Connect with us

Callum Connects

Thanh Van Dang, CEO & Founder of SavvyCom Software

Published

on

Thanh Van Dang believes, “If I can do it, you can do it better.” She is fascinated by the tech industry and how quickly people are adapting and using technology in their lives. Her business savvycom is a tech business using mobile applications.

What’s your story?
I grew up in a small village and started working to earn an income when I was a child. My life changed the day I enrolled in University, and got a full scholarship to study my IT degree at the University of Sydney, Australia. Four years of studying and living in Australia, meeting different people from different cultures has nourished my dreams and my passion in technology. I have always questioned how to make an international product using Vietnamese engineers.
After graduating, I came back to Vietnam with the dream of building a better Vietnam. I have worked across several roles such as Researcher, Coder, Project Manager, Business Developer, Consultant, Country Representative and even Assistant , but my passion for a technology product has always been there. I decided to start my own business with four people in 2009 when the global economy was still impacted by the echoes of the financial crisis years ago, and the Vietnamese economy was not on the bright side.
Many difficulties and obstacles along the way brought me down, but I believed I was going in the right direction. Savvycom was born in 2009 to provide beautiful mobile applications.
As an entrepreneur who is passionate and believes in a beautiful life enabled by technology, I enjoy sharing and adding value to society. I want to encourage people and women in specific to do what they do best, chasing their dreams and passions. “If I can do it, you can do it better.”

What excites you most about your industry?
Information Technology has developed rapidly and changed people’s behaviour in an innovative way. People are starting to use mobile devices more frequently than before in the workplace and to do housework, and it is becoming a necessary thing in modern life, driving more innovations to catch up with the development of intelligence. In the golden age of technology, the mobile technology revolution continues to develop dramatically and changes every minute. We have to change ourselves to adapt with it or we’ll be left behind.

What’s your connection to Asia?
We provide innovative mobility solutions in healthcare and education.
We also partner with startups and fast growing businesses in Asia – Singapore, Japan, Korea and Myanmar.

Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city for business. This amazing city is an Asian tech hub where many big technology companies came together and relocated such as Google, Youtube, Apple, etc. Singapore is different from other cities in Asia, even though its land size is the same as Vietnam’s Island – Phu Quoc, the value of technology’s innovation starting from here is priceless. I have also met many bright minded people through networking in Singapore. That’s why Singapore is my favourite city for business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The way is found when we go,” and an “idea is only an idea.”
When you start, you might not see clearly its end or how to do it. So, just get started, you’ll find the way to do it.

Who inspires you?
There are two people who inspire me the most. They are Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg inspires me with his youth, creative mind, passion and dare to think, dare to work. On the thorny way to be successful in Facebook to the the present, he had to go on his own in some parts when all his colleagues left and did not believe in him. Mark still kept his beliefs, passions and hopes in what he thought right and changed the world in an innovative way.
Bill Gates is the greatest person ever. He has not only been successful in business, creating the personal computer revolution, but also, he cares a lot about global health. Bill Gates with his wife, has spent time and money in researching vaccines to help thousands of people around the world to have better lives.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I listened to a speech by Mark Zuckerberg at a Harvard ceremony in 2017. He delivered such a valuable speech to the millennial generation, creating a renewed sense of purpose and connecting people around the world. Zuckerberg inspires me and drives me to make a positive impact on the global community.
His message is encouraging. Mark explained in his speech a really powerful message about how you come up with your own idea and you shouldn’t be afraid to take it, even if it is not fully formed, as it becomes clear as you work on it. He also said, “it is good to be idealistic. But be prepared to be misunderstood”. There are some people who might slow you down, however, you need to believe in what you think it is right.
My journey with Savvycom seemed like an idea at first, not fully formed, but I believe it will become what I want it to be.
Nowadays we are living in the golden age of technology. We know the role of technology in changing people’s lives innovatively and connecting people is easier than ever. So, let’s do what we do best to make the world beautiful.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything, because everything came to me naturally and at the right time. I have enjoyed the journey which has brought me unexpected things along the way.

How do you unwind?
I usually read books. I also listen to other people’s stories that inspire and drive me.
I have my small lovely family with whom I enjoy my time the most. We go together to the northern villages of Vietnam where I grew up. I have found many brilliant children that need our support for a better future. We enjoy learning from them and helping them as much as we can through sharing our experiences and encouraging them to live better.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
My Vietnam. I love our suburban places, my hometown where you can see mountains next to mountains, feel the fresh air and live a wild life. All of it, I could not find in a busy city.

Everyone in business should read this book
Value Proposition Design – by Alan Smith, Alexander Osterwalder, Greg Bernarda, Gregory Bernarda, Trish Papadakos, and Yves Pigneur
Good to Great – by James C. Collins
The Fountainhead – by Ayn Rand

Shameless plug for your business
Savvycom – Vietnam’s most trusted app developer and T]tech co-founders. We make apps successful by providing more than just development. We help market, scale and improve your app idea, effectively acting as an extended CTO.
Founded in 2009 by a small team of passionate people, Savvycom now has a balanced blend of technology skills and domain knowledge of seasoned IT professionals, powered by a passion for IT.

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

Twitter handle?
@thanhvandtt

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

Denise Mossis Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Trending