lalaNews - December 2017

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A word from Shing:

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made at work?

I have done a lot of interviews lately, and usually, when I interview a candidate, it is mostly in the final round and so my questions are mostly about our values. Is this person passionate? Is he gritty and is he humble?

One question that I inevitably asked what is the biggest mistakes he has ever made. I want to see if this person is self-reflective and whether he has the courage to admit his wrongs.

if that person says he can't think of any mistakes, I will never hire that person because all people make mistakes. If they cant think of any, either he does not reflect or he does not have the courage to admit it. Either way, he is probably not demonstrating the humility value that we look for.

If we hold new recruits to this standard, we should hold ourselves to the same or even higher standard.

So, if I were to be interviewed today, and I got asked what were my biggest mistakes for the last few years, what would my answers be?

As a CEO, one of my key responsibilities is making key decisions, and I have made at least two really big mistakes, though they are not life-threatening.

One is expanding too fast when we are only 1 month old. We hadn't even launched our HK app at that time, and for some reasons i don't recalled now, I decided we needed to expand to Japan. So we  had more than 10 people in Japan even before launching in HK! Why Japan, I didn't remember because it wasn't a decision made after a thorough discussion. And why such hurry? I dont really remember either. I must be really stupid back then. The cost of that mistakes? 2 million HKD.

Another mistake is expanding too slowly. When we decided to expand in China following the success of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, we went to Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Chengdu. Again, for some reasons, we didn't expand to the biggest city in China, Bejing! Because of that mistake, we are now leading in ALL major cities in China, but Beijing. If I had made the decision to expand to Beijing six months earlier, we will likely be leading in all major cities in China, which will likely increase our valuation by at least 20%. So, that would be a 200M mistake, USD!!!!  Hmm, where is the highest roof i can jump off to kill myself?

Obviously making mistakes is painful, but as a startup, we will bound to make. What is important is to make sure we can learn and profit from these mistakes.

So, what have I learned? Three things.

1) For key decisions, think thoroughly and understand the WHY behind it.

2) Cultivate an environment where people can be candid in giving feedback so as to make sure we have our blind spots covered.

3) Cultivate an environment where people are humble enough to listen, even when those opinions might hurt.

If because of that 200M+ mistakes, I can make sure these 3 things happen at Lalamove. I believe that 200M+ is worth every cent, and I probably don't have to jump off any building yet.

I have told you mine, now is your turn. If you have any stories to share, please email your story at sea.lalanews@lalamove.com, and tell us what you have learnt from your mistakes. We will send a gift to you and share your story in our next lalanews.

They have something to share

China (North)

Orange Storm again arrived in the Capital City of China, Beijing

Beijing was one of the cities appointed to launch the“All Orange” vehicle wrap trial. Although many difficulties were encountered from planning the design ads to rolling it out, with the support and efforts from HQ and the local team, Beijing finally has its own van with its full orange body wrap advertisement on the 8th Nov 2017, and there will be more to come in the future.

We also took a photo with drivers and their vehicles with full body stickers. Every driver had a sincere smile in the photo, in full support of the advertisement campaign, which really encourages us to move forward.

The future is up to us and we shall make great strides!

China (East)

2017 Team Building

On the 4th of November, over two hundred Huolala buddies from East China participated in a two day trip for team building in Liyang of Changzhou.

They all put the heavy workload aside and left the office to relax and enjoy the nature. During the day, they went to the oxygen bar surrounded by millions of bamboos, bathed in a hot spring and climbed the Hainan Hill. By night, they had a party in a farmhouse!

The team building outing certainly strengthened the relationships between Huolala buddies and enhanced the team spirit! The large Huolala gathering in China was formed by the small teams from each city. The company is growing and the team is also progressing, I believe that Huolala will be more brilliant with each passing day!


China (Southwest)

South West Province Trainer Wins Driver Training Championship

On the 9th of November, seven cities in the South West team held an exciting Driver Training Competition. Qiang Ma from Xian defeated several trainers from other cities and everyone thought he would be champion. Yet, Lili Jiang from Chengdu caught up from behind and even won the champion in the competition in the end.  Moreover, the trainers of South West, Qiang Ma and Lili Jiang won the overall championship in the National Huolala Driver Training competition on 22nd of November.

China (Central)

A Hard Working Driver Operator

Yin Chi Pin is a driver operator from Cheung Sha. On the 8th of Oct, she was arranged to come in earlier to do cold calling work. As there were many new registered drivers on National Day, she was too swamped in work to call all the registered drivers. Pin proactively took on some overtime to complete the work.  

At 8p.m., Pin was still working and City Manager reminded her to go home soon. However, she insisted to stay because she knew that if the 50 registered drivers had not been called, it would greatly impact the activation rate. She ended up working till 11p.m. But her work hard paid off. The number of drivers attending the training was doubled the next day. Pin always request to stay late to dial more calls to drivers in order to maximise the training attendance. The values of execution and grit from the staff are key to improving Cheung Sha Team!

China (CEO Office)

The First National Trainer Contest

The 1st national trainer contest finals was successfully held on November 22. It aims to improve the quality of trainers and to offer an exchange platform of excellent training skills.

Ten outstanding trainers stood out from the crowd, representing their cities, to participate in the game. During the competition, the trainers showed off their talents and confidence to tackle different challenges raised from their opponents.Their performance were appreciated by entire audiences.

The game ended with laughter and excitement. Eventually, trainer Jiang Li Li from Chengdu won the champions among the candidates, Xi'an trainer, Ma Keung, being the 1st Runner-up, and Yuqiang Geng  from Changsha won the 2nd Runner-up. Xiaoyan Yuan was awarded a special popularity award.

The competition did achieve its initial purpose, it acted as a stage to initiate communication between trainers, to shape them as great examples.

China (Operations)

New Revamp Drivers Training - Video Scenario

Improving the quality of driver’s customer service of drivers has always been the key responsibility of the Operation Team. We understand a lively, humourous and specific training can be far more effective in committing the material to their memory. Therefore, we use video to demonstrate our company services and policy.

In October, we created a video named “Excellent logistic services and Customers’standard dialogue”. The video trains drivers, from start to finish, to take initiative in helping their customers and be courteous at all times. A lively video example can help the drivers to clearly understand what good quality of service is. Therefore, we plan to use the video as a tool for training in foreseeable the future.

If you want to appear in the video, you’re very welcome to apply via the Operation Team!

Finance: Financial Knowledge Sharing

What is VAT?

VAT stands for Value-Added Tax. It is a type of tax that levies on both sales and purchase of goods or services.

The Government needs resources to maintain and provide a good and safe environment for his citizens to carry out their business in an orderly fashion and this is partly sourced from VATs.

As a seller, he/she will be charged for VAT on his/her sales of good/services and be refunded VAT from purchased goods (from suppliers) by the government. However, there are many transactions occurring each day.  In order to simplify the tax process, government will charge or refund VAT of the difference between the sale and the purchase (gross profit).

Example: You open a tea shop, a 20 dollars cup of tea costs you 10 dollars, in the process of buying and selling a cup of tea you create a social value of 10 dollars. In order to maintain a good business environment, you need pay 0.6 dollars to the government for their services.

Hong Kong

1,000,000 USD in Transaction Value

Hong Kong completed an unprecedented 1million USD in transaction value this month, posting record highs for daily, weekly and monthly orders. The intensive marketing campaigns encompassing a comprehensive selection of channels have extended FTU acquisition performance of offline advertisements to 30% from 15%. Achieving an additional 200% in daily orders against the same time last year, we are beyond doubt stabilizing into a growth trend and repositioning ourselves in the competitive landscape - by virtue of such growth; our competitors are reacting with precipitous resources to target and mimick our tactics - proving our existence is becoming a threat that cannot go unnoticed. It is important that we remain composed as we continue to thrive in this contest and moreover, to deliver an unparalleled focus to provide the best in class service and experience that will determine us as the victor in the market. 


Singapore Team is ending the year off with a bang!

The Singapore team is ending the year off with a bang! We’ve just launched our first-ever offline ad campaign at MRT stations (trains). This has greatly been increasing our brand awareness with an increase in FTUs within the first couple of days. Since the ads have strategically been placed at busy areas with a high concentration of corporate users, we are looking forward to expanding our corporate account acquisition with this marketing move as well.

Adding on to this, this exciting journey continues with the launch of multiple initiatives too. Corporate users are benefiting with attractive rates for every top-up they make, and driver’s are being incentivised to be more active in delivery and referrals. We are continually working on ways to get more people engaged with Lalamove.

Our team’s hard work is also proving to be fruitful with a 4-week straight of record-breaking order counts in November. This steady growth and milestone could not have been possible without our remarkable team and we aim to work hand-in-hand to hit even bigger numbers everyday!



Partner with BURGER KING

Lalamove partners with BURGER KING, the US fast-food burger restaurant chain to tap the fast-growing of food delivery market. To be chosen to join forces with such a successful household name as BURGER KING is a true sign of confidence in what we can deliver business-wise and of course burger-wise! It also shows Lalamove’s focus on building strong partnerships as we grow. With a good service of our food-delivery network of drivers, we can definitely help stimulate demand as BURGER KING continues to expand into new delivery locations and it also helps us to continue growing and increase our brand awareness.



Co-hosted a PR Event with Sony

Lalamove co-hosted a Sales PR Event with Sony on the 30th of November. Prospect clients and companies representatives were invited to participate. The team used this occasion to present existing and future business opportunities in the Taiwan market - how to further develop the F&B market, how to better target Taiwanese consumers and domestic delivery trends were some of the topics discussed. More than 30 merchants and individuals attended the event, which brought us over 15 direct leads. We are expecting this event to generate more interest in the coming couple of weeks.


1st Year Anniversary in Manila

Manila celebrated its 1st year anniversary in the Philippines. As an initial celebration, we invited media allies to our anniversary press launch which gave us good media mileage and bolstered our relationship with media. Manila team also broke 1000 orders a day for the first time this November.

The Tech Corner

China (Product and Tech)

User Wallet Released

Now Huolala user can pay by cash, Alipay, Tencent pay and Huolala wallets, while placing an order, or during the delivery.

Delivering goods is much more complicated than sending a delivery man, in terms of variety in size, variety in additional services and variety in payment - there are many scenarios:

Company A calls a van for company B, and pays for it.

Company A calls a van for company B, and asks B to pay for it.

Company A calls a van, and would only pay after the order is completed.

Company A calls a van and pays for it, but later he needs to pay for additional charges.

Staff X calls a van for company B, using company wallet.

There are so many scenarios that we must anticipate so a lot more work is required in order to set up the whole payment cycle.

SEA (Product and Tech)

Improvement of Scalability and Work Efficiency

We have been trying really hard to improve scalability and work efficiency and now we are seeing the result.

Scalability: In Oct, we have achieved 0 downtime for a month.

Efficiency:In Nov, we have 27 production releases(mobile+web+backend) for our users, drivers and Lalamovers! Changing team structure helps. Also, data team has automated reports and migrated to Tableau, which can help us to visualise data in a much easier way!

Let's give a warm welcome to our 7 new hires tech engineers, they will be onboard very soon. We are expecting more to come in 2018.

Staff interview

Gaetano Seminaro

Country Director, SG

Q1: Could you introduce yourself?

I come from a small town in the south of Italy, blessed by the sun and sea. Prior to Lalamove, I worked in different startups both in Asia and Europe and more recently, worked for Amazon as Project Operations Manager.

I am passionate about startups, new technologies and disruptive business models. I love travelling and enjoy discovering new countries and cultures. I had the opportunity to live in 8 different countries. In my spare time, I enjoy diving, playing football, basketball and chess. 

Q2: Why do you choose to work for Lalamove?

Since my times at university, I’ve always been interested in how to leverage technology to change, improve and disrupt traditional business models. Then, through my professional career, I had the opportunity to be exposed, challenged and learn from the logistic and operations industry –  a space which has been experiencing massive disruption. So, when I came across Lalamove, I immediately felt that it was a perfect match between my professional interest and expertise. On top of that, from the start of the hiring process, I felt that the company values were completely in line with my personal values – since then, I’ve confirmed this first impression.

Q3: What is the most challenging part of your job? 

Prioritizing and focus on what’s most impactful for the business is definitely challenging as both the nature of my job and my personality tend to push me to be involved in everything. 

Q4: From the experience, what influenced your growth within the company?

The people. Both at a local and regional level, I feel surrounded by passionate people who are hungry to succeed together as a team, who are deeply involved and committed to our success and want to bring Lalamove to the next level. This shared attitude across all teams pushes me go beyond what I thought I was capable of.

Q5:  If there is one thing in Lalamove you want to change right now, what is it?

Each city should probably have one local product manager in charge of collecting all the requirements from the business and work with the regional Product team to make things happen. Moving forward, having small, nimble local tech teams dedicated to each city would also help to expedite the product development lifecycle of features which are not top priority at a regional level, but important for individual local teams and processes.

They talk about us

Lalamove highlighted
by Bangkok Post

Lalamove on track to become next start-up unicorn from Hong Kong!

Check out the complete news HERE.


What is the biggest mistake you have ever made at work?

Please share your story in 100 words to sea.lalanews@lalamove.com for chance to win a big prize!

(Winner's sharing will be shared in the next Lalanews)


Winner of last time: Mario Ma (China - Ningbo)

Prize: Annual Membership of Ximalaya FM App (Audio Book)

 RMB¥386 (HK$455)