As an entrepreneur in the digital space, Zachary enjoys seeing new innovations spread. Here’s hoping his new digital venture, glomp! will spread.
What’s your story?
I’m a serial entrepreneur from Australia. I made Asia my base in 2001, firstly in Singapore and for the past 8 years in Hong Kong. I was trained as a designer and have spent most of my career in branding and advertising. As a creative professional, it only made sense that I set out to create an innovation in the digital space with my new venture glomp! (www.glomp.it). As a result of thorough strategic and creative development, I believe that glomp! will bring a landmark change and improvement to how we interact with one another digitally.
What excites you most about your industry?
Seeing new innovations spread. Some are obviously more interesting than others but the general aspiration to create solutions is very positive.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My family are Indonesian and I was born in Hong Kong before moving to Australia at a young age. I returned somewhat by accident. Australia is a wonderful place and I miss many things about home but certainly the international vibe of both Hong Kong and Singapore is what attracts me.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong. The pace is dynamic and even though it is still somewhat conservative especially when it comes to creativity, the energy inherent in its make up gives it a leading edge in my opinion. And of course the infrastructure for doing business is great.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be disciplined. I’ve heard it from a few different people. One was on a radio interview with a famous writer (I forgot who…) This person, when asked how he is inspired, replied that he doesn’t rely on inspiration as he’s a creative professional and it’s his job to create everyday. Another was actually from the great English footballer Gary Lineker. When asked how he always seems to be in the right place at the right time to score, he said that’s not true as it’s his job to be in the right place all the time and when everything else comes together, that’s when he’s doing well.
Who inspires you?
I can’t say it’s any one person. Like the mantra, I mention above, I don’t rely on inspiration. I think the term is overused. Having said that, like everyone, I am inspired at times and it’s mostly by creative, passionate and driven people.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Not sure about blowing me away but I do see new digital behaviours trending that I don’t really love. It’s weird for me to say since I’m building a new digital behaviour but I believe we’re building one that actually brings people closer together and making it literally and figuratively speaking, more rewarding. Some new behaviours I find are dehumanizing and make things more token and less meaningful.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
For this business, it would be securing funding earlier so that we could have rolled out faster. Early stage fundraising in Asia is very random as it’s all from individual investors. I should have taken a large sum offered by one group of investors early but at a lower valuation. I’ve done fairly well fundraising but I’m still raising.
How do you unwind?
Spending time with close friends and family. I go to the gym daily and even though I’m pushing myself hard, it’s still a form of unwinding especially from the pressures I face with running a company.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I don’t particularly have one favourite but in general, the beaches in Thailand. There are some great beaches and Thai food is probably my favourite Asian cuisine.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I read a lot but I don’t really read business books. You can find plenty of quality material on a number of publications both online and off. Fast Company has some good articles and even though I’m not a finance person, FT Weekend has good quality writing.
Shameless plug for your business:
glomp! delivers a more rewarding experience to your digital or remote conversations either via text, email, social media or phone call. Everyday in our conversations with friends and business associates, we have many instances to extend “Thanks”, “Sorry”, “Congratulations” or just to cheer a friend up. As physical beings, virtual “Likes” and emoticons aren’t as nice as enjoying a nice cup of coffee or a glass of wine. glomp! enables people to better deliver such sentiments and friendship gestures remotely by sending a real product that can be redeemed and enjoyed. Bringing the age-old habit of treating to digital conversations, the next level of satisfaction is now here with glomp!.
How can people connect with you?
Email me at: [email protected] especially if you’re interested in investing into a great business.
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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