Ramen To Riches
Ramen To Riches
Jul 21, 2020
Singaporean PR Raised $55 Million With The Most Innovative Way Of Making Revenue
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In this episode, hear how an Iranian-born Swede, now a Singaporean PR, achieved the near-impossible by raising $55 million dollars for his startup that aims to make buildings more energy-efficient, using technology to save clients money on their energy bills and on top of that, earn his startup that he co-founded some serious buck along the way. Sound like a boring episode about science and climate change? Give this one a chance, today’s guest is a captivating and driven public speaker.

UPDATE: A month after this episode aired, Poyan had the privilege of being included in The Peak Power List 2018.

 “The idea was that clients could achieve 20 to 30 per cent energy savings with zero upfront cost. BBP would get paid a portion of its clients’ savings only if its solution worked… Investors have caught on. BBP recently raised $45 million for regional expansion. It is currently in eight territories, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia. So far this year, it has secured $18 million worth of contracts.” – Germaine Cheong, The Peak Magazine.

At some point, you have to ask yourself, why be an entrepreneur? Well, you can’t deny the prospect of making a lot of money. You read about that all the time, but what’s even more impressive are entrepreneurs who start with a mission to help our world, and then build a successful company based around that. On top of that, if they can secure $18 million in contracts, then his business has been able to achieve the near-impossible trifecta of earning serious buck, creating a competitive technology that can be exported internationally and help the environment. I hate the over-usage of the phrase ‘win-win’ in the startup lexicon, especially when used in relation to the environment but…has he really achieved the sacred ‘win-win’ scenario? 

Hear how a Stanford MBA grad built his career at Unilever and Mckinsey, then ditched the corporate path to become an entrepreneur on a crusade to help the environment with a very unique business model. A business model where he would pay all the costs to install his technology and only be paid based on the money his clients would save on their energy bill. No upfront payment and he would carry all the risk. Introducing Poyan Rajamand, the Co-Founder of Barghest Building Performance (BBP), he’s not only raised a series B but earned his company awards and partnerships with the Singapore Government.

Check out his website at www.bbp.sg. The stakes were clearly against him. Firstly, it’s hard to find money from investors or clients in sustainability, even though there’s a lot of positive recognition of the field, there’s inertia from clients who are pushing back on changing their ways. Secondly, his business model had to prove to clients his tech could reduce their bills before he got paid, meaning he had no room for error and he was carrying all the risk that his tech would pay off. That takes some backbone. And thirdly, he would have had a much more stable career path as a management consultant. You have to respect anyone who turns down attractive career prospects to roll the dice with entrepreneurship while saving the environment along the way. He and his co-founders have raised 55 million dollars, that’s impressive for a startup focused on energy efficiency.

Thanks for listening! The greatest compliment you can give me is to recommend this podcast to colleagues, family and friends. Share a comment through email or Linkedin and let me know what you think, I’m constantly trying to improve the content in this podcast for you. 

I’m also looking for my next tv show after I recently hosted my last tv show on Channel NewsAsia about the latest business trends in Asia. In this show, I flew to Japan to uncover the e-sports industry to dive deep into the Esports industry. I learned a lot about myself and about how to host a show. You can check it out here, it’s an hour-long and we met with a lot of interesting characters along the way. I’d love to know what you think.

Watch the latest TV show in Japan with Channel NewsAsia before COVID-19 hit.

More about Barghest Building Performance (BBP):

Many companies in the Energy Efficiency space offer advice on how to improve energy efficiency or sell a new piece of equipment that helps customers save energy. Barghest Building Performance do neither. They offer a solution that helps buildings operate their existing equipment better and thereby achieve long term measurable and sustainable energy saving. Their solution is always paid through the savings they achieve over the long term, which aligns their incentive with that of their clients. If their clients don’t achieve any energy savings, they don’t get paid.

Barghest Building Performance focuses on Air Conditioning Systems since its the most energy-intensive system in a building, but can offer a range of other energy efficiency-related services.

If you liked this episode, check out our most popular interview from season 1 with the co-founder of SGAG and MGAG, Karl Mak.

This podcast was originally published on 2018-10-12, as recording has paused due to COVID-19.

 

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