With cybercrime on the rise, Jan Van Leersum set up a business to help companies by protecting their IT network against increasing threats.
What’s your story?
I am Dutch, developed from a Chemist to Operational, Managerial and Divisional roles within Williams PLC UK and after a career in the corporate world, became an Entrepreneur and started Network Box (SIN) Pte Ltd in Singapore in 2014, a Managed Security Service Provider.
What excites you most about your industry?
Connectivity in the business and private environment has increased tremendously, as well as threats and privacy breaches in line with it. Companies rely on their IT systems and individuals rely on their mobile devices and all have become vulnerable at the same time because of cybercrime. Exciting is to be able to offer an effective and affordable solution to the business community.
What’s your connection to Asia?
First I fell in love with my Wife, then with Asia and Singapore in particular. The Singaporean multiracial society in which space has been created for minorities some 50 years ago is unique. Has never seen before in mankind.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, although there’s a tough business climate, all is possible. Starting up a business can be done fast and is transparent, everything works within this country, in the first place all the governmental departments.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In a fierce debate, to try to summarize the essence of what your opponent has tried to get across to you. It requires focus and listening to do that. Once you summarize correctly, your opponent feels understood and will be more open to listen to your point of view. The debate can develop from “ping-ponging” points of view into a fruitful debate.
Who inspires you?
Many people, my wife, Barak & Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres, Trevor Noah, all those people who are integer and mean it well.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have always voted on right liberal parties, simply because this is the most effective and practical approach to create a better world for all. But what blew me away in the positive sense, is that in the Netherlands the Social Democrats became the biggest party in the European election.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Avoiding lots of stupid mistakes.
How do you unwind?
Playing bridge, cycling on a race bike and having a glass in front of the TV in the evening.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Ho Chi Minh, big chaos, passionate people, and so calm and controlled in traffic.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Reading books certainly helps to develop, but much more effective is personal development by exposing yourself to group processes.
Shameless plug for your business:
Our Unique and Patented Technologies, in combination with Security Partnerships Worldwide, help out companies by protecting their IT network against increasing threats from Cyber Criminals, EFFECTIVELY & AFFORDABLY 24/7.
How can people connect with you?
Email, Mobile, Strava, Facebook, LinkedIn
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’.