A typical banker turned entrepreneur story.
What’s your story?
Started off in investment management, good money and all, but I found it wasn’t fulfilling. Moved on and built my first business (a food trading company in the early 2000s) and exited a few years later. I went back to MNC for a bit but got bored again. About 6 years ago, I was offered the opportunity (as the founding director) to build the first co-working space in Hong Kong and I took it. Moved on and founded Garage Society, 2 years ago (as CEO, founder and investor). Have been enjoying every minute of my entrepreneurial life and have absolutely no regrets in departing the high paying finance industry.
What excites you most about your industry?
Meeting new people, especially the younger generation! They have such awesome ideas and they are so smart! Some find it difficult to “manage” them, but I find great satisfaction in “working with” them!
So much to learn from people!
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am born and bred in HK. I did university education in the US but Asia is and always will be home for me.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong! The energy, the people, the mentality and the efficiency. All these make it an awesome place for business. And when it gets a bit too much, there is always great food and booze to help chill you out!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The biggest risk one can take is NOT taking any risks.
Who inspires you?
People I meet, every one of them.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Einstein was right! Gravitational waves have been detected.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
My motto has always been “have no regret” and I am pretty happy with what I’ve done in the past. Maybe I would have travelled more?
How do you unwind?
Eat and drink with loved ones, a leisurely stroll with my dog and exercise.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. Awesome food, lovely people and Thai massages!!!
Everyone in business should read this book:
I really don’t have one.
Shameless plug for your business:
Garage Society is THE platform for tech and startup companies in Hong Kong!
How can people connect with you?
Best is to email me at [email protected]
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.
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