Supahands Co-Founder Mark Koh: 3 Things You Need To Know
Unsure of what he wanted to do in life, Mark Koh left his career path to fate. “On my university application, I listed three course choices: marine biology, architecture and commerce. I let the course and university ‘choose’ me, instead of the other way around. When I was accepted into the University of Sydney for commerce, I just went with it,” he says.
And that's far from the only surprising discovery about the tech entrepreneur. Here's three things you need to know about Supahands co-founder and CEO Mark Koh.
1/3 This is far from his first startup
After graduation, Koh worked for a boutique financial planning practice in Sydney. Before too long, he realised he wanted to do something on his own. Past endeavours included underwater diving tours and several tech-based businesses that were “way too ahead of their time to be successful in those days”.
He has no regrets though. “I was open to trying and taking risks by saying yes to different business ideas. If it didn’t work out, I’d just start again,” he says.
This optimism eventually led him to co-found Supahands, a tech startup that provides data at scale and speed for artificial intelligence products and businesses, using a hybrid of human intelligence and machine learning.
2/3 Supahands has undergone numerous "micro-pivots"
“What Supahands is today and what we were before is very different. We underwent multiple micro-pivots for the company to get to where it is today,” says Koh.
Indeed, Supahands started off as a platform to hire personal assistants before adopting AI as the main thrust of its business a few years ago. “Previously, we were making money, but we weren’t growing as fast. Venturing into AI was a major turning point for us,” he says.
Supahands has since grown its SupaAgent cloud workforce to 5,000 people across Southeast Asia. “I'm always thinking about growth. I need to make sure Supahands is growing at a quick rate. I'm always asking myself—are we adapting fast enough? Or is the industry moving too slowly for us? It’s my responsibility to ensure Supahands remains relevant and creates value for our clients."
3/3 He's a machine on the track
Koh participates in gruelling endurance sports in his free time, as a way for him to switch off but also to feed into his life as an entrepreneur. “To thrive in competitions like the Ironman triathlon, you have to work through the pain—mental, emotional and physical. You can’t give up. Endurance sports has played a big role in shaping my competitive spirit as a business owner,” says Koh.
See more honourees from the Technology category of the Gen.T List 2019.
What Supahands is today and what we were before is very different. We underwent multiple micro-pivots for the company to get to where it is today
— Mark Koh