Connect with us

Callum Connects

Josh Lee, Owner of Josh Lee Fragrances

Published

on

Josh Lee is living his childhood dream as a perfumer. He literally practices what he preaches, preserving his ‘heritage through scent.’

What’s your story?
When I was three, my father used to spray some of his cologne on me before we left the house. Since then, I have always been intrigued by the different scents that came through my nose. Moreover, I grew up in a family with a shop that sells cake-ingredients. It was always filled with the aroma of comfort flavours such as vanilla and chocolate. Equipped with over a decade of experience in the fragrance industry and trained at the prestigious perfumery institute, ISIPCA in France, I founded my own fragrance brand, Josh Lee Fragrances.

What excites you most about your industry?
I’m a dreamer who is passionate about scent and will always pick up scents and aromas around me from flowers to food wherever I go or travel to.  All my fragrances are reflections of my life’s story; the places I have been and the cultures I have immersed myself in. I believe that we need to preserve our heritage in order to move forward into the new century and I am doing my part by preserving our heritage through scents. Hence, my tagline is ‘Heritage through scent.’

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in a Chinese family in Penang. Nevertheless, there are so many different cultures, heritage and food in Malaysia. In fact, there is a bit of everything; Malay, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Dutch, English and even Japanese. If you ask me, the capital of Asia would be Malaysia! And that’s why all my fragrances are inspired by the heritage, culture and nature of Asia and Malaysia. My current fragrance collections are called George Town, OUD and Nyonya. My next fragrance collection in 2016 will be based on the flowers of Asia and Malaysia.

Josh Lee Potrait Perfume Formulation JoshLeeNewLogo1A

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Penang is becoming a popular tourist destination since George Town in Penang has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Moreover, we have so many international festivals here, in particular the George Town Festival which has encouraged many tourists and hence, it is a great platform to promote my fragrances to the world.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Everything is personal, from taste, beliefs and actions to preference. You can not please everyone but you can make their life a better place to live in if you choose to.

In addition, no matter how successful or popular you have become, always remember to have humility and be kind to others.

Who inspires you?
My 68-year mother is the most important person in my life. She always encouraged me to pursue my dream to become a perfumer, ever since I was young. She taught me a lot of personal skills such as leadership and management skills and she is the driving force in my father’s business. That’s why she is like my consultant for my business as she is standing behind me on my positive decisions in life and confronting me on the negative ones.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You need different sets of keys to open different doors. No matter how good you are, you still need good team members to do what they are good at and deliver the best results for you.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have added culinary chef to my bio. It is all about senses after all. Food triggers our memory while taste buds are as powerful as the sense of smell. But it is never too late to learn and I may join some short culinary classes in Penang such as the Nyonya food class by renowned Nyonya chef, Pearly Kee.

How do you unwind?
Most of the times, I enjoy a good swim to relax and clear my mind and sometimes it is a good time for me to put my thoughts together while swimming.

I am an avid chocoholic and a small chunk of dark chocolate is my daily dose to kick off my day.

I will always travel two to three times a year. My mind roams free when I travel to places that have diverse cultures, nature and food. Places like Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Provence and the Côte d’Azur in France have intriguing scents of flowers and herbs such as lavender, lemongrass, frangipani, rose, jasmine and others.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I loved visiting Bangkok. It is a vibrant and dynamic city with a diverse arts scene as well as delicious food to feed the soul, especially the tom yum soup, phad thai and street food. You can also get a good brewed coffee at a reasonable price. I always feel rejuvenated with a relaxing spa and awesome Thai massage there. I am also inspired by the local designers who have such incredible creativity and skills.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business by Paul Downs.

It is a compelling memoir – not a manual – about life as a small business owner with honest reflections on failures and shortcomings. It is not just a story, but a page turner. I finished it in two days. This isn’t a tale of his business brilliance or financial success. It’s a story of trying to figure it out, day by day and all the mistakes and false starts every business runs into along the way. It is definitely a good learning curve for new start-up entrepreneurs.

Shameless plug for your business
Josh Lee’s fragrances are personally created and concocted by award-winning fragrance designer, Josh Lee.  Born in Penang and trained at the prestigious perfumery institute, ISIPCA in France, Josh’s fragrances are inspired by the heritage, culture and nature of Malaysia and Asia.

All fragrances are certified HALAL by Jakim Malaysia with international quality certification by IFRA (The International Fragrance Association). We strive to promote Malaysia and Asia to the world with our tagline: ‘Heritage through scent.’

How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.joshleefragrances.com
Instagram: @joshleefragrances

Twitter handle?
@joshleefrag

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

Published

on

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

on

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

Continue Reading

Trending