Humans of Weremote: Logan Tan, CEO and co-founder of Eezee

Welcome to the Humans of Weremote feature, where we put a spotlight on the valuable members of our community. Let’s get to know them better to gain insight on their business philosophy that we could adopt as we move our own enterprise forward. Weremote, after all, is more than just spaces.

Logan Tan describes himself as the “hands-on” CEO and co-founder of Eezee, Singapore’s largest B2B marketplace for industrial and business supplies. After starting his career as a corporate banker, he joined a construction company as the head of finance and procurement. That was where he noted the gap between buyers and sellers in the procurement industry. 

In 2018, Logan and two others co-founded Eezee to bring ecommerce technology into the B2B sector in Singapore. The company proved to be a success that it naturally expanded into neighboring Malaysia and then Indonesia and the Philippines, where it found a conducive atmosphere in Weremote Makati Central Square.

Q. Tell us about the origins of Eezee and what drives your team’s passion?

A. In the consumer experience today, you can buy literally anything online or through the application on your mobile phone. But this is usually far from the reality in the business world. Typically, it takes about two to three weeks just to buy a single product. That’s where I saw the opportunity. There’s a lot of inefficiency, a lot of legacy in the whole B2B landscape. So, that’s where we decided to focus on how we can replicate Amazon’s business model in the B2B sector.

As for the team’s passion, I think us humans are really driven by solving problems, especially those in high position, particularly very challenging problems. What we are doing is changing human behaviors, changing processes, changing existing norms, like picking up the phone and calling suppliers in an inefficient way. I really want to break that cycle and bring the skill, like what Amazon did with the consumer industry. It’s not something that’s simple. That’s why we are very much looking to hire people with that innate nature—people who love challenges and solve problems. I guess that translates to the passion for what we are doing.

Q. What inspired your mission and how does this align with your personal values?

A. When I was in the corporate world, for seven years—three years in banking, four years in the construction industry in finance and procurement, I realized from my bosses, my mentors back then, that I have one ability, and that is to say “no” to things.

I always thought that anything could be possible. So usually, I was cast with the most difficult things like transformation projects in the industry. Most of the time you’re being rejected, almost like 95% of the time, and that mental state is that you should have positivity on a day-to-day basis even though you may have a bad month, bad week, or didn’t hit the sales target—just go on. I guess that molded my character as I first started this business.

I realized that I have one “superpower” and it’s this great resilience, that I never say no and I never give up. I always tell my team that the only way Eezee will ever go down is if I give up. And it’s not in my nature to give up.

That’s why we are where we are today—expansion from Singapore to the Philippines and hopefully, to do what we need to do in a broader market. And that’s like a new challenge that we have given ourselves. So that’s the story behind why we do this.

Q. Could you describe a typical start to your day?

A. First order of business is to get coffee. That’s the first thing I think about when I wake up. If I’m in Indonesia or in Singapore, I wake up at the same time. I start at 7, get my coffee, and then I get to the office usually around 8:15, 8:30 a.m. I start clearing emails and then it’s calls and interviews, then meetings, usually from 9 a.m. to probably around 6 p.m. I slot in lunch meetings as well. I prioritize my team members on the different stages of the business cycle. 

Then I talk to the investors, if we need additional funding, if we need support in terms of strategy. I would have dinner or lunch meetings with them, also with clients and suppliers as well. These are the four stakeholders that I usually have casual meetings with all the way until night, and sometimes it spills over the weekend. But I do have some time to go to the gym, to run. I try to do it at least three times a week on a casual basis.

Q. What motivated Eezee’s expansion into the Philippines? And how did Weremote come into play?

A. If you look at the Singapore landscape, it’s a very small market. We knew from day one, we have to go beyond Singapore. Our priority was to look at our neighboring country, which is Malaysia, as its culture is about the same, the language about the same, and the people’s behavior is about the same. We are also land connected. That’s our natural second market. Then obviously, the next biggest market would be Indonesia—a huge industry, economy.

It was during December 2022 that we secured Series A funding for USD7.5 million. Surprisingly, a Philippine conglomerate called ACTIVE (Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture) Fund decided to invest in us. It was a surprise because we were not in the Philippines, but they believed in what we were doing. Their strong belief was what we were excited about.

Why are we really motivated to get in? One, it’s because of ACTIVE Fund. Second, it’s the language. Most people can speak in English. Third, it’s the largest BPO hub in Southeast Asia. A lot of multinationals set up their hubs here. In fact, did you know that the Philippines has the largest concentration of multinationals outside of Singapore? So, it’s a very interesting market for us because of the BPO nature.

For us, the consideration is finding our own place, or we can find a coworking space that already exists and have everything set up for us. We were not too sure about the market because we were just entering it and we wanted some stability in our business before we rented our own place. So, a coworking space made more sense to us. Rather than investing money in renovation and other infrastructure and paying for maintenance and getting everything ourselves, coworking is a much better option because then everything is set up.

That’s why we went to Weremote [Makati Central Square].

Screengrab: The Eezee Philippine team during a typical workday at their Weremote MCS office.

I was just talking to my team yesterday about what they love about this place. One month in, they have become familiar with the space; you get everything here. Yes, there are other coworking offices in prime areas, but that’s not the reality of the Philippine market. If you want to see its beauty, that real culture, you have to understand the people and what’s the reality on the ground, not on some fancy building.

That’s how we select our coworking space. Number one, of course it’s pricing, and we didn’t look for the cheapest but the value for money. We came here, it’s a huge space. Everything is well set up and works for us. 

Second, I want to get embedded within the culture of the Philippines, to really understand how the Philippines operate as a business. You get the best of all that around here. Sometimes, our employees need to run errands, and they say they can run all their errands right inside this mall. You’ve got banks, food, anything. So, infrastructure-wise, community-wise, this is worth it.

Q. Could you describe the impact of Weremote’s environment on your team’s dynamics and activities?

A. Our first impression when we first entered was, “Wow! This place looks really good!” Very spacious. The infrastructure of this place is well constructed, which is not usually the case. I’ve been to other markets, like Indonesia. Everything could look fine, but everything’s broken. But when we came here, everything worked, the Wi-Fi works well, it’s fast, the aircon is good. In terms of the staff, they’re friendly. The hospitality of the place, I think, is very important because you always want to start the day on the right note, with positivity all around. And I think it starts with the people you interact with. I think it’s inherent in Filipino culture.

Q. What sets the Philippine B2B market apart based on your experience with other countries?

A. One, there’s a huge corporate culture around here. This is the second largest market for multinationals. They help us as well because a lot of them have their offshore team here in the Philippines.

If you look around us, it’s an environment where, to me, B2B is a huge industry. Yet, oftentimes, the Philippines tends to get overlooked across the region. We see that as an opportunity. I have never heard any founders across my network say, “I want to come to the Philippines.” I like to prove people wrong and make the Philippines a market that is enticing. We are very confident that we can make this a reality.

Q. How do you see Eezee utilizing Weremote’s resources to address future challenges for growth?

A. I have always thought that managing one’s own office is a nightmare. In our Singapore office, we have our own cleaners, our own Wi-Fi, and everything. If the aircon breaks down we have to get a technician in, which is something that we don’t like to be thinking about. Weremote is taking that miscellaneous task away from us. As we build our business we are thinking, how can we have a marriage of both?

Most of the time, when you think of coworking space, we reach a point that you have to get out of there, maybe because you have outgrown the space or maybe the space doesn’t cater anymore to your needs. If we will have a future conversation, it could be on how to make the partnership deeper. How can Weremote help us manage a space of our own yet meet our own needs as we grow? For example, in Singapore, Alibaba works with JustCo. JustCo manages the space and Alibaba takes 80% of the space. I think that concept is good if we can actually think about exploring this in the future.

As we expand our business in the Philippines, obviously we need to go to other locations as well and have offices there. I think it’s more like business as usual if Weremote is there. We’d love to partner with Weremote again for the familiarity and the trust that you guys have everything set up.

Because we are in the ecommerce space, I do see there’s a gap around having office and warehouse space in a single location. If there’s a model where Weremote can partner with ecommerce companies, combining warehousing space as well as office space, I think that could be quite an interesting idea. Eventually, when we get our own place, we don’t want to be managing it, so we can then leverage Weremote capabilities, knowhow, and expertise in the market.

Q. Can you share any challenges you have encountered while operating in the Philippines and how has Weremote helped address it?

A. The biggest challenge in entering new countries is trust. I think having a brand like Weremote, with multiple office locations, kind of helps us to build that trust. If we had to engage a landlord on our own, we don’t know who this landlord is. It’s a trust basis because ultimately you are a foreigner, and they can screw you over. Trust is the biggest thing for a company coming into the Philippines—that was our pain point back then.

How does Weremote help us? By just being a reputable brand, multiple locations, coworking concept where multiple business trust you guys, and you kind of like the scalability, the brand and you go, “Hey, I do not need to know the CEO of Weremote to put my trust on the brand and to be comfortable with putting the pen to contract, to lease something from you. Trust is a huge factor in doing business, including getting a rental, getting a lease, and all that. That was our first consideration as well.

Q. What do you find to be most valuable or enjoyable in being part of the Weremote community?

A. I enjoy the engagement; there is this hospitality as well. There’s a fine mix of being crowded, but this is spacious enough. Even this interview says something about the engagement itself. That’s what I really enjoy. I think it has to go beyond just a coworking space. If it’s just a space for us to work in, literally we can switch out in a few months once we grow. But if you want us to be entrenched, be more community-first, which you guys are doing, I think that’s great.

Thanks, Logan, for taking some time off from your busy schedule to grace “Humans of Weremote.” We are also extending our appreciation to the team members of Eezee Philippines for allowing us to capture their typical day at Weremote.

So who would be featured next on Humans of Weremote? Stay tuned to find out!
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Weremote stands as a community where professionals and businesses thrive, offering a dynamic environment for growth. As the coworking brand of Wrkspace Office Management and Solutions Inc., Weremote continues to foster professional development and build vibrant communities. Weremote is a portfolio company of AHG Lab, the largest independent venture builder in the Philippines.

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