BLOCK71 Singapore Entrepreneur Feature — TenderBoard

In this week’s Entrepreneur Feature, we speak to Ken Ooi from TenderBoard, a online eProcurement and B2B marketplace.

The TenderBoard Co-founders, Jeremy (Left), Ken (Right)
  1. What is TenderBoard and what do you do?

TenderBoard is an online eProcurement and B2B marketplace. What we do is we help buyers to digitise and automate the entire procurement workflow and we provide an avenue for them to connect to their suppliers seamlessly and without cumbersome paperwork and manual processes.

2. What is TenderBoard’s secret sauce?

We’re in the eProcurement business. While this industry isn’t exactly new, we’re taking a new spin to what we do and how things are done. There a few things that we do differently. The first is that we’ve managed to automate a lot of the things procurement folks do away. A lot of the things that today people are doing and wish they had software to help them, we’ve done that. The second thing is that our software is super flexible. It’s very configurable, you can go out and deploy really quickly and rapidly. The third thing is that we’re a system that both sides like to use. Both the buyers and suppliers will find it useful or easy to use our solution.

3. What’s next for TenderBoard?

We’re at a really exciting juncture, we have certainly proven product market-fit. We have our first couple hundred customers and we’re at a point where we’re putting processes, systems, and tools in place to allow us to grow to the next phase. So building a team now, we’re rolling out more products, more features. We’re really looking forward to the next phase of growth, of scaling up, certainly within Singapore first and hopefully outside as well.

4. What is your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Many people have this idea of being an entrepreneur, even today when I tell people I work in a startup, they think it’s very glamorous, the first reaction is “Wow you’re so great, you’re your own boss” but the truth is that it’s not like this at all. The day-to-day part of running the business and doing stuff that nobody talks about, that’s tough. I think it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs don’t wear just the entrepreneur hat. Some of us are also dads and moms, some of us are sons and daughters, we also have friends and social lives. It’s the ability to balance all of that out which I think makes it really tough. How to overcome this is by knowing what you want to do and what you have to do at any one time and just being focused on that for that point. I have accepted that there will never be a balance, it will always be tough in one place and there’s a tradeoff somewhere else. While making that tradeoff, just do it justice and do your best, and maybe if there’s an opportunity later on, you come back and sort that thing out if it’s also important. So I think just having that presence of mind and knowing what you’re doing, why you’re doing, when to do it, will go a long way.

5. What are some of the better memories at BLOCK71?

We have been here for a couple of years now. While we’ve seen many startups come and go, there have been a few familiar faces that have managed to tough it out and grow their business. It’s been really great, even a privilege, to be inspired by fellow entrepreneurs. Even when encouragement was needed, we could always seek someone out and chat with them. More than a memory, that has really been something vital and what it means to be a part of this community.

6. What is TenderBoard looking for?

We’re in a really exciting phase of growth now and part of what we’re trying to do is to build a strong team to take us forward. If you think that you have what it takes to code, sell, market, business development, have a passion for customer success, and you want to be part of a startup that’s on the brink of breaking out and scaling out, please come and contact me. We have a few openings as a software developer, business development executive, and sales executive. We’ll be more than happy to speak to you.

Watch the full video interview with Ken Ooi from TenderBoard here:

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