Mr. Eng Poo Yang’s passion for graphic design and IT lead him to start his own business, Appvantage.

What’s your story?
I got into this business purely for my passion for graphic design and IT. At that time, pre-internet days in Singapore, there were not many jobs available that allowed me to combine my passion and my skills. Hence I decided to start my own multimedia design company right after I graduated with 2 other classmates. Starting a business was never easy, especially with different partners; we went through a few mergers and acquisitions and I eventually started Appvantage on my own in 2011 focusing on mobile solutions for the automotive industry.

What excites you most about your industry?
The automotive industry is undergoing big changes as consumers are transporting from place to place, using many new and cost effective options such as car sharing, uber/grab, short term leasing or usage on demand. Car brands are also trying to sell their cars directly to consumers. This means, car brands, dealerships, finance and insurance companies have to change their business products and offerings accordingly.

What’s your connection to Asia?
We serve businesses across 22 countries with offices in Singapore, Myanmar, China, Australia and the United Kingdom. The majority of our work is in Asia where we’ve localised each solution for the local market needs.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
We have branches in Beijing and Chengdu in China and Yangon in Myanmar. There are huge hurdles to overcome and different administration loops to unravel to setup offices in these markets. It took us about 3-6 months just to get started. I can easily say that Singapore is still one my favourite places to do business because of its infrastructure, taxation, government support, diverse population and transparency in regulations. The foreign talent pool is relatively big even though it comes with a price.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I came across a TED talk – ‘Grit: The power of passion and perseverance’ by Angela. I couldn’t agree more with what she talks about which makes me believe strongly that there are no shortcuts to success. One needs to cultivate tenacity and create a roadmap of their own.
Jack Ma also mentioned that, “A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what employees can’t.”

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci, he was way ahead of his time in terms of his philosophy, design, creativity and invention. He would design and think outside the box using science and technology to innovate. It’s not just his talent that I admire but more his dedication and drive for his craft and work.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
An IT head in a global insurance company recently said, “It is proven that the effect of texting while driving is the same if you are drink driving.” It’s really a resounding reminder for all drivers using mobiles in cars.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have built up my business faster and further. Learning from my past mistakes and lessons, I would have focussed on making things work more quickly, going lean and focussing on the MVP (Most Viable Product).

How do you unwind?
I like to do sports like jogging and swimming and I enjoy watching movies and dining at new restaurants.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok, it offers good food, affordable costs, great golfing and it has a wide range of hospitality options.

Everyone in business should read this book:
7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey. I am a believer of working smart so I read it time and time again and always learn something.

Shameless plug for your business:
Appvantage is a new leader in the delivery of innovative digital solutions to the auto finance industry. Contact us today to understand how we can make change work for you and your clients.

How can people connect with you?
I am on Linkedin and Instagram –

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
Download free copies of his books here:

Recently Published

Key Takeaway: Nanotechnology, which includes particles smaller than 10,000 times the diameter of a human hair, is playing a growing role in various industries, including medicine, cosmetics, and medicine. Nanoparticles can pass easily through the blood-brain barrier, potentially enabling better treatment of brain diseases and disorders like cancer and dementia. They can also be used […]
Key Takeaway: George Bernard Shaw referred to Ebenezer Howard’s “garden cities” concept in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which he believed would offer the advantages of town and country without the drawbacks. Recently, a Silicon Valley consortium called Flannery Associates purchased land for California Forever, a contentious project that echoes Howard’s ideas. Howard’s […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaways: Nanotechnology is set to revolutionize clothing, transportation, and transportation. Clothing will be tailored to individual needs, with synthesizers in closets creating clothing that fits perfectly. Nanosuits, made of 5 microns thick fabric, will cover the wearer’s body, allowing separate holes for individual hairs and making them weightless. This technology will double the amount […]
Key Takeaway: Online algorithms on social media platforms amplify information people are biased to learn from, leading to social misperceptions, conflict, and the spread of misinformation. This mismatch between human psychology and algorithm amplification can result in functional misalignment, leading to incorrect perceptions of the social world and the spread of misinformation. Research on this […]
Key Takeaways: Online gaming communities could be a vital lifeline for young men struggling with mental health issues, according to new research. Members with more depressive symptoms and less real-life support were 40% more likely to form and maintain social ties with fellow gamers compared to those with more real-life support. This suggests the chat […]


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