A historian, Pei Ying has a passion for history, culture and heritage.
What’s your story?
I’m a historian who somehow got into the business of combining data, maps, and storytelling.
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s very competitive, with endless possibilities! It’s always very challenging trying to find new and interesting angles to write a story. Some things that we won’t assume as “data” related, for example, famous literary works, can be transformed and broken down into a data visualisation.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Well, being in Asia, and being Asian myself.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Not quite relevant to me, but if I have to pick I’d say Bangkok. I find it incredibly energetic, always changing and very dynamic. And of course, great food.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To always behave like you’re 30-years-old when working. Old enough to seem confident, but young enough to remain humble. Always find ways to learn from others.
Who inspires you?
Seems cliche to say my mother, but really she is one of my greatest inspirations. There is nothing she cannot do if she puts her mind to it. She has such a go-getting, must-do attitude that’s really admirable.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The Dutch sold Manhattan to the British in exchange for a small island in the Banda Islands called Run! They were so eager to maintain their monopoly on the nutmeg trade that they made this incredibly unequal exchange.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. It was a series of events that brought me here, and I wouldn’t change a thing. We all learn from every experience we have, bad or good.
How do you unwind?
Binging on Netflix, cooking, or having a picnic.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Chiang Mai! It’s a sleepy city with lots of ways to relax, be it reading a book in a cafe, staying in a lodge in the mountains, visiting elephants, sampling street food, and so on.
Shameless plug for your business:
Kontinenalist is the only Asian-focused data-storyteller in the world. Come look for us and check out our amazing stories at www.kontinentalist.com!
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’.