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Melissa Fann, Founder of Passhen

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Melissa Fann is pushing the spa and wellness industry to the max. With her business, Passhen she is pimping and pampering women and helping them be the best they can be!

What’s your story?
After a decade in the corporate world, I was sick and tired of the cycle of stress plus I wanted to do something more meaningful for myself and others. I decided to go into wellness because like many others, I’ve never thought there was anything wrong with my body size until others called me fat. I struggled with my own body image and only recently I regained my confidence to say, “I’m okay, whatever size I am.” Nonetheless, after my health took a toll, I learnt first hand that keeping fit is important which is also something that I advocate. Thus, my mission is to enable people to be the best they can be, by providing a platform where they can get curated wellness services, products and articles.

What excites you most about your industry?
As a marketer and someone who has also helped in business development, I see a gap between what consumers want and what the wellness business owners are churning out. I like to disrupt the current status quo and try to push the spa and wellness industry as it is quite an important industry with regards to Singapore’s economy.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m born and bred in Singapore but I’ve always had a fascination with the Japanese culture, which was what I majored in at University. I also love travelling and one day, I hope to visit all the countries in Asia.

IMG_9452 Passhen logo full edit 3

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I don’t have one because I feel that the world is my oyster. Now, it’s about learning how to shuck it well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Write it down. Many people have said that to me, and it’s true. Ideas, goals and plans often do not become concrete until you write them down. There’s something about how your brain works once you put pen to paper where seemingly ‘airy fairy’ ideas suddenly become more tangible and realistic to achieve.

Who inspires you?
I’ve been inspired by strong women in my family – my grandmother, mother and aunt. Each of them have shown me, through their tenacity, intelligence and wisdom how to tackle issues and pursue my dreams.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Those whom I thought would be helping me in my business are the least supportive, while people that I’ve just met or had a short connection with are opening doors for me.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have made a bad investment and after my retrenchment in 2008, I should have gone back into the workforce because I was just not equipped with the skills then to start up a business. True enough, it failed and I had to go back into the workforce with debt that I’m still paying off today.

How do you unwind?
I read a lot of e-books on my phone and Netflix is my latest obsession. If I’m feeling particularly brain dead and would like to do mindless fun, that’s where Candy Crush comes in handy. Over the past year, I’ve rediscovered yoga and it has been helping me to strengthen my muscles while increasing my flexibility.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Krabi because the beaches are great, the food delicious and massages are reasonable!

Everyone in business should read this book:
Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”. I was blown away at how Gladwell’s research has proven that successful people gain their success not only because of hard work but also by several other variables. For example, these successful people often place themselves on the path of opportunities and seize them when they come. One can put in the 10,000 hours to be an expert at something but if you are not in the right environment, your talent and expertise may not be noticed.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you’re in the wellness industry and would like to learn how to improve your marketing and business model, contact me as I will be able to break it down for you. If you’re a consumer and you do not like to be tied down to packages, sign up as a member at www.passhen.com, to enjoy hassle-free services from our partner merchants!

How can people connect with you?
They can email me at [email protected].

Twitter and Instagram handle?
@melfann for personal; @PasshenSG for business

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

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

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

Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

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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