Connect with us

Callum Connects

Bharath Jayaram, Founder & Owner of TradeShifu

Published

on

This young entrepreneur left his stable IT career to pursue a career in stock market trading. His advice is to always be on the lookout for multiple income streams, don’t just rely on the one!

What’s your story?
I was told that the secret sauce to life was to get good grades and a good job. Every family member I knew started their career with a 9-6 job in an office. Not knowing any better, I turned down an opportunity to work on a start-up with my roommate to look for an office job instead. I took on a 9-6 job and it was nothing like I imagined as my pay was minimal barely enough to cover my expenses and I only had 14 days of annual leave. Besides, my manager made it so difficult at work, that I could not see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I worked extremely hard my whole life to get here and did not want to sign my entire life away to shape my employer’s dream while burying mine. I started reading several books and after reading ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, I had a profound epiphany that gave me new perspectives and a completely different outlook on life. I then focused on making the best use of my time, rather than trading my time away for a small salary.

I tried trading the US stock market on the side as it opened at 9:30 PM local time. Being a developer in the IT industry, I was occupied with my day job from 8am-8pm. Which meant I had a couple of hours for dinner and market research before trading from 10pm-5am. I kept this up for two years. Soon enough, I was making three times more money than my day job; which gave me the confidence to pursue a full-time career in trading. I started building my trading systems and back tested them to make sure it wasn’t just luck that got me here. Finally, I decided to quit my job just before my 25th birthday in July 2016. This was much against the wishes of my family and friends who all said that, ‘it would be the biggest mistake of my life throwing away my stable IT career for something uncertain and risky’.

15 months later, I have no regrets, and I wished I’d done it earlier. Low pay, no freedom and not being able to travel were the key reasons for quitting my job. For the first 25 years of my life, I barely travelled to 15 countries and in the next one year, I travelled to 25 or more countries. Knowing that money is not going to be an issue now; my focus is to pursue my passions and travel the world. And I would not give this up for anything else.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see a huge gap in the financial knowledge that young working adults possess and have access to. Job security is no longer a thing, yet people assume they are going to have their job forever. We are overdue for a new monetary system and with the exponential increase in debt, weakening of the US Dollar, and the rise of the crypto-currencies; it’s going to make this transition interesting. We are now in the 2nd longest bull market run in history and the crash that is going to follow will be nothing like we have ever experienced. The recession that it’s going to bring could easily wipe out a decade of prosperity. My aim is to educate and help everyone around me to prepare for this massive wealth redistribution so that you can position yourself on the right side of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have spent more than 90% of my time in Asia and the majority of my ties are in Asia. Born and raised in Bangalore, India; I moved to Singapore at 18 for my undergraduate studies. The first flight I took brought me to Singapore which has become my second home where I have had countless memorable experiences. Staying in the hostel, living by myself and experiencing a new culture taught me essential life lessons. That also spurred my passion to travel to the rest of the world and experience the other cultures, people, food, heritage and values. Also, Singapore nurtured my interests in tennis, travelling and trading which has now become an integral part of my life.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Without a doubt, Singapore! Especially for someone like me who is always on the move, the simplicity and flexibility Singapore offers blew me away. All the processes including the setup, finances, licenses, registration, taxes are so simple and straightforward, that they can be performed online and even automated. The efficiency with which you can get work done here is beyond what I have experienced anywhere else.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The only difference between those who become successful and those who don’t is what they do in their free time,” I read this quote in early 2014 when I started working, and since then I never had free time. This hit me hard as time is the only resource that waits for no one and once gone can never be gotten back. But we all take it for granted without realising that all the assets that we own are a result of effective use of time in the past and money is just one of them. Even when I am taking a break or on my travels, I am continually reading (500+ books read) and adding new skill-sets to my arsenal. My only goal for today is to be better and more productive than yesterday.

Who inspires you?
Everyone around me is an inspiration. There are always skills and insights to absorb from the people around you. I like to find the best in people and incorporate what they are doing into my life. I came from a family where sleeping on the bed was a luxury, as we were a family of 4 and we only had a bed that could fit two. So, I understood the value of money very early, and I never take it for granted. My role models are Colonel Sanders and Jack Ma. Reading their stories and the adversities that they came through are unimaginable, and I always look up to them to pump myself up if I’m having an off day or feel unmotivated.

What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
According to recent research done by the Wharton School of Business, it claims that the developed nations will see up to 60% of the jobs disappear in the next 20 years. I knew there would be changes but did not expect the number to be this staggering. We are all too focused on the job we are doing today, that we forget to look at the bigger picture. One question you need to ask yourself, “What can I do today to prepare for a tomorrow where I could be fired from my job? If no one wants to hire me, can I still make money with my current skillset?” That was what I was asking myself on a daily basis that led me to adding multiple income streams and not be too dependent on just one.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Ever since I was a little kid, the focus was too much on book knowledge that I spent very little time learning the practical things in life. I would also have skipped university to gain practical experience and develop people skills. College is overrated, and most of the exams are based on memory retention and hardly test the application of what you have learned. As a result, learning becomes boring, unproductive and nothing more than a collection of paper certificates which have very little practical use when you start working.

How do you unwind?
Some of the critical reasons for quitting my job were to have more freedom, a better lifestyle, travel the world, explore cultures, interact with nature, build memories and leave a legacy behind. At the end of the day I believe, that it’s the memories and the experiences that bring happiness and the job title, career or money are only means to the result. I stay fit through tennis and swimming. To keep my brain sharp, I also play poker during the weekend to get my competitive juices flowing!

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
This would be a tough pick. It would have to be between Indonesia and Thailand. I can always take an extended break to either of these places and relax with the multitude of activities that these places have to offer. I love the food, people, beaches, treks and adventure sports which are a good way to relax. Also, I do all my shopping in Thailand and visit Bangkok at least 2-3 times every year.

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘The art of thinking clearly’ by Rolf Dobelli is a good read because, it has translated complicated results from “cognitive biases” experiments and interprets and synthesises them into short, easy to understand summaries. You are an irrational being, but don’t worry; that’s part of being human. Cognitive biases are the simple errors that we make in our day-to-day thinking. Nobody is immune to cognitive errors; unconscious thinking habits lead to false conclusions or poor decisions. Mere mortals are prone to an array of conventional thinking errors and will consistently overestimate their chances of success, prefer stories to facts, confuse the message with the messenger, become overwhelmed by choices and ignore alternative options.

Shameless plug for your business:


TradeShifu has helped over 60 people generate more than $100,000 in profits in 2017. My aim is to build the most active and helpful stock market group in the world and hence I’m very selective in who I accept to mentor. My acceptance rate is only about 2 in 10, and if you are ready to take your trading to the next level, head to my website to apply. My next intake is in Jan-2018 and I look forward to seeing you there.

How can people connect with you?
The quickest way to get a response from me is to reach out to me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tradeshifu/. You can also leave me a message on my website http://www.tradeshifu.com/. I have a FREE Facebook group open to all to join where I regularly post my research, market insights and trades.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/tradeshifucommunity/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Elizabeth Wu, Co-founder & COO of Trehaus

Published

on

Elizabeth Wu is making work-life integration a reality for working parents in her new family friendly coworking space.

What’s your story?
I co-founded a coworking space in Singapore that comes complete with a child-friendly facility. We’re the first of our kind here and we’ve been making work-life integration a reality for working parents since we opened.

What excites you most about your industry?
We are the first of our kind, and there’s no other coworking space like us. Sure, there are plenty of coworking spaces in Singapore, but we are the pioneers of championing ‘BYO-kid’ to work by creating a conducive workspace and enriching kids play, all under one roof.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I’m a local through and through.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, of course! It’s safe, well-regulated and has a diverse community. Barriers to entry for starting up a business is low, and generally there is good support for small to medium enterprises and startups, which is great.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Life is short. Do stuff that matters.” I think I decided to do “stuff that matters” a long time ago and that’s why I became an educator. When motherhood beckoned, I decided again, to do “stuff that matters” by staying home to be with my kids. Then, I began to desire a meaningful career while raising my kids. So, I decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, because I am governed by wanting to “do stuff that matters!”

Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. My members at Trehaus inspire me with the things they do and the changes they make. But if I have to pick someone, it would be Elim Chew, founder of 77th Street; who is a seasoned entrepreneur. She started from humble beginnings, went through setbacks and never said never to new journeys in entrepreneurship. I love that she always looks for ways to give back to society and mentor the next generation with her wealth of wisdom and experiences.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learned the 5-by-5 rule recently: That is, ‘if it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it.’ This helps me puts things in perspective, and I try to remember this every time the urge comes to dwell, to brood, to beat myself up or to sweat the small stuff.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely be more careful with the people I hired to build the team. I’ve learned that it is important to find and build an entrepreneurial team that will plough and work hard alongside the founders. Like Jack Ma once said, “Don’t hire the most qualified candidate. Hire the craziest.” I should have done that right from the start. It would save us so much time and heartache.

How do you unwind?
I take long walks to clear my or I go for a fruitful session of self care, like yoga or a massage.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I really enjoy getting out of Singapore to the outskirts of Bangkok to live amongst the locals. My family of 5 used to do that each December; just taking off to live amongst the locals where street food is aplenty and warmth and hospitality is everywhere. I enjoy their slow pace of life and how simple things can be.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

Shameless plug for your business:
Trehaus is Singapore’s first ever family-friendly coworking space that lets you build a career while prioritising family. If it takes a village to raise a child, then Trehaus is the modern village where you will find a robust community and supportive ecosystem that lets you be an involved parent – never missing a single milestone in your child’s early years – and at the same time do efficient and productive work. We’ve made magic happen in what we’ve created!

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

Callum Connects

Mark Winterton, General Manager of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay

Published

on

Mark Winterton has dedicated his life to achieving unparalleled and extraordinary guest experiences in the hospitality industry.

What’s your story?
I’m a seasoned hospitality professional with over twenty years international experience launching luxury brands, repositioning existing brands and driving innovation for some of the world’s most successful hotels.

As General Manager of InterContinental® Singapore Robertson Quay, I’m responsible for the strategic positioning of the property as the next generation of the InterContinental hotel brand and have been spearheading the hotel since its opening in October 2017, with the goal of achieving a unique and unrivalled market positioning as Singapore’s most luxurious residential hotel.

I started my career with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) in 1995 and have since been dedicating myself towards achieving perfection. I find immense fulfillment in leading my team towards achieving extraordinary and unparalleled guest experiences.

What excites you most about your industry?
The hospitality industry boasts an extremely dynamic landscape, and we are always seeing new hotels opening alongside the entry of burgeoning brands. This growth has, over time developed positive competition and generated positive driving forces that have elevated the overall standard of the industry in Singapore. The industry has a dynamic landscape. There are many opportunities to bring the right people together and create amazing teams to launch or reposition hotels. The process of creating teams, inspiring individuals and then working together to bring a project to life is where I find the excitement lies.

What’s your connection to Asia?
The lure of Asia has always been very strong for foreign economies and companies, with great accessibility to new opportunities, customers, consumers and clients. My first foray into Asia was back in 2007, when I launched Crowne Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore. Following that, I was also based in Bangkok for a couple of years for the rebranding of Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park. Over my years in Asia, I have had the opportunity to truly immerse myself in new cultures, establish new connections with key counterparts and friends; and these have further solidified my interest in and strengthened my connection to Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore. Commonly known as the gateway to Asia, we’ve been blessed with a stable government, a sound political economy and a comprehensive infrastructure for reliable business operations. With tremendous efforts put in by the Singapore Tourism Board towards elevating the city as an attractive venue for visitors, the growth of Singapore as a key MICE destination, coupled with a cosmopolitan pool of talent, Singapore remains my favourite city in Asia for business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You can never be 100% ready for a new role.” I believe that there will always be room for growth and learning on the job. As long as a person is 80% ready for a new role, the opportunity should be extended. I am a strong believer in the development of people and the grooming of talent, and this piece of advice has allowed me to take more chances on people I’ve worked with and developed over the years.

Who inspires you?
Simon Sinek, a speaker with TED Talk.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one lesson learnt recently, as learning is an ongoing process. No matter how small a piece of knowledge may seem, it should be valued. Everyday is a journey of learning and development.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing at all. I don’t believe in regrets and everything that has happened thus far, has had a part to play in who I am and where I stand today.

How do you unwind?
Spending time with friends over relaxed conversations and wine or working my green fingers in my balcony garden.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. It’s one destination where I’ve always returned to, simply because it offers me the same level of comfort and familiarity each time I return. It’s where I can feel most relaxed, yet still be able to enjoy the vibrant dining scene.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.

Shameless plug for your business:
Officially opened on 12 October 2017, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is the first international luxury hotel brand situated at Robertson Quay. Set amidst a dynamic, sophisticated neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its dining options and arts houses, the luxury residential-inspired hotel has been carefully curated by world-­class designers, architects and culinary purveyors. Located minutes away from the CBD, the hotel still maintains a stylish but laid back, relaxed feel in the leafy, upscale neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. The hotel offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-­to-­ceiling windows.

The residential-­inspired property combines elements from Robertson Quay’s industrial and intriguing past with sleek contemporary finishes whilst seamlessly blending into the residential surrounds. Light-­filled room interiors have been designed to magnify the familiar comforts of home where guests may enjoy bespoke amenities such as a specially designed in-­room cocktail kit.

Established as part of a holistic dining and lifestyle destination, the hotel boasts a wide range of restaurant and bar concepts. Flagship restaurant Publico, representing the central core of Italian culture, is a multi-­concept dining destination comprising a variety of Italian experiences under one roof – a neighbourhood deli and bar and a ristorante with adjoining terrazzo by the river. Other highlights throughout the hotel include New York institution Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, and a bar and dining concept from the team behind Izy Sushi. Over 40 other dining options await at the hotel doorstep, in The Quayside precinct.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markwinterton1/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

Trending