Joel Leong

Joel Leong

Online loyalty platform ShopBack’s biggest challenge has been to convince shoppers that there is no catch to its free-to-sign-up and free-to-use cashback service. “As Asians, we’ve been brought up to question anything that sounds too good to be true,” says the start-up’s co-founder Joel Leong, who is also its head of merchants. However, its business model is a clever one, which charges partner merchants per sale rather than per click on an advertisement, and shares the commission with its consumers. In less than three years, the 30-year-old and his team have successfully established a presence in six countries. “Our society condemns making mistakes, but we need to cultivate the mindset of embracing failures to see the rise of more innovation. To be successful, I believe one must stay optimistic and be able to celebrate setbacks.”

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