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Scott McCorkell, Owner & CEO of McCorkell & Associates

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Scott McCorkell doesn’t just think about the bottom line in his creative marketing business.

What’s your story?
My path isn’t quite like your typical CEO. Back when I was in school, I was told by everyone to be a commercial artist. I was number one in art, in architecture and won awards for my work. I ignored everything and became an entrepreneur, building a multitude of organisations in the computing industry before realising there was a gap in the market for agency services that could speak the language technology companies wanted. So I created one. This is why M&A is different: We’re not just another agency; we’re marketing, we’re creative, we understand sales and the technology dialect. This is what the client needs and is why we’ve grown to become one of Asia-Pacific’s most trusted marketing organisations in the IT&T space.

What excites you most about your industry?
I get excited when I see really great ideas being delivered exceptionally well. I love the creative side of marketing and I get excited when I see really good stuff; the sort of concepts that are lightning bolt moments that make you wonder “how did they think of that?” You don’t see that from many places anymore, so when that happens, when people think about who is going to see their message, I get excited, because finally, someone other than myself is thinking about more than just the bottom line.

What’s your connection to Asia?
The first city McCorkell & Associates invested in, outside Australia is Singapore, which was prescient given how much of a regional hub it has become for multinational technology brands. Much of our business for those brands connects to the activities of the Asian market and it is a real growth hotspot for many of our clients.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I really enjoy Singapore, not only because it is a hub of activity for technology brands but also because of the focus it’s had on becoming a great place for businesses to start up and grow throughout Asia.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad used to say, “You only live once, you’re a long time dead,” and it’s a phrase that has stuck with me over time. Twenty eight years ago, I had cancer, and I learned first hand that this statement is very true. I fought hard, beat the cancer and have lived life as fully as I can every day since. Dad’s advice and that experience have played a large part in the way I do business and the outlook I have as a CEO.

Who inspires you?
From an aspirational point of view, I don’t want to be anyone else; I want to be me and this has served me well to date. I get out of bed and go to work eight days and nights out of the seven. I work 23 hours a day and am in the boardroom on a Sunday morning at eight. So if you ask who inspires me, I don’t actually have a role model as an individual, I have people I just want to surpass.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
There’s a statistic I read the other day – the top eight wealthiest people in the world own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population in the world. That scale is quite amazing when you think about it.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
There isn’t much I’d do differently. I’ve achieved much of what I always set out to do. I found a way to use my creative talent to build a business that affords me the ability to pursue many other passions.

How do you unwind?
If I have water under my feet, I’m happy. If there’s an engine, a boat, a car, a motorbike, doubly so. I unwind by hitting the horizon, by charging into the unknown and exploring the world. I’m a keen traveller, so any chance I can get where I’m venturing off into the unknown with the speed and thrill as the wind brushes through my hair, I’m happy and relaxed.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Not everyone will see it as relaxation, but I absolutely love Hong Kong. There’s just something so alive about the city. You feel like it has a speed, a pulse, a pace. It gets you going and tantalises the senses in a way few places do. It’s the sort of city you want to let under your skin and never let go.

Everyone in business should read this book:
It sounds a little arrogant and I don’t mean it to, but I haven’t written it yet. There aren’t books that have taught me how to run a company or how to lead. That’s just me and that’s just life experience. When I write my book, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Shameless plug for your business
McCorkell & Associates delivers over 26 services across the Asia-Pacific region in over seven languages and cultures, working throughout all major areas of marketing delivery, including creative, advertising, events, content, branding and contact centre. We are headquartered in Australia and have offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, as well as being part of the BBN alliance which extends our reach into the USA and another 89 countries besides. We’re a one-stop shop for improving the bottom line and delivering ROI amidst a more personal and thoroughly individual way of doing things.

How can people connect with you?
The best way to get in contact with me is to give us a call at McCorkell & Associates or to message me through LinkedIn. I’m always there, as any and every entrepreneur should be, too.

Twitter handle?
@scottmccorkell

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

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

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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Callum Connects

Chrystie Dao-Szabo, Founder of iPayMy

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Chrystie Dao-Szabo founded iPaymy for Business – a secure and easy to use
platform enabling SMEs to pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today.

What’s your story?
I’m Chrystie Dao-Szabo, and I’ve worked as an international banker for over 22 years. During that time, I travelled through Asia, Australia and Europe, and everywhere I saw how my clients struggled with managing their finances and keeping cash around.

I wanted to use my experience to help them, but I also knew the solution they needed didn’t exist yet. This pushed me to give up on my secure career, and instead look into the innovative world of FinTech for an answer.

This is how I founded iPaymy – at its launch, a platform to help consumers pay their monthly expenses using their credit cards. We’ve grown a lot since, and today, iPaymy for Business is a platform that allows business owners to use their credit cards to pay for rent, salaries, invoices and taxes, freeing up their cash for business-critical operations.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about FinTech is it’s culture of constant disruption, thanks to cool and innovative products and services coming out every day.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked in Asia, Europe and Australia. Being raised by traditional Vietnamese parents meant that deep down I was still an Asian at heart, so I have a strong connection with the region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s easy to do business, English is the main language, and the infrastructures like public transportation are great. Also, the government supports local innovation in multiple ways, like giving grants for SMEs and FinTechs.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep giving, and one day you will receive.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My father had a successful business in Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. After the war, my father was sent to a re-education camp for three years, which meant my mum had to bring up two young kids – a 3-year-old, me and my 4-year old brother on her own.

In 1980, we all fled Vietnam on a boat and arrived in Sydney, Australia via refugee camps in Indonesia and Singapore. There, my parents had to start over with nothing to their names and only AUD 50 given to them by the Australian government.
They went on to build several businesses in Australia!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of young and smart people who have carved out successful careers by founding their own startups (or joining really cool ones). When I was starting out my career, doing any of these was not a viable option; it was either working for an accounting firm, an insurance company or a bank.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting out my career now, I would choose the path of joining a startup as you get to learn so much about running a business and how to assemble a winning team.

How do you unwind?
I like travelling to a beach or a resort destination and just relaxing by the pool or beach. I also like to unwind after work with a glass of champagne or wine, and a bowl of truffle fries.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the people and the spicy Thai food.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The E-Myth. It’s a book series that dismantles common myths about entrepreneurship in different industries.

Shameless plug for your business:
With iPaymy for Business, SMEs can pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today. SMEs love iPaymy because it works like a credit card, but pays like cash.

iPaymy’s secure and easy to use platform reliably delivers payments to vendors while freeing up cash and providing access to interest free credit. Forget the delays and aggravations that come with traditional SME financing options. Schedule recurring payments, manage invoices, set payment reminders, and monitor payment status all from one dashboard.

It’s never been easier for SMEs to meet monthly payment obligations while keeping cash available to fuel growth, bridge receivable gaps, and make immediate investment in the supplies, services, and expertise needed to drive a growing business forward.

How can people connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email.
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrystiedaoszabo/
My email: [email protected]

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

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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