SMU BAcc Class of 2017 graduate Peng Bojie always had a penchant for entrepreneurship. His entrepreneurial journey first started in the ship brokering industry with fellow Accountancy student, Eric Chean Yufei. Over time, as the opportunities in the maritime industry slowed, Bojie founded and co-founded Relink Singapore and iSolutionSG, respectively.
Relink Singapore first began providing cable replacement services and slowly expanded into MFi (Apple Certified Cables – Made for iPod, iPhone, iPad and AirPlay). Relink is the pioneer of the cable replacement programme and has obtained the MFi certification by Apple.
After Relink Singapore’s success, iSolutionSG was then founded. It complements Relink Singapore by providing iPhone services such as upgrading memory, replacing battery and repairing phones. Bojie personally believes in the longevity of things and to value add to his customers, hence quality is of utmost priority.
Currently, Bojie has just graduated from SMU and plans to expand his businesses. We had the pleasure of interviewing him and learning more about his journey, as well as how the School of Accountancy (SoA) has contributed to his success.
Qn: What inspired you to start this business and when exactly did you embark on your startup?
A: It all started when realised that I had spoilt three chargers in just five years. Upon researching the reviews online, I realised that many MacBook users were also encountering the same problem. So I decided to try and fix the charger cable myself. After some trial and error, I managed to successfuly repair my first cable in April 2015. After that, I decided to give a go at helping some of my friends who were facing the same problem. Some of my friends suggested that I should start a small business offering this service, especially considering how a new charger could cost about S$108. So with that, Relink was born.
Qn: Please share the story behind the name “Relink”.
A: Relink can be seen in two parts: Re and Link. “Re” represents to reuse, reduce and recycle; reusing and “recycling” your old cable rather than buying a new one and reducing the waste from buying a new cable. While “Link” represents the link to other companies such as iSolutionSG, which complements Relink by providing services to improve the iPhone such as battery replacement and memory upgrade.
Qn: Who or what do you attribute your success to?
A: There are many factors to attribute my success to, especially my professors and peers. Since Relink is an online business, word of mouth is crucial for the business to expand. Hence, I am very thankful for my friends and customers who have been very supportive by spreading the word about Relink and iSolutionSG. The friendships forged during my four years in SoA have proven to me that in today’s society, our nett worth is really in our network.
Of course, I cannot thank enough the following professors:
They have provided me with invaluable guidance on how I should walk this journey. The accounting knowledge I had gained also laid the foundation when it came to starting both businesses and helped me become sharper when evaluating businesses opportunities.
Bojie at a student-sharing session where he spoke to JC students about his entrepreneurial experience
Qn: How do you manage to juggle your business and your studies?
A: It was quite challenging to balance both my studies and my businesses. I was fortunate to have two friends to help me with Relink while I was studying. It was also very important to manage my time and stay up-to-date with my coursework to avoid having to play catch-up in week 13 of the school term. Of course, difficult modules such as Advanced Financial Accounting really did put my time management skills to the test.
Qn: What are your plans for the future regarding Relink?
A: As of now, I hope to scale up the business and this will require word of mouth. Currently, we rely on retail and online sales, but over time, we hope to reduce our presence in retail shops and shift to more online sales.
Qn: Any words of advice to share with aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
A: Speak to as many people as possible and seek their views on your business idea before embarking on it. Once you are certain that it is a feasible idea, focus and stick to your guns. A business takes time to grow so you may not see it generate much money initially. There will be times when you feel like quitting, and this is when you need to be very sure about what you are doing and not have second thoughts.
Also, it is essential to know how to ask questions; to be intrigued by what you learn and analyse the situation. This is where the professors are able to guide you because they have the industry knowledge.
Of course, if it is possible, start while you are still studying as there are fewer risks involved. While I was in SMU, the flexibility of being able to take a Leave-of-Absence during the second semester of my sophomore year gave me eight months to explore my entrepreneurial pursuits. The mindset should not be about making big bucks, but rather should be about improving yourself. In fact, interning at SMEs are good because they teach you about structure, stress management and provide a lot of exposure.
Bojie and his partner provide a glimpse of what Relink can do
SMU has a wealth of opportunities and resources for students to develop themselves. However, it is key for them to take ownership of their learning and to achieve their dreams. Though it may seem daunting to start your own business while juggling with studies, the faculty and community are there to provide support and guidance along the way. After all, where there is a will, there is a way.