How a Singapore-based digital concierge staffed its offshore tech team4 min read

Faced with a tech manpower shortage, Vouch expanded its tech team by procuring capable talent from Indonesia.

About Vouch and its vision

Vouch is a digital self-service concierge designed for hotel guests to make requests such as room service and booking hotel facilities. Vouch aims to boost productivity of hotel staff as it frees up more time for them to focus on other priorities.

The digital concierge allows guests to self-service without downloading an app, by just scanning a QR code on their own phones.

Guests themselves can save time by making bookings quickly, instead of waiting on the concierge to check on availability.

Vouch targets mid-range to luxury hotels, counting Pan Pacific Group, Capri and Holiday Inn as some of their noteworthy partners.

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Vouch’s digital concierge platform lets guests make the bookings themselves. Photo: Vouch

For example, Pan Pacific Group noted that 87 percent of guests booked gym or pool slots through IRIS, its digital concierge powered by Vouch, during the first month of opening at its Park Royal Marina Bay hotel.

The digital concierge proved useful during the pandemic, when travel bans hurt the hotel industry deeply.

Its hotel partners used Vouch’s software to navigate the safe distancing measures in common facilities and a reduced workforce when hotels were reopened for staycations.

Related: Gemstar & Vouch on: Beating the tech talent crunch to grow and retain your global clientele

Facing intense competition for tech talent

Before Vouch pivoted its business into concierge software-as-a service, it started out as a big data service provider. It needed to scale up its tech hiring to support its move into a new direction.

But Vouch faced setbacks when it came to hiring tech talent locally. CEO Joseph Ling shared with Glints that the tech talent pool in Singapore was rather scarce.

“Competition for tech talents is intense. It is tough to compete against the global and regional tech giants that have decided to set up offices in Singapore,” says Ling.

Photo: Vouch

“Our product would not be built without the hubbers, and we would not see our current success without them. Our Customer Success hubbers have also done a great job in keeping our clients happy and ensuring the success of our product,”

Joseph Ling, CEO, Vouch

As a small startup with a limited budget, it looked overseas for more affordable alternatives.

After some research, Vouch chose Batam, Indonesia, as its first offshore talent location. Ling chalked it up to Batam’s close proximity to Singapore, being an hour’s ferry ride away.

Batam’s convenient location allowed Vouch to carry out an in-person professional relationship, and the Singapore team would travel to Batam for monthly check-ins.

With both locations in the same time zone, Vouch would not have to deal with confusing time differences.

Vouch approached Glints Talenthub for assistance. In 2018, it hired its first offshore full stack engineer. The engineer built Vouch’s digital concierge prototype and was integral to its growth.

The positive outcome with its first offshore hire gave Vouch the impetus to scale up its offshore team. Currently, Vouch has a total of 12 offshore talents, or “hubbers”, hired from Glints TalentHub, of which eight of them are in the Engineering team. Three of them are in Customer Success and one of them is in Sales.

“They have a positive attitude towards learning and improving their craft,” says Ling.

Phua is thankful for Glints’ assistance when it came to its offshore hires. “Our product would not be built without the hubbers, and we would not see our current success without them. Our Customer Success hubbers have also done a great job in keeping our clients happy and ensuring the success of our product,” he adds.

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