Desmond’s life was going in one direction, until circumstances changed it and took him into a corporate finance direction. He has also set up a food venture, Wafuken.
What’s your story?
Being born in a below average family, where having shelter and food on the table sums up my life growing up.
Soccer has always been my passion since a very young age. I managed to make it to the National U21 squad and represented various S League clubs. Just when my future looked really bright, my childhood ambition was shortened due to multiple injuries. I was forced out of my favourite sport at the age of 21 when I was shortlisted to represent the National Team in the SEA Games.
When God closes a door, He will open a brighter one for you. As devastated as I was, I came across an opportunity to get myself into the finance industry. Dealing with asset management mainly in real estate and commodity. Through God Grace, I was raised and recognised as one of the top, within a short period of time.
At 26 years old, I was awarded top performer for two consecutive years and successfully made my first million via asset investment. I have since been given the opportunity to speak on various platforms, be it on sharing my life story, investment or motivational talks.
Currently, I am the head of business development for a 40 year old regional development group in their investment and capital financing sector.
Being a sport and fitness enthusiast, I have also successfully set up Wafuken together with a couple of my very capable partners with the key objective in mind to offer more variety on healthy food. I am glad that it has been a success this far.
What excites you most about your industry?
The sense of satisfaction when you have made a profit for one of your clients through a recommended investment trade! The appreciation from your clients is just priceless.
I love crowds and speaking in public. Seeing the audience enjoying my talks or performances, definitely excites me.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am born in Singapore. I was brought up in a typical Singapore culture and lifestyle although my mum was born in Indonesia. So I would say I am Singaporean Chinese and I have been exposed to some of the Indonesian culture as well.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It has got to be Singapore. I am not saying this because I am a Singaporean. HK and Singapore are both well known to be the key financial centers in Asia. Singapore has many supportive policies to encourage new business set up and entrepreneurship.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never give up especially during the period you feel like giving up. As that’s the period you are closest to your target.”
Someone who I respect and look up to once told me this. I still remember it vividly today.
Who inspires you?
He is a CEO of a group which I think is not appropriate for me to mention.
Apart from him, I would say Jesus. As He is the reason I am still alive today. When I was 21 years old, I was depressed and almost committed suicide. He is my inspiration. He encourages me that this is not the end.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
May your hunger for change be greater than your complacency to stay the same.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would not have done anything different. I am strong believer that every failure in my life is a lesson for me to learn and improve on.
How do you unwind?
I love cars. I take my cars out for a spin aimlessly whenever I am stressed.
Chill over some wine with my buddies.
Workout in the gym.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. Scenery is nice and value for money.
Everyone in business should read this book:
There are many good books in the market. From motivational, to steps and guides to be a successful investor or entrepreneur.
Personally, the book which really changed my perspective and got me thinking, has got to be Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
Shameless plug for your business:
How can people connect with you?
FB: Sim Desmond
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/>