Following are excerpts from an exclusive FutureLab interview with Byron Tan and Francesca Chia, CEO and Co-Founder of GoGet.my
B: Tell us about yourself?
F: My name is Francesca, I’m 28 years old and I run a platform called GoGet – a service platform for errands. We can do food delivery to document dispatch to even buying balloons and flyering for business. So our technology connects you to an individual that’s trusted, in the area, called a GoGetter, and they help you do the task for a fee. We are fundamentally anchored on this ability to grow the labour market in a flexible way where individuals don’t really need a 9 to 5 job but can grab jobs as and when they are available. So essentially what Uber does for rides, what AirBnB does for accommodation, GoGet does for labour.
B: Why are you a mentor on FutureLab?
F: Being a mentor to me is about trying to reach out to the community & being able to just connect more with people who want another person as a listening or a thought partner. I don’t think I have more knowledge or more advice about certain things, I think it’s just a great opportunity for us to be another thought partner to the mentee, and to be able to help them work through their problems because maybe we have tried to solve similar problems in the past.
B: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to all the mentees out there?
F: Get exposed to as many different things – do 10 different internships and make them extremely different. One thing that I did not do as much and learned really late was that there are loads of different professions and opportunities in the world. There’s a job for almost everything (sometimes ones that I didn’t even know existed!) To be able to see the wide variety of opportunities you can get is so important because you can probably make a better decision. So much of what we do stems from what we’re exposed to – so if you’re exposed to more things, it’s easier to find out what your passion is, what excites you the most
B: Did you ever have a mentor?
F: I do, I had loads of mentors all the time. I’ve always had mentors, even in high school and university, I had people I looked up to and asked for help. But even for GoGet, we have mentors, from business mentors, tech mentors to even just ‘people mentors’. We have Arzumy from KFit for example. I also have ‘softer’ mentors for things like improving my leadership skills.
B: Name one of the major challenge you faced and how you overcame it?
F: There are so many challenges! GoGet is definitely the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced, and it’s still a challenge – I have not overcome it yet, I’m still working on it! How I do get by day to day? I lean on my team, I have a really good team that helps me go through solving problems.
The other aspect is having a good work-life balance because if you’re not healthy, you can’t make decisions as healthily as well.
Also, ask as many questions as you can! To overcome a lot of problems we’ve had at GoGet, I’ve just picked up the phone and asked a friend, or anyone, “how do you do this?” And it really helps.
B: What is one tip you’d give to those looking to increase productivity?
F: Use GoGet! I changed my lifestyle because of GoGet- there are things that I know I want to spend my time on & things that I just decide a GoGetter will do for me.
The other aspect is I calendarize everything – not just meetings but also personal things. So if I need to go to the gym, it’s in my calendar. This means that people who want to do a meeting with me, they’ll see the calendar is blocked out. It allows me to say no to things & keep my personal life.
B: What do you do in your free time?
F: I play with my dogs!!! I also bake, and watch sitcoms. Netflix is so bad for me! I recently just watched Designated Survivor, which is super cool! It’s a series about the POTUS. Capitol Hill gets bombed, there are no surviving Congressmen and the designated survivor is the one that if everyone dies, becomes President. I recommend it!
B: If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?
F: I’ve always wanted teleportation! I want to be in many places at the same time. I want to wake up and have breakfast in Paris, and then go to New York for lunch and work in Malaysia. For dinner, I’ll go to Japan!
B: A motto you live by?
F: Life can turn around by 180 degrees at any point of time. So make sure you live your life to the fullest & don’t regret things. Tomorrow may not be, or things can drastically change. You don’t want to take anything for granted.
B: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you like to have dinner with and why?
F: That’s a tough one. I have a few. I’ve never met my grandparents because they passed away when I was really young so I’d love to meet at least one of them. I’d love to also have dinner with Jacqueline Novogratz, the author of the Blue Sweater – I really like that book. It’s about the social enterprise & how you can balance social impact with profitability at the same time.
Another weird one, is to meet a 3 year old me! I really want to see how I was at 3 years old because I have a niece who’s 3 and she’s adorable, I always wonder what it would be like to play with a younger me!
Inspired? Would like to speak with Francesca? Click here!