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Bharath Jayaram, Founder & Owner of TradeShifu

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This young entrepreneur left his stable IT career to pursue a career in stock market trading. His advice is to always be on the lookout for multiple income streams, don’t just rely on the one!

What’s your story?
I was told that the secret sauce to life was to get good grades and a good job. Every family member I knew started their career with a 9-6 job in an office. Not knowing any better, I turned down an opportunity to work on a start-up with my roommate to look for an office job instead. I took on a 9-6 job and it was nothing like I imagined as my pay was minimal barely enough to cover my expenses and I only had 14 days of annual leave. Besides, my manager made it so difficult at work, that I could not see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I worked extremely hard my whole life to get here and did not want to sign my entire life away to shape my employer’s dream while burying mine. I started reading several books and after reading ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, I had a profound epiphany that gave me new perspectives and a completely different outlook on life. I then focused on making the best use of my time, rather than trading my time away for a small salary.

I tried trading the US stock market on the side as it opened at 9:30 PM local time. Being a developer in the IT industry, I was occupied with my day job from 8am-8pm. Which meant I had a couple of hours for dinner and market research before trading from 10pm-5am. I kept this up for two years. Soon enough, I was making three times more money than my day job; which gave me the confidence to pursue a full-time career in trading. I started building my trading systems and back tested them to make sure it wasn’t just luck that got me here. Finally, I decided to quit my job just before my 25th birthday in July 2016. This was much against the wishes of my family and friends who all said that, ‘it would be the biggest mistake of my life throwing away my stable IT career for something uncertain and risky’.

15 months later, I have no regrets, and I wished I’d done it earlier. Low pay, no freedom and not being able to travel were the key reasons for quitting my job. For the first 25 years of my life, I barely travelled to 15 countries and in the next one year, I travelled to 25 or more countries. Knowing that money is not going to be an issue now; my focus is to pursue my passions and travel the world. And I would not give this up for anything else.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see a huge gap in the financial knowledge that young working adults possess and have access to. Job security is no longer a thing, yet people assume they are going to have their job forever. We are overdue for a new monetary system and with the exponential increase in debt, weakening of the US Dollar, and the rise of the crypto-currencies; it’s going to make this transition interesting. We are now in the 2nd longest bull market run in history and the crash that is going to follow will be nothing like we have ever experienced. The recession that it’s going to bring could easily wipe out a decade of prosperity. My aim is to educate and help everyone around me to prepare for this massive wealth redistribution so that you can position yourself on the right side of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have spent more than 90% of my time in Asia and the majority of my ties are in Asia. Born and raised in Bangalore, India; I moved to Singapore at 18 for my undergraduate studies. The first flight I took brought me to Singapore which has become my second home where I have had countless memorable experiences. Staying in the hostel, living by myself and experiencing a new culture taught me essential life lessons. That also spurred my passion to travel to the rest of the world and experience the other cultures, people, food, heritage and values. Also, Singapore nurtured my interests in tennis, travelling and trading which has now become an integral part of my life.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Without a doubt, Singapore! Especially for someone like me who is always on the move, the simplicity and flexibility Singapore offers blew me away. All the processes including the setup, finances, licenses, registration, taxes are so simple and straightforward, that they can be performed online and even automated. The efficiency with which you can get work done here is beyond what I have experienced anywhere else.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The only difference between those who become successful and those who don’t is what they do in their free time,” I read this quote in early 2014 when I started working, and since then I never had free time. This hit me hard as time is the only resource that waits for no one and once gone can never be gotten back. But we all take it for granted without realising that all the assets that we own are a result of effective use of time in the past and money is just one of them. Even when I am taking a break or on my travels, I am continually reading (500+ books read) and adding new skill-sets to my arsenal. My only goal for today is to be better and more productive than yesterday.

Who inspires you?
Everyone around me is an inspiration. There are always skills and insights to absorb from the people around you. I like to find the best in people and incorporate what they are doing into my life. I came from a family where sleeping on the bed was a luxury, as we were a family of 4 and we only had a bed that could fit two. So, I understood the value of money very early, and I never take it for granted. My role models are Colonel Sanders and Jack Ma. Reading their stories and the adversities that they came through are unimaginable, and I always look up to them to pump myself up if I’m having an off day or feel unmotivated.

What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
According to recent research done by the Wharton School of Business, it claims that the developed nations will see up to 60% of the jobs disappear in the next 20 years. I knew there would be changes but did not expect the number to be this staggering. We are all too focused on the job we are doing today, that we forget to look at the bigger picture. One question you need to ask yourself, “What can I do today to prepare for a tomorrow where I could be fired from my job? If no one wants to hire me, can I still make money with my current skillset?” That was what I was asking myself on a daily basis that led me to adding multiple income streams and not be too dependent on just one.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Ever since I was a little kid, the focus was too much on book knowledge that I spent very little time learning the practical things in life. I would also have skipped university to gain practical experience and develop people skills. College is overrated, and most of the exams are based on memory retention and hardly test the application of what you have learned. As a result, learning becomes boring, unproductive and nothing more than a collection of paper certificates which have very little practical use when you start working.

How do you unwind?
Some of the critical reasons for quitting my job were to have more freedom, a better lifestyle, travel the world, explore cultures, interact with nature, build memories and leave a legacy behind. At the end of the day I believe, that it’s the memories and the experiences that bring happiness and the job title, career or money are only means to the result. I stay fit through tennis and swimming. To keep my brain sharp, I also play poker during the weekend to get my competitive juices flowing!

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
This would be a tough pick. It would have to be between Indonesia and Thailand. I can always take an extended break to either of these places and relax with the multitude of activities that these places have to offer. I love the food, people, beaches, treks and adventure sports which are a good way to relax. Also, I do all my shopping in Thailand and visit Bangkok at least 2-3 times every year.

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘The art of thinking clearly’ by Rolf Dobelli is a good read because, it has translated complicated results from “cognitive biases” experiments and interprets and synthesises them into short, easy to understand summaries. You are an irrational being, but don’t worry; that’s part of being human. Cognitive biases are the simple errors that we make in our day-to-day thinking. Nobody is immune to cognitive errors; unconscious thinking habits lead to false conclusions or poor decisions. Mere mortals are prone to an array of conventional thinking errors and will consistently overestimate their chances of success, prefer stories to facts, confuse the message with the messenger, become overwhelmed by choices and ignore alternative options.

Shameless plug for your business:


TradeShifu has helped over 60 people generate more than $100,000 in profits in 2017. My aim is to build the most active and helpful stock market group in the world and hence I’m very selective in who I accept to mentor. My acceptance rate is only about 2 in 10, and if you are ready to take your trading to the next level, head to my website to apply. My next intake is in Jan-2018 and I look forward to seeing you there.

How can people connect with you?
The quickest way to get a response from me is to reach out to me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tradeshifu/. You can also leave me a message on my website http://www.tradeshifu.com/. I have a FREE Facebook group open to all to join where I regularly post my research, market insights and trades.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/tradeshifucommunity/

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

Jonathan Oh, CEO & Co-founder of Supplycart

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Jonathan Oh’s enquiring mind and love for learning has led him on an entrepreneurial journey, with him starting Supplycart which helps businesses manage their offices better.

What’s your story?
I am a person that just can’t sit still. I was always intrigued by how the world spins and how people connect. Spending a lot of time outdoors, I had an affinity with exploring new paths, thus leading me to become a serial entrepreneur with experience in creating, operating and building new companies. I am a firm believer there is so much to learn in the world and I love talking to people about ideas, what they are passionate about and what drives them.
Starting off my career in the medical industry, I realised I had a flare to create something that mattered, something that impacted other people’s lives. After exiting my first company in 2014, I continued my journey with two other ventures with a purpose to look towards impacting businesses in the region together with like minded individuals, and here I am.

What excites you most about your industry?
Being able to part of the SME tech industry and seeing how technology is moving SMEs to go digital to improve workflows and efficiencies is an exciting space to be in. Users are consumers. More and more, they are familiarising themselves with using technology in their everyday lives. We foresee the SME space to be the next area where adopting new technology would become vital for any organisation to remain relevant. As I have dabbled in this industry for close to nine years now, I am really looking forward to working with more people in the business community to make a change.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Born in Malaysia, I had the opportunity to go abroad and I realised there was so much to do back home. Spending time in Melbourne, Australia for a couple of years and recently Silicon Valley, it has provided me with experiences and insights into the difference a multicultural community can make. It also made me aware that Asia is still a very culture driven economy, as each country has its unique differences. I believe that the time is right to be in Asia now. We are a growing economy and a lot of exciting stuff is happening in this region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Malaysia. I believe Malaysia is still a very attractive destination for business as it’s close to other neighbouring countries within the region and travelling between the countries is easy. There is also proper infrastructure in place, an affordable cost of living and a sizeable pool of talent. The government also has numerous initiatives for technology companies to apply for MSC status that permits companies to hire foreign companies without restrictions. Malaysia is the perfect launchpad to start growing businesses regionally. From a culture perspective, we are multicultural, which promotes diversity in business and language is never a barrier here.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur; one does a markup and the other creates value.”

Who inspires you?
I would say the people around me inspire me. I wouldn’t narrow it down to a particular person but lump it up with family, workmates, entrepreneurs and friends. From my eyes, everyone has a certain drive, a certain glow and strengths that sometimes they do not see, and that inspires me. I believe the journey to success is never alone, it’s with people.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Something recently that blew me away, made me realise, visually about how much time I have left. I was reading and stumbled upon the writer doing this. This might sound morbid but I drew a horizontal line and started plotting the year I was born all the way up to when I think I might go. It showed me that I have spent 25% of my life growing up, I am going to spend another 55% of my life working and the final 20%, maybe retirement. It got me remembering all the milestones I have achieved and to be thankful for and above all, how I want to spend the 55% of my life doing what matters the most.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe that I am exactly where I need to be because of the experiences I have had before. Thank god for the journey so far. It has been filled with ups and downs, new experiences and people along the way these have moulded me. I guess a small thing, if I had my time again, would be to pick up playing a musical instrument which I think still possible now. You are never too old to learn anything.

How do you unwind?
Unwinding for me would be spending time with my family and my two little boys. The little ones are such a bundle of joy. Reminding myself to have balance in terms of not missing the early years with them. Other than that, having coffee with other entrepreneurs, sharing ideas and learning from them is also another way I unwind.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
A term I would use would be “cuti cuti Malaysia.” This means heading to a local destination for some R&R to save on the cost of going on overseas to travel. Top of my the list would be heading to a farm or the jungle with clear river waters and a waterfall all to myself. Staying the night, out in the open under the stars, with a campfire and heading back to nature. The other option would be taking a boat to one of the furthest islands in Malaysia, just before the border of Indonesia, to get away from civilization.

Everyone in business should read this book:
I would actually recommend two books that everyone in business in the early years should read. ‘Founder’s Dilemma’ and ‘Start with Why.’ After being in a couple of businesses and many mistakes later, I came to realise the importance of starting it right. Both these books address the whole mind-set on what founders need to have from selecting who is it we start a business with to why are we starting the business. The business foundation is built from the founders and moving forward everything is built from there. Sometimes we are so into the business that we forget we need to be on the business as well. I would have definitely avoided a couple of bumps if I came across these much earlier on.

Shameless plug for your business:
Manage your office better, that’s our motto. We are always on the lookout to work with organisations, suppliers and partners in this field for partnerships and collaborations.
Supplycart is a B2B procurement platform addressing a need for a change in the way companies manage their office supplies, products and services. We enable suppliers and companies to adopt digital technology when selling and procuring for their business, resulting in a more efficient and productive workforce.
Supplycart provides an easy to use, convenient platform that streamlines the whole procurement process by allowing users to quickly order and reorder, receive instant quotations, obtain quick approvals from necessary approvers and fulfilment items are coordinated/planned to ensure a timely a speedy delivery.
Businesses can now focus on the more important matters in growing and sustaining their business while leaving managing the office to Supplycart. Our vision is to be the number 1 office platform for businesses across South East Asia. “Your office will never be the same again.”

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ohjonathan/
e : [email protected]
w : www.supplycart.my

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

Trung Nguyen, Founder & Managing Director of Advertising Vietnam

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Having initial success with his first start up in the ad industry, Trung Nguyen went on to start other ventures in the ad world in Vietnam. He now has the largest agency community in Vietnam.

What’s your story?
Three years ago I got my first job in the advertising industry. I worked for a local agency in town, and I fell in love with the creative industry. In June 2015, I founded Agency Life Community in Vietnam. It quickly became the most engaging community in the ad industry. The main content focuses on entertainment. After six months we had over 30,000 organic followers, now we have 120,000 followers.

Because the industry had been good to me, I decided I had to something for the industry to help the industry be better. So, I opened http://AdvertisingVietnam.com – a creative industry ad site which keeps advertising informative, creative and inspiring.

After more than a year in the ads industry in Vietnam, I figured the industry needed a better solution for the recruitment of good staff. Given I own the largest advertising community platform, why don’t I utilise Agency Life to help connect talent with ad agencies. So, I founded job site, AdJob.Asia in January 2017.

What excites you most about your industry?
The ad industry is a creative one with very passionate people who are always challenging themselves. The exciting part for creatives, in the morning they might be working on a baby brand and in the afternoon they are answering a beer brief. There is so much diversity. Every day is the new journey.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Vietnamese.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Thailand. The Thais are the kings of the creative industry in SEA. Thai ads are very smart and creative.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do what you love.

Who inspires you?
My friend, mentor and partner Mr Nghi Nguyen, founder of BrandsVietnam.com. We started our businesses at a similar time. He doesn’t see us as a competitor but rather, he believes that we share the same passion and we are working to provide better knowledge for the ad community.
Mr Nghi also guided me a lot when I first opened the business. I am inspired by his vision to make our marketing industry better.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Our business is a startup company and as a founder I do everything from operations, business development, planning and strategy. However, this is not the good way grow our business. You have to share the workload – find a co-founder or hire a great employee to help share the workload. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Quit my full time job sooner.
During the first year of running my business, I was still working as an ad manager for an agency. However I lacked focus at work due to the overload of work and it affected the company I used to work for. I strongly recommend people who have an idea to start their own business, quit their job early on and focus 100% on it from the get go!

How do you unwind?
Play with my cat.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love to travel throughout all of Asia. I enjoy new places and meeting new people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Carpenter: A story about the greatest success strategies of all.

Shameless plug for your business:
AdvertisingVietnam.com is a site where you can quickly update yourself on the advertising news in Vietnam. We have 15,000 unique monthly readers who are professional people in the advertising and communications industries.

The Agency Life, https://www.facebook.com/agencylife is largest agency community in Vietnam. This is the right place for ad agencies to share their creative work.

AdJob.Asia now has more than 160 agencies in Vietnam who use our services. We are a leading recruitment service for the advertising industry in Vietnam.

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trungnx26
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trungnx26/

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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