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Doug Peris, CEO and co-founder of AdZtream

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Great to watch Doug building his new business up around the region.  Doug is hugely well connected and does some great work for charity.

What’s your story?
My background is that I had successful corporate career, running regional operations of global technology companies. For years, I was a regular speaker at technology events and conferences, and I have built and sold 2 technology companies in Australia and in Singapore. I mentored people at my work, helping them to build successful careers. I have also mentored start-ups, to help them along their entrepreneurship journey. I am also actively involved in an international charity in Cambodia that teaches people to have a better way of life. After I sold my business in late 1999, and wondering what I would do next, I came to Singapore in early 2000 to take up a job with a global telecommunications company.  That’s how I got to be here for the past 15 years. I am now the CEO and co-founder of AdZtream, a digital media company that does advertising over wi-fi networks.

What excites you most about your industry?
I believe that there’s no better time than now to be part of the huge growth in mobile advertising and wi-fi hotspots.  It’s impossible to ignore the growth in mobile telephone usage, and also that there is wi-fi almost everywhere you go these days, almost anywhere in the world.  I’m excited that I can bring together media solutions that link up digital advertising, mobile phones and wi-fi networks into a cohesive, real-time and relevant eco-system.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Kuala Lumpur, but moved to Australia at a very young age.  My parents heritage is Asian and European, my wife is a Singaporean, and I love the diverse tastes and flavours of Asian food.  I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Malaysia and now Singapore, which is where I call home.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore.  It’s easy to do business, everyone recognises a fair deal here, there’s good governance…and it’s got the best airport in the world. I just love the ‘can-do’ attitude that’s been encouraged within the entrepreneur community. It’s getting expensive to live here but the mix of local and foreign talent, my family, my friends, the startup culture and the vibrant social scene makes it very difficult to move away. I’ve travelled to most of the major cities in Asia, and they all have their special things that makes them unique from the other cities, but Singapore is still my favourite.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It sounds simple but “don’t quit” was a piece of advice I’ve received many times over many years of my life. That doesn’t mean stick at something stubbornly even after you have realised that failure is inevitable.  What this means is don’t quit on your purpose and objective. There may be more than one way to achieve this but don’t give up on your dream, on what you want.  You’ll always find your way around an obstacle, as long as you don’t quit.

Who inspires you?
Many people have inspired me throughout my life.  My father was my biggest inspiration. He was an administrator in the Malaysian Government and was actively involved in the creation of the Federation of Malaysia. Years later, after racial tensions in Malaysia, he took his whole family to Australia so that his children, me and my siblings, could lead better lives.  He gave up everything he had worked for so that we could have a chance at a better future.

I’m also inspired by entrepreneurs, people who believe they can create something, make a difference, and make a living at it. I love how clever they are to come up with some brilliant ideas, how they take their product to market,how they raise funds and capture customers and market share.  They inspire me to do better at what I’m doing now.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
In Singapore recently, the nation mourned the loss of the founding father of modern Singapore, its first Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. In the 7 days of mourning, so much of his life was broadcast on radio and tv, and published in the newspapers. I never realised how much he did to change Singapore into the powerful economy it now is. As I reflect on his life, it’s easy to see that he was an entrepreneur and he built the biggest start-up in the world…ever!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Actually, I love my life and most of what I achieved. I believe that things happen for a reason, and much of what happens to us was going to happen anyway. I could do anything different though, I would have spent more time with my sporting love of rugby, and spent much less time I’d spent climbing the corporate ladder.

How do you unwind?
I love spending time with family, cooking for them, and watching movies at home. I actually love to go to the market, buy some good products and cook a great meal at home. I try to watch big international sporting events like the rugby union and the F1 when I can. Going out with friends is a big way for me to wind down after a long week, and I enjoy beach vacations.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Asia is blessed with so many different and fantastic places to visit, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit many places. However, without any doubt, my favourite relaxation destination is Koh Samui in Thailand. I have been going there for about 14 years, and usually go back to the same places that I’m familiar with, and where the people also know me. It’s a perfect getaway, eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired type of place.  Great beaches, great food, great people…I’d like to go and live there someday soon.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Do yourself a favour and read “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. You don’t need to be handcuffed to your corporate office, whinging about the rat race that you are a part of. You can live the mobile lifestyle, and you can do it now.  Escape the 9-5 and live anywhere. This may not be everyone’s idea of a lifestyle they desire but it does offer many ideas about the different ways to live and work.

Shameless plug for your business:
AdZtream is a provider of innovative wi-fi advertising solutions. We get your brand in front of millions of people who use their mobile phones to access public wi-fi networks, and we make money for wi-fi networks by providing relevant advertising to their customers. Our goal is to partner with the world’s best brands and ad agencies, and also with the best shopping malls, hotels, stadiums and convention centres. We now operate in 4 countries across Asia, and our customer base is growing each month.  

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@dougperis
@adztream

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

CallumConnects

Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.

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

Denise Morris Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

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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Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

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

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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