By Chloe Leong
In this Humans of NTU: After Hours series, we spotlight students pursuing much more than just their degrees. Networking is crucial in creating professional relationships and forging new connections in the working world. After a great conversation, many students lack name cards to exchange to keep in contact, which could put them at a disadvantage in keeping in touch. This is where our next entrepreneur hopes to fill in this gap. In this second edition, we will be putting the spotlight on Choong Chao Dong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of One Good Card and student entrepreneur who is currently studying at Nanyang Techonological University (NTU).
Choong Chao Dong (second from right), Final Year Nanyang Business School (NBS) student with a specialiastion in Human Resources, entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of One Good Card, and his management team. Credit: Choong Chao Dong
Chao Dong is one of the co-founders of One Good Card, a business networking technology startup focused on providing sustainable and innovative alternatives to share information efficiently with just one tap. Born out of necessity to combat paper name card wastage, its meteoric rise has seen it gain over 60,000 users on its platform within the first two years. Since its founding in 2020, One Good Card has rapidly expanded from a three-man team working in The Hive to a headcount of over 20 people with their own office in One-North!
Q: What is the hardest part about managing a business while you are still studying?
CD: While it is a rewarding journey on its own, there are hurdles to overcome at every stage. The most challenging aspect of being a student entrepreneur would be having effective time and task management. Time management is the key to thriving with my crazy commitments. To stay up to speed with my tasks, I use a range of productivity tools such as to-do lists, calendars and organisational tools to manage my day-to-day workload.
Q: What keeps you going despite the challenges that you have faced as a student and business owner?
CD: Never forget why you started out on your journey. It has been a lifelong goal of mine to start and manage my own business, so I took this leap of faith to pursue it early on in my career. The journey itself has been infinitely rewarding by providing me with valuable business experience and giving me the opportunity to lead a driven team of 20 people that share the same vision that I started out with. These people are the constant pillars of support that remind me to push on when the going gets tough.
Q: What are some sacrifices you had to make as a result of being a student entrepreneur?
CD: Being a student entrepreneur is definitely challenging and requires making sacrifices, especially in the beginning stages. My typical day-to-day schedule is always packed with tasks and responsibilities, making it difficult to find time for more “normal” aspects of life like socialising with friends or even having meals with my loved ones.
At the start of my journey, I had to prioritise certain things such as building our brand, creating a strong team, and aligning our vision, which resulted in making some sacrifices. With time, I was able to strike a better balance and attain a more manageable and sustainable way of life. So, definitely don’t let these challenges stop you from pursuing your business, because it does get better once things settle down.
Q: What are your plans for the future of One Good Card?
CD: We aim to make it an everyday tool that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their location or industry. Our goal is to expand our global presence and continuously enhance the platform’s accessibility and capabilities, making it even more powerful, effective, and innovative.
One Good Card has the potential to revolutionise the way people connect, collaborate, and exchange information. Business networking, education and training, healthcare, and charity and non-profit ventures; the potential uses for this cutting-edge tool are limitless. Our team is dedicated to making One Good Card future-ready; hence we are constantly exploring new ways to innovate and improve on it. We believe that One Good Card will be a game-changer, transforming the way people connect and interact with each other in the years to come.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
CD: If entrepreneurship is your goal, don’t hesitate to make the leap of faith early on. The opportunity cost is much lower during your youth, especially while you’re still in school. Starting later in life will bring more challenges and obstacles, such as paying bills, supporting a family, and maintaining a steady income. Take advantage of your most valuable asset – time, and gain the experience to give yourself a head start in your career.
If you have a bold idea or believe you have the next big thing, take the first step by validating it and gathering the resources you need to bring it to life. Singapore has a robust support system for aspiring entrepreneurs, offering grants, subsidies, and mentorship opportunities. If you’re sure this is what you want, go for it!
Chao Dong is one of the many students in our midst hustling outside of their academics. From humble beginnings in The Hive to a working product with a large business clientele is a feat few can achieve. Stay tuned to our next edition of Humans of NTU: After Hours where we uncover the hidden lives of students in NTU!
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