Connect with us

Callum Connects

Luke Tan, Founder of Evolved Generation

Published

on

For Luke Tan, succeeding as an athlete and an individual comes down to being fuelled by plants. As a vegan he has experienced an athletic edge.

What’s your story?

I am an author, coach and award winning plant-fuelled athlete. In my journey through the health and fitness industry, I have found that the intersection between long-term health, enhanced athletic performance and sustainability, lies in a plant-based perspective.

I initially embraced a vegan diet for ethical reasons, but 3 plus years on, I realise it has become my athletic edge giving me, enhanced recovery and detoxification, increased strength and energy and better body composition. Being extremely passionate about a plant-based diet, I decided to start the brand Evolved Generation (based in Australia), authored a book on the subject, and I am now growing my coaching brand, The A.W.A.K.E Method. My intention is to spread the message of health, athleticism and personal empowerment through a plant-fuelled lifestyle.

In June 2015, my team (from Evolved Generation) and I travelled to Austin, Texas to compete alongside global vegan muscle team Plantbuilt. I was placed first in my category representing Australia and Singapore. Through my journey as an athlete and a coach, I have realised that achieving optimal health is fairly simple. All it takes is starting to incorporate more nutrient dense whole plant-based foods into one’s diet.

What excites you most about your industry?

With the rise of chronic degenerative diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc) in developed nations, there is now a massive move towards preventative health (more personal trainers, nutritionists, yoga and holistic practitioners, for example).  Medical practitioners in the U.S.A. are starting to utilize a plant-based diet to heal and reverse these debilitating diseases. On another front, companies these days are also starting to move towards more sustainable and ethical practices.

Based on these two factors, the interest in the plant-based movement is experiencing significant growth according to Google trends. It has seen a 3 fold increase in the past 4-5 years and 700% increase in the search for ‘vegan’ information in Australia since 2005. Living and breathing the message, it’s amazing to be at the forefront of an emerging industry.

What’s your connection to Asia?

Born in Singapore, I packed my bags in 1999 and left for Melbourne, Australia to further my studies. In a blink of an eye, 16 years have passed and I realise how much the Singapore landscape has changed.  It’s amazing to witness Singapore’s progress each year I visit. A new freeway, a new mall and a new MRT line. Everything just happens so quick here.

While being in Melbourne, I appreciate the great coffee, arts, the four seasons in a day, the Yarra river, but most of all the laidback Australian culture. Fully embracing a western perspective towards life, in my heart, I was always a Singapore boy. I appreciate sitting in a coffee shop sipping on my local $1 ‘sock kopi’, whilst watching seniors doing their morning ‘Tai chi’ in the neighbourhood parks.

Bodybuilders+(web) Team+evolved+(high+res)

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?

I may be biased but I would have to say Singapore. What I’ve noticed is that the government here is very supportive of SMEs and start-ups. Offering generous grants and a framework that supports business owners, resulting in an entrepreneurial culture that is extremely innovative and highly productive.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

‘Make a difference,’ I once heard Anthony Robbins say in an audio book. I believe that to create something of significance, it has to be driven by a strong ‘Why’. ‘Why’ does the organisation exist? ‘Why’ does the product or service exist? ‘Why’ do you do what you do? It has often got to be greater than oneself, and the obvious.

I believe that as I work towards growing both my brands, I am driven by a strong ‘why’. My ‘why’ is what drives each action and decision that I make.

Receiving a few hard knocks from life (as described in my book), experiencing my own archetypal descent, I’ve now found a deep sense of purpose for doing what I do. It revolves around making a difference to others, and the world at large. Be it better health, a greater sense of self, or creating a culture where consumption is both mindful and positive. I am extremely passionate about my cause.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by wellness advocate, author, ultra-endurance athlete and father, Rich Roll. How he acts in the world is congruent with his brand, and the positive message that he spreads. I love his plant-powered message, and how he inspires others to embrace a life of truth and authenticity.

This quote by Carl Jung deeply resonates with me, ‘the privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.’

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?

What you think someone wants, may be totally different to what they actually want. For answers, feedback or leads, my uncle always told me as a kid, “always ask and you shall get!”

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

If I had my time again, I would not change one single thing. I believe any mistakes made and any past lessons learnt, defines who I am today, and who I will be in the future. As an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) trainer, I often advise clients on the presuppositions I’ve learnt, such as,‘there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.’

How do you unwind?

My morning routine of meditating for 20 minutes when I wake up, then writing in my journal on how my day is to unfold. Another activity that helps me unwind is putting on an ambient soundtrack, sitting on my favourite armchair, then getting absorbed in a good book.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?

Hua Hin in Thailand. Being remote and about 3 hours away from Bangkok, you get the warm Thai hospitality minus the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, I get access to an amazing array of sweet tropical fruits that cost next to nothing. Perfect for someone who thrives on a plant-based diet.

Everyone in business should read this book:

Good to Great by Jim Collins. It describes why certain brands or companies have achieved global success in the long term. The book then visits what the characteristics are of these great brands or companies and addresses how to achieve it within your own organisation.

Shameless plug for your business:

Through the A.W.A.K.E Method philosophy towards coaching, I am looking to launch seminars and workshops that revolve around personal and physical empowerment.

Specialising in plant-fuelled nutrition and NLP, the aim of each seminar is to equip and empower individuals with the necessary tools to break out of the ‘diet/weight loss mindset’ and instead, focus on intrinsic motivations and plant-based nourishment to achieving long-term health, increased energy and enhanced mental acuity, whilst maintaining a perspective of sustainability.

My book ‘A.W.A.K.E and Alive: Harness your physical and mental potential through a plant-based lifestyle’ is a great intro for anyone open to a holistic perspective on long term physical and personal empowerment. On my website, there is a page dedicated to plant-based diet references, documentaries and films to watch, free downloads and even where to eat.

How can people connect with you?

Through my website, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter handle?

@theawakemethod

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

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

Published

on

Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

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

Chrystie Dao-Szabo, Founder of iPayMy

Published

on

Chrystie Dao-Szabo founded iPaymy for Business – a secure and easy to use
platform enabling SMEs to pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today.

What’s your story?
I’m Chrystie Dao-Szabo, and I’ve worked as an international banker for over 22 years. During that time, I travelled through Asia, Australia and Europe, and everywhere I saw how my clients struggled with managing their finances and keeping cash around.

I wanted to use my experience to help them, but I also knew the solution they needed didn’t exist yet. This pushed me to give up on my secure career, and instead look into the innovative world of FinTech for an answer.

This is how I founded iPaymy – at its launch, a platform to help consumers pay their monthly expenses using their credit cards. We’ve grown a lot since, and today, iPaymy for Business is a platform that allows business owners to use their credit cards to pay for rent, salaries, invoices and taxes, freeing up their cash for business-critical operations.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about FinTech is it’s culture of constant disruption, thanks to cool and innovative products and services coming out every day.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked in Asia, Europe and Australia. Being raised by traditional Vietnamese parents meant that deep down I was still an Asian at heart, so I have a strong connection with the region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s easy to do business, English is the main language, and the infrastructures like public transportation are great. Also, the government supports local innovation in multiple ways, like giving grants for SMEs and FinTechs.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep giving, and one day you will receive.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My father had a successful business in Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. After the war, my father was sent to a re-education camp for three years, which meant my mum had to bring up two young kids – a 3-year-old, me and my 4-year old brother on her own.

In 1980, we all fled Vietnam on a boat and arrived in Sydney, Australia via refugee camps in Indonesia and Singapore. There, my parents had to start over with nothing to their names and only AUD 50 given to them by the Australian government.
They went on to build several businesses in Australia!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of young and smart people who have carved out successful careers by founding their own startups (or joining really cool ones). When I was starting out my career, doing any of these was not a viable option; it was either working for an accounting firm, an insurance company or a bank.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting out my career now, I would choose the path of joining a startup as you get to learn so much about running a business and how to assemble a winning team.

How do you unwind?
I like travelling to a beach or a resort destination and just relaxing by the pool or beach. I also like to unwind after work with a glass of champagne or wine, and a bowl of truffle fries.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the people and the spicy Thai food.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The E-Myth. It’s a book series that dismantles common myths about entrepreneurship in different industries.

Shameless plug for your business:
With iPaymy for Business, SMEs can pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today. SMEs love iPaymy because it works like a credit card, but pays like cash.

iPaymy’s secure and easy to use platform reliably delivers payments to vendors while freeing up cash and providing access to interest free credit. Forget the delays and aggravations that come with traditional SME financing options. Schedule recurring payments, manage invoices, set payment reminders, and monitor payment status all from one dashboard.

It’s never been easier for SMEs to meet monthly payment obligations while keeping cash available to fuel growth, bridge receivable gaps, and make immediate investment in the supplies, services, and expertise needed to drive a growing business forward.

How can people connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email.
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrystiedaoszabo/
My email: [email protected]

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

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