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Erik Rasmussen, CEO of Interfone Pte Ltd

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Erik Rasmussen is keeping people connected whilst travelling. He is CEO at Interfone Pte Ltd.

What’s your story?
CEO at Interfone Pte Ltd, a Singapore based company founded in 2013. Interfone is built on a vision to become the preferred provider of convenient and cost effective voice and data roaming. The newly launched Interfone SIM is attached to the user’s home SIM in an easy one-time application giving the user a price competitive roaming solution. Prior to joining Interfone I have among other positions had the pleasure to work with the LEGO Group, participating building their platform for future growth in Eastern Europe, South Korea and Japan.

What excites you most about your industry?
The world is getting smaller, people travel more and want to stay connected to business partners, family and friends during travel. Staying connected can however be expensive if done by roaming or troublesome if buying local SIM cards at every travel destination. Consequently many travellers end up as ‘silent roamers’. I am excited launching a product that can attract both existing and ‘silent’ roamers allowing them to stay connected while traveling the world.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My two children grew up in the region so lots of happy memories. My wife and I are now back in Asia as we are based in Singapore in my position as CEO of Interfone Pte Ltd. Previously had the pleasure of living 3 years in South Korea followed by 4 years in Japan holding management positions within the LEGO Group.

er_2 interfone-logo

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is a fantastic place for business, everything works! Politically stable, low corporate tax rates, well-educated labour force, very centrally located in the Asia / Pacific region and on top of that ……the food!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Among many good pieces of advice received during my career I have a preference for “Winners never quit and quitters never win” as a reminder that there will be ups and downs during your both private and business related career and that we should be in it for the long haul.

Who inspires you?
There is quite a number of people who has and are inspiring me. Being a Dane and having worked at the LEGO Group I have to mention Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO at the LEGO Group for the tremendous turnaround he made, turning the LEGO Group into the biggest and by far most profitable toy company in the world driven by a strong believe in the potential of the LEGO Brick despite the digitization also of the toys for children.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That Freddie Mercury (Queen) would have been 70 years old this week.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
The movie Sliding Doors from 1998, a British-American romantic comedy-drama film very well illustrates the small things that (can) impact our life. Having used the occasion turning 50 this summer to reflect on my life, I surely did find bits and pieces that I should have done differently, but what would have happened then, well that is possible to show in a movie, but not in real life. Wanting to do something differently, doesn’t necessarily mean that what you did was wrong, but I do find it important to learn or adjust based on the “mistakes” that I make – or the things that I want to do differently.

How do you unwind?
I probably have the same challenge as many others in doing some regular exercise, but once done it is a great start to unwinding. I do enjoy travelling the Asia / Pacific region and spending time with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
That is very much depending on the season. In spring it is hard to compete with the Japanese cherry blossom trees, Borneo is a great place for relaxation during the summer period, while Sokcho at the east coast of South Korea is absolutely beautiful at autumn. Winter, or Christmas to be more specific, is traditionally celebrated back home in Denmark.

Shameless plug for your business:
Why queue when you land to buy a local SIM, head straight to the beach, to the meeting or to your hotel. The Interfone SIM works in nearly 100 countries, great rates on international calls & data roaming (save up to 90%) and you get to keep your home number. Find out more at; Interfone.com

How can people connect with you?
+6597668667, [email protected]
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/erik-rasmussen-0a5b0a

Twitter handle?
@Interfone_Asia and @RasmussenErik

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

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

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

Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

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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