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Imran Mohamad, Founder of Street Smart University

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Imran is helping small businesses reach 6 figure growth in just 12 months! Their success is what drives him and his business.

What’s your story?
I am an author, entrepreneur, coach, husband, father and your number one fan. My personal mission with my business Street Smart University and our brands is to empower one million lives for more wealth, freedom and happiness. I also coach solopreneurs to add six figures in under twelve months for more impact, independence and income.

What excites you most about your industry?
Education has been democratised – where information used to be scarce and expensive, we’re in an age of over information. Seeing people’s lives change through our programs, events and consulting work is what I love.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m born and bred in Singapore. My ancestry originates from south China and Java. My wife is Vietnamese and lives with me in Singapore. We love travelling and also conducting business around Asia – I personally have run events and spoken in several cities in Asia including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Bali and I look forward to many more.

Fast Business Growth TV Banner Final imran janny and team in bali

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city for business is still my home town, Singapore. It’s very accessible to travel and connect to and it’s a great place for anybody to enter Asia because of it’s speed, it’s proficiency with English and the connectivity to businesses and markets big and small.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I have received is to go straight to a mentor or advisor who has done and is currently doing what they want to achieve and get advice, pay to learn, or partner with a mentor to get your results in the fastest way.

Who inspires you?
Entrepreneurs who go out to make a difference. I understand the demands of business, clients, family, social life, personal life and the stresses that solopreneurs or small business owners face. It can be a lonely and taxing journey and the reason they do it is because they believe in something bigger than themselves and want to take care of their family and community. These people inspire me!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I spent some time with celebrity internet entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in Sydney and also invited him to Singapore to talk. He shared why he was able to grow businesses SO FAST – he took his family wine business from $3M a year to $60M and his media company in 4 years to $100M a year from scratch. He talked about a concept called attention arbitrage – which is knowing where your audience is focusing their attention on, which is new and cheap because all your competition is not focusing their attention there. An example would be Gary pouncing on Google ads when it first came out – and paying as low as 5 cents a click for all the wine keywords. Today people pay upwards of $10 per click – meaning the cost per lead has gone up 200 to 300 times. Another example is, brands are spending huge budgets on Facebook to build up a fanpage only to realise that they don’t have access to their list. Their organic reach is somewhere from 1 to 3% of their list. Brands that build on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat enjoy 100% organic reach as the platforms are not as mature. Just understanding where the trends of attention are going and the context of these platforms to engage your audience allows you to create quantum leaps of engagement.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would create a clear picture of success in my head and know why I want to achieve it. I would then go straight to a mentor and figure out whatever way to work with him or her and I would obsessively focus on my business 100% to get it off the ground – revenue first.

How do you unwind?
My primary mode of unwinding every day is good exercise and meditation. Sweating it out and creating headspace is super important for me to keep grounded and maintain my priorities in business and life! I also love cooking, massages, music and intimate conversations with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Da Nang, Vietnam. I fell in love with the city when I went there for my honeymoon. It’s Vietnam’s 3rd largest city, without the chaos and pollution of Ho Chi Minh City. It happens to have a beautiful river running through the city. Twenty kilometers of unspoilt and empty beaches and also mountains by the bay. Absolutely beautiful, perfect weather and a perfect place to relax and not meet tonnes of people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
I love the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. While not everybody aims to be a lifehacker or freedom entrepreneur, the techniques he shares in this book outline the new reality that entrepreneurs live in. Internet, attention arbitrage, price arbitrage can create significant advantages and freedoms that weren’t available just 10 years ago. Anybody can very quickly create wealth and win high-paying clients while running a remote team based in the Philippines. This is not only available for huge global companies who set up whole call centres in countries like the Philippines or India, but it is also now available to the solopreneur, allowing him to create leverage, less infrastructural costs and oversight and more time and location freedom. If a business owner’s objective is to create a lifestyle of design and help more people, then this is a great reference.

Shameless plug for your business:
I help solopreneurs and small business owners add 6 figures to their business in under 12 months with my Fast Business Growth coaching and consulting. Industry or niche is less important than the fact that I work primarily with entrepreneurs who sell information and expertise – consulting services, trainers, IT services and more. I’ve helped people starting without an idea generate more than $10,000 in revenue within 2 months of execution and established partners coming into Asia for the first time, generate $350,000 in less than 12 months in a brand new market.

How can people connect with you?
Visit my website, www.FastBusinessGrowth.co and my page https://www.facebook.com/ImranMohamadTheFastStart where you can receive tonnes of resources and more than 10 hours worth of video stories, insights and business tips.

Twitter handle?
@imranfaststart

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

Marek Danyluk, CEO of Space Ventures

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Marek Danyluk has a talent for assessing the competencies of management teams for other businesses and pulling together exceptional teams for his own businesses!

What’s your story?
I am the CEO of a venture capital business, Space Ventures, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses. I also own and run Space Executive, a recruitment business focused on senior to executive hires across sales, marketing, finance, legal and change.

My career started as a trainee underwriter in the Lloyds market but quickly moved into recruitment where I set-up my first business in 2002. The business grew to around 100 people. I moved to Asia in 2009 as a board member of a multinational recruitment business with the mandate to help them scale their Asian entities, which helped contribute to their sale this year, in 2017.

My main talent is assessing the competencies of management teams as well as building high performing recruitment boutiques and putting together exceptional management teams for my own businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
Building the business is very much about attracting the best talent and being able to build a culture which people find invigorating and unique. It’s an exciting proposition to be able to define a culture in that regard and salespeople are a fun bunch, so when you get it right it’s tremendous.

From a VC point of view there is just so much happening. South East Asia is a melting pot of innovation so the ideas and quality of people you have exposure to, is truly phenomenal. The exposure in the VC has taken me away from a career in recruitment. Doing something completely different has given me a new level of focus.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Whilst I came here with work, both my boys were born in Singapore and to them this very much is home. That said, my father in law spent many years in the East so coming and settling here was met with a good degree of support and familiarity.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Possibly Hong Kong. It’s the closest I’ve been to working in London. Whilst there are massive Asian influences people will work with you on the basis you are good at what you do and work hard. I find that approach very honest and straightforward.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Always treat people well on the way up!”

Who inspires you?
I like reading about people who have excelled in business such as Jack Ma, James Kahn, Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, all have great stories to tell and they are all inspirational. No-one has inspired me more than my parents and they are well aware as to why…

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Pretty much any technology innovation blows me away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Whilst it is important not to have regrets I do continually wake up thinking I’m still doing my A’ Levels. So, I’d have probably tried a little harder in 6th form.

How do you unwind?
I like the odd glass of red wine and watching sport

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan skiing. I love skiing and Japanese food and it’s a time when I can really enjoy time with the wife and kids. I recently tried the Margaret River which was divine, although not technically Asia.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Barbarians at the Gate

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive is the fastest growing recruitment business in Singapore focused on the mid to senior market across legal, compliance, finance, sales and marketing and change and transformation. Multi-award winning with exceptional growth plans into Hong Kong and London this year, and the US, Japan and Europe by the end of 2022. We are building a truly global brand.

Space Ventures is interested in any businesses that require capital or management and financial guidance or any or all of the above. We have, to date, invested in on-line training, food and beverages, peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring as well as other tech and fintech start-ups. We are always interested in hearing about potential deals.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@Spaceexecutive

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

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

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Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched.

What’s your story?
I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position.

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start.

How do you unwind?
I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki

Shameless plug for your business:
Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning.

How can people connect with you?
Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@malcolmABM

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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