Quek Siu Rui decided to go to business school at National University of Singapore and planned on becoming a banker or consultant. He didn't imagine he would be leading a massive company that would be attempting to change Singapore's classifieds.
Quek is the CEO of mobile classifieds firm Carousell, a company he co-founded with two friends seven years ago and which has gone on to completely change the way people buy and sell second-hand goods across Southeast Asia.
The company’s innovation was deceptively simple – they developed an app that lets users snap a picture of the item they want to sell and post it online, sharing the information immediately with potential buyers.
Although this approach might sound straightforward today, when the company was first founded, the notion of using a smartphone app to post items for sale online was virtually unheard of. The idea behind a “snap, list, sell” app came to Quek and his co-founders Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo after the trio grew frustrated with the cumbersome task of trying to sell their own second-hand electronics online.
“We had a lot of gadgets that we only used once or twice, and we used to sell them on [online forums in Singapore],” said Quek. “It was a hassle, you had to take a photo and then transfer it to your computer, upload the picture to an image hosting site, and then link it to your post. The process was painful.”
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