Callum Connects Dr. Maren Schweizer, CEO of Schweizer World Published 6 months ago on November 1, 2017 By Callum Laing Share Tweet Dr Maren Schweizer is revolutionsing the automotive industry and believes Singapore is at the forefront of automotive innovation. What’s your story? From an early age I was fascinated with aviation and eventually decided to follow my dream of earning a pilot’s license while pursuing my engineering degree. I joined private jet company Dassault Falcon Service in Paris after my studies as a sales director and as an aviation captain. I learned so much working for Dassault: Understanding the differences and needs of our target markets, restructuring and growing a company. In 2005, I joined the family business. Success didn’t come easy, and we had to adapt quickly to change and evolve our business mindset to survive. Since then, the company has grown into a global tech company focused on revolutionising the automotive industry. What excites you most about your industry? Disruptive, technology-driven trends that are already on the horizon, creating new challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry. The industry is working furiously to adapt to these changes and it’s definitely going to be an interesting ride. What’s your connection to Asia? As a child my parents brought me to Singapore, where my father had started his joint venture Pentex-Schweizer. I will never forget my first shopping mall experience in Singapore. We visited a Chinese pharmacy in People’s Park, Chinatown to buy a tub of Tiger Balm. For many years thereafter, I was in Singapore twice a year and fell in love with the fast-paced, exciting environment which has inspired many aspects of my life. I really couldn’t get Singapore out of my head and moved here four years ago with my children. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? Singapore, obviously! It maintains its edge as an innovation-driven economy. Singapore will slowly but surely become the Silicon Valley of Asia. Autonomous cars will transform the passenger experience. Passengers will get to kick back while vehicles drive them to their destinations. Singapore is at the forefront of the move to driverless cars primarily because it has a strong ecosystem needed for these type of innovations to thrive. To sustain this momentum and retain pole position as an innovation hub, the city-state needs to continually ramp up its efforts in: IoT – the future of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies R&D – on elements, devices and functions required to support self-driving capabilities AI ecosystem – large corporations have in-house Artificial Intelligence departments, SMEs can use crowdsourcing platforms to get secure, customised AI solutions. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? My father and grandfather told me as a kid that it is important to focus on a win-win for everybody in a company. Focus on the people that work with you. Make employees and their families happy and they will contribute to making our customers happy and the company successful. I believe in the importance of working for a company also benefits your private life as well. Who inspires you? Winston Churchill. He once said; “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” He was a great leader and managed to bridge the gap and reconcile the differences between communities in conflict. Also, Oscar Wilde who said; “Be yourself, everybody else is taken.” We need to have the courage and commitment to be our authentic self – to stay in alignment with who and what we really are. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? My unexpected “promotion” from CEO to DEO in February this year and joining the club of “Dismissed Executive Officers.” I’ve embraced it as just another test of character and see it as life offering me a new path of possibilities and choices. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? I would have focussed on finding myself earlier and adjusting my choices and decisions accordingly. How do you unwind? I look for inspiration. I love going for walks, people-watching, discovering new places. I also read a lot and love creating mashups of electronic songs during long-haul flights. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? The Maldives. I have wonderful memories as a teenager. It was here that I started scuba diving at the age of 15 and where I experienced feeding the sharks. Little did I know I would be in a corporate shark tank later in my life. Everyone in business should read this book: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert Shameless plug for your business: Trading as family-run businesses with a long tradition since 1849, we are geared towards sustainable, long-term success. Our expertise is in restructuring, corporate finance, International M&A and Succession. Our services connect the world and will help you change the way you do business. How can people connect with you? LinkedIn: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/dr-schweizer http://www.schweizer.world — 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 Related Topics:asiaasianbusinessCEOcustomersdreamEntrepreneurequityfinanceFocusimportanceinterviewinvestorIoTlifeMarketingmePrivate EquitysingaporeStorysuccessSupporttechtechnology Continue Reading You may like Jason Feng, Co-Founder of Pillpresso Will Financial Liberalisation Trigger a Crisis in China? Georges Tchokoua Women on Top in Tech – Chrissa McFarlane, Founder and CEO of Patientory Why Angel Investors are Shaking Up the Global Startup Scene Emmanuelle Norchet Callum Connects Jason Feng, Co-Founder of Pillpresso Published 22 hours ago on April 26, 2018 By Callum Laing Mr. Jason Feng is re-engineering the healthcare industry. What’s your story? I am an engineer at heart. I enjoy the process of problem solving and have been actively developing innovative solutions to existing problems. Me and my co-founder settled on the problem of poor medication adherence among the elderly. This was a problem which struck a chord with us because we all have loved ones who have to take multiple medications on a daily basis. The complex medication regimen, coupled with declining cognitive abilities of the elderly tend to exacerbate the lack of medication adherence, which may lead to disease relapse and hospital readmissions, ultimately increasing the burden to caregivers and the society. What excites you most about your industry? The problem of medication adherence is not a new one in the healthcare industry. In fact, lack of medication adherence is a well-researched problem in many countries. Solutions which have been developed to address this problem face three major issues: Entrenched mindset within the healthcare system, many of which are used to and unwilling to change from the legacy systems which were implemented decades ago. Complex nuances in healthcare delivery across different countries, making it hard to “copy” and “paste” solutions which have worked well in other areas. Because poor medication adherence is multifactorial, and many solutions focus solely on a few aspects, and do not employ a holistic approach. Nevertheless, entering this industry at this time excites me because we are in the midst of a global shift in healthcare models; one where the industry is moving away from a service-based model, towards a more value-based model. This shift means that traditional players such as insurance companies and pharmaceuticals are under increasing pressure from patients and payers to demonstrate the value of their products under real-world use. Medication adherence data is one crucial missing link in this puzzle to deliver better care to patients. Being able to build a business around these incumbents and pioneer a new way of care is something which I look forward to. What’s your connection to Asia? I am a Singaporean. Most of my experiences throughout my life have been in Asia. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? I have not worked in other Asian countries outside of Singapore, so I can’t comment on other Asian countries too much. Singapore has a relatively low barrier for starting a business, and all business rules and regulations are clear and transparent. The startup ecosystem is also rather comprehensive and easily accessible. Being a small country, Singapore has a very limited market for products and services. However, due to its size and efficiency, it serves as an excellent test bed for new ideas. Being a travel hub, travelling to other Asian countries is cheap and easy. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Fail fast, fail often. The greatest lessons are never learnt through success. Who inspires you? Elon Musk What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? Successful launch of Falcon Heavy and the recovery of the 2 side cores. The way the 2 cores landed was like something you’d only see in CGI. Very well calculated. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Applied for NOC (NUS Overseas College) How do you unwind? Go rock climbing. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? Nepal. I’m an outdoors guy. Being able to trek around the Himalayas is probably the best form of relaxation for me. Everyone in business should read this book: Creative confidence, by the Kelly Brothers Shameless plug for your business: Pillpresso is an award-winning health-tech startup that aims to improve medication adherence. We’re developing a medication management system that empowers seniors to manage their medicines independently and deliver proactive healthcare in the community through technology. Comprising individuals with complementary skills across business, engineering and medicine, our team is driven by a desire to improve healthcare and the human condition. Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Tech Factor Challenge https://www.opengovasia.com/articles/8072-top-4-grand-prize-winners-for-3rd-edition-of-ageing-in-place-tech-challenge-announced-in-singapore Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 Modern Aging https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/3-teams-receive-s-125-000-of-seed-funding-for-elderly-friendly-i-8246318 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 Elizabeth Wu, Co-founder & COO of Trehaus Published 4 days ago on April 23, 2018 By Callum Laing 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’. 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