Your EntrePoint: Chiao-Chun Cheng
People may say that work and personal life should be kept separated but not for this lady. She enjoys her work as much as her personal life. Having faith in the technology that can transform the traditional way of finance, Chiao-Chun Cheng from Taiwan, Product Manager of BSOS (Blockchain for Supply chain Operation System), is going to share with us her journey as an entrepreneurial employee and what it takes to be one.
1. What is the business about?
BSOS was founded in August 2018 and is dedicated to empowering financial industry and global supply chain with blockchain technology and offering rapid implementation into business. Our vision is “Redefine the Future of Supply Chain Finance”. We try to help enterprises adopt blockchain and assist them to explore new business value. In the near future, we will provide a polycentric business ecosystem that unlocks the trapped liquidity of account receivables and empowers enterprises to develop supply chain finance.
Currently, there is a fundamental existing issue in the supply chain finance industry — the liquidity of account receivables is trapped, and each enterprise in supply chains will be exposed to the high risk of cash flow management. Current market solutions are not directly applicable to this problem since it is hard to strike the balance between the three key players of supply chain finance — Core Buyer, Supplier, and Funder.
In addition, there is another issue — when participants of a supply chain increases, the costs of trust increases as well. Hence, we want to use blockchain to reduce the costs of trust between enterprises. Through a new business model with an open and efficient ecosystem, we can deconstruct the unbalanced profit distribution of supply chain finance.
2. How and why did you join this company?
Before I entered the workforce, FinTech application was already appealing to me. To motivate myself in venturing FinTech, I joined a financial institution as a FinTech management associate to further understand how the financial service works. After three years working experience in digital banking, I know that if I were to continue doing FinTech in a traditional financial institution, there will be a lot of limitations. During that time, I was also looking for an enthusiastic environment. Thus, what BSOS founders said about the company vision tugged on my heartstrings. I did not know much about blockchain at that moment but I still chose to join BSOS without any doubt. This faith is still within me and has now become even stronger.
3. What is your everyday routine?
As a Product Manager, the activities I do include industry or topic research, product planning, resource management with the product team, and communicating with clients. Among them, my first priorities are those works that make products commercialised with the right value proposition which the team members mutually agree on. The best part of this position is that I can work with people in different functions and roles. I am not missing any detail from the operations. I can have a whole startup development roadmap in the mind.
4. What are the challenges faced as an employee in a startup?
Compared to big companies which have enormous resources, experiences and well-organised management, startups have the flexibility and ability to move fast. With the expectations, the biggest challenge is making flexibility as the real weapon for every team member. We need to pick up the lessons fast from every trial and error, learn to deal with failure and be optimistic to accept every pivot. There will also be cases of us losing a commercial contract or a client in one way or another without any good reason. We will just have to take it and move on.
5. What differentiate the business from others?
We are the only one company officially certified as the technical partner by global top 3 Consortium Blockchain at the same time. It is our edge to compete with others that we have solid blockchain technology background and our team is composed of members with diversified professions from tech to finance. This is why we can provide full blockchain application solutions and consulting services to global financial institutions. We are not just a startup. We are a technology company with real innovation.
6. How do the business build credibility and develop key partnerships?
As a cooperation facilitator, making business better together is how we have worked well with our clients, partners and other stakeholders. Based on this principle, our communication and cooperation will be smoother and more efficient as we align the goals together. We look forward to partnering with those who have the same idea of accelerating global industries to enter the Internet of Value.
7. What is the business working on now?
In the past year, we focused on providing middleware total solution and blockchain consulting service. However, the obstacle we encountered was the awareness of enterprises on blockchain is not mature yet. Instead of providing a development tool for the IT department, a full application is more suitable to meet the needs of enterprises’ business. Therefore, we are pivoting to build our new product service now.
With the prior cooperation experience, we realise that different enterprises will build their own blockchain financial service with similar purposes. The services are totally separated. There is no win-win business cooperation model and as a result, the value cannot be exactly transferred or recreated. It serves as an obstacle for business expansion. Therefore, based on the characteristics of blockchain — making businesses collaborate efficiently — we decide to establish a new generation of value exchange network to link different business entities and make the polycentric business ecosystem be truly developed.
8. What is the road ahead for you and your business?
Our next step will be establishing a polycentric business ecosystem to unlock the trapped liquidity of account receivables. As for myself, driving it success and empowering FinTech development are always my missions.
Through our new product service, BSOS can help remove the obstacles between enterprises and we will be the key player for supply chain finance in Asia. We believe that profit distribution changing can happen in 3 to 5 years, resulting in a better business environment.
Besides releasing our new product service, being as a facilitator to accelerate multi-party collaboration is also our next milestone.
9. What would you have done differently?
We made decisions with objective information. We will not focus on the past. We will be thinking about how to make a better choice in the future when we meet the similar situation.
10. What is the advice you will give to the employees who just started working in a startup?
Do not allow the conventional work habits restrain you, especially for people who came from big companies. We must always review ourselves in terms of mindset and habits, and then extract and assemble the merits in order to adapt to the new environment. Of course, we must also be more flexible and keep learning.
During the first month of me joining BSOS, I was raring to bring the management philosophy of big corporation to BSOS. Our founder CEO, Daniel Huang, reminded me on choosing the suitable action based on the company’s status. He emphasised, “You may think that the methodology adopted by the big company can work on a startup but in most cases, it will restrict the growth of startup and make the team members frustrated unknowingly.” This leaves me a deep impression and since then, I will always exercise any plan with care as different strokes are for different folks.
About BlackStorm Consulting
BlackStorm Consulting is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We mainly serve clients in four sectors: FinTech, Gaming, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), and manufacturing.