From EM3 to Award-winning CEO

Raniel Lee with his co-founders Vignesh Manu (left) and Daryl Sim (right)  

Raniel Lee had never been academically inclined. In Primary 4, he scored zero for his Chinese examination. His PSLE score of 90 landed him in the Normal (Technical) stream. He also hung out with the wrong crowd and would often skip school. But all this changed when his form teacher took him aside for a heart to heart talk when he was 15.

She asked: “Do you really want to go on like this forever?” Her pep talk motivated him to change his ways. He started focussing on his studies and managed to enrol in the Info-Communications Technology course at the Institute of Technical Education. Raniel did well enough to continue his education at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), where he graduated with a Diploma in Business Informatics with a GPA of above 3.

It was clear to Raniel that he wanted a career in IT.

“I chose the Diploma in Business Informatics because I wanted to learn more about using IT to create a profitable business. I always had a passion for entrepreneurship and I was certain that the IT industry had a niche for me,” he said.

Determined to make a difference in the IT industry, Raniel took on entrepreneurship projects during his three years in NYP. He established a new media solutions business, InspireARTS, in 2012, and in the same year, conceptualised his second business, Jobook, a unique job-matching site, as a Final Year Project.

As he has worked part time before, Raniel knows what it is like for job agencies to take part of his hourly income as their service fee. His unique business model aims to eradicate that.

“We will always try to find the highest pay for the employees. If a company is paying $10/hr, the hire will get $10/hr, and we will negotiate a separate service fee with the company,” Raniel promises.

His lecturers at NYP gave him the motivation he needed to actualise his business plans.

“Mr Ong Teck Kiat really helped to mentor and guide me. He referred me to clients and helped to test my business ideas. Other lecturers also helped to critique my ideas and sharpen my business plan,” explained Raniel.

After National Service, Raniel and his co-founders, NYP alumni Daryl Sim and Vignesh Manu, applied to work at “NEST” (NYP Entrepreneurship Startup), a centralised incubator space that provides meeting rooms, work-stations, lockers, wireless connection, and expertise they can tap on.

Jobook was officially inaugurated in 2015. As the business grew, the three partners decided to rent their own private office from NYP so that they could better facilitate meetings with clients.

Today, Raniel leads a team of 10 and currently has about 150 companies ranging from start-ups to MNCs sign up as members of his Jobook site. Recently, he was also presented the IT Youth of the Year award by the Singapore Computer Society.

NYP has certainly given Raniel the support, knowledge and skills to succeed.

Because We Can

Watch him in action here.


For more Because We Can stories, please click here.