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Zai Miztiq, CEO of Miztiq International

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Zai Miztiq is an aspiring young woman. Having faced a terrible downturn in her life, she is using her experience and approach to life to motivate other women.

What’s your story?
I am a 2X Amazon best selling author of ‘Turn Your Passion into Profit’ and ‘5 Things I Love About Being A Woman’, an international speaker and the CEO of Miztiq International Pte Ltd. However, it did not begin this way.

I started on an entrepreneurial journey in my schooling days. When my friends were busy spending their parents’ money, I would create art and craft stuff and sell them to my schoolmates.

In my college days, I was the President of the Make Up Artiste Club. I later introduced henna art to the school and people knew me for the temporary tattoo artistry I was very passionate about.
I started my modelling career at 17, and was doing makeup and henna tattooing as a part time income while still at school.

In 2001, I brought henna art to Japan. What was supposed to be a 2 week trip, became a 6 month stay. I was interviewed by various Japanese media, Tokyo FM, AMI Magazine. I was doing henna art at international parties, at cultural events and started teaching the basic and professional henna art course to the Japanese. It was soo much fun.

Moving forward, one of my most difficult challenges in life was when I met with a tragic accident in 2005. I could have died or suffered a paralysis. My doctors even gave me a letter of permanent disability which meant I would never be able to gain employment. For a whole year, I was managing the pain, learning how to walk again and almost a year into the accident, I decided that I had to step up.

My strength is my empathy and positivity. I realized this when one day, I received a chat request from a stranger on Facebook. She wanted to speak to me and after our 10-minute chat, she thanked me and said, “Zai, thank you for speaking to me. I was just thinking of committing suicide but you made me feel better.” That was when I started writing books, giving motivational talks and now coaching women in my ‘Sisterhood Mentorship Programme’ to gain confidence and clarity and turn their dreams into reality.

What excites you most about your industry?
In every obstacle there is an opportunity. I now help people turn their misery into motivation and take massive actions to live a purposeful life through my books, motivational talks and training programmes.

What excites me most, is that women, youth entrepreneurship and empowerment is on the rise and I am receiving a lot of invitations to visit other parts of the world to speak and to train women and youth. I love travelling so this is an excellent opportunity to travel purposefully.

My biggest achievement was being invited to speak on the international stage in East Malaysia for a ‘Young Achiever’s Summit’ and the ‘Rise & Thrive Conference’ in Morocco followed by a TV production in the UK to feature my work on a program called the ‘Sister Hours.’

What’s your connection to Asia?
Born and raised in Singapore, I have travelled to many parts of the world to spread my motivational talks and henna art therapy. I look forward to building my Miztiq Academy and to implement a licensing or franchise system to spread my knowledge, systems and tools to empower, educate and enrich the world in my presence and absence. This is the legacy I wish to leave behind.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
JAPAN. I love the politeness of the people and the food.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Do not let your kindness, be an inconvenience to others.” Literally it means, MYOB – Mind Your Own Business. This is an excellent piece of advice for those of us who always say, “It doesn’t pay to be kind.” The mantra above would save you lots of heartache and headaches and help you stay focused in what you are truly mean to do.

Who inspires you?
Oprah Winfrey and Mother Theresa. I am inspired by women who are an advocate of what I stand for and strive to be better each day at; that is to be strong, soulful and successful. Without each element, it feels incomplete.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I used to fear rejection a lot and it has cost me a lot of time. However, I have recently learnt that, “rejection is God’s way of crystallising the clarity of my path.” Having attained this revelation and mastering it has helped me in many ways.

I also learned that people come into our lives for a reason and most are not here to stay forever. I appreciate human relationships, but I have also come to the terms that having faith and tying the rope of hope in God is the most powerful and permanent source of strength.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have had coaches and business mentors from a young age and never have attended a secular school. I would have saved my parents a lot of time and money!

How do you unwind?
Chamomile lavender tea. Hanging out with my mum. Swimming. Dance.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
The Maldives for the super gorgeous sea, amazing snorkeling, diving sites and great service.

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘Turn Your Passion into Profit’ by Zai Miztiq

Shameless plug for your business:
‘Oprah Winfrey of Asia’

I have successfully helped my clients gain confidence and clarity and make massive transformational shifts in many areas of their lives and I am super thankful to God for this opportunity.

How can people connect with you?
www.zaimiztiq.com
Zai Miztiq on Facebook | Instagram | Youtube| LinkedIn | Twitter

Twitter handle?
Zai Miztiq

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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