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Taking on the world

Mr Anthoby Chow (above), the 31-year-old chief executive officer and co-founder of Igloohome, describes going global as “less of a struggle and more of a joy.”

The start-up company makes smart digital locks and keyboxes. In three short years,it featured in GQ magazine’s Best Stuff of

2017 article, became an official partner of Airbnb, and sold its products in over 80 countries.

It has an unusually strong global presence for a young start-up. Whereas most companies focus on building a strong domestic market before daring to venture into the overseas market, Igloohome dived right in.

Opportunities abroad

Why did Igloohome look to sell to the global markets from the onset? Mr Chow creditspart of the decision to his time studying overseas on an Infocomm Media DevelopmentAuthority (IMDA) scholarship.

He completed a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Imperial College London, followed by a Master in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University in the United States. Mr Chow says that the experience helped to jumpstart his career.

“The scholarship was a great platform for networking with seniors and practitioners in the information technology industry,” he says.

More importantly, it allowed him to travel extensively. He toured Europe, visiting over 20 countries, and took a road trip in the US that crossed nine states. He learnt about the people and culture of the places he visited, though he had to make do with little sleep on many nights.

Those experiences have helped him in his strategic role in setting a course for Igloohome.

Global citizen

The company is still on the upswing. Earlier in April, it raised $4 million in Series A funding, which it plans to use for accelerating product development.

Mr Chow splits his time between dayto-day operations here and developing the business overseas.

“I spend about 70 per cent of my time in different markets meeting clients, partners and investors,” he says. “I also visit our teams in China, Korea and the US to ensure that the team works as one tight unit.”

He hopes to build a large, sustainable business that can create a positive impact in the world. The task seems a little less daunting as there are people he can count on.

He says: “I met great and talented people from around the world who have become friends whom I can reach out to for help in my work.”