Connect with us

Callum Connects

Nicolas Vanhove, Founder of TUTOROO

Published

on

Nicolas Vanhove setup TUTOROO after travelling and connecting with people from all across the world.

What’s your story?
My name is Nicolas Vanhove. I am a 29-year-old French entrepreneur established in Singapore, a sales coach and founder of a marketplace that connects people with native in-person language tutors near them. I have lived and travelled throughout 45 countries before settling in South East Asia.

What excites you most about your industry?
We live in an era in which most industries are being disrupted by the rise of new technologies and more importantly, by a new freelance economy, along with new trends lead by the soaring sharing economy. I am excited about these new trends and transformations in our economy. People, especially companies, must adapt and evolve in a more dynamic world than ever before.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I used to live in Canada, literally the other side of the planet, and very different weather! I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and at 25 I decided to quit my job as Head of Sales and Marketing for a Montreal SME and moved to Hong Kong. At first, it was a culture shock. I started a last-minute deal project there. Then, when I realized that I would have to work on that project for several years to reach a critical mass of users, I decided to shift to sales consulting in order to stop burning my savings. That’s how I have discovered that in Hong Kong, a lot of people actually hire private coaches and personal tutors at premium prices to help them improve their communications skills in English and in other languages. That is how I got started with my new company, TUTOROO.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Your favourite city in Asia for business will obviously depend on which industry you are involved in. Investment bankers might prefer Hong Kong whereas private bankers would rather live and work in Singapore. I believe there are good reasons why I have settled in Singapore and the business-friendliness aspect of this country is definitely one of them.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t wait until your product is perfect to launch. It will never be perfect and this will only delay your launch. I forgot who or in which book I once read that but this is a rule I am constantly trying to apply. Design and unexpected glitches can drive me nuts but it’s crucial to deliver and release new website features and let users decide whether or not they can stay.

Who inspire you?
Barack Obama, for his leadership.
Bono, for his perseverance with world leaders to make the world an even better place, and for his work with U2 of course.
Leonardo DiCaprio, also for his perseverance and his works.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut who went up to space for 6 months, came back 5 milliseconds younger than the people who stayed on Earth due to Albert Einstein’s theories of time dilatation.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am 29, I hope I haven’t had my time yet!

How do you unwind?
I am a wine lover and I love to unwind with friends, great conversations and a glass of Tuscan wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand!
1. For the food.
2. For the massages.
3. For the incredible landscapes.
4. For the food… oh wait I think I have already mentioned that. Landing in Asia 4 years ago made me fall in love with spicy cuisine.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The 4-hour week by Timothy Ferriss.

Shameless plug for your business:
I am proud of our community: 100,000 private language lessons have already been taught to over 3000 students by TUTOROO tutors in Singapore, Hong Kong and now in Australia. We are expanding to more cities and by the end of 2017 our goal is to inspire twice as many native speakers all over the world to teach their mother tongue to people near them. While social media makes the world more and more interconnected, our vision is to help people engage with each other in the real world. 100% of the private lessons taught by TUTOROO tutors are in-person meetups.

How can people connect with you?
Through my Twitter, Instagram account and my LinkedIn too.

Twitter handle?
https://twitter.com/NicolasVanhove

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