(Credits to Forbes)
Starting off our second feature in the #FemTech Series, we profile Jenny Lee, Head of Growth at WeLab.
The ex-Deutsche Bank investment banker acted on her long-standing conviction to learn and act first-hand and has seen her become one of the leading influencers in Asia. Her personal conviction in staying reactive and being open to learning continues to drive her, whether it be towards fulfilling company goals at WeLab, or towards personal growth.
Nearing her two-year anniversary at WeLab, Jenny’s insights have seen her efforts not only accelerate WeLab’s expansion, from bringing affordable credit to borrowers’ fingertips to launching an Asian-targeted investment fund prioritising consumer lending; but also with her support, secure investments from ING to Sequoia Capital.
The main challenges she’s experienced to-date?
The absence of certainty, Jenny admits “from [leaving] a large organisation with resources at hand to make well-informed decisions” brought a fundamental challenge she has had to deal with, and quickly.
Indeed, working with a small company and exploring brand-new ideas has seen her ”force herself to be very comfortable with uncertainty and take calculated risks”. And while her decisions “don’t always result in positive outcomes”, she and her team continue to learn by focusing on testing ideas, smartly and strategically to evolve the decision-making process in the face of uncertainty.
What are some of the unexpected insights she received?
Switching from the corporate to the startup world, Jenny comments on the necessity of “hutzpah” – the capacity to keep going in the face of setbacks to succeed in the long term.
“While past experience is very important, it can only take you so far.” Passion and persistence remain standout qualities Jenny feels are must-haves to succeed in a high-risk startup environment.. Specifically, with startups like WeLab “facing challenges every day(or every hour)”, she notes the importance of having a determined and driven team to keep the action going in the face of insurmountable situations.
What advice or guidance she hopes to share with women looking to enter the startup scene?
“Take the leap and just do it!”
Jenny maintains a dynamic perspective that is far from cliche. Instead, it is indicative of the determination underscoring her convictions to develop operational expertise and make a direct impact in the professional sector.
However, she notes the impossibility of “ever feeling 100% ready [to make the leap]”; choosing rather to focus on keeping an open mind, so as to better learn from the experiences that come about, regardless of the eventual outcome.
And finally, going into 2016 what does she hope to achieve?
From being inaugurated in the Forbes Asia “30 under 30” list and leading teams to stream loan applications on both mobile and web mediums, Jenny looks forward to executing strategies together “with the WeLab team to change the consumer lending landscape for the better”.
From a personal standpoint, she remains committed to “learning everyday and making the most of the exciting, rare opportunity.”
Interested in finding out more about WeLab? Check out the WeLab website here.