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Simon Chiang Shows How Being People Orientated Brings Success

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The Moodie Report, famed British magazine in the travel retail industry, has published a feature story on Ever Rich Duty Free Shop titled “Impressive Public Service Facilities at Taoyuan International Airport by Ever Rich.” In the article, The Moodie Report’s editor-in-chief suggests that “all airport CEOs and owners of major global enterprises should book a flight to Taiwan, and spend a few hours there to fully experience Taoyuan International Airport. Because I have never seen any airport that can masterfully incorporate globalization and charming local features like Ever Rich does.” All these impressive achievements are the brainchildren of Ever Rich founder and Chairman Simon Chiang.

Mr Chiang came from a farmer family in Chiayi county in southern Taiwan. Though undereducated, his father Chiang Yung-Ray and mother Chiang Hsu Ying were both simple farmers nurtured by traditional Chinese culture. Unlike other entrepreneurs who only give back to the society after their successes, Simon Chiang committed himself to public service when he first started his own business. From protecting environment in the community to reaching out to minority groups, Simon Chiang contributed and asked for nothing in return. Later, he founded four charity foundations without external fundraising. These foundations are: Yungray Charity Foundation, Chiang Education Foundation, Ever Rich Foundation, and Chinese Traditional Culture Foundation. Mr Chiang continues to be involved in charity works, gives back to the society, and facilitates exchange of traditional Chinese culture.

An inspirational rags-to-riches entrepreneur, Simon Chiang first started as a leatherwork apprentice; he later founded OEM companies for leather products and boutiques. Mr Chiang founded Ever Rich D.F.S. Corporation in 1995, and opened the first airport duty free shop in 1997. Over two decades, Ever Rich has pursued its goals of “international operation and local services,” successfully promoting much of Taiwan’s natural and cultural sceneries to travellers from around the world through the platform of international airports. Ever Rich has won praises and recognitions for its themed airport waiting lounges and remarkable service quality. Ever Rich has won the recognition of Executive Yuan’s “Golden Thumb Award” three times in 2008, 2012, and 2013, and helped Taoyuan Airport to rank atop Airports Council International’s 2015 evaluation on quality of airport services in the category of 25 to 45 million-passenger-airports. To date, Ever Rich has established over 17 points of operation in Taiwan and offshore islands, and has over 8,000 employees.

Mr Chiang has unique and progressive management philosophy; on top of taking care of employees, adhering to laws and regulations, protecting benefits and rights of shareholders, and generating profits for government, Mr Chiang stresses the application and practice of traditional Chinese culture in everyday life.

Ever Rich uses Chinese classic texts, such as “Di Zi Gui (The Rules for Students),” “Liao Fan Si Xun (Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons),” and “Tai Shang Gan Ying Pian (Tractate of the Most High One on Actions and Consequences),” to shape and nurture corporate culture and educate and train employees, and all managerial personnel are required to lead by examples. Therefore, at monthly meetings, Ever Rich never reviews performances; instead, they strive to facilitate innovation and progress of the company through sharing success stories and reporting on volunteer works.

Ever Rich’s works in social welfare are not limited in Taiwan, as Ever Rich has shown great concerns for international emergency relief and global exchange of traditional Chinese culture. Ever Rich has received “The Ninth National Civic-Service Award” from Office of the President in 2011 and “Special Taiwan Tourism Contribution Award” by President Ma Ying-Jeou in 2013. In 2014, Ever Rich became the first duty free shop in the world to receive GRI3.1 and AA1000AS international CSR certifications. In the same year, Ever Rich became the first recipient of the “Moodie Report Humanitarian Award for Travel Retail” under the witness of over 400 senior executives in the travel retail industry. Looking back at the twenty-year history of Ever Rich, Mr Chiang has always reminded younger generations to “remember the traditions,” and follow Confucius’ teaching: “A young man should serve his parents at home and be respectful to elders outside his home. He should be earnest and truthful, loving all, but become intimate with his innate good-heartedness. After doing this, if he has energy to spare, he can study literature and the arts.” This way, young people can cultivate knowledge, build own character, and ultimately become indispensible members of the company.

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, Ever Rich will not only pursue higher levels of professionalism and quality of service in the future, but also strive to expand globally and embrace love and friendliness of the world.

Mr Simon Chiang is a winner of the inaugural Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015 Taiwan, where he received the honourable Special Achievement Award. The Awards were held on 8 October 2015 at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan.

Callum Connects

Denise Mossis Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

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

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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