Noemie Alintissar is driving Singapore’s legal industry forward, empowering entrepreneurs to start, run and scale their businesses.
What’s your story?
I arrived in Singapore with a backpack and my now husband 10 years ago, for what was only meant to be a 6-months stint on our way to Australia. After working my way up, I’m now the Co-Founder of a LegalTech startup, FirstCOUNSEL, and I also run the Future Law Innovation Programme for the Singapore Academy of Law, a LegalTech incubator and accelerator aiming to get law firms, technopreneurs, investors and government bodies to collaborate and drive Singapore’s legal industry forward.
What excites you most about your industry?
The global legal industry has generally been resistant to change and digital transformation. I’m really passionate about innovation and technology so it’s incredible for me to have such a front-seat in the industry’s impending disruption. I work closely with law firms, in-house legal teams and end-users of legal services and I learn so much about the industry every single day.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I never thought that Asia would become such a huge part of my life. I come from a small town in the French Alps and I probably wouldn’t have been able to put Singapore accurately on a map 15 years ago! But it’s been my home for the past 10 years and I now feel deeply connected to Asian cultures and the people here. It was always very important for me not to see Singapore solely as a stopover. I do a lot of volunteering and being a grassroot leader helps me feel more connected to the community here.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I have to say Singapore! The business culture here is usually fairly casual and everyone is usually pretty accessible, regardless of seniority. There is also a brilliant growing startup community and a lot of networking opportunities.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Be a good person.” How I conduct myself drives everything I do.
Who inspires you?
Stories about success are constantly shoved down our throats, sometimes leading us to feel inadequate. So I get inspired by all the underdogs around us who choose not to let their circumstances define who they are and want to be.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Design-thinking. I recently attended a workshop led by some of the best thought-leaders in that space and it made me realise how important people-centric design is to building greater products, businesses and communities.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I like to think that everything happens for a reason so I wouldn’t really change much – Although my straight-talking has sometimes hurt people’s feelings so I maybe wish I had known then the communications skills I have now.
How do you unwind?
My Saturday mornings religiously involve a Masala Dosai in a local hawker followed by a 20k walk around the Southern Ridges with my husband. It’s always a great way to start the weekend and catch-up with each other on whatever happened that week. I really treasure that. I also do a lot of volunteering, and a little musical theatre.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
That’s a tough one! We got married in Bali so we have a special connection to the island. I also love Khao Lak in Thailand, which is only 1 hour away from Phuket airport but a completely different experience, with loads of different vibes for whatever you’re after.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“A Short Guide to a Happy Life” by Anna Quindlen. There are tons of brilliant business/entrepreneurship books out there that I could recommend, but professional success is meaningless unless we get to appreciate the life around it! This little book is a super quick read whenever I feel the need for an inner pep talk and it always reminds me to focus on the things that matter the most: be kind, be loving, be grateful!
Shameless plug for your business:
FirstCOUNSEL is a LegalTech startup and our mission is to transform the way legal support is delivered to entrepreneurs, empowering them to start, run and scale their business successfully. How do we do that? By enabling users to access basic business legal support, including company incorporation, tailor-made legal documents, and further support by connecting them with our legally-trained FirstCounsellors via prepaid talk/video credits.
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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