Siu Rui Quek had always been entrepreneurial. As a teen, he would fuel his passion for technology and earn extra cash buying and selling gadgets online.
That lesson? Know your mission.
Quek is co-founder and CEO of $550 million online consumer marketplace Carousell. He started the business with his college friends Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo back in 2012 after they were inspired by talks from the top tech talents during an internship in Silicon Valley. And, even today, he says those presentations played a vital role in shaping Carousell’s success.
“The one thing that we really learned and took away,” Quek told CNBC Make It, “is to be absolutely mission-oriented and mission-first.”
“This idea of being mission-first just helps people transcend personal egos (and) helps create collaboration,” he said.
To be sure, the founders did not mentor Quek and his friends directly.
“I always joke that I have a mentor, which is Mark Zuckerberg, but it’s only one-way — I know him but he doesn’t know me,” Quek said.
But, by watching their presentations and studying their style, Quek said he and his co-founders were inspired to think about the big picture and how they could use technology to solve big issues.
“I think the one commonality all of them had was just this whole fascination for using technology to solve problems and make a big impact,” said Quek.
For Carousell, that meant building a platform to simplify buying and selling online, which, Quek said, plays into the company’s wider mission to “inspire every person in the world to start selling.”