November 22, 2021 Read 14 Min

Building BFM CaiJin’s Website (Podcast with English Transcript)

The English-translated transcript of our conversation with BFM CaiJin on apps, websites, partnerships, digitalization, and more.

BFM Caijin Snappymob Podcast Transcript

BFM CaiJin’s new website is live! Our team was invited to join BFM CaiJin in a Mandarin-language podcast titled “财今有新网站啦! 背后功臣 Snappymob 如何帮助企业数位化转型?” to talk about apps, websites, partnerships, digital transformation, and the work that took place behind the scenes with the BFM CaiJin team. 

Highlights in this podcast:

  • What is expected of clients before a partnership is formed
  • The importance for businesses to have a website even in an era where marketplace solutions are abundantly accessible
  • How SMEs can seek funding and manage their expenditure in getting a custom website or app developed
  • What we can expect in the future of web and app development 
  • What makes CaiJin’s new website special 

To make sure no one misses out, here’s the English-translated transcript for non Mandarin speakers. (Disclaimer: Some filler words were omitted for better readability.)

English Transcript

Programme: (Direct translation) Open Door to See Business

Title: Caijin has a new website! How does Snappymob, the hero behind it, help enterprises with digital transformation?

Hosts: Isaac Wong, Tang Hong Yau

Guests: Alvin Ting, Loo Jye Miin, Roy Ling

Preview snippet

Alvin: I think mobile apps will come out to be stronger than websites in the future. 

Isaac: Okay.

Alvin: If you look around you today, mobile apps are everywhere — whether you’re in a car, on the streets, or on Shopee Mall, people are on mobile phones. Ten years ago, most people were holding laptops, it was so ‘in’ at the time. 

Isaac: Yeah.

Alvin: But now, everything is on an app, on a handheld device. So I feel, in the end, what we want now is simplicity.

[Intro music]

Hong Yau: You’re listening to CaiJin’s programme <Open Door to See Business>. Today is extremely special. We’d like to introduce CaiJin’s new website, and also come together to discuss the digitalization of enterprises.

[Intro music]

Isaac: Today we’ve invited the design and development company behind CaiJin and BFM Radio’s new website and app, Snappymob. Why did we decide to invite them here? It’s because we want them to introduce our new website with us.

All: Yay!

Hong Yau: We’re all so excited, huh?

Isaac: Yes. We also hope to get them to talk about the roles they play in enterprise digitalization. I know that behind the scenes, they’ve done a lot of work.

Hong Yau: Right. Everyone, if you’ve visited CaiJin’s new website, noticed the changes and thought “Eh, the interface design is so pretty! Are there any business-oriented functionalities that are deliberated to improve the interaction between the customer and the design? What is the purpose of this redesign?”. I think, today, aside from introducing our website, let’s talk about some of the business value created here.

Isaac: Yes.

Hong Yau: Let’s first welcome Roy Ling. He is our front-end development engineer. Welcome, Roy.

Roy: Hello everyone.

Isaac: Next, we want to welcome Loo Jye Miin. She is a UI/UX designer. Hello Jye Miin, welcome!

Jye Miin: Hello, hello everyone.

Hong Yau: Lastly, we have Snappymob’s co-founder, Ting Hong Jye. Hong Jye, welcome to <Open Door to See Business>.

Alvin: Hello. Welcome, welcome. [Laughs]

Isaac: Alright. I usually refer to Hong Jye as Alvin.

Hong Yau: Alvin? Okay, we’ll use Alvin. Alright.

Alvin: Right. [Laughs]

Isaac: So let’s first have the three of you simply introduce each of your roles. We’ve already introduced you earlier, but what kinds of tasks are you responsible for behind the scenes? Please briefly share with us.

Alvin: Oh okay, maybe I’ll start first. I’m Alvin, the co-founder and head of business development. At Snappymob, my main responsibility is to bring in new business and strategize the business. So mainly, in general, I bring in business and source commercial strategies and business partners. This is my main responsibility. And of course, as the co-founder, I also manage other things from a company-wide perspective, such as people — our most important asset. So this is my brief responsibility.

Isaac: Right. You handle employees, basically. So today you came to supervise Jye Miin and Roy. [Laughs] Simply speaking, whether their company eats rice or porridge today, it’s up to him.

Alvin: Right.

Isaac: Next, let’s have Roy introduce himself.

Roy: Sure. Hi everyone, I’m Roy. I assume the role of Lead Frontend Developer at Snappymob and I’ve worked here for two years. Basically, my role is to oversee tasks relating to frontend development.

Isaac: Okay. How about Jye Miin?

Jye Miin: I am a UI/UX designer, and have been working at Snappymob for two years. My main responsibility is to work on web and app designs, liaise with engineers, and present demos of proposals to clients.

Hong Yau: Now we need to ask Roy — After working here for two years, what kind of company would you say Snappymob is? Can you introduce your company’s scope of services? After Roy answers, let’s have Alvin answer. 

Alvin: Alright.

Roy: At Snappymob, what I’ve noticed is that we really emphasize on quality. Whether we’re dealing with apps, websites, or design, we go through a lot of planning to ensure that our work matches what our clients want and need.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Yeah.

Roy: That’s basically it. As for our culture, we practice an open concept. Employees here are not classified by rank, so maybe the one sitting beside you would be your senior, or your boss. Whether you’re a senior or fresh graduate, you’re allowed to express your opinions. People will hear you out.

Isaac: Basically what you practice is more of an open environment. It sounds like your work environment is pretty similar to ours here at BFM.

Hong Yau: Yes.

Roy: Yes, yes.

Isaac: Alvin, is what Roy said all true? As the boss, do you have a different opinion?

All: [Laughs]

Alvin: Of course, what Roy said is accurate. At Snappymob, we have an open concept. Unlike many corporate workplaces that have many rooms — one for every senior and one for every manager — we don’t have that kind of hierarchy here. Everyone sits on the same seats. So once you enter the office, you can’t tell who’s senior, who’s manager, who’s GM, and who’s the technical lead. Our goal of doing this is to emphasize working as a team. At Snappymob, our team members are very important resources; they are the reason for Snappymob’s growth. 

Isaac, Hong Yau: Yes.

Alvin: Aside from a lean structure, we are also flexible. You can ask Roy and Jye Miin — over the past two years in this line of work — our work in software development and UI/UX design can involve hours of sitting in front of a computer without interacting left and right. So we provide a free flow of snacks, including childhood snacks and whatever would make our team members happy. 

Isaac: Actually, the cultural similarities between our companies could be a deciding factor in BFM and CaiJin’s choice to work with Snappymob on creating our website and app. Apart from similar cultures, Alvin, I’m curious about why you think Snappymob was chosen by BFM. What are your selling points and strengths?

Alvin: Okay. First of all, I think we share many similarities in terms of our goal — which is to deliver a good product. This is our mission — to deliver good products. We started working with BFM back in 2015 when we helped them launch an iOS and Android app that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the time, we were really proud of this because we were the first in Malaysia to launch a radio app that supports CarPlay. 

Isaac: Yup, that’s right.

Alvin: After that experience I felt like Snappymob and BFM shared the same passion. In everything we do, we must do well and meet expectations. We work hard and try our best to accommodate, so that our users can be happy and continue using the application.

Hong Yau: Understood. Let me ask Jye Miin and Roy this. Because in our WhatsApp group I often see Isaac interacting with these two. I’m a pretty chill guy, but Isaac seems to have a lot of demands.

Isaac: [Laughs]

Hong Yau: All sorts of strange demands — Can we use this model, can we make a Netflix-esque design, etc. I think Isaac is a little difficult.

All: [Laughs]

Hong Yau: What do you two think? Did you think “Ah, this Isaac is too demanding.” or “BFM is too demanding!”?

Jye Miin: No, I didn’t think you were too demanding. In fact you all gave me a lot of freedom to try and explore different designs which were all accepted. You also gave me a lot of unique suggestions like the one you just mentioned — a Netflix-inspired design, etc.

Hong Yau: Yes.

Jye Miin: We were really satisfied with the end result of the website in the end, and had a pleasant time working together. The biggest credit still goes to our software engineers because the entire process from design to development isn’t simple.

Roy: Yeah, we don’t think any demand was “strange”. Even if there was a strange demand, it would be a good learning opportunity.

Isaac: I think all three of you are speaking too politely.

All: [Laughs]

Isaac: I hoped for more honest answers. Tell us how difficult we were to work with!

Jye Miin: No, we’re telling the truth!

Alvin: Jye Miin wouldn’t lie. Jye Miin wouldn’t lie.

All: [Laughs]

Hong Yau: Basically what you mean is, he’s thoughtful? We’re complimenting you, Isaac, you have good ideas.

Isaac: Actually, if we consider a lot of my colleagues in the mix, I may not be difficult to work with at all. Maybe other people are the difficult ones. 

All: Eh? [Laughs]

Isaac: So why did we bring up the question about being “difficult”? It’s actually to lead to this: When a client is inquiring about working with you, is there anything in particular that you should pay extra attention to? Or, what would you expect your clients to prepare in terms of ideas before contacting you, to ensure that every party reaches their respective goals?

Alvin: Maybe I’ll take this question.

Isaac: Sure.

Alvin: We get a lot of inquiries. Many potential clients come to us about building apps. And of course, to make things productive, a lot of clients come prepared, having done their research and knowing what they want and what problems they’re facing. Some clients come to us and say, for example, “I want to launch a service.” or “I run a restaurant, and I want to make an online ordering service.”

Isaac: Yup.

Alvin: So at least they know what they want. But, competition is tight — there are already so many online ordering applications in the market, not to mention they would be competing with common marketplaces like GrabFood and Foodpanda. So before they come to us, they need to first know what makes them different from their competitors.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Yeah.

Alvin: Some clients also come to solve specific problems. Maybe they run a factory and have complex internal processes, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their day-to-day operational methods. We may not understand their problems fully, so it’s necessary for them to let us know. If they give us a detailed list of problems to solve, as a software development company, we can advise them on the most effective solutions available.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Yes.

Alvin: So this is what I expect clients to prepare.

Hong Yau: Understood. Jye Miin, what about you?

Jye Miin: From a design perspective, if our clients can show us the brand essence they want to convey or show us visual references, we would be able to reach our goals more easily.

Hong Yau: Yes. The main point is still to know what you want, right?

Jye Miin: Yes, correct.

Hong Yau: Otherwise if you give them a draft, and they reject it, you don’t know where exactly it’s wrong. Without an aim, it would be really difficult, wouldn’t it?

Jye Miin: Yup.

Hong Yau: Alright. Can we invite you to introduce a few case studies on some of the products that you’re most proud of?

Roy: We’ve worked on many types of projects. For example, BFM’s radio app, 988, Suria FM’s app, Coingecko, and many other multinational projects. The project that is my personal favorite would actually be Snappymob’s website.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Hmm.

Roy: Our website is sort of like a playground for our designers and developers. Our boss, Allen, very willingly lets us freely explore and express our imagination on this website. We can play around with animation, illustration, and all sorts of elements on our website.

Hong Yau: Actually, now that a lot of enterprises or businesses have a Facebook page and treat their Facebook page as their storefront; or, they have a social media presence, or use their Shopee page as their storefront. In this type of environment, is it still important for businesses to have their own website? I’d like to ask you that.

Jye Miin: I think it’s important to some extent, because a website can bring out a business’s brand or story, and allow customers to browse anywhere and anytime. It also leaves a better impression on customers. It’s another way of promoting your business.

Roy: Right, like Jye Miin said, it creates an online presence. When clients are interested in your services, they can visit your website directly and find the information they need. Especially in this era where we’re generally more reserved as a people, right?

Hong Yau: Yeah.

Roy: So if people are interested in your company or your products, they can independently visit and learn about you on your website. But I want to clarify my perspective. Some friends with businesses do say “Designing your own website and introducing your own services and products cost a lot of money. And it may not even bring in immediate revenue. I might as well spend that money elsewhere, like ads, etc?”

Hong Yau: Yes.

Roy: That’s correct. Having a website may not bring in immediate revenue, but it allows your customers to have access to you and get to know you anywhere and anytime. So, in the long run, having a website is very important to enterprises.

Isaac: I feel like it’s basically the concept of a storefront, right? 

Hong Yau: Right.

Isaac: And, earlier Roy has mentioned that cost is a concern, where many would say building a website is too costly or not worth the money. Let’s ask the boss about this. Alvin, is it really that expensive to build a website? Many SMEs may see digitalization and building a website as a scary venture that may cost a lot of money. Are there any ways for them to manage their expenditure? Or, does our government provide SMEs with any kind of monetary subsidy?

Alvin: When it comes to costing in software development, a lot of it depends on specifications and features. What are specifications and features? Let’s say I have a website, I need to identify the features that I want on it. Maybe I have a corporate website, but I want to add e-commerce, videos, live chats, etc. to it. All these are features. The more features you require, the more work and people are needed, and of course, the longer it takes to deliver the project.

Isaac: Right.

Alvin: So, our costing follows these scopes closely. There’s no specific cost because it heavily depends on your requirements. Many people don’t understand this. They would look at someone else’s website and say “I want my website to be the same as this competitor’s website. I want the same website.” 

Isaac, Hong Yau: Yes.

Alvin: But maybe Company A has been operating for five years, but you’re still a startup although you offer the same services. They may have added many features to their website over the past five years. So when it comes to managing costing, for startups, we should always tackle the essential features first, then only gradually add others. This is to manage expectations and also costing. Fortunately — Isaac you asked about funding and financing, right?

Isaac: Yup.

Alvin: Of course in today’s environment, there are many opportunities, where you can see many services and product companies receive funding from investors like venture capital firms or personal investors. And of course to get to these investors, you will need a very good business proposal plan. Investors will want to see what your plan is and how you’re going to monetize your products.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Hmm.

Alvin: Aside from investors, the government also provides grants, but they have many requirements too. I’m only familiar with MDEC, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation that offers these grants. So any company that wants to apply for this grant will have to prepare and submit a business proposal, and MDEC will review it and make their decision.

Hong Yau: Understood. As we’ve covered, MDEC does provide grants for SMEs to apply for the purpose of digitalization. There really are many opportunities like Alvin said. Alvin, I brought up a point earlier. You mentioned that costing depends on your apps’ functionalities and versatility. When it comes to versatility, today there are so many big tech companies making super apps that can be used for payments, hail rides, pay water bills, etc. From an apps perspective, could you say that super apps or apps with more functionalities are better in comparison to single-function apps? Between these two — single-function and multifunctional — is there a high or low end to quality? Or, will we eventually see multifunctional apps suppress single-function apps?

Roy: Right, Malaysia is in fact moving in the direction of super apps. As to whether multifunctional apps will suppress single-function apps, I can only say that there will be a little impact. But some apps won’t be impacted. For example, the WhatsApp that we’re familiar with is a single-function app. Compared to a super app, we would gravitate towards using WhatsApp for communication, right?

Hong Yau: Correct.

Roy: We wouldn’t use a super app, or such a complicated app, for a simple task such as chatting.

Hong Yau: Yes.

Roy: It’s like a bakery against a supermarket. If you’re only looking to buy a piece of bread, you wouldn’t go to a big supermarket but a bakery to get it. So it depends on what purpose the single-function app serves.

Isaac: We do have many ideas about the future. Recently, for example, Facebook’s metaverse. We had many internal discussions about it within our company — some were for it and some were against it. In the future, what will virtual reality look like for us? I think most likely, websites and apps will play a big part in it. So please share with us your thoughts on the most possible advancements in the future of websites and apps.

Roy: In the future of websites and apps, we can definitely expect more progressive web apps. These can be websites but they can also be mobile apps. So developers only need to write the code once for a dual-function result, and development can be sped up by a lot.

Isaac, Hong Yau: Mmm.

Isaac: Okay, so it’s like an integration of websites and apps.

Roy: That’s right.

Isaac: What about Jye Miin? What are your thoughts?

Jye Miin: I may not be able to give you the answer that you want, but after thinking about it for a while, I think the most possible advancement is that governments in each country will start implementing more legislation against tech companies.

Hong Yau: Mmm.

Jye Miin: Especially in regards to user data and privacy.

Isaac: Yes. This is actually very likely to happen.

Hong Yau: Right. Privacy is a huge deal around apps now. This should be a big trend in the future.

Isaac: Yes. Boss, Alvin, what are your thoughts about this matter — the future development of apps and websites.

Alvin: From my point of view, I think mobile apps will come out to be stronger than websites in the future. 

Isaac: Okay.

Alvin: If you look around you today, mobile apps are everywhere — whether you’re in a car, on the streets, or on Shopee Mall, people are on mobile phones. Ten years ago, most people were holding laptops, it was so ‘in’ at the time. 

Isaac: Yeah.

Alvin: But now, everything is on an app, on a handheld device. And mobile phones are getting more and more advanced. I mean, with new technologies, new cameras, upcoming 5G networks, and so on. So I feel, in the end, what we want now is simplicity. People are evolving to want a simpler lifestyle.

Isaac: Mmm.

Alvin: With these advancements, information travels faster. If you need anything, you can simply take it out from your pocket — whether it is to look at the news or check your notifications. So in my opinion, mobile apps still have a long way to go in the future. Maybe websites and computers will dwindle.

Isaac: Yes. It looks like after the launch of our new website, we’ll need to quickly put more thought into our app.

All: [Laughs]

Hong Yau: Okay, to end our interview — this question Isaac posed is especially good — because we flatter ourselves.

Isaac: That’s right. [Laughs]

Hong Yau: Let’s have three of our guests share: Why should everyone come and visit and explore CaiJin’s new website?

Isaac: Use one sentence to express where you think the strongpoints of CaiJin’s new website are. What’s so great about it? Please share. Let’s have Jye Miin start, ladies first.

Jye Miin: From a design standpoint, CaiJin’s branding is bold and vibrant, which gives off a really fresh and modern feel. From the icons down to the layout we’ve considered the user’s experience. So if you have the time, do check it out.

Isaac: Okay. Wow, Jye Miin introduced it so well. Roy, how about you?

Hong Yau: Something different. You can’t say the same thing.

Roy: Alright. From a developer’s perspective, we’ve spent a lot of time iterating especially in regards to the speed of the site. In a matter of seconds, the user can access the news. This is something that we’re really proud of. 

Isaac, Hong Yau: Mmm.

Hong Yau: It’s very smooth. It doesn’t lag.

Isaac: On that note, we’d like to thank our three guests for joining us today and completing this very special…. Does this count as an opening ceremony? Or-

Isaac, Hong Yau: Introduction ceremony.

All: [Laughs]

Isaac: Other people’s introduction ceremonies are all decked out with lights, costumes, etc. We’re very realistic here. We’re talking about how SMEs need to digitalize and have a store front in virtual reality.

All: [Laughs]

Isaac: Thank you three of you from Snappymob for being part of this programme. Thank you all.

Hong Yau: Thank you!

All: Thank you!

Alvin: I represent Snappymob in extending my thanks to BFM and CaiJin for this wonderful opportunity to work with you and create a website for BFM’s CaiJin. Thank you very much.

Hong Yau: Alright. All our listeners, if you’ve stayed up to this point, please do check out CaiJin and BFM’s new website.

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