We had the chance to interview Marjorie Poon the co-founder of integrated communications agency (DIFY) and the talent management agency (EMERGE Esports).
SZ: Tell us about your background
Marjorie: I graduated from Temasek Polytechnic with a Diploma in Integrated Facility Management but I have not pursued a job in that faculty! I am currently pursuing my part-time Degree in Tourism and Events and Web Communication at Murdoch University. I started working right after graduating with a Diploma and have worked in mostly local start-ups. While I have always wanted to start my own business, I have never dreamt that I would ever own an integrated communications agency (DIFY) and a talent management agency (EMERGE Esports).
SZ: Tell us how did you come with your company/startup/product idea?
Marjorie: DIFY was founded when Roy and I discovered a gap in the industry for customised communication services for emerging markets such as Blockchain and Esports. It took time for non-blockchain media to understand what the market is all about and there was a demand for an agency who could provide services to alleviate communication pain points for the blockchain market. Hence, we decided to start our own business after garnering enough experience and know-how to address these needs.
As for EMERGE Esports, it was born during a time of crisis. Having worked with esports and gaming clients at DIFY, we again felt that there is an opportunity for us to address different needs in a different market. Coming from our integrated communications experience at DIFY, we feel that we could step in to provide another integrated approach that supports talents as well as clients at the same time.
SZ: Who is the person that inspired you to do what you do?
Marjorie: Roy Kek, my founding partner, has been a driving force for me ever since we started DIFY in 2018. No matter how tired he is, and the number of challenges being thrown at us, he is always relentless and never gives up. He is someone who inspires me to consistently outdo myself and achieve bigger milestones that I never knew I could.
SZ: How is your company/startup/product different from competitors?
Marjorie: DIFY: he approach we have for servicing clients sets us apart the most from our competitors. From what our clients have commented and mentioned in review sessions, we have repeatedly receive commends for going the extra mile and that we always pursue the best results for our clients. We believe in doing the best we can for each client because their success is our story to tell.
EMERGE Esports: EMERGE Esports is really at a unique position because the mention of “esports” would lead people to think of competitive gaming right away. While we do manage competitive teams, what differentiates us is that we also manages other talents in the esports industry; such as streamers, hosts, cosplayers and more. These talents often do not have a proper manager or an agency that provides them with the support they need and we hope to assist all of our competitive players and talents to maximise their potential and open doors for them.
SZ: What is the business model of your company/startup?
Marjorie: DIFY: There are 3 main pillars of services under DIFY: Public Relations, Digital Solutions and Activations. From product/company launches, to managing business socials accounts, to managing both online and offline events, our business lies in getting the word out for our clients.
EMERGE Esports: The business model of EMERGE is rather straightforward; it lies in mostly sponsorships and advertising.
SZ: How do you come over the challenges you face on a daily basis?
Marjorie: Talking it out always helps. I tend to get in my own head easily and even a few minutes of quick discussion with my partners can help to clear my head. They often offer me different perspectives that I wouldn’t be able to see on my own too so it greatly helps me in facing my challenges with the right attitude.
SZ: What is the most difficult decision you have to make in your business?
Marjorie: The hardest decision come this year when Covid-19 struck and we had to announce to the team that there will be temporary salary deductions. We had a one-to-one session with every employee after the announcement was made and after we finished all the sessions, I remember sitting in silence with my partners for a long while. It was the hardest decision to make and I don’t think any other decisions will be as tough as this for a long while.
SZ: What is your advice to the new entrepreneurs ?
Marjorie: Setbacks and failures don’t end your business, giving up does. As an entrepreneur, there will be many failures and many downfalls, not everything is a bed of roses! You just have to keep trying even if you fail; keep your goal in mind and work towards that!
SZ: Anything you like to add?
Marjorie: DIFY and EMERGE Esports is always open to exploring new opportunities and supporting the right cause, so feel free to reach out if you think there’s a way to work together!