any advice of success for entrepreneurs out there?
Yes, no great things come easily. We believe that hard work, tenacity and self-confidence are the keys to success for entrepreneurs. You must stay strong, patient and be brave in what you belief, that is the true path to success.
What are your future plans?
One of our main plans is to expand our network, other than that we will also be working on our online magazine, ‘Mode Magazine’ which features all fashion and lifestyle related news and products.
Connect with Clarist & Gibson and LeverBuy today:
Email: [email protected]