I have twice had the privilege to go and present at Noritaka’s event ‘Chaos Asia’. As the name suggests, it is chaotic, eclectic, but a lot of fun.
What’s your story?
In 2012, I came to Singapore and set up two companies called Diixi and Yourwifi. My mission is to create innovators. To achieve this goal, I hold an event called the CHAOS ASIA, I operate web services called CrowdSekai and providing portable WiFi rental services for global clients.
The CHAOS ASIA is a kind of audition for any field. It has had more than 500K views on YouTube!
What excites you most about your industry?
My main business fields are mobile, food & beverage, and education. Today there are about 2 billion smartphone users and this allows the world to be closer. Yourwifi provide data connection to outbound and inbound business travelers so that they can communicate with their partners anywhere. I am excited that our services support lots of people’s business. Regarding to education, I am seeking the ideal education system. We have yet to have an answer to this, but I believe that it is the best to provide a space where people could change their mindset to be better themselves. The CHAOS ASIA provides such a space, and I have seen lots of people who have changed in a better way through that event.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I used to be a backpacker. In 1995, I came to Asia for the first time. It was Vietnam. I have traveled a lot since then. In 2009, I was a member of NPO who provides solar lantern to a village with no electricity in India. I built up sustainable eco-system of rental lantern business. In 2010, I conducted a research of hygienic environment in non-sewerage system village in Kalimantan Island. Now I have two companies in Singapore and partners in every Asian country.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
It is a bit difficult to select only one city. Singapore, if you are looking for multi-nationality, would be ideal. I can not omit Tokyo, if you are looking for latest design, fashion, or food business. Bali Island, Kuta is actually very interesting for business. I have a co-working space called WAVE there. Bali is a space where Asian and European cultures mixed up. There are huge opportunities to figure out new concepts of art/business there because it is very easy to see both cultures.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have lots of opportunities to meet great entrepreneurs so far, I am sure I’ve met with more than 3,000 or so. Meanwhile I find they have a common understanding; it is “Amateurs are just thinking but professionals take action”. Anyone can think, but few people take action. Very few people keep on taking action. I keep that phrase in mind whilst I run my business.
Who inspires you?
I have five people who inspire me so far. Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, a powerful singer and song writer in Japan. Steven Spielberg and Hayao Miyazaki, they inspired me to create movies. (Yes, I will do it in the near future). Ryoma Sakamoto, a samurai back in 19th century who reformed Japanese government and brought democracy to Japan. Stephen Hawking. Space physics is the first dream of my life.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
About two and half years has passed since I set up my companies. Since I had worked as a business consultant in Tokyo for 9 years before becoming entrepreneur, I thought a CEO of a start up needs to think of better business models. But it is not, what management need to solve is not business issues but human issues. If I command, staff never take action. Even if I encourage, they do not. But if I do myself first, they finally will do. Issues among people is very difficult to solve. But I need a team because a team has great power.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I had a chance to have my time again, I would become a movie director. I still have a dream to create movies. Now I am thinking I will do it after I succeed in business. I created some films of my event the CHAOS ASIA. You could see it via the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihoHPmSkm9o
How do you unwind?
As mentioned above, watching movies is the best way to relax. I get lots of hints to create my movies in the future. Going out with my kids is also the best time. I have three kids now, my kids educate me to become a better father.
Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, every time I go I discover something new. Sophisticated cafes, cool design fashion boutiques, amazing Bali food and culture. In addition, they have great nature like waves and rainforests. If I feel a lack of energy, I always go to Bali.
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. No need to explain.
Shameless plug for your business:
The CHAOS ASIA. More than 200 innovators of the future from 32 countries came out from the event.
CrowdSekai is the best platform if you want to expand your business to Japan because on that platform I have more than 1,000 entrepreneurs who will support you.
Yourwifi will become the best mobile service platform for people who are trying to be successful around the world.
How can people connect with you?
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>
Connect with Callum here:
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com