Connect with us

Callum Connects

Prerna Suri, Founder of Inspired Productions

Published

on

Gary Vaynerchuck’s view is that every business, every individual, should consider themselves a ‘media company’.  I certainly think there is a lot of truth in that and your ability to clearly articulate the value you can create for others will be a key to success.  Prerna, who spends much of her life in front of the camera, is perfectly positioned to help the rest of us hone our skills.

What’s your story?
Since I was a child, I loved talking to people and asking questions. So, journalism came naturally to me and I spent more than a decade working for broadcasters like Al Jazeera English, BBC & Reuters as a foreign correspondent. But entrepreneurship was always in my blood (my father owns a company) and I wanted to help companies and individuals communicate better.  Thats how ‘Inspired Productions’  was born in Singapore almost 2 years ago. We help industries, entrepreneurs and individuals communicate better to their stakeholders through trainings & workshops. We also have a fantastic team of videographers who produce brilliant videos.

What excites you most about your industry?
That everyday brings a new challenge. With social media on the rise and new forms of communications replacing older models, we need to be able to think on our feet while engaging with our stakeholders. Its no longer just about holding a press conference or announcing a launch, its about presenting your ideas to the largest audience in the best possible manner.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a second generation Indian who was raised in Dubai and worked in Bangkok, New Delhi, London, Kathmandu, Columbo and Khartoum. I moved to Singapore almost 2.5 years ago as I loved the fact its a gateway to the rest of the region & has a great business environment.

Al Jazeera Journalists Report From The Field

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is fantastic as its very easy to do business here.  People are very professional and unlike other Asian countries, there’s no red tape or bureaucracy which rattles you off. Mumbai, Bangkok & Dubai always have an exciting buzz and I get to catch up with old friends which is an added advantage!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
‘If you never ask, you’ll never get’- This is literally a (not so poetic!) translation of an old Punjabi proverb my father always quotes when I think the going gets too tough. He’s always taught me and my older brother the importance of believing in one’s self and as long as what we offer is innovative and useful to clients,  the sky is literally the limit!

Who inspires you?
My parents. They came to Dubai in the early 80’s with nothing but an engineering degree & a few dollars, back in the days when no one knew where Dubai was on the map! Within a few years, they set up a successful business, sent us to the best schools and encouraged us to follow our dreams. Without them, I’m certain I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That businesses fail in the first three years of their life! Its the make-or-break period and much like a marriage, if there’s not enough passion or compassion in it, there’s no way its going to last.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have begun my entrepreneurship journey much earlier. Inspired Productions is what I breathe, eat and think almost every hour in the day and now that I think about all the wonderful clients and experiences I’m exposed to, I’m asking myself, ‘why didnt you start this earlier!’

How do you unwind?
My husband and I both love biking so on that rare weekend when we have no plans, we take our bikes out and explore Singapore. We also love traveling and try and get away every few weeks. It helps freshen up the creative juices and makes me more mindful of the business and where it stands.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Oh, so many! Thailand for its great food & hospitality. India, for everything really- family, friends & food. Vietnam for its culture and you guessed it- food!

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘Bhagvat Gita’-  a classic Indian scripture dating back to 5000 years ago. Most know it as a religious book but if you study its undertones, its the classic strategy manual combining lessons on work/life balance. The scenes where the protagonist is asking his mentor deep questions about life & work, and their subsequent conversations in the middle of a battlefield is rivetting.  The message is clear- be focused, know your allies and the rest will follow through.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’ve got the experience and credibility behind us to propel your communications strategy forward! Yes, really. Our clients speak for themselves- The Reserve Bank of India, United Nations Staff College, Save the Children, Reuters & innumerable start-ups have trusted us with their communications needs- and we’ve delivered.

How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @prernahsuri
Website: www.inspired-productions.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

Clairine Runtung, Investment Manager of Convergence Ventures

Published

on

Early-stage venture capitalist, Clairine Runtung, shares her story and passion for helping build Indonesia’s technology ecosystem. In her role, she helps local entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, while also finding time to coach and mentor young women in venture capital through an organisation she co-founded in early 2017.

What’s your story?
Having lived in 4 different cities within 3 different countries throughout my career working in finance, I had always been drawn to not only numbers but also diversity, people and their stories. When an opportunity came about for me to join a tech VC firm in Jakarta, I jumped at the chance, after working for a number of years in a boutique investment consulting firm, a global asset management firm and a non-profit foundation.

I currently lead the investment team at Convergence Ventures, an Indonesia-based early-stage venture capital fund. My work includes sourcing deals, conducting due diligence, reviewing legal documents and most importantly, working with my colleagues in Investment, HR and Business Development teams to support our founders. My job requires relentless intellectual curiosity, analytical and communication skills, and ultimately passion to help the shaping and building of Indonesia’s tech ecosystem.

Early in 2017, I co-founded a Young Women in VC (renamed SheVC Indonesia in September 2017, as part of the global Pan-Asian SheVC network), focused on networking, mentoring and building a community for junior to mid-level female VCs. Our local membership grew to over 20 people within 6 months, and I personally mentored 3 young women just joining the industry. Aside from tech VC, I am also involved in being a Council for Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa, a non-profit organization focusing on youth and education, as well as being a mentor and a judge to a number of local tech startup events and competition. Beginning September, I will be attending Yale School of Management to pursue a 2-year MBA program.

What excites you most about your industry?
The never-ending learning, rapid progress, and people attempting to solve real problems through technology. I cannot wait to see what will unfold within tech-VC space in Indonesia in the next 5-10 years. My team and I think we are following China’s growth trajectory though to get there we need major support from the Government and foreign investors.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I worked for 2.5 years in Singapore. I was educated in the United States and lived there but I am still very much deeply-rooted in Asia. After grad school, I plan on moving back to Asia for sure.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta and Singapore for two extremely different reasons.
Jakarta, because the city’s urban challenge actually shapes you to become a resilient hustler. Not to mention the fact that the city has a dynamic tech VC landscape that’s rapidly evolving year by year.
Singapore, because I take pleasure in how efficient, effective and structured the city state is!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The only way out is through”
“Leave your mark, build a legacy, no matter how tiny you think it is.”

Who inspires you?
My dad and everyone around me who was not born with silver spoons in their mouth.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It’s amazing how your body can truly adjust to the power of your mind. I have recently increased the frequency of my Intermittent Fasting routine, from only once a week to twice a week. Essentially, twice in a week I’d fast between 22-24 hours. Though skeptical and challenging at first, after a month, I rarely feel hungry/starving on those two scheduled fasting days. Interestingly, I also feel the most productive at work on days that I am fasting.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. If there is anything I’d like to tell myself over and over again, is to never regret and to look only forward.

How do you unwind?
Take a hot shower, drink a cup of tea and read a book (I alternate between fiction and non-fiction) or watch videos (I also alternate between entertaining and educating videos). On some days, you can find me winding down over a nice dinner with friends or family.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, Jogjakarta and Manado. All cities are in Indonesia.
Bali for its beaches, sunshine and the feeling of being surrounded by carefree people. Jogjakarta for its Javanese cultural and heritage. Manado because it’s where my dad was born and where my grandparents live. In my opinion, each city has something different to offer that contributes to my way of relaxing.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Golden Passport – Duff McDonald

Shameless plug for your business:
Instagram Story and straight up telling friends, acquaintances and even strangers about how awesome the work that I do is.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairineruntung/
Personal email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@clairineruntung though I have been inactive for years. I am much more active on LinkedIn these days. Find me on IG @clairineruntung as well.

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

Rishabh Singhvi & Varun Saraf, Co-Founders of Why Q

Published

on

Surprised by the lack of delivery services available for local Singaporean hawker stall foods, Rishabh and Varun started their own delivery service.

What’s your story?
Varun and I moved to Singapore in 2008 and soon turned into foodies. After completing our studies at SMU, we worked in corporate offices in the Singapore CBD for 4 years. Here, we faced the problem of long queues and found it hard to find feasible delivery options on a day to day basis. We made it our goal to help others like us, so they don’t face the same problem of finding affordable yet tasty options to eat their daily meal. The name asks all those queuing up at food courts and hawker centres a simple question – Why Queue … when we can bring Singapore’s favorite hawker food to you?

What excites you most about your industry?
The Hawker culture is the most exciting and intriguing part of the food industry in Singapore. It is deep-rooted in the local Singapore culture. There is rich variety of cuisines available under one roof, food is delicious and very affordable. We were very surprised how this part of the food industry was completely ignored by other food deliveries.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and brought up in India and have been staying in Singapore for the past 10 years.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
The ease of running a start-up and the professionalism makes Singapore my favourite city for business. It has the most business-friendly regulations, low start-up costs and takes only a week to register and get your business going.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos

Who inspires you?
Hawker Uncle and Aunties are our Hawker Heroes. Most of the stalls are family-run businesses. The dedication and hard-work that they put in is commendable. They come to the hawker centre at 3am to start preparing food for the day and leave only in the evening after cleaning and washing everything.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We are leaning so much about our hawker partners through our #HawkersOfSG series, inspired by #HumansOfNewYork. For example, one of our hawker partners was into advertising (until the 2008 recession started, after which he started one of the most popular hawker stalls in the country) while the other used to sell and ride Harley Davidson bikes (and now sells black pepper rice bowls). Their stories and how they turned into our Hawker Heroes continues to inspire us and blow us away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think I haven’t reached that stage in life yet where I look back and want to do things differently.

How do you unwind?
Watching and playing football 🙂

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, definitely. One of the most beautiful and chill places.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Shameless plug for your business:
Cheapest and largest Hawker Food delivery in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
On whatsapp at 90268776 or email at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
We’re on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/whyqsg/ and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/whyqsg/

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