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“Daddy, are babies downloaded from the internet?” This question asked by his daughter inspired Taru to start his own business.

What’s your story?

My entrepreneurial journey started with a question my daughter asked me several years ago when she was a little girl,  “Daddy, are babies downloaded from the Internet?” That innocent question got me thinking. There are so many misconceptions around technology and digital platforms and unlike children, business leaders and executives have a huge inability to get these answers in a simple, helpful and applicable way. This is holding them back. That sowed the seeds of FutureMarketer. After a successful corporate career of nearly 20 years, I wanted to give back and help these executives become more future-ready, especially regarding digital marketing and business change. I found a great partnership with Rachit and Prantik of Happy Marketer, who were doing excellent digital training for marketing practitioners. So, it made sense to come together.

What excites you most about your industry?

Every day a 20-year-old can teach me something I didn’t know yesterday. I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘go to bed smarter than when you woke up.’ To succeed in this industry, you have to live this saying everyday!

What’s your connection to Asia?

Deep. I grew up in India and spent my formative years there. I have been in Singapore for eight years. Even though I worked  in the U.S. and the UK for 10 years, my heart and cultural values are rooted in Asia. And professionally, I think it is the most important region in the world because a lot of innovation and progress is happening here. FutureMarketer Team - 1

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?

Singapore. I know it sounds clichéd but things just get done here! If you want a lot of adventure in doing business, try New Delhi and Beijing – you will be tested a lot and you will learn a lot!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

The Wright brothers who built the first aeroplane. The professionals who built the Titanic. So always give it a go if you believe in yourself, my friend!

Who inspires you?

Many people. Stephen Covey with his book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ It is brilliant and inspiring. Richard Branson, because he has shown us how to do so many amazing things and really defies age and stereotypes. Rudy Giuliani, who cleaned up New York in a very dramatic and very firm way. Lee Kuan Yew, because he shows what can be achieved if one really focuses on something.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?

In today’s world, there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes. That says so much!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I have absolutely loved everything I have done and genuinely believe that everything has helped me do what I am doing now. I wouldn’t change anything, except spend more time with the family.

How do you unwind?

I love exercising, playing tennis (which I play poorly but enthusiastically), playing board games with the kids and watching movies.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?

I really like Chiang Mai. It has got the hills, Thai service and comfort, as well as great food! And Mumbai. I spent some good years there and can find myself strangely at peace in all the mad hustle and bustle.

Everyone in business should read this book:

‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. And another very powerful book is called ‘What Colour is your Parachute?’ It truly helps you understand what job or career is completely written in your DNA and no one else’s. I have used that book three times and made some seriously good career decisions.

Shameless plug for your business:

Are you looking to transform your business through digital? Lead your marketing efforts in a world increasingly shaped by digital innovation? We can help you become future-ready.

FutureMarketer is a digital marketing training and consulting firm headquartered in Singapore. We offer short and long-term digital marketing learning programmes to help business leaders and marketing practitioners become more digitally savvy.

Our digital training programmes include Digital Fundamentals, Digital Transformation, Digital ROI, Digital Strategy, Digital Business Models, Digital for CXOs, Integrated Digital Marketing, Social Media, Google Analytics, Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Video Advertising and User Experience & Design.

How can people connect with you?

You can drop me a line at [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Twitter handle?

You can tweet me @tarujain.

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnects

Callum 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

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Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is a partner in the Private Equity firm Unity-Group. Co-founder and non-exec director of The Marketing Group PLC and is CEO of Key Person of Influence (Asia). He is author of 'Progressive Partnerships'.

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