Surviving Economic Crises & Marketing to the Top, The Story of Thailand’s Largest Ebook Store – Part 3

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series in collaboration with Entrepreneurs.my and E27, Singapore aims to inspire a new breed of Generation-Y entrepreneurs, showcasing success stories of entrepreneurs in the region who have succeeded despite their young age. We take a look at, OOKBEE, Thailand’s biggest ebook store on iOS and Android platform with more than 85 percent market shares of the local ebook market. Marketing is King! How did you publicize your business? How did you get people to notice you and not your competitors?

For Thai market, we do a lot of partnership with more established brand like AIS( Thailand’s No.1 Telco) and B2S ( Thailand leading bookstore chain) to make people notice our services. We also do co-branding with all the content providers who work with us most of them are popular magazine titles etc which help us getting a lot of exposure.

They say, Talents is what make or break the business. For yourself, how did you get your talents and what did you do to make them remain working for you?

In our case, we found out that most of the time the best source for getting the talents is by referring from our current team. This proves to be much more effective than job posting sites or head-hunter since our current staff know who would be fit with our organization and already share prospective staff of what’s it’s like to be working with us.

To maintain them, I believe beside good benefit package and compensation, let them work on something they would find it challenge is also the key. Letting them grow by giving them responsibility and authority is something very important and also benefit your organization as a whole.

If you could name 3 Main Criteria that have made You and Your Business successful, what are those 3 Main Criteria?

Passion, Persistence, and Pragmatism — a profound passion and a robust enthusiasm for our work. We are quite persistent individuals, especially when it comes to bringing forth viable ideas and concepts. We are also pragmatic team with a realistic approach.

Businesses need to Innovate in order to stay Competitive in the marketplace – How have you innovated your company to be competitive until today?

Being a tech startup where there is a rapid change in trend and technology, it’s almost impossible to plan things long in advance. I belief that true innovation comes from the result of lots of little experiments, measuring progress, and iterating quickly to speed up this cycle of learning and adapting.

We would design on new projects, new features, work on it, test the result, learn from it, adapt and start it again. Every cycle, we innovate something.

Global economic uncertainties Kill Businesses – In your mind, how did you weather this challenge for your business?

I believe at the global scale these uncertainties affect every business not just yours but your competitors as well. The best possible way to run your business would always be the same, keeping cost low, margin high, grow your sales and be innovate.

If there is anything we can do it should be to prepare for these uncertainties and try to look if there is any way possible, such as investing even more in your product quality during the hard time, to use it as an opportunity to grow or even to gain more market shares from your competitors.


To be Continued to Part 4 on the 21st of December 2012

### Special thanks to E27 as our supporting partner in bringing to us, the Start-Up Entrepreneur Interview Series ###

About The Start-Up Entrepreneur:

Moo Natavudh is a tech entrepreneur with over 12 years experience in founding, funding and managing tech companies in Thailand. He is currently the founder and CEO of OOKBEE (www.ookbee.com), Thailand’s biggest e-book store. Besides Ookbee, Moo also the founder and CEO of IT WORKS, one of the leading software companies in Thailand. OOKBEE was started as a project in this company and was spin-off in March 2012.  Moo hold a BE in Aerospace Engineering from Kasetsart University and a ME in Industrial Engineering from Asian Institute of Technology.

About The Start-Up:

OOKBEE is Thailand’s biggest ebook store on iOS and Android platform with more than 85 percent market shares of the local ebook market. We currently have 2.5 million users all on mobile (within 22 months after launching) and currently adding around 5,000 new users a day. On Apple App Store, two of our best apps rank in the top 5 Top grossing iPad Application for Thailand for the past 400 days consecutively. We partnered with AIS (Telco) and B2S (Thailand leading bookstore) to offer e-book, magazine, newspaper for local readers. OOKBEE had just raised US$2 million in Sep 2012 from InVent valuing the company at US$8 million.