We've moved from 2022 to 2023, but for livestreaming e-commerce platform Mdada, it's gone from three to two.
In a surprise announcement on Instagram yesterday (Jan 2), actor-host Pornsak revealed that he has left Mdada. Pornsak is one of three famous personalities who co-founded Mdada in September 2020.
The other two are celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee and former Mediacorp actress Michelle Chia.
Pornsak, 40, wrote: "In the past two-and-half years, I got to know so many new supporters through my Japan, South Korea, and US trips. It has been so fruitful and I count my lucky stars for my good fortune.
"Come 2023, I have lofty dreams and ambitions. I want to be the ideal live-streamer — one with a personal touch, one whom everybody can entrust his/her purchases, and one who is there to entertain as well."
He also expressed interest in further honing his skills as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner and to continue spreading joy through his hosting gigs.
Speaking to AsiaOne today, Pornsak admitted that he left due to differences between himself and co-founders Michelle and Addy.
"I think the timing is just right for me. I've been around for about two-and-a-half years and during this period of time, I've worked with two very brilliant individuals — namely Addy and Michelle.
"There are a lot of things that we have in common, but we also have differences. But considering the generation gap, I don't think it came as a surprise."
Michelle is 47 while Addy is 51.
He explained that he decided to step away, after realising the vast differences in their points of view "especially when it came to corporate governance", to avoid souring the relationship.
Pornsak also shared that the "eureka moment" came during November when he was livestreaming in South Korea and "it was when I realised that our points of view on a lot of things are very different".
When asked if his decision meant that he left on good terms and all three are still friends, Pornsak replied: "I would assume that."
During his daily livestream yesterday (more on that later), Pornsak said that Mdada was under new management. However, he clarified with AsiaOne that it was due to internal personnel promotions instead of an external factor like an acquisition.
He said: "So when I stepped down as director of the company, Michelle Chia took up the directorship. And when I left as CEO, Addy Lee took up the position. So I guess they're familiar faces to all our viewers."
Pornsak also confirmed that actor Shane Pow has left Mdada but he's unsure whether another regular livestreamer Miss Mole is still with the company.
Despite the shift, he is confident that both Michelle and Addy "will continue to bring Mdada to greater heights".
Interestingly, fans have also left encouraging comments on his post with some going as far as saying that they were only supporting him despite delayed packages damaging their faith in the company.
What was also more interesting was that Pornsak replied to some of these comments.
When asked about delayed orders — after all, Mdada customers have made complaints — Pornsak said he was unable to speak on behalf of the entire company but confessed that he has run into some logistical issues when he was in South Korea.
He said it was an 'interesting' place because the causes for the delay were beyond his control.
He encountered a flood during his last trip to South Korea, sometime in July or August.
There was also a fire in the airport warehouse and a strike that the livestream producers encountered on their way back to Singapore; though it is unclear whether these incidents occurred on separate trips.
That said, he has assured his viewers for his livestreams that should they not get their packages delivered within the promised timeframe, they will honour a refund.
Still in the livestream game
And though Pornsak is bidding farewell to Mdada, it doesn't mean he's out of the game. No sir.
His personal branding and personal development has revolved around livestreaming since he started two years ago and "this is an arena I ought to be in for sure".
For now, he's building his presence with the online and live commerce community and he's starting with an hour-long daily livestream at 9pm — including weekends, yes.
He's aiming to cultivate "longevity and sustainability" as a livestreamer and "I think I have to really spend time to achieve that".
Besides heart-to-heart sharing sessions with his viewers, one can also expect food, travel and healthcare advice.
Every Thursday, his livestream turns into a free online TCM clinic that he hosts with his mentor Dr Chen Mei Er where viewers can get free consultations. In fact, it's been going on for the past 85 weeks.
"And I also think that education is an arm that I'm interested in developing — finally I can put my Masters in Education to good use."
Pornsak also uses the livestream to play games with his viewers where they get to vote on which country he visits and plan his itinerary. The voting can be done via his Telegram group chat if anyone is interested in doing so.
However, he's not going to completely spend his time online as well as he does practise TCM at his mentor's clinic. He's there during clinic hours every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday — except when he's travelling.
Of course, we only recommend going there if you have an actual ailment.
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