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Vivek Iyyani, Director of YOU! Training & Development

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Vivek Iyyani is helping people ‘unleash’ their inner ‘champion’ through his training and development programs.

What’s your story?
My Name is Vivek Iyyani, and I run my company YOU! Training & Development. I have been working in the events and training industry for the past decade, specialising in training programs for personal and people development. I have been working with schools and corporates to run these programs. One of the key challenges people face is the phenomenon known as Akrasia – where they set big goals and kick off with a lot of willpower and motivation but fail to finish what they set out to do because they lost their drive over time. The programs we design cater to this specific challenge and is based on my upcoming book, ‘Unleash the Champion in You!’

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me the most about my industry is that I have the opportunity to work with different people from different walks of life, get to understand the challenges they face and help them overcome these challenges in a systematic and step by step manner. The joy of helping others overcome their challenges by teaching and providing them the specific Mindset, Skillset and Toolset gives me a sense of satisfaction I’ve not experienced elsewhere.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in India and my family shifted to Singapore when I was two in 1990. My father made a decision to migrate to Singapore when I was just two years old for a better life for all of us. Ever since, I have been based in Singapore

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city in Asia has to be Singapore because of the tremendous support that the government gives business owners here through the various grants and support system. I also feel that Singapore has a strong economy and is able to support businesses here very well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
One of the best advice I have received is to apply the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) and focus on the 20% input that gives the 80% output. Focusing on everything and anything is counter productive. Hence, it is better to focus on a niche and concentrate my full efforts on the 20% and reap the 80% rewards. This principle can be applied in most areas of life and has definitely benefitted me well.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by mentor Mr. Kesavan Sathyamoorthy, Founder of Diamond Glass Enterprise, who managed to beat all odds and become successful in his industry and then do his part to give back to society by encouraging Entrepreneur Mentorship through the Red Pill Program via the Singapore Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SICCI)

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently learnt and realised about how the internet can become a portal to serve clients on an international level rather than keeping our sights on becoming the best locally or regionally. Having seen it happen in my industry has opened my mind to the endless possibilities that I can bring my business to. Going digital is the way forward!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I had my time again, I would have engaged a life coach and mentor when I first started my business because I would have shaved off so much time and money from learning from the experienced mentor and it would have helped me reach the various goals so much faster. A mentor who has been there and done that will help anyone in their business tremendously.

How do you unwind?
I unwind by taking mini holiday trips outside of Singapore either alone or with friends. The change of environment invigorates me and I often am able to recharge well. I enjoy the thrill of discovering new places and I usually find that such trips enable me to get a better perspective of things related to my work or personal life.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
One of my favourite Asian destination for relaxation is Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. I enjoy the cool weather and fresh air there. Plus they have good tea there.

Everyone in business should read this book:
I am highly inspired by 2 key people: Tim Ferriss and Daniel Priestley.
This is because of the books they have written, namely ‘The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss and ‘Become a Key Person of Influence’ by Daniel Priestley has impacted the way I perceived life and brought about a considerable amount of change in the way I operated both in personal and business matters. I am inspired by the paradigm shift they have brought about in the way we think and aspire to do the same on my own one day.

Shameless plug for your business:
YOU! Training & Development focuses on Personal Development and People Development. We run our CHAMP program that focuses on the five key aspects of Clarity, Habit, Action, Motivation and Productivity.
We help our clients in each of these categories, starting with Clarity. Most of our clients that approach us are visibly confused about what they really want with themselves and are unable to identify why they are not able to achieve the goals they set out to do. We
What we do best is to sit down with our clients, help them attain the clarity they need and map out their action plan. We do this by teaching them concepts on Habit, Motivation and Productivity. We strongly believe that your ‘environment drives performance’ and we complement what we teach by providing an environment that drives performance.
We run our programs for schools and corporate teams looking to increase their performance and provide individual coaching to entrepreneurs who need clarity and need to maximise their productivity.

How can people connect with you?
I can be reached at via 3 methods.
My email [email protected]
My blog is www.vivek-iyyani.com
I am also reachable via company’s website www.youtraining.sg

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

Jace Koh, Founder of U Ventures

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Jace Koh believes cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Understanding it will enhance your ability to run and manage your business.

What’s your story?
My name is Jace Koh and I am the Founder of U Ventures. I’ve always been inclined towards investment and entrepreneurship. I’ve played a hand in starting businesses across these industries – professional services, cloud integration, software and music. I believe that succeeding in business is tough, but that’s what makes the rewards even sweeter.

What excites you most about your industry?
Everything excites me. These are my beliefs:

  • Why is accounting important?
    The accounting department is the heart. Cash flow is like blood stream, it pumps blood to various parts of the body like cash flow is pumped to various departments and/or functions in a business. It is vital to the life and death of the business.
  • Is accounting boring?
    Accountants are artists too. They paint the numbers the way they want them to be.
  • What makes a good accountant?
    A good accountant can tell you a story about the business by looking at the numbers.
  • Why is budgeting and projection important?
    Accountants are like fortune tellers, they can predict the numbers and if you wish to understand your business and make informed decisions, feel free to speak to our friendly consultants to secure a meeting.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, and here’s where I want to be.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city. We have great legal systems in place, good security and people with integrity. Most importantly, we have a government that fosters a good environment for doing business. I recently went for a cultural exchange programme in Hong Kong to learn more about their startups. I found out that the Hong Kong government generally only supports local business owners in terms of grants. They’ve recently been more lenient and changed the eligibility to include all businesses that have at least 50% local shareholding. But comparing that to Singapore, the government only requires a 30% local shareholding to obtain government support. In the early days of starting a business, all the support you can get is precious. It’s great that we have a government that understands that.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best time ever to plant a tree was 10 years ago as the tree would have grown so big to provide you with shelter and all. When is the next best time to plant a tree? It is today. Because in 10 years time, the tree would have grown big enough to provide you shelter and all.

Who inspires you?
Jack Ma. His journey to success is one of the most inspiring as it proves that with determination and great foresight, even the poorest can turn their lives around. I personally relate to his story a lot, and this is my favourite quote from him, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve faced multiple rejections throughout my business journey, and recently came across a fact on Jack Ma about how he was once rejected for 32 different jobs. It resonated very deeply and taught me the importance of tenacity, especially during tough times.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I live a life with no regrets. Everything I do, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, happy or sad, and regardless of outcome, it’s a lesson with something to take away.

How do you unwind?
I love to pamper myself through retail therapy and going for spas. I also make a conscious effort to take time off work to have a break outside to unwind as well as to uncloud my mind. This moment of reflection from time to time helps me see more clearly on how I can improve myself.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan! Good food with no language barriers and the people are great!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t really read books. Mostly, I learn from my daily life and interactions with hundreds of other business owners. To me, people tell the most interesting stories.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re not just corporate secretaries, we’re “business doctors.”
U Ventures is a Xero certified advisory firm that goes beyond traditional accounting services to provide solutions for your business. You can reach us on our website: http://uventures.com.sg/

How can people connect with you?
Converse to connect. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or alternatively, on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacekoh/

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

Ray Ferguson, Founder of Caber Partners

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Ray Ferguson left the banking world and returned to Asia to explore exciting fintech opportunities.

What’s your story?
I am the Founder of Caber Partners, a Singapore based MAS Licensed Fund Manager and Financial Advisor investing and working with companies focused exclusively on the intersection of finance and technology. I work specifically in the areas of payments, insurance, wealth management, alternative lending and blockchain.

I am also Chairman of Singapore Life which was founded last year. It is the first new local life company in Singapore. Concurrently, I chair Youtap a business which is creating a cashless e-money processing backbone providing real-time interoperable settlements of all consumer e-money payments to the merchants, e-money providers, retail and FMCG distribution groups, and banks across emerging markets.

My 30 year journey as a banker had its main leg with Standard Chartered Bank, where I held multiple country chief executive and regional leadership roles across four continents. I spent 6 years as Regional CEO, South East Asia and Chief Executive, Singapore. After Standard Chartered, I moved to Bank ABC, Bahrain and assumed the role of Group Chief Banking Officer where I took care of the group’s banking businesses worldwide.
Last year, I decided to step down after 3 years from my role with Bank ABC to return to Asia to pursue interesting and exciting opportunities that fintech disruption was providing.

What excites you most about your industry?
The sheer pace of technological innovation in the financial sector, and how it is up-ending the traditional models and traditional players. There are huge implications and benefits for efficiency, transparency and importantly financial inclusion which will drive growth in emerging markets.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have lived in and worked in Asia for more than 30 years. I first came to Singapore in 1994 and today I am a proud Singapore citizen, and to me Singapore is home.

Its an invigorating environment. Asia is in the middle of an historic transformation. If it continues to follow its recent trajectory, by 2050 its per capita income could rise sixfold in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms to reach Europe’s levels today. It would make some 3 billion additional Asians affluent by current standards. By nearly doubling its share of global gross domestic product (GDP) to 52 percent by 2050, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution. This is a big deal and I’m excited to be part of it!

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore! Singapore is known for being a business-friendly country and it was crowned the best country in World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business List” and ranks as the top 3 in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitive Index.” Singapore is an attractive hub, for both businesses and has a great community to live in.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listen intently and you will know what you don’t know.

Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the global mobile wallet market was valued at approximately USD 594 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 3,100 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 32% between 2017 and 2022.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt to code.

How do you unwind?
Exercise, golf and sailing large catamarans.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. Easy to reach, Thai people and service, breadth of choice of locations/accomodation and great sailing weather.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Good to Great – Jim Collins. It’s about how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how and why most companies fail to make the transition.

Shameless plug for your business:
Caber Partners team is uniquely connected with our networks and experience in fintech markets, investing and banking and business growth solutions throughout Asia and across the emerging world.

How can people connect with you?
Come connect with me through my LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rayfergusonscb

Twitter handle?
Rayferguson888

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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