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 070 Goh Sok Koon Insights: Unveils the Role of a Company Secretary
Goh Sok Koon
Goh Sok Koon is a company secretary a vital role in any business in Singapore. I am fortunate to have met her as she has been extremely helpful to me in getting my business up and running. Even before that, I was trying to get her to appear here on this podcast. By her own admission she has been reluctant, preferring like many people to work diligently in the background of the many businesses that she is a part of. But as a business founder of her own, specifically Lioness Corporate Services, and additionally as she plays a more active role in business groups she is a member of she now feels ready and the need to appear on her first podcast.
As well as:
Goh Sok Koon introduces herself as a company secretary for Lioness Corporate Services with over five years of experience.
Describes the importance and main role of a company secretary for a businesses in Singapore.
Qualifications required to become a company secretary depend on whether one is an accountant or a lawyer, with a usual completion time of two to three years.
The route taken to become a professionally qualified company secretary in Singapore
Reasons for moving to Singapore and the impact it had on her career.
Changes that need to be kept up with in order to be a successful company secretary in Singapore.
What are the additional important areas that need to be understood beyond the core duties of a company secretary.
Key advice entrepreneurs need before starting a business.
What makes a good company secretary.
Goh Sok Koon hopes for her business in the future.
The extended role of reminding directors and CEOs of their obligations and providing guidance and support.
The benefits of Business Development Society, a supportive networking group focused on learning and sharing experiences.
How her experience and knowledge gained as a business owner help her assist others, especially foreigners, in starting businesses in Singapore.
The enjoyment from her job demonstrates how in depth Sok Koon is willing to go to help people understand the process of starting a business and providing guidance along the way.
Contacts and Links Mentioned:
Goh Sok Koon on LinkedIn
Business Development Society website
Podcast Show Notes:
Neville J McKenzie introduces the podcast Sok Koon, Goh Sok Koon, a company secretary.
Mention of Sok Koon's helpfulness in getting the Neville's business up and running.
Mention of Sok Koon's initial reluctance to appear on the podcast.
Question 1: Can you introduce yourself? (00:57.7)
Sok Koon introduces herself as a company secretary for Lioness Corporate Services.
Mention of her experience in the field for over five years.
Previous work experience as a company secretary in small firms.
Question 2: Tell us about your job as a corporate service executive or company secretary, which do you prefer? (01:20.0)
In Singapore, Sok Koon’s role is typically referred to as company secretary.
Main role is to ensure businesses comply with legal requirements and regulations.
Responsibilities include ensuring compliance with company laws, preparing financial statements, submitting tax returns, and assisting different types of business entities.
Question 3: How important is the role of a company secretary? (02:59.0)
Company secretary is an important role recognized in the company's act.
EIA 069 Neville J McKenzie on Volleyball, Teamwork, and the Podcasters Entrepreneurial Mindset
Neville J McKenzie
Neville J McKenzie the usual host of AsiaBizStories Entrepreneurs in Action is asked the questions by Chris Pardey the lead of the Brunel Alumni Association, Singapore .
Neville grew up in London. At school he wanted to be a scientist but became a Radar Test Engineer after gaining an HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He then moved into the world of Information Technology Systems as a Field Engineer, before leaving work to study a degree in Computer Studies with Business Studies. Up until this point he played volleyball first as a junior international and then as a senior international for the England. After graduating He worked for 10 months before the Dot-Com crises forced him out of work in October 2001. In February 2002 he was teaching in China where I remained for over fourteen and half years before moving to Singapore in 2016 where he now resides.
As well as:
Discussion of the cultural differences between China and Singapore and the personal difference of becoming an entrepreneur in China.
The hopes and dreams for the future in Singapore.
Neville talks about his involvement with the Brunel Alumni Association in Singapore and how it helps him network and connect with people who have a common connection.
Neville explains his podcasting journey, how he started in 2014 in China, and how it is evolving into a business.
Helping the Brunel Alumni Association, Singapore to win the Alumni Association Award of the Year by committing to podcasts, has now led to being nominated for the International Alumni of the Year award.
The events in the decision to pursue a degree after seeing an education shop while driving leading to acceptance to study Computer Studies with Business Studies from 1997 to 2000 at Brunel University.
Neville talks about his experience playing volleyball for England, coaching, and the impact it had on his career as an engineer.
Insights into his start and end in coaching in China but none in Singapore.
Neville J McKenzie on LinkedIn
Chris Pardey on LinkedIn
Brunel Alumni Singapore Web page
Brunel University Alumni Web page
Title: Asia Biz Stories: Entrepreneurs in Action (Partnered with the Brunel Alumni Association Singapore)
Host: Chris Pardey
Guest: Neville J McKenzie
Introduction: [0:00:00 - 0:03:45]
- Neville J McKenzie introduces himself as the guest on the podcast.
- Mentions his background growing up in London, pursuing a career in engineering, and later transitioning to Information Technology systems.
- Talks about his experience playing volleyball for England and his move to China in 2002 to teach.
Living and Working in Singapore as an Entrepreneur: [0:03:45 - 0:09:20]
- Neville discusses the cultural change he experienced after moving to China and how he enjoyed the teaching and learning opportunities there.
- Compares his life in China to his life in Singapore, stating that Singapore feels like a combination of Shanghai and the UK for him.
- Shares his perspective on Singapore being a favourable place for starting a business and entrepreneurship but personally finding China more suitable for individualistic endeavours.
- Talks about his unconventional education path and how it shaped his entrepreneurial journey.
Hopes and Dreams for the Future: [0:09:20 - 0:14:40]
- Neville expresses his desire to stay in Singapore and mentions that going back to the UK doesn't appeal to him.
- Discusses the challenges of networking and making friends in Singapore compared to China.
- Highlights the importance of the Brunel Alumni Association in providing a common connection and affinity among memb...
EIA 068 Kelly Shan Guojiao’s Breakthrough Transformation from Nursing
Kelly Shan Guojiao
Kelly Shan is an experienced healthcare professional in the areas of nursing and public health. She started as a scrub nurse in the operating theatre before transferring to a pre-operative anesthesia assessment clinic,
"after a few years in the Outpatient Clinic you realize that a lot of even higher education background you know even there are lawyers or teachers they don't have much knowledge about what is the meaning of the blood pressure the two numbers right so they do not understand what is the meaning or about diabetes they don't really know much even they have higher educations “
This inspired her to take a specialist diploma in nutrition and health promotion and pursue a Master's in public health and health promotion at Brunel University in the UK.
After returning to work in Singapore, Kelly is now looking for a career change to expand her horizons further. She has elicited the help of the Brunel Alumni to help her with this.
“I would just send a message in a group I didn't really expect any reply but yeah Mario is one of our member I think that afternoon he messaged me for a quick call yeah to just know a little bit more what I want to do because he's the international head of HR department”
This conversation is the seventh in the pilot for the Brunel Alumni Association (Singapore).
The format is based on Entrepreneurs in Action 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, or in person at the next Brunel Alumni Association meetup in Singapore
So now without further delay lets begin
Kelly Shan Guojiao on LinkedIn
Kelly Shan Guojiao on XiaoHongShu
Kelly Shan Guojiao on Instagram
Brunel Alumni Association Webpage
EIA 067 CJ Tan’s Evolution: Lessons from a Quality Assurance Director turned Realtor
CJ Tan is a regular member of the Brunel Alumni Association. He has extensive experience in manufacturing and quality management, including start-ups and high-volume production. He is skilled in building quality systems and ensuring the safety of employees and the environment. CJ has led initiatives to improve quality company wide and worked closely with manufacturing partners to maintain quality standards. He actively engaged with customers to support their engineering and quality initiatives.
“It is true you know you always been treated as a bad guy in the the company a stopper in a company right and then when the quality is not right we tend to be more aggressive and stop the production from going on”
He has worked in QA for some of the biggest names in the Semiconductor industry. CJ’s last role as a quality director ended in 2016. After taking some time out he started a fresh new career as a realtor (CJ Tan, Realtor). His motto is “Customer Comes First”.
“semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore there is less and less uh jobs or rather demand for the kind of skill set that I have you know there are jobs out in the market but outside for the kind of skill set that I have”
CJ Tan is the second in this series to have graduated from the Henley Brunel MBA Program.
Contacts and Links Mentioned:
CJ Tan on LinkedIn
CJ Tan ERA Realtor on Facebook
Brunel Alumni Association Webpage
EIA 066 Stanley Mak: A Multilingual Marketer in Singapore
Stanley Mak is a regular member of the Brunel Alumni Association Experienced entrepreneur with a rich history of working in the marketing and communications industry. Skilled in Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications. With an MBA from the Henley Brunel MBA Program.
Originally from Hong Kong he moved with his then employer to Singapore in 1986. Eventually the desire to build his marketing own company took over. Today he leads iSmart Communications. He has successful navigated the innovations that have radically changed marketing and has an insatiable appetite for innovations to come.
“and then in the second and third year the business really boomed then I said wow Hallelujah never look back then during the.com boom period I I saw the opportunity of the internet”
He was also Vice-president of the Hong Kong – Singapore Business Association. He was the original president of the Henley Brunel MBA Alumni Association which which has now been renamed to the Henley Alumni Association and no longer affiliated to Brunel University.
“some people even say that why don't you become president forever I said no no no I don't want I'm not Lee Kuan Yew I don't want to be become a president for life”
His outside interests include being a keen language learner based on his professional languages use and recreational travel.
Contacts and Links Mentioned:
Brunel Alumni Association
Introduction and Background [00:00.7]
Stanley Mak is a member of the Brunel Alumni Association with a background in marketing and communications.
He moved from Hong Kong to Singapore in 1986 and eventually started his own marketing company, iSmart Communications.
He has successfully adapted to the changing marketing landscape and has a passion for innovation.
Starting iSmart Communications [02:05.5]
Stanley shares how he transitioned from working in multinational advertising agencies to starting his own business.
The initial years of the business were challenging, but it eventually boomed.
Recognising the potential of the internet, he made the decision to switch from traditional advertising to digital marketing.
Despite lacking a background in computer engineering, Stanley partnered with a computer engineer to complement his expertise.
Adapting to Industry Changes [08:00.1]
Stanley discusses the changes and challenges faced by the marketing industry, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He highlights the high costs of operations in Singapore and the need to find innovative solutions to maintain profitability.
Outsourcing and working with partners in other countries became a strategy to control costs and provide quality services.
Stanley predicts a major shakeout in the industry and believes that digital marketing will continue to be a driving force.
Henley Brunel MBA and Alumni Associations [15:04.6]
Stanley shares his educational background, starting with his accounting qualification and then pursuing an MBA with Henley Brunel in Singapore.
He discusses the differences between the Henley and Brunel alumni associations, including their demographics and focus.
Stanley expresses his admiration for Chris, the founder of the Brunel alumni, and his active involvement in both associations.
Language Learning and Community Involvement [21:21.1]
Stanley reveals his passion for learning languages and how it has enabled him to communicate with people from different countries.
He mentions his current focus on learning the local dialect Hooken...
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