Daniel Soh believes making a social impact is key when starting a venture. Using his teaching experience, he has chosen to set up a business which streamlines online learning experiences.
What’s your story?
I believe that a profit entity started out with a clear vision to create a social impact could do much more as well as being more sustainable than a charitable organization relying on donations. However, there is a delicate balance between profit-making and impact-making for a social enterprise. I have chosen to strictly focus on the latter with the former as an ingredient for sustainability. Blessed with a list of teaching awards, I have derived valuable insights on the many reasons explaining the poor reception of online learning, marking the beginning of my journey as a social entrepreneur.
What excites you most about your industry?
The world has no lack of content. And there are many great minds out there. But, sadly, attributed to the lack of ability to present the brilliant thought processes into a learning-friendly yet intuitive interface, many such insights are unrecognized. It is my joy to bring quality content or perspective to the mass-market by streamlining these valuable insights derived by great minds into refreshing, learning experiences for the ultimate benefit of society while leaving a legacy for future generations.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am a Singaporean. In my corporate years as an economist, I was put in charge of the Northeast Asian markets including China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan, and I have gained insights into a sought-after group of Korean policymakers. In my earlier years of business, before I embarked on social entrepreneurship, I worked with Indonesian, Korean and mainland Chinese tycoons.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Your customers must have a need, and most importantly, want the need to be met.
Who inspires you?
Pastor Joseph Prince
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Value extraction strategy is the ‘common denominator’ in the corporate world, particularly in the West. This explains the phenomenon of ‘profit without prosperity’ in many advanced countries.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have focused only on what I believed I could offer the most, not what had the potential to earn the most.
How do you unwind?
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, Indonesia. I simply love the sound of waves.
Everyone in business should read this book:
3D Negotiation (by David A.Lax and James K.Sebenius)
Shameless plug for your business:
An award-winning University Lecturer and former Economist
How can people connect with you?
Linkedin or/and Facebook (Daniel Soh)
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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