Hi, I'm Neville J. McKenzie. I am the host of AsiaBizStories - Entrepreneurs in Action, where I bring you conversations and discussions with entrepreneurs in and around Asia. The purpose is to inform entrepreneurs that are both experienced and new starters on what is happening, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur in Asia. This takes me on my own entrepreneurial journey as I navigate a cross-cultural business environment where language and background differences add to the complexity of the new business opportunities that are presenting themselves in the Asia today. In my past, I've been an international athlete, electronic engineer, market developer, college lecturer, a very varied career path. I was born and grew up in the UK and lived in China for over 13 years. Now I am entering the world of social media and mass communication, and for the first time, creating something of my own. With this the words "scary challenge" comes to mind. I'd like you to join me on this venture and hopefully, I can give you something that will help you in your own entrepreneurial journey.
EIA 065 Chris Pardey’s Journey Through Sports, Charity, and Business
Chris Pardey is the Brunel Alumni Association Representative in Singapore. Chris grew up and was educated in the UK. He has spent over 40 years working in the commodities industry. Spending 20 years with one company, working in the UK, Switzerland and Germany.
His move to Singapore saw him eventually being in the right place at the right time co-investing in a company and taking the role of CEO/Director.
“the banks like to spread their risk em and so it's you know so it I think our Peak we were we were borrowing around 350 million dollars”
After cashing in, again, at the right time, he is currently Head of Agribusiness at R1 International PTE LTD.
From the beginning he has been a sports enthusiast starting as Captain of the Brunel University Football team and member of the Cricket Team, he now makes time to watch sports of all kinds. He links his work, love of sport, Brunel Alumni Association and current students to his charity work as Trustee with the Bali Sports Federation.
“So it’s basically been my initiative with Brunel but it's partly what the University alumni is looking to achieve in terms of providing work experience opportunities for students ”
As Well As:
0:02:05 Chris Pardey introduces himself.
0:02:10 Over 40 years of experience in the commodity business and living in Singapore since 2005.
0:02:21 His passionate for sports and involvement in charitable activities in Indonesia.
0:02:31 Becoming the Brunel alumni representative in Singapore.
0:03:13 Chose an international career for job opportunities and to experience Asia.
0:03:40 Passionate about football and cricket, ran a football team in Singapore.
0:05:09 President of Brunel Alumni Association.
0:05:35 Creating the association and the connection to Brunel's 50th anniversary and his reason.
0:09:44 His commitment to the Bali Sports Foundation, and the provision of sports opportunities for disadvantaged individuals in Bali.
0:10:38 Creating the link between Brunel and BSF.
0:11:20 The role for Brunel students within BSF from 2016, and the two years due to COVID-19.
0:12:16 The commitment BSF places on students for the charity and helping disabled individuals in Indonesia.
0:18:35 Chris’s after university, selected based on his involvement in sports.
0:18:57 His Work for 20 years in Geneva, Germany, and the UK, before he moved to Singapore.
0:19:01 Investing in RCMA with two colleagues, a commodity business and taking the role of CEO then selling in 2018 to a Chinese company.
0:19:46 Getting lucky and diversifying into other products and services
0:20:33 His current role working for another Chinese company.
0:21:58 The risk involved in taking on the role of CEO and learning along the way.
0:23:44 Why the business needed to deal with the 12 different banks.
0:24:52 Asking for money from the banks, relationships and not being nervous.
0:27:20 The reasons for selling and the outcomes for everyone involves.
0:28:17 Being able to walk away from the business.
0:28:40 Thanks to Chris for a great chat
0:28:42 If you have interest in the Brunel Alumni Association, are a Brunel student looking to get involved with the Bali Sports Foundation reach out to Chris on LinkedIn or visit the webpage.
Contacts and Links Mentioned:
Brunel Alumni Association
Bali Sports Federation
Yaya San kahaya Mutiara Ubud
EIA 063 Mario Ferraro Using Physics to Manage Global Talent
Mario Ferraro is a thought leader in the area of Global Talent Management and an active member of the Brunel Alumni Association, Singapore
He moved to Singapore in 1998
But his unusual journey began in 1987. At the age of 18 one week after graduating from secondary school he moved on his own from Italy to the UK. Mario had no job and spoke very little English. His early jobs were for basic survival and during his commute he began reading books on physics. His interest grew, and In 1987 he enrolled to study a degree in physics at Brunel University. Mario’s first job after graduating required him to use his physic knowledge but a gradual shift towards the people within organisations occurred.
"Because you know you will have the best idea in the world If you don't have the people to execute it in the right place, at the right cost, at the right time. It’s just not going to happen. The world is full of great ideas which were never properly implemented…"
However, his physics training was and still is an important part of the approach Mario takes in his role.
When I think of how my physics interest and my physics background has help me throughout this, is I have found so many parallels and so many similarities between the laws of physics and what I observe in individuals in organisations and in societies in general.
So now without further delay let's begin
As Well As
Early life in UK, basic jobs interest in physics, interview and starting at Brunel
Curiosity and how things work, a Basic under standing of Physics, a developing interest,
Education in Italy and his specialisation
First job in the UK with a tailor, factory then hotel, experience the UK and avoiding the Italian community.
Panic answering the phone in English leading to increased confidence
Early locations in UK and saving money to complete degree
The goal to survive in the UK
The evolution of Mario's career from physicist to human capital
How his first job move after graduating came about
How the move to Singapore occurred and the role
Building and maintaining continuous career improvement
Mario's role and purpose as employee number one for his current company
Naming and describing his role in detail as an "Integrator"
How Mario deals with conflicts in large organisations and the connection to individuals personal lives
Equations that describe human behaviour
Dealing with culture shock using physic's law of refraction to explain and deal with top performers failing in a new environment
The mistaken assumptions that can be made when English speakers move to Singapore
Mario's thoughts on his career progression over time and adapting when people no longer move physically and have to work remotely.
The different approaches countries have taken post covid and allowing foreign employees to cross borders.
Benefiting from the global talent pool
Benefit of being part of the Brunel University Alumni Association (Singapore)
Advice to current Brunel University Students
Meeting at the next session
Laurence Barrett Journey from Engineer to Aerospace CEO and Founder
Laurence Barrett is a pioneering aviation engineer, entrepreneur and active member of the Brunel University Alumni Association. He has worked and lived in Singapore since 2014. His career in aerospace started as a systems engineer in 2002 in September 2012 he started an MBA in Aviation at Brunel University after making the challenging decision to leave a successful career as an engineer. After graduating He moved to Singapore working as a self-employed Aviation Business Specialist. Then in May 2015 he made the daunting decision to found his own aviation company Barrett Aerospace.
"And I do actively employ people that are passionate about the jobs that they do. So much so that I would even create the job around the person"
I sat down with Laurence in his engineering workshop for a conversation that covered his path from engineer, then founder, a few of the exciting developments that are occurring in the aerospace industry and the role that Brunel has played in his career and business development.
"The MBA taught me a lot but I think the real world teaches you a lot more, and when you have something that’s a deadline that’s looming”
This conversation is part of a new venture with the Brunel Alumni Association (Singapore).
The format is based on my Entrepreneurs in Action series and we are looking to evolve it into a stand alone podcast series focused on Brunel Alumni based in Singapore. Send your ideas and suggestions to me on LinkedIn.
So now without further delay let's begin
As well as:
0:02:00 Leaving school with less than exemplary A-level results getting him into Polytechnic or RAF, or A-level repeat
0:02:58 Followed by 15 years in industry with Multinational companies
0:03:31 Learning how companies work by changing roles every 3 to 4 years
0:04:39 The role that overwhelmed him and revealed what he was not good at
0:05:05 supply supply relationship/analyst or engineer and the opportunities presented
0:07:14 Decision process of the next career move that led to quitting and a full-time MBA at Brunel University
0:09:12 Consulting wife, family and friends
0:10:48 Learning as a mature student and why choose Brunel University
0:12:33 Thinking about career options after the MBA
0:13:40 The realisation of the goal of doing something financially successful in the commercial aerospace industry
0:15:41 The Human-Powered Aircraft the Merlion Project
0:15:56 A bad joke by the host that's cleverly sidestepped by Laurence
0:16:04 Back to the serious business of human powered flight
0:18:47 Barrett Aerospace’s journey from drones to other aircraft and the effects of covid
0:19:53 electronic aircraft and electronic flight cooperation with Eviation and Deadlines
0:21:01 The importance building a network over time in an industry that enables working with other people and collaborating
0:21:27 project on time and on budget, the Alice Aircraft, July 2019 Paris
0:21:56 Eventually not just an engineer but the CEO and Founder
0:22:32 Creating jobs and roles around passionate, determined and driven people to create innovation
0:23:32 The real world need to bring engineering and return on investment together to the Human-Powered Aircraft Merlion Project
0:25:37 Working with other companies and start-ups that use crowdfunding and other non-traditional finance
0:26:24 how can and does the Singapore Alumni Association help?
0:31:08 Barrett Aerospace looking for engineering students for industrial placements
0:32:35 Finally we can be both contacted via LinkedIn
A reminder if you're a Brunel Alumni or a current student and you wish to
contact Laurence Barrett or myself Neville J Mckenzie you can do so through LinkedIn
EIA 061 Chanfang Wang on German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean”
Chanfang Wang gave insightful answers, highlighted here, during The November China-Team ChinaWebinar Expert Talk: German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean” Companies saw the moderator Xiaolong Hu interesting and informative discussing the Chinese machinery and automation market that is not only the largest, but also one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
EIA 060 Master Your Supply Chain Challenges 2022 For China Business
Peter Bornschein, Thomas Wiedemann, Dr. Roland Rohde, Jan Lambacher and Rolf Kupek
Christmas time and unreliable Supply Chains don't go well together!
Join our latest China Webinar!
In the coming year, things are likely to look different. The banking association BdB assumes the strongest consumer boom since reunification in Germany. Despite the high order backlog, industrial activity is likely to be subdued into the coming year.
With our experts, we discuss in an open panel about: What supply chain challenges will German companies have with regard to the Chinese market? What risks do the supply bottlenecks entail? How to prepare preventively?
Thomas Wiedemann, Senior Project Manager at Korn Consulting Group
Dr. Roland Rohde, Representative Hong Kong South and West China at Germany Trade & Invest
Jan Lambacher, General Manager at Yardistry Limited
Rolf Kupek, Managing Director at Kupek Consulting & Business Development
Moderator: Peter Bornschein, Lean Project Manager at msg systems AG
Senior Project Manager
Korn Consult Group
Mr. Wiedemann has a degree in mechanical engineering and brings practical experience in automotive projects, especially with purchasing, supplier development and customer management and has also proved himself as an excellent team leader.
He brings the following company experience: Webasto, JTEKT, BMW.
He speaks German, English, French, Italian and Mandarin.
Dr. Roland Rohde
South and West China, GERMANY TRADE & INVEST
Roland Rohde has a doctorate in economics and has been working as a market observer in Asia for Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) for 18 years. He is in Hong Kong for the second time. From there he reports on industries and markets in China. His reporting focuses on the electronics industry, the digital economy and aviation. Dr. Rohde speaks fluent Chinese (Mandarin) and a little Cantonese.
Jan has been based in China since 2009 and has worked across the supply chain of multinationals and SMEs in the medical, industrial and consumer goods sectors. Central theme of his work has always been optimizing supply chains for import and export in and out of China within a global supply chain strategy.
Kupek Consulting & Business Development
After studying mechanical engineering, more than 30 years of professional experience in project management at home and abroad with large corporations and more than 20 years as founder and managing director of a service company, the company was handed over to a successor. With Kupek Consulting & Business Development , the network built up and cultivated over the years is used alongside the company's own expertise to support medium-sized companies in their transformation processes and current problems. Especially the organization and development of international business connections are a main focus and have been successfully implemented several times. In doing so, a holistic, cross-functional approach is important, which is implemented in a pragmatic and goal-oriented manner.
Lead Project Manager
msg systems ag
Seasoned General Manager and Leader in Business Software and Services Industry. Track record of growth, business development and client coordination. Exceptional competence in restructuring and turn-around. Established proficiency in transferring know-how and implementing company structures. Experienced in project steering and management. Demonstrated ability to communicate technical knowledge to different clients. Superb team player and leader with the ability to train, coach and motivate team members.
059 German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean”
Xiaolong Hu, Martin Ebner, Chanfang Wang, Dr Martin Kovacik, Dr Tianyu Liu
The November China-Team ChinaWebinar Expert Talk: German Manufacturing Machines for Future Chinese “Red Ocean" Companies saw the moderator Xiaolong Hu interesting and informative discussing the Chinese machinery and automation market that is not only the largest, but also one of the fastest growing markets in the world. With German machine builders increasingly doing business with Chinese customers the future may look bright
However, in many areas of application, the Chinese competitors even have an advantage due to their proximity to the production locations.
With our experts, we discuss how German mechanical engineering companies can assert the Chinese market and serve Chinese customers in the future with market-oriented product concepts and high product quality.
Mr. Martin Ebner, CTO, Strama-MPS Group
Chanfang Wang, Founder China Expert Services, Digital China-Europe Network
Dr. Martin Kovacik, Director Engineering Energy Storage, Manz AG
Dr. Tianyu Liu, General Manager Machine Sales Asia, voestalpine eifeler Vacotec GmbH
Chief Technology Officer (CTO),
Strama-MPS Maschinenbau GmbH & Co., Straubing
Trained in one of the first dual courses of study in Bavaria to become a mechanical engineer and at the same time holding a certificate as an industrial mechanic, as well as a consecutive master's degree at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Nurnberg-Erlangen, Mr. Ebner has already been working at Strama-MPS for 13 years in different areas. For two years now, as CTO, he has been managing the company's digitalization, strategic fields as well as innovations in the areas of automation technology. Besides he is a member of the Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland as well as a former scholarship holder of the Hanns-Seidl-Foundation.
He is expert and ChinaCoach supporting European small and medium sized enterprises archiving sustainable market success. As founder of China-Team (www.china-team.de), Xiaolong Hu looks back on 20 years experience in consulting business in Europe and China.
Founder China Expert Services
Digital China-Europe Network
Chanfang Wang has more than 13 years of experience in Europe in corporate strategy, change management, market & competitive intelligence, business development in IT, machinery automation & robotics industries. Now she's the Founder of China Expert Services (CES) and Digital China-Europe Network based in Frankfurt. She’s passionate about connecting people, ideas and technology. CES helps European high-tech SMEs expand and digitize in China, Chinese high-tech SMEs expand to Europe with transformational educational programs and digital tours.
Dr. Tianyu Liu
General Manager of machine sales Asia
voestalpine eifeler Vacotec GmbH
Dr. Liu received his Ph. D degree from Humboldt University in 2004. Since then he has over 15 years work experience based in Shanghai. This includes 7 years business consulting to support SME customers to formulate China business entry strategy and in addition to implement running the business. He has a very good knowledge of the Chinese market and is able to establish business relations and strategic orientations in Asia, especially in China. He devoted himself to support German SMEs to do the business development in Asia right after his consulting career was over. Market and customers needs orientation in addition to his strong technology background can always lead to successful business development stories in China.
Dr. Martin Kovacik
Director Engineering Energy Storage
Martin is mechanical engineer with PhD. in Bionics and Innovation strategy.