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Jeremiah Su Weisheng, Director & Producer of Cinema Verite Pictures

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Jeremiah Su Weisheng

Jeremiah Su Weisheng is a visual storyteller. He tells stories through video productions in i=his creative agency, Cinema Verite Pictures.

What’s your story?
I started out with an interest in the media industry whilst studying Polytechnic. Initially I wanted to make it as a radio DJ, but after graduating, I realised I had a flair for video productions. After graduating, I went on to work in Mediacorp for a while, and left to become a freelancer, but realised that what I wanted most was a legacy and to build my own business, thus starting Cinema Verite Pictures in 2014. Now I call myself a visual storyteller. I don’t just make videos, I make stories through cinematic videography productions.

What excites you most about your industry?
The fact that every single video production is different to the next. One shoot I might be working with cats, the next I will be racing in fast cars. It’s so dynamic and organic and it always poses a new challenge for my team and I as we help our clients create and actualise their ideas and visions, into reality. The media landscape is also ever changing. Just 10 years ago, traditional media like newspaper, radio and TV, were obvious choices. Now social media and out of home advertising is changing the way we absorb content, but video always stays through to it’s cause; that is to bring visual content to the masses. With the advent of social media, it is disrupting traditional media and how it functions. As such, CVP has also moved with the times to focus more on social media videos. The platform may change, but video content will stay true and strong.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I grew up in Asia and my boutique creative agency is based in Singapore. Asia has some of the most innovative and exciting commercials ever, most of which come out of Thailand. I think that Asia has so much potential in terms of creativity, productivity and development. Look at James Wan, a Malaysian who re-invented horror with his features like Insidious and Conjuring. Pretty amazing stuff coming out of Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
If I could only choose one city, I would say Bangkok. The stuff that they produce in terms of video content, is out of this world. The clients and production houses all push boundaries with their amazing video content. An age old brand or product like soy sauce or sanitary pads, can be shown through a 5 minute short film that will get you crying in the end and feeling emotions you never knew existed. All in the name of soy sauce! How do they even do it?! Also, I like Bangkok for the fact clients and agencies are willing to do away with conventions to put out video content that tells a story, instead of hard selling a product.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Make your business scalable. For a business to be successful, you should be on the business, and not in the business.” So true, many people decide to start their own business because they’ve had it with the daily grind of being an employee, but they don’t realise that when they start their own business, they become slaves to the business as well, which is no better than being an employee.

Who inspires you?
Dave Grohl from the rock band Foo Fighters. He once said, and I paraphrase, that if you want to achieve something, don’t give a f#%k about the naysayers and just go out and do it. If you don’t, you will and end up dying an old shrivelled bastard filled with regret. So just keep on keeping on, doing what you do and eventually you will get there and achieve what you set out to do.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I took part in a course that teaches individuals how to be a seller on Amazon and to build a thriving effective e-commerce business. All the jargon and technicalities blew me away because being in the media industry for more than a decade and then learning something that is totally different from what you do, is difficult. But I subscribe to the notion of lifelong learning, and I have to be ON my business, and not IN my business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If time travel was possible, I would have gone back and started my agency earlier. I would have wanted to start my legacy in my early twenties, instead of wasting it away. I was driven and motivated back then, but I could have done so much more with my energies and youth, which possibly could have made me a millionaire by now. I mean, I’m short by maybe a few hundred thousand now, but still. With that said, I am happy that I went through what I went through to be where I am today, no complaints.

How do you unwind?
I go off-roading and camping in the forest, being one with nature. Sometimes we get too caught up with city life and all the technology that surrounds us, that we forget our humanity. As I am based in Singapore, I will usually do a roadtrip up to Malaysia and bash through forests and camp with a bunch of friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’m torn between Boracay and Chiang Mai. These destinations serve very different purposes. Boracay is beautiful with it’s pristine beaches and sun kissed clear blue waters. Ideal for me when I want to be where the sun meets the sand and the sea. Chiang Mai is more of mountains and nature and waterfalls and rainforests. So these two places would be my vacation, go to.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Philosophy of Givers Gain by Dr. Ivan Misner. It basically teaches business people that in order to earn business, you first give business. Somewhat like paying it forward. Do unto others what you‘d like others to do unto you.

Shameless plug for your business:
Cinema Verite Pictures is a collective of creative minds that perpetuates the embodiment of visual storytelling. We are not just a boutique creative agency. We bring your ideas to life on the screen, both big and small. We take a production from infancy through planning, storyboarding, ideation, to actualisation through cinematic videography, all the way to deliverables of a video product that clients will be proud to call their own, even offering distribution platforms on Swerve Community, a digital platform operated by CVP that produces original content that entertains, educates, inspires and informs.

How can people connect with you?
Can drop us a friendly email at [email protected], or direct to me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@thejeremiahsu

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

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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Callum Connects

William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market

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William Chin set up Mummy’s Market. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

What’s your story?
After National Service, I enjoyed a rousing start to my corporate career with successful stints at events and conventions companies such as IQPC, Hannover Fairs Australia and Lighthouse Independent Media in management roles, building my experience in conventions, trade fairs and events.

However, I hit a particularly bad streak of unemployment after that, facing difficulty finding jobs because according to recruiters, I was overqualified, yet too young. In fact, at one point I was struggling so badly with my family loans that I was sharing bowls of ramen with my girlfriend for our meals, to save costs.

My financial pressures eventually culminated in my forced venture into entrepreneurship where I had to strike out my own path with a brief stint in Expomal. However, this turned out to be my next break that fuelled my current success. It was there I built up Smartkids (another wildly successful baby and child fair) before it was bought out by a bigger company. Inspired by SmartKids, I started Mummy’s Market and eventually Baby’s Market, outperforming established names in the business to take its current place as market leader.

What excites you most about your industry?
Mummy’s Market is the industry leader in baby, kids, maternity and household with 80% market share and our clients – coupled with branding, advertising and exhibiting on Mummy’s Market platforms, we are seeing a 30-60% company growth year on year despite the downturn in the economy. With attendance of over 100k consumers per fair and serving 70-80% of pregnant mums, our actual business is in data, data collection and processing from consumer fairs.

I am excited about how big data analytics from Mummy’s Market can be applied at every stage of the retail process such as data segmentation – for retailers now when mums are giving birth to sending relevant content over. This will transform and innovate the industry of baby fairs and Mummy’s Market, with the huge amount of data we process from our fairs yearly, is the forerunner in this disruption. With this, we have transformed the DNA of how digital business has always been done. Global online marketplaces are burning cash quickly to achieve big data analytics, but not us.

Another testament to Mummy’s Market’s popularity is that huge marketplaces have been trying to pass off as Mummy’s Market. It shows that we are heading in the right direction and the most exciting part is, we are only at 10% of where we want to be – a platform where $1 billion gross market value products are transacted annually around Asia in a niche market.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore, and intend to stay in Singapore to build the Mummy’s Market brand.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore – if one can strategically become a leader in a small market like Singapore, its grounds to show that one’s business has an opportunity to grow further in larger countries.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“It is easy to become number 1 because the others can just copy and tweak to overtake you.
It is more difficult to STAY number 1, because you have no one to copy. You have to innovate.”

Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs – he transformed the digital age. Without the invention of smartphones, mobile computing and mobile advertising would never have grown. He changed the way businesses and consumers communicate. Without the introduction of iPhones, mobile applications would have never existed the way we are using them today.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You no longer have to lick stamps to make it sticky.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I love my life and my family. And I love the platform Mummy’s Market has created to help businesses grow.

How do you unwind?
I play with my little 1 year old baby girl.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan – cool weather with beautiful mountains and lake scenery.

Everyone in business should read this book:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

Shameless plug for your business:
Mummy’s Market has established its reputation as not just Singapore’s but Southeast Asia’s largest baby fair:

  • Nearly S$100 million gross merchandise volume transacted on Mummy’s Market platforms annually
  • 800,000 visitors at its fairs yearly
  • 80% of all of Singapore’s baby product distributors in one convention
  • 15-20% year on year increase in sales volume at every baby fair since its inception

Apart from market dominance, Mummy’s Market also has the largest database of parents and the number 1 platform for MNCs and SMEs to reach out to this audience. From exhibitions, magazines, seminars to digital campaigns and roadshows. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-chin-23910a9/

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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