Connect with us

Interviews

Eric Edmeades, Founder of WildFit

Published

on

Eric Edmeades is a South African born, Canadian raised, serial entrepreneur with a business background in mobile computing, wireless networking, Hollywood special effects, military research and development and business consulting. He is also the founder of WildFit, a fast-growing nutritional coaching company.

Approved-PressKit-Eric.BusinessFreedom

In your own words what do you do?

Mostly, I like to have fun. When I look at business projects I am looking for things that lie at the intersection of fun and value-creation. Recently, I have shifted my focus to one of my most serious passions: health care through self-care. I have spent over twenty years on an Indiana Jones-like exploration into the the history of the human diet and the science of behavioral change to create programs that genuinely change the way people think and feel about certain foods. As the founder of WildFit, I find myself at the forefront of a badly needed food revolution and nothing I have worked on in my life so far has been more fulfilling than this.

What led you to your current business?

As a young man I was frequently sick. Well, no, I should say I was pretty much always sick. I didn’t really think of it as ‘being sick’ so much as just being the way I was. After receiving some advice from a good friend, I changed a few things about my diet and, about a month later, I felt better than I had in years. That made me curious. I wondered how 10 years of doctors and specialists had done so little for me and one month of changing my diet could do so much.

That started me on a journey looking into medical education, human history, nutritional anthropology, behavioral psychology and the food manufacturing, marketing, and distribution business.

What I learned, over the next several years would change everything I thought I knew about food and health and soon I was sharing my views with anyone who would listen. I think I was even sharing with people who didn’t want to listen.

Could you walk us through your process of developing your business?

At first, it was a hobby. I had learned some powerful things about food and created great results for myself, some close friends and my family. About 5 years ago, I got into professional speaking as a business speaker and soon had many people asking me how I could have so much energy even though I was flying all over the world and spending so long on stage; some of my programs have me on stage for 10 or more hours a day for up to 5 days in a row.

And so I started sharing my ideas with customers and fans. And getting results.

One day I decided to formalize the approach. Instead of just giving people ‘rules’ to follow, I created a structure that would ease them into those rules while giving them a chance to really get to know themselves and to understand their relationship with food. The first class we did went so well, that we decided to launch a business around it. The rest, so far, is history.

Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?

Not really. I mean, yes, we have had growing pains. We have experienced exponential growth over the last year and that has been tough on our business systems and our people but otherwise, we have been pretty lucky. Our business grows primarily through word-of-mouth. Our clients look so different after a few weeks on the program that their friends and relatives start asking how they did it.

What is your long term plan?

We aim to have a major impact on the food and health care industry in the western world. Healthcare is one of the most significant burdens on society, and upon many families. So much of that is because our relationship with food is incredibly wrong. We are waking up to the realization that the cigarette manufacturers were puppy dogs compared to the level of profit-motivated manipulation that we have seen from the food industry.

Could you share with us some industry insights?

Look, if you manufacture food, there are only a few ways to increase your profits. You can get more people to eat your food but once you have saturated the market, you need to start getting more creative.

You could start by lowering the cost of the food you manufacture, which might then lower the quality of that food.

You could then figure out ways to get people to eat a great deal more of your food than they really need including, for instance, adding addictive substances or reducing the nutritional value of the food so that people remain hungry even after eating it.

The ‘industry’, per your question, in our world, starts with food manufacturers and ends up with the medical industry. The whole chain profits by people eating large volumes of low-quality food and then spending a great deal of money on medication starting with the innocuous and prolific antacids up to and including expensive and multi-year treatments for lifestyle caused heart disease and cancer.

What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?

The first thing is People. It is all about people. Take care of your people and they will take care of you.

The second thing is to invest in business systems. To be really scalable, a business needs well-defined procedures and solid business systems.

Have fun. I think it is really important to enjoy what you are doing as much of the time as possible and make sure that your people feel the same way.

Any tips for achieving success?

There are two different versions of success to consider. For business success, add as much value as possible (to everyone involved), attract the right people and don’t ever give up.

Personal success is much more simple. The more days you spend in true happiness, the more successful you really are.

Connect

Website: www.EricEdmeades.com

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/ericedmeades

Facebook: http://facebook.com/ericedmeades

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ericedmeades

Callum Connects

Jace Koh, Founder of U Ventures

Published

on

Jace Koh believes cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Understanding it will enhance your ability to run and manage your business.

What’s your story?
My name is Jace Koh and I am the Founder of U Ventures. I’ve always been inclined towards investment and entrepreneurship. I’ve played a hand in starting businesses across these industries – professional services, cloud integration, software and music. I believe that succeeding in business is tough, but that’s what makes the rewards even sweeter.

What excites you most about your industry?
Everything excites me. These are my beliefs:

  • Why is accounting important?
    The accounting department is the heart. Cash flow is like blood stream, it pumps blood to various parts of the body like cash flow is pumped to various departments and/or functions in a business. It is vital to the life and death of the business.
  • Is accounting boring?
    Accountants are artists too. They paint the numbers the way they want them to be.
  • What makes a good accountant?
    A good accountant can tell you a story about the business by looking at the numbers.
  • Why is budgeting and projection important?
    Accountants are like fortune tellers, they can predict the numbers and if you wish to understand your business and make informed decisions, feel free to speak to our friendly consultants to secure a meeting.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, and here’s where I want to be.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city. We have great legal systems in place, good security and people with integrity. Most importantly, we have a government that fosters a good environment for doing business. I recently went for a cultural exchange programme in Hong Kong to learn more about their startups. I found out that the Hong Kong government generally only supports local business owners in terms of grants. They’ve recently been more lenient and changed the eligibility to include all businesses that have at least 50% local shareholding. But comparing that to Singapore, the government only requires a 30% local shareholding to obtain government support. In the early days of starting a business, all the support you can get is precious. It’s great that we have a government that understands that.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best time ever to plant a tree was 10 years ago as the tree would have grown so big to provide you with shelter and all. When is the next best time to plant a tree? It is today. Because in 10 years time, the tree would have grown big enough to provide you shelter and all.

Who inspires you?
Jack Ma. His journey to success is one of the most inspiring as it proves that with determination and great foresight, even the poorest can turn their lives around. I personally relate to his story a lot, and this is my favourite quote from him, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve faced multiple rejections throughout my business journey, and recently came across a fact on Jack Ma about how he was once rejected for 32 different jobs. It resonated very deeply and taught me the importance of tenacity, especially during tough times.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I live a life with no regrets. Everything I do, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, happy or sad, and regardless of outcome, it’s a lesson with something to take away.

How do you unwind?
I love to pamper myself through retail therapy and going for spas. I also make a conscious effort to take time off work to have a break outside to unwind as well as to uncloud my mind. This moment of reflection from time to time helps me see more clearly on how I can improve myself.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan! Good food with no language barriers and the people are great!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t really read books. Mostly, I learn from my daily life and interactions with hundreds of other business owners. To me, people tell the most interesting stories.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re not just corporate secretaries, we’re “business doctors.”
U Ventures is a Xero certified advisory firm that goes beyond traditional accounting services to provide solutions for your business. You can reach us on our website: http://uventures.com.sg/

How can people connect with you?
Converse to connect. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or alternatively, on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacekoh/

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

Ray Ferguson, Founder of Caber Partners

Published

on

Ray Ferguson left the banking world and returned to Asia to explore exciting fintech opportunities.

What’s your story?
I am the Founder of Caber Partners, a Singapore based MAS Licensed Fund Manager and Financial Advisor investing and working with companies focused exclusively on the intersection of finance and technology. I work specifically in the areas of payments, insurance, wealth management, alternative lending and blockchain.

I am also Chairman of Singapore Life which was founded last year. It is the first new local life company in Singapore. Concurrently, I chair Youtap a business which is creating a cashless e-money processing backbone providing real-time interoperable settlements of all consumer e-money payments to the merchants, e-money providers, retail and FMCG distribution groups, and banks across emerging markets.

My 30 year journey as a banker had its main leg with Standard Chartered Bank, where I held multiple country chief executive and regional leadership roles across four continents. I spent 6 years as Regional CEO, South East Asia and Chief Executive, Singapore. After Standard Chartered, I moved to Bank ABC, Bahrain and assumed the role of Group Chief Banking Officer where I took care of the group’s banking businesses worldwide.
Last year, I decided to step down after 3 years from my role with Bank ABC to return to Asia to pursue interesting and exciting opportunities that fintech disruption was providing.

What excites you most about your industry?
The sheer pace of technological innovation in the financial sector, and how it is up-ending the traditional models and traditional players. There are huge implications and benefits for efficiency, transparency and importantly financial inclusion which will drive growth in emerging markets.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have lived in and worked in Asia for more than 30 years. I first came to Singapore in 1994 and today I am a proud Singapore citizen, and to me Singapore is home.

Its an invigorating environment. Asia is in the middle of an historic transformation. If it continues to follow its recent trajectory, by 2050 its per capita income could rise sixfold in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms to reach Europe’s levels today. It would make some 3 billion additional Asians affluent by current standards. By nearly doubling its share of global gross domestic product (GDP) to 52 percent by 2050, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution. This is a big deal and I’m excited to be part of it!

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore! Singapore is known for being a business-friendly country and it was crowned the best country in World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business List” and ranks as the top 3 in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitive Index.” Singapore is an attractive hub, for both businesses and has a great community to live in.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listen intently and you will know what you don’t know.

Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the global mobile wallet market was valued at approximately USD 594 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 3,100 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 32% between 2017 and 2022.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt to code.

How do you unwind?
Exercise, golf and sailing large catamarans.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. Easy to reach, Thai people and service, breadth of choice of locations/accomodation and great sailing weather.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Good to Great – Jim Collins. It’s about how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how and why most companies fail to make the transition.

Shameless plug for your business:
Caber Partners team is uniquely connected with our networks and experience in fintech markets, investing and banking and business growth solutions throughout Asia and across the emerging world.

How can people connect with you?
Come connect with me through my LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rayfergusonscb

Twitter handle?
Rayferguson888

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