Building through Startup Chaos with Tiwa York, Kaidee - Sarah Chen
Impact Investing, Impact Washing, Investment, Philanthropy
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“Foreigners may misunderstand in that they believe silence is either ‘they don’t know’ or ‘they’re idiots’. Actually it turns out to be, they’re just not willing to say it to you directly. I’m not going to tell you directly because that’s disrespectful, but I’m going to tell you in my way and you better listen to it. And I think a lot of of international companies that come into the market don’t get this topic. They don’t understand how to navigate and understand that the, the language and the culture”

Tiwa York was brought in by the likes of Naspers and Tencent to clean up their e-commerce portfolio in Thailand; which resulted in the birth of Kaidee, Thailand`s largest C2C marketplace, at its peak serving over 35M users who list close to 10M products across 250+ categories from automotive to property for sales every year. Tune in to this fascinating conversation where we dive into why Tiwa tanked the title “CEO” for “Head Coach” to the challenges of bridging cultures in leading high-performing teams.



– Bridging cultures from West to East
– Incentivizing startup teams: how to make that work
– The intricacies of doing business in fragmented Southeast Asia




Tiwa York is an active angel investor and was the Founder and Head Coach of Kaidee (a.k.a CEO), Thailand’s largest C2C (Customer to Customer) marketplace. Kaidee, started in 2011 by Tiwa, has now become a C2C online marketplace serving over 30M users who list close to 10M products across 250+ categories from automotive to property for sales every year. Kaidee was recently acquired by Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), a Dubai-based bespoke online classified solutions provider, as part of its strategy to expand its footprint.

Tiwa has been recognized for his leadership and efforts to build the team and culture at Kaidee. He currently is a board member at Seven Peaks Software, Seekster, Skootar, and Hubba. Prior to his current role, he worked in digital advertising with leadership roles in Admax Network and Omnicom Media Group.

We as businesses spend 40, 50, 60 hours a week, 70 hours a week playing on the field, but never preparing for it. If I actually behave the way we as businesses behave, on the field, it would never work. And here’s the example. I’m the striker. My job is to kick the ball towards net. I wait for the mid-fielder to send me the ball, and when it’s sent to me, I will kick it towards the goal. Now if I behave the way we do in business, I say, I just got my job done. I kicked it towards the goal. I’m gonna stand here and wait until the mid-fielder sends me the ball again. Yeah. Would that team ever win? Hell no.”


― Tiwa York, Angel Investor & Former Head Coach/CEO, Kaidee