Taking an entrepreneurial path has led this Scot to Hong Kong and his venture, VenueHub HK.
What’s your story?
Born, raised and (mostly) educated in Scotland. I’ve always loved working on creative projects and following ideas that excite me, so entrepreneurship was the natural path to go down. I worked on a variety of digital projects for different companies in my mid-twenties which has led me to where I am now, co-founder and sales director for online venue marketplace VenueHub HK.
What excites you most about your industry?
I’m really excited about the amount of scope there is for improving the event planning process, which is why VenueHub is such a great business to be working on. I’m also excited by the overall trend towards originality and uniqueness when it comes to booking venues for events.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Currently living and working in Hong Kong. Us Scots tend to like it out here!
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Fairly new to Asia so haven’t seen too many cities, although it’s very hard to imagine many better business cities than Hong Kong. The physical compactness is a massive plus but the overall business culture and energy of the place makes it such an exciting place to be. The startup scene has also developed significantly in recent years which is great to see.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Although it’s clearly an indirect source of advice, being exposed to Seth Godin’s writing in my final year at university taught me that having a crack at entrepreneurship is an entirely viable career path and actually, a less risky one than going into a corporate job.
Who inspires you?
Although they operate in very different spheres; Seth Godin, Bruce Springsteen and Andy Murray. All of them certainly share the same relentless work ethic and drive to push forward the boundaries of what’s possible. They’re also all incredibly humble despite their success.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It’s seriously interesting to know there is a company out there successfully implementing live booking for event venues. Hearing about Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project was also pretty amazing.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have picked the VenueHub concept to work on much earlier than we did.
How do you unwind?
Hiking is great for clearing the mind and body, particularly in a city as indulgent as HK in terms of drinking and eating. Night hiking is especially invigorating during snake season! Reading and reflecting in the local coffee shop will never get boring.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
The Maldives were absolutely breath-taking, although I’m generally more inclined towards activity holidays than sitting on a beach, so Japan is next on the hit-list.
Everyone in business should read this book:
There are so many great business books out there but ReWork by Hansson and Fried really struck a chord and changed how I think about how the world of work should be approached.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you’re looking for a memorable event venue in Hong Kong, VenueHub HK has the most comprehensive and fastest-growing database of spaces for hire. For Hong Kong venues, the site is an invaluable source of booking leads and brand exposure towards a highly-targeted audience.
How can people connect with you?
Feel free to email me on [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
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.
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