G.J. YONG, OAXIS

G.J. YONG FOUNDER AND CEO OAXIS

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - by IanChee

Can you give us a brief his­tory of the company, from its found­ing till now?

Our company was es­tab­lished by two young NUS (Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore) grad­u­ates in 2004. In our third year, we took out SGD500 and started the company, ini­tially im­port­ing prod­ucts from Tai­wan and sell­ing them on­line, grad­u­ally through dis­tri­bu­tion – in­clud­ing the stu­dents in NUS!

A year later, we ac­cu­mu­lated enough funds to form an R&D team. In 2006, we started de­vel­op­ing our own prod­ucts, and the year after, we pro­vide OEM/ODM ser­vices to cus­tomers in the U.S. and Europe. In 2008, we de­vel­oped our e-book reader, which was among the first in the mar­ket. To­day, we are one of the top five e-book reader providers in the mar­ket.

OAXIS ven­tured for­ward with a team of 10. The ‘X’ in OAXIS rep­re­sents un­lim­ited pos­si­bil­i­ties, while the logo is in­spired by the ‘∞’ sym­bol, which rep­re­sents our bound­less spirit in cre­at­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts through best-in-class de­sign and out-of-the-box con­cept. Un­der the OAXIS brand­ing, we in­tro­duced the InkCase and started de­vel­op­ing health and fit­ness prod­ucts in 2013.

The Star.21 was made pos­si­ble by crowd­fund­ing. Is there a par­tic­u­lar rea­son why OAXIS opted for Poz­i­ble?

Crowd­fund­ing is a won­der­ful plat­form to en­gage with the pub­lic. Not only can we un­der­stand early adopters, it’s also im­por­tant that we re­ceive feed­back from the back­ers to make the prod­uct bet­ter. We started with a strong con­cept, and they of­fer valu­able opin­ions about the fea­tures and user ex­pe­ri­ence. The plat­form en­ables us to con­nect with a com­mu­nity in ways not of­ten avail­able in tra­di­tional means.

We un­der­stand that the Star.21 in­cor­po­rates a 21-day habit for­ma­tion con­cept. Apart from that, how is the Star.21 dif­fer­ent from the com­pe­ti­tion?

Taken a leaf out of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work, the av­er­age per­son re­quires 21 days for the brain to form new neu­ron path­ways and 66 days to sta­bi­lize them. The whole pro­gram is ac­tu­ally 91 days. Our con­cept is that this is your very own fit­ness jour­ney. There are prod­ucts that em­pha­size com­pe­ti­tion, where you find your­self com­pet­ing with friends for the top leader­board po­si­tion. We don’t en­cour­age peo­ple to fight for one day, but in­stead to fight for per­sis­tence.

In­stead of bounded by num­bers, we opted for per­cent­age in­stead. By vi­su­al­iz­ing them on the LED ar­ray, users need only know the re­main­ing per­cent­age to reach their daily goals. As such, users don’t have to re­mem­ber the num­ber of steps, and the de­vice would in­cre­men­tally in­crease the daily goals to foster an ac­tive life­style. We also did away with spe­cial con­nec­tors and wire­less charg­ers, al­low­ing users to recharge the Star.21 us­ing a mi­croUSB cable.

What’s your strat­egy to re­main rel­e­vant in the con­sumer elec­tron­ics in­dus­try, which seems to have a new prod­uct ev­ery six months or so?

You can­not wait. When an idea comes up, you must act on it im­me­di­ately. Oth­er­wise, you will lose the pas­sion of the idea. That’s why brain­storm­ing over IM plays an im­por­tant role at OAXIS. Our strat­egy is pretty sim­ple: if there’s a cer­tain sec­tor that we are tar­get­ing, we iden­tify the con­sumers’ needs and set out to of­fer a so­lu­tion.

Our IN­NOX team does all kinds of mar­ket re­search, and they work closely with the en­gi­neers to eval­u­ate the tech­no­log­i­cal fea­si­bil­ity of new prod­uct ideas. For ex­ist­ing prod­ucts, we may re­fresh them or in­tro­duce value-added fea­tures. Our quar­terly brain­storm­ing ses­sions en­able us to move pro­to­types into pro­duc­tion. Ev­ery prod­uct will take around one year, from re­search to mar­ket. Be­sides con­sumer elec­tron­ics, we also plan to in­tro­duce ad­di­tional ser­vices into our de­vices.

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