Connect with us

Callum Connects

Nicolas Jouvenceau, CEO of Pink Diamonds Boutique

Published

on

Nicolas Jovenceau turned his passion for precious stones into his business.

What’s your story?
I was educated as an engineer with a major in Energy and Environment. As a student, I excelled in everything but not in languages. I could not pass my TOEIC and my university required me to do a 6 month internship and 8 month exchange in a foreign country. I found an opportunity to go to China in the textile industry within a Chinese startup. That was in 1999, I jumped on it. My mission was to develop their international market. From this experience, I developed a keen interest in international business.

I then went to Sweden to finish my studies but at that time, after 6 months in China, the only thing I could think about was heading back to China. As soon as I graduated, I took a job as a Technical Director in a French company in Shanghai designing and selling industrial technology for indoor air quality. I lost my job because of economic reasons. Then I met a musical instrument manufacturer. He was looking for a sales manager and I wanted to be more on the commercial side rather than the technical side. It was a pretty big jump for me, far from my education but I went for it. Within 6 months I was managing the whole subsidiary in China. I was importing and distributing in China, manufacturing and exporting musical instruments and related products all over the world. Through this experience, I gained a sharp commercial instinct.

On the side, I was nurturing a passion for gemstones, which started early as a kind of passion for minerals. I started to study to become a gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America and within 2 years I was certified as a graduate gemologist. I was not even thinking of entering that business until friends started to ask me for advice about stones and to source some for them.

My passion for gems was always about colours and diamonds were not very appealing to me as they were colourless. Coloured diamonds were still extremely rare and I did not have many chances to see them. Then I met a coloured diamonds cutter. I immediately fell in love with the gems. They had unique and varied colours, were extremely rare and special and they sparkled like no other gems. I started to collect them and quickly bought my first stones which I sold really fast. From that point, I realised what I had to do. I left my job and created PINK Diamonds Co. We now are a diamond dealer specialising in the most rare coloured diamonds. We create bespoke jewelry for the stones and sell them as well as investment products. We have a wide collection of very rare gems, unmatched passion and expertise and pride ourselves on making premium quality jewelry as well as providing full services for investors.

What excites you most about your industry?
I have the privilege of being the temporary guardian of some of the most precious gems in the world. I work everyday with wonders of nature crafted by the skills of man. Seeing the smile of a client when she or he receives the final piece we created for him or her and receiving thanks for it, is a priceless enjoyment and really gratifying.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been now in China for 17 years, that’s nearly half of my life. I think in some way, I am half Asian.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Shanghai. Because everything happens so fast and is evolving so quickly. Also, everything is more and more convenient; banking, commuting and logistics. People work 24/7 in a highly reactive environment.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Follow your passion.” That’s what I did and I ended up being successful with something I am passionate about.

Who inspires you?
I don’t have a specific person who inspires me, instead, I have several. For example, one of my friends, who, after being an entrepreneur in China had the energy and will to pursue a crazy, new venture in Africa. My wife for being the best sales woman I have ever met.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A friend of mine acquired a deep violet diamond. Quite a large stone at that for it’s colour. I have never seen anything like it before. As a collector, I am always blown away by some new marvel coming out.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing much. I went through some difficult times like a lot of people but I have no regrets. Maybe one thing would be, to have had the guts to start the business earlier.

How do you unwind?
Good friends, good wine and good food. The perfect combination to relax. My French side, I guess.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. The people, the food, the island, everything is calm and beautiful and peaceful.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Contagious. I just read it and was blown away by the content. How to turn an idea viral? What ideas transmit and what doesn’t and why? Very insightful.

Shameless plug for your business:
PINK Diamonds Co supply the most amazing and rare coloured diamonds. Our utter passion only matches our expertise in these fine gems. We pride ourselves on designing and creating unique dazzling jewelry pieces.

How can people connect with you?
Wechat! It s my favourite mean of communication, add my wechat “NicoPINK”, alternatively by email [email protected]

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

Marek Danyluk, CEO of Space Ventures

Published

on

Marek Danyluk has a talent for assessing the competencies of management teams for other businesses and pulling together exceptional teams for his own businesses!

What’s your story?
I am the CEO of a venture capital business, Space Ventures, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses. I also own and run Space Executive, a recruitment business focused on senior to executive hires across sales, marketing, finance, legal and change.

My career started as a trainee underwriter in the Lloyds market but quickly moved into recruitment where I set-up my first business in 2002. The business grew to around 100 people. I moved to Asia in 2009 as a board member of a multinational recruitment business with the mandate to help them scale their Asian entities, which helped contribute to their sale this year, in 2017.

My main talent is assessing the competencies of management teams as well as building high performing recruitment boutiques and putting together exceptional management teams for my own businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
Building the business is very much about attracting the best talent and being able to build a culture which people find invigorating and unique. It’s an exciting proposition to be able to define a culture in that regard and salespeople are a fun bunch, so when you get it right it’s tremendous.

From a VC point of view there is just so much happening. South East Asia is a melting pot of innovation so the ideas and quality of people you have exposure to, is truly phenomenal. The exposure in the VC has taken me away from a career in recruitment. Doing something completely different has given me a new level of focus.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Whilst I came here with work, both my boys were born in Singapore and to them this very much is home. That said, my father in law spent many years in the East so coming and settling here was met with a good degree of support and familiarity.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Possibly Hong Kong. It’s the closest I’ve been to working in London. Whilst there are massive Asian influences people will work with you on the basis you are good at what you do and work hard. I find that approach very honest and straightforward.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Always treat people well on the way up!”

Who inspires you?
I like reading about people who have excelled in business such as Jack Ma, James Kahn, Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, all have great stories to tell and they are all inspirational. No-one has inspired me more than my parents and they are well aware as to why…

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Pretty much any technology innovation blows me away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Whilst it is important not to have regrets I do continually wake up thinking I’m still doing my A’ Levels. So, I’d have probably tried a little harder in 6th form.

How do you unwind?
I like the odd glass of red wine and watching sport

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan skiing. I love skiing and Japanese food and it’s a time when I can really enjoy time with the wife and kids. I recently tried the Margaret River which was divine, although not technically Asia.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Barbarians at the Gate

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive is the fastest growing recruitment business in Singapore focused on the mid to senior market across legal, compliance, finance, sales and marketing and change and transformation. Multi-award winning with exceptional growth plans into Hong Kong and London this year, and the US, Japan and Europe by the end of 2022. We are building a truly global brand.

Space Ventures is interested in any businesses that require capital or management and financial guidance or any or all of the above. We have, to date, invested in on-line training, food and beverages, peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring as well as other tech and fintech start-ups. We are always interested in hearing about potential deals.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@Spaceexecutive

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

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Trending