Sarah Tin is the CEO and Co-Founder of Bamboo, a FinTech company that simplifies expense management for small businesses in Asia. Sarah believes that happiness will find you, if you do what you are passionate about.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Excited to push the boundaries and champion change. When I was young my Dad said “if you’re passionate about what you do, happiness will find you”. I live by this philosophy and focus on business opportunities I believe in.
As the CEO and Co-Founder of bamboo, it’s thrilling to build a business I’m passionate about. Whilst I started off as a Chartered Accountant, I fell in love with small business, technology delivery, and creative work early on in my career. Bamboo brings all this together and adds entrepreneurial spirit to the mix so I am delighted to be leading it.
What is your business venture about?
Delivering a digital expense management solution for small businesses, starting in Singapore with a view to expanding across Asia. The web-based and hand-held app will provide visibility and control over their company expenses, removing a major pain point for small business owners and their employees. We have a brilliant team developing new technologies, and partnering with financial services companies dedicated on innovation.
What is your mission at the outset?
Make expense management easy, seamless and digital, even fun to do once you are using the bamboo app.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
My team at bamboo are all about building a new style of financial services offering for small business but we needed to prioritise where to start so we thought ‘let’s start with a major pain point and solve it’. We listened to the market, did our research and realised, let’s solve ‘expenses’.
What is unique about your business?
One part is our product, we are taking a process that is typically cash led, paper based, or addressed through fragmented online tools; and turning into an integrated online payments and expense management system, accessible by app.
The second part is our firm belief in the customer, which means we design and build with our bamboo customer at the centre of our thinking and decisions.
Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
We are totally committed to providing a better customer experience. Bamboo customers will experience easy sign-up, a digital wallet, expenses management tools, insights, paperless receipts and dashboards to monitor spend. Enabling customers to control costs from their mobile. Accessible anywhere, anytime.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be?
Surround yourself with positive and wise people who support you and will be honest with you. This includes mentors, teammates, investors and friends. My inner circle is critical not only for the good times, but for inspiration during the challenges and tough days. There will be lots of both!
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
A great day for me is solving a problem or creating something new. I find this inspiring in itself, but honestly I am loving watching our business grow. Its hugely motivating force for me.
What’s next for you and for bamboo?
We’ve had a big year. We closed an investment round, signed our first deal and built out a really great team. The answer to what next really lies with the customers themselves and we are excited to share it soon.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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