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Koh Jin Wei, 28, SUSS Business Analytics Student

Koh Jin Wei
Jin wei representing SUSS at The Istana's 2020 New Year Reception together with SUSS President Prof Cheong Hee Kiat. [Photo: Koh Jin Wei]


Democratising communications, one voice-to-text transcription at a time


Jin Wei is working towards making voice-to-text communications technology cheap, reliable and affordable throughout South-East Asia. Embracing the challenges that come with entrepreneurship, he is the co-founder of Speac Co, which provides automatic transcription tools to help companies raise their productivity.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a third-year SUSS Business Analytics student and co-founder of Speac Co, a start-up which has developed an automatic transcription collaboration software for enterprises.

Why did you decide to pursue your course at SUSS?

I have always been intrigued by stats and numbers. Therefore, back in 2017, whilst browsing through the university's course offering page, I felt that SUSS' Business Analytics programme would be able to fulfil my ambition and provide me with the knowledge that I needed to build my future career.

How did you get into entrepreneurship?

My team and I came across a gap in the market for transcription and translation services. We found that clients were being charged a lot for these services, and with many of the existing service providers coming from overseas, they were more focused mainly on serving markets like the US and Europe. We wanted to develop a lower-priced option and localise for the Southeast Asia market.

We commercialised our product in June 2019 and began offering our speech-to-text software to clients. The use cases for our software are mainly in the medical and legal sectors as well as for customer surveys. For example, companies can use our software to analyse conversations with their customers. The transcripts obtained from our software allow these companies to analyse these texts to make adjustments to the company's strategy, or to target sales.

Initially, we found that some potential clients tended towards being more traditional and conservative, and were not sure how technology can help enhance their business. We worked with them to integrate the software into their business operations and showed them how it could help raise productivity.

Since young, I've loved to play computer games, clearing these games level by level, with each stage getting more difficult than the last. I've realised that entrepreneurship can be quite similar - each stage of the process being more difficult than the last.

What goals are you working towards?

We want to eventually become a unicorn. Not based on dollars but based on the minutes we are going to transcribe for all communications. We want to make communication more accessible to everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or disability. The first step towards this, we think, is to maximise the value in all digital files. We want to make the creation of digital voice as easy and ubiquitous as text. This will bridge all sorts of communication barriers.

We are taking the current business climate as a chance to re-evaluate and strengthen our business model in a way that the company is better positioned for future challenges.

We aim to establish ourselves as one of the leading speech-to-text service providers in Southeast Asia, and hope to be able to expand into more countries across the region, in addition to our current coverage of Singapore and Malaysia.

How has your SUSS experience shaped you and helped you pursue your passion?

During my time at SUSS, I had the opportunity to visit Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, as part of the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme. This was an eye-opening experience for me and provided amazing exposure to China as well as to Alibaba. It was also a great opportunity to connect with more people and learn more about Alibaba's story. The experience contributed greatly to my vision of what entrepreneurship could be. 


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