When HoCfu (now rebranded as CoDeco), or rather Woody and Ross the co-founders, came to join as a startup team in April 2015, it was all early stage.
The idea was simple. A platform to connect good tradespeople (Ho C Fu) to customers, and being the trusted middle person in between looking after the interest of all those involved. The idea came because they had an uncle who was an honest tradesman, but he continued to suffer from low wages as he relied on the middle agent to get the job, and there was always someone who could do it cheaper. They also discovered there were a lot of pain points to solve on the customer as well. So the start point came from a social cause, how to provide a good income to honest tradesman in Hong Kong?
They chose Good Lab as it was close to Ross’ home in Kwai Chung, he wanted a place to work which was not his kitchen table, and having just become a father at that time, he also knew little would get done at home. They had a good first impression of the place, thanks to the friendly neighbours in the office (Oh My Kids), who were very friendly and made them feel at home. Through our network, they got good timely advice from our director Ada, as well as initial support from UnLtd of $50,000, which really helped them initially as before, all investment came from their own pockets.
They still remembered their first job, assembling and screwing in a book case for about $100. Fast forward to today and they are a team of more than 20 people, with $10 million dollars of jobs going through each month.
Looking back, I asked them what is their greatest wisdom that they can pass on to others. They wanted to give me something like, ‘Believe in yourself!’ but I said that it was too vague and not really useful. I needed something much more practical. – Kelvin Cheung (CEO)
After some deep thought, they concluded – a growing business is about getting the right person to do the right task and making sure that you’re constantly in communication with your team. Invest in the people, and it’s only the people that will bring you to the next level of growth. That’s something that Ross said they found out the hard way through some growth challenges and they continue to put attention to the training and morale of the team.
Growing they are! We celebrate CoDeco move to their new offices at the end of June and wish them success! While not our physical members, they’ll always be part of our social innovation community going forward!
Find out more about CoDeco work here.