Guillaume Connects People Through Live and Digital Events
What’s your story?
My story is pretty simple. I fell in love with Asia and knew that it was the best place to start a business. I moved to Singapore just under a decade ago and started my journey as an entrepreneur when I opened my events management business, Chab Events. I have not looked back since!
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s exhilarating to see your concepts come to life. From brainstorming the entire process to navigating all the challenges that come with crafting an event for a client. The excitement lies in bridging the gap between the brand and the consumer. When you’re in the events industry, you know there will never be a dull moment and no two days are ever going to be the same. Our latest challenge, to date, has been navigating the COVID19 pandemic. We’re adapting to a new normal and learning how to stay ahead of the curve. It has inspired us to launch CHAB LAB, a digital initiative that allows you to host events while respecting social distancing and the circuit breaker. We see it as the new wave in the events industry.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My family has had a long association with Asia. They’ve been in business here for close to a century and I’m continuing the tradition with my business. I lived in Shanghai, and I now call Singapore my home.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, without a doubt! There is a reason why I moved continents and chose this country, in particular, to start a business. The cuisine may attract a lot of people but, for me, it is the location, the opportunities and the tenacity of the people I’ve met. They aren’t exaggerating when they call Singapore the business hub of Asia. I love this environment that allows me to build my dream and work with an international team.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I received was in January. Don’t make any rash decisions. The wisest thing to do in a climate like this is to observe and act when you have the full picture. It will serve you in the long run.
Who inspires you?
Gary Vaynerchuk is the name that you will find on many entrepreneurs’ list. He reminds me of the importance of always pushing forward, while keeping my eye on the goal. You can face challenges and feel like the world is working against you, but, the end result is all about your mindset.
His words were one of the reasons why CHAB LAB was born. We wanted to find new and innovative ways to bring emotional connections to people. As a team, we needed to persevere past the limitations and find a new way to expand our reach.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The innovations that people have come up with since the COVID19 situation has come about. It is amazing to see how creative the industry and the world is getting when facing hurdles. It speaks of the resilience of the human spirit, and that is something that blows me away.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
This is going to sound like a cliche, but I have to say, I would do nothing differently. To say that I would do things differently would be to live with regret. My choices, every step of the way, have shaped who I am as a person and as an employer. These decisions mean that I have learnt vital lessons and opened myself to people who have changed my life.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy getting lost in gardening. It is cathartic and an activity that lets me create something.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Not many will agree but Bali is a place I head to for relaxation. The environment is laid back, the people are friendly and, most importantly, I can enjoy several afternoons by a pool or beach and recalibrate myself.
Another location I enjoy is Kep in Cambodia. It is located in the South and is a rustic destination with quiet beaches, steeped in culture. I’m always looking for cool and interesting places to visit.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way,” by Richard Branson.
Anyone running their own business should read this book to learn that not all your choices will lead to success. But how you bounce back is the lesson you learn from each choice you make, and how those choices will pave the way to the life you want.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are immensely proud of CHAB LAB. If we could shout it from the rooftops, we would. It’s our new initiative that gives clients a chance to still host an event by connecting through technology.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ 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 and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.