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Kelvin Koh, Co-Founder & CEO of Delta Duck Studios

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Kelvin Koh

Kelvin Koh’s, Delta Duck Studios develops games with his fellow business partners.

What’s your story?
I always wanted to start a business with like minded people. University would be the best place I thought, to do this. I joined an internship called Game Innovation Programme where I met fellow enterprising individuals who had the same passion for developing great games that people enjoy. The programme also gave me the opportunity to connect and work with a book publishing partner on a physics puzzler game called Getzapp. After the programme ended, the book publisher wanted to commercialize the game and a few of us took that on as a paid side project. Three of us who were about to graduate saw the side project as a springboard to greater things to come. Then, we decided to take the plunge and start a games development business focusing on games that not only entertained but also benefitted people in other ways. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back and together with my partners, we have created many games that people enjoy and even learn from.

What excites you most about your industry?
My personal interest is how games can also be a medium to not just entertain but also educate and improve lifestyles in a multitude of ways. This is exciting because, as an industry we are open to multiple opportunities beyond the industry itself, to connect and collaborate with other industries such as education and marketing. Also, if we look at the media industry as a whole, games and their IPs can be adapted to other forms of media to entertain such as films, cartoons, books and many more. I’m also excited about how games have evolved and can be put on multiple platforms to enjoy. A strong title can be adapted for PC, console, mobile and newer platforms such as VR, giving rise to a larger and more varied pool of audiences for companies to market to.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My three co-founders and I are born, raised and based in Singapore.

Delta Duck Studios team

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is one of the easiest places to start a business. Singapore is a business hub and recently has attracted a lot of investors as well as talent which we can hire. However, I do believe that businesses started in Singapore should have a vision from the start to create products that can serve larger markets.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Always adapt and learn. Business is dynamic and every day, one has to be resourceful and respond to changes fast but still stay true to the long term vision.

Who inspires you?
My dad. He’s street smart, people smart and super resourceful.
Delta Duck Studios team. Brightest and most passionate, hardworking people I’ve met and am grateful to share this entrepreneurial journey with.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That AI will replace a big proportion of human jobs. It is a scary thought but it also means governing policies, business structure and society as whole will require a paradigm shift to adapt to these changes in a way where outcomes can still be positive.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have worked at a variety of companies in different industries first before starting. I think it would have built up my experience and knowledge and I would probably have ended up learning more about best practices which I could apply in my own business now.

How do you unwind?
Play games, exercise, read and be social with close friends and new people.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. Been going there since childhood and feel the warmth and friendliness of the people which is a good break from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Entrepreneur’s Manual by Richard M White. Published in 1977 but the principles are as relevant as ever. It has shaped the way I think of and run business. Very practical and detailed tips covering various aspects from market research to finance that any aspiring or seasoned entrepreneur can apply right away.

Shameless plug for your business:
Delta Duck Studios (www.deltaduckstudios.com) is made up of a team of passionate gamers and game developers from Singapore. Our vision is to create games with innovative mechanics that have entertainment at their core but also go beyond it by positively enriching and impacting lives. We are about to launch our strategy mobile RPG called Monster Chronicles (www.monchron.com) this year with publishers. We create our own IP products but are also open to collaboration with various companies and institutions in industries beyond the media or games industry. Some partners we have worked with include Marshall Cavendish and the National Institute of Education (Singapore). Connect with us if you have any game or app/web development needs.

Delta Duck Studios

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelvinkohtongweng/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kelvin.koh.tong.weng/
Email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
https://twitter.com/kaizenkoh

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

Jace Koh, Founder of U Ventures

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Jace Koh believes cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Understanding it will enhance your ability to run and manage your business.

What’s your story?
My name is Jace Koh and I am the Founder of U Ventures. I’ve always been inclined towards investment and entrepreneurship. I’ve played a hand in starting businesses across these industries – professional services, cloud integration, software and music. I believe that succeeding in business is tough, but that’s what makes the rewards even sweeter.

What excites you most about your industry?
Everything excites me. These are my beliefs:

  • Why is accounting important?
    The accounting department is the heart. Cash flow is like blood stream, it pumps blood to various parts of the body like cash flow is pumped to various departments and/or functions in a business. It is vital to the life and death of the business.
  • Is accounting boring?
    Accountants are artists too. They paint the numbers the way they want them to be.
  • What makes a good accountant?
    A good accountant can tell you a story about the business by looking at the numbers.
  • Why is budgeting and projection important?
    Accountants are like fortune tellers, they can predict the numbers and if you wish to understand your business and make informed decisions, feel free to speak to our friendly consultants to secure a meeting.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, and here’s where I want to be.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city. We have great legal systems in place, good security and people with integrity. Most importantly, we have a government that fosters a good environment for doing business. I recently went for a cultural exchange programme in Hong Kong to learn more about their startups. I found out that the Hong Kong government generally only supports local business owners in terms of grants. They’ve recently been more lenient and changed the eligibility to include all businesses that have at least 50% local shareholding. But comparing that to Singapore, the government only requires a 30% local shareholding to obtain government support. In the early days of starting a business, all the support you can get is precious. It’s great that we have a government that understands that.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best time ever to plant a tree was 10 years ago as the tree would have grown so big to provide you with shelter and all. When is the next best time to plant a tree? It is today. Because in 10 years time, the tree would have grown big enough to provide you shelter and all.

Who inspires you?
Jack Ma. His journey to success is one of the most inspiring as it proves that with determination and great foresight, even the poorest can turn their lives around. I personally relate to his story a lot, and this is my favourite quote from him, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve faced multiple rejections throughout my business journey, and recently came across a fact on Jack Ma about how he was once rejected for 32 different jobs. It resonated very deeply and taught me the importance of tenacity, especially during tough times.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I live a life with no regrets. Everything I do, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, happy or sad, and regardless of outcome, it’s a lesson with something to take away.

How do you unwind?
I love to pamper myself through retail therapy and going for spas. I also make a conscious effort to take time off work to have a break outside to unwind as well as to uncloud my mind. This moment of reflection from time to time helps me see more clearly on how I can improve myself.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan! Good food with no language barriers and the people are great!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t really read books. Mostly, I learn from my daily life and interactions with hundreds of other business owners. To me, people tell the most interesting stories.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re not just corporate secretaries, we’re “business doctors.”
U Ventures is a Xero certified advisory firm that goes beyond traditional accounting services to provide solutions for your business. You can reach us on our website: http://uventures.com.sg/

How can people connect with you?
Converse to connect. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or alternatively, on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacekoh/

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

Ray Ferguson, Founder of Caber Partners

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Ray Ferguson left the banking world and returned to Asia to explore exciting fintech opportunities.

What’s your story?
I am the Founder of Caber Partners, a Singapore based MAS Licensed Fund Manager and Financial Advisor investing and working with companies focused exclusively on the intersection of finance and technology. I work specifically in the areas of payments, insurance, wealth management, alternative lending and blockchain.

I am also Chairman of Singapore Life which was founded last year. It is the first new local life company in Singapore. Concurrently, I chair Youtap a business which is creating a cashless e-money processing backbone providing real-time interoperable settlements of all consumer e-money payments to the merchants, e-money providers, retail and FMCG distribution groups, and banks across emerging markets.

My 30 year journey as a banker had its main leg with Standard Chartered Bank, where I held multiple country chief executive and regional leadership roles across four continents. I spent 6 years as Regional CEO, South East Asia and Chief Executive, Singapore. After Standard Chartered, I moved to Bank ABC, Bahrain and assumed the role of Group Chief Banking Officer where I took care of the group’s banking businesses worldwide.
Last year, I decided to step down after 3 years from my role with Bank ABC to return to Asia to pursue interesting and exciting opportunities that fintech disruption was providing.

What excites you most about your industry?
The sheer pace of technological innovation in the financial sector, and how it is up-ending the traditional models and traditional players. There are huge implications and benefits for efficiency, transparency and importantly financial inclusion which will drive growth in emerging markets.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have lived in and worked in Asia for more than 30 years. I first came to Singapore in 1994 and today I am a proud Singapore citizen, and to me Singapore is home.

Its an invigorating environment. Asia is in the middle of an historic transformation. If it continues to follow its recent trajectory, by 2050 its per capita income could rise sixfold in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms to reach Europe’s levels today. It would make some 3 billion additional Asians affluent by current standards. By nearly doubling its share of global gross domestic product (GDP) to 52 percent by 2050, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution. This is a big deal and I’m excited to be part of it!

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore! Singapore is known for being a business-friendly country and it was crowned the best country in World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business List” and ranks as the top 3 in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitive Index.” Singapore is an attractive hub, for both businesses and has a great community to live in.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listen intently and you will know what you don’t know.

Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the global mobile wallet market was valued at approximately USD 594 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 3,100 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 32% between 2017 and 2022.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt to code.

How do you unwind?
Exercise, golf and sailing large catamarans.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. Easy to reach, Thai people and service, breadth of choice of locations/accomodation and great sailing weather.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Good to Great – Jim Collins. It’s about how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how and why most companies fail to make the transition.

Shameless plug for your business:
Caber Partners team is uniquely connected with our networks and experience in fintech markets, investing and banking and business growth solutions throughout Asia and across the emerging world.

How can people connect with you?
Come connect with me through my LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rayfergusonscb

Twitter handle?
Rayferguson888

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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