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Keith Lam, Founder of Limezy.com

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To Keith Lam, starting your own business is something only you can learn yourself. Creating his own opportunity, Keith has recently launched Limezy.com, an online leisure learning video platform.

What’s your story?
After graduation from the United Kingdom, I went back to where I felt I belonged, Hong Kong. I had several jobs in which I gained experience in recruiting and corporate sales, but I always knew one day, I would set up my own company. Most of my friends started their own businesses. So, I started to think that I should not wait for an opportunity to come to me, I should create one for myself and start my own venture. So I gathered together my like-minded friends and started a leisure learning platform called Limezy.

What excites you most about your industry?
There have been several well established video platforms over the past decade. Well known free platforms such as youtube.com which focus on entertainment and paid platforms such as Lynda.com which focus on professional courses such as software and business skills. I am certain that currently there is a lack of well-established leisure learning video platforms. Modern video sites are certainly full of videos, however, they are disorganized. One of our main goals is to establish an organized video platform. We have chosen to start with food and beverages due to the current supply and demand in the market and we have successfully partnered with several content providers in a short period of time.  
 
What’s your connection to Asia?
Limezy is currently based in Blueprint, a working space together with several well-known local startups and it is also one of the largest startup communities in Hong Kong. Blueprint allows us to share ideas, knowledge and experience amongst different startups. We have a good relationship with local Hong Kong coffee shop owners, wine sellers and restaurant owners who provide valuable ideas on our platform. We have also formed partnerships with video creators from Japan, Australia, India and the United States which allow users to learn about international food as well as local.

limezy employee 1 limezy employee 2 limezy logo 1

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong is my favourite city in Asia for business. Although it is a very small city compared to other Asian cities with only 7 million people, Hong Kong is a multinational city where most people understand more than 3 languages (such as English, Chinese and Putonghua). Another key element is Hong Kong has a high-speed internet connection. Hong Kong has the fastest internet connection for smartphone and PC compared to other countries around the world. Hong Kong people are also well educated and more willing to accept new ideas.
 
Moreover, IT development in both hardware and software are not as matured as they are in the U.S and Europe, therefore there are is a lot of potential for us to grow.
 
Geographically, Hong Kong has a close relationship with China. This relationship allows us to source cheap resources and expand our market to other nearby countries such as Singapore and Thailand.
 
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Don’t forget about the content,” is the best piece of advice given to me. This statement may sound very simple, but many IT startups forget this point out and focus too much on their website or app. Imagine there is a physical store on the street selling clothes. No matter how nicely you decorate your store, if you only have 10 pieces of clothes in it, you can only attract customers to a certain point and then you have sold all your clothes. In an IT startup, rather than just looking at the design, the content should be the key to success.
 
Who inspires you?
The co-founder of GOGO VAN. He is a well-known entrepreneur and also a close friend. I have seen his business grow from scratch. It is now a large corporate business.  

He has given me a lot of advice to keep our keep our business going! The most inspiring thing he said was, “developing a start-up business is a difficult process, you may hear a lot of negative comments from friends and even family. You may get challenged by people around you.  But the only thing that makes you a successful entrepreneur is to believe in yourself.”
 
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I read in an article titled, 10 disappearing jobs that will not exist in 10 years and learnt that even social media manager is on the list!
 
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have started my own business whilst I was in university. School does not teach you how to start your own business. The only way to learn is by doing it yourself.
 
How do you unwind?
I enjoy walking around at midnight when there is no one on the streets and no lights on. Quiet places help me cool down and refresh myself, as do open areas. Sometimes when I walk around the streets, I look at the different banners and advertisements. They give me inspiration. Some of my epiphanies actually came from walking!
 
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
My favourite Asian destination for relaxation is Hua Hin in Thailand. Hua Hin is around 200km south-west of Bangkok. I love it’s beautiful long shore, sunshine and beaches.
 
Hong Kong people work in small offices all day long, especially those who work in IT startups. Having a big office in Hong Kong is almost impossible. With the long hours we work, sunshine and blue sky are a luxury.
 
If I could travel to Hua Hin again, I would spend a day lying on the beach sunbathing, reading books, and listening to the waves to recharge myself.
 
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel, Co-founder of Paypal.

This book talks about the pitfalls that a startup business may face. The book is inspiring and you can easily relate to the stories. The most important message I learnt was to always self-assess the business to ensure you are on the right track.

We failed many times during our early stages in developing this business, and the mistakes we made are clearly pointed out in the book! I wish I could have read this book earlier!

This book is highly recommended to start-up businesses like us!
 
Shameless plug for your business:
Limezy – Discover the fun in cooking
 
How can people connect with you?
You can visit us on www.limezy.com
Via our corporate website (www.limezy.info) or message us at message at [email protected]
 
Twitter handle
We don’t have a Twitter account but you may visit our Facebook fan page
(https://www.facebook.com/Limezy-Discover-the-Fun-in-Cooking-500378233373515/)

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnects

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

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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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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