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123RF's Stephanie Sitt: Picture Perfect Photo Bank

123RF's Stephanie Sitt: Picture Perfect Photo Bank
123RF’s Stephanie Sitt: Picture Perfect Photo Bank

The difference a good picture can make - going beyond painting a thousand words, a well-placed image will add emotion and motivation to just about anything; from school projects to Power Point presentations, and all the way up to a specifically targeted marketing communiqué.

It is this very notion that formed the cornerstone of 123RF, an online image bank that prides itself for “Millions of Stock Photos, Vectors, Video Clips and Music Files at Surprisingly Low Prices”.

Whilst the brand name may not be as familiar as mega players like Shutterstock, Getty Images and AP Images, this Malaysian outfit is regarded as one of the industry’s top ten.

According to Stephanie, who co-founded the company 17 years ago with her now-husband-then-boyfriend Andy, keeping the setup lean was vital to ensure an efficiently managed operation. That and the constant willingness to evolve and keep up with the fast changes of the digital age. This mantra would mean that 123RF could stay relevant, expanding their range of offerings beyond mere pictures.  

In this interview, Stephanie lets us in on some of the things that she faced setting up the company from their apartment in Ipoh, tackling the lack of funding, and now taking on the big boys on the global market.