With a background in accounting Louis Kent Lee is Head of Accounts & Engagement at VIATICK, a company he co-founded.
What’s your story?
I’ve always been that kid who goes, “How come?” This has been the reason why I used that same skill set in accounting on stocks and wrote about it for a stock market magazine at some point, and also directly being involved in the management consultancy world. This didn’t stop there, of course, I co-founded Viatik. The idea behind the company today was conceived, by an army mate and I, in a lab within Singapore Management University. We’re probably the first ones out of many in 2014, that actually believed Bluetooth was gonna be the short-haul IoT (internet of things) choice of the future, and thankfully we’re right.
What excites you most about your industry?
We’re in a far better community especially for that of the IoT world than any of the previous generation could’ve ever imagined. The breakthroughs, research, are all sped up overnight by collaborations, information transparency, and active co-testing. My biggest excitement is how we will be IoT ready, not just on a smart city level, but smart world level. Will we see an end to end ready IoT world takeover, like how WiFi, is now another backhaul necessity globally. I mean, remember how Wifi started, and then compare it to how it is today? I’m excited to be part of this growth.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I grew up here, in Singapore. Although Asia is where the next shift, both economically, and how infrastructure deployments related to technology will see the fastest growth, my take on Asia is more personal. Asia is broken up into many different countries, different cultures, and different suitabilities, much like Singapore, there is no one size fits all solution, and therein lies the beauty. I believe that the best growth, will be achieved, via the right community fit, very much like how many cultures in Asia hold high regards to, and that’s what I like about Asia. This cohesive community growth and connectivity.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Not because I was born here, but because of the readiness of information, resources, and clarity of certain value chains. Don’t get me wrong, places like Shanghai, or Hong Kong, all offer the same readiness in resources as well, but it’s the ease of getting them. For instance, clarity on a specific value chain, the who and whos of that chain, to effectively maximise the GTM time, can be effectively halved, in Singapore while compared to other places, because the active participation from the government, the communities, and business associations, all form a tight and responsive ecosystem, which is extremely helpful for businesses here.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
When I was really young and in my first job. “Always treat others the way you want to be treated”.
Who inspires you?
Bruce Lee. I really like his thinking outside the box, not just in terms of Martial Arts, but in life. Through him, I understood many things with age. Never pray for an easy life, rather, pray for the strength in dealing with a difficult one.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It’s from the documentary I watched, called the Great Hack. So basically, the main breaking point of how Brexit happened and how election results happened, were all active targeted seeding, done purely because of how we are now such a connected world.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have started the journey on Viatick way earlier, perhaps immediately after my stock market analysis days, and used those observational analysis skills, to actively cherry pick and target funds to take the growth to where we are today faster. I mean, I still liked how we bootstrapped all the way, step by step, but this could be done much faster if we had more time and energy in our younger days.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by going to the gym and using that solid one hour or more of constant pain, to actively remind myself that pain is weakness leaving the body. I’ve always been an active person, with the current responsibilities and workload, I rarely have time on my own to do more things I like, like competitive martial arts, but you manage, and adapt. An adrenaline fix is still a fix, so I work towards that. Also, I am a glutton, if I’m not working, or working out, I will be actively looking for good food in my town and any other towns I am in.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taipei. There are many locations that I like, far away from the city centre, that will make you forget most of your worries when you’re there, especially in Fall or Spring.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Shameless plug for your business:
Viatick is an IoT company that is “Ready to Connect”. We specialise in helping you do indoor tracking of personnel and assets via Bluetooth low energy, while at the same time, using the same infrastructure, also letting you control, monitor, and analyse all your IoT devices from a single platform.
Currently, I only have a LinkedIn handler: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/louiskentlee
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’.