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Live in the Moment with Ivy See

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RIWAY means “Right Way”, leading everyone to the right path! RIWAY International advocates the unique direct selling values of integrity, righteousness and positivity, and by following these steps, those who join RIWAY and their teams are able to soar further and stronger.

Ms Ivy See has been in the direct selling industry for almost 25 years, and she sees all that she had been through with a heart of gratitude. All this while, she learned with a thankful heart and shared what she had learned with others. These experiences became her knowledge too as she was sharing it.

Ivy See started her previous direct selling career after she completed her Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM). With experience as a manager in numerous direct selling companies, and a director of her own company, she is now the Vice President of Operations in RIWAY. Having gone through many challenges and tests, she is now very familiar with every in and out of the industry, while cherishing every moment of her career life.

Ivy See has come back with great passion. She had initially wanted to start her own business, living a simple and peaceful life. But after knowing RIWAY International’s Founder and President Dr Lim Boon Hong, her life took a new turn. “Although I had been helping Dr Lim with projects involving market developments, I had no intention to go back to direct selling industry at that time.”

However, Dr Lim had never failed to share with her RIWAY’s development, vision and mission. Seeing him handling different situations with poise and calm, she started to change her mind.

The fact that Dr Lim Boon Hong announced her as the Vice President of Operations for RIWAY International at one of the Leaders Recognition Nights was really a surprise and was unbelievable for her.

Dr Lim Boon Hong’s perseverance and tenacity had brought back the passion towards direct selling within her. What moved her most was seeing that within a few years, leaders who once lacked confidence were standing on stage and sharing their success after going through tests and challenges, besides having their financial and health improved significantly. “This is why I like direct selling so much, to see the positive changes in people,” she said.

According to Ivy, RIWAY’s four top management personnel include the Founder and President Dr Lim Boon Hong, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing Ms Claudia Ong, Vice President of Business Development Dato’ Kenny Wong and herself. Each of them playing an important role in the company. Ivy is in charge of and manages the whole operations of the company, taking care of the customer services sector and supporting its internal and international operations.

After joining RIWAY in year 2011, her team has been developing the international market. In year 2011, the Indonesia market was launched, which was followed by the Taiwan market in year 2012. Another 12 new branches were opened at the same time in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan respectively, and also ventured into the Thailand market in the year of 2014. She has always believed that this company was going to flourish and shine in the global market.

Ivy See feels that one should not be afraid to do more, as this will turn into great skills. Always have the courage to ask questions, and there will be someone who is willing to help you out. To her, challenges are just part of the growing and learning process. She says, “You will be well-equipped and become stronger to handle the challenges in future, and continue to fight towards your goal.” RIWAY International does not only provide a direct selling career platform, but it also resembles a big educational institute, advocating the values of the right attitude in doing business, sincerity and respect towards others, the power of thinking and self-improvement. Like the law of attraction, when one is positive and becomes a better person, then one will have more capacity to help others.

The good working environment at RIWAY International has produced many quality workers. From the Vice President of Operations’ point of view, Ivy feels that there must be trust between co-workers, in order to grow from their mistakes and move towards the same goal. Thus, everyone must learn to improve themselves in every situation instead of pointing fingers at others when something happens, and to prevent division in a company. Thus, she constantly encourages her staff frequently, so that they can be positive and pro-active in a healthy and peaceful working environment. Moreover, she sees solving personnel issues as a priority, “Because when human affairs are solved, only then the rest will fall into place.”

RIWAY International upholds positive vision and mission, which Ivy See will fully support it if one day her children choose direct selling as their career. She said, “Because in this career, one has to learn how to sell, experience rejection, learn to encourage themselves, to think and to set goals.” She said gratefully, “I am very thankful that I have the chance to be in this career. I really like my current career, and it helps many normal people to fulfill their dreams.” She smiled, “All these experiences that I gained are worth-while!”

Looking at the future of RIWAY, Ivy has been exceptionally excited. The company has entered into its 7th Anniversary and its total revenue has made it one of the top 100 direct selling company. She believes that RIWAY is going to be the top ten, top five, top three and even the number one in the world, with every RIWAY distributor striving towards the same goal! Thus, Ms Ivy See and her team will fight for this goal together and to create a stable and fast growing company, and overcome the limits.

Ivy See Chein Ling is a winner of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015 Malaysia, under the Outstanding Category. The Awards were held on 27th August 2015 at InterContinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Callum Connects

Andrew Schorr, Founder of Grata

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Taking a different route throughout his life, Andrew Schorr ended up in China and started several businesses.

What’s your story?
I moved to China after I graduated from college in 2004. English teaching was the easiest way to get there, so I looked on a map and picked a small town in Hubei, because it looked to be more or less in the middle of China. I was the only foreigner there.

Back then, everything was about the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, so I moved to the capital after my year of teaching. Pretty soon after arriving, I met the co-founder for all three of my companies. We decided to start a company together the first day we met. He has now moved back to the US and builds flight software at SpaceX.

Our first company, an online city guide, was re-purposed into our second company, GuestOps, a web concierge platform. We sold GuestOps to most of the major international hotel brands in China and still operate it. The genesis of our latest company, Grata came from looking at the intersection of hotels and WeChat in 2012, when WeChat was just starting to blow up. Grata expanded from hotels into a live-agent customer service console.

What excites you most about your industry?
Our thesis with Grata has always been that what is happening with WeChat in China is the future of messaging platforms globally, and as an international team building on WeChat, we would be well-placed to capitalize on that trend. It’s taken longer than we expected for the industry (and us, for that matter) to get there, but finally, we’re starting to see messaging as a platform to get better traction in other markets.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian. I grew up in Texas, where all my friends studied Spanish in school. I studied German for no reason in particular. I took a similar path in college: Chinese and Japanese seemed like languages that not a lot of people who look like me studied. I was one of only two students in my third-year Chinese class.

Concur conference in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (Photo by Paul Sakuma, Paul Sakuma Photography) www.paulsakuma.com

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Shanghai. I should live there, but Beijing has been home for so long. I take the night train down to Shanghai every two-three weeks to meet with clients. Domestic flights are way too unreliable here.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t plan too far ahead; otherwise, you plan yourself out of good opportunities.

Who inspires you?
Has anyone said “Elon Musk” yet? Barack Obama would be another.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The gravitational waves recently detected from neutron stars colliding, were so subtle as to only affect the distance from earth to our closest star, Alpha Centauri (4.24 light years away) by the width of a human hair. Perhaps in another life or in the future, I’ll be an astronomer, but a telescope doesn’t do me much good in Beijing.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
When I give advice to students looking to get into entrepreneurship, I advise them to work for a post-Series A startup first and learn from a company that’s already doing things well. I learnt everything on my own, which is slower and you pay for your own education. If you work for a startup that’s small in the beginning, you risk learning bad habits.

How do you unwind?
I Hash! The Hash is a drinking club with a running problem. The Hash attracts good people from all walks of life and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a great way to meet fun-loving people all over the world. It’s also how I met my co-founder, our first lawyer, and my girlfriend.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia. A fantastic beach and where I first learned to scuba dive.

Everyone in business should read this book:
For business in China, Tim Clissold’s, Mr. China.

Shameless plug for your business:
Grata does WeChat contact centers for many top-tier brands in luxury retail, travel, financial services and hospitality. We started developing on WeChat before they even had an open platform. Grata provides the most value for large enterprises with complex routing and content demands for their contact centers.

How can people connect with you?
Check out www.grata.co or email me: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
My personal handle is @andrew_schorr and we tweet about messaging from the company handle @grata_co.

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

Benjamin Kwan, Co-Founder of TravelClef

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Making music to create a life for his family, Benjamin Kwan, started an online tuition portal and his music business grew from there.

What’s your story?
I am Benjamin and I’m the Co-Founder of TravelClef Group Pte Ltd, a travelling music school that conducts music classes in companies as well as team building with music programmes. We also run an online educational platform which matches private students to freelance music teachers. We also manufacture our own instruments. I started this company in 2011 when I was still a freshman at NUS, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I was born to a lower income family, my father drove a taxi and was the sole breadwinner to a family of 7. I have always dreamed of becoming rich so that I could lessen the burden placed on my father and give my family a good life.

After working really hard in my first semester at NUS, my results didn’t reflect the hard work and effort I put in. At the same time, I was left with just $42 in my bank account and it suddenly dawned on me that if I were to graduate with mediocre results, I would probably end up with a mediocre salary as well. I knew I had to do something to gain control of my future.

During that summer break, I read a book “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox and I knew that the only way I could ever start my own business with my last $42 would be to start an online business. That was how our online tuition portal started and after taking 4 days to learn Photoshop and website building on my own, I started the business.

What excites you most about your industry?
Music itself is a constant form of excitement to me as I have always been an avid lover of music. As one of the world’s first travelling music schools, we are always very eager and excited to find innovative ways to a very traditional business model of a music teaching.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore and I love the fact that despite our diversity in culture, there’s always a common language that we share, music.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hands down, SINGAPORE! Although we are currently in talks to expand to other regions within Asia, Singapore is the best place for business. I have had friends asking me if they should consider venturing into entrepreneurship in Singapore, my answer is always a big fat YES! There’s a low barrier of entry, and most importantly, the government is very supportive of entrepreneurship.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been blessed by many people and mentors who constantly give me great advice but right now, I would say the best piece of advice that I received would be from Dr Patrick Liew who said, “Work on the business, not in it.” This advice is constantly ringing in my head as I work towards scaling the business.

Who inspires you?
My dad. My dad has always been my inspiration in life, for the amount of sacrifices that he has made for the family and the love he has for us. He was the umbrella for all the storms that my family faced and we were always safe in his shelter. Although my dad passed away after a brief fight with colorectal cancer, the lessons that he imparted to me were very valuable as I build my own family and business.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You can not buy time, but you can spend money to save time! With this realisation, I was willing to allow myself to spend some money, in order to save more time. Like taking Grab/Uber to shuttle around instead of spending time travelling on public transport. While I spend more money on travelling, I save a lot more time! This doesn’t mean that I spend lavishly and extravagantly, I am still generally prudent with my money.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more time to spend with my family and especially my father. While it is important to focus our time to build our businesses, we should always try our best to allocate family time. Because as an entrepreneur, there is no such thing as “after I finish my work,” because our work is never finished. If our work finishes, the business is also finished. But our time with our family is always limited and no matter how much money and how many successes we achieve, we can never use it to trade back the time we have with our family.

How do you unwind?
I am a very simple man. I enjoy TV time with my wife and a simple dinner with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Batam, it’s close to Singapore and there’s really nothing much to do except for massages and a relaxing resort life. If I travel to other countries for shopping or sightseeing, I am constantly thinking of business and how I can possibly expand to the country I am visiting. But while relaxing at the beach or at a massage, I tend to allow myself to drift into emptiness and just clear my mind of any thoughts.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Work The System, by Sam Carpenter. This book teaches entrepreneurs the importance of creating systems and how to leverage on systems to improve productivity and create more time.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you are looking for a team building programme that your colleagues will enjoy and your bosses will be happy with, you have to consider our programmes at TravelClef! While our programmes are guaranteed fun and engaging, it is also equipped with many team building deliverables and organizational skills.

How can people connect with you?
My email is [email protected] and I am very active on Facebook as well!
https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.christian.kwan

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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