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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

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Callum Connects

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

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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Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

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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