Following in his ancestor’s path, from France to Asia, Guillaume has chosen Singapore to launch his business.
What’s your story?
My name is Guillaume Chabrieres, I have 7 years of professional experience in Asia between China, Russia and Singapore. Following the steps of my father 50 years ago, I left France when I was 18 years old only to discover Asia. I fell in love at first sight and decided to never leave this part of the world.
I arrived in Singapore in 2011 and decided to work in the media industry for a short while in order to discover the Singaporean culture and the strings of successful business in the Lion city.
In July 2013, I founded Chab Pte Ltd, an event company that supports SMEs and multinational companies in developing their brand locally through two service lines:
- Events production and promotion
- Video production to support product launches as well as D&D and hotel launches
What excites you most about your industry?
My Industry is full of opportunities, this definitely the most exciting part. Getting to meet so many important, talented, unique people in Singapore and being able to start projects together is amazing. A structure like mine in Europe would not have achieved 50% of what we have done here in 2 years.
What’s your connection to Asia?
A couple of hundred years ago, my family was in the silk business in Lyon (already doing business with Asia).
Last century, my father was on a airplane that landed in Beijing right after Generale De Gaulle’s following Mao’s death. Starting business from scratch and creating numerous business successes over his life.
It is now my turn to continue down that path.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
So far Singapore, because so many companies have built their regional hub here. Hong Kong and Shanghai are also very attractive. But then it’s a matter of taste and colours…
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Cash is King.” As an entrepreneur, you often want to go in many directions and invest your time, resources and money as much as possible. But to keep the boat afloat, you always need to keep your eyes on what’s left at the bank. I have seen too many start ups closing down because of this. Singapore remains the most expensive city in the world, second year in a row.
Who inspires you?
I like to read articles by Don Tapscott, he is one of LinkedIn’s top Influencers.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The importance of hidden costs. Like many of us, you learn this in business school. But it can be scary at times to press pause in your company and start to count how much profit you really made with a project. As a passionate entrepreneur, you do not count hours, you do not count the number of meetings or skype calls it sometimes takes to close a deal and especially to deliver it. Well, sometimes you think you are on a 60% margin but you are actually below the 30% margin due to the hidden costs. Time management is extremely important and I wish I remembered this rule earlier this year.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would create my company earlier. After tasting the real freedom of being my own boss it’s impossible to imagine life otherwise. People often think that being your own boss means: holidays anytime of the year or staying in bed if you feel like it.
But in reality, I have never worked as much. But I love what I do. So work now has a different meaning to me.
How do you unwind?
I like to travel around the region with my girlfriend. She is my strongest support and the key to my success. I would like to say sport, but that would not be true…
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
100% Bali, Seminyak. Because my old friends from Shanghai are there, and also because it is such an opposite city compared to Singapore.
It is one of those places where time stops and you can really relax and recharge your batteries.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The “Four hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. I think it was a huge detonator to me.
Shameless plug for your business:
We have just launched a new video production service called: The One Minute Video. This tool has proven great results with entrepreneurs so far in Singapore. Have a look HERE.
How can people connect with you?
You can contact me through LinkedIn. I am always happy to meet new people. And if you are in Singapore, let’s go for a coffee together!
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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