Australian-based software company Zapala Go has used a Singapore Landing Pad, organised through Austrade, to expand into the Asian market.
Carlos Ferri, the company’s owner, said that the landing pad will provide his company with the smoothest possible launch into Asia because Singapore is a genuine regional hub providing introductions to venture capitalists, customers and industry conferences. “It was a huge attraction,” he said.
The cloud-based software, which focusses on warehouse management, has already been a great success in Australia. This included the adoption of the software by Allied Pickfords that has operations in 70 countries. “It was a big challenge, because we didn’t,” said Carlos. It was this that spurred him to contact Austrade.
The Singapore Landing Pad is based in a co-working space at Singapore’s central business district designed for start-up businesses. “The Landing Pad’s mentor was Singaporean and absolutely superb,” said Carlos. “She knew how to set up a business in Singapore; what risks to anticipate; and how to hire people. She knew everything that we needed to know and delivered all the value of a high-paid consultant. We worked with her virtually every day, she was amazing.”
Carlos said that he was introduced to trade commissioners for multiple countries, including Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. He said, “This made it far easier for me to start building my business in the region.” By the time he left Singapore, Zapala Go was on the verge of signing a second major contract. “Going to Singapore with Austrade proved a great first stop because it allowed us to test Zapala Go in the region,” said Carlos. “We could make sure that expanding into Asia Pacific really was the right next step, before committing to rent and hiring staff. The programme also saved Zapala Go valuable time and money.”
Zapala Go is now permanently established at an office complex in Singapore and the company is powering ahead with its global strategy. “We are about to sign a series of huge contracts with a large overseas banking company,” said Carlos. The company has also recently launched two new products: Zapala Fleet Management which provides a complete portal to manage a fleet; and a new system for tracking and tracing consignments, to be announced shortly.
There are many software products available but Carlos says that Zapala Go is different because it is easy to install and use, which is important in areas where there is a high turnover of staff, and by making the software available free to large corporations for them to manage and quote all their moving and storage needs it provides movers with real jobs, not just leads.
Photo: Left to right: Taliessin Reaburn - Trade Commissioner, Carlos Ferri - Ceo of Zapala Go, Travis Haines - APAC Business Manager, Samantha Mark - Singapore Landing Pad Manager