Brendan is helping connect businesses through his venture, Qontak which boasts the largest verified contact database in Asia.

What’s your story?
I recently moved back to Asia and founded  Qontak is a VC backed platform which helps sales and marketing teams accelerate growth by providing the most accurate and actionable B2B contact and company information across SE Asia.  Our VCs include Indonusa Dwitama, the first investor behind Tokopedia and angel investors from the Angel Investment Network Indonesia (ANGIN).
Prior to this I was in the United States where I studied Economics at Columbia University in the City of New York.

What excites you most about your industry?
The biggest thing that excites me is the huge problem that we’re trying to solve – that of intransparency in data which hampers connectivity.
The fundamental problem that sales professionals are facing is not only trying to reach the right person in SE Asia, but also timing the sale so that it meets a need, when it is needed.  While solutions to find people exist, such as LinkedIn, creating a recurring system where you can build your own contact and business database with easy, flexible and systematically timed, follow up communication is what Qontak enables.
Similarly, for marketers and researchers, targeted campaigns or product / service launches where a number of specific professionals need to be invited is another problem.  How do we host targeted and successful events or get the word out about promotions and discounts?  How do we find professionals and companies who could potentially benefit our own business?  Or simply, how do we grow our own professional network instantaneously without having to “add” connections?

What’s your connection to Asia?
I grew up in Jakarta and attended middle and high school there and now have come to call it my home.

unnamed (1) unnamed

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore and Jakarta are my favorite cities for business at the moment.  Singapore because of its efficiency and legal clarity and Indonesia because of the larger market and travel destinations.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I don’t think I’ve received any one single advice that stands out to me.  But a couple that stand out are:
1) “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
2) “Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself.”  Seth Godin

Who inspires you?
I would say that my father inspires me a lot.  He’s the type of person that has been disciplined his whole life in every aspect.  From eating healthy each day, to exercising each day, to perfecting his craft and hobbies each day, to persevering in the face of obstacles.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Recently, the rise of artificial intelligence has just blown me away because it makes me believe that most common jobs will eventually be replaced by machines.  As technology grows at an exponential rate and open AI is coming for everyone, it makes me believe that our future, in the next 20 to 30 years will be vastly different than the world we know now.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
While there are things that I would have wanted to avoid, I am not sure how I would do things differently.  I think everything happens for a reason.

How do you unwind?
I like to unwind on a work day by lazing on the couch with the TV on.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Koh Tao, Thailand – beautiful diving, great people and amazing ambiance.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Autobiography of a Yogi (not related to business but definitely interesting).  This is the only book Steve Jobs had in his iPad and on the last gathering held before his death for close friends, he gave this book as a gift to everyone.

Shameless plug for your business:
Qontak helps sales and marketing teams accelerate growth by providing the most accurate and actionable B2B contact and company information.  We are the first largest verified contact database in Asia.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected] and

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum 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 <>

Connect with Callum here:
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from

Recently Published

Key Takeaway: Slavoj Žižek, a philosopher and cultural theorist, has written numerous books on various topics, including philosophy, psychoanalysis, pop culture, and commentary on recent events. He is known for his controversial debate with Jordan Peterson in 2019 about the connection between Marxism, capitalism, and happiness. Žižek’s work often critiques political ideologies, which can explain […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaway: A study examining the mental health of magicians found that they exhibited similar traits to people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and autism. Magicians, who both create and perform their own shows, require precision and technical skills to entertain the audience. They scored lower on nearly every psychotic symptom compared to the general […]
Key Takeaway: Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has a diverse career in space exploration, electric cars, AI, and social media. His biography, written by Walter Isaacson, covers events up to Space X’s unsuccessful Starship rocket launch in April 2023. Isaacson interviews Musk and uncovered newsworthy information, such as his Starlink satellite network’s crucial role […]


I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

Join our Newsletter

Get our monthly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.


Welcome to Empirics

We are glad you have decided to join our mission of gathering the collective knowledge of Asia!
Join Empirics