Have you heard of it? Wateroam has completed its 8-year journey on August 2022. To celebrate the company’s accomplishments thus far, I sit down with Wateroam’s co-founder and CEO, David Pong to learn about the company’s major milestones and proudest moments.
Image: David Pong, Co-founder and CEO of Wateroam
1. Talk to us about your favorite “first” of Wateroam.
Image: Wateroam's first prototype deployed for Flood Relief in Kelantan, Malaysia (2014/2015)
David: Our first major product deployment saw the team being activated on the evening of New Year’s Eve in 2014. A flood had just happened in Malaysia and a partner NGO was about to head over to provide urgent aid relief the very next day. Our team readily dropped our new year’s eve plans, rushed down to the logistics centre, provided the NGO with our filters and conducted product training. By the time we completed the training late at night, we had a countdown together into the new year and marked a new beginning for Wateroam’s journey of impacting the world through clean water!
2. What did Wateroam’s first water filter look like? Describe the product development journey from the first launch to the most recent launch.
3. Who, according to you, is the backbone of Wateroam?
Image: Family, the Backbone of Wateroam
David: This definitely goes to the collective Wateroam family of current team members, former team members, interns and mentors. Wateroam would not have been possible without each and everyone of your contribution. All of you have seen us through the ups and downs and have never failed to encourage us through it. You’ve devoted your time and skills to making the impact on the ground a reality. We look forward to catching up with you in our next gathering.
4. Walk us through your vision of where you see the company in the next 8 years.
David: The Wateroam team will continue to faithfully pursue our vision of building a world without prolonged thirst. There remains 2 billion people in the world without access to safely managed drinking water at home. We will be expanding our suite of solutions and researching into technologies that can accelerate the world’s effort in providing equal access to clean drinking water for all.
5. What are some of the major milestones of Wateroam?
6. What’s one thing you miss the most when looking back at the beginnings of your career at Wateroam?
Image: Wateroam Communities in Sabah enjoying clean water
David: In our early years of Wateroam, we didn’t have an office yet so we worked at any table we could find at the National University of Singapore (NUS). I remember fondly about how we would all squeeze into one table in the food court to conduct our team meetings amidst the aroma of food that lingered around us. We’ve definitely missed being on campus and working alongside hardworking NUS students!
7. If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you would give yourself 8 years ago?
Image: David living with villagers in Malaysia
David: The journey of social entrepreneurship is not always an easy ride but perseverance and teamwork will be key to overcoming the obstacles. As a Nigerian writer, Ifeanyi, once said, “Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” Hence, don’t underestimate a group of common people coming together in commitment to tackle a difficult problem!
8. Do you have any message for the team on this wonderful occasion?
Support our efforts with a contribution of any size
Your support helps Wateroam deliver our solutions to children without access to clean water around the world. Your contribution, however big or small, is extremely valuable and gives life to communities all around the world. Wateroam is currently providing water filters to refugees and IDPs in Myanmar affected by the civil conflict.
If you would like to join David on his mission to end prolonged thirst, please offer your support here!