Whether you’ve seen their cars on the road or tried one yourself, chances are you’ve seen one of GetGo’s car-sharing fleet on Singapore’s roads.
Launched in February 2021 during the pandemic, GetGo has become Singapore’s largest Point A-to-A car sharing service in Singapore. From a core team of 10 to 130 current employees, growing a business is no easy task, but co-founder Ting Feng is trying.
Going to military service despite the entrepreneurial family background
Growing up, Ting Feng was surrounded by both machines and entrepreneurs. His father was a first-generation entrepreneur—a high school dropout who started his own used car business.
“Growing up, I never aspired to be in the used car business, but I always knew that at some point in time, I wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
It may come as a surprise that Ting Feng joined the military after junior college instead of going down an entrepreneurial path. He accepted a SAF scholarship and was sponsored to study in the US for four years, after which he served in the Army and MINDEF for seven years.
“I thought it was meaningful and exciting work, and I knew deep down that if I wanted to build a big, meaningful business, I needed to be a leader who understood both strategy and operations.”
From a giant organization to a large organization: moving from public service to the private sector
After 7 years of service, it is not easy to give up a stable and promising job. According to Ting Feng, “It’s very tempting to stay… but coming from an entrepreneurial family, I knew I wanted to do my own thing eventually.”
After making the difficult decision to leave the SAF. He can help grow the family business or start one of his own. Instead, Ting Feng decided to go into the private sector.
I knew I wasn’t ready to jump right into entrepreneurship. I spent only seven years in public service. I didn’t have to be in charge of the P&L. I wanted to be more visible. So, I decided to take a more structured approach to entrepreneurship.”
During his time in the private sector (CapitaLand and Grab), Ting Feng went from “national defense to real estate development” to the leading edge of mobility technology. These experiences helped him build a portfolio of corporate business.
It’s about the people you meet along the way
While most people think of entrepreneurship as something you jump straight into, there are more advantages to taking a circuitous route. During his many career changes, Ting Feng has gained a lot of experience that helps him deal with the challenges of running a business. More importantly, it has allowed him to connect with many of the core members of his team.
Entrepreneurship is never about one person or even its founders. It’s about the collective team you assemble. “Some of the relationships I made building the team paid off as well.”
For example, both its founder and chief marketing officer, Johnson Lim, and chief technology officer, Malik Badardin, were people Ting Feng had built relationships with while managing his family ventures after working at the company. GetGo’s production manager, Lionel Fong, was his college classmate who decided to move to Singapore. Taking a longer route to start his business, Ting Feng was able to assemble an A-team to solve a problem. And this problem and opportunity arose during the pandemic.
The timing of starting a business is very important
“Not everyone is lucky enough to find a meaningful problem that they are uniquely positioned to solve.”
While COVID-19 was a difficult time for everyone, Ting Feng and his team were in a position where everything fell into place to start GetGo. With the right background, skill set, and people, the timing came during the pandemic.
Time is of the essence if you want to start this business. Maybe five years ago, we were struggling. Without Covid as a catalyst, technology would not have advanced. There is a technical saying: sometimes if you are early, you are wrong. So, we also did it at the right time.”
Seizing the opportunity, Ting Feng and his co-founder launched GetGo in February 2021.
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Scale from GetGo
While most entrepreneurs struggle to grow their business, Ting Feng’s experience, through his days leading SAF and working in the private sector, enabled him to set up the company for success while growing the team and operations in a structured way. to prepare From a core team of 8 people to 130 people, GetGo has grown rapidly since launch.
Even from the beginning, Ting Feng and the GetGo team had big dreams.
“You want to solve a problem in a meaningful way. That means you have to solve it at scale, so you want to start with the end in mind, or at least some milestones in mind. Then you have to plan for that. How am I going to recruit and organize myself and my team to solve this problem in a bigger and bigger way?”
Ting Feng and the GetGo team have been steadily moving toward bigger milestones since their first press release at launch, when they set a goal of producing 1,000 cars by the end of 2021.
This includes moving towards their vision for a sustainable mobility ecosystem. They plan to add more electric cars to their fleet in Singapore by 2030, while also expanding their services overseas.
That aside, what struck me about Ting Feng’s entrepreneurial journey was how his structured approach to entrepreneurship has led him to his current position as co-founder of GetGo. Instead of starting a new business at a young age, he increased his knowledge, skills and experience so that when the right and meaningful opportunity arose, he could build an A-team to tackle the problem and grow gradually and in At the same time, form decisively.
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The post From Military Officer to Entrepreneur: How GetGo Founder Tu Tingfeng Took a Structured Approach to Entrepreneurship appeared first on DollarsAndSense Business.