Category Archives: Entrepreneurs in Action

EIA 060 Master Your Supply Chain Challenges 2022 For China Business

Peter Bornschein, Thomas Wiedemann, Dr. Roland Rohde, Jan Lambacher and Rolf Kupek
Peter Bornschein, Thomas Wiedemann, Dr. Roland Rohde, Jan Lambacher and Rolf Kupek

Christmas time and unreliable Supply Chains don’t go well together!

Join our latest China Webinar!

In the coming year, things are likely to look different. The banking association BdB assumes the strongest consumer boom since reunification in Germany. Despite the high order backlog, industrial activity is likely to be subdued into the coming year.

With our experts, we discuss in an open panel about: What supply chain challenges will German companies have with regard to the Chinese market? What risks do the supply bottlenecks entail? How to prepare preventively?

Panel Experts:

Thomas Wiedemann, Senior Project Manager at Korn Consulting Group

Dr. Roland Rohde, Representative Hong Kong South and West China at Germany Trade & Invest

Jan Lambacher, General Manager at Yardistry Limited

Rolf Kupek, Managing Director at Kupek Consulting & Business Development

Moderator: Peter Bornschein, Lean Project Manager at msg systems AG

Expert Introductions:

Thomas Wiedemann

Senior Project Manager

Korn Consult Group

Mr. Wiedemann has a degree in mechanical engineering and brings practical experience in automotive projects, especially with purchasing, supplier development and customer management and has also proved himself as an excellent team leader.

He brings the following company experience: Webasto, JTEKT, BMW.
He speaks German, English, French, Italian and Mandarin.

Dr. Roland Rohde 

Representative Hongkong

South and West China, GERMANY TRADE & INVEST

Roland Rohde has a doctorate in economics and has been working as a market observer in Asia for Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) for 18 years. He is in Hong Kong for the second time. From there he reports on industries and markets in China. His reporting focuses on the electronics industry, the digital economy and aviation. Dr. Rohde speaks fluent Chinese (Mandarin) and a little Cantonese.

Jan Lambacher 

General Manager

Yardistry Limited

Jan has been based in China since 2009 and has worked across the supply chain of multinationals and SMEs in the medical, industrial and consumer goods sectors. Central theme of his work has always been optimizing supply chains for import and export in and out of China within a global supply chain strategy.

 Rolf Kupek 

Managing Director

Kupek Consulting & Business Development

After studying mechanical engineering, more than 30 years of professional experience in project management at home and abroad with large corporations and more than 20 years as founder and managing director of a service company, the company was handed over to a successor. With Kupek Consulting & Business Development , the network built up and cultivated over the years is used alongside the company’s own expertise to support medium-sized companies in their transformation processes and current problems. Especially the organization and development of international business connections are a main focus and have been successfully implemented several times. In doing so, a holistic, cross-functional approach is important, which is implemented in a pragmatic and goal-oriented manner.

Peter Bornschein

Lead Project Manager

msg systems ag

Seasoned General Manager and Leader in Business Software and Services Industry. Track record of growth, business development and client coordination. Exceptional competence in restructuring and turn-around. Established proficiency in transferring know-how and implementing company structures. Experienced in project steering and management. Demonstrated ability to communicate technical knowledge to different clients. Superb team player and leader with the ability to train, coach and motivate team members. Extensive multi-national experience in Germany, China, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Sweden; communication skills in German, Swedish, Chinese and English




059 German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean”

Xiaolong Hu, Martin Ebner, Chanfang Wang, Dr Martin Kovacik, Dr Tianyu Liu
Xiaolong Hu, Martin Ebner, Chanfang Wang, Dr Martin Kovacik, Dr Tianyu Liu

The November China-Team ChinaWebinar Expert Talk: German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean” Companies saw the moderator Xiaolong Hu interesting and informative discussing the Chinese machinery and automation market that is not only the largest, but also one of the fastest growing markets in the world. With German machine builders increasingly doing business with Chinese customers the future may look bright

However, in many areas of application, the Chinese competitors even have an advantage due to their proximity to the production locations. 

With our experts, we discuss how German mechanical engineering companies can assert the Chinese market and serve Chinese customers in the future with market-oriented product concepts and high product quality.

Panel Experts:

Mr. Martin Ebner, CTO, Strama-MPS Group

Chanfang Wang, Founder China Expert Services, Digital China-Europe Network

Dr. Martin Kovacik, Director Engineering Energy Storage, Manz AG

Dr. Tianyu Liu, General Manager Machine Sales Asia, voestalpine eifeler Vacotec GmbH

Expert Introductions:

Martin Ebner

Chief Technology Officer (CTO),

Strama-MPS Maschinenbau GmbH & Co., Straubing

Trained in one of the first dual courses of study in Bavaria to become a mechanical engineer and at the same time holding a certificate as an industrial mechanic, as well as a consecutive master’s degree at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Nurnberg-Erlangen, Mr. Ebner has already been working at Strama-MPS for 13 years in different areas. For two years now, as CTO, he has been managing the company’s digitalization, strategic fields as well as innovations in the areas of automation technology. Besides he is a member of the Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland as well as a former scholarship holder of the Hanns-Seidl-Foundation.

Xiaolong Hu

Managing Partner

China-Team GmbH

He is expert and ChinaCoach supporting European small and medium sized enterprises archiving sustainable market success. As founder of China-Team (, Xiaolong Hu looks back on 20 years experience in consulting business in Europe and China.

Chanfang Wang

Founder China Expert Services

Digital China-Europe Network

Chanfang Wang has more than 13 years of experience in Europe in corporate strategy, change management, market & competitive intelligence, business development in IT, machinery automation & robotics industries. Now she’s the Founder of China Expert Services (CES) and Digital China-Europe Network based in Frankfurt. She’s passionate about connecting people, ideas and technology. CES helps European high-tech SMEs expand and digitize in China, Chinese high-tech SMEs expand to Europe with transformational educational programs and digital tours. 


Dr. Tianyu Liu 

General Manager of machine sales Asia

voestalpine eifeler Vacotec GmbH

Dr. Liu received his Ph. D degree from Humboldt University in 2004. Since then he has over 15 years work experience based in Shanghai. This  includes 7 years business consulting to support SME customers to formulate China business entry strategy and in addition to implement running the business. He has a very good knowledge of the Chinese market and is able to establish business relations and strategic orientations in Asia, especially in China.  He devoted himself to support German SMEs to do the business development in Asia right after his consulting career was over. Market and customers needs orientation in addition to his strong technology background can always lead to successful business development stories in China.

Dr. Martin Kovacik

Director Engineering Energy Storage

Manz AG

Martin is mechanical engineer with PhD. in Bionics and Innovation strategy. He built up two engineering centers in Slovakia and China for German Machine and System manufacturer KraussMaffei Technologies and in China developed two serial machines for local Chinese market. Both of these machine series are currently succesfull at the market in China. Currently he is leading global Engineering Department of Energy Storage at Manz AG, where he is responsible for three European Engineering sites in Germany, Italy and Slovakia. His passion is to follow up trends and development of Chinese market and that is why he is still in close contact with ChinaTeam.

Time Stamp

00:00:00 Introduction

00:00:17 Opening of Webinar by Xiaolong Hu

00:03:58 Delivery of Keynote by Martin Ebner

00:25:34 Xiaolong Summarises the core message keynote

00:17:00 Question to Dr Sandra Bell: What was the most famous building that you equipped with Viega systems?

00:26:02 Opening up the discussion and introduction of Expert Panel. 

00:27:31 Introduction of Chanfang Wang.

00:20:54 Question to Chanfang Wang: What does your company do and what is your experience in China? 

00:27:31 Introduction of Dr. Liu Tianyu

00:30:35 Question to Liu Tianyu: What kind of consulting projects did you do 10 years ago for German mechanical engineering customers? 

00:27:31 Introduction of Martin Kovacik

00:35:36 Question to Martin Kovacik: How did the mechanical engineering market in China change between 2014 and 2020? 

00:37:48 Question to Chanfang Wang: What are the trends are seen in the specialised area of automated warehousing market in China? 

00:41:59 Recap and Question to Martin Ebner: What kind of market information is important for you as you developed your China strategy and what kind of information was important and difficult to obtain?

00:45:56 Recap and Question to Martin Kovacik: What competitive situation did you find in China in 2014? How many Chinese companies that you didn’t know of before? any competitors back then? 

00:49:33 Recap and Question to Chanfang Wang: How has the European companies’ competitiveness in automated warehousing market changed in China over the past 5 years in relation to the Chinese Competitor Producers? 

00:52:57 Question to Liu Tianyu: Why do Chinese customers today continue to buy your products, which are designed in?

00:57:26 Recap and Question to Martin Kovacik: How to recruit and develop your product design team and engineering team in China?

01:03:39 Question to Chanfang Wang: Why to take China as a field of innovation?

01:09:57 Question to Martin Ebner: What is your plan to use China as an innovation location?

01:12:08 Question to Liu Tianyu: How to develop an after sales service network alongside the expectation of Chinese consumers expecting special deals?

01:16:41 Recap and audience member Question Patrick Frick to Liu Tianyu and Martin Kovacik: When should a local R&D  or engineering team  be established?

01:19:17 Audience member Question to Liu Tianyu and Chanfang Wang: How do you find suitable partner who will not copy you later?

01:22:29 Audience member Question to Martin Kovacik: What does an ideal inter-cultural team in China look like in your opinion? German and Chinese sales manager and some German technical experts as well?

01:09:57 Question to Martin Ebner: Where would you like to cooperate with other companies?

01:09:57 Audience member Question to Martin Ebner: Can your company supply a banding machine as there are difficulties finding a supplier in China?

01:25:50 Closing remarks and end

This podcast it’s made in partnership between ChinaTeam and AsiaBizStories

EIA 058 Market Opportunity for German “Green-Tech” Companies

Prof. Peter Sachsenmeier, Dr. Sandra Bell, Johannes Kreissig, Corinne Abele, Winfried Mayer, Claudia Sanders

Prof. Peter Sachsenmeier is a strategist, expert in complex technology management, industrial innovator and visionary. He is actively involved in knowledge transfer from research to industry, and combined outstanding appointments in academia with important posts in international companies. He combines deep technology knowledge with a keen sense of new business and management modes based on the digital transformation of all industries. With the national engineering academies of China and India, he has been engaged in smart city research and with the associated technologies for the last 15 years. In his International Innovation Center he leads smart city, green technologies, green materials and green finance teams. In 2014, Professor Peter Sachsenmeier 院士 received an award from the Chinese Green Rooftops association for his contribution to green ideas and technologies.

Dr. Sandra Bell is an accomplished business leader, lifelong China expert and visionary strategist. She has 20 years working experience in strategy, go-to-market, and e-commerce. She worked 10 years for The Boston Consulting Group, and had leading positions in Henkel and Hershey, both in Germany and China. Today she leads the China & India region for Viega. Viega is a family-owned company and a hidden champion from Germany. Viega is global market leader in copper press technology and hygienic & potable drinking water solutions for infrastructure buildings.

Johannes Kreissig is a visionary and thought leader in the field of sustainable construction. He has over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of life cycle assessment, sustainability assessment and strategy consulting. He worked for more than 15 years as a acting partner in the software and sustainability consulting specialist thinkstep. Since 2016 he has been CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council – DGNB, which is Europe’s largest network for sustainable construction. The DGNB certification system, a planning and optimisation tool for sustainable buildings and districts, which helps to increase real sustainability in construction projects, is DGNBs key instrument to achieve sustainable buildings for everybody – everywhere.

Corinne Abele is the Head of the Foreign Trade Information Bureau of Germany Trade & Invest in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Corinne has been living and working in China for nearly 20 years. An experienced journalist and economist, she has documented China’s economic development with analyses, articles and lectures. A big part of her work focuses on the observation and analysis of innovation-driven technology markets and industrial digitalisation in China. Her other main topics are environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and competition in China. Since 2014, Ms. Abele has been heading the Trade Information Section of Germany Trade and Invest in Shanghai. Prior to this she worked in the same position in Beijing (2004-2012) and in Taipei (1998-2004).

Winfried Mayer, founded MPS in 1984 in Stuttgart MPS designs factories and industrial buildings in accordance with German standards and, depending on the area, according to local regulations. We also supervise local planning, take care of tender procedure as well as monitor and direct building operations on-site all over the world.
Branches: Shanghai, China; Pune, India; Beverungen, Germany
Projects: Over 500 projects in 25 countries

Claudia Sanders is with the Network for Architecture Exchange NAX, the Federal Chamber of German Architects (BAK) supports German architects of all disciplines, engineers and specialist planners on their way to new markets. NAX thus promotes planning quality and the brand “Architecture Made in Germany” abroad with a wide portfolio of formats and activities. NAX brings together export-oriented planners and mediates contacts between domestic and foreign colleagues, decision-makers, developers and investors.

Time Stamp

00:00:00 Introduction

00:00:10 Opening of Webinar by Peter Sachsenmeier

00:02:06 Delivery of Keynote by Dr Sandra Bell

00:17:00 Question to Dr Sandra Bell: What was the most famous building that you equipped with Viega systems?

00:18:20 Introduction of Expert Panel

00:18:47 Question to Dr Sandra Bell: What’s the market segments that you address in China and what kind of ecosystem do you need to be effective?

00:20:54 Question to Johannes Kreissig, Will sustainable buildings become more
important and how is this linked to smart cities?

00:24:03 Question to Winfried Mayer, What are the developments
with regard to industrial buildings in china?

00:29:54 Question to Corinne Abele, Are people becoming more aware of higher energy efficiency in private and industrial buildings and the changes in standards and quality criteria linked to this?

00:36:26 Question to Claudia Sanders, What contribution can German architects, planners and others make?

00:41:06 Question to Johannes Kreissig, What uh can be done about the prolongation of the lifespans and the prolongation of the life of this built-up infrastructure?

00:46:58 Questions to Dr Sandra Bell, What do you do with all those people that deal with waste electricity heating etc what’s the ecosystem that you need?

00:52:08 Corinne Abele adds to the question.

00:53:08 Questions to Winfried Mayer, What are the most required green building technologies now in China?

00:56:13 Question to Johannes Kreissig, Do you have any green building council ideas?

00:58:06 Sandra Bell adds to the question.

01:00:00 Winfried Mayer adds to the question.

01:01:16 Comment and Question from audience Member Mr Wang, What is the policy for carbon neutrality compared to China’s continuation in using coal and the recent worldwide price increase?

01: Peter Sachsenmeier gave an answer related to Germany’s us of coal.

01:02:53 Corinne Abele commented on the question related to the overall energy crises and how it affects the industrial commercial and private household prices in China.

01:06:12 Johannes Kreissig then expanded on the question.

01:07:45 Peter Sachsenmeier commented on the energy costs in Germany.

01 :09:14 Question to Sandra Bell, How to develop and hold on to a skilled workforce that can install Viega products?

01:11:08 Comment from Thomas Fritzsche writing in the chat as a working architect in China: that Chinese clients trust German us and expect from us to bring in new technologies and ideas.

01:12:29 Claudia expanded further on audience member Thomas Fritzsche comment and architects in general.

01:14:39 Peter Sachsenmeier ask Audience member Alex Walschewski question from the chat. How German/ European SMEs will be impacted by the “source locally” approach in China. Most of the time it means that Chinese customers will prefer a local supplier. What is your view on that?

01:14:47 Question answered by Sandra Bell.

01:16:00 Peter Sachsenmeier end the discussion.

01:24:00 Final Closing remarks from experts.

01:33:00 End

This podcast it’s made in partnership between ChinaTeam and AsiaBizStories

EIA 057 How Professor Laurie Underwood is Working in and with China Post Covid?

Laurie Underwood
Laurie Underwood

Laurie Underwood is an American professor, author and consultant specializing in cross-cultural business communications

She has studied worked and lived in Shanghai since 2002

Together with Prof Juan Fernandez at CEIBS, she has co-authored China CEO (2006), China Entrepreneur  (2009) and most recently China CEO II (2020). The audio book was released in June 2021. Book links below.

After around 10 years of work in Corporate Communications (most recently as Communications Director Asia Pacific for Air Liquide) she got her doctorate finished in 2019 and switched to consulting and teaching. She is a senior consultant with Sino Associates, focusing on intercultural business communications and crisis communications, and she teaches at several business schools including NYU Shanghai, University of Aberdeen, SKEMA and EmLyon.

Today, she speaks with us about the realities of working in China post covid, working with China if you cannot travel there because of covid, and more generally sharing advice from China CEOs on the challenges and opportunities of doing business with China today.

As well as

  • The answer to the most Northern City in the USA
  • Laurie’s career journey
  • Moving to China and reasons for staying
  • Career transitions and motivation for the changes
  • The origins of China CEO and China CEO II, 
  • The differences in the people performing the role of CEO in China
  • A hint at how they became CEOs
  • The routes to becoming a CEO
  • The personality traits that a CEO should have to not fail in China
  • How someone can fail at being a CEO in China
  • Laurie’s perspective on Westerners recently trying to move to live and work in China
  • The speed of change and the changes that have taken place
  • The freedom to reinvent yourself
  • What does the word “culture” mean to Laurie?
  • What do the different generations think about Career, Work and Entrepreneurship 
  • How Laurie’s classmates careers have changed
  • The recent need for Laurie’s knowledge and experience
  • Laurie explains why she isn’t a CEO
  • What she has learned from CEOs, and as a professor and consultant

so now without further delay let’s begin


EIA 056 Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises

EIA 056 Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises
Jochen Schultz, Qiang Rong, Wei Zhang, Stefan Sack, Hsiao J Chiu (Top Left, clockwise)

Jochen Schultz is the Managing Director and Member of the Board at China Netzwerk Baden-Württemberg, He has been supporting institutions and companies with professional training for 16 years (Schultz Professional Trainings). Which specialises in the development and implementation of qualification measures in China as well as for Chinese companies in Germany. In this podcast a recording of the webinar “Future Leaders in Sino-European Enterprises”, his role is moderator.

The keynote:

Qiang Rong who has dedicated himself for the Chinese city Foshan and German cooperation for more than 10 years Qiang represents the sponsor, Foshan Sino German Industry Service Zone. He has helped many companies from Germany to invest in Foshan and promotes the benefits of setting up in Foshan. The industrial service zone is also open to companies to setup from all part of the world.

The expert panelist joining Jochen and Qiang are:

Stefan Sack General Manager Zobele China – Director APAC Zobele Group

Zobele is manufacturing company with 2,000 employees located in Shenzhen. After completing his PhD Stefan has lived and worked in manufacturing in China since 2005, His various roles have been with German and Italian companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen.  He has also served as Vice President and Chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai 2013-15.

Wei Zhang is the founder of Beijing For You International Management Consulting Co., Ltd, China which provides training, coaching and blended learning solutions to local and international clients in China. She has worked with many German companies in China, helping them identify and develop talent. Wei Zhang uses her unique insights and valuable experience to combat the rapid changes still taking place in China.

Hsiao J. Chiu is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of JP contagi Asia, an Executive search firm with offices in Germany, Switzerland and China. As a professional recruitment consultant and cultural hybrid, he has been supporting European and Chinese companies for more than 15 years’. Hsiao J. Chiu’s family are originally from Zhejiang province, with Hsiao being born in Germany and has been based in Asia since 2004.

The combined teams wide and varied experience allows them to tackle the following questions:

  1. What is the status quo of people management in China, what are the current challenges and how does this effect the leadership management?
  2. How to identify future leaders?
  3. How to qualify future leaders?

So now without further delay lets begin

Time Stamp

00:00:31 Introduction

00:03:43 Opening of Webinar by Jochen Schultz Introduction to keynote

00:05:48 Delivery of Keynote by Qiang Rong

00:25:26 Questions to Qiang Rong

00:30:26 Introduction of Experts

00:33:26 Discussion with Experts led by Jochen Schultz

00:35:26 Stefan Sack, Wei Zhang and Hsiao J. Chiu and Qiang Rong

01:22:17 Dr Tumis’s comments on Cultural aspects of trust

01:24:00 Final Closing remarks from experts

01:33:00 End

This podcast it’s made in partnership between ChinaTeam (on LinkedIn) and AsiaBizStories

EIA 055 How to Participate in the Boom of the Food and Beverage Market in China?

Frank Epping in 1995 founded CUP&CINO in Germany. He is still the sole owner and CEO of the company that started with coffee shops.

This podcast is a recording of a moderated webinar titled “How to Participate in the Boom of the Food and Beverage Market in China?” We fast forward to today where this entrepreneur along with his team are about to enter the Chinese market. They bring with them CUP&CINO’s own Coffee machine and business concept.

Kerstin Kaehler, Fabian Berndt, Maik Juengst on the panel and moderated by Adrian de Riz. They are all experts at doing business in China and give guidance to a CUP&CINO as it to steps into the new and unknown.

Frank Epping is in the audience listening. However, the keynote is delivered by Sven Keysers the Chief Business Development Officer of CUP&CINO. From this point on the podcast speaks for itself however. But, Sven does present a series of slides before the moderated discussion takes place.

If you’d like a copy of the slides visit China team on LinkedIn and make a request.

So now without further delay let’s begin.

Time Stamp

00:01:33Introduction of the experts by the moderator
00:03:40Delivery of Keynote by Sven Keysers
00:25:05Panel Discussion
01:22:17Closing Remarks

EIA 054 The Hive Podcast Series Learning to Podcast

Neville J McKenzie

Erin Soutar of the Hive Co-working Space Lavender Podcast studio in Singapore reverses the roles on Neville J McKenzie as he is the one discussing his thoughts on podcasting. The Hive has allowed AsiaBizStories to share the podcast on it’s platform. As Neville talks about the topic of podcasting generally.

From using podcasts in education

Neville: So then you’re not asking students to sit down and read or watch videos in the class. You’re actually sending them to a website or a podcast and saying, read listen to this then when we come into the classroom we’ll discuss what you’ve learned from it.
Erin: It certainly sounds like a better way of learning I suppose we just need to convince the parents now.

Building a community around podcasting

Neville: I find them very interesting. I get to meet a good range of people because podcasting crosses all sorts of boundaries and this is where I hope that we can build a community, because it’s not, it’s not about the competition between podcasters, because there’s and I think there’s a niche for everyone that is interested in podcasting.

In this conversation Neville gives a brief insight into the potential, and changes Erin’s mind on a few beliefs about podcasts and podcasting.

So now without further delay lets begin.

As well as:

  • Entrance to the world of podcasting in China and entrepreneurship.
  • A perspective on how the senses relate to podcasting
  • The challenges faced by podcasters.
  • His role in encouraging potential podcasters to give it a go.
  • What makes a successful podcast
  • What it means to build a community around a podcast.
  • The growth of podcasting in Singapore
  • Advice on the first steps to becoming or improving as a podcaster
  • The mind set of a podcaster
  • What effort and operating costs are involved in podcasting
  • Key points to consider when choosing where to hosting a podcast
  • What to focus on when building your audience
  • What to prioritise in order not to make a bad podcast
  • Engaging the youth with podcasts
  • Using podcasts for education and blended learning and the need to convince parents and students.
  • Convince Erin that she should not feel guilty about listening to free content and why it is good for the content producer
  • What podcasts listened to and used
  • Inform Erin that there is a podcast out there for every listener, you just have to find it.
  • Up and coming projects at the Hive Lavender.
  • How and why subjects are selected for the AsiaBizStories podcast series



EIA 053 London Barber Cuts into Singapore

Elvis Simon
Elvis Simon

Elvis Simon is a barber with 33 years experience as a salon owner and teacher of barbering in London, England. He has also founded the Quality Barbers Association, QBA, which is involved in raising the professionalism of barbers. His colleagues include some famous names in the UK barbering and hairdressing world such as Rudi Page the former sales manager of Dyke and Dryden, Derek Clements, former Artistic Director of Splinters International and MK a mens stylist with Andis. He has also worked on TV and film sets, first the 90s TV show “Dance Energy, where he planned the hair styles of the DJ Normski and then a film starring  Jean-Claude Van Damme, Until Death. Where he was responsible for the hair styling of British actor Gary Beadle of East Enders fame.

Our conversation took place when he took a break during his short visit as he explored the potential of the Singapore market. Generally everyone needs a hair cut and his introduction to someone thinking of becoming a barber or hairdresser…

If you don’t like what you’re about to do, don’t do it. because this is something that even when you want to get out of you can’t

With the average haircut taking 45 minutes and the nature of being a barber bringing you into intimate contact with thousands, Elvis has learned a thing or two about people.

I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I’ve seen people evolve from really clever to really stupid and you know in thirty years. Man has not progressed he has regressed, unfortunately. Just got thicker and thicker.

This podcast covers a lot of ground in the black barbering industry.

As well as

  • Why he founded the QBA and who else is involved
  • The events that led him to becoming a barber, learning from his elders and opening his own barbershops
  • How and the reasons why hairstyles have changed since the 60s and links to hairstyles dating back hundreds of years
  • Using hair as a tool for personal branding and the reasons why footballers such as Paul Pogba, Djibril Cissé and Matteo Guendouzi.
  • Being judged by your hairstyle and the effects of cultural biases
  • Why Singapore is now looking attractive to an entrepreneurial barber from London
  • The favour that got him into teaching and new opportunities
  • The latest trend in men’s hair care scalp micro pigmentation
  • Traditional black barbershop culture and how it is evolving to provide health information to the community
  • The limits in China for black haircare in the 90s and early 2000s and the DIY and self-help approach
  • Teaching and training other nationalities how to cut black people’s hair and what NBA players do in China
  • The request for a (free) haircut
  • Working in TV and Film and the challenges it posses
  • Barber—client confidentiality and a story he can tell us
  • The wisdom, knowledge and advice coming from the barber
  • How to approach embarking on a new and challenging venture

Thanks to Elvis for that great insight into his plans for the future in Singapore and the business world of Black Hairdressing. We wish him all the best

You can follow Elvis Simon on Instagram @ebs748

EIA 052 Scientist to Entrepreneur

Moses Katanga
Moses Kakanga

Moses Kakanga was born by Lake Victoria in the old capital Entebbe, Uganda where he attended school before moving to the capital Kampala Makerere University, the oldest university in eastern and central Africa. Where he graduating with a degree in biomedical laboratory technology.

Moses then went on to work for an infectious disease Institute for three years before returning to study for a Masters degree in structural molecular biology, which culminated with study at Birkbeck College University London. He then returned home and continued with his previous employer for another four years. He then decided on another round of graduate study finding a scholarship on the Singapore international graduate award. And move to Singapore to pursue a PhD in biochemistry.

From young Moses wanted to work in the medical field as a scientist. He was surrounded by several role models. His father was a practice in physician for 40 years and is still practising although semi retired. His mum is a nurse and many of aunts are nurses and growing up in a hospital community he saw he was exposed to many other role models in the medical profession. Initially he wanted to go to medical school but didn’t get the points before settling on biomedical laboratory science.

When he looks back he looks back Moses attributes his success to working hard, which was based on his desire to attend medical school and in Uganda like most countries required the highest grades and to be top of your class.

Moses believes he’s achieved everything he’s wanted academically. Initially he wanted to remain in academia and become a professor then after doing his Phd and living in Singapore he came to the realisation he wasn’t suited for a career in academia saying “If you wanna be in academia in the Western World you have to publish well. The pre-requisites are very stiff.”

It wasn’t the challenge of academia as his previous employer wanted him back, offering him a position in the USA for two years. But he realised he wanted to have a career in Bio-med Innovation  and create devices for unmet clinical needs.

Moses grew up in the 90s in Entebbe before leaving in 2004 to go to the capital, Kampala to study at the  Makerere University, which was a former College of the University of London and after independence it was handed over to the government of Uganda. It has the oldest medical school in Uganda. The medical school is ranked highly internationally is one of the top five in Africa.

During the time he studied there a lot of international students from Kenya and Tanzania

Moses then received a commonwealth scholarship and was attached to a scientist in Uganda. However the final six months were finished at Birkbeck, University of London while still attached to a Scientist in Uganda. He wasn’t lonely in London as he had cousins there and had a pleasant time.

Missing out on the scholarship didn’t feel so bad because Moses was young at 17 and his dad was a bit scared about sending him alone to Hungary where he would also needed to learn a new language as well as the fact that he was already going to university in Uganda.

Looking back at the time going it may have seemed like a missed opportunity but the other opportunities that have presented themselves have more than made-up for it.

The desire to develop by a medical devices arose during his Phd studies as he worked on Biosensors for screening anti-cancer drugs and his interest shifted to a desire on innovation, drug or devices development.

Moses feel that by remaining in academia he would not be able to accomplish as much due to the rigid and competitive career development.

The challenge he sees for a scientist entering the world of entrepreneurship, are a lack of business skills, which for example may be business model development, customer development, market access.

This lake is something that can be overcome by hiring a person with these business skills. Scientists can still learn the business side but it will take a little bit longer for a person that come from academia.

Currently  Moses is working with a CEO who is also a technical and scientific person and who also has developed the skills to handle the business side. He does get involved to a small degree. But his focus is primarily on the science and technology.

This is reflected in his title of Chief Science and Technology Officer (CTO).

Moses sees himself continuing in the role of technology building as his focus is on the science and being in charge of running clinical trails in order to bring them to the market.

Moses has always looked up to his father as a role model. A man “who set a high bar”. Next came his father’s boss who was a woman that came from a family of five doctors. He always looked up to them. He found these role models stimulated his interest in having a career in the medical field. The professor that supervised him On his PhD has also acted as a role model in ensuring that he completed his PhD and graduated.

As Moses enters the world of entrepreneurship new role models are beginning to appear one of which is Sir Richard Branson. Who Moses admires in the way he built his business from scratch. Through reading his books he has discovered that Sir Richard Branson started out with a lot of challenges in school but then found his niche and has built a number of businesses and has become a very successful business man. His methods have been cautious, unaggressive and without putting other people out of business. He also has integrity and consciousness. Although  Moses is in medical field he plans to follow Sir  Richard Branson on the business side.

A few days after our meeting Moses will be taking part in an event as the moderator with the title, “From Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist: The Creation of BioTech Companies”. The purpose of the event is to help motivate early stage start-ups in the field of biotech and med tech. And get mentorship and advice from experienced biotech founders who will share their experience on the transition of being a scientist, scientist entrepreneurs, starting their own companies from research in the lab. The main premise for young start-ups to get more added information and guidance from established scientist.

Three scientists are from the National University of Singapore, Duke NUS will share how they built their companies that was spun off from the University. The audience will come from a broad spectrum of Singapore, which will include academia and start-up biotech companies. A 127 people registered have registered so far. But Moses is being cautious and expects a turnout of 50 to 60% for the event.

Registration and entry is free via the website in collaboration.

SGInnovate is a government organisation that helps to develop tech ecosystems in Singapore. SGInnovate supports DeepTech entrepreneurs and start-ups develop their ideas into a marketable products and also helps them to fund raise.

27 Deep Tech can be a confusing term which is used for ideas that take a lot of time to develop for example developing a robot that requires patents and many of iterations in order to get to the final product. Another example is developing a medical device that requires development of a prototype, do prototype testing and looking for trials. The gestation period takes a long time. This is how Deep Tech is commonly defined. The time to develop a DeepTech product can be two years or three years or longer.

There is further ambiguity as it can also include AI algorithms used for imaging of cancer cells as it can uses AI for diagnostics methods.

There is a constant need for development in the Bio-Tech and Medi-Tech field. A constant need for new drugs and medical devices particularly in areas connected to the ageing population in Asia. As well as devices for mobility, which is also a growing field. Due to Asia’s ageing population so there will be an increasing need for biotech and med tech products.

If you consider the US in the Bay Area where, biotech and med tech is really big and you will see a lot of investors. In that the ecosystem in the US is well developed. While in Asia it has recently started growing and is predicted to grow bigger .

Moses reasons for starting a business in Singapore are that it is small country where everything is close. He completed his PhD at the innovation hub called One North, where there are universities with research centres and start-ups in the same facility. Also gave access to many people on different tracks due to their close proximity. The final piece into doing this venture is being able to get into an incubator that gives support in building the company.

At present the company consists of a CEO and Moses who is the CTO as it has only existed for eight months. They are still raising money and expect to hire a specialist in the medical device regulatory area in the second quarter of next year in order to facilitate the launch of the product into the different markets.

The first market to enter will be Europe where they are working with a number of hospitals on clinical trials and expect to get the CE mark. After that will expand in to Asia and the USA.

This order is chosen as buyer certification procedures are a little bit easier in Europe than getting an FDA. So like most medical companies in the world they tend to start off with Europe to get a CE mark because it’s a little shorter than the FDA. From there a move into Asia is fairly straight forward if you have a CE or FDA.

For the African market the company has to examine the reimbursement systems to determine who will be able to pay and may be considered later on after some revenues have been gained.

So the important first step is to prove the product is viable then once proved to raise finance and show that it works and then you can look up expanding into other markets.

The product is a device that was patented by his CEO to treat a genetic disease that causes bulging of an eye. It is inserted to reshapes a patients eye

It is a genetic disease and while it is not a common it does affect 15 million people worldwide particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

In the near future the priorities of the company are to raise money, build the start-up through clinical trials then bringing the device to the market and growing the business in to being a leading company in the ophthalmology space.

Faced with the low success rate of startups Moses takes the same approach he applied to his PhD where you go give your all to a project if it doesn’t work out you move on.

Since being involved with the startup Moses has had to gain new areas of knowledge. Taking a certificate in medical device regulations and importantly for a startup writing and designing investor pitch decks. In order to communicate the business to potential investors and containing, the business model, market, team and representing a snapshot of your business ant its idea.

37 As part of an incubator Moses was exposed to people that had a great deal of business experience who offer guidance on various aspects of business. Since his focus is on the technology side of the startup he’s not required to do much direct pitching and he doesn’t desire or see his role changing from being the back room CTO. Currently Moses is not looking to expand his role because as a scientist his interest is in the science behind the products not in the business side.

There is alway risk associated with a startup and Moses is confident that the project will be successful. Moses’s states “the co-founder and CEO holds the patent for the product and has been working on this project for more than two years. As well as being a scientist himself the CEO also has developed the necessary business skills to take the project forward.”, over those two years.

For those that wish to follow in his footsteps Moses offers the following advice, “Work hard, work hard” Moses says he has always worked hard his whole life.  He’s a person that thinks luck has played a part in his life since in various examples in his academic life luck has been there but it’s always a result of hard work. At secondary school He was always in the labs. He advises reading because many opportunities have come his way through reading books and papers. The missed opportunity to go to medical school in Hungary came from a newspaper article. During his undergrad I was able to apply for a scholarship which also came from a newspaper. His Masters he also received a scholarship through recommendation by a friend. Finally the PhD research opportunity in Singapore came from reading a journal. So summarising, it’s hard work with a little bit of luck but more hard work.

We thank Moses very much for this brief conversation on what it takes to go from scientist to entrepreneur and will keep in touch and we expect to keep in touch.

EIA 052 From Scientist to Entrepreneur was introduced by Andy Kerr of St James Wealth Management the company sponsoring “Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist: The Creation of BioTech Companies”


EIA 051 The Beginners View on Podcasting

Ann Morgan is new to the world podcast production and joins Graham Brown the founder of Asia Tech Podcast and myself in our latest conversation recorded in the Asia Tech Podcast studio for the Ask Me Anything Podcast, where we discuss podcasting with a focus on Ann’s questions as she navigates the world of podcasting from a complete beginner.

“Because funnily enough I know there’s a lot, we’ve talked about a lot about confidence and just getting on with things and for me actually doing the podcasts is a step, and I’m not saying it’s not scary, finding your voice and becoming natural at it and just making improvements

Anne’s passion is growing as she develops her project and works out who and where her audience is, and with the launch phase approaching the excitement is increasing for us both all.

““You’ve literally gone Live, or you’ve started to go live. Would you… Do you think you have to do a pre, some kind of pre-thing? Do you have to be on every single social media… What’s a simple way of doing it?”

Even though Anne has a non-technical background she has in our view comfortably reached the publish stage of her podcast production journey and constructed her website.

You can contact Anne on Linkedin and her website at

As well as

  • Ann describing her journey towards being a podcast producer from nowhere to recording four episodes, one hour in the studio with four colleagues on a roundtable
  • Publishing your podcast and the next step
  • After recording the podcast, the first thing, then what do you do? The editing and the process of making it live.
  • Choosing where to publish iTunes, Spotify, the next two Google, Stitcher
  • Including music in the podcast, Royalty free or buy, outsource or commission starting out at a low price or even free and the pitfalls.
  • Free music source websites as well as get a family member to create
  • Professional production can be low cost or costly, see fiverr
  • But do you need music at all just go straight into the intro, DIY approach, or use a voice over professional again see fiverr
  • Can someone not like your podcast because there is no music?
  • Domain naming your podcast, How to choose and where do I put my podcast. Server, Soundcloud, Blubrry, Possible problems, Free, Paid options, stepped options.
  • Where to put show-notes and integration with website
  • Audio file hosting. Taking the paid option with SoundCloud, Blubrry or the free one stop option for example with Anchor which is free, but has the potential pitfall of who owns the content.
  • Designing your Cover Art: The fiverr option the low price option, the restrictions and potential pitfalls
  • Publishing on Sound Cloud and iTunes followed by how do you attract an audience and who to hustle and how.
  • The confusion of subscribe and how to overcome it.
  • What are the platform algorithms doing and how to give the podcast a boost to reach escape velocity and get reviews
  • Should you launch 1, 3 or more podcasts, publish regularly or irregularly?
  • Different approaches to podcasting: Experimenting or putting out your podcast for business reasons
  • The effect on media of noise in the content world and the need to hustle.
  • The importance of producing something that is good, but remember it has to appeal to a specific audience that is interested.
  • How to make it easy for your friends and guests to share the podcast with the example of a ATP’s live card.
  • Brief explanation of getting onto SoundCloud without a website
  • The ATP’s live card, creating a template and where to get the guests picture
  • The challenge that appears after recording: the editing.
  • Eliminating excuses to not publish and overcoming the loneliness of editing
  • Preparing for the conversation it helps with editing.
  • What happens during the conversation the challenges and how to overcome
  • How to decide when to stop the editing process.
  • What to do with Ums and Ahs.
  • Annes choice of editing software
  • Summarising: The fact that Ann’s gone from zero to completing several recordings, which will soon be publish
  • Finally sharing the links to Anne’s podcast and website