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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

Elizabeth Wu, Co-founder & COO of Trehaus

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Elizabeth Wu is making work-life integration a reality for working parents in her new family friendly coworking space.

What’s your story?
I co-founded a coworking space in Singapore that comes complete with a child-friendly facility. We’re the first of our kind here and we’ve been making work-life integration a reality for working parents since we opened.

What excites you most about your industry?
We are the first of our kind, and there’s no other coworking space like us. Sure, there are plenty of coworking spaces in Singapore, but we are the pioneers of championing ‘BYO-kid’ to work by creating a conducive workspace and enriching kids play, all under one roof.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I’m a local through and through.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, of course! It’s safe, well-regulated and has a diverse community. Barriers to entry for starting up a business is low, and generally there is good support for small to medium enterprises and startups, which is great.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Life is short. Do stuff that matters.” I think I decided to do “stuff that matters” a long time ago and that’s why I became an educator. When motherhood beckoned, I decided again, to do “stuff that matters” by staying home to be with my kids. Then, I began to desire a meaningful career while raising my kids. So, I decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, because I am governed by wanting to “do stuff that matters!”

Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. My members at Trehaus inspire me with the things they do and the changes they make. But if I have to pick someone, it would be Elim Chew, founder of 77th Street; who is a seasoned entrepreneur. She started from humble beginnings, went through setbacks and never said never to new journeys in entrepreneurship. I love that she always looks for ways to give back to society and mentor the next generation with her wealth of wisdom and experiences.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learned the 5-by-5 rule recently: That is, ‘if it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it.’ This helps me puts things in perspective, and I try to remember this every time the urge comes to dwell, to brood, to beat myself up or to sweat the small stuff.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely be more careful with the people I hired to build the team. I’ve learned that it is important to find and build an entrepreneurial team that will plough and work hard alongside the founders. Like Jack Ma once said, “Don’t hire the most qualified candidate. Hire the craziest.” I should have done that right from the start. It would save us so much time and heartache.

How do you unwind?
I take long walks to clear my or I go for a fruitful session of self care, like yoga or a massage.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I really enjoy getting out of Singapore to the outskirts of Bangkok to live amongst the locals. My family of 5 used to do that each December; just taking off to live amongst the locals where street food is aplenty and warmth and hospitality is everywhere. I enjoy their slow pace of life and how simple things can be.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

Shameless plug for your business:
Trehaus is Singapore’s first ever family-friendly coworking space that lets you build a career while prioritising family. If it takes a village to raise a child, then Trehaus is the modern village where you will find a robust community and supportive ecosystem that lets you be an involved parent – never missing a single milestone in your child’s early years – and at the same time do efficient and productive work. We’ve made magic happen in what we’ve created!

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

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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Mark Winterton, General Manager of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay

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Mark Winterton has dedicated his life to achieving unparalleled and extraordinary guest experiences in the hospitality industry.

What’s your story?
I’m a seasoned hospitality professional with over twenty years international experience launching luxury brands, repositioning existing brands and driving innovation for some of the world’s most successful hotels.

As General Manager of InterContinental® Singapore Robertson Quay, I’m responsible for the strategic positioning of the property as the next generation of the InterContinental hotel brand and have been spearheading the hotel since its opening in October 2017, with the goal of achieving a unique and unrivalled market positioning as Singapore’s most luxurious residential hotel.

I started my career with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) in 1995 and have since been dedicating myself towards achieving perfection. I find immense fulfillment in leading my team towards achieving extraordinary and unparalleled guest experiences.

What excites you most about your industry?
The hospitality industry boasts an extremely dynamic landscape, and we are always seeing new hotels opening alongside the entry of burgeoning brands. This growth has, over time developed positive competition and generated positive driving forces that have elevated the overall standard of the industry in Singapore. The industry has a dynamic landscape. There are many opportunities to bring the right people together and create amazing teams to launch or reposition hotels. The process of creating teams, inspiring individuals and then working together to bring a project to life is where I find the excitement lies.

What’s your connection to Asia?
The lure of Asia has always been very strong for foreign economies and companies, with great accessibility to new opportunities, customers, consumers and clients. My first foray into Asia was back in 2007, when I launched Crowne Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore. Following that, I was also based in Bangkok for a couple of years for the rebranding of Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park. Over my years in Asia, I have had the opportunity to truly immerse myself in new cultures, establish new connections with key counterparts and friends; and these have further solidified my interest in and strengthened my connection to Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore. Commonly known as the gateway to Asia, we’ve been blessed with a stable government, a sound political economy and a comprehensive infrastructure for reliable business operations. With tremendous efforts put in by the Singapore Tourism Board towards elevating the city as an attractive venue for visitors, the growth of Singapore as a key MICE destination, coupled with a cosmopolitan pool of talent, Singapore remains my favourite city in Asia for business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You can never be 100% ready for a new role.” I believe that there will always be room for growth and learning on the job. As long as a person is 80% ready for a new role, the opportunity should be extended. I am a strong believer in the development of people and the grooming of talent, and this piece of advice has allowed me to take more chances on people I’ve worked with and developed over the years.

Who inspires you?
Simon Sinek, a speaker with TED Talk.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one lesson learnt recently, as learning is an ongoing process. No matter how small a piece of knowledge may seem, it should be valued. Everyday is a journey of learning and development.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing at all. I don’t believe in regrets and everything that has happened thus far, has had a part to play in who I am and where I stand today.

How do you unwind?
Spending time with friends over relaxed conversations and wine or working my green fingers in my balcony garden.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. It’s one destination where I’ve always returned to, simply because it offers me the same level of comfort and familiarity each time I return. It’s where I can feel most relaxed, yet still be able to enjoy the vibrant dining scene.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.

Shameless plug for your business:
Officially opened on 12 October 2017, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is the first international luxury hotel brand situated at Robertson Quay. Set amidst a dynamic, sophisticated neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its dining options and arts houses, the luxury residential-inspired hotel has been carefully curated by world-­class designers, architects and culinary purveyors. Located minutes away from the CBD, the hotel still maintains a stylish but laid back, relaxed feel in the leafy, upscale neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. The hotel offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-­to-­ceiling windows.

The residential-­inspired property combines elements from Robertson Quay’s industrial and intriguing past with sleek contemporary finishes whilst seamlessly blending into the residential surrounds. Light-­filled room interiors have been designed to magnify the familiar comforts of home where guests may enjoy bespoke amenities such as a specially designed in-­room cocktail kit.

Established as part of a holistic dining and lifestyle destination, the hotel boasts a wide range of restaurant and bar concepts. Flagship restaurant Publico, representing the central core of Italian culture, is a multi-­concept dining destination comprising a variety of Italian experiences under one roof – a neighbourhood deli and bar and a ristorante with adjoining terrazzo by the river. Other highlights throughout the hotel include New York institution Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, and a bar and dining concept from the team behind Izy Sushi. Over 40 other dining options await at the hotel doorstep, in The Quayside precinct.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markwinterton1/

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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