Callum Connects Jina Lee & Chloe Qiu, Founding Partner of Findings Group Published 1 year ago on June 13, 2016 By Callum Laing Share Tweet What’s your story? Jina: Chloe and I were born two weeks apart with different yet complementary personalities and skill sets. I grew up in California and she grew up in Shanghai, then later Sydney. We first met in the summer of 2011 when we were both vacationing in Shanghai. I had worked in fashion and Chloe in investment banking for 5 years by that time. We both felt that we weren’t cut out for the corporate world and wanted to try to make something on our own. Chloe: We would be lying to say that we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into when we set up Findings Group in September that year. All we knew was that there were a lot of cool products that weren’t available in Asia, so we wanted to bring them here. There is a Chinese saying that “new born calves are not scared of tigers’. If we had known back then how hard it is to build a profitable and scalable B2B distribution business across 13 markets in Asia within 5 years, I’m not sure we would have started! Despite the ups and downs, building Findings Group and helping our brands grow have been the most satisfying journey in our life so far and we hope to continue on this path for as long as we can. What excites you most about your industry? E-commerce has been disruptive not only to the traditional retail industry but also the trading and distribution industry in recent years. Great changes often bring great opportunities, and we are excited to see how we can seize them. What’s your connection to Asia? Although we both grew up overseas, Asia has always felt like home. Its growth may have slowed in recent years but it still remains one of the most exciting places to do business. Favorite city in Asia for business and why? So far, Hong Kong for its efficiency and business friendliness. We are opening our first branch office in Shanghai this year, and hope to replicate it in other cool cities such as Seoul, Taipei and Singapore. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Jina: Do it right or do it again. Chloe: When you think you are done, you are only 40% done. Who inspires you? People with extreme mental grit such as Amelia Boone and David Goggins. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? It may be disproved in the future, but scientists now believe that black holes are 2D holograms! If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Chloe: I was a nerdy book worm when I was young. Now I wish I had been involved in more sports. Building a good business requires as much physical strength as it does mental toughness. Jina: I wish I had come out to Asia earlier. It’s such a dynamic environment with so many opportunities and being here has really opened my eyes to so many different perspectives. How do you unwind? Chloe: yoga, meditation and learning about quantum physics. Jina: Running, cooking and growing vegetables in my mini patio urban garden. Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? Chloe: Phuket. I was married there so it holds a special place in my heart. Jina: Seoul. It’s not really for relaxation, but I love the comfort of having family there and it feels like my home away from home. Everyone in business should read this book: Chloe: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Jina: Greatest salesman in the world by Og Mandino. Shameless plug for your business: If you are a lifestyle brand with good design and quality products seeking growth in Asia, talk to us and see whether our multi-channel distribution network across 13 countries in Asia can be of help to you. How can people connect with you? [email protected] [email protected] — This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur: Callum 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 Related Topics:asiaasianasian entrepreneurbusinesse-commerceEntrepreneurgrowthinterviewinvestmentjourneylifesingaporeStorythe asian entrepreneur Continue Reading You may like The Brittle vs. Ductile Strategy for Business What Kills A Startup Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor Is There A Coworking Space Bubble? Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy Arthur Lam, Co-Founder of Synergy Callum Connects Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor Published 4 days ago on October 18, 2017 By Callum Laing 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 Continue Reading Callum Connects Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy Published 5 days ago on October 17, 2017 By Callum Laing 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’. 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