1- Hello Melvin, can you tell us a bit about yourself.
I started my professional life out fully dedicating myself to be a corporate lawyer but eventually, I discovered a great passion for entrepreneurship and business. This consequently led to my own involvement and experiences in the Asian startup scene, which naturally culminated in the birth of The Asian Entrepreneur. I see it as a value-adding moment for the community globally because The Asian Entrepreneur at its inception was driven by a major market-pull problem. Perhaps due to cultural differences and maybe even, a lack of infrastructural avenues but back then, there was no platform for Asian entrepreneurs to access and exchange important experiential insights. Frustrated by this, The Asian Entrepreneur was founded to fill that crucial void.
2- How would you describe “The Asian Entrepreneur Magazine” in under few words?
In under the few words, I would say that The Asian Entrepreneur is the go-to source when people think about Asian entrepreneurship. It is here where they will find important services that were conceived to supplement and encourage participation in the Asian startup scene. In the most immediate sense, our company offers the most up-to-date and authoritative coverage of Asian entrepreneurs globally. Furthermore, our company works closely with other leading business and governmental organizations to drive the scene via important international events, conventions, e-commerce, consulting and investment services.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
Naturally, our primary focus area is international Asian entrepreneurship. I have to emphasize international in my response because sometimes, some of our audiences may come under the mistaken assumption that ‘Asian entrepreneurship’ necessarily denotes, in a very limited way, entrepreneurship pursued by individuals of Asian descent. This is certainly not true. I would say the focus is rather on the entrepreneurship that takes place in Asia as a global region regardless of the ethnicity or social background of the entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, our focus is important because many emerging markets in Asia present wonderful opportunities and challenges for anyone who is truly interested in entrepreneurship generally.
4- How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
I would say we are differentiated from our competitors and imitators on the basis of our utmost dedication to contribute value to the Asian startup scene. As a result of this, we are always continuously innovating in our business and actively building greater business relationships within the community to ultimately offer our audiences that much more. It is that commitment to that marginal gain that some may find trivial which truly sets us apart.
5- Where do you think “The Asian Entrepreneur Magazine” is making an impact?
I think The Asian Entrepreneur has already made an overall impact to the Asian startup scene globally. The impact, in my opinion, is measured by the increased demand and recognition from the community for our brand and our servicers.
6- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
A lot of people assume that running a business is an easy job. Perhaps, from their position they can only ever see the positive sides of business ownership. From my own experiences, the reality is rather distant from the appearances. In truth, it is a long-term commitment that requires you to exert yourself to the fullest extent. As such, it can take a toll on you emotionally and physically. My role extends beyond just managing the day-to-day operations, client relationships and the vast team of staff members around the clock but it also involves devising, planning and executing the overall strategic direction of our company with the senior management team. Due to my experiences, I would like to say to the overly optimistic wantrepreneurs out there, this is certainly not a game made for everyone.
7- Entrepreneurship world is always changing, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Aside from entrepreneurship, I am actually a very active investor in the business and financial markets. Through the official organizational efforts of The Asian Entrepreneur and also in my own personal endeavors, I see myself becoming more active in the venture capitalism.
8- And what were some of the biggest challenges you encountered personally?
The major challenges have been to do with the growth and scaling of our business. Increased growth has necessitated us to make many structural changes in the last few years and that has been quite a challenge as most of the time, it means increased costs and also organizational knowledge gap that we have to continuously overcome. An expanding staff team has also been a challenge for me personally in terms of management and has also required human resource management changes as well. Overall, the job feels fresh all the time.
9- A last Word or final thoughts?
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Visit the Magazine Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/TheAsianEntrepreneur to know more.