One day Do Quoc Chung, a 2008 graduate from RMIT’s Hanoi City campus, received a set of 30 year-old pictures from one of his cousins and wondered what would happen to his digital photos in the future.
“Most of our photos are never printed out, and once our hard drive or phone is lost, they’re gone forever,” said Mr Chung, who has a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He spoke to a friend who owns a wedding picture printing studio, who explained that business was hurting because nobody prints from personal digital cameras or smartphones.
Mr Chung then came up with Camos, an instant digital printing service that lets users immediately print pictures to share with friends and family. Through kiosks set up at malls, events and other locations, individuals can connect their device and quickly print photos from their camera roll or Instagram account.
Mr Chung’s background, however, hadn’t fully prepared him for the challenges of creating a startup.
“I talked to many people who are the founders of startups and who were already funded,” he said. “I found that living a startup life is not easy since you get rid of a high-paying job to live your dream – a combination of tech startup and a new marketing tool, where both online and offline experiences come together.”
Mr Chung had a decade of marketing experience, most recently at Vinpearl Land, but no startup expertise. He said that putting a team together was the most difficult step, as the people he sought to cooperate with already had high-ranking jobs at major businesses.
“Then, I had difficulties with technology and manufacturing since we don’t have a lot of choices in Vietnam when it comes to assembling parts,” he said.
Nonetheless, Camos went from concept to launch in just 45 days, whereas most software startups expect to take at least 90 days. The company officially launched on 27 October of last year, and has already partnered with global corporations such as Budweiser, Philip Morris, BMW, and JW Marriott.
Given the company’s rapid progress, it should come as no surprise that Mr Chung is dreaming big.
“We expect to go global and make people think of Camos as a concept that allows instant photo printing from smartphones with the theme ‘a whole new branding solution’,” he said. “Already, Vietnamese people think this way.”
Story: Michael Tatarski