Secrets of Productivity: Chuan Wei Zhang, Co-founder and CEO, Lendor

by Anton D. Javier
Photo courtesy of Lendor
23 May 2022

We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day and how we use it is up to us. These individuals are no strangers to the hustle, juggling multiple businesses and passion projects, all while navigating ever-changing work norms, family life, and other challenges. In this feature, they let us in on how they spend their time so that they can work and play hard.

Co-Founder and CEO, Lendor

Tell us more about yourself – your role, the work that it entails, and what is keeping you busy at the moment.
My name is Wei Zhang, the co-founder and CEO of Lendor, which is Singapore’s first rental e-commerce platform that offers a wide library of various consumer goods – from electronics to games. Right now, I’m focusing my attention towards growing and scaling Lendor and hopefully, be profitable by the end of the year.

Describe your morning routine. What do you do to help set the tone for a productive day?
As an early bird, I sometimes wake up as early as 4:30am. I would usually do one of these three things

  • Go for a jog or exercise at a park near my place
  • Read a book borrowed from the library
  • Miniature painting, which is a hobby I’m currently pursuing

  • Being a family man and an entrepreneur – among other things – surely keeps you busy. Can you walk us through your typical work day?
    I will first send my 20-month-old son to pre-school. This only recently became part of my routine after he turned 18 months. At the moment, we only go to the office twice a week so I take advantage of this time to catch up with co-workers. Some might assume that we will pack in the meetings during these two days, but I try to spend time with our team in a meaningful way while discussing work. This could be over a game of pool or having lunch together while discussing work. I try to advocate a culture of meetings not looking like meetings, but more like catching up with a friend.

    Becoming a tech entrepreneur, in addition to navigating the pandemic, new rules of work with the rise of working from home, and fatherhood is definitely a challenge. Can you share some secrets to productivity that allowed you to still live life meaningfully, all while ensuring the success of Lendor?
    I think trying to fuse work and life together may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that has brought about a lot of productivity for me. For example, I would send my toddler to work and have a meeting right outside his pre-school. The commute back to the office is also a good time to do a few calls. This is opposed to drawing the line where you would only begin work when you reach the office.

    How do you rest and recharge during your free time?
    I play sports because it allows me to relieve stress. I am glad that the loosening of restrictions has enabled me to participate in football sessions with mates, some of whom I have not met for two years! Family staycations have also helped take my mind off work because as an entrepreneur working from home, you have this tendency of thinking about work even if it’s a weekend.

    Sleep more or sleep less – and why?
    Sleep more because I don’t have the privilege of sleeping more. I wish I could turn back time to my teenage years where I would easily clock in eight to nine hours of sleep.

    If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you use the extra hour?
    Spend time with my parents. They typically complain that I go straight to my work desk when I come home from the office!