Joel Neoh, the Award Winning Entrepreneur & the GROUPON Head of Asia Pacific wrote a note on his reflected Lessons! “Top 24 Entrepreneurial Lessons that he has learned in 2014”!
#1: It’s not important where you come from, but where you’re going.
#2: Not who you are, but what you do that defines you.
#3: People will always say “you can’t”. You just smile and say “watch me”.
#4: People that Joel Neoh most enjoy working with: dream big + get shit done + know how to have fun.
#5: Instead of limiting our challenges, challenge our limits.
#6: The most dangerous poison against further success is the prolonged feeling of achievement. The antidote is to reflect and think, every night, what can be done better tomorrow.
#7: Simplified summary on investing. There are only 4 things that really count when making an investment: 1) A business you understand 2) Favorable long term economics 3) Able and trustworthy management 4) Sensible valuation That’s investment, everything else is speculation.
#8: Be a genius. Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one else can see.
#9: 10 habits of the most successful people in the world: Set goals, focus, value time, spend less, work hard, continue learning, group with like-minded, persistent, calculated risk, generosity.
#10: Success is achieved from striving for perfection. Happiness is achieved from embracing the imperfections.
#11: Do the hardest things first. Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
#12: When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
#13: We may not achieve everything we dream, but we will not achieve anything unless we dream.
#14: No one looks back on their life and remember the nights they got plenty of sleep. #workhard #partyhard
#15: Success comes from having the heart to dream big and the fortitude to see it through.
#16: Two kinds of company cultures in this world: cultures where what you do matters, and cultures where all that matters is who you are. Accept only the former, the latter sucks.
#17: WHAT is right is always more important than WHO is right. Outcome not ego.
#18: It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to. Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Select only things to steal that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.
#19: Management is doing things right, while Leadership is doing the right things. Doing the right things is more important than doing things right.
#20: Ambition fires up the strong and threatens the weak. We need to be more ambitious.
#21: Two types of people at work: 1) Can do. 2) Can’t do. Unless your profession needs you to be (2), no reason why you shouldn’t be (1).
#22: Rule #1: Have the courage to dream, and the guts to do it. Rule #2: If all else fails go back to Rule #1.
#23: The most valuable commodity in the world is information; the most valuable tool in the world is communication; the most valuable mental trait in the world is positivity.
#24: Focus on your customers. Serve your employees. Learn from your competitors.
The general consensus amongst society is that being born disabled is an affliction often associated with unhappiness, failure, dependency on others and helplessness. These young entrepreneurs have proven otherwise, inspiring lives through adversities.
People often look at those with disabilities and think to themselves, what misery they must be in. But is that always true? Are those who are afflicted with physical disabilities really less capable than the rest of so-called “normal” society?
Measuring society’s attitude and opinion toward the disabled is no easy task as these opinions are based upon social norms, attitudes, as well as a complex mix of misconceptions and stereotypes.
A survey done by the UK government in 2009 shows that 38% of people who were surveyed see the disabled as less productive than non-disabled people while 35% of people felt that the disabled took more from the economy than they contributed.
Such opinions are largely derived from the belief that the disabled require extensive care and looking after. While there is some truth to this, disabled who need round the clock care are neither the exception nor the rule.
Fast Cars & Celebrated Automotive Trading Entrepreneur
Melvin Tong was one of the many 17 year old candidates about to take the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations when he started experiencing a sharp pain originating from the back of his knee.
“It started off with minor pain, like a sprain, and I guess you don’t really worry about it,” said Melvin, “By the time I actually went for my checkup in the hospital, I could already see a small lump the size of a peanut.”
It was later confirmed that Melvin had Fibrosarcoma.
Fibrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that originates from connective tissue found at the ends of the bones of the arms or legs.
In the course of the next five weeks, 3 biopsies and several opinions from different oncologists later, the tumor grew to the size of a tennis ball and the decision to amputate was made.
By the time he was confronted with the decision, Melvin had grown weary of bouncing from doctor to doctor, the countless referrals and undergoing test after test. He willingly went under the knife in hopes that it would conclude the endless biopsies and regular visits to oncologists.
Melvin, 29 this year, has from then on devoted his life to his love of cars as well as his love of people, taking part in many philanthropic activities in his time including raising awareness for victims of child abuse. In 2010, he entered the Malaysian book of records as the first amputee to climb Mount Kinabalu.
He now owns Extreme Supercars, a thriving business importing, refurbishing, renting and selling luxury vehicles.
“My car business started back when I was 13 years old, shortly after I got my first computer, I made a website for the Need For Speed game,” said Melvin.
It was then that Melvin knew that he would never be able to work for anyone other than himself and made the decision to go into the luxury car business. Melvin says that it had never occurred to him to look for a job.
It was only a few years after college when he was introduced into the car industry, beginning his business selling smaller cars such as the Volkswagen Polo for small commission, comparing himself to a low-pay salesperson.
His business began by brokering the sale of foreign cars to local people, Melvin says that he began the business with no capital, slowly working his way up, building his business into what it is today.
“My disability didn’t stop me from taking my SPM or going to college, everyone knew who I was, but somehow, none of them became really close to me.”
He spoke of the barrier that existed between him and everyone else and said that sometimes it is easier for people to simply alienate someone like him.
The World Health Organization estimated that 10% of any population is disabled in some way. Translating this into Malaysian context, the number would come to 2.7million disabled people currently living in Malaysia.
In 2009, according to the social welfare department, the total number of disabled in Malaysia was 258, 918 with an average annual increase of 20,000 a year. These are only the ones who are registered.
Of that number, those who are capable of work amount to over 200,000, discounting those with cerebral palsy and those listed in the survey as “others”. A staggering amount of manpower.
Unfortunately, governments have not been able to take full advantage this and the disabled, along with their families, are often persecuted or looked upon as a burden to society.
A prime example of the contribution from disabled people is Zharif Affendi.
National Youth Icon and Beacon of Hope for Youths
Zharif is the proud owner of the Zharif initiative, a Malaysian creative communications company that specializes in corporate social relations consultancy. The company branches out into many fields including public relations and even having his own independent record label.
He also works for MTEM (Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Malaysia), an NGO which facilitates and assists in the empowerment of the Malaysian economy.
Zharif was born without arms, and when asked what the exactly the ailment was that caused his birth without upper limbs, he nonchalantly replied that he didn’t know.
“There’s probably a name for it but I never looked it up, I never bothered to know what the reason was.”
Zharif had never required any form of special care, attending run of the mill government schools growing up.
In fact, when he was young, his mother registered him in a primary school that had rejected his application because the headmaster felt that they did not possess the facilities to accommodate a person of his condition.
The day before registration, 6 year old Zharif waited outside the headmaster’s office, asked to meet with him, and when he did, he asked the headmaster’s name, he spelled it, writing on his notebook with only his feet.
Today, he holds a law degree, bachelors of Arts degree and a bachelor of psychology degree. Even being an avid sportsman, listing his hobbies as skateboarding, football, ultra thrill running, scuba diving and taking part in swimathons.
These are only two prime examples of what a disabled person can contribute to Malaysian society. Melvin Tong, owner of one of the most renowned luxury car distributors in Malaysia, and Zharif Affendi, who works toward the growth of Malaysian economy in MTEM.
They are the model of what the disabled community in Malaysia has the potential to be. Sadly most are underestimated and aren’t given the opportunity to contribute.
But things have been changing recently with newly introduced government policies.
The government hopes that providing vocational and academic training to the disabled will sufficiently encourage them to find jobs. Congruent to this, the government has allocated 1% of all public sector jobs to those who are disabled.
And in 2008, the Department Of Social Welfare gives an incentive to the disabled who earn a monthly income of less than RM1200, as well as grants that do not exceed RM2, 700 to aid the disabled in the launching of their own businesses.
Alas, some of these policies are poorly implemented or not properly enforced by government authorities and are altogether ignored or unbeknownst by most.
In the year 2000, it was estimated that the disabled contribute USD1.68 billion to the Malaysian Gross Domestic Import (GDP), while studies conducted to estimate the total global annual loss of excluding the disabled from the economy to be somewhere between USD1.37 to USD1.94trillion.
According to these statistics, it is not the lack of ability that holds back the capabilities of the disabled, but a vicious cycle of poverty, charity and excessive amounts of sympathy that result in their continued reliance on society.
The equalization of opportunities for the disabled to be on par with those who aren’t is crucial to the Malaysian economy and the overall quality of life of persons with disabilities.
Those who are disabled are not necessarily impeded, but it is the inaction of irresponsible parties that truly deprives them from the achievement of their true potential.
Gen-Y College Students Speak Out on Inspiration
1. Melinna Loone
2. Nazreen Zainurin
3. Pang Yat Haw
4. Daniel Ibanez Lau
5. Justin Wong Zhe Xuan
6. Vigneshan Kumar
Thoughts from Student Interviewers: We are extremely grateful that we’re able to complete and execute this project on time and up to the standards of our lecturer and also our employer. The hardest part of this project is probably the video part, it was difficult to brainstorm any creative ideas to be put into our video as a documentary video is meant to be serious and if anything that goes against that vibe or would disrupt that atmosphere will need to be thrown out of the window.
It was an inspiring experience to listen to both such amazingly positive stories. Before this, we’ve always had this sympathetic or pitiful feeling towards physically disabled community but after this project, we’ve realized that they are even more positive about life than some of us are. Their determination and spirit to thrive in life has indeed made us reflect on ourselves.
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Credit Note: INTI College Subang students from the School of Mass Communication undertook a project by Founder Method to interview successful yet challenged individuals in Malaysia, who have had a lasting impact in society through their business and work. This was a collective effort done by the students, coupled with industry mentors from INTI College Subang and from Founder Method in the implementation of this project.
GRADUAN® ASPIRE CAREER & POSTGRADUATE FAIR IS BACK!
DATE: 17 and 18 May 2014 VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTRE MALAYSIA (Hall 5&6)
CAREER AND NETWORKING FAIR
Malaysia’s premiere career and networking fair with more than 100 of Malaysia’s leading organisations (Maybank, Celcom Axiata, Shell, Petronas, and many more!) and institutions who have signed up to engage with graduates and talents at GRADUAN® ASPIRE.
Aside from learning more about the organisations you’re interested in, you can drop your CV at the booths or meet up with HR personnel to express your interests and impress them at the same time! Those interested in pursuing their post-graduate studies will find a wealth of information via the many university booths at the fair.
GRADUAN® APPRENTICE: “WHAT’S NEXT?” CHALLENGE
GRADUAN® APPRENTICE CHALLENGE involves teams in a final elimination round where they have to deliver a rousing pitch to CEO judges on how they can take their business forward.
It will take a lot to impress the CEO judges, who will be grilling the teams on their ideas.
Winners will be handpicked by each CEO for their opportunity to be mentored and to gain valuable industry insight. Take part now! More details at graduan.com/aspire
Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. NextUpAsia.com chats with the CEO and Co-Founder, Andrea Loubier about how she started this revolutionary business online.
(a) Getting to know about The Strategies to Be The No.1 Start-Up
Marketing is King! How did you publicize your business? How did you get people to notice you and not your competitors?
We were in the right place at the right time. When we decided to go full throttle with Mailbird, there was a lot of hype in the world of email. Some topics included how many web based email servers were not secure, how emails were scanned and the lack of privacy and trust is always a concern. Sparrow, an email client for Mac, was acquired by Google. Mozilla’s open sourced email client Thunderbird announced ceasing development to focus and reallocate on other Mozilla products. Other email clients like Postbox, Inky, Airmail etc came to surface. Hotmail.com rebranded completely their web interface and style and renamed it Outlook.com- they later announced their POP3 only web email server would for the first time have IMAP support.
Marissa Mayer was named the new CEO for Yahoo with focused efforts on revamping Yahoo Mail. An online resource for anything to do with email launched called Other Inbox along with email focused tech conferences in Silicon Valley, called Inbox Love.
In the hot bed of email news, we simply found targeted tech publishers, bloggers, newspapers, magazines, forums and websites and shared the launch of a new Windows email client and people responded because we targeted the right channels, and built relationships with the right people.
A tip is to focus on contacting relevant tech publishers who’ve written on the subject matter of your business, and you should have a pretty compelling story to tell. Because we were named best email client for Windows by both PC World and IT World, and also a world class software by CNET’s Download.com users who were seeking this solution for email are happy to support Mailbird.
What is most interesting is your angle, what differentiates you from the competition. What do you offer that they do not. If you can clearly answer that, then go out there and tell the world about it and your early adopters will come.
They say, Talents is what make or break the business. For yourself, how did you get your talents and what did you do to make them remain working for you?
Character has a lot to do with how far you will go in life. I would say that one of my strengths as a person is that I am very much a networker, personable and easy to talk to. In addition to that, experience and learning by doing and through failures and mistakes is how you grow and become better.
I always grew up in a very internationally diverse setting, I like to engage with people and I love learning about what motivates people and how to build a business around your target user’s needs. I am constantly learning about great business development and marketing initiatives, and love to test different strategies; it is all part of learning and growing with your business and it is different for everyone.
You can never just be an expert on one thing, because the world continues to change, especially when it comes to technology. How you operate and communicate your vision has to also be flexible and adapt with the ecosystem in your vertical.
My background in project management in working with huge international corporations has taught be a lot about setting priorities, goals and delivering happiness to people you interact with.
If you could name 3 Main Criteria that have made You and Your Business successful, what are those 3 Main Criteria?
Early engagement with users. Relentless drive in communicating our vision to the world. A solid, reliable and talented team that cohesively works together to move a business forward.
Businesses need to Innovate in order to stay Competitive in the marketplace – How have you innovated your company to be competitive until today?
We’ve challenged the old school design and user experience for email on the Windows platform. We’ve adopted new technologies in building an email client. We are focused on the Windows platform – so you know it is good since we aren’t trying to be available on every OS, only to deliver a half-assed product.
We constantly test viral marketing strategies. We constantly seek opportunities that work hand in hand with email such as security and productivity. We are building community around email innovation with our developmental milestone of building the Mailbird API allowing 3rd party developers to build and distribute their super cool email productivity apps right from within Mailbird, so you have everything you’ve ever needed to manage email, your life and your business from one place.
Mailbird is not just another email client, and we are the only ones truly working to fix the problem(s) with email.
Global economic uncertainties Kill Businesses – In your mind, how did you weather this challenge for your business?
Well first you have to pre-determine the potential risks and threats to your business in building a thorough business plan. Economic uncertainties include optimism, employment, demand, profits, inflation, investment and access to finance. So if all things fail or go downhill in the global economic foreground we believe Mailbird will survive because people still need a way to communicate with each other online.
With Radicati’s 2013 – 2014 statistical report that email accounts are growing at a substantial rate of 6% in the billions each year, we know email isn’t going anywhere. Should there be an economic downturn, sure software will be the last thing people think about buying, but because Mailbird offers a freemium solution we believe that our user base will sustain and adapt with changing economic climates.
You see more women stepping up in senior management roles which is seen as an opportunity in the changing world economies and another strength for the Mailbird team. Also should companies consider budget cuts, if you look at the email client that currently dominates a workplace that runs Windows machines, Mailbird easily becomes the alternative solution with an value-added offer to businesses at a fraction of the price of solutions out there today for Windows users.
Whatever happens in the global economy, Mailbird will be available as a technology solution for communication. Even better, when the world emerges from economic struggle, in that cycle comes many new solutions and adaptations. People get more resourceful, more creative and become more open to alternative solutions when it comes to building a business and stimulating economic growth.
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Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. With key productivity hacks and differentiators like multi-account support for both IMAP and POP3 accounts, multi-language support to make Mailbird more globally available, data driven email management with the Wingman productivity booster and a community driven initiative to solve the many unique problems with email.
About The Entrepreneur:
Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Mailbird, an email tech startup based in Bali that focuses on email security and productivity hacks on the most creative platform for email innovation ever. She is half American and half Filipino, thrives on diversity as a social connector, particularly for women in Asia that are leading influencers and founders of tech companies. With 7+ years of marketing, project and community management under her belt, she is a firm believer in the strength of women in the world of tech, in the fast-evolving startup ecosystem emerging across Asia
Joel Neoh, the High Achiever Entrepreneur & the GROUPON Head of Asia Pacific wrote a note on the “30 Lessons that he has learned in 30 Years”!
Joel Neoh was 19, about to turn 20, when he turned on the television to be greeted by Oprah, his mother’s favourite TV programme. Oprah was interviewing the cast of Desperate Housewives, and asked Marcia Cross: “If you could go back in time and tell your 20-year-old self anything, what would it be?”
Marcia responded: “Stop worrying. Be comfortable living in uncertainty.”
Looking back at his 30 years of life, Joel Neoh has summarized 30 simple yet important lessons that he learned – about being a better entrepreneur and person.
1. Be comfortable living in uncertainty.
Marcia was right. We can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of life’s adventure. The only thing constant in life is change. Embrace it and you’ll be in for a fun ride.
2. Love what you do.
Don’t ever stop growing, learning, loving, doing & living. Find your niche. Find out what you’re truly passionate about.
3. Embrace your fears.
At 21 years old, Joel Neoh won #1 in the National Men’s Open Rock Climbing Competition. At the post-competition interview, a journalist asked him why and how he started rock climbing: “I started because I was afraid of heights. I once read that most elite athletes feel fear just like everyone else, but they channel that fear to fuel their spirit and passion for competition.”
4. Have fun.
Nothing in life is worth doing unless you’re having fun doing it.
At one of those super-crazy-fun Groupon parties with one of my favorite people in the world.
People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.
6. Surround yourself with people who are smarter.
In sports, the only way to grow is to play against stronger competition. In business, hang out with smarter people. It can be intimidating, but always try to be the dumbest person in the room.
7. Creativity is not difficult.
Creativity is just about connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
8. Allow our good to emerge.
We do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within us and allowing that goodness to emerge.
9. Happiness is not a goal but a way of life.
People that surrounds us have a high influence on our happiness levels. Fire negative people out of your life.
10. Don’t let failure hold you back.
Michael Jordan once said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
11. Stop insanity.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Learn from mistakes, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
12. Just do it.
Years from now we will be more disappointed by the things that we didn’t do than by the ones we did do.
13. Never too young to dream big.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. The earlier you start, the harder you work when you’re younger, the easier life is when you’re older.
Receiving the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.
14. Stay hungry.
Often, the only advantage we have when we are young is hunger. The hunger to succeed. Don’t ever lose that.
15. Life is too short to live someone elses’ dream.
We are only going to live life once. If you aren’t following what you love, then what are you doing? Our parents may have once told us that we have to be in either one of these four professions: doctor, engineer, lawyer or accountant. Life is more than a job. You don’t want to live a life where you go to a job every day just so you can enjoy your weekends and get two weeks of vacation every year.
16. Life is too short to work at a boring company.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
18. Birthdays are best to reflect.
Some spend their birthdays drinking, partying to forget the past, the failures. However, birthdays are great moments to reflect the year that has past – to identify improvements and learnings, towards being a better person for the future.
19. We are the change we seek.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Be a positive change agent today.
20. Don’t let others dictate you.
Often, it’s those individuals that contributes very little to our lives, that dictates our emotions. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.
21. Ask the right questions.
The right questions can ignite innovation, solve problems, create powerful partnerships and help us live a better life.
22. Do one thing right.
When things aren’t going our way, remember – if we can do just 1 thing right, then everything can start to move in the right direction again.
23. Live the moment.
If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
We are always waiting for something: for it to be the weekend, to be finished with school, till we are 21, to get a new job, qualify for a promotion, save enough money, etc…and what’s sad is we miss every beautiful moment in the ‘present’ because we spend our whole lives waiting for tomorrow and for the future. We end up skipping our whole lives and one day we will spend our last day waiting on a tomorrow that will never come. Don’t live in your past or your future. Live today. It’s all we really have. Live everyday as if it were your last. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.
24. Pay off bad debts.
Some debt is good for building credit, minimizing risk and so on. But there are some debts that weigh most people down from truly following their passion and living an amazing life. Pay off the debts that weigh you down as it’s an amazing feeling once you do.
25. Invest in buying assets.
Broke people spend all income on expenses. The Middle class spends income on expenses and purchasing liabilities. The Rich invests income into buying assets, which in return generates even more income. Assets: property (that generates rental yield), stocks (that pays dividend), bonds, etc.
26. Invest in yourself.
It took awhile before Joel Neoh realized that he should invest in himself, that he should put his personal development first. Here is a few ways to start thinking and investing in your most valuable asset – yourself: Find your Why, Discover your strengths, Read a great book, Enrol in further education, Start a good habit.
27. Be happy with nothing.
You can either be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have. Happiness is not having more of what you want, but wanting more of what you have.
28. Be humble.
Have a teachable spirit. Allow others to correct you and tell you about yourself. Correction doesn’t feel good, but it’s necessary for growth. It’s something he continues to work on because having an ego never did anything positive for me and usually doesn’t accomplish much for anyone. Arrogance makes a person power hungry – humility makes one a better leader.
29. You don’t need everyone to like you.
We all want to be loved. But you can’t value every relationship the same, and thus you can’t expect everyone to love you the same. Life doesn’t work that way. Think about this: “When people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.”
30. Don’t ever let somebody tell you…you can’t do something. Not even me.
All right? You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.
Joel Neoh and Chris Gardner, the inspiration behind the movie: The Pursuit of Happyness
Wylie Wee, the Co-Founder of Player Holdings Pte Ltd! Sports Events Planning and Management, Sports Merchandising, and Sports Leadership Training.
1. Tell us more about Your Company – What have you built? What is your product or service to your customers? What is your track-record so far?
is a sports centric company with a mission of using sports as a universal playing field, to create a bridge of connection between people and to empower individuals to be positive change makers. Our holdings company conducts businesses through 3 main subsidiaries namely, Player Events, Sports Market and Player Academy.
PLAYER EVENTS is a sports events management company offering a full spectrum of events planning and management services to the sporting community and corporate companies. We run Multi-Sports Carnivals, Learn-to-Play Sports Programs and Team Building Events through Sports.
SPORTS MARKET is a subsidiary business supplying Sporting Goods, Training Equipment, Player Gear and Apparel Printing Services. At Sports Market, we provide the items and gear you need, For Your Game.
PLAYER ACADEMY is a training business specializing in Sports Leadership, Captainship Training, Character Building through Sports and Team Motivation Training.
2. Why did you decide to go into this business? Is it because it is a lucrative market? Is it a Blue Ocean which your talents and expertise through your business can provide?
I went into this business mainly because Sports is a powerful tool to bring about a positive social change in areas of social integration, youth resilience and character building. The sporting industry in Singapore is booming in all areas of market segments including event planning services, marketing, merchandising and even content distribution. The sports market is one with lucrative business potential and attractive opportunities, especially with the establishment of Singapore’s up and coming Sports Hub and the launch of Vision 2030 joint project, led by the Singapore Sports Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
3. Please share with us, when you established your organization during its early days – How did you fund it? Any tips on raising the funds? Any tips on convincing investors?
When my partners and I first started PLAYER, we fund our startup based on personal savings and family support.
4. Where do you see your business growing into, for the next 5 to 10 years?
We hope to grow into a company that holds 3 stand alone subsidiary companies run by respective management teams. Our vision is to be the partner of choice for Sports Leadership and Team Motivation Training in South East Asia.
5. What is your vision for the industry that you are in? Do you see a trend coming up that your business can capitalize?
Sports took on new importance in the recent years with stepping up efforts by the Singapore government to promote and encourage sports participation in the local community. The sports system has been constantly revised and new recommendations have been set into place to boost the sporting industry. In fact, Singapore’s Vision 2030 and the 21st Century Education Framework are highly aligned with national priorities to develop resilient people and united communities.
Our business is highly aligned with the growing trend towards character development with a niche in using sports as a means to do so.
The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series campaign! Wylie Wee, the Co-Founder of Player Holdings Pte Ltd!
(a) Getting to know The Start-Up Entrepreneur
1. Tell us more about yourself – Who are you, what do you do, what are your qualifications (If any) and what have made you into the successful entrepreneur that you are today?
My name is Wylie Wee and I am the Co-Founder of Player Holdings Pte Ltd, a company that uses sports as a universal playing field to create value to individuals and society. Our company operates through 3 core businesses in the areas of Sports Events Planning and Management, Sports Merchandising, and Sports Leadership Training.
I am a SIM Global Education Scholar in Academic Excellence and Leadership and I graduated from Singapore Institute of Management with the highest honor of Degree with Distinction in Bachelor of Business Management. Apart from academic studies, I am also a Professional Netball Coach and an accredited Certified Motivational Coach with the Institute of Motivational Coaching.
I own a growing startup business, but I am still just a hustler who is working late into the nights and over the precious weekends to get more things into place, so I wouldn’t really call myself a “successful” entrepreneur. As for what made me who I am today, it has got to be one word – Courage.
2. Why did you casino pa natet get started on this path towards building your own business?
Sports has always been my passion, my direction, and sometimes even my escape. Entrepreneurship is a dream career that I want to see myself venture into. So I thought to myself, since Sports has given me so much, why not use Sports to make a difference in people’s life. Nothing beats pursuing a dream with something you are truly passionate about and can do best in. And this was how my entrepreneurship journey started.
3. Was there any inspiration or anyone who inspired you to pursue your dream to become an entrepreneur today?
My Mum has always been my source of inspiration and motivation since young. She was the first person who taught me the meaning of being accountable and responsible for all of our life choices. As a young kindergarten kid fascinated by the novel thought of standing on stage to take part in a story-telling competition, I raised my little hands with excitement to express interest in taking part. When the tiring (and boring) practice routines set in, I was turned off by the fact that I need to sacrifice my playtime for practice. It was that point of time, my Mum lectured me harshly when I told her I did not want to take part anymore, she told me this, “To be a part of this competition was your choice from the beginning, no one forced you to make this choice. For every choice you make, give nothing less than your best. And that is how things should be done.”
I did not truly understand what that meant at that point of time, but now it all makes sense. Entrepreneurship is my choice and during those moments I felt like giving up, I would remind myself of what my Mum taught me.
4. In your experience, what are the 3 Winning Traits that Entrepreneurs should possess when they start their business?
After launching AwesomePenang.com, a travel recommendation website that promotes the most awesome Penang food, places and events in 2012, the Awesome team is at it again! The founders of AwesomePenang.com are launching Awesome Collections, a merchandise line designed for dreamers, for entrepreneurs, for minimalists, for the bold.
“The idea of Awesome Collections began when we realised that we couldn’t find any tee shirts that suited our beliefs, that we could wear and show people the qualities we stand for. Despite the millions of designs out there, very little were designed for people with big dreams and ambitions or people in need of motivation like us. That’s what we wanted to change.” said Nicholas Theng, co-founder of AwesomePenang.com.
Awesome Collections is a merchandise line that is designed especially for the dreamer, the believer and the achiever. Its design is an expression of the individual, a personal statement of a person’s belief. With deep and meaningful quotes like “Dream Big, Live Large”, “For The Bold”, “Never Give Up.”, “Attitude Determines Altitude” and more, Awesome Collections aims to be more than just a piece of merchandise, it wants to be about the customer, their beliefs, their lives.
“When you think about a tee shirt, it’s probably the product that tells the most about you all the time, the thing that first impressions are built upon. With this unique relationship and judgement people have with tee shirts, we take the design very seriously. We don’t want to just make a tee shirt, we want to make an extension of the wearer. AwesomeTees is the result of this approach, it is a minimalist design working harmoniously together with a deep belief to create a very personal statement.” explained Ming Yi, chief designer of Awesome Collections.
AwesomeTees is the first product of Awesome Collections’ merchandise line, priced at RM29 – RM35 with 8 designs and tons of colours to choose from, it is designed to suit the needs of the many and even the few. However, AwesomeTees is but the first in a long line of planned merchandise from Awesome Collections.
“AwesomeTees is an amazing start for our direction because of the unique relationship between fashion and the person. However, we see incredible potential in Awesome Collections when it comes to producing different types of merchandise such as phone casings, mugs or watches. Most importantly for any future products, we want to keep the core belief of our designs intact and create something that is simple and personal yet truly extraordinary.” shared Ang Kevin, co-founder of AwesomePenang.com when asked about the future of Awesome Collections.