Deserted. That was the position Clement Wong, co-founder of BeMyGuest found himself to be in by his original team members not once, but twice, leaving him to restart his initiatives with his dream venture two times.
Now, the company is one of Asia’s leading travel sites, winning several awards including #4 on Fast Company’s list of the World's Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2016. Recently, it closed on its Series A funding round, further solidifying the successful venture.
Clement Wong left his 9 to 5 job to pursue his passion on creating a leading platform that could bring together the segmented travel industry into one site for users all over the world. His main inspiration stemmed from his experience on a business trip to Kenya, where he realized the surrounding local communities received minimal returns in comparison to the large level of tourism within the country. Wong created BeMyGuest in an effort to help them receive a fair portion from the industry that they deserved.
BeMyGuest was not always what it is today. In the beginning, Wong struggled with maintaining his vision, encountering incongruences in ideologies among team members. Ultimately, they parted ways, leaving Wong to rebuild everything from scratch.
Unshaken by the series of unexpected events, however, Wong moved forward and decided to actively seek out a co-founder, who would ultimately be Blanca Menchaca. They first met at a networking event and together were able to build a thriving empire within the travel industry that revolutionized it through innovative technology and goals.
Invest in people
Throughout this whole experience, Wong maintains two major takeaways that is applicable to anyone within the workforce today: surround yourself with people who share the same goals and values and place high value on your network and the people around you. Your team is the backbone of any company.
Wong says, invest in people who you know will be able to stick through the “thick and thin.” He learned the difficult way that when goals and values are not aligned, not only do relationships fail, but also the entire business venture. Making sure everyone on the team is on the same ship is essential when trying to achieve any goal.
Surround yourself with brilliant minds
Next, your network is the most invaluable aspect within any career.
Throughout his career, Wong had ups and downs with various teams, but with the many events he attended, and numerous connections he made, he was able to meet Blanca, who would later become his perfect business partner to propel his idea forward. Their work together is not something to be ignored, and this all happened because of Wong’s constant meeting of people and learning from others.
Moreover, Wong’s network still provides him the necessary support to continue with his successful business even today.
BeMyGuest’s Series A Funding Round closed earlier this year, but it would not have been possible without his many investors from around the world, all of whom he met through connections he made at different events. Again, his network played a huge part in generating interest and “funding bite” for each round of BeMyGuest’s investing ventures.
For the future
For Wong, he advises early start-ups to talk to “as many start-up founders for more advice. [The start-up community] is very open to sharing and helping out, so community is vital for [eventual prosperity within any company].”
Being open to seeking help is extremely vital to success, according to Wong.
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