247: Blake Larson, Expanding LaLaMove Across Asia

247: Blake Larson, Expanding LaLaMove Across Asia

 

Podcast highlights:

  • [28:30] How did Blake arrive at the day-to-day approach - his interpretation of strategy - as the right way to do it? Also, spending his first eight weeks for Rocket Internet in Hong Kong standing outside petrol stations handing out flyers to taxi drivers
  • [35:00] As a well-educated, successful and MBA-holding person who went well outside his comfort zone, what are Blake's formative experiences? Personal growth is so much more when the world becomes not about you and what you're trying to do and his love of feeling "small"
  • [42:45] Coming from outside of Asia and working for a high-growth startup, is this kind of environment for everybody? What kind of people thrive in a place like Lalamove? The four values of the company - passion, grit, humility and execution

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Blake Larson to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • [00:40] What exactly is Lalamove? How do consumers use this mobile app?
  • [02:45] In Bangkok, it costs $40 to move a parcel, which is the same price to hire a delivery driver for a day
  • [05:10] Lalamoves addresses the challenge of redundant inventory
  • [06:45] How does the trust aspect come into that? The number one thing Lalamove customers value the company for is its reliability
  • [08:40] Can you train people - from the provinces, who may not have an education or who may not be fully literate - to be great at customer service? Lalamove created a system that incentivises the behaviour the company wants
  • [12:15] Respect, income, and freedom - the three values Lalamove brings to their drivers. To what extent does driver-to-driver word-of-mouth help the company? Also, is it common for drivers who use Lalamove to use other platforms? One could be better off if it wasn't exclusive on both sides
  • [16:00] A quick look at Lalamove's published numbers of where they are right now - US$160 M in funding, 126 cities in 7 countries
  • [18:15] The dynamic on the ground is very different in each individual city - What is it like to do business in Ho Chi Minh for example? What's it like to be a foreign business coming into Vietnam and work with people who may not have a lot of experience working with foreigners? Empathy as an increasingly used approach to building a service business
  • [23:45] As Lalamove's MD International, what does Blake do? Does he force himself to go out there? Also, the idea about the training program conceived by Lalamove to make their culture stronger - making sure that as they grow quickly, they actually keep their feet on the ground
  • [28:30] How did Blake arrive at the day-to-day approach - his interpretation of strategy - as the right way to do it? Also, spending his first eight weeks for Rocket Internet in Hong Kong standing outside petrol stations handing out flyers to taxi drivers
  • [31:05] What did Blake learn from doing his market research at the petrol station? People make the internet to be way sexier than it is and it as a good reminder of humility despite his MBA and corporate background
  • [35:00] As a well-educated, successful and MBA-holding person who went well outside his comfort zone, what are Blake's formative experiences? Personal growth is so much more when the world becomes not about you and what you're trying to do and his love of feeling "small"
  • [39:50] How does Blake constantly challenge himself considering his position in Lalamove, a high-profile company? The risk gets higher but it's even higher if you don't do anything
  • [42:45] Coming from outside of Asia and working for a high-growth startup, is this kind of environment for everybody? What kind of people thrive in a place like Lalamove? The four values of the company - passion, grit, humility and execution
  • [47:05] Blake's advice for people who would interview about joining a startup - go talk to whoever the users or potential customers of a company are
  • [49:00] The story behind Blake making their new employees build their chairs, which symbolizes why Lalamove are the way they are as a company