GoGoX has emerged as a trailblazer in a fast-paced world of logistics, reshaping how goods move from point A to B. Founded in Hong Kong, this innovative platform was born out of a need for swift, efficient deliveries, an inspiration sparked by a surge in lunchbox orders.
At the heart of all these actions is Eugene Lee, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of GoGoX, who played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the company and spearheading the company’s expansion into diverse markets.
In our interview with Eugene, he delves into the genesis of GoGoX, highlighting the journey from inception to a milestone IPO in 2022. With over two decades of experience, he paints a vivid picture of how technology has become the linchpin of modern logistics. From addressing the talent gap to dispelling misconceptions, he provides valuable insights into the industry’s evolution and its promising future.
Can you share the story of how GoGoX began and what inspired you to become a part of this venture as one of the pioneer team members?
The journey of GoGoX began in Hong Kong when the co-founders were arranging lunch box deliveries through van dispatching call-centres until one morning they had too many orders to fulfil.
This event inspired them to think of an effective way to solve the pain point of the fragmented and inefficient call-centre business model. Their idea began by consolidating van drivers into a chat group where drivers could respond to orders immediately. However, that was not scalable enough. With the use of technology to streamline processes, GOGOVan was eventually born which led to GoGoX.
Being a veteran already in the logistics industry when GoGoX began its journey, I saw the potential of the startup and was happy to spearhead the opening of its office in Singapore and join as the founding member. The process involves cross countries’ collaboration as well as localization, and we took a good amount of time making sure our vision and mission was aligned
With over two decades of experience in the logistics sector, could you describe some key moments or trends that you’ve witnessed shaping the industry, especially in the context of e-commerce and technology advancements?
Technology Integration: The logistics industry has embraced technology in various ways, including the use of advanced analytics, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize supply chain operations, improve route planning, and enhance visibility.
Sustainability and Green Logistics: Environmental concerns have led to a greater emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly logistics practices. This includes the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles, the reduction of carbon emissions, and eco-friendly packaging solutions.
Automation and Robotics: Automation has become more prevalent in logistics, with the use of automated warehouses, robotic picking and packing systems, and autonomous vehicles for material handling and transportation.
Supply Chain Resilience: The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. As a result, there has been a renewed focus on building resilient supply chains, including diversifying sourcing options and stockpiling critical goods.
Data Analytics and Predictive Analytics: Logistics companies have leveraged data analytics to optimize routes, predict demand, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency. Predictive analytics helps in anticipating maintenance needs and reducing downtime for vehicles and equipment.
Over your 10-year career at GoGoX, you’ve played a pivotal role in overseeing the company’s expansion across various markets. What were the strategies and challenges involved in this process, particularly in countries like Vietnam, India, Korea, China, and Singapore?
One of the challenges would be understanding various cultural mindsets when it came to hiring processes and dealing with team dynamics.
We adapt our overall strategy by deep diving into each country’s business environment to see how we can support their logistic needs. Factors we look into include pain points, the competitive landscape, the potential to scale and cost of capital. Having just an office set up is easy, but making it last requires constant review and local knowledge
I believe in “Slow to hire, quick to fire”. Logistics is a very local business, thus finding the right people is crucial, we need to find the right fit, right people and right culture in order to turn into a sustainable business model. It is a long join process. For example, when I hire country managers, I would want to know them more on a personal level, i.e. sitting down to have dinner with their family, to get to know them outside of work. It’s never really just on the resume.
Achieving IPO status in 2022 was a significant milestone. How do you see this impacting GoGoX’s future growth and the services you provide?
Increased Visibility: An IPO often brings increased visibility and credibility to a company. For GoGoX this has helped the company attract more customers, partners, and investors, further fuelling growth.
Access to Talent: With a higher profile and potentially more resources, GoGoX has found it easier to attract top talent, including experienced professionals and experts in their field, which contribute to enhanced service quality and innovation.
Technology Investments: With access to more capital, GoGoX has invested in advanced technologies and infrastructure to improve and streamline our services for enhanced efficiency and customer satisfaction.
You’ve expressed the importance of shifting perceptions about the logistics sector. Could you elaborate on how you envision attracting young talent and driving the digital transformation of the industry?
Attracting young talent and driving digital transformation in the logistics sector can be achieved through a combination of strategies and initiatives that make the industry appealing to the next generation of professionals. Here are some key approaches:
Promote the Excitement of the Industry:
Highlight the dynamic and critical role of logistics in global trade and supply chain management.
Showcase real-world success stories and innovative projects within the industry.
Offer Educational Programs:
Collaborate with educational institutions to develop logistics and supply chain management programs that are relevant, practical, and incorporate emerging technologies.
Provide scholarships, internships, and apprenticeships to students interested in logistics careers.
Embrace Digital Learning:
Utilize online platforms and digital resources to make learning about logistics and supply chain management accessible and engaging.
Develop partnerships with e-learning providers and offer courses in emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, and data analytics.
Experiential Learning Opportunities:
Create opportunities for students and young professionals to gain hands-on experience through projects, simulations, and industry partnerships.
Encourage participation in hackathons, case competitions, and logistics challenges.
Showcase Technology Adoption:
Highlight the industry’s commitment to digital transformation and the adoption of innovative technologies like IoT, AI, and blockchain.
Demonstrate how these technologies enhance efficiency, sustainability, and career prospects.
By implementing these strategies, the logistics sector can not only attract young talent but also foster a culture of innovation and digital transformation that is essential for remaining competitive and responsive to evolving industry trends.
Additionally, it can position itself as an exciting and rewarding career choice for the next generation of logistics professionals.
Could you explain how GoGoX has managed to revolutionize the logistics sector by connecting drivers and customers for efficient and cost-effective transportation solutions?
Before the company was founded, booking a van for hire to move freight or goods in Hong Kong could take up to 30 minutes, slowing down work and inconveniencing customers. Sensing an opportunity, GoGoX was able to reduce that time to 10-15 seconds by connecting customers directly with drivers.
GoGoX is one of the first mobile app-based logistics platforms in Asia revitalising the traditional logistics industry with innovative technology that connects individuals and businesses directly to millions of drivers and couriers for their delivery needs.
That clear value and focus on speed has led millions of individuals and business users to download GoGoX since its launch in 2013. The popularity of this seamless logistics service in Hong Kong also allowed GoGoX to expand into other markets, including China, India, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
At the time, GoGoX was primarily using a customer engagement platform as a messaging tool to feed in-app messaging (IAM) to its user base. To set up the referral program, they expanded across multiple messaging channels, incorporating email, push notifications, and the platform’s News Feed with the already-in-use IAM. This true cross-channel approach allowed GoGoX to reach their customers with messaging about the new program no matter where a customer was more likely to engage.
With the use of technology and analytic tools, GOGOX gained new last-mile delivery customers with 20% to 60% lower cost of acquisition in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam.
With operations in 360 cities and a vast fleet of registered drivers, how do you maintain a high level of service and ensure seamless operations on such a large scale?
Advanced Technology: Implementing cutting-edge technology is crucial for managing large-scale operations efficiently. This includes using robust software platforms for logistics management, driver dispatch, and real-time tracking.
Scalable Infrastructure: Building a scalable infrastructure that can accommodate the rapid growth of drivers and customers is essential. This includes data centers, cloud computing resources, and network capacity.
Data Analytics: Leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms to optimize routes, match drivers with riders efficiently, and predict demand patterns to allocate resources effectively.
Driver Onboarding and Training: Implementing thorough driver onboarding and training programs to ensure that all drivers are familiar with the company’s service standards, safety protocols, and customer service expectations.
Partnerships and Alliances: Collaborating with local businesses, governments, and other relevant organizations to establish a strong presence and address local logistics challenges.
Sustainability Initiatives: Integrating sustainable practices and eco-friendly options into the business model to align with environmental and regulatory concerns.
Continuous Improvement: Continuously monitoring and analyzing operations to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement. Implementing iterative changes based on data-driven insights.
You’ve mentioned your passion for nurturing talent in the logistics sector. What specific steps do you believe are crucial in addressing the talent gap, especially in attracting younger generations like Gen Z?
Addressing the talent gap in the logistics industry, particularly when targeting younger generations like Gen Z, requires a multi-faceted approach that combines education, technology adoption, and an appealing workplace culture. Here are specific steps to consider:
Collaborate with educational institutions, including vocational schools and community colleges, to develop logistics-focused programs and apprenticeships.
Offer scholarships or financial incentives to students pursuing logistics and supply chain management degrees.
Digital Training and Simulations:
Invest in digital training platforms and simulations that replicate real-world logistics scenarios. These can be engaging for younger generations and help them gain practical experience.
Showcase the use of advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, and blockchain in logistics. Gen Z is tech-savvy and may be attracted to companies at the forefront of digital transformation.
Highlight sustainability efforts, such as eco-friendly transportation methods and waste reduction, as Gen Z is environmentally conscious.
Diversity and Inclusion:
Promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Gen Z values diversity and equality, so efforts in this area can be attractive.
Provide transparent career paths with opportunities for advancement and skill development. Gen Z is motivated by clear goals and growth prospects.
Invest in ongoing training and development programs to keep employees up-to-date with industry trends and technologies.
By implementing these steps, logistics companies can make themselves more attractive to Gen Z and other younger generations, helping to bridge the talent gap and ensure a strong workforce for the future.
Singapore’s logistics sector is poised for growth. What factors contribute to this potential, and what professions do you believe jobseekers should keep an eye out for in this industry?
Singapore’s logistics sector is indeed poised for growth, driven by several factors that contribute to its potential as a logistics hub in the region and globally. Some of these contributing factors include:
- Strategic Location: Singapore’s strategic geographical location in Southeast Asia makes it an ideal transhipment hub for goods moving between Asia and the rest of the world. Its proximity to major markets like China, India, and Southeast Asian countries is a significant advantage
- World-Class Infrastructure: Singapore boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, including one of the world’s busiest and most advanced ports, Changi Airport, and a well-developed road and rail network. These facilities support efficient movement of goods and cargo.
- Pro-Business Environment: Singapore is known for its business-friendly policies, political stability, and transparent legal system. This attracts multinational companies to establish their regional or global headquarters in the city-state.
As Singapore’s logistics sector continues to grow, jobseekers can consider several professions that are likely to be in demand in the industry:
- Supply Chain Managers: Professionals who oversee the end-to-end supply chain, ensuring efficient movement of goods, inventory management, and optimization of logistics operations.
- Logistics Analysts: Individuals who use data analytics and technology to optimize logistics processes, monitor key performance indicators, and identify areas for improvement.
- E-commerce and Last-Mile Delivery Specialists: With the growth of e-commerce, there is a need for experts in managing online retail logistics and last-mile delivery solutions.
- IT and Technology Specialists: Individuals with expertise in implementing and maintaining logistics technology solutions, such as warehouse management systems, transportation management systems, and blockchain.
- Sustainability and Green Logistics Experts: With an increasing focus on sustainability, there is a growing demand for professionals who can implement eco-friendly logistics practices and reduce the carbon footprint of supply chains.
Could you shed light on some common misconceptions about the logistics sector and how technology plays a pivotal role in dispelling them?
The logistics sector is often associated with various misconceptions, some of which can be dispelled through the pivotal role of technology:
Logistics is Only About Moving Goods:
Misconception: Many people think logistics is solely about transportation and moving physical goods.
Technology’s Role: Technology in logistics encompasses not only transportation but also inventory management, demand forecasting, supply chain optimization, and data analytics. This broader view shows how logistics is central to business strategy and efficiency.
Logistics is Low-Tech and Traditional:
Misconception: Some believe that logistics relies heavily on manual processes and outdated systems.
Technology’s Role: Advanced technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain, and automated systems have transformed logistics. Automation streamlines operations, enhances accuracy, and reduces costs.
Logistics is Not Environmentally Friendly:
Misconception: Logistics is often associated with high emissions and environmental impact.
Technology’s Role: Sustainable practices in logistics, driven by technology, include route optimization to reduce fuel consumption, the use of electric and autonomous vehicles, and tracking carbon footprints to minimize environmental impact.
Logistics is Resistant to Change:
Misconception: Logistics is seen as slow to adopt new technologies and adapt to change.
Technology’s Role: Technology-driven disruptions, such as e-commerce and the gig economy, have forced the logistics sector to adapt rapidly. Innovations in last-mile delivery, real-time tracking, and customer communication have driven change in the industry. Logistics, like technology, is a necessity in our daily lives. With the logistics industry constantly evolving GoGoX needs to have the ability to not just adapt, but foresee these changes so that we can adapt quickly.
Logistics is a Low-Skill Sector:
Misconception: Logistics jobs are often perceived as requiring minimal skills.
Technology’s Role: Technology has elevated the skill requirements in logistics. Workers need to operate and maintain complex systems, analyze data, and adapt to new technologies.
Technology’s pivotal role in logistics is not only dispelling these misconceptions but also transforming the industry into a dynamic, innovative, and essential part of modern life and business operations.