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Carlos Wang, Founder of Slasify

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Carlos Wang’s tech experience led him to set up his business Slasify, which creates a virtual workforce for entrepreneurs.

What’s your story?
I’ve pictured how my future would be ever since I was a student. I wished that I could do something meaningful in my life. I aspire to contribute my own efforts to build a better society and to help Taiwan gain recognition from the rest of the world.
2016 was the hardest year for me and my entrepreneurship journey. My wife and I were homeless and roving around with our luggage and we didn’t even have a settled residency in Taiwan. During this period, we were searching for opportunities. During this time we met several saviours who helped us a lot and inspired us to create Slasify.
Despite my poor English and without any social connections, I brought my team to Singapore. We have now opened up the South East Asian markets and we have been endorsed by several famous clients including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Siemens.
I have an experienced technical background. I have led my technical team to participate in the development and operation of a big data platform which serves more than 100 million customers. I have also worked with IBM in Taiwan to provide mobile solutions for business financial institutions. We still have a long way to go, but we believe in what we can accomplish.
格局决定布局, 布局决定结局 (The circumstance determines strategy. The strategy determines the outcome).

What excites you most about your industry?
Traditional employment relations are changing, and it’s time for us to evolve. We liberate white-collar workers with professional abilities, and we help enterprises develop a brand new employment mode of hiring called “virtual team(s).”
Imagine that you can collaborate with people all over the world within a virtual space connected simply by a laptop and Internet and accomplish tasks assigned by the “employer” while you are drinking a cocktail on the beach.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am 100% Taiwanese, and I for most of my career, I’ve been in mainland China. I therefore have an understanding of greater China’s market, and I am influenced by the past generation of Taiwan businessmen. I worship the “Taiwan’s Buffalo Spirit” that I’ll be “conscientious, diligent and down-to-earth.”

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love doing business in Singapore and in Beijing. Singapore is a melting pot of Chinese culture and Western culture, hence it has tremendous market opportunities. Beijing is the cradle of China’s internet businesses, and it is also a city filled with talents.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s a film clip about ‘selling me a pen’ which Jordan Belford plays in The Wolf of Wall Street. This scene explains that the best salesmen create needs for customers rather than telling customers how good the product is. Customers need guidance and even scenarios which explain their needs.

Who inspires you?
I like listening to other people’s stories, both successful and unsuccessful stories. Everyone has his or her part to learn and to draw lessons from. In this sense, a number of people inspire me with their different features and characteristics.
Once I was taught a lesson by a worker when I was in the factory of our Vietnam client; he questioned me, “why do I need to spend so much time on my work? Am I really happy?” Well, this Vietnam friend inspired me a lot, and his questions are always in my mind.
Those who can really inspire you need not be celebrities. Your friends or even a stranger you meet on the street can be inspirational.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Earlier this year, I went to Beijing to so a strategic management course in Renmin University of China. This course changed the way I think. I majored in Computer Science, so I lack management skills. Through this short course, I learned to view my career with vision, and I also gained a deep understanding of competition. So, I would like to suggest to other entrepreneurs that they consider regularly going back to college to cultivate their professional knowledge and abilities.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Every process in our life has its own value and meaning, no matter whether good or bad. If I could live my life twice, I would inform myself to care more about my health, and to spend more time with my family. These things can not be bought with money.

How do you unwind?
I love to drive my car around the suburbs. I don’t own a car overseas, so when I go abroad, I find other ways of relaxing. I’ll have a good sleep to energize myself for the next day.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan, more precisely, Kaohsiung City. Because that’s my home country, especially for someone like me who is always travelling. There’s a saying: “East or west, home is the best.”

Everyone in business should read this book:
Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment
Every manager should be aware of the future employment trends which will influence the management, culture and KPI for every enterprise, especially start-ups.
Another one is, of course, “The Art of War.” That’s an essential for every entrepreneur, the wisdom from Ancient China.

Shameless plug for your business:
We create the future working style and connect like-minded entrepreneurs and freelancers by flexibly organising virtual teams which can free up enterprises from redundant man-power costs.

How can people connect with you?
You can connect me via Facebook or LinkedIn:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carloxwang
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carloxwang

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Marek Danyluk, CEO of Space Ventures

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Marek Danyluk has a talent for assessing the competencies of management teams for other businesses and pulling together exceptional teams for his own businesses!

What’s your story?
I am the CEO of a venture capital business, Space Ventures, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses. I also own and run Space Executive, a recruitment business focused on senior to executive hires across sales, marketing, finance, legal and change.

My career started as a trainee underwriter in the Lloyds market but quickly moved into recruitment where I set-up my first business in 2002. The business grew to around 100 people. I moved to Asia in 2009 as a board member of a multinational recruitment business with the mandate to help them scale their Asian entities, which helped contribute to their sale this year, in 2017.

My main talent is assessing the competencies of management teams as well as building high performing recruitment boutiques and putting together exceptional management teams for my own businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
Building the business is very much about attracting the best talent and being able to build a culture which people find invigorating and unique. It’s an exciting proposition to be able to define a culture in that regard and salespeople are a fun bunch, so when you get it right it’s tremendous.

From a VC point of view there is just so much happening. South East Asia is a melting pot of innovation so the ideas and quality of people you have exposure to, is truly phenomenal. The exposure in the VC has taken me away from a career in recruitment. Doing something completely different has given me a new level of focus.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Whilst I came here with work, both my boys were born in Singapore and to them this very much is home. That said, my father in law spent many years in the East so coming and settling here was met with a good degree of support and familiarity.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Possibly Hong Kong. It’s the closest I’ve been to working in London. Whilst there are massive Asian influences people will work with you on the basis you are good at what you do and work hard. I find that approach very honest and straightforward.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Always treat people well on the way up!”

Who inspires you?
I like reading about people who have excelled in business such as Jack Ma, James Kahn, Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, all have great stories to tell and they are all inspirational. No-one has inspired me more than my parents and they are well aware as to why…

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Pretty much any technology innovation blows me away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Whilst it is important not to have regrets I do continually wake up thinking I’m still doing my A’ Levels. So, I’d have probably tried a little harder in 6th form.

How do you unwind?
I like the odd glass of red wine and watching sport

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan skiing. I love skiing and Japanese food and it’s a time when I can really enjoy time with the wife and kids. I recently tried the Margaret River which was divine, although not technically Asia.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Barbarians at the Gate

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive is the fastest growing recruitment business in Singapore focused on the mid to senior market across legal, compliance, finance, sales and marketing and change and transformation. Multi-award winning with exceptional growth plans into Hong Kong and London this year, and the US, Japan and Europe by the end of 2022. We are building a truly global brand.

Space Ventures is interested in any businesses that require capital or management and financial guidance or any or all of the above. We have, to date, invested in on-line training, food and beverages, peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring as well as other tech and fintech start-ups. We are always interested in hearing about potential deals.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@Spaceexecutive

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

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Callum Connects

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

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Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched.

What’s your story?
I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position.

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start.

How do you unwind?
I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki

Shameless plug for your business:
Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning.

How can people connect with you?
Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@malcolmABM

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

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