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Kerrie Phipps, Leadership Coach, Speaker & Author

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Kerrie Phipps coaches leaders and entrepreneurs, writes books and supports others on their journeys through life.

What’s your story?
Growing up on a farm in Australia, I knew that people were always welcome; that if we met someone on the side of the road, they’d most likely be coming home for dinner. School life wasn’t so friendly, and I quickly learned that it really matters to make people feel welcome and included. I began my working life (after childhood farm work) in a dental surgery, where I learned the value of using and remembering people’s names, and the difference it makes to extend a hand of comfort and empathy when someone’s in a vulnerable, uncomfortable or even painful moment. I went on to work in other customer service roles in retail and banking, then youth and community work with regional churches and schools. After my second trip to Thailand volunteering (and Singapore for R&R on the way home) I picked up a virus that hit me hard, and mixed with burnout that was creeping in, eventually I was unable to work. After a very quiet (incapacitated) season I came across the right help, and soon after a new career. I trained as a coach in 2004 and became accredited in 2005. Since then I’ve been coaching leaders and entrepreneurs to think better, make the best decisions and the best connections with others. Writing for magazines led to writing books, and so many conversations built my business and supported many others. My latest book (which is the first in the series) is called DO Talk To Strangers: How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere. It’s the message I live. I love meeting people and the adventures that are possible as a result. I’m passionate about connecting people, making great things happen, and increasing positivity in the world.

What excites you most about your industry?
The collective impact of thousands of coaching/speaking professionals who inspire people to think more clearly, creatively and collaboratively, is astounding. We are empowering each other and countless more to make the world a brighter, sustainable, compassionate and proactive global community.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a close neighbour. I’m based in Australia and often visit Singapore, the Philippines and other Asian countries. While it might seem a long flight (8 hours from Sydney) it’s less time-consuming than many road trips I’ve done in Australia of 10 – 15 hours one way! I keep coming back, because I love the people, the opportunity to learn, and I keep being asked back – especially since writing a book that’s particularly relevant to a rapidly changing region, to people who are driven to make a positive difference in the world.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. I learn so much everyday, I’m inspired by what I hear and see. Every street is so interesting, creative and full of people with extraordinary stories and ideas. Business people encourage one another and share resources and experiences. There’s a wonderful vibe of beauty, innovation and growth.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“When you’re nervous, you’re thinking about yourself.” This observation enabled me to become more self-aware and let go of the apprehension of meeting new people, public speaking and other interactions. Being focused on serving others is liberating!

Who inspires you?
People who speak multiple languages, people who overcome adversity and have a good attitude, my grandparents (all 4 lived well, beyond 95 years of age), my parents, my husband and my son!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the installation hanging in Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 1 Atrium is made up of platonic solids (cubes, octahedrons, tetrahedrons etc). I didn’t really appreciate that until my 16 year old son pointed it out to me, in awe. (I think I’m in awe of him too.) It’s not a tangle of thin rods – it’s a mathematical marvel of shapes. Next time you’re in there, look up!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Be more curious. Ask for more information and advice. It’s better to ask and learn.

How do you unwind?
In water – pools, beaches, tubs of any size, and floatation tanks! Or simply taking a walk or writing my thoughts out.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Balesin Island, Philippines. It’s a private member-only island (AND their guests, thankfully) with 7 themed villages from around the world. A drive around is a global day trip of unique beach resorts from Asia to Greece and Italy – and it’s built for relaxation! There’s also a stunning wellness centre with rooftop thalassopools (think seawater jacuzzi’s – perfect for floating in and coming up with brilliant ideas.

Everyone in business should read this book:
DO Talk To Strangers: How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere. (I’m still learning from it and I wrote it! Connecting with people is how businesses grow!) I have so many useful books on my shelf, from neuroscience books like ‘You Are Not Your Brain’ by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and leadership books by John Maxwell and Brian Tracy. Leaders are readers.

Shameless plug for your business:
‘Connecting with Confidence’ is the workshop I’ve created for teams to collaborate courageously and effectively and reach out to clients with confident communication. I also work with leaders individually to increase their clarity and confidence in their leadership and astound themselves with their rapid, sustainable, personal growth. Every leader is unique and is the expert in their world. I simply ask the right questions and help the leader hear themselves think their best thoughts, and catch them doing well (they forget to learn from their strengths and wins) and support them to step forward with the brave decisions that they make.

How can people connect with you?
By sending a personal note! (always introduce yourself on Linkedin or Facebook as you send an invitation to connect) https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerriephipps/
https://www.facebook.com/KerriePhipps personal profile
https://www.facebook.com/KerriePhipps1/ public page
www.kerriephipps.com/contact to send me an email
Instagram @kerriephipps

Twitter handle?
@kerriephipps

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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