Connect with us

Consumer Discretionary

iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ) – Hamish Stone

Published

on

The CEO Mindset - Hamish Stone, CEO of iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ)

Hamish Stone is the CEO of iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ), a platform that has a potential to connect more than 600 million car buyers and sellers throughout ASEAN. iCar’s website network currently enjoys more than 12 million visits from car buyers and enthusiasts each month.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I started at iCar Asia (ASX: ICQ) as the CEO in June 2016 at a point where the business was looking to take the next steps of growing the company towards its full potential. I first started working in digital businesses in 2006, when I joined eBay in my home town of Sydney, Australia. Over the course of 10 years working at eBay I was able to get a lot of great experiences across eBay’s portfolio of businesses, including across three global markets and three different brands. These experiences included leading the automotive verticals for the eBay classified businesses of Gumtree.com in the U.K., and Marktplaats.nl in The Netherlands and I was also the Head of Marketing for eBay Australia and New Zealand based in eBay’s Sydney office. This experience and background led to the opportunity for me to relocate to Malaysia to take up the CEO role at iCar Asia.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercialising?
iCar Asia owns and operates the ASEAN’s Number 1 network of digital automotive marketplaces operating in the three largest automotive markets in the region – Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Currently over 12 million people visit an iCar Asia website every month to research, buy, or sell a car. Our company vision is to be the catalyst that drives the digital transformation of the ASEAN automotive industry, and by doing so empower 600m ASEAN people to have the mobility solution they need through the region’s largest and most trusted digital automotive marketplaces.

iCar Asia provides a full ecosystem to support the automotive industry, including the New Car and Used Car sectors of the industry. Through our platforms we provide solutions to the New Car sector including advertising solutions (digital advertising and paid content), events, and lead generation services for Car Brands and New Car Dealers. On the Used Car side, we provide a full classified marketplace solution. This encompasses subscription payments, listing fees and feature fees. We also provide an auction service, auctioning private cars and fleet cars to dealers and taking a margin on each successful auction.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the automotive industry in South East Asia. During March 2020, all three countries that the Group operates in imposed movement control measures starting from the middle of March 2020, causing businesses for both used cars and new cars to be completely shut down (or work from home) in Malaysia and to operate under partial restrictions in Thailand and Indonesia.

At iCar Asia we have implemented material initiatives to reduce Group expenses and cash outflows, whilst maximizing revenue and cash receipts. These leverage the digital nature of the business, so we can still support our key customers during this time, coupled with iCar Asia operations teams being able to continue at full capacity via our work from home programs.

On expenses and cash outflows, a number of initiatives have been implemented to reduce expenses and cash outflows including scaling back marketing and infrastructure. On the revenue side, The Company has rolled out a number of initiatives to support New and Used Car customers. For the New Car segment, these include new digital advertising products to drive car bookings through a new product called “Book From Home”, discounted promotions on advertising products, and increased incentives for car manufactures to continue to advertise during this period. For the Used Car segment, we are also providing Group wide support to our dealers through incentives and discounts for account renewals and credit purchases. During this period, videos are also able to be added to listings for free, resulting in a rapid increase in the volume of live video listings now over 7,500 in Malaysia, and over 1,500 in Thailand, with Indonesia also launching this program in the coming weeks.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Working on a market leading digital business in a region, that’s also in the middle of a digital transformation certainly brings an exciting atmosphere into the business. The previously traditional marketing focused automotive industry is continuing to gather momentum in their adoption of digital channels for their marketing and operational strategies. At iCar Asia, we are lucky to be able to partner with many players across the industry to help influence and educate or clients on how the effective use of digital products can successfully grow a business. Based on these interactions and the feedback received, we’ve needed to be agile and adaptable to the emerging needs of our customers, supporting as a close partner in their digital transformation. Having a great team at iCar Asia that can respond to this opportunity and take on this challenge makes it a great place to work.

How do you measure success?
At iCar we measure the impact of all activities and investment, from small things like a change in the website user experience through to large things like the financial performance of the businesses.

Overall our key measure of success is a balanced scorecard of:
1) Customer and employee feedback and satisfaction;
2) Operational metrics across the consumer and client side of our business; and
3) The financial performance overall of the business

Successfully progressing all of these areas ultimately results in the overall success of the business, and value of the company, which is then reflected in our share price.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
Dedication and passion for making a difference. Every day you have an opportunity to provide leadership to support the team members, end consumers, business partners and external shareholders. Having the privilege to lead a listed company gives you the influence and accountability to make a difference to a very wide net of individuals and businesses all aligned to a common outcome.

What is your favourite book?
One of my favourite books is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I was lucky enough to see Jim Collins speak at an eBay Directors Conference when I worked there. Both in person and in his books, he delivers some great insights into how companies can successfully adapt, grow and last through changing and challenging times.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
I’ve been based in Kuala Lumpur since June 2016 and personally it has been the best experience of my career, in particular to have the opportunity to lead a business in such a dynamic region. As we all come together to face the challenges of COVID19, it has been great to see ASEAN communities, businesses and governments support each other through these difficult times. I believe the ASEAN economies will accelerate strongly out of this crisis, and digital business are very well positioned to support the economic recovery. Einstein famously said: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” We all have the opportunity to assess how we can adapt and change through these challenges and at iCar we are challenging ourselves to come out of this stronger, and with the ability to be an instrument of digital change in a changed world.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
hamish.stone@icarasia.com
iCar Asia Website: https://www.icarasia.com/

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Consumer Discretionary

Audeara (ASX:AUA) – Dr James Fielding

Published

on

The CEO Mindset - Dr James Fielding, CEO and Managing Director of Audeara (ASX:AUA)

Dr James Fielding is the CEO and Managing Director of Audeara (ASX:AUA), a hearing health technology company that uses a hearing profile algorithm to personalise sound output to the needs of the listener.

What’s your journey in becoming a Chief Executive Officer?
I started my career in medicine. When I was doing a rotation at a Brisbane hospital I saw how hard it was for patients to get a hearing test in the public health system. Wait times for audiologists were multiple months in the city and even longer in regional areas where people could drive for up to 12 hours to the nearest audiology clinic. Many patients required multiple visits in order to receive the right product to treat their hearing loss. While my co-founder and I were developing tech to help solve that problem we realised there was a broader opportunity to create technology that could deliver a tailored audio experience for those without hearing problems. The result was the world’s first full-fidelity headphones with a built-in hearing test. We’ve gone from strength to strength since then. I stepped away from full-time clinical medicine to build the business and took the reins as CEO once we pivoted from pure medical play to using sound personalisation to enhance quality of life.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Our software enables our headphones to change the output in order to suit a listener’s ears. For example, if someone has trouble hearing higher frequency sounds, Audeara’s headphones will boost those frequencies so they stand out. We sell to people who get the biggest benefit from our technology by creating partnerships with hearing health providers. B2B Is the core of what we do. We’ve signed up almost half of Australia’s 1500 audiology clinics as distributors and are now looking to expand globally.

Dr. James Fielding, holding their flagship Audeara A-01 headphones

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Watching the bounce round the roulette wheel to see where it will finally land. We plan, we push, we optimise, but still, every day I’m surprised by people’s ideas and our customers’ decision making. No two days are ever the same. Ever.

How do you measure success?
Internally, on how I feel. Externally, on revenue. And there is one clear metric – how many people have we helped.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
The most important quality is conviction. It is essential for guiding a team and a business.

What is your favourite book?
Anything by Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden. Otherwise What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Kearney which is an incredible exploration of human capacity and being in control of yourself in any surroundings.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia & Australia?
As people become more aware of the importance of their hearing health in Asian markets this is going to be a huge opportunity. A number of quality hearing health providers have started to establish themselves and we plan to work alongside these strong partners to deliver our much needed products to the Asian market.  

How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesafielding/
Audeara’s Website: https://audeara.com/

Continue Reading

Consumer Discretionary

Q&A With StockPal – Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT)

Published

on

Q&A with StockPal - Greg Bader, Chief Executive Officer of Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT)

Watch Greg Bader, Chief Executive Officer of Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT), explains about Rent’s recent share price performance as well as the company’s business model.

0:11 – What is your business about?
0:45 – How did your company cope with the COVID-19 pandemic?
1:28 – How does the company make money?
3:02 – Who are your target customers and key markets?
3:52 – What is Rent’s competitive advantage?
5:22 – How are you currently engaging with your investors?

Visit RNT’s website to learn more about their story: https://www.rent.com.au/

Email editor@stockpal.asia if you are or represent a listed-company and is keen to be in our interviews.

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

Continue Reading

Consumer Discretionary

Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT) – Marc Schneider

Published

on

The CEO Mindset - Marc Schneider, CEO of Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT)

Marc Schneider is the CEO of Zebit Inc (ASX:ZBT), a California-based eCommerce company that is dedicated to changing the lives of over 120 million U.S. credit-challenged consumers by giving them access to a broad set of products and the ability to pay for those products in instalments over six months.

What’s your journey in becoming a Chief Executive Officer?
I have been in operations for over 30 years across a wide variety of businesses and industries, with a focus on turnarounds of failing companies, scaling companies for profitability, and start-ups which have their own set of challenges including building a viable product with constrained resources. Becoming a CEO was never part of any overall master plan, as I felt being a President and COO in running daily operations was truly my calling.

In fact, when I co-founded Zebit in 2015, that was my role. It was not until my co-founder transitioned out of the organization that the Board decided to promote me to the CEO role.

Fast forward 3.5 years in this role, I still maintain my daily ops responsibilities as it’s something I really enjoy. The next phase however is to hire a COO whom I can pass the baton to, as we continue to scale the business toward profitability, which is our goal in the next 12 months.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Zebit is a new business model focused on providing both eCommerce and a custom credit solution to a credit-challenged consumer base (47% of adults and 120M people) in the U.S. to allow them to have a one-stop shopping experience and the ability to float their payments over six months. We have spent the last five years building our own big data set to allow us to make informed credit decisions to this consumer base, so they can buy what they want without the overhang or fear of interest, hidden fees or penalties common to other credit products that trap consumers in a never-ending cycle of debt.

Over the last five years, we have built scalable acquisition channels to acquire consumers cost-effectively and bring more awareness to Zebit, and we have built out a full eCommerce experience and our own proprietary payment system. We continue to scale the business with the inflow of capital from the recent IPO.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
In mid-March our entire workforce went virtual to manage the business without any hiccups. That said, not being together physically, in my view, dampens continuous learning of the employee base and can stifle innovation that flows from that learning. Other than that, we plan to continue to operate Zebit virtually until Summer of 2021 after a vaccine is widely distributed here in the U.S.

On a business front, we continue to upgrade our machine learning models to address risk and are benefiting from those enhancement as the U.S. economy tries to recover.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The most exciting aspect of building Zebit is to achieve what others think is impossible.  The status quo in the U.S. and legacy solutions dictate that you must be predatory to successfully service a credit-challenged customer. We don’t believe that and are breaking those stereotypes with predictive machine learning risk models.

Once Zebit becomes profitable, I believe the naysayers will be proven wrong and I cannot wait to declare victory on that front.

How do you measure success?
I look at three success metrics – customer retention and repeat buying, employee retention and commitment to the mission, and expanding contribution margin of the business to break the plane of profitability. 

What do you think is the most important quality of being a Chief Executive Officer of a listed company?
Transparency with the market in terms of the strategy, execution, and KPIs of the business to allow investors to make smart, long terms decisions around their capital deployed.

What is your favourite book?
My favourite business book is The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.

Two aspects – all businesses and industries can be disrupted and once you disrupt something, don’t assume others won’t come in to take what you have created away. 

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Don’t allow stereotypes of consumers or their past performance with other business models, dissuade you from thinking that disruption cannot happen on a sustainable basis.

Zebit is not a better “mouse-trap”; it is a different model entirely. If entrepreneurs were paralysed by comments such as “you cannot do this,” we would not have experienced much of the advancements that we enjoy today.

Zebit is revolutionizing how eCommerce and credit redelivered to 120M people in the U.S.

Get on board now, because there is going to be massive upside as we continue to scale.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
cassie.geselle@mcpartners.com.au (Media Relations)
Zebit’s Website: https://zebit.com/

Continue Reading

Get more stuff

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Recent Posts

Categories

Trending