Fong Wai Hong (FS February Main 2002), was a finalist for the Malaysian Australian Alumni Award 2016 in the Young Entrepreneur category. While back in Melbourne, we caught up with Wai Hong to discuss his latest entrepreneurial venture Store Hub and what he has been up to since leaving Trinity.
Fong Wai Hong is one of Malaysia’s leading entrepreneurs. In 2011 he was named in The Age‘s list of the Top 100 Most Influential, Inspirational, Provocative and Creative People and in 2010 he was chosen as one of SmartCompany‘s Hot 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs.
What quickly becomes apparent after meeting Wai Hong is that he is a people person, who takes a genuine interest in others. It’s no surprise then that he has made it one of his missions to try and help other young entrepreneurs.
In an article written for LinkedIn earlier this year titled, ‘The Entrepreneurs are plenty but the Teachers are few’, Wai Hong reflects on the way that many other entrepreneurs despite having the qualifications and experience to help their peers are either unwilling or unable to help others. An attitude he is doing his best to change.
‘Perhaps it’s as simple as dedicating my Saturday afternoons to entrepreneur coffees. To listen and understand and share and encourage those that believe they may benefit from a conversation with me,’ he says.
It is these personal qualities coupled with an astute business mind, which has seen Store Hub (the business he founded in 2013) become one of the fastest growing businesses in Malaysia, having recently expanded their market to the Philippines and Thailand.
Store Hub is a cloud based store management system that uses iPads as a Point of Sale (POS) for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). What differentiates Store Hub from other POS systems is its modern design and the constant updates offered by its team.
With over 40 staff worldwide, Wai Hong is excited, but also weary about the complexities growth could have on the business and the difficulties that come with further expansion. Therefore, he takes an active interest in the market conditions across the region.
He has always been someone who takes risk and is not afraid to try new things. Wai Hong fondly recalls the time when studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Melbourne, he decided to take a computer science elective. When the lecturer asked if any students were studying the unit as an elective from the Faculty of Arts, Wai Hong was the only student to raise his hand!
Wai Hong’s empathetic and caring nature and willingness to adapt and learn has seen him thrive in a field where others routinely fail.
‘The number of days where I feel inadequate far outnumber the days where we know exactly what to expect and what to do,’ concedes Wai Hong.
We enjoyed catching up with Wai Hong and look forward to hearing of his continued success in the future.