For Choon Kiat, having two failed businesses under his belt , only inspired him to keep on trying. Now, this young entrepreneur is kicking goals!
What’s your story?
I was the sole founder of 2 ventures in the past. My first venture left me with a 6-figure debt, while the second venture collapsed when the partnership did.
During the journey, there were many cases of lost friendships and disrespect from those who thought I was too young (22 at the time). However, these setbacks did not stop me from pursuing my dream of being an entrepreneur. If anything, it taught me 2 ways that don’t work!
They say that the third time’s a charm! That’s when I met my cofounder who had fought alongside me since day one. I am happy to share that we have achieved over 400% of our funding goal on Kickstarter. Currently, we are looking to spread our brand, BOW, across the world through our bold product innovation and #BeBold movement.
What excites you most about your industry?
Having no restrictions in creating a product that people can ultimately hold in their hands is what excites me most. I can never get enough of creating products that changes people’s perspective of how it should be. Seeing my product used and carried by people is my greatest satisfaction.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Being born in Singapore, I am heavily influenced by the Asian culture and values. These values act as guiding lights when I craft my own company culture and business relationships. Many Asians are making a huge impact on the world today and I am looking forward to joining this group of people to make an impact as well.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
China for sure. China is one of the fastest moving markets in the world.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
You only live once, have a great one.
Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs. His belief and vision has completely changed the way we look at personal communication devices.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
What resilience really means. Resilience is more than not giving up, it’s having a quiet confidence that you will make it regardless of the circumstances.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Always live each day as if it were the last day. I would not have spent so much time brooding over the past as everyday opens up fresh opportunities and possibilities.
How do you unwind?
Sometimes, I meditate to clear my mind when I’m overthinking things. Seeing things for what they truly are instead of what our mind convinces us is helpful in making objective and logical decisions rather than biased ones.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan. It’s a wonderful place where there’s a perfect blend of nature and urban life. Most importantly, their art and design culture is so strong everywhere so it’s a huge plus point to get inspiration.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Psychology Influence of Persuasion
Shameless plug for your business:
Our all-purpose bag, Quiver is now available for pre-order on our website (www.bowforbold.com). Please support my dreams of bringing an Asian brand into the international market.
At BOW, we believe in making the world a little bolder. If you are interested in finding out what we mean, check out our #BeBold movement (www.facebook.com/bowforbold)
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum 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.
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