For Amy Read, founder of Techsembly and Gifts Less Ordinary, entrepreneurship has always been in her blood. The UK-born expat has been based in Singapore since 2012, working for major companies. In 2015, she ditched her cushy corporate career to launch a personalized gifts e-commerce business.
Then she made the jump from lifestyle to tech. She started a company that builds localized e-storefronts for businesses, called Techsembly. Since its inception, it has signed on eight major clients, with fourteen in the pipeline. That includes businesses like The Peninsula Hotel Group, Not Just A Label, and Boutique Fairs Singapore.
“Now, I’m doing what I love,” says Amy. “I love the adrenaline, buzz, and creativity (of a startup), and being able to push yourself to be the best you can be.” Amy was born and raised in the UK among a family of entrepreneurs. Her mother, the breadwinner of the family, ran retail outlets in Scotland and her uncle built a shipping business.
Initially, Amy pursued a fifteen-year long career in major companies across the UK and Singapore, serving in leadership roles at Facebook, NMG, a global financial advisory group, and major telecommunications firm BT. While working at NMG’s Advisory and Investment arm, she decided to leave her stable career to launch her first startup. “It was a now or never decision,” says Amy. “I was also on maternity leave at that time, and I realized that I needed to leave the comfort of my corporate role, despite the steady salary, before it was too late.”
Amy’s first startup, Gifts Less Ordinary, sells personalized gifts across Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates. It’s also where she derived the idea for Techsembly. “People assume you go into gifts because you’re a girl, but I also went into the (digital e-commerce industry) because I loved the tech,” Amy explains.
The online store experienced 400% in growth within its second year, largely owed to its ability to cater to the unique palettes of the customers across the different markets with its localized storefronts. Gifts Less Ordinary had a dedicated internal tech team building a centralized platform to manage content, analytics and marry international with local design.
The central platform allowed the team to orient their brand identity for different markets, such as showcasing the work of local artists to the e-storefront in Singapore. The model was exported to Techsembly when a chance encounter with representatives from the Peninsula Hotel Group revealed a hidden demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS). Amy and her team were at a conference in Hong Kong when they were informed that their software was something that the hotelier had been looking for for a while.
2020 has accelerated Techsembly’s growth. Now, more than ever, businesses are turning to online shopfronts as consumers move online. Techsembly will be launching a self-serve solution later this year, which will offer its SaaS on a subscription model with a 14-day free trial.
Amy foresees the utility of a geo-specific storefront benefiting more than traditional retail-based companies—its applications could also be re-utilized for boutique fairs, even media companies. The entrepreneur is only at the starting line of her journey—and she’s not letting up on her ventures. “It’s about pushing yourself to be the best you can be.”
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.