In 2014, self-made entrepreneur and start-up enthusiast Melvin Chee co-founded successful business Eubi, specialising in portable phone chargers, and now builds multimillion–dollar eCommerce brands.
Melvin’s supercharged career began while he was at RMIT in a Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance). During his studies, in December 2013, he undertook an internship with Groupon Malaysia, and it was here that he identified an important gap in the portable charger market: people hadn’t yet caught on to the importance of portable chargers, and while there were many models available on the market, these were largely unaffordable for most people.
Melvin wanted to fix that.
So, after his internship, he flew back to Melbourne and started laying the foundations for Eubi with three other co-founders. A few months of hard work in finding a manufacturer, door-to-door product promotion, social media marketing pushes and the usual ups and downs of founding a business, the team found sudden success, with Eubi products stocked by major retailers like Vodafone and Telstra.
While Eubi steadily grew, Melvin continued his studies and graduated in 2016. Right after, he was interning in San Francisco and had the urge to get into eCommerce.
“Fast-forward to two years later, and today I’ve built three multimillion-dollar brands across different niches in eCommerce and am launching two more brands this year,” Melvin tells us.
“The vision is definitely to continue building brands in different niches in the eCommerce industry and at the same time create job opportunities. As always, I have this saying I share with my teams: we’re only 1% done, 99% to go”.
Melvin’s success can be attributed to a few things, but mainly to his ability to adapt to change and his attitude towards learning from mistakes and failures to turn them into opportunities.
“I started off with minimal capital and had to work out ways to sell something without requiring much up-front investment, and I had no prior experience managing a team – I had to learn from scratch about managing people and issues, AND at the same time make sure the team’s working style was aligned with the brand’s vision and goals,” he says.
“Everyone has to start somewhere. You don’t necessarily need to have it all together to start something. Initially, we visited every convenience store in the Melbourne CBD, asking if they would stock our portable chargers.”
Melvin and the team enlisted the aid of mentors and persevered with turning problems into opportunities, learning from stumbles as they happened.
“Rejection can lead to innovation … and every rejection leads you closer to success,” he says.
“Any opportunity – no matter how big or small – may lead you to something great in the future, as long as you have the faith and the passion to see it through."
His education at RMIT also helped him build the experience, knowledge and confidence to get everything started.
“I realised through the years of education at RMIT, the university heavily emphasised a hands-on-work and practical approach without neglecting the theoretical part, which has helped me and a lot of other students to learn a lot better.”
When asked whether he had any tips for budding entrepreneurs making their way through their studies at RMIT, Melvin left us with this piece of advice:
“RMIT is a great place to start experimenting in life."
"I believe many people studying in university are unsure about their future career paths or even the direction they’re heading towards in life, but they should take this time to really experience all possibilities you can through the programs provided by RMIT.”
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