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Mouna Aouri Langendorf, Founder of Woomentum

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Crowdfunding is to my mind one of the biggest shifts in the finance industry of the modern age.  Getting more women entrepreneurs up and running will have exponential positive impacts on the world we live in.  Sitting at the intersection of those two worthwhile endevours is Mouna.

What’s your story?

I was born and raised in Tunisia, the jewel of North Africa. I have enjoyed 13 years of an exciting career where I designed and built bridges both in Africa and in Asia. I have enjoyed  both corporate roles and running my own businesses. Today, through Woomentum I find myself still building bridges but this time between people. Founding Woomentum has a very strong connection to my personal journey when faced challenges in pursuing an exciting career while juggling responsibilities of raising small children. I am very passionate about entrepreneurship and my vision is to live in a world where all women play along their own rules and define their own terms of success.

What excites you most about your industry?

Crowdsroucing and the Human to Human connection that is revolutionizing our B2B and B2C models and reshaping the way we do business, education, research and politics.

The thought of tapping into the crowd wisdom to solve problems, or the fact that crowdfunding is democratizing access to funds is to me the biggest hook. It offers entrepreneurs endless possibilities.

Entrepreneurship is about collaboration, sharing knowledge, information and resources. That is why I have created under the umbrella of Woomentum Hercolab.com and CrowdFundHerLive.com, two crowdsouring platforms to serve female entrepreneurs to help them solve their challenges and raise funds. The ultimate goal is to see them build sustainable and profitable businesses. The most exciting thing is that the crowd is part of their success!

What’s your connection to Asia?

I have lived more than a decade in Asia. My Asian journey started in Japan when I decided to pursue my masters degree and work there as an engineer and then as a regional manager of a technology company based in Tokyo. Today, I am enjoying my work and I am very much appreciating the cultural experience in both North East and South East Asia. Currently, I live in Singapore with my husband and two daughters and we have made it our home.

Mouna Aouri 2

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?

By far Singapore, although my connection to Tokyo is very strong I find Singapore a much more accessible and favorable environment for entrepreneurship. It’s modern, safe and efficient, all I need to both run my family and my business.

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

I was told by my mentor, never compromise on two things when building your business:

  1. on your resources: Hire the best resources when starting a business because compromising on the quality of the job to be done may lead to redoing everything all over again which will incur losses and sometimes even the end of the business. Whenever I think of hiring I prefer to hire the highest caliber part-time resource rather than a full-time resource that doesn’t offer the same level of quality expertise.
  2. on your business values: when the values are clear, knowing what’s right is easy and makes negotiations and the decision making process so much easier. When in the process of making a decision for your business, always think of the smartest thing to do as opposed to the right thing to do.  Go for the right thing! This has served me tremendously in the way I run my business.

Who inspires you?

I have many people who inspired me along the way and still inspire me in both my personal and professional journey. Some of them are influential leaders and some are ordinary people who are doing ordinary things.

I get inspired every time I meet a woman entrepreneur starting-up a cool project. Just recently, Naomi Wolf was in town and I absolutely loved her talk and vision about bringing women in tech globally together. Part of my work is around that and her drive and vision are truly inspiring.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?

That the failures I had were in fact the best things that ever happened to me. Only recently have I realized the importance of failing and that my success could never happen unless i acknowledge and leverage on my learning from that failure. It has shifted the way I think, the way I work and interact with people around me. And yes that is to me mind blowing!

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

Definitely focus on acquiring more life skills. For example, take on a training in public speaking, believe more in my visions and don’t wait until I’mm forty to make a change in the world. And certainly learn coding!

How do you unwind?

I mediate very regularly. At least ten minutes a day once a day.

Or simply, play with my two little ones (making sure all my devices are out of the way!).

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?

Japan – I am addicted to the mountains, the hot Onsens, the Ryokan and the Japanese culinary experience. By far it’s my favourite place in Asia.

Everyone in business should read this book:

Depending on the type of reading, but one book that really inspired me and to which I strongly connect is written by Adriana Huffington Thrive: The Third metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Shameless plug for your business:

The crowdsourcing platform that will redefine the terms of success for women around the world.  www.woomentum.com

How can people connect with you?

Linkedin: sg.linkedin.com/in/mounaaouri

Facebook: facebook.com/woomentum

Twitter: @woomentum

[email protected]

www.woomentum.com

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnects

Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.

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

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

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Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched.

What’s your story?
I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position.

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start.

How do you unwind?
I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki

Shameless plug for your business:
Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning.

How can people connect with you?
Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@malcolmABM

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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William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market

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William Chin set up Mummy’s Market. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

What’s your story?
After National Service, I enjoyed a rousing start to my corporate career with successful stints at events and conventions companies such as IQPC, Hannover Fairs Australia and Lighthouse Independent Media in management roles, building my experience in conventions, trade fairs and events.

However, I hit a particularly bad streak of unemployment after that, facing difficulty finding jobs because according to recruiters, I was overqualified, yet too young. In fact, at one point I was struggling so badly with my family loans that I was sharing bowls of ramen with my girlfriend for our meals, to save costs.

My financial pressures eventually culminated in my forced venture into entrepreneurship where I had to strike out my own path with a brief stint in Expomal. However, this turned out to be my next break that fuelled my current success. It was there I built up Smartkids (another wildly successful baby and child fair) before it was bought out by a bigger company. Inspired by SmartKids, I started Mummy’s Market and eventually Baby’s Market, outperforming established names in the business to take its current place as market leader.

What excites you most about your industry?
Mummy’s Market is the industry leader in baby, kids, maternity and household with 80% market share and our clients – coupled with branding, advertising and exhibiting on Mummy’s Market platforms, we are seeing a 30-60% company growth year on year despite the downturn in the economy. With attendance of over 100k consumers per fair and serving 70-80% of pregnant mums, our actual business is in data, data collection and processing from consumer fairs.

I am excited about how big data analytics from Mummy’s Market can be applied at every stage of the retail process such as data segmentation – for retailers now when mums are giving birth to sending relevant content over. This will transform and innovate the industry of baby fairs and Mummy’s Market, with the huge amount of data we process from our fairs yearly, is the forerunner in this disruption. With this, we have transformed the DNA of how digital business has always been done. Global online marketplaces are burning cash quickly to achieve big data analytics, but not us.

Another testament to Mummy’s Market’s popularity is that huge marketplaces have been trying to pass off as Mummy’s Market. It shows that we are heading in the right direction and the most exciting part is, we are only at 10% of where we want to be – a platform where $1 billion gross market value products are transacted annually around Asia in a niche market.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore, and intend to stay in Singapore to build the Mummy’s Market brand.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore – if one can strategically become a leader in a small market like Singapore, its grounds to show that one’s business has an opportunity to grow further in larger countries.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“It is easy to become number 1 because the others can just copy and tweak to overtake you.
It is more difficult to STAY number 1, because you have no one to copy. You have to innovate.”

Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs – he transformed the digital age. Without the invention of smartphones, mobile computing and mobile advertising would never have grown. He changed the way businesses and consumers communicate. Without the introduction of iPhones, mobile applications would have never existed the way we are using them today.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You no longer have to lick stamps to make it sticky.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I love my life and my family. And I love the platform Mummy’s Market has created to help businesses grow.

How do you unwind?
I play with my little 1 year old baby girl.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan – cool weather with beautiful mountains and lake scenery.

Everyone in business should read this book:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

Shameless plug for your business:
Mummy’s Market has established its reputation as not just Singapore’s but Southeast Asia’s largest baby fair:

  • Nearly S$100 million gross merchandise volume transacted on Mummy’s Market platforms annually
  • 800,000 visitors at its fairs yearly
  • 80% of all of Singapore’s baby product distributors in one convention
  • 15-20% year on year increase in sales volume at every baby fair since its inception

Apart from market dominance, Mummy’s Market also has the largest database of parents and the number 1 platform for MNCs and SMEs to reach out to this audience. From exhibitions, magazines, seminars to digital campaigns and roadshows. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-chin-23910a9/

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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