Lynette Seah helps SMEs get on the digital bandwagon through her business Alpha7.

What’s your story?
I started Alpha7 after working many years in an integrated, connected, digitally disruptive business environment. I wanted to make a difference to help SMEs/SMBs onto the digital train. I launched Alpha7s “Internet of Business”, our Business Management Dashboard which provides businesses the ability manage their key business data from multiple sources. You can find out more on www.a7iob.com.

What excites you most about your industry?
Exciting is not the word. What worries me about my industry is the pace of the adoption of technology for the smaller, traditional and older businesses that may be left behind if they don’t transform.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Born and bred in Singapore, lived, worked and qualified as Australian Chartered Accountant in Sydney, managed senior management roles covering Asia Pacific based in Singapore covering China, India, ANZ and SEA.
Worked in PW in Singapore and Sydney, Gene Shears in HK and US MNCs in JDEdwards, Interwoven and Salesforce.com. Wherever I go, I’m a banana, I try to adapt whether I’m going west to east or east to west.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Sydney, my second home.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Say what you do, do what you say.” We don’t know what we don’t know in today’s digital B2B, B2C, B2B2C, C2C. Collaboration and finding the right partners to advise is key to success in today’s digital era.

Who inspires you?
I have many mentors who inspire me in different aspects of my life – at work, at home, at play, in the community. As a first time veteran entrepreneur, I have many, many learnings.

To name one who inspired me to do what I do in Alpha7 today, is Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com. His vision, leadership, management style and passion for his people and team is absolutely inspiring.
However, I struggle in bridging the big gap of moving from senior management in MNCs for almost 30 years to a start up entrepreneur. I quickly complimented my learnings with other mentors to inspire and bring to light changes I needed to make in my journey as an entrepreneur.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We don’t know what we don’t know in today’s digital world. In times where Amazon meets Alibaba, Grab meets Uber, Blockchain, bitcoin, cryptocurrency era, businesses big and small are adopting, adapting and embracing technology at an unprecedented pace.
Getting SMEs/SMBs to leverage technology to manage their business has never been more motivating to whoever wants to jump onto the digital bandwagon.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would do the same thing but maybe be more focused and pointed in listening and engaging trusted advisors to identify and leverage our teams’ strengths to compliment our weaknesses.

How do you unwind?
Before and after Alpha7 – my focus was different.
Before – I had no budget issue, so I was living the high life; wining, dining and travel were ways I took time out to unwind.
After – I am now more budget conscious, so I enjoy my music and I play the piano to unwind.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Sydney, my second home.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

Shameless plug for your business:
My Alpha7 Team – There’s no “I” in Team. I am nobody without my team.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
#alpha7c

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’.

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