Thomas Beattie, a former professional football player turned serial entrepreneur is currently the co-founder of two startups in Singapore. What’s your story? I was a professional footballer until I sustained a head injury during a game. Whilst recovering and having multiple surgeries I began pondering on some business ideas I had been thinking of for a while. Fast forward 2 years and I have 8 companies with a combined worth of around $6 million based on investments in the projects. What excites you most about your industry? Because I’m involved in a very diverse set of projects I don’t define myself by one industry specifically. There are super exciting parts to all of them. We have a tech company that is currently ranked in the top 20 most downloaded apps in Singapore which is very exciting. We have started to create partnerships with people like La La Move and the potential scalability of the project excites me a lot. Amongst the many companies I have the hardest nut to crack but the most rewarding is the Tech Industry. The nuances of the different challenges we have to face are exciting as we improve and grow. What’s your connection to Asia? I came here originally to play Football with the idea of becoming a Singapore citizen and representing the country in the World Cup qualifiers. 6 years later and I’m still here. I am in the process of applying for PR. Since I can’t play football anymore post-injury to my skull, I can’t take the passport via that avenue but I like to think this is my home now and I have grown roots now.
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Favorite city in Asia for business and why? Everyone who knows me knows how much I love Singapore. I have had a villa in Bali for 3 years and building villas in Koh Samui. I travel often to HK also but the moment I touch down at Changi I always feel a sense of relief and belonging. Everything works the way it’s supposed to and it’s so efficient. In a business sense, Singapore is very productive for me. We have restaurants here and multiple companies registered here. The degree of separation in Singapore for me is usually 1 or 2 which makes connecting with the right people that little bit easier. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? I’m lucky to be surrounded by some very influential, helpful friends and mentors and I’ve received great support and advice over the years. The best advice I would say is to surround yourself with people from different races, ages, cultures, industries etc. This is how you grow. If you surround yourself with the same you will never be any different. Who inspires you? I take inspiration from many people and things. There isn’t one person in particular. I try to take pieces of inspiration from various people. My family inspire me also, as does music and sport. My early childhood inspirations where always athletes being a footballer but now it’s a little more diverse. What have you just learned recently that blew you away? On a micro level, I just learned that dividends in Singapore are tax-free!!! Which is amazing! I also learned that having money doesn’t solve lots of things you once assumed would disappear once you reach a certain level of success. I have learned that in between your goals there is this thing called life and it’s important to live in the present and enjoy the process. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Well since I’m still fairly young I feel that my journey as an entrepreneur has just started. I’m so blessed, thankful and happy with where I am now. On a personal level, I’m content and happy with how I turned out and I think that’s a reflection of the experiences I’ve had. So In that sense, I wouldn’t change a thing. I always think where you are now is exactly where you are supposed to be. How do you unwind? I use the gym as a way to escape a little and just zone out. I try to not look at my phone for that 1 and half hours of the day and just switch off. Music is also.something that is a big way of unwinding for me. I love getting in my car at night and putting music on and driving and just having that mental escape. If I’m in dire need of a mental break, I travel to places like Bali or Koh Samui and completely go off the grid for 48 hours!
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Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? I’ve always had an intimate affiliation with Bali. I like the raw natural beauty it has but also the modern 5-star essentials. You can have an elegant private living in the beauty of undeveloped surroundings which is very relaxing for me. Every now and again I need a couple of days at the Alila Villas in Uluwatu, Bali to reset my batteries. Everyone in business should read this book: The secret Shameless plug for your business: If you are in need of any services at your house doing, download the app Ovvy and post them for free there! Also, we are opening a restaurant on Telok Ayer Street end of November! Shake Farm, come down for some healthy food! How can people connect with you? Website: www.iamthomasbeattie.com Instagram @iamthomasbeattieThis 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