Rina; putting the Quirk into marketing design solutions.
What’s your story?
After working for a couple of years as a designer, 2 of my friends got me to start an agency with them back when I was 23. I was almost coerced into it as unlike most entrepreneurs, I didn’t have the guts to just plunge into uncertainty. I really have to thank them for doing that, if not for them I would definitely not be doing what I’m doing today. After 4 years in the partnership, I decided to venture out and start Quirk. It was really tough in the beginning, from having a team of people to giving all that up and depending on myself to do the account servicing, administration, design, even cleaning the office!
From starting out in my bedroom and just handling simple websites and below the line marketing collaterals then over the years expanding to offering integrated marketing campaigns, branding campaigns, complex web portal development as well as events and even interior design. We have come a long way over the past 8 years.
What excites you most about your industry?
That trends and technologies are ever changing, 10 years ago, there are no smartphones/tablets – there was no such thing as mobile optimized websites, mobile apps or social media engagement. The nature of the industry keeps us on our toes and constantly learning and improving to keep up with the times.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Being born and bred in Singapore is advantageous since we have both Western & Eastern influences. My beliefs and values are deeply rooted within this region allowing our business to better understand our varied client requirements, in the different regions they occupy.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore as our government is supportive of entrepreneurship and businesses, setting up a business is one of the easiest, if not the easiest in Asia.
Consumers and clients are also much more design sensitive than before and that helps as a designer since they are more appreciative of our work.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To not be afraid to hire someone better than you, the company is only as good as the people in it.
Who inspires you?
There isn’t a specific individual, but some of my friends who are entrepreneurs in different trades and sometimes even clients inspire me with their thoughts on topics and approach to business/life.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Just a line I came across recently. “Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” Don’t live your life only to look back and regret the things you didn’t do. Wouldn’t you rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ instead of a life of ‘what ifs’?
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing, everything that happened in the past whether it was a good or bad experience, the challenges we faced and mistakes we have made, made us who we are today. It’s with these experiences that we grow and improve.
How do you unwind?
Rock climbing, music and travelling.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand and Indonesia. They both have so much to offer in terms of nature & activities. Definitely helps that the people are very hospitable and food is amazing in both countries. I recently visited Myanmar and found the place very charming and the people wonderfully pleasant.
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Win Friends and Influence People first published in 1936, it’s one of the most influential books of all time.
Shameless plug for your business:
Quirk is an award winning integrated marketing communications agency. We create intelligent, visual compelling marketing and brand campaigns that convert to quantifiable business results resulting in a positive ROI.
With more than 13 years of experience, we have experienced exponential growth since the company’s incorporation 8 years ago having worked on more than 800 projects with more 200 companies ranging from SMEs, MNCs and Government sectors.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum 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/>