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Noritaka Kobayashi, Founder & CEO of Diixi

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I have twice had the privilege to go and present at Noritaka’s event ‘Chaos Asia’.  As the name suggests, it is chaotic, eclectic, but a lot of fun.

What’s your story?
In 2012, I came to Singapore and set up two companies called Diixi and Yourwifi. My mission is to create innovators. To achieve this goal, I hold an event called the CHAOS ASIA, I  operate web services called CrowdSekai and providing portable WiFi rental services for global clients.
The CHAOS ASIA is a kind of audition for any field. It has had more than 500K views on YouTube!
 
What excites you most about your industry?
My main business fields are mobile, food & beverage, and education. Today there are about 2 billion smartphone users and this allows the world to be closer. Yourwifi provide data connection to outbound and inbound business travelers so that they can communicate with their partners anywhere. I am excited that our services support lots of people’s business. Regarding to education, I am seeking the ideal education system. We have yet to have an answer to this, but I believe that it is the best to provide a space where people could change their mindset to be better themselves. The CHAOS ASIA provides such a space, and I have seen lots of people who have changed in a better way through that event.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I used to be a backpacker. In 1995, I came to Asia for the first time. It was Vietnam. I have traveled a lot since then. In 2009, I was a member of NPO who provides solar lantern to a village with no electricity in India. I built up sustainable eco-system of rental lantern business. In 2010, I conducted a research of hygienic environment in non-sewerage system village in Kalimantan Island. Now I have two companies in Singapore and partners in every Asian country.

noritaka

Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
It is a bit difficult to select only one city. Singapore, if you are looking for multi-nationality, would be ideal. I can not omit Tokyo, if you are looking for latest design, fashion, or food business. Bali Island, Kuta is actually very interesting for business. I have a co-working space called WAVE there. Bali is a space where Asian and European cultures mixed up. There are huge opportunities to figure out new concepts of art/business there because it is very easy to see both cultures.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have lots of opportunities to meet great entrepreneurs so far, I am sure I’ve met with more than 3,000 or so. Meanwhile I find they have a common understanding; it is “Amateurs are just thinking but professionals take action”. Anyone can think, but few people take action. Very few people keep on taking action. I keep that phrase in mind whilst I run my business.

Who inspires you?
I have five people who inspire me so far. Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, a powerful singer and song writer in Japan. Steven Spielberg and Hayao Miyazaki, they inspired me to create movies. (Yes, I will do it in the near future). Ryoma Sakamoto, a samurai back in 19th century who reformed Japanese government and brought democracy to Japan. Stephen Hawking. Space physics is the first dream of my life.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
About two and half years has passed since I set up my companies. Since I had worked as a business consultant in Tokyo for 9 years before becoming entrepreneur, I thought a CEO of a start up needs to think of better business models. But it is not, what management need to solve is not business issues but human issues. If I command, staff never take action. Even if I encourage, they do not. But if I do myself first, they finally will do. Issues among people is very difficult to solve. But I need a team because a team has great power.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I had a chance to have my time again, I would become a movie director. I still have a dream to create movies. Now I am thinking I will do it after I succeed in business. I created some films of my event the CHAOS ASIA. You could see it via the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihoHPmSkm9o

How do you unwind?
As mentioned above, watching movies is the best way to relax. I get lots of hints to create my movies in the future. Going out with my kids is also the best time. I have three kids now, my kids educate me to become a better father.

Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, every time I go I discover something new. Sophisticated cafes, cool design fashion boutiques, amazing Bali food and culture. In addition, they have great nature like waves and rainforests. If I feel a lack of energy, I always go to Bali.

Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. No need to explain.

Shameless plug for your business:
The CHAOS ASIA. More than 200 innovators of the future from 32 countries came out from the event.
CrowdSekai is the best platform if you want to expand your business to Japan because on that platform I have more than 1,000 entrepreneurs who will support you.
Yourwifi will become the best mobile service platform for people who are trying to be successful around the world.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]
https://www.facebook.com/nkobayashi88
sg.linkedin.com/in/noritaka88ta
http://www.thechaosasia.com/
http://www.xcomglobal.com.sg/

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

Marek Danyluk, CEO of Space Ventures

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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

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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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