For helping farmers and small businesses reboot—and boost their productivity
Yu-Han Hsu believes the workforce of the future will contain two types of people: “those who can use AI tools and those who can build AI tools.” To make sure no one gets left behind in the tech transformation, she launched Eslitec in 2018. “Our vision is to be the bridge for farmers and small businesses to use technology,” she says. “We have to teach people to make good use of AI.”
The inspiration for the startup emerged when Hsu was a software project manager at Advantech and working on a project for Taiwan’s Soil and Water Conservation Bureau. She saw firsthand how the country’s farmers and microbusiness owners lacked awareness about digital tools that could help their operations thrive.
By 2021, Eslitec was participating in a government program that helps companies integrate cloud-based tools to accelerate economic growth. By coaching hundreds of companies on implementing tools such as apps and chatbots, the Eslitec team was able to help them reduce costs, increase revenues, boost efficiencies and expand beyond their home turf.
But there were challenges. “Most small and micro enterprises have one person with multiple roles, so it’s even more difficult to cooperate and execute projects,” she says. By leaning into agile sprints, Hsu was able to keep projects moving—and get the job done.
Since joining the government’s digital transformation program, Hsu and her startup have helped more than 500 small and medium-sized businesses improve their operations. But Hsu also measures impact through the feedback she receives.
“A sincere thank-you makes us feel that all our efforts are worthwhile and that we’re needed by the market,” she says. “This is the greatest motivation for us to continue to work hard.”
Q&A: Yu-Han Hsu on delivering under pressure, Wei Zheng’s decisiveness and her moonshot project
What’s your project management superpower?
Meeting deadlines when there’s limited time and resources. Pressure endows people with unlimited superpowers. Project managers must think of countless methods and strategies to overcome challenges.
What famous person would you want to recruit for your team?
Wei Zheng was a Chinese statesman and historian during the Tang Dynasty and famous for his direct remonstrance. It’s easy to have blind spots in decision-making due to selfishness, desire, obsession or narrow thinking. With outspoken talents like Wei Zheng joining the team, we could make judgments and decisions more objectively and independently.
What moonshot project would you most like to work on?
Nuclear fusion. The technology originated from the stars and is a remarkable manifestation of scientific thinking. Joining a nuclear fusion project would be a chance to work toward sustainable energy development and environmental protection—striving to create a better future.