Glenn van Zutphen is the founder of VanMedia Group a company he founded over twelve years ago and based on his knowledge of over twenty-five years as an international journalist. The mission he chose is to guide thought leaders to significantly shape their organisation and industry by creating and communicating provocative & memorable messages across digital and traditional channels for news media interviews, conferences, and TED Talks.
Now due to the rise of social media and the rise of social selling the need for entrepreneurs to get to grips with what is happening is on the rise.
Literally anybody can buy these days with just a few hundred dollars, maybe a little bit more depending on the type of gear you get, and then put together a podcast like this or any kind of a news story and upload it whether it’s on your own website or on Stitcher or on any number of podcast hosting sites.
In comparison in the past being an entrepreneur or business executive was a lot simpler and easier. Now the ability to communicate credibly both personally and professionally is exponentially increasing as social selling becomes more demanding.
Generally speaking, executives don’t like to see themselves on TV, or hear themselves on the radio, or they don’t really like this idea of exposing themselves externally to whatever… whatever audience it is. So from that perspective there was a bit of hesitation on most peoples… you know the reaction.
In this conversation, which was recorded at the 1880 Members Club in Singapore we get a brief insight into the thoughts of one of the top media professional in Asia.
As well as:
Glenn van Zutphen’s journey from a graduate in media studies in the USA to Singapore:
Why and how the self confessed news junky at heart decided to step away from daily journalism and build a business of his own:
How much do you need to put together a podcast or news story and upload it to a website:
Which is more important interviewing skills or being curious?:
Why the process of developing a podcast requires understanding the need to figure out first, what is the voice of the podcast:
The requirements to become a credible source:
Understanding that fake news has taken on a new importance:
Facing the challenges of leaving a stable job to create a media company and taking a long hard look and asking the hard personal questions:
Running a business successfully takes longer than the 6 months it takes to getting started:
Using the network to reach out and let everyone know what you are in business:
Who has the budget to give you business large companies or SMEs
Training to overcome the fear of appearing in front of a camera and understanding why executives should do it:
The complete novice to strong communicator in 8 hours:
Why should an executive should have hands-on with Social Selling:
The arrival of the Smart Asian Leaders communicating globally in their own style:
Communication style: one size doesn’t fit all:
Personal reflections on what makes journalism and passing on the skills enjoyable:
The first step in the personal coaching process:
What needs to be achieved, how many, what are the issues?:
The age we live in and the communication noise, watch, read, listen and using your voice to become clear, concise, confident, hopefully even captivating:
A personal experience of not managing information overload well:
A solution to managing rabbit hole of information overload:
Relaxing with the family and disconnecting from the digital world:
Virginia Cha and Petrina Lim discuss Feed Camp 2018. Virginia Cha, professor-in-residence at Platform E and Petrina Lim, Head for the Centre for Applied Nutrition at Temasek Polytechnic. Feed Camp 2018 is an initiative orgainsed at PlatformE in which Virginia and Petrina are key participants.
The issue as thought out by Virginia.
“Wondering out loud, you know we’re going to be something like 9.7 billion people on this earth very soon in the next 20-30 years…”
And technical guidance from Patrina
“So that’s targeting the food manufacturing sector, also the food service sectors as well, and trying to encourage this environment of healthier eating for the people…”
This conversation is part 1 of a four part series published on the AsiaTech Podcast platform where I am now a guest host.
As well as:
A look at innovation and entrepreneurship in the food industry.
Feed camp 2018 the first step to make Singapore the food start-up.
The need for a paradigm shift in food production in the way food is delivered, made, and the way waste is dealt with.
Virginia Cha’s role as the former entrepreneur professor in residence at Platform E we’ll help to create a framework to stimulate innovative thinking for prototypes and products at Feed Camp 2018
Patrina Lim’s role is as the technical expert and sees her role as being a nutritionist and food scientist from the Temasek Polytechnic is to develop meals and food manufacture systems that will provide healthy eating for Singaporeans hobby of eating
The different types of collaboration international and domestic.
The benefits Feed Camp 2018 will bring to create an ecosystem at Platform E.
The Feed Camp / Boot Camp held on a Thursday night, Friday night and all day Saturday to bring new concepts of food and the experience.
What Hershey recent acquisition of pirate brands means to the food industry.
Feed camp 2018 idea for conceptual prototypes and people in the food science space meet the needs of an increase of vegetarians in Asia by 140% and the interest in China.
Patrina’s passion as a nutritionist and food scientist to see the creation new food from inception to the shelf to satisfy the future needs of people and solve the major food issues.
Patrina’s participation in a recent conference on food with industry partners manufacturers, restaurateurs that examined potential new food sources.
Who is involved in making new plant-protein based foods tasty and where demand is coming from and the effects on the food industry.
Who’s mind needs to be changed and the challenges
Local examples of Singaporean startups that are leading the way.
The NDA that stops the mention of the major food company that will attend to find out what are the innovations and experience what is happening.
Patrina’s experience of working with large companies verses startups, where each excels and are there any preferences.
Find out the importance that Platform E and Singapore places on food innovation and the plans for April 2019.
The qualifications that Singapore; the abundance of F&B outlets, described as foodie nation and a trusted brand.
How a future motivated Singapore involved in the food production with Government support with provide new initiatives in food.
Involved in the Feed Camp 2018 ecosystem are PlatformE, Temasek Polytechnic, Innovation360 and FocusTech Ventures
Jeroen van Overbeek is the founder of Social Impakt a social impact enterprise. Previously he spent over twenty years working in manufacturing in Europe and Asia. He then decided he wanted to change track and switch to making a social impact. The mission he chose was to bring clean water to South East Asia specifically Bali in Indonesia.
Now, due to natural disasters in the area he finds that as a social entrepreneur the need for his product has increased drastically along with an expansion of volumes and the area where his product is needed
“A problem which is 3, 4 times the magnitude of the Bali issue, because there’s about half a million people, close to half a million who have no roof right now and that will last for a while, They are reconstructing now.”
Being an entrepreneur in normal times is difficult enough but in an environment where nature is unforgiving the stresses are greater.
“Try to get more sleep. You trying to get as fit as you can in the conditions. Just give you and example, because of the Lombok earthquake I scaled my business 30 times in the period of two weeks.”
In this conversation we get a brief insight into the world of the social entrepreneur at the sharp edge where nature is unforgiving.
As well as:
The journey to Bali to become a social entrepreneur starting from a career and experience in general management in manufacturing, food, pharma, selling products B2B internationally leading to a final role handling 3.5 million and overseeing a thousand people.
The formation of reasons behind the change in wanting to start a business based on his experience, knowledge and a desire to return to Asia and work on something with a social value
The first ventures which were starting two companies in 2013, one a peer to peer lending micro-finance social enterprise and the other supplying clean water to rural communities
The emotions and challenges of going from corporate to social impact from a regular salary to no salary and the challenge of living off savings with the goal of reducing the mortality rate of children by providing clean water.
And so to Indonesia where finding the right, safe, affordable product with local production facilities that provide an effective clean water solution to the people of Indonesia was important.
The benefits of attending the Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland with 1500 hundred other social entrepreneurs enabling Jeroen to make connections, exchange ideas, and gain happiness with the knowledge that the social impact community is doing good work all over the world.
Witnessing corporates and social enterprises working together to expand the social impact ecosystem though procurement through a diverse community of delegates from all over the world interested in developing the social enterprise ecosystem.
Including innovative initiatives at getting marginalised people and ex-prisoners back into the workforce.
The event helped to overcome the loneliness of being a social impact entrepreneur that specifically offered the opportunity for future cooperation and collaborations with like minded entrepreneurs working on clean water provision in the future.
Facing the practical reality of frequent recent disasters in the region. The first being the eruption of Mount Agung, which saw his company supply 1200 units in a three month period, the second the Lombok earthquake in August and then the third and most recent Tsunami in Sulawesi.
Working-out the cost of supplying the product during a disaster with balancing being a for profit company with social entrepreneur that tackles environmental social problems of access to clean water which require that company costs are covered. Compounded by a personal responsibility to reduce margins further and to supply with the help of donations.
Sourcing donations from private people, organisations, friends, family and crowd funding pages.
At this stage selling the filters for four and a half years a typical day before the disasters consisted of the proof of concept phase by making sure the product could be accepted, used and paid for by people living in Karangasem one of the poorest remote areas in Bali. This was achieved with a local colleague for two years by meeting with the heads of the villages, the woman of the villages and others and others to introduce and sell the product.
The process of education of the local population about what the product is, how it works, and to trust it is safe and was achieved by meeting with the influencers, which included Hindu religious leaders and eventually provided income for a local network of 30-35 women resellers.
The expansion into southern Bali, which had a greater population in towns and cities for example Denpasar and Ubud and the effect of recent disaster on Jeroen and the business leading to the need to set up a new team of 5 volunteers, a new storage in Mataram in Lombok with volunteers. And realising that the operations and storage was the main challenge taking about one week.
Mention of a planned visit to Lombok to check on what’s going on in the camps, monitor the filters and how they are being used.
Learning that the success of the operation is built on setting up a system that provides who wants, who can, who has paid for the filters, who can pick it up, where the filters are going and tracking where they are.
Understanding the cost of being a one man operation on a physical and personal level comes in the form of your own life, time but this a choice that is consciously made and requires the discipline to try to get more sleep, keep as fit as you can in spite of the conditions. While a the same time meeting the incredible feat to scale the business thirty times in a period of two weeks.
The toll on physical health that it takes as well as the required effort to get sleep also requires not to work too hard and also to keep the weekend free and to continue personal physical activities like running and a passion for dancing.
The benefits of having a good supplier located manufacturing the filters in Bandung , West Java which is a city about 2 hours East of Jakarta and transported overland by truck to either Bali or Lombok
The ease in the ramping up of production was enabled by Nazava, a ten year old company’s experience of previous disasters. Nazava met the challenge of drastically increased demand in a matter of days and produced a pleasure that working with the supplier that is ready to support and meet the demand for the product when disaster strikes.
Local government or Government support is vital when disasters strike and while Jeroen and Social Impakt carry out work with the support of public and private donations government help coming in the form infrastructure by getting water to the camps is critical step.
In the case of the most recent disaster in Sulawesi Jeroen and Social Impakt may be working with the Health Department and are currently looking at options to provide a valuable service.
Muriel Boutin-Becuwe, was an entrepreneur I met a few months after I arrived in Singapore in October, 2016, you can listen to our conversation in episode EIA 032 where she discussed her start-up, which was focused on environmental sustainability and social impact.
Recently Muriel has become involved with a not-for-profit organisation The Young Professionals’ Group (YPG). In this episode Muriel will describe what YPG offers young people. You will also hear from six participants just starting out on the YPG mentorship programme. So now without further delay let’s begin.
Craig DeLarge is a digital healthcare executive in the Pharma Industry. In a career that spans over thirty years. His focus has developed into challenging leadership roles that have advanced digital health outcomes globally. From his base in the USA specific projects included digital mental health, digital healthcare strategy development education & advisory and change leadership strategy consulting & coaching. He knows what it takes to make an organisation change when it faces a crises.
“It’s Just that in my experience what I found generally people will agree with you about an opportunity but they will act on a crisis.”
Three years ago he moved to Singapore to support clients & stakeholders navigate the emerging digital healthcare ecosystem and develop the capacity to lead in ambiguous change scenarios. He describes himself as an intrepreneur.
This is our first meeting. Our conversation takes place just a few days before his return to the USA, in his bare bones apartment. A reflection on move which is about to see him start a Master of Public Health in Global Mental Health, a family reunion, and the next phase of Craigs passion project and the change from Intrepreneur to Entrepreneur “The Digital Mental Health Project”.
“…the point in life where your most susceptible to becoming mentally unwell, between about 18 and 25, I hope the university that he goes to, has a whole suite of support systems, technologies, data algorithms, notifications to the family, and an absence of stigma.”
During our conversation Craig reveals the motivations behind his career choices and how he sees the potential benefits that digital technology can bring to the field of mental health.
As well as:
His origins as a regional hybrid from the southern United States before moving to north-east and Philadelphia.
His initial career choice and the reason for switch to the Pharma industry.
His memory of going to his VP who advised him that his career choice was going to ruin his career.
The role love and novelty in his career replaced burning out.
The nature of the digital cycle of adoption in the Pharma industry and how this led to him become a serial intrapreneur.
The last three years in Singapore working as the head of the digital accelerator for for Takeda Pharmaceutical.
Similarities and differences between the roles of intrapreneur and entrepreneur.
The forces working against the intrapreneur in an organisation and the reasons.
Well know failures that did not capitalise on their own R&D innovations.
The point when an organisation recognises a crises, before during and after.
The thing that makes an organisation successful is also the thing that can make it fail.
Solutions that reduce the possibility of organisations from failing.
So why don’t most companies do that. The 3M model is well known. I know about it.
Why organisations conserve of energy. and the connection to complacency and then crises
Employees that see a crisis coming and what should you do.
The Fortune 500 today is not the same as a decade ago.
How the switch to a career based on love of being a designer.began with an MBA at University of Westminister to connect the intrapreneur, and innovator within to design management.
How “nudge” is helping healthcare is get human beings to take better care of their health.
The sabbatical that led to linking being an entrepreneur in the pharma industry to his mental health advocacy for the creation of the Digital Mental Health Project.
Future benefits that digital technology will bring to improve mental health.
How in the future mobile digital devices can move from damaging mental health to improving it.
The move from intrapreneur to entrepreneur, the nervousness, the advantages and disadvantages of each
The loneliness of being an entrepreneur and advice on how to maintain mental health
How Silicon Valley is recognising the negative mental toll that the pressure, and the loneliness and the drivenness of tech entrepreneurship is having on its workers.
The symptoms to look out for with your own mental health and what mistaken beliefs exist when the psyche breaks and the stigma surrounding it.
Strategies on improving and protecting mental health
How to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health issues and
Craigs hope for the support, in the future, that will be available at university and for 18 and 25 year olds, which is the point in life.
When to start taking care of your mental health and who to start with and the challenge.
The importance to remember, the advantages we have today in society are because somebody in the past stepped out of line and began to challenge the status quo and how we can create the same for someone in the future.
Finally he tells us about his family and the number one motivation for leaving Singapore and how it fits into the plan.
Chris Morris is a Relationship manager & Entrepreneur his previous career roles have been with NHS Trusts and Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in the UK. This was before setting up a new life in Singapore where he initially supported his wife’s career before finding a role in Change Management and then as an independent consultant. Now, he splits his time between being a Regional Relationship manager and his real passion as an Entrepreneur with his restaurant the Lime House in the heart of Singapore.
“I took on the lease for Lime House I didn’t have a chef. So I actually took on the lease, because a lot of people think I am a restaurateur and I am not. I don’t cook at all. My wife is a very good cook not me. But I like to entertain and so I see myself very much as a founder anyway, so I took the lease on and I thought oh shit you know we’ve got to find a, we need to find a chef from somewhere. So actually got a plane flew to London, on the way to London I googled top Caribbean chefs in the UK. I landed I interviewed three of them, two of them thought I was just crazy Caribbean guy from Singapore and didn’t want to engage.”
During our conversation Chris reveals the motivations behind his founding of the Lime House, difficulties, career changes, family and his positive purposeful attitude he creates for the future.
As well as:
The only Caribbean establishment in Singapore
Arrived in Singapore as a trailing spouse in 2008
Background as Management consultant
Start of the job business transformation practice as a consultant for five years
The reason for the row
Then became a entrepreneur
Passion of the Caribbean led to him creating a Caribbean footprint in Singapore f or his children and the Caribbean diaspora
The opportunity for a positive Caribbean experience in Singapore
Its all about the food and ambience
The size of the ground floor restaurant, second floor bar and third floor event space.
The Trinidadian and Tobago meaning for the word “Lime” and its origins
A history and cultural lesson of rum and the largest rum collection in Singapore at 168
The journey of growing up in the Caribbean, moving to London and then to Singapore, Corporate to Cultural Entrepreneur
Specialism from IT to change programs in organisational culture in government agencies.
However mentor and locked his passion to mix food culture.
Overcoming opening a restaurant with no cooking skills.
The top Caribbean restaurant chef in London solving the cooking issue for a crazy Caribbean Guy
Using passion, belief and culture to achieve success
The years of pain to produce success
The dark lonely moments of being an entrepreneur and the don’t do it message from the naysayers,
Singaporean success Fridays and Saturdays full
Singaporeans creating authentic Caribbean food
Localised in the food.
The connection between the food in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia
The competitiveness of the Singaporean restaurant market, fine dining the failure then the chance meeting
Creating a grab and go experience in Singapore that failed and then moving it halfway around the world to London using the lessons learned in Singapore
Three minutes to walk out with a meal learned in Singapore.
A new fusion food experience.
The entrepreneurs need for the support of family but it helps when they eat the food
Creativity is in the family fashion design father, set designer sister, artist brother and the link to Central St. Martins
Chris’ excitement of changing perceptions of the Caribbean diaspora
The most difficult task for the entrepreneur is always dealing with failure
The painful road of luck
When did you realise you have to close
How an entrepreneur knows when to stop
Being comfortable talking about failure and playing it safe and the role exposure plays to opportunity, capital and expertise through mentors
Caribbean business groups in the UK and the importance of mentorship both Singapore and London.
Wilson Chew is a User Experience designer with a varied background that revolves around the power of the story. He is also a Co-Founder and Content Strategist of REASSEMBLE, a start-up, which came into existence in March 2018. In previous roles Wilson has worked as a digital marketer and charity fundraising coordinator, Where he made use of stories to influence and change behaviours of the target audience.
Now he approaches stories from a different angle when helping entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop their user application interfaces. He believes every user has a story, built from their needs, frustrations, behaviours and ways of thinking. His job is to create digital designs that cater to users’ stories and resonate with them.
“I think that when people hear that we’re a user experience design agency They think we’re just there to, again we’re just there to make things look really nice. Which we can do, but then we tell them that we’re not hear to make things look nice…”
During our conversation Wilson reveals the fundamentals of User Experience Design, its purpose and the benefits it brings when carried out correctly.
So now without further delay
As well as:
Explaining the role a user experience designer plays is the development of a product
The architects of the computer interface
From nice to
The role Don Norman plays in the UX design world
The movie app as a case study, film and snacks
The role that “User Needs” play in the design
Don Norman and the door knob, link to the digital and physical world and the Hawaiian missile alert
Where UX Design is managed well and considered normal and where knowledge and enthusiasm fail due to the drive to make things pretty and nice.
The difficulties to be overcome to get UX Design to be accepted by entrepreneurs.
The percentage of work that can be saved by coders
The difference is rising costs to errors in the design, coding and post launch phases
How to reduce 75% disappointment for app purchasers
Should you release a minimum viable product and the pushback it is receiving?
Degree in international relations to Digital marketing in London to an Anti-slavery charity then back to singapore with a Children’s Charity.
From marketing to user research and finally UX Design
Is coding ability necessary and is it an advantage or disadvantage in UX design
The biggest challenge in UX design and persuasion
The research that goes into the construction of the wire frame.
The role that Contextual Enquire, User Interviews, Usability Testing play
Off the peg apps and solutions leading to how do we know that it is good
The benefits of Quantitive data and UX Design which is looking at the Why.
How to UX design can help reduce the bounce rate for peg apps and Template Shops such as Shopify
Christie Fernandez is an Entrepreneur on a mission to create a positive impact in clean transportation & energy in the emerging markets of the ASEAN region, Indian subcontinent, Africa & South America. Christie is the Founder ofSooorya EV, which is headquartered in Singapore and is focused on providing affordable, comfortable & eco-friendly transportation. What’s unique is that Sooorya is redefining how automobiles are designed, manufactured and sold, with a strong focus on sustainability, profitability and societal impact.
At first Christie tried this with his idea.
“It’s kind of stuck with me. I tried giving it away but it didn’t happen”
During our conversation, Christie reveals his motivations behind the idea of creating his startup, his vision of how it can help farmers in rural communities by harvesting solar energy, and how he tried to give it away.
As well as:
The goal of last mile connectivity
Affordable, comfortable and eco friendly transportation
The regions of the world where this technology is needed.
How the countryside can produce a sustainable source of electrical energy using swappable batteries
Energy production as a handicraft opportunity for farmers to earn additional income.
The contrast with the big automobile manufactures that focus on speed, range and fast charging and the need in rural communities for low cost affordable transportation
The business model mix of large and small.
The uniqueness of his idea and what is required for the cost to come down.
Incorporating the IKEA business model
Frugal Engineering and how the
Incorporating the Apple manufacturing business model and transferring ideas from the mobile phone industry
Changing the car industry
Moving around the Asian Region and the reason for choosing Singapore a a base for operation and HQ
Legal protection and holding on to your IP.
personal impression of Singapore
The timetable to production of an affordable car launch and location
His background in IT, Marketing and the factors that encouraged the switch to the auto industry
The influence conversations with colleagues from the farming communities of India and he can help to expand the take-up of electric cars and his vision of the future.
His reluctance to be seen as the Elon Musk of the affordable electric car
Gary Guwe is one of the cofounders of the Business Development Society of Singapore. In the previous podcast, EIA 037, I had conversations his fellow cofounder Gunes Altungunes, and a couple of attendees. At the time Gary Guwe was out of the country and Gunes suggested that I return at a later event and speak with Gary.
However, in this cast Gary and I don’t actually converse but we have a brief Fly-on-wall experience of the event organised by Gary and Gunes and titled Connections Over Coffee – Monthly Casual Networking, which is held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month .
Gary plays a key role by running the event in a relaxed manner, encourages entrepreneurs to give a two minute introduction of themselves and the company they represent and gives his own advice.
After Gary opens we move on to Joshua Chua (an experienced Sales Excellence Coach), Hussain Sayeed (In the third week of his startup), Arthi Ramakrishnan, (a recent arrival to Singapore from India) and finally, he ropes me in unexpectedly to present myself and the fact that I’m volunteering my services by recording the event.
The Chinese New Year celebration
The mission of BDS and its role in building business relationships.
The BDS origins in 2015 and its current number of members
The reasons behind the sharing sessions and the link to Free Publicity
How Gary Guwe turned himself from an introverted and shy business person to a headhunted target and the co-founder of the BDS.
What’s on offer from the BDS to SME’s
His promise for your jump in sales
The free 90 minute consultation with tweaks
Back to Gary and advice for speakers to share their origin stories
His origin story with BT and HP
Reasons for attending the BDS meetup
The promise of a safe pair of technology hands in his third week as an entrepreneur
Cisco, the Cloud are not always the answer for SMEs
Back to Gary and more advice
An Indian Corporate Solution provider
Skills Development in Information Technology, Telecommunication and Soft-Skills
The company origin story
Arthi’s time in Singapore
Back to Gary and more advice
Neville J. McKenzie
The importance of getting your message across
How can AsiaBizStories help you
Self help advice with public speaking with everyone has one of these