Interview with Wendy Chan: Co-Founder & CEO of PackMojo



On OpenDoors this week, we had a great conversation with Wendy Chan, the 9th guest on The Entrance Series. Wendy is the Co-Founder & CEO of PackMojo, a Hong Kong-based online platform that makes it easy for businesses to get affordable, high-quality, custom packaging.


 

Wendy has an ambitious vision for her company, “We want to become the marketplace for everything packaging”, and she is definitely putting in all the hard work required to make that happen.

Her day usually starts with a workout at 6 am before getting into the office by 8:15 in the morning. During the day, she essentially gets involved in every aspect of the business, responding to client queries and handling orders with her Co-Founder, coordinating with the marketing team to get their content up and ready, working with the CTO to determine their tech roadmap, just to give you a few examples. She typically leaves the office by 6 pm but she would continue to respond to client emails at home until she calls it a day at 10 or 11 pm.

When asked about how she acquired her incredible work ethic, Wendy began reflecting on her career so far and took us back to how it all started for her. Join us in our interview with Wendy to find out how PackMojo was created and the career tips she has for our readers.


 

OpenDoors: How did your career begin and how did you view your career path back then?

Wendy: I initially wanted to get into consulting back in university because I enjoyed speaking with and helping people. In my penultimate year at university, I interviewed at a boutique consulting firm for a summer internship but was offered a role with a tech venture the founders were considering starting. The company was a startup providing solutions through mobile wallets, such as digital loyalty programs, and I helped out with marketing and content that summer.

I returned to the company after I graduated as a marketing associate, but just like any startup, I had to help out wherever I was needed and fill in any gaps the company had. That’s how I learned to put on different hats very quickly and my responsibilities expanded from doing marketing and content to doing UI/UX, working with the developers as a product manager, and I even took on admin work like making sure that water was delivered to the office regularly.

I suppose my versatility was appreciated by the company and I was offered the COO role to lead operations after working for three years at the company. To be frank, I didn’t really think too much about my career path and trajectory when I first started. Whatever opportunity I came across, I made sure I held onto it.


 

OpenDoors: Why did you decide to start PackMojo and how do you view your career path now?

Wendy: I stayed at the company for another year and a half after being given the role of COO. I decided to take a break simply because working in a startup was very tiring, and I felt that I wasn’t learning or growing as much as I wanted to.

After leaving the company, I went on a much-needed trip with friends to relax. Vincent, a long-time friend and Co-Founder at PackMojo, was also on this trip. Vincent came from a background in packaging and he had this idea of building a platform that helps small businesses get easy access to packaging. With his domain knowledge in packaging and my experiences from working at a startup, we had skillsets that complemented each other very well. It didn’t take us long to launch PackMojo.

As for career path, I think people tend to think of it as something that is one-directional and is usually tied with monetary benefits. For me, I believe people can have multiple careers based on their interests and priorities in life, and it’s ultimately tied to whatever gives you the most satisfaction. For example, I would love to run a coffee shop in a quaint town in Mexico or Thailand one day, but for now, I am focused on growing PackMojo into a self-sustaining business — one where I and our team can have a comfortable lifestyle without worrying much about financial stress.


 

OpenDoors: Finally, what are some things you have done that have helped you get to where you are today?

Wendy: I had the benefit of not having a lot of experience when I first started and that forced me to be very proactive with self-learning. I believe people should always do all the homework possible before reaching out for help, not only does that force you to learn but people would appreciate it if you have done some work yourself instead of just approaching them with a problem.

I would say communication skills are also very important. Being able to articulate your ideas or problems clearly and concisely will help you tremendously. I always felt that if I couldn’t explain something clearly to another person, that meant I probably didn’t fully understand what I was trying to say. So I make it a point to really understand and hone in on my thoughts first beforehand.

Another area of communication is also expressing different opinions. You should feel comfortable with saying what you think, but also be prepared to back up your arguments with reasoning (and data when appropriate). When listening to opinions from others, it’s never helpful to just criticize. Instead, offer your viewpoint with your rationale, and if discussing problems, offer an alternative solution so that you have more productive and collaborative conversations.


 

Get in touch with Wendy:

LinkedIn

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