Jason Teo: On Launching ZomWork and Leveraging the Gig Economy

Having control over what you do is critical in getting the best result.

By Lifestyle Guide

October 8 2018

Officially launched on 6 April 2018, ZomWork is a one-stop online outsourcing marketplace for services in areas such as design, IT, marketing, copywriting, video production and more. The marketplace allows companies in Singapore to compare portfolios and prices of various talents and freelancers on the platform while serving as an intermediary to manage payments for the duration of the projects.

STYLEGUIDE talks to Jason Teo, General Manager of ZomWork, to find out more about how they started, the challenges faced by his team, and his views on the gig economy.

Can you share a little about the inspiration behind ZomWork and how you launched it?

The realisation of businesses’ needs was what drove us to launch ZomWork: to help them with projects due to a lack of talent and time. The inspiration itself comes from how one of our parent companies, ZBJ Network, is at the forefront of this trend with six million registered users and 13 million service providers.

We want ZomWork to become the leading marketplace by connecting companies and talents in the most efficient way possible, hence transforming the gig economy in Singapore and beyond.

How did the name ZomWork come about?

Initially, the ‘zom’ itself comes from ‘zombie’ where the intention behind it is to let people know and understand that one does not have to be a zombie, dragging themselves to do a 9-to-5 job. Businesses can let their staff focus on the job scopes that excite them most while outsourcing the rest to experts.

People need to take ownership of their work by being responsible, yet we understand that not all work is exciting. The solution is for us to provide people with arrays of potential projects that they will enjoy working on while having full autonomy in getting it done - how, when and where.

Having control over what you do is critical in getting the best result.

Official Launch of ZomWork - 6 Apr 2018

What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?

The biggest yet most satisfying challenge I have encountered is building a team in a startup environment. I need self-motivated and driven team players who are comfortable with changing and adapting to new circumstances. Running a startup company means that both me and my team have to expect constant change.

As a leader, I need to push my team to go out of their comfort zones, and the satisfaction comes when they are out of their comfort zone and thriving. You want the best for your team and to equip them with the necessary skills for their career whether they stay with you or move to a different company.

You have extensive startup experience from mudah.my and 701Search Pte Ltd, how have these experiences helped you in ZomWork?

During my tenure at mudah.my and 701search, I learned what worked and what did not, as well as how to tackle internal and external issues. These experiences I’ve gained are helping me to launch and run ZomWork. I now know better in how to be a leader that pushes the boundaries in a positive way and think out of the box.

What are the most important lessons that you think we can learn from China?

China is growing its superpower status by opening itself to the western world and trading its resources and goods. Not only is its ambition to be a global leader admirable, but also its action in bringing its country together. The key takeaway here is that one needs to collaborate with others in order to succeed. 

Another thing that we can learn from China is the revolution of cashless/online payment. Look how convenient cashless payment is in China right now as people walk into a store and pay by waving their phone. I think other countries need to up their game to use less cash.

What are three interesting things that most people do not know about the gig economy?

1. You can work remotely by leveraging the gig economy.

2. Gig workers are more creative. Companies secretly redesign jobs to attract and retain talents.

3. Gig economy is essential for business growth.

How can Singaporeans leverage the gig economy to their advantage?

Singaporeans have been leveraging the sharing economy. Look at how Grab is growing in the region and serving our community. It is the proof of how the gig economy has worked its way into our society. The flexibility provided by the gig economy allows a freelancer to work on multiple jobs/projects and give businesses plenty of affordable options to get the job done efficiently.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Whatever you do in life, give it your 100%! I believe in putting the best effort to receive the best result. If you do something half-heartedly, it will not take you far. I also believe in working smart. By tapping into the gig economy, it is one way of working smart because you know what you are good at and you choose to pick job(s) that you will enjoy.

What are the future plans for ZomWork?

As we aim to connect business and talents, we are also eyeing other business opportunities. That is how AGILE by ZomWork and ZomWork E-commerce Concierge programme come into the picture as we realize the need and opportunity for local businesses to grow and expand to China. We are looking at the long game which is overseas expansion to support the gig economy regionally, in Southeast Asia and not just in Singapore.


Exclusively for STYLEGUIDE readers, register for The Future of Work today for $30 instead of the regular $50 using STYGD30 promo code at https://thefutureofworkbyzomwork.peatix.com/

The Future of Work for SMEs organised by ZomWork, brings SMEs and Freelancers together in a networking conference to help reshape work for both businesses and freelancers. With 2 Zones - SME Zone and Freelancer Zone, join us to learn how you can leverage the gig economy and technology for your business, and explore opportunities to grow your business in China. 

What's happening in the event: 
- GigXchange - Business Networking: Meet and mingle with businesses & freelancers to discover business opportunities 
- Panel Discussions & Fireside Chats on key topics such as Gig Economy, Innovation, E-Commerce and more! 
- Marketplace Expo - Engage with businesses and freelancers as they showcase their innovative products and services 

Ticket entitles you: 
Entries to both zones: SME and Freelancer Seminars 
Complimentary Goodie bags 
Refreshments and buffet lunch will provided