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Winnie Tsoi, Digital Marketing Consultant of WL Media

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Prioritising family and lifestyle are what drove Winnie to set up an online marketing business.

What’s your story?
I was trained as a system analyst with a programming background so I started off being a bit geeky. After my son was born, I decided that being a full-time mum for my child is more important than my career. In the mid-90s, the internet had just barely started to be available to the public, so without a thought, I built my first website in between looking after my son.

People soon realised that there were business opportunities on the internet and affiliate programs were everywhere. As I enjoy travel, I built websites about travelling in Hong Kong and other countries with affiliate links to promote travel-related products. They were a huge success, and they brought me a very handsome income while I could stay home with my children.

Now that my kids have grown and go to school full time, I can spend more time on my business. From time to time there are friends who ask questions about promoting their business using website or internet marketing. So I decided to expand WL Media to help both SMEs and people like me, who want to earn a living while still enjoying the freedom of doing the things they prioritise most.

What excites you most about your industry?
I love the challenge of internet marketing. There is always something new. It’s changing, it’s evolving, and you need to be creative to win in this game. What works today may be abused and become a taboo. As a former programmer, I like the technical side of it. But I also thoroughly enjoy the marketing part which requires a lot more planning and thinking.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My mum’s family was originally from Singapore though they went to China and then Hong Kong after the war. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. My working experience in international company allowed me to meet and work with people of different nationalities, including Indian, Taiwanese and Filipino.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is very competitive though I still think Hong Kong has an edge. Not just because how easy it is to set up a company, how efficient and robust the legal and financial systems are, but also its closeness to China. Any business which plans to enter the China market will benefit from first starting a company in Hong Kong, then learn his way to China.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Believe in yourself and your dream. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Take full responsibility for the consequences.

Who inspires you?
No one.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador. I was thrilled to find that in 2001, Roque Sevilla, a nature lover and the former mayor of Quito bought a large swath of the Chocó rainforest which was due to be logged, and has turned it into a hotel with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows for people who wish to have a close-up experience with nature. The hotel was built by the joint effort of scientists and naturalists with a vision on conservation and sustainable ecotourism. He trained local loggers to staff his lodge and help on conservation rather than deforestation. And there are researchers in the Life Centre carry out ongoing monitoring and research. Visitors can join all kinds of walks with the experts there too. Find out more about them. They have certainly done a lot of amazing things!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would go and study entomology and environmental study, and work with conservation programs worldwide to get some hands-on experience. With my knowledge in digital marketing, I will help to raise people’s interest in nature and awareness of the big environmental issues ahead of us.

How do you unwind?
I like to watch insects and different life forms in my garden. I have photoed and recorded the life cycle of stinky bugs’ eggs. Puzzles are my favourite too. Once I start a puzzle, I cannot put it down until I have finished it.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. I love the gentle Indonesian people, good food and the tranquil environment.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. It is a book about web design. Nowadays, everyone should have a website and it should be easy to use or you will lose your potential customers quick.
The same principle applies when dealing with your customers offline. Don’t make them think. You should do the hard work and make it as easy as possible for the customers to choose.

Shameless plug for your business:
At WL Media HK we combine a business orientation with a technical background to do internet marketing that works. We reject all quick-fixes and the underhanded techniques so prevalent in our industry and focus on reliable, ethical and honest promotional methods.

Whether it be in-house SEO training workshops, monthly promotional packages or a starter package for a new business we have a range of options available. But more importantly, we are willing to sit down with a business and understand enough about your goals, pain points and competitive environment to come up with online marketing strategies that will work.

How can people connect with you?
I can be reached at:
https://www.facebook.com/wlmedia
https://www.linkedin.com/in/winnie-tsoi/

Twitter handle?
@wwtsoi

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

Callum Connects

Clairine Runtung, Investment Manager of Convergence Ventures

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Early-stage venture capitalist, Clairine Runtung, shares her story and passion for helping build Indonesia’s technology ecosystem. In her role, she helps local entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, while also finding time to coach and mentor young women in venture capital through an organisation she co-founded in early 2017.

What’s your story?
Having lived in 4 different cities within 3 different countries throughout my career working in finance, I had always been drawn to not only numbers but also diversity, people and their stories. When an opportunity came about for me to join a tech VC firm in Jakarta, I jumped at the chance, after working for a number of years in a boutique investment consulting firm, a global asset management firm and a non-profit foundation.

I currently lead the investment team at Convergence Ventures, an Indonesia-based early-stage venture capital fund. My work includes sourcing deals, conducting due diligence, reviewing legal documents and most importantly, working with my colleagues in Investment, HR and Business Development teams to support our founders. My job requires relentless intellectual curiosity, analytical and communication skills, and ultimately passion to help the shaping and building of Indonesia’s tech ecosystem.

Early in 2017, I co-founded a Young Women in VC (renamed SheVC Indonesia in September 2017, as part of the global Pan-Asian SheVC network), focused on networking, mentoring and building a community for junior to mid-level female VCs. Our local membership grew to over 20 people within 6 months, and I personally mentored 3 young women just joining the industry. Aside from tech VC, I am also involved in being a Council for Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa, a non-profit organization focusing on youth and education, as well as being a mentor and a judge to a number of local tech startup events and competition. Beginning September, I will be attending Yale School of Management to pursue a 2-year MBA program.

What excites you most about your industry?
The never-ending learning, rapid progress, and people attempting to solve real problems through technology. I cannot wait to see what will unfold within tech-VC space in Indonesia in the next 5-10 years. My team and I think we are following China’s growth trajectory though to get there we need major support from the Government and foreign investors.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I worked for 2.5 years in Singapore. I was educated in the United States and lived there but I am still very much deeply-rooted in Asia. After grad school, I plan on moving back to Asia for sure.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta and Singapore for two extremely different reasons.
Jakarta, because the city’s urban challenge actually shapes you to become a resilient hustler. Not to mention the fact that the city has a dynamic tech VC landscape that’s rapidly evolving year by year.
Singapore, because I take pleasure in how efficient, effective and structured the city state is!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The only way out is through”
“Leave your mark, build a legacy, no matter how tiny you think it is.”

Who inspires you?
My dad and everyone around me who was not born with silver spoons in their mouth.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It’s amazing how your body can truly adjust to the power of your mind. I have recently increased the frequency of my Intermittent Fasting routine, from only once a week to twice a week. Essentially, twice in a week I’d fast between 22-24 hours. Though skeptical and challenging at first, after a month, I rarely feel hungry/starving on those two scheduled fasting days. Interestingly, I also feel the most productive at work on days that I am fasting.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. If there is anything I’d like to tell myself over and over again, is to never regret and to look only forward.

How do you unwind?
Take a hot shower, drink a cup of tea and read a book (I alternate between fiction and non-fiction) or watch videos (I also alternate between entertaining and educating videos). On some days, you can find me winding down over a nice dinner with friends or family.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, Jogjakarta and Manado. All cities are in Indonesia.
Bali for its beaches, sunshine and the feeling of being surrounded by carefree people. Jogjakarta for its Javanese cultural and heritage. Manado because it’s where my dad was born and where my grandparents live. In my opinion, each city has something different to offer that contributes to my way of relaxing.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Golden Passport – Duff McDonald

Shameless plug for your business:
Instagram Story and straight up telling friends, acquaintances and even strangers about how awesome the work that I do is.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairineruntung/
Personal email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@clairineruntung though I have been inactive for years. I am much more active on LinkedIn these days. Find me on IG @clairineruntung as well.

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

Rishabh Singhvi & Varun Saraf, Co-Founders of Why Q

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Surprised by the lack of delivery services available for local Singaporean hawker stall foods, Rishabh and Varun started their own delivery service.

What’s your story?
Varun and I moved to Singapore in 2008 and soon turned into foodies. After completing our studies at SMU, we worked in corporate offices in the Singapore CBD for 4 years. Here, we faced the problem of long queues and found it hard to find feasible delivery options on a day to day basis. We made it our goal to help others like us, so they don’t face the same problem of finding affordable yet tasty options to eat their daily meal. The name asks all those queuing up at food courts and hawker centres a simple question – Why Queue … when we can bring Singapore’s favorite hawker food to you?

What excites you most about your industry?
The Hawker culture is the most exciting and intriguing part of the food industry in Singapore. It is deep-rooted in the local Singapore culture. There is rich variety of cuisines available under one roof, food is delicious and very affordable. We were very surprised how this part of the food industry was completely ignored by other food deliveries.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and brought up in India and have been staying in Singapore for the past 10 years.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
The ease of running a start-up and the professionalism makes Singapore my favourite city for business. It has the most business-friendly regulations, low start-up costs and takes only a week to register and get your business going.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos

Who inspires you?
Hawker Uncle and Aunties are our Hawker Heroes. Most of the stalls are family-run businesses. The dedication and hard-work that they put in is commendable. They come to the hawker centre at 3am to start preparing food for the day and leave only in the evening after cleaning and washing everything.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We are leaning so much about our hawker partners through our #HawkersOfSG series, inspired by #HumansOfNewYork. For example, one of our hawker partners was into advertising (until the 2008 recession started, after which he started one of the most popular hawker stalls in the country) while the other used to sell and ride Harley Davidson bikes (and now sells black pepper rice bowls). Their stories and how they turned into our Hawker Heroes continues to inspire us and blow us away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think I haven’t reached that stage in life yet where I look back and want to do things differently.

How do you unwind?
Watching and playing football 🙂

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, definitely. One of the most beautiful and chill places.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Shameless plug for your business:
Cheapest and largest Hawker Food delivery in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
On whatsapp at 90268776 or email at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
We’re on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/whyqsg/ and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/whyqsg/

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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