Emilie combines her French heritage and her love for Asia in her business venture aptly named, Singafrog.
What’s your story?
I’m the founder of a strong French network in Singapore. When I got my first job, I was splitting my time between Singapore and France. I didn’t not want to stay alone in a hotel room each time I visited Singapore so I started a forum for French people in Singapore. I then began to organise a series of networking parties. Out of this, Singafrog was born. 10 years later, our Facebook group has more than 11,000 French speaking members and we now collaborate with corporates willing to showcase their touch of France. It is a French club where members join for free and benefit from special offers related to France from our corporate partners. From restaurants to online grocery shopping to fashion and events. And always presented in a fun way.
What excites you most about your industry?
I enjoy helping people. Whether it is about helping newcomers to Singapore or partner brands to develop their exposure in the Singapore.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’ve always been attracted to Asia. I started learning Japanese when I was 15 and spent one year near Tokyo in a secondary school as an exchange student when I was 18. I learnt calligraphy and tea ceremony. After getting a masters’ degree in Japanese from the Sorbonne in Paris, I got my first job in Singapore.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, where else? This is the city where I started my first (maybe not the last!) business with my two partners Adrien Pierson and Esther Wang.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Where there is a will, there is a way. Never doubt you can achieve great things if you believe in them.
Who inspires you?
Simon Sinek. His TED talks are really inspiring.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That I could get the perfect bottom using a kettlebell twice a week for 15 minutes thanks to Tim Ferriss, the 4-hour body. It still has to be proven though!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have probably started a company much earlier. At the same time, I really believe all I have learnt from the corporate world and my career as a not-for-profit fundraiser will serve me in the startup world.
How do you unwind?
I’m a great fan of squash and kickboxing.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love Lombok because it is less touristy than Bali and has so much to offer from nice people to beautiful sceneries. And the cherry on the cake, it is not too far from Singapore.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The lean startup, Eric Ries
Shameless plug for your business:
If you like anything related to France from food to crazy parties and good deals, you can join Le Carré Singafrog (also on Facebook and Twitter). If you speak French, join our group too 🙂
How can people connect with you?
I can be contacted through Linkedin or Twitter.
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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