Dalston Pung, Co-founder of QIQ Global

What’s your story?

Hello everyone, my name is Dalston Pung. I am a 31-year-old Entrepreneur from Singapore. I started out my career as an Accountant. However, after a few years of working in the financial industry, I came across an opportunity to accquire a dying DVD rental business. After being in the business for over a year, I managed to create an online subscription service for users which complimented the retail business. Thankfully, I managed to sell that business off with a small profit. Through that experience, I understood the power of digital/internet startups and the ability they have to disrupt the industry.

I moved on and together with my friends co-founded NOX Express and MiniChef. They were an e-commerce and marketplace platform, connecting alcohol brands and Private Chefs directly to consumers. In those few years of starting my own startup, I met major failures and, in that process, learnt how hard it was to build your own startup. Sadly, I had to let my team go due to financial constraint. It was a very painful lesson. Since then I joined Trive Venture as an Entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founded QIQ Global with Justin Sim and Ben Sim in 2017. We believed that for electric vehicles in a shared economy to truly happen globally, everyone must reimagine how the transportation system works and operates. With our establishment, we seek to provide shared last-mile electric vehicles with alternative battery technology i.e. Ultra-capacitors.

In 2017, we also managed to develop ultra-fast charging for electric vehicles such as electric bicycles and scooters. We pursued innovations in our battery management system and communication system to ensure better control over battery life (duty cycles) and our vehicle fleet. Our technology helps mobility operators to enjoy electric vehicles with longer battery lifespan and quick charging capabilities (under 7 mins for a full charge) from our unique battery technology and Ultra-capacitors. Right now, my focus in the stage of my entrepreneurship journey is to build sustainable technology that can impact society and improve the life of people.

Co-founders of QIQ Global Dalston Pung, Ben Lim, Justin Sim (from left to right)

What were some of the obstacles that your company faced during its initial years and how did your team overcome it?

As QIQ Global is founded by people whom have worked together for years (since the beginning of our parent company), we are able to understand each other strengths and weaknesses. This helped us to trust each other for decisions and execution.

However, as a hardware and software technology start-up based out of Singapore, QIQ Global did not have access to heavy funding, like that of United States or China. QIQ Global founders and Angel investors had to self-fund the technology and manpower development heavily.

Thankfully, despite the financial stress, many of our employees believed in our vision of “accelerating the adoption of shared mobility”, which helped us to push through difficult times.

What are some of the difficulties in running operations in different countries? (eg: Singapore and China)

The two biggest problems of running global operations are:

1) Since QIQ Global technology and manufacturing team are situated in both Singapore and China, we had to always ensure a clear communication of task, and information at all times.

2) The “culture”. Different partners, investors and employees have different opinions and culture. This results in different methods of operations for execution. As the Chief Operating Officer of QIQ Global, it is highly critical for my team and I to always understand the local operations and to execute in accordance.

How does your company separate itself from its competitors?

Dalston: QIQ Global’s difference lies in its ability to innovate not just its Business Operations and Software technology; rather, it is the ability to innovate its IOT communication and Battery technology. We understand that every component is firmly integrated, and each component has different requirements. By controlling the entire product development and its technology, we are truly able to design an electric vehicle that is meant for the sharing economy.

What motivated QIQ to include blockchain technology into its platform?

One of our core principle and value at QIQ Global is to innovate in the sector of Shared Transportation. Hence, we believe that blockchain technology would be one of the key technologies to allow fractional ownership in shared transportation. We are able to harness the masses to own a faction of a mobility transportation system, in their town, city or country.

Name one of the most memorable learning experience of your entrepreneurial journey

During one of our manufacturing period, due to tight financial constraints, we were not able to fulfil our financial requirements. This led everyone in the company to make personal decision to place the company before themselves and contributed financially.

This lesson taught me that in order for a company to grow, the start-up must have people that believe in its vision, its purpose and its founders.

What do you think should be the most important characteristic for a start-up and its team to possess?

a) The ability to attract talents from around the world.
b) The ability to stay true to its mission and vision.
c) The resilient to stay focus and have courage during difficult times.

a) The ability to create a culture to nurture talents.
b) The culture to innovate, have mutual trust among teammates
c) The ability to create a culture that trust its leader.

What are you working on right now that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Our deployment in Japan, Dubai (UAE), Vietnam and Singapore.

What is your company’s five-year plan? Any market expansion plan in the pipeline?

We would like to accelerate the adaptation of electric shared transportation in Asia. We would like to grow our influence with government organisation across Asia and help cities embrace electric share vehicles.

Looking back, what advice would you tell your younger self?

Failing would be painful. You must work hard. However, do not be afraid of failure. Having success and failure in life are equally common. Press on with your dreams.