CEO and Founder of QueQ Rungsun Promprasith talks to us about how an everyday nuisance that affects us all, blossomed into a queuing app that hopes to eradicate it.
“Walking back and forth to nearby shops while I waited, my mood would constantly sway between the boredom of sitting put and worrying about missing out on my turn,” remembers Rungsun Promprasith of the hours he spent waiting in an interminable queue at a bank in Bangkok, which led him to the following ambition: “Hand back waiting time to the people.” A sentiment shared by millions of city dwellers the world over, the search for a solution led him to launch QueQ in 2015, a smartphone app that books and keeps track of your spot in a queue. “Together with my tech team, we created something to solve the problem. We changed up the model multiple times to provide an alternative to unnecessary waiting time. There’s always going to be that queue. The difference QueQ makes is how you spend that time.”
Promprasith is aware that waiting for services is something of an intractable problem. “At the end of the day, an imbalance of demand and supply is the core of the problem when it comes to service times. We can’t fix that. What we can fix is allowing QueQ users to make the best possible use of that waiting time, decreasing the pointless waste of time sitting around doing nothing down to zero.” And how? By keeping track of where you are in the queue.
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“Users just download our app and get a queuing number from the service point. They can then spend their time doing just about anything until they get a notification from the app telling them that their turn is coming. You walk back to the venue, present your number and, hey, it’s your turn!” Promprasith adds that while the idea for QueQ came about from waiting times at the bank, it caters to various services. “Our main targets right now are telco outlets, government public service centres, and hospitals. We have specific solutions for each type of service.” QueQ also aims to become more than just a queuing app, but also a lifestyle app with the functionality to book appointments, make payments, and check for discounts and deals, intersecting at various pain points to maximise convenience for its users.
QueQ currently operates in Thailand with over four million users and launched in Malaysia in March 2019. “We have partnerships with 40 top restaurant brands with 500 branches in total, 30 hospitals, one bank, and many minor points of counter service. I think the core of why QueQ has been so popular in Southeast Asia across such a range of services is that we are, by nature, very spontaneous people,” says Promprasith. “Most of the time we arrange meetups without plans about what we’re going to do, which restaurant we’re going to dine at. Table bookings might come with special occasions, but, for the most part, people don’t want to plan ahead if they’re just hanging around with friends. Get there first. Make decisions later.”
Despite the appeal to the general population, Thailand has posed its own set of challenges for Promprasith’s entrepreneurial endeavours. “It’s great with regards to the quality of living and the existing talent pool, but founding a startup in Thailand can be tricky. One major disadvantage is that the Thai government simply don’t have enough policies to persuade new talents, startups and VC firms to move over here, particularly in comparison to the likes of Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.” Promprasith has therefore set his sights on implementing QueQ beyond Bangkok and their blossoming Malaysia base. “We have a three-year pipeline which involves expanding our company in Taiwan – where we’ll be using the Hive Taipei as our branch office – and Japan. We’re also planning for another country to set up operations in the fourth quarter of this year.” Promising to help citizens from Thailand to Japan maximise previously wasted time, what Promprasith has to offer these cities could be well worth the wait.