While out for a scooter ride in Bali, Randy got an idea to start a business that would allow potential property buyers to view and shortlist properties, walking through them as if they were there, right from the comfort of their couch.
What’s your story?
It all started 3 years ago when I was in Bali for a month’s vacation. I was riding my little scooter around when I noticed a trend. There were a lot of real estate agencies, almost on every corner. At first, I paid no mind to it. Then it occurred to me. Almost all the villa owners weren’t even Indonesian. So the big “what if” question came. What if, potential property buyers could just view and shortlist the properties they want, walking through it as if they were there, right from the comfort of their couch? That was when Panoleh was born.
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s a global industry. But what makes it interesting is the different approaches every country has. For a good part of 2017, I traveled all around Asia doing market research. That’s when I realize that Singapore’s model is rather unique.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My company is headquartered in Singapore, with an office in Jakarta.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta. Simply because of the size, and the potential for scalability. Also helps that most of my connections in the industry there are friends I grew up with.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The happier or angrier you are, the stupider you get. This is so true. When you’re at the height of your emotions, decisions made are usually unwise.
Who inspires you?
My father. For being successful, but yet the most romantic husband and the father who’s always there for his family. Every evening, he shares a bottle of wine with my mum without fail, for as long as I can remember.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Not really blew me away, but the trade war between the U.S., and the other economic superpowers still comes as quite a surprise.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Actually, nothing. I’m exactly where I planned to be when I mapped out my career path when I was just 16.
How do you unwind?
Nothing beats a few pints of Guinness.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I have to go with two destinations. Bali for the beaches and coffee, Taipei for the people and food.
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Talk to Anyone, by Leil Lowndes. What good is a business idea if you can’t communicate it effectively?
Shameless plug for your business:
Every agent who signed up with us has successfully closed a deal because of our PanoTours.
How can people connect with you?
It’s a little tough, considering I don’t have much of a social media presence?
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’.