Previously, Kendrick Wong started and exited two companies in which the larger of the two dealt in wholesale fashion. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has been selling products since he was 11, starting with origami. His particular hobbies include rock climbing, chess, behavioural economics & caring for his puppy beagle, Pepper.
In your own words what is Shoppr?
Shoppr is a fashion app that finds you similar items of any outfit you see, from famous trendsetters to the fashionable everyday girl. Shoppr is the easiest way for you to learn how to style and search for the clothes that you can buy all in one place.
How did you come up with the idea of Shoppr?
What got me in the industry was my interest in behavioural economics and pattern recognition. Whenever I am subjected to shopping trips with my girlfriend, I use it as an opportunity to observe her purchasing habits and how she decides to make a purchase.
My girlfriend devours fashion and feels the need to continuously be on-trend. She usually spends her free time on her smartphone, browsing outfits of fashion bloggers on Instagram and keeping tabs on what celebrities are wearing. Seeing how they style their outfits and what high street brands or designer pieces they are photographed in catches her eye. She also is up to date on sales and is always checking out the latest products from her favourite shops.
It was through identifying the sources of her discontent by seeing how fragmented the shopping experience in Southeast Asia is that I decided to find a way to seamlessly blend the online and offline window-shopping experience. This is how the idea for Shoppr emerged.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup?
Hiring! The hardest part is finding the right person for the right job. We overcame this by going to networking events and making as many friends as possible to get the best referrals for different positions.
How have you been developing Shoppr since startup?
User feedback, lots and lots of user feedback. We talk to our users every single day.
What kind of feedback did you get for Shoppr so far?
We have a very strong support team of early adopters who have been very passionately promoting Shoppr since the day we started. To date, we’ve spent close to 0 on marketing because of the word of mouth effect we get.
What is your strategy against your competition?
Asia is about relationship building and partnerships.
Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
Our industry is supported strongly by visual content, less words, and more imagery.
What is the future of the industry?
The future of our industry is in content, and who will own the content in the future.
Was there anything that disappointed you initially?
Initially, it was a culture shock for the working style. In the UK, the startup scene has been around for a decade, in SEA, it’s nascent. There are different expectations for a startup & we had to learn to adapt.
What do you think about being an entrepreneur in Asia?
Having started my first company in the UK, I don’t find being an entrepreneur in Asia particularly easier or harder. There are different sets of challenges for each country and I don’t like seeing something as a disadvantage, rather a set of problems which needs solving to go to the next level.
What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
Asian – Disallowance of failure
Western – Acceptance of failure
What is your definition of success?
It constantly changes, whenever I’m close to a goal, another appears.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
It came naturally to me. My grandfather was an entrepreneur & so was my father. Watching them build their businesses gave me the spark to start my own. What I enjoy the most is the never ending amount of problems to solve, the more & quicker you solve them the faster you get to your end goal.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
Grit, a love for problem-solving & thirst for knowledge.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?
Entrepreneurship is not easy, you read about the 1% of successes but never the 99% of failures. There are many ups & downs and if you can’t take the downs, you’ll burn out quickly. Having a network of like-minded friends helps a lot.