Sunday, February 27, 2011

ITE Entrepreneurship Forum

Through Sophee of SingYouth Hub, I was given the fortune to attend the ITE Entrepreneurship Forum.

There I met Mr Ong Tze Boon, MD of Ong & Ong Pte Ltd and Mr Clinton Ang, MD of Corner Stone and Hock Tong Bee Pte Ltd.

These are my key takeaways from the two charismatic, entrepreneurial, family business leaders.
1. Perceive and Be Aware
Change is right in front of you, you see it but most of us choose not to see or act on it.
- You think you know whats going on, but you were never quite aware of whats happening.
- Its easy to miss something you're not looking for

2. Entrepreneurship lessons
a. Business strategy -> Foresight & Awareness
b. Business scale -> (i) Increase competition, (ii) Competitive fees, (iii) Improve productivity and (iv) External offerings
c. Business structure -> (i) Reward performers, (2) Don't concession non-performers

3. Institutionalization of your business
The success of an entrepreneur is truly based on his ability to build an effective system that minimizes the need of investing personal attention to the business.

4. The key to success is to:
a. Admit your failure and cut losses
b. Maximize success, minimize failures

5. To ignite corporate change
It has to start from Bottom-up and Top-down
- Identify those who believes in you and plant them into each department to start the Bottom-up process

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Inflation, low fertility rate among issues raised at post-Budget dialogue

Channel News Asia Article:

Inflation, low fertility rate among issues raised at post-Budget dialogue
By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 26 February 2011 2142 hrs

SINGAPORE: Inflation, Singapore's low fertility rate, and entrepreneurship - these were some topics raised 
by youths at a post-Budget dialogue.

On the panel was Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan, who entertained the queries of a 

hundred PMETs, short for professionals, managers, executives and technicians, from Young NTUC and the 
Nanyang Business School.

Stanley Chia, Managing Director of Envisage and a student at Nanyang Business School, said: "Currently I'm 

on sabbatical, to start my own business. But I realised that during this process, where all my friends are seeking 
for internships, they're getting high-paying jobs. And it becomes a very conflicting thought in me, whether to 
continue my business or to look for a comfortable job."

The minister-in-charge of entrepreneurship said he hoped to see half of those present there start their own


But while there was government support, the onus is on them to stand out.

Mr Lee said: "As Singapore moves forward, we need our young people to come up with business 

models that can capture the imagination of the world."

On rising inflation, some asked if the one-off cash payouts would help them cope with the long-term 

effects of a rising Consumer Price Index.

Mr Lee responded: "The average family will get S$3,000. S$3,000 will cover many items that have

 their cost risen, if you are objective about it. And many food items, as I've seen for myself in FairPrice 
and Giant and so on, some food prices actually dropped."

Mr Lee added that the Singapore dollar was strong against the greenback.

"For all the commodities and food items we bought in US dollars, it has become cheaper or not as expensive.

 If you look at other countries, food prices have gone on to become quite high, five and six per cent and so on.
 So we are doing quite well."

Also raised at the dialogue, Singapore's low fertility rate.

Josephine Teo, Advisor to Young NTUC and Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, said: "Although many of

 them are young, and either unmarried or not yet with children, they are concerned about Singapore's Total
 Fertility Rate. And there is a desire for the government to respond and to identity more effective measures
 that will help to reverse the trend. I think for me, this bodes well."

Those attending the dialogue were aged between 18 and 35 years old.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Shen Zhen – Hong Kong Business Trip Reflection Report

Reflection Report on my recent trip to China
To View/Download: Click Here

A slight teaser;

"We should take pride in our life experiences that are often close and personal to us. They form the basis of our identity, through the display of values which these experiences help to inculcate. Therefore, we should be proud of ourselves, so to maintain our self-concept and self-confidence for the purpose of staying driven and motivated to achieve the impossible. This is also where we find purpose in all the things we do, the critical driver for achieving greatness.

Yet when dealing with others, we should throw away this pride.  We have to adopt the earnest attitude to perceive, understand and learn from everyone around us, which is to include even those who oppose our ideas. Only then will people be willing to share their sincere opinions with you or provide you with their personal experiences and knowledge that will essentially broaden your perception, and allow growth in your wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

The ability to master our pride is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. We have to possess extreme faith in our own competencies, so to take the appropriate risk required for success. Yet be able to develop the similarly important capacity for humility, so to learn and grow, by having the courage and grace to be critical of ourselves in our self-reflections of both success and failures of every event of our live."

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 2 Minutes rule

Heh all...
I have been really busy for the pass few days, hence my slacking in daily post. Nevertheless, I learnt this really meaningful quote which I really agree with. :)
All of us should adopt this rule to greatly enhance our work efficiency.

"David Allen: I have a two-minute rule that says: If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it. If you don’t avoid the question about what’s the next step, lots of two minute items could be done right then. Now, there are many times that you have a next step that’s going to take longer amount of time, like drafting some big new spreadsheet. You wouldn’t want to do that in two minutes."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Find the purpose and Take action!

Find purpose in everything you do!
Believe in it, be able to articulate it, seek out like-minded and passionate individuals.
Build a team.
Mold others to become like you to take action and achieve what you so strongly believe in.

Wait for Video to load:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Legal Complications

Spoke to a lawyer today with regards to SingYouth matters.

It was again an encouraging experience, to see how Mr Gobi is so willing to provide wise advise to Sophee and I with regards to the dealings with various partners and stakeholders. Today I saw the importance of having a lawyer to provide legal advise on our business dealings so to ensure that legal matters are handled professionally and cautiously.

One main takeaway and sharing from Mr Gobi is that, regardless of what good intentions we may have through the programs we run, the services we provide or the agreements formed with partners, it is crucial to consider all legal complications that may arise so to prevent any monetary losses or degradation of the brand value and goodwill built up by the organization over time.

This is achieved by putting all agreements into writing such as through MOUs or emails which can be used as reference to formal agreements made whenever complications arises, although they may not necessarily be legally enforceable.

As for Envisage, he advised that we seek out endorsement from MOE, so to ensure that our products are verified by a reputable agency. So to ensure stakeholders that the programs we run are made out of goodwill, so to prevent misrepresentation of our good intentions by ignorant individuals.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SIFE - Passionate People

I am greatly encouraged by the members of SIFE, particularly the Exco for showing so much passion and dedication to creating real social impact in the beneficiaries they are working with.

The process of building deep relations the beneficiaries and at times attempting to experience what they experience are paramount in our ability to empathize with them. This is required so that we are able to identify their needs, hence analyze the real problem behind those needs and thereby propose solutions that will be effective in addressing those needs.

However, this process takes up plenty of time, especially since there will be a fair share of failing, learning and exploration involved, before we get to achieve any substantiative results.

The people of SIFE made plenty of self-sacrifice of personal resources, be it time, money, sweat and hard work. All of which will never be achievable without sincere passion, purpose and relationship with the beneficiaries.

The people of NTU-SIFE are indeed bright lights that bring joy to those life we touch.

I pray that their flames of passion will never subside, and will carry on burning, growing and spreading to all the communities they touch, even after convocation.