Connect with us

Interviews

Michael Chaille, Founder of POPETY

Published

on

Michael gets very passionate about everything he does as if a business has to be global or a run has to be a marathon. This brings momentum to companies Michael is engaged with and he seems to motivate people as if everything is possible. From building a management consulting firm to launching different tech start-ups, Michael is fascinated by sparks that turn ideas into reality.

Michael is currently CEO at POPETY, a Singaporean venture in the real estate industry as well as Partner at CH&Co, a management consultancy that provides services Financial Institutions worldwide. He also sits on the Board of Directors for several other companies.

Michael holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Information Technologies from HEC Lausanne and is Post-graduated from IDEHAP, IMD and INSEAD.

In your own words what is POPETY all about?

POPETY has the ambition to help real estate move into its next chapter. After 20 years of limited change, transacting and maintaining properties still goes through manual steps, paperwork and so many intermediaries. POPETY Application takes care of all market participants namely Owners, Seekers, Tenants and Agents and targets to be the one-stop-shop for real estate making it fair and efficient. The solution offers verified information on properties (no open listings) as well as automates activities such as issuing proposals or accessing services from selected partners (e.g. MyRepublic, AXA).

What led you to start POPETY? 

As for a lot of people, I went through the difficult experience of renting/buying properties. The lack of transparence, the “old school” paperwork procedure and the time wasted in sharing information with all stakeholders makes real estate a “scary” industry. After so many years helping Banks navigate out of the same customer negative feeling, I thought real estate should also benefit from new technologies and shared economy and become as joyful as possible.

Could you walk us through your process of starting up?

POPETY is not my first venture. I knew (at least I thought I knew) what was laying before me if I was to launch this business. After selling my previous company, I was eager to start from a blank sheet again and was deeply convinced by the concept. Sharing the idea with couple of my previous investors, they not only encouraged me but also suggested financial backing. Combined with the facilities offered by Singapore, it was the trigger I needed to jump into the bus.

Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?

Real estate in Singapore is a big thing not only in numbers but also emotionally. There are a number of perspectives to be considered for someone trying to “touch” it. Some are obvious like regulation but other are more subtle and require time to grasp. This market is deeply rooted in most Singaporean both as a place where your family resides and as an investment vehicle. Changing it takes patience and respect. Start-ups usually try to disrupt. We try to accompany in the change to come.

What is your long term plan for POPETY?

Our first focus is Singapore. We want to be locally strong and growing. This means supporting more customers here and offer them more/better services. At the same time we see signals for expanding abroad as our model is scalable. Our priorities will be dictated by our market traction as well as our investors appetite. We definitely see ourselves as a future global solution addressing large cities with similar behaviors.

What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?

I was discussing this with a friend of mine teaching entrepreneurship at SMU. First I believe that most of us are entrepreneurs. You look at parents, they decided to launch a venture, their baby, without knowing all about its future but with the fundamentals that a) the felt they had to do it (dictated by nature) and b) they will do everything they can to make it happen right. That’s being an entrepreneur. Being a father of three, I must say kids are the least profitable venture ever and probably the most stressful.

Any tips of advice for achieving success?

After these years, I feel that entrepreneurship is like walking on a line between today and tomorrow. Once you decided to do it, you need to do two things: (1) don’t look down too much or you will fall. Fear is our enemy. (2) don’t stop walking or you will fall. Immobility is our enemy. Keep the faith and keep walking.

MIchaelChaille2

Connect

www.popety.com

https://www.linkedin.com/company/popety-com

https://www.facebook.com/popetyworld/?fref=ts

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