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Women on Top in Tech – Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram, Co-Founder and CEO of CyGen HealthTech

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram, a medical doctor and a clinical cardiologist by profession, is the CEO and Co-Founder of  CyGen, a cloud-based preventive healthcare platform that helps various channels diagnose patients earlier with higher accuracy.

What makes you do what you do?
From my earlier days I’ve always been a problem solver. When I was practicing as a cardiologist, I realised the major problem people end up in my chamber was due to lack of proper knowledge and early detection. The solution to this critical condition was simple, though it’s to be started early in life. The zeal to solve this imminent problem and touch millions of lives, thus bringing about a positive change made me do what I do.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
To start with I’ve the right blend of medical and technical people in my team which is an essence in the success of any HealthTech company. Along with right ecosystem support, mentorship, blessings; a lot of hard work has gone into it in making me rise in the industry.
It’s time for Consumerism in Healthcare with patients increasingly acting like consumers who have a choice in their healthcare options, trying to make the best decisions for quality and cost just as they do with any other commodity.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
A very good question, perhaps, it was a complete career switch for me as I’ve to leave my stable, secure and high earning job as a cardiologist and start from the scratch where everything was new except for my medical knowledge. With no financial or business background, I took the plunge with the conviction that this is the only way I can put my knowledge to best use in realizing its full potential.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I do have a mentor, for me a mentor plays a vital part of my start up as I needed handholding at many steps, I won’t say he’s from my industry, but he’s a vast experience across industry which is a plus point and it’s been working very well.

How did you make a match if you did, and how did you end up being mentored by him?
To be honest, I’d say I was struck by luck because it happened by coincidence and finding a good mentor out of nowhere is quite rare. I can bank on him for my financial and business queries, as those were the areas where I needed most of the advice. Having someone watching your back, whom you can consult anytime of the day to clear the slightest of doubt does really make a difference in your start up journey.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
At this stage, for every new hire we look only for people who are proactive, inquisitive and disciplined. We’ve seen senior people who came highly recommended fail us drastically and graduates fresh out of college who outshone them. Understanding their aspirations and giving them opportunities and support to hone their talents has been beneficial for both the company and employees in our experience.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
We support talent and hard work of our organisation irrespective of their degree, religion, gender, or race. So, unconsciously we support diversity because individuals and their characteristic matter and not the tags that they carry along.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
To be a great leader in my industry the subject matter expertise is a must, only if we understand the problem in depth can we find the solution. To have an open mind and be adept with the latest trends across industries comes second, in today’s world and with technological advancement no industry can function in solidarity. So, keeping an eye on how to apply a cutting edge technology in solving the pressing problems in my industry by harnessing the latest technology plays a huge role in staying ahead in the game. Last but not the least, being mindful of the needs and expectations of the customers and my team is the most important of all these.

Advice for others?
There are many ways to bring about a change in whatever small way possible according to an individual’s capacity. Always follow your heart and never settle for anything lesser. Grab the opportunity and be a positive change in someone else’ life.

My next step will be to enhance my predictive model by incorporating genetic element to it, thereby disrupting the health care system where we prevent diseases instead of treating them.

From data analytics to patient empowerment, the advancements from the past year may indicate that the healthcare industry is finally about to reach its most pivotal moment:
1) Design for most complex healthcare technology based Augmented Reality
2) “Precision Medicine”


If you’d like to get in touch with Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-tanushree-devi-laishram-6a211184/

To learn more about CyGen HealthTech, please click here.

Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Daphne Ng, CEO of JEDTrade

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Daphne Ng is the CEO of JEDTrade, a blockchain technology company focused on trade, supply chain, and financial inclusion projects in ASEAN. She is also the Scretary-General at ACCESS and Exco. of Singapore Fintech Association

What makes you do what you do?
I was introduced to blockchain technology in 2016 after I left my corporate banking career after 10 years. It was my mentor who first got me interested in this technology, which I then went on to delve further into, on its potential applications in the lending and trade finance space – domains where I came from.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Being in the space for 2 years and actively involved in the ecosystem, I was able to bring on the projects, network and a good degree of thought leadership in this vertical. Early on in the startup journey, our team faced many challenges. And to me, the key to rising above failures are two essential factors – resilience and support. While resilience is innate, I received a lot of help be it in terms of connections or advice. ‘Nobody succeeds without help’ rings very true for me.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
From the start, I focused on my domain expertise in trade finance and the application construct of how blockchain and DLT can be applied to these use cases. Also, my strategy from the start was to build a technology company made up of 80% tech and engineers, which is also our key competitive advantage today. At the end of the day, deliverables are about strategy and execution, which includes building and leading an ‘A’ team.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I have many mentors, which includes our company advisors (all of whom are well-known in this industry) and mostly informal mentors I meet via my connections, and on various occasions and circumstances. Creating opportunities also means putting myself in the right place, at the right time. And in my case, these were mostly organic and genuine friendships formed from the initial connection.

How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him?
To me, a match in values is very important. It also takes humility to ask for help and be willing to listen to advice, which is important in order for mentorships to be successful – be it formal or informal.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
I love this question! I am passionate about building strong teams and helping my people grow. I abide by the 3Rs when identifying talents: resourcefulness, resilience and right values. And then I invest in the ‘potential’ and this means giving them room to lead, make decisions and take risks.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
My support of diverse talents, skillsets and characters can be seen in the make-up of our core team – all helming specific roles and each bringing their own value to the table. We need the sum of all parts to build a great company.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
Great leaders emerge in times of failures and challenges, never abandoning the team, and always putting the team’s interests before her own. And I consciously live by these mottos every day.

Advice for others?
My advice to other entrepreneurs: be resolute and dare to be different. If you are going to follow others, then you will end up on the same path as them. No right or wrong; but I would rather chart my own path. This June, we are officially launching our blockchain project, Jupiter Chain (www.jupiterchain.tech), which have garnered much interest in the industry, even before we made it public. We believe this project is the epitome of marrying innovation with practical implementation, and we want to be the first to truly operationalize blockchain for our ecosystem projects in this region.


If you’d like to get in touch with Daphne Ng, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daphne-ng-%E9%BB%84%E7%91%9E%E7%8E%B2/

To learn more about JEDTrade, please click here.

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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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