Urban populations are increasing rapidly in Thailand. The largest growth is happening in Bangkok where the number of condominiums located near public transportation is also on the rise. This is stimulating a higher demand for new furniture and appliances, yet there is currently no system in place to effectively recycle old and bulky items. Due to this, local waste is growing exponentially.
EZD aims to create the first recycling service in Thailand specifically for large and unwieldy home appliances and furniture. This will reduce the waste produced by the rapid population growth taking place in urban environments. EZD’s business model aims to benefit both the environment and society by attracting users through its simplicity and accessibility.
How Den Lertchanyarak’s Scrappy, Can-Do Attitude Positions EZD for Big Impact
Ask any Moon Mate to describe EZD’s EIR, Den, and the word that comes up time and again is scrappy. To some, this word might not mean much, but for a budding entrepreneur, it means everything. Being “scrappy” in the startup world means being quick on your feet and moving forward with a plan even if all the pieces aren’t in place yet, or the circumstances aren’t as ideal as one had predicted. As an EIR, Den is both determined and a joy to be around. His can-do attitude and hunger to learn are what make Den stand out as an entrepreneur.
Den was one of the few EIRs who pitched to Moon during the pandemic and has since been building his venture with Moon remotely. “Before I pitched last year, I was inspired by all the extra stuff in my space. While stuck inside, I spent months staring at all of the things I wanted to get rid of. I figured other people were imagining how to get rid of their furniture too because here we were spending all this extra time surrounded by only our stuff during lockdown and thinking “Oh, I could use a new one. But first, how do I get rid of the old things for new?”
Constraints often breed innovation. For Den, the challenges of government lockdowns due to a pandemic sparked inspiration for what would become his first venture with Moon: EZD, a simple and accessible recycling service in Thailand for large and unwieldy home appliances and furniture.
To think it’s impossible to build and run a venture 100% remotely, all one has to do is see what Den has accomplished since the moment he joined Moon. Not only is Den’s entire team remote but everyone is working on entirely different time zones. While this has imposed some challenges on team brainstorms and meeting times, it hasn’t stopped Den from pushing EZD forward.
“Nothing is ever easy. You can not give up easily. Instead you have to take a deep breath, step outside your comfort zone a bit and expand your thinking. There is always going to be some way out for you. Don’t give up easily. Just be patient, ask your Moon Mate for everything. There are a lot of experts and good ideas happening here at Moon.”
“To find the right answers, I ask a lot of questions and try to find them myself. They might not be the right questions but the answers are everywhere if you keep asking and testing. At least you’ll find some answers. Ted Ko once told me, “If you fail you learn a lot more from the failures, then you learn from your successes.” Keep asking and keep seeking answers. Why doesn’t it work? How do we adjust it? That’s what I do to keep pushing my venture forward.”
Prior to joining Moon on October 1, 2020, Den worked in the Fashion & Textile Business in Mitsui & Co. “Before I joined Moon I was the person receiving orders from my manager but now I have to think entirely on my own. This venture is new, no one has done it before so I have to decide to go my own way. Being an entrepreneur is emotional. It’s not just being the CEO where you can order people to do things but as an entrepreneur you also have to convince all sorts of people to buy into your idea. If they buy your concept then they’ll support you but if not, you have to find another way to convince them to buy in. I always think about the difference between an entrepreneur and CEO. As an entrepreneur you are doing all of the roles, from the very beginning.”
EZD has since launched their MVP landing page and received over 400 new users visiting the EZD website. “I have learned so many new things since joining Moon! How to use Google forms and create a Google website. I never knew that before. I knew about building a website and Survey Monkey but when I joined Moon we had limited time and resources. We wanted to go with a live website right away but we couldn’t do this because of the time commitment and the amount of people who would need to be involved. My team and I had to think about what we could build with what we had. We found out you can use Google slides as a quick website front! I had asked a designer to help with the design of the slides in Figma and I was able to import those designs into Google slides to turn them into a quick website. If someone wants to use the mobile version, they can easily scan the QR code on the site which takes you directly to the Google form signup.”
There’s no shortage of drive within Den leading EZD, in fact when asked about what’s next for EZD his response was candid. “Maybe in the next ten years, we can go to the stock market. [chuckles] Right now I am doing a lot of pitching and trying to convince stakeholders that I need another three months to prove that EZD is for society and the community. I want to make a mobile booking application using existing social networks such as LINE. You don’t even need to go to the website when you’re using the LINE application. You can scan the QR code on our flyers which will immediately take you to the LINE group. From there, people can schedule pickups, donations, and retrieve items.”
Den’s excitement to keep pushing his venture forward is hard to beat. If he doesn’t get the answer he wants, he seems to always find a way with a smile on his face. The entrepreneur journey is never a straight line but for Den, he somehow manages to stay optimistic with all the challenges he’s faced. “You have to have passion and if possible as much knowledge as possible. Even if you don’t have the knowledge right away, you can learn and start to understand what you’ll need. You have to always try to find the knowledge for yourself and keep going. Maybe I don’t have good advice to give others and it’s more to remind myself to keep going. Being an entrepreneur is definitely beyond my comfort zone, hence why I am not sleeping very well. [chuckles] It’s a little bit beyond my comfort zone but I know I can always keep going.”
“Nothing is ever easy. You can not give up easily. Instead you have to take a deep breath, step outside your comfort zone a bit and expand your thinking. There is always going to be some way out for you. Don’t give up easily.”
Tanongdej (Den) Lertchanyarak
Fashion & Textile Business Division Mitsui & Co., (Thailand) Ltd.
Hoan Pham Pei Han Lim Ted Ko