A porcelain journey for this entrepreneur. Arthur Bontemps grew up in Limoges, France and ventured to Asia to grow his event business.
What’s your story?
I grew up in Limoges, in west-central France, a small city known for its porcelain. After my high school diploma, I left home for Cambridge, UK in order to improve my English while gaining some work experience. Then, I moved to Switzerland to study International Hospitality Management at the Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne.
During my bachelor I had the opportunity to experience both the operational & strategic side of the hospitality industry. First at a 5* hotel in Paris for my operational internship, then at the HQ of Leading Hotels of the World in New York as a Business Development Analyst and finally as a Junior Consultant for an Interior Design start-up.
After EHL, I joined planitswiss, a global exclusive event designer and producer. We create tailor made corporate events with the recognition of being very attentive to details. Thanks to our hospitality and F&B background we make a difference being service oriented.
The founders of planitswiss were considering to expand to Asia. It was for me the opportunity to co-found, open and develop planitswiss Asia’ first overseas office.
Since I started with planitswiss, I have organized about 66 events in 15 countries.
What excites you most about your industry?
What I love most is the opportunity to travel, to meet new people from guests to providers. Every single event is different and represents a new and exciting challenge!
What’s your connection to Asia?
Limoges VS China Porcelain? (Joking)
Before coming to Singapore to incorporate and develop a company my one and only Asia experience was a trip to Beijing when I was 15.
Isn’t Singapore the Switzerland of Asia?
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course! It’s a fantastic place to do business. First, thanks to its safe environment. Second, because of it’s effectiveness (transportation, access, administrative procedures…). And English being an official language helps a lot as well.
Even if it is never easy to start and grow a company, I always keep in mind I have been lucky to do it in Singapore.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the efforts and hard work will pay off.
Who inspires you?
Difficult question, there are so many inspiring people!
I get inspired by other entrepreneurs and business owners, by colleagues or business partners.
But if I have to give a name, the one which comes to mind first is Xavier Niel.
He is a French entrepreneur who founded one of the leading internet service providers in France. He also launched a mobile broadband Free Mobile which shook up the market and is now the 4th largest mobile network company with a 15% market share.
He is now one of the most important Business Angel Investors in France and he is financing 1,000 Start-ups, the world’s largest business incubator.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Every contact is important in business and you never know where this contact will lead you to. Especially in Asia. We network and meet so many people. Things are moving fast and every person we meet can transform or lead to a business opportunity.
I always like to say: “You don’t judge a book by its cover.”
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Entrepreneurship is a long but exciting journey. Everyday comes with new challenges. There are probably many things I could have done better or differently but giving a specific example is pretty difficult. Everything happens for a reason. Those challenges make who we are today. I believe without some of the challenges we have to face we would not be as successful as we are today.
On a personal note, entrepreneurship is a very enriching experience. By starting and developing a company, I have done many things and overcome many challenges I never thought I would have done.
How do you unwind?
My favourite way to unwind: Good friends, nice food and great wine.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Definitely “The Land of Smiles”. Thailand has so much to offer: it’s great food, it’s cultural heritage, it’s countryside and beaches.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t have any book to recommend as it is always subjective. I spend quite some time reading the news, entrepreneurship stories, business or industry related articles…
Shameless plug for your business:
Tailor made impactful corporate events!
“You Host, We Care” – we work to unfold your event seamlessly, so you can enjoy your event and focus on your clients and business.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>