LASTMILE WORKS (CAMBODIA) Co., Ltd.
Representative Director and CEO Mr. Yu Kobayashi
– First, Can you tell us what kind of services does LASTMILE WORKS provide?
Our main service is to make VR content for real estate agencies in Japan and South-East Asia. To be more specific, we produce CG buildings including their interior decoration so that you can see what the building will look like when the construction is done. You see our CG buildings through a VR headset like Oculus Rift. Because we use VR, it’s easier to have 3D images than sketches or models.
– Cambodia is booming with construction in recent years so it should be a very good service for both real estate agencies and buyers. I think VR is a new technology, what aspect of VR interests you the most?
From the foundation of the company to this day, we have this social impact-ish concept that I want to offer more opportunities to Cambodian people rather than how we add our value to our clients. So it’s our idea that just getting an outsourcing project from Japan and making them work on it can’t help them learn. I started VR because I thought that if we create something high value-added, it could help them improve and leads to a better carrier in the future. I chose the real estate business because Cambodia’s been receiving a lot of investment in the real estate section and I thought my staff would be able be needed if they can be familiar with the real estate business.
– I understand that you wanted to challenge something new but didn’t you think it was risky to teach VR production to your staff from scratch when there were no other companies that make VR content?
I think it is a sort of characteristic thing in developing countries but technologies can develop so rapidly in Cambodia that it sometimes skips the fixed order. For example, Taxi apps like Uber are very popular here but usually, they become popular after taxi becomes common enough. Speaking of cellphones, Cambodia skipped the process of landlines becoming common and cellphones became popular instead. This kind of thing can happen here so I didn’t think it was risky to start VR.
– Where do you set the mission of LASTMILE WORKS?
As I said first, we have a social impact-ish concept of how we can train our staff but VR itself is very deep and interesting to me. As I worked closely, I realized that there are some problems we have to think about in the real estate industry such as that information is not so clear and sales method is so dependent on individuals. Real estate is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase but the reality is buyers are forced to make up their minds without enough information. I think that is what the real estate industry has to solve.
LASTMILE WORKS has two missions, one social impact-ish mission, and one technology-ish mission. At the moment I think both are equally important. If you want to master VR, it’s better to be in Japan. If you focus only on making Cambodian people happier, NGOs can do it. When you want to make a new value from Cambodia, sometimes you have to put your staff under pressure. But it’s inevitable when you want to make something world-class.
– What do you think about your goal ahead of these missions?
I have to make a successful case so that I can show our staff that they can make a world-class service even from Cambodia. It’s usually said that being listed on the stock market is not the goal but the start. However, we set it as one of our goals to list our Japanese subsidiary in the stock market there. There is some staff who don’t understand what it means so we set another goal, which is to become the no.1 tech company in Cambodia. What can make us the no.1 tech company in Cambodia is not clear so we’ll aim to hire staff more than any other tech company in Cambodia for the time being. It’d be great if we can have 100 staff within this year.