A day in the life of the co-founder of JustCo, a Singapore startup that’s now Southeast Asia’s largest co-working space provider

Lu Liu is a working mother of two young children.
JustCo Facebook

Lu Liu is the co-founder and chief operating officer of JustCo, a Singapore-based premium co-working space provider that is now Southeast Asia’s largest.

Estimated to be worth US$200 million in 2017, JustCo will be in the prime areas of at least seven cities by the end of 2019. Business Insider understands this valuation has now increased with subsequent rounds of funding.

As COO, part of Liu’s duties is to oversee the customer experience and operational matters of JustCo centres across the region.

Liu, who is in her 40s, co-founded the business with her husband Kong Wan Sing, who is CEO. She is also a mother of two young girls aged six and eight.

COO of JustCo Lu Liu co-founded the company with her husband, Kong Wan Sing, who acts as CEO.
JustCo

Read also: The Singaporean couple behind US$200 million JustCo say this is how they built SEA’s largest co-working space provider without breaking up

The former associate finance manager at Proctor & Gamble was also previously with the Litigation Advisory Services (LAS) sector at Ernst & Young (E&Y) in New York.

A Certified Public Accountant, she also has a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School, and a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors and double majors of Finance and Accounting from the Stern Business School.

Here’s how a typical day in her life unfolds:


8am

Liu starts her day at 8am by catching up on the news. She usually has yoghurt and fruits for breakfast, and when she has the time, she’ll make a cup of tea too.

“This gives me good energy to start the day, and this way I get my daily quota of fruit taken care of first thing in the morning,” she says.

Justco/Lu Liu

9am

With no formal dress code at JustCo, Liu wears a pair of jeans to work. “That is definitely one great perk of a co-working environment, where we have such a variety of members that our own dress code is fairly casual,” she says.

She kickstarts her day by visiting a JustCo space at the UIC Building on Robinson Road to conduct a “health check”, which she says she does regularly.

During these checks, which happen monthy or quarterly, Liu catches up with the members and ensures the facilities and amenities are well maintained.

Justco/Lu Liu

She also has a discussion with the community team on members’ issues and requests.

“I would have been already briefed by email on most issues/requests, but those brought up during health checks would require more face-to-face discussion,” she says.

If time permits, she will also arrange for meetings with some of these members, or attend their events. She usually attends one to three events a month, depending on her travel schedule.

On this day, she also attends an event organised by JustCo and TRIVE Labs, a Singapore-based Venture Capital firm. JustCo is partnering TRIVE Labs, by providing the firm’s qualified startup entrepreneurs complimentary hot-desking access at the JustCo Lab in Marina Square.

Justco/Lu Liu

12pm

Liu then has lunch while clearing her emails and reviewing reports. She prefers to eat “something quick and light for lunch”, and sometimes also has lunch meetings with JustCo Executive Committee members and/or business associates.

Justco/Lu Liu

1pm 

After lunch, Liu gets ready for even more meetings.

Liu says she has around five to 10 meetings every day, but some are just short discussions. “I try to keep most meetings quick and productive,” she adds.

On this day, Liu chairs a meeting with her centre of excellence team.

Besides overseeing the daily operations of JustCo centres, Liu is also responsible for building “strong teams on ground” that can champion the JustCo brand and build relationships with members. This particular meeting is on member relations and leadership training.

Justco/Lu Liu

2pm

She then attends a weekly management meeting with the C-suite team, regional country managers and heads of department.

Apart from customer experience, Liu is also in charge of discussions for the progress of JustCo’s expansion in various cities, including Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Melbourne and Sydney.

Justco/Lu Liu

4pm

Her next meeting is with the marketing, innovation and partnerships (MIP) department, to review progress of on-going campaigns, branding/digital activities, technology innovation, events, strategic partnerships and more.

Justco/Lu Liu

5pm to 6pm

After that, she attends regular meet-ups with members to hear their feedback.

Justco/Lu Liu

6pm

Towards the end of the day, she returns back to her desk to respond to more emails, sign documents, provide approvals, and hold ad-hoc discussions with department heads.

She tries to head home to have dinner with her family by 7pm.

Justco/Lu Liu

Liu says she gets home via public transport, and spends time after dinner playing and doing activities with her daughters.

Justco/Lu Liu

8:30pm

For work-life balance, Liu tries to exercise as much as she can in the work week. She either hits the gym or spends an hour swimming and relaxing at the pool, to recharge and wind down from the busy day.

Liu says she tries to exercise three times a week, but admits that on some weeks, she only gets to do one session.

Justco/Lu Liu

9:30pm

After the downtime, she continues to clear more emails to prepare herself “for what is required in the remaining week”.

She then goes to bed at around 11pm.

Justco/Lu Liu