Callum Connects Johnson Zhuo, Founder of Dream Sparkle Published 2 months ago on October 12, 2017 By Callum Laing Share Tweet Johnson believes, with “the right cleaning and disinfecting standards and technology, we can help Singapore to be productive!” His business, Dream Sparkle is cleaning and disinfecting homes to help prevent the spread of bacteria and other diseases across Singapore. What’s your story? From 2000-2007, I was a regular in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as a full-fledged operational paramedic. Seeing life and death, day in and out, it made me wonder: “What has life got to offer? Am I able to do more if I have more resources and capabilities?” I began to think of wanting to do more of what I was doing as a paramedic. In 2008, I left SCDF and joined a SME doing exhibition sales in the beauty industry. In the same year, I invited local SMEs to exhibit their products and services in South East Asia before I got the opportunity to start my first business selling massage cream to Singapore spa and salon owners. Things were rosy at the beginning. I thought everything I touched, everyone I met, would turn to gold. However, I tasted my first failure when I ventured into Indonesia. In 2012, I was fortunate to have my previous boss from SCDF employ me back as a paramedic in Unistrong Technology (S) Pte Ltd. Doctor Tan said to me, “Johnson, nothing is lost when you are still alive. Come back as a paramedic and continue doing what you are good at and at the same time, look at what you want in life.” In 2014, I started to understand, life isn’t just about money, fame and power, it’s what one wants to do with it when he or she has it and what he or she wants to leave behind before he or she touches the earth. I want to set up a Moral Education Centre for our next generation and an Elderly Hospital to remember our pioneering generation. There is a gap in the Singapore cleaning industry, there has also been an increase in hand, foot, mouth disease cases in Singapore. So, on 29 September 2014, Dream Sparkle Pte Ltd was founded. We clean and disinfect households using Singapore ambulance cleaning standards and non-harmful to health cleaning solutions. What excites you most about your industry? Without a clean and safe environment, people tend to get sick easily. Parents have to take childcare leave or MC to take care of their young ones and/or elderly parents. What if, Dream Sparkle can take care of all households’ cleaning and hygiene issues and adults can just have peace of mind and being able to concentrate on their jobs? Singapore is rapidly turning into an aging nation, we can’t afford to have an unclean environment where everyone gets sick easily due to an outbreak of bacteria or flu. Hence, I believe, with the right cleaning and disinfecting standards and technology, we can help Singapore to be productive! What’s your connection to Asia? In 2015, I joined Business Network International BNI Singapore. I began to meet like minded people in business and expanded my network into China and Malaysia. Last year, we participated in events in Malaysia, at the Malaysian Association of Hoteliers Networking event and collaborated with hotelier partners such as the Amari Hotels. This year, I visited Guang Zhou BNI chapters and we were in discussions to set up Dream Sparkle in the Guangzhou or Chong Ching regions. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? Other than Singapore (my home), Guang Zhou is another city I like. As at 2016, Guang Zhou has a population of 14.04 million. It’s a large city where you can find people from all walks of life. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Doctor Tan:” You are still alive!” Who inspires you? Singapore founder, Lee Kuan Yew. He was the one who wanted Singapore River to be cleaned up and trees to be plant all over our garden city. He rolled up his sleeves and went down to sweep the corridors with the cleaners. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? I used to think, China was a bit backward in terms of their financial services, until recently when I visited Guangzhou. All their retail stores, big or small (even side stalls selling food) and taxis, all use E-payment gateway. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Found Dream Sparkle earlier! I believe, we should move on with life. How do you unwind? Sports such as basketball or badminton (currently learning golf), talking with like minded people over a glass of wine. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? China? It is rich in history. Everyone in business should read this book: “Becoming Steve Jobs” Steve Jobs’ business path and how he picked up and became a better person. Shameless plug for your business: 1) Dream Sparkle, we make your Dream House Sparkle with joy! 2) Dream Sparkle, we make Children and Elderly Dreams Sparkle! How can people connect with you? Visit me at my BNI networking Chapter (Enterprise) at 275 Beach road 3th floor every Wednesday 9.30am-12.30pm. Contact me at my Facebook page: Zhuo Johnson or email me at [email protected] — 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 Related Topics:asiaasianbusinessdreamEducationEntrepreneurequityeventhealthIndonesiainterviewinvestorlifemalaysiaMarketingmePrivate EquitysingaporeStorytechnology Continue Reading You may like 10 Effective Funding Models for Non-Profit Startups Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Women on Top in Tech – Pam Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99Designs Renata Brkić William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market How We Can Innovate the Legal Industry like Elon Musk Callum Connects Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Published 1 day ago on December 15, 2017 By Callum Laing 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 Continue Reading Callum Connects William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market Published 2 days ago on December 14, 2017 By Callum Laing 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’. 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