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Damini Mahajan wants to get you Scholarships



Damini Mahajan is the CEO and co-founder of WeMakeScholars Edtech Pvt. Ltd. She is a true passionate entrepreneur who believes in possibilities and bringing out rational outcomes to any idea and never considers any purpose or challenge to be something impossible to achieve.

Damini is one of the board directors of Naturlich Global Beverages Pvt. Ltd (NGB). NGB is a beverage technology company which manufactures functional health beverages. The overall mindset and leadership qualities in her has always steered the progressive achievements of NGB. Under her guidance, NGB came up with an innovative formulation and process technology for a health drink which was recognised as one of the most innovative technologies by BIRAC, GOI and was awarded a 5 million INR grant under BIG scheme.

Damini is an alumnus of the University of Sheffield (UoS), UK where she pursued MS in Bioprocess Engineering. She was awarded “Developing Solutions Scholarship” for her excellent academic merits. During that period of time, she led the UoS team in the ABInBev Best beer competition 2013 and majorly contributed in product formulations and marketing concepts. Her team won the title of “Best Beer” in European grand finale. These experiences and broader outlook within the industry polished her skills to take up the position of COO in NGB.

When the idea of WeMakeScholars found substantial growth surface, she was the most appropriate leader to take it ahead and has made it a global initiative today.

In your own words what is WMS? (WMS) is an online study opportunities search and discovery platform providing information on scholarships, internships, courses, universities & educational service providers globally.

We are a 4 months old company, officially launched on 29th of April, 2015 by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Ex-Under-Secretary General of United Nations. In this short time, we have established ourselves in the  global marketspace with users from 196 nationalities and team consisting of 9 nationalities. We have reached close to 2 million pageviews and 200K+ unique visitors.

The growth of our portal accelerated due to the fact that students couldn’t find a single place where opportunities like scholarships, internships, courses, universities are accessible via smart sorting based on the user preferences.


How did you come up with the idea of WMS?

The idea of WeMakeScholars was born in Sheffield, UK- 2 years ago. The struggle of me and my co-founder Arjun, to go through so many official websites to find reliable scholarship information, made us start this. Arjun received the prestigious UK Govt. & British council Queen’s Jubilee Scholarship which fully funded his studies, including everything from visa costs, to airfare, tuition fees, and a monthly stipend for living expenses. I was recipient of “Developing Solutions Master’s Scholarship” which covered 50 % of my tuition fee. In UK, when our classmates came to know about these scholarships, they were speechless as most of them never knew if any such opportunities existed. Interestingly, an online survey conducted by the WMS team, among 1576 students globally showed that about 83% of them didn’t know about scholarship opportunities they can apply for. This is due to the unavailability of an appropriate information platform

This was when we started an online community to fill the gap between available opportunities and students knowing about it.


Could you walk us through the process of starting up WMS?

As I mentioned, after Arjun and me won scholarship for our studies in the UK, we started an online scholarships community to help our juniors with the upcoming scholarships information. But the community grew exponentially to 160K and we used to get minimum 20-25 queries everyday. We did a feedback session on the group and all of our users requested us to build a website to keep the scholarships data organised. Hence, we started


Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup?

As we both the founders were from non-IT background, we faced many issues in building the technical team and giving life to the WMS portal. We worked with some freelancers initially which turned out to be a very bad experience for us and we wasted a lot of time in this process. Finally, we gave contract to a web solutions company to build the project. Once, we had MVP ready, we opened the full-time software developer positions and hired 3 tech guys.


How have you been developing WMS since startup?

We launched with Scholarships and internships information as salient features and have more than 4000 opportunities listed. Our aim is to build the world’s largest scholarship database with over $1 billion in total available funding, benefiting millions of aspiring scholars esp. from developing countries

Very soon we are launching an interface for courses and university. This will create a new horizon in our platform. Currently, there are no website worldover providing a wiki of all courses and universities hosted at a single place. This newly defined area would be apt with the latest technologies and machine learning integration to define a user with customised option. Further to this the whole information would be simplified for the user with our effective UI modelling and apps delivering the right solution to  our student traffic.

With this our mission is to create a platform which provides a one stop solution for students looking for international higher education resources globally.


What kind of feedback did you get for WMS so far?

WeMakeScholars is an initiative which is loved by many across the globe. Everyday we receive around 5-10 applications from people of various nationalities who wants to volunteer for WMS from their region and join the team. This motivates us everyday when we receive such messages “ WeMakeScholars, please come to Philippines” a message from a student in need at Philippines, had an essence of faith our users have in us.


What is your strategy against your competition?

We do have some competitors which are player in their national markets and their database of scholarships, courses or universities is only for a particular target market such as ‘Chegg’ for US nationals, ‘EasyUni’ for malaysia, indonesia and thailand, ‘Shiksha’ for India but there is no platform which provides this information for the global audience.

Our motto of “Most reliable and transparent information” is our strategy against our competitors. None of the scholarship or course finder has as genuine and easy to find data as we have.


Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?

In the international education domain, there are many websites to provide information but no one is focussing on the quality of data. There are issues like incomplete data, wrong information or biased listing. This industry is thriving for a single platform which students can trust upon.


What is the future of the industry and how do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?

It is a growing market with about 1 million students just from India and China choosing to study degree programs abroad every year. In India, the number has grown by 25 % in last 3 years. We have planned our next 5 years in a way to cater the needs of this big enough market.


Were there anything that disappointed you initially?

Bureaucracy in every section in India is really disappointing. Even for basic registrations and all we had to go to 10 doors. When we were looking to partner with some universities, we understood that even private or deemed universities are not different from a govt. office where a file goes from one hand to another and so on before getting approval.


What do you think about being an entrepreneur in Asia?

For an entrepreneur, there are challenges everywhere- be it Asia or west. In India, it becomes quite hard just because of family pressure. Especially for girls, work hours of 15 hours a day or coming home late in the evenings, is not acceptable.  And on top of that, we face issues like Marriage (which Indian parents consider as the ultimate goal of life)


What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?

In Asia, many investors usually look for ideas which already had a success story in the west. By this way, Asian entrepreneurship is mostly a follower of Western entrepreneurship. So, I feel new innovative ideas are not much encouraged in Asia.


What is your definition of success?

For WeMakeScholars, the success is when we realise that our work is helping millions of people around the globe.

At personal level, I believe Success is relative. It is the length of the path you travelled. I measure success as journey from where we started and where we reached. You cannot say if X is successful or Y is not, considering their present position, their success can only be measure if you know from where X or Y has started and how far they have come on their way.


Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship gives me a new challenge everyday and it gives a lot of satisfaction when I overtake that challenge. I would not have confronted these challenges in a regular job. Life is all about learning everyday, every moment and from everyone and if you tie yourself inside a cubicle, you are never going to learn as many new things as an entrepreneur.


In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?

Perseverance, Perseverance and Perseverance!

You are going to fall 100 times during this journey. But, you will succeed only if you get up every time and start walking again. Many people stop even at the 99th fall but a true entrepreneur won’t stop until he makes it happen.


Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?

Your fear is the only thing that can stop you, overcome it.



Callum Connects

Adrian Reid, Founder of Enlightened Stock Trading



Adrian Reid escaped the rat race and became a knowledgeable trader. He now shares his trading knowledge and empowers others to take control of their stocks.

What’s your story?
After working 12-16 hour days in the corporate world for many years I had a moment of realisation on the 1 hour bus ride to work. It was here at this moment in time, I realised that I felt trapped, desperate and isolated. Trapped in a job I hated, and a life I had not designed. I had long been interested in investing, but I made the decision at that point to become the best trader I could possibly be and escape the rat race.
My dream was to be free; free of the 9 to 5, the commute, the stress and the exhaustion. I threw myself into my stock trading research and study and emerged 3 months later with the trading rules that would ultimately buy me my freedom. I am now retired from the corporate world, I trade full time and share my knowledge with other aspiring traders through my online education program which puts them in control and empowers them to take control and accountability for their trading results.

What excites you most about your industry?
So many people are trapped in jobs they don’t like or are feeling immense financial pressure in their life. Trading education is typically done extremely badly today because of the conflicts of interest in the industry. Fund managers want to hold onto your money forever; brokers want you to trade more frequently; forex brokers want you to use more leverage. Why? Because that is how they make their money.
By teaching traders how to develop and test their own stock trading systems I am able to empower them to find trading rules which fit their own personality, objectives and lifestyle. This is the only way for new traders to be successful. This process transforms people’s financial future, their relationship with money and wealth and gives them hope. I love that!

What’s your connection to Asia?
I recently spent 3 years living in Singapore which I absolutely loved. This put me in a good position to observe the other Asian markets. As a stock trader I am interested in many markets and economies around the world, however the Asian markets have some of the best potential for trading profits. I have traded stocks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and I have developed trading systems that work in many other Asian markets as well.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city is Singapore. After living in Singapore for 3 years my family fell in love with the city. Life is great in Singapore for the whole family and the pro-business and investing policies of the government make it a wonderful place to build your financial future as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
On a personal front: Find something you love, throw all your energy and passion into it.
On the wealth front: Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Take control of your finances and always accept 100% responsibility for your investment decisions.

Who inspires you?
My wife Stephanie inspires me. Her commitment to everything she does, her compassion, her insights into people and her ability to uplift those around her, make me want to be a better person.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
No matter what we think we know, there will always be a different perspective that can change our opinion. In my own trading, I continually find that the truths I cling to are not absolute and they can be misleading if held onto dogmatically. Striking a balance between taking a stance and knowing when to change that stance based on new information is critical in all areas of life.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more action earlier on. My fear of mistakes (which still limits me on occasions, like most people) has always proven to be baseless. Playing small to avoid the embarrassment or pain of mistakes is very limiting and I would have taken more action earlier, if I had my time again.

How do you unwind?
To unwind I like to read, meditate, run and ride my mountain bike in the forest.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I just love the small island resort at Batu Batu. It is beautiful, isolated, quiet and surrounded by clean water, full of sealife. After a week at the resort I felt like a different person.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. This book teaches the art of clear and structured communication. My time working as a business strategy consultant gave me a great appreciation for the importance of communication in business. Clear and effective communication can solve a myriad of challenges in your business and professional life, and as a strong communicator your employment prospects, business relationships, team performance and family life are all dramatically improved.

Shameless plug for your business:
Enlightened Stock Trading ( is the only stock market trading education business that empowers you, as an individual trader. It shows you how to design and test your own unique stock trading system that fits YOUR Personality, Objectives and Lifestyle. We have no conflicts of interest and we are focused on teaching you how to trade stocks profitably in a way that fits your life.
After working through the Enlightened Stock Trader Certification Program you will find yourself confident and empowered with your own battle tested trading system and trading plan to guide you through the markets.

How can people connect with you?
Email me directly at [email protected] or through my Facebook Page (

Twitter handle?

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:
Download free copies of his books here:

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Callum Connects

Elaine Zhou, Co-Founder of China Women Equipping Center



Elaine went on a journey of self discovery and once she knew her true self she could be successful in her own business.

What’s your story?
I am very proud of where I came from and I am grateful for where I am living and working today. Singapore is my adopted home and it is my aim to always contribute to and serve this country and its people.
Twelve years ago, I moved to Singapore for an internship opportunity. I was twenty one years old and I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t speak English, I didn’t understand the culture or the customs. Everything was new and strange to me. Everything was difficult, but my parents had tremendous faith in me.
My parents have worked diligently on the family farm to raise us and send us to college. My parents had a huge influence on me. The important things I learnt from them are to love, to never give up, to be a hard worker and to have a can-do attitude. These are the qualities that I embrace in my daily life.

What excites you most about your industry?
We offer more than just training. Our business is a resource to be leveraged for transformation, improved teamwork, leadership behaviours, communication skills, relationship skills, coaching skills and increased job satisfaction and productivity.
Our passion and purpose is to help people grow as leaders and to create tremendous results by serving others well. We take people to daring destinations, beyond their imagination.
My greatest joy is to see people grow, change and transform and live a purposeful life; this is what motivates me to do more and do it well.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in China and I have spent all my adult and professional life in Singapore.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore and China.
Singapore is a very sophisticated and systematic country. It is a structured and highly efficient business environment and people are generally nice and honest. Also, the convenience and diverse culture is a great advantage for people who want to settle down there, no matter if they are from the East or West. You always feel at home in Singapore.
I also like China because of its fast growth. The population and the market is here. However, it takes time to settle in because of the language barrier and the very different traditional culture. But you will also find it is very interesting and you’ll want to learn more about China. The people are nice if you know them well. It is always about relationship first and business second, and when you are in a business meeting, you really have to master the skill of “reading the air.” It is a skill to let people know and understand you; your values, your background, why you think in that way or why you do or do not do certain things. Doing business in China is like swimming in the ocean; it is an abundant ocean and it is full of risks. Always know your values and stay true to yourself and make decisions close to your heart. It will help you see things more clearly and get things done in a way that doesn’t violate your values.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Be yourself, Elaine.” That is the best advice I have ever received. It was a big ‘aha’ moment for me. It was also the moment I truly and honestly looked within myself. I realized that when I am being my true self, and not trying to be someone else, I am able to connect with people instantly in a genuine and authentic way. It is a great feeling.

Who inspires you?
There are so many people who encourage me, lift me up and challenge me everyday. My mentor, John Maxwell who helped me discover my purpose in life; Michael Griffin, for his passion for Christ which is contagious and Wayne Dyer, my spiritual mentor who passed away in 2016. Also, people who are living with a purpose and striving everyday for their dream, they really inspire me. My clients, mentees and students. When I see that joy and peace in them, that inspires me to do more and do well. My team inspire me, especially when they said, “Elaine, I joined the business because of you.” They inspire me to make it work for the team and the business because it is beyond my own self interest. I am grateful for having so many people in my life who inspire me.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
China is a big country, we all know that, and it is also an internet giant. Recently on a team meeting, one of the directors who manages a successful beauty business, shared with us, that everybody is on the internet, especially on WeChat. People are obsessed with online communities – for ordering food, getting taxis, forging relationships, connections and friends. Almost anything and everything can get done online. But right now, there is a new trend; more and more people want the “offline” experience. It usually takes one to two hours from one place to another in Beijing, but people want to make the effort to have a real connection with other people, to attend networks, seminars, workshops and business meetings.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I started my first business when I was 24 years old, it failed. One year later, I started my second business and after a year and a half, I closed down the operation. After several painful experiences and two failed businesses, I started to look within myself, and seriously and intentionally invested in my personal growth at the age of 28. If I could turn back time, I wish I could have grown a lot earlier. I strongly believe that the level of our success is determined by the level of our self growth and we are always learning, everyday. But I also understand it is not the only way to live. I also consciously and intentionally try to live in the now. It is a beautiful and great way to live. In fact, I am grateful for what I have gone through; the pains, setbacks and challenges in my earlier life.

How do you unwind?
I like to stay connected with nature. For example, taking a walk barefoot on the grass and smelling the roses on the street. Having a beer or coffee along the riverside with friends; reading a good book; hunting for nice restaurants; swimming or running.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand – nice beaches, food and people.
Bali – fantastic beaches and food, great people.
Malaysia – Nice food and people, particularly Langkawi, Penang and KK.
Of course Singapore, it is always a place dear to my heart. It’s my home.
There are a lot of other interesting places in China which I am still exploring.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Tao Te Ching: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer
Developing the Leaders Within You by John C.Maxwell
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
These are some of the books that truly transformed my thinking and shaped my values.
I used to read a lot of different types of books, from sales, marketing, branding and management to different business models. I found it is really hard to master all of it and I was not optimizing my own strengths.
Entrepreneurship is a skill to be learnt. But it is really important to recognize what we are good at and what we are not so good at. We can not be everything.
Entrepreneurship is a journey of self-discovery and soul searching. It is all about learning and striving. We should try and always remember why we started our business in the first place.

Shameless plug for your business:
The China Women Equipping Center, is something both my team are I are very proud. We have put our hearts and souls into it, to help women in China grow and transform. As a developing country and with the rise of China, people are not lacking in money, everywhere is full of opportunity, but the challenge is the civilizations, values and faith. In fact the Chinese government puts a lot of effort into improving and shaping the international image to ensure it is making progress. But people are still facing a lot of pressure, especially women.
One of our business partners who is runs traditional Chinese medicine retail stores, shared that 80% of his patients are female, and the reason they are coming to see him are anxiety and depression.
Our China Women Equipping Center creates a safe and comfortable environment for women to help build their values and characters. My local team and I are very passionate about our mission and purpose. Beijing is our headquarters in China. We are planning to take three to six months to establish our business in Beijing and grow and expand to other major cities in China after that.

How can people connect with you?

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:
Download free copies of his books here:

Continue Reading