Eric Dadoun is shooting for the stars with his business in two factor authentication – whilst it is in its infancy – he’s excited to be involved in an industry which is shaping the future for digital and cyber security.
What’s your story?
I’m 31 years old at the moment and I was born in Canada but was fortunate enough to move around the world at a young age which gave me some great exposure to different cultures. I started my first business at 17 and have been figuring it out ever since through a good mix of trial and error. I’m an entrepreneur who would like to leave an impact on the world that lasts a long time, well after I’m gone. I’m still trying to figure out where home is. I love basketball, a good comedy and I’m just generally grateful for the business opportunities I have at the moment.
What excites you most about your industry?
Two factor authentication or 2FA is incredibly exciting to me in that it’s addressing a problem that we all face which is digital and cyber security. Service providers have a big part to play in this burden of responsibility to minimise our potential victimisation but as consumers we all have a huge role in that equation as well. I would also say that 2FA is still in the early stages in that there is a lot of room to improve its functionality, its implementation and its adoption, so to be involved with a company that will help shape the next wave of 2FA solutions is also very rewarding.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’ve been travelling in and out of Asia since 2008 for business. I’ve had the good fortunate of briefly living in Malaysia, spending quite a bit of time in a few other regional spots and most recently living in Singapore for the past 5 years. I love the food, I love the many cultures of the region and from a business standpoint I love the opportunities that Asia offers us.
There is a lot of development going on not just in Singapore and not just in South East Asia but APAC as a whole so to be able to play a part in that through our activities with Twizo is very exciting. The future is definitely leaning Eastwards so we feel we are well positioned with our solutions to help influence the digital security space moving forward. I also recently married a local Singaporean woman so my connections to the region are certainly expanding both professionally and personally.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I would have to say Singapore followed closely by Malaysia which are both a byproduct of where we do most of our business. Singapore is a great travel hub for the region and the regulatory framework that the government has constructed for the business community makes navigating this environment very entrepreneur friendly. The tech scene in Singapore is bubbling as well.
In terms of Malaysia we have a really big team based in KL and I would say the startup as well as the tech community as a whole is really ambitious and growing there. We have access to some great talent in Malaysia and we’re just thrilled to be part of the ecosystem there. Both of these countries have a huge appetite for new technology and they, like everyone else, have problems with digital security so we feel we’re in two really healthy markets to establish a strong foundation for two factor authentication.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Shoot for the stars and land on the moon.” To me that always meant to have very high ambitions and that even if you may miss the ultimate goal, to still take a moment to appreciate the achievements that you have reached. I would add to that, to not quit, to not settle, to not compare yourself to others and to appreciate what you have.
We feel there is a lot to achieve in 2FA in general and specifically in Asia, so we are absolutely shooting for the stars but in the interim we’re appreciating the planetary milestones along the way.
Who inspires you?
Anyone who has a dream and is trying to achieve it. Determination, ambition and perseverance are characteristics worth admiring so I’m inspired whether it’s someone trying to change the world, change their community or just change themselves.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Over 90% of Gmail users don’t use two factor authentication and that some very large companies such as Under Armour and Singapore Airlines have not fully implemented 2FA in some of their consumer apps. I don’t know if that’s a consumer education problem or an enterprise implementation problem but it sure is a problem!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt more languages and taken care of my health and fitness earlier on. I’ve started addressing the latter over the past few years and it’s certainly never too late to tackle the former.
How do you unwind?
Watching or playing basketball. Gym and some martial arts. A good movie. Spending time with my wife.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It is hard to pick only one, Bali, Bangkok, many places in Malaysia and that’s only within an hour or two of Changi Airport! There are too many awesome spots in the region to mention and too many that I still need to visit.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Again, only one? Read everything and anything that you can. Digest as many perspectives as you can and then use that to help build your own.
Shameless plug for your business:
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’.