Entrepreneurs today thrive on technology and have business processes digitalised to drive business growth. U SME and Temasek Polytechnic - Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre hosted entrepreneurs to a panel session on 9 February 2018, where invited panelists spoke of their entrepreneurship stories. U SME Director, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, was present at the panel session to network with the participants, and listen to their concerns as well.
Beyond Data Analytics: a successful joint venture formed the technological way
Eng Zhen Hui (Brand Partnerships at Y Ventures Group) shared about the Faire Leather joint venture - the brainchild of Y Ventures and Tocco Toscano - both homegrown enterprises. It has become Singapore's most funded Kickstarter campaign, achieving a gross investment of $400,000. SMEs found data analytics difficult, hence Y Ventures evolved itself to become the e-commerce distributor for brands seeking a new lease of life through technology. Data analytics serve not only to help Tocco Toscano serve specific consumer demand, but also to protect their intellectual property rights by identifying parallel imports and counterfeits.
Bak-kwa flavoured yoghurt a possible reality?
On food and beverage, Marc Ng (President & CEO, Berrylite Pte Ltd) walked participants through Berrylite's research and development activities. The whole process takes 12 to 18 months, with the objective for the yoghurt to be delicious and 'instagram-worthy'. Staff members involved in the R&D process brainstorm and pitch against each other for conceptualisation. Selection of suppliers and quality of ingredients are critical, involving food scientists and countless sample tastings. Marc even joked, "Maybe one day, we may produce bak-kwa flavoured yoghurt!"
Business Financing the Modern way
Eddie Lee (Group CEO, New Union Holdings) introduced crowdlending at the panel discussion. Speaking of his motivation to founding the fintech company offering transparent, affordable and flexible business financing, Eddie understood the pains SMEs face when loaning from financiers such as banks and credit firms. "13% interest for the bank loan," he lamented. Addressing a participant's query, Eddie shared that SMEs who have sought loans from his business platform are subject to stringent Know-Your-Client and Anti-Money Laundering procedures, no lesser than traditional financiers.
Achieving business growth through Expansion
David Cheang (Founder & CEO, Fulife Pte Ltd), further emphasised on the importance of resilience and preserverance. Having had a rough childhood, these two characteristics have helped David to build a strong company vision, communicated across all levels of staff in Fulife. With such robust company culture, it is no wonder that David and his team have grown the company tremendously, with 2,000+ members locally, and they are looking to overseas markets for business expansion.
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