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Wilson Teh, Managing Director of Rezt ‘n Relax Interior

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Wilson Teh has had an entrepreneurial spirit from the age of 7! He now runs a successful interior design firm.

What’s your story?
I am a proud father of 5 adorable children and a husband to my loving wife, Ma Li Li. I relate managing a business to being the main man of the house by providing constant encouragement to every member of the family.
I believe I am at the core, a survivor gifted with astute business acumen. I was only 7 when my father passed away and I learned at a very young age how to earn a living by helping my mother sell jewelry. At the age of 10, I already had a stall at Centrepoint. Having my own stall in Centrepoint wasn’t enough for me and so when a few of my friends decided to run their own stalls in two other areas in the city, I earned income by being their middleman supplying goods to them.
I was once a door-to-door salesman of skin-care products for five years after completing my National Service before I went on to join an interior design firm for two years. Being a self-learned interior designer and a born entrepreneur, in the year 2000, I decided to venture out and run my own interior design business along with my longtime friend and co-director Mr. John Foo.
All the experiences I have gone through have shaped me and made me who I am today. All these experiences have equipped me with valuable knowledge and hands-on exposure on how to run a successful business, which I continue to do so up to this day.

What excites you most about your industry?
It’s resilience. I mean, I could have been anything I wanted to be, really. I could have literally chosen to sell another product or service. But I have observed in my almost 20 years in this trade that even when the economy is not doing so well, the interior design and renovation business in general doesn’t really feel the pinch. In fact, it is during these hard times that I keep seeing a sudden spike in demand for such services. I’m definitely glad to be in this industry and be in this position today.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. This is my home and I will see my end in this wonderful nation where all of its citizens and residents enjoy freedom and security which several nations out there don’t have. My business is solely operating here for now. I have big hopes and dreams of course, but those are more long-term objectives.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It is such an easy country to do business in. The government really makes efforts to attract people within and outside of Singapore to be entrepreneurs by providing them the right infrastructure especially when it comes to technology. The immense support and benefits the government is providing would be enough to lure any business-minded person to start their very own company.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. This always reminds me that no matter your situation in life, you must remain kind to everyone, even to the hostile and the malevolent.

Who inspires you?
My mum. I think what she did for our family to survive all those years, to get us through all the challenges we had, to succeed in raising us and engrained in us to always stay humble is something quite phenomenal.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
As a businessman and as an employer, I was once given advice by someone who I admire so much. He said to give full and complete trust in my employees. If you can’t do that, then you can’t continue working with them. I think that really helped me have faith in the people working in my company. Whoever works in my company, I automatically consider them family.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
There’s a school of thought that says “health is wealth.” At a young age, I was already so focused on becoming a successful businessman that I blindly compromised my health only to realize later on that truly, all the success in the world won’t matter if you are not healthy. I am okay now of course and I plan to continue maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

How do you unwind?
I am a very simple man. Spending time with my wife and family is all I really need to unwind. Our family is not really fond of doing big things. So, a simple dinner at our favourite restaurant is good enough for me.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Within Singapore, it has got to be Sentosa. It’s the best place for the kids! If away from home, that would be Taiwan because the people are so nice there and we love visiting during colder months.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s not really a book about business but it proves to us, that dreams do come true.

Shameless plug for your business:
Rezt & Relax Interior is a home-grown interior design company. We are an HDB-certified and CaseTrust accredited firm with a certification in ISO Safety and Quality. Backed by 17 years of industry experience, we are a multi-award winning company that offers the industry’s first and only LIFETIME warranty and one of only a few that provides customers with an insurance bond!

How can people connect with you?
You may reach me through [email protected]

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

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Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched.

What’s your story?
I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position.

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start.

How do you unwind?
I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki

Shameless plug for your business:
Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning.

How can people connect with you?
Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@malcolmABM

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’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market

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William Chin set up Mummy’s Market. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

What’s your story?
After National Service, I enjoyed a rousing start to my corporate career with successful stints at events and conventions companies such as IQPC, Hannover Fairs Australia and Lighthouse Independent Media in management roles, building my experience in conventions, trade fairs and events.

However, I hit a particularly bad streak of unemployment after that, facing difficulty finding jobs because according to recruiters, I was overqualified, yet too young. In fact, at one point I was struggling so badly with my family loans that I was sharing bowls of ramen with my girlfriend for our meals, to save costs.

My financial pressures eventually culminated in my forced venture into entrepreneurship where I had to strike out my own path with a brief stint in Expomal. However, this turned out to be my next break that fuelled my current success. It was there I built up Smartkids (another wildly successful baby and child fair) before it was bought out by a bigger company. Inspired by SmartKids, I started Mummy’s Market and eventually Baby’s Market, outperforming established names in the business to take its current place as market leader.

What excites you most about your industry?
Mummy’s Market is the industry leader in baby, kids, maternity and household with 80% market share and our clients – coupled with branding, advertising and exhibiting on Mummy’s Market platforms, we are seeing a 30-60% company growth year on year despite the downturn in the economy. With attendance of over 100k consumers per fair and serving 70-80% of pregnant mums, our actual business is in data, data collection and processing from consumer fairs.

I am excited about how big data analytics from Mummy’s Market can be applied at every stage of the retail process such as data segmentation – for retailers now when mums are giving birth to sending relevant content over. This will transform and innovate the industry of baby fairs and Mummy’s Market, with the huge amount of data we process from our fairs yearly, is the forerunner in this disruption. With this, we have transformed the DNA of how digital business has always been done. Global online marketplaces are burning cash quickly to achieve big data analytics, but not us.

Another testament to Mummy’s Market’s popularity is that huge marketplaces have been trying to pass off as Mummy’s Market. It shows that we are heading in the right direction and the most exciting part is, we are only at 10% of where we want to be – a platform where $1 billion gross market value products are transacted annually around Asia in a niche market.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore, and intend to stay in Singapore to build the Mummy’s Market brand.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore – if one can strategically become a leader in a small market like Singapore, its grounds to show that one’s business has an opportunity to grow further in larger countries.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“It is easy to become number 1 because the others can just copy and tweak to overtake you.
It is more difficult to STAY number 1, because you have no one to copy. You have to innovate.”

Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs – he transformed the digital age. Without the invention of smartphones, mobile computing and mobile advertising would never have grown. He changed the way businesses and consumers communicate. Without the introduction of iPhones, mobile applications would have never existed the way we are using them today.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You no longer have to lick stamps to make it sticky.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I love my life and my family. And I love the platform Mummy’s Market has created to help businesses grow.

How do you unwind?
I play with my little 1 year old baby girl.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan – cool weather with beautiful mountains and lake scenery.

Everyone in business should read this book:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

Shameless plug for your business:
Mummy’s Market has established its reputation as not just Singapore’s but Southeast Asia’s largest baby fair:

  • Nearly S$100 million gross merchandise volume transacted on Mummy’s Market platforms annually
  • 800,000 visitors at its fairs yearly
  • 80% of all of Singapore’s baby product distributors in one convention
  • 15-20% year on year increase in sales volume at every baby fair since its inception

Apart from market dominance, Mummy’s Market also has the largest database of parents and the number 1 platform for MNCs and SMEs to reach out to this audience. From exhibitions, magazines, seminars to digital campaigns and roadshows. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-chin-23910a9/

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’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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