Singtel and AXA Insurance jointly launch smart car solution

A smart car device and a cloud-based smart car application in your smartphone using Singtel’s mobile network, this smart car solution is able to help car owners/drivers in Singapore, promoting better and safer driving habits. This smart car solution is jointly launched by Singtel and AXA Insurance, comprising of a Modus smart car device and cloud-based smart car application, analyses driving patterns through a vehicle’s OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD) port. This is another innovative solution launched by Singtel for their customers and a good example on how technology implementation can help improve our life and daily activities.

In Singapore, with the number of cars on the road and looking at how the drivers drive, this is a good move for drivers to adopt this smart car solution by Singtel and AXA Insurance, getting the drivers to think about themselves, for their families and make them driver better and safer on the roads in Singapore.

How does this Modus device/smart car solution works?

The Modus device will synchronise with the smart car application on customers’ smartphones over Singtel’s mobile network. The solution provides the driver with insights on areas such as braking, acceleration and speed, which can help improve driving techniques and behaviour and enhance road safety. With these insights, drivers can also adjust their driving patterns to lower fuel consumption and troubleshoot potential engine problems.

Features include:

  • Driver analyses on areas such as braking, acceleration and speed
  • Real-time location monitoring (to easily find your car)
  • Trip history
  • Engine health information (battery voltage and engine temperature)
  • Driving scores (based on driving analyses)
  • Scheduled maintenance reminders
  • Alerts for speed limits, geo-fence boundaries, drive times and mileage limits

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “The smart car solution is yet another innovative service that we are bringing to our customers, following the successful launch of Singtel SmartHome. Now, our customers can enjoy an integrated connected lifestyle both in and out of the home. The solution will allow car lovers to track their driving habits and empower them to have a smarter drive. They will also be able to drive more safely, maintain their cars in tip-top condition while making the roads in Singapore safer for everyone. Singtel looks forward to launching more solutions that will enhance our customers’ digital lifestyles and enable them to enjoy smart living.”

Mr Sean Goh, Chief Partnerships Distribution Officer, AXA Life Insurance Singapore, said, “As one of the leading motor insurers in Singapore, the usage of customer-driven data to promote safer driving is very much in line with how we leverage technology to meet our customers’ rapidly evolving needs. Our partnership with Singtel marks an important step towards AXA’s transformation from payer to partner in our customers’ life journey.”

Drivers alert!

As part of this initiative, Singtel and AXA Insurance are offering a year of free AXA car insurance worth S$5,000 to the safest driver in Singapore. To qualify, customers must sign up for the solution, activate their smart car devices and drive at least 3,000 kilometres during the contest period. The winner will be determined by the Driving Score computed on the smart car app.

The smart car solution is available on a 24-month contract. To enjoy the service, customers need a Singtel postpaid mobile plan and a new Singtel MobileShare subscription. The smart car solution comes with a Modus smart car device and Modus smart car cloud subscription for 24 months.

At launch, Singtel and AXA Insurance are offering savings worth more than S$400. Customers can sign up at https://smartcar.singtel.com.

* Information and details courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Singtel partners Telkomsel to expand mobile money services

Singtel and Telkomsel recently announced that they are partnering to launch a new service, a real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia.

In this current era of smartphone and mobile data usage, smartphone apps can be very handy to handle some of the daily routine or monthly routine matters at your finger tips with your smartphone and app, without having to be physically there in person to do the things.

Do spread this news on the real-time mobile remittance service by Singtel and Telkomsel and pass it on to your family, relatives, friends and colleagues if they need to remit cash back to Indonesia.

Let me share with you more information and details of the Singtel and Telkomsel partnership in real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia –

Singtel and Telkomsel launched a real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia. Offered by SingCash under the Singtel Dash brand, this service allows customers in Singapore to send money to PT Pos Indonesia’s 4,500 cash-out points (1) across the country via Weselpos Instan (2). This is an enhancement to the current facility that lets customers send money to Indonesian bank accounts.

The service was launched at Festival Rising50, the first concert event celebrating 50 years of Singapore and Indonesia bilateral ties. It marks the first time that Singtel and Telkomsel are collaborating on mobile money initiatives to drive innovation in both their markets.

According to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, there are 200,000 Indonesians living and working in Singapore. Outward remittance from Singapore to Indonesia totals more than US$ 409 million yearly (3).

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Indonesia is one of our main remittance corridors and we are pleased to partner Telkomsel to offer convenient and secure mobile remittance cash pick-up service for our Indonesian friends. Singtel Dash will continue to enhance the mobile payments experience for our customers and enable their digital lifestyles. We are also excited to contribute to Singapore’s journey to a Smart Nation by developing the mobile payments ecosystem in Singapore.”

Mr Ririek Adriansyah, Chief Executive Officer, Telkomsel, said, “Telkomsel’s partnership in Singtel’s remittance service is one effort to support our government in promoting financial inclusion for Indonesian people, especially the unbanked segment. Foreign remittance enables them to improve their quality of life as well as provide an opportunity to begin saving for the future. We believe every little effort to promote financial inclusion will also accelerate the growth of Indonesia’s economy.”

In line with their commitment to work together on smart money initiatives, the two leading telcos also announced future plans to offer mobile remittance to Telkomsel’s TCash, offering a complete mobile wallet-to-mobile wallet experience. They also plan to expand the number of cash pick-up points to GraPARI Telkomsel service centres, as well as PT Bank BRI branches in the second half of this year.

Singtel Dash is Singapore’s first all-in-one mobile payments solution that is available to everyone. It is the only mobile payments app that offers fast, secure and real-time mobile remittance services, supports in-store and online retail payments, as well as transit payments. Customers can enjoy paying with Singtel Dash for their taxi, bus and train rides, as well as at supermarkets, convenience stores and food courts.

Since its re-launch in May 2016, the number of Singtel Dash customers has grown to almost 500,000. The volume of monthly transactions has also doubled over the last six months.

Notes

(1) Kantor Pos (post office) branches operated by PT Pos Indonesia

(2) Weselpos Instan is a remittance product of PT Pos Indonesia

(3) Source: World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2015

* Information and details courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Would you like to learn FOREX trading?

When the term FOREX trading comes into your mind, is it something very difficult and foreign to you? Is it something very technical and confusing to you? Are you an investor that would like to learn FOREX trading as an extension to your current investment platforms? Or you someone who sees yourself as a future investor that wishes to gain more knowledge in the area of financial investment tools in order to conduct your own investments to earn passive income?

Today, I would like to introduce you to ProTradersCode, a website and platform founded by fellow entrepreneur friend, Brian Lam, a professional trader, he’s also an internet marketing expert that saved me a few times with my WordPress platform technical troubleshooting. Brian and myself, went to the same FOREX trading class together a few years back. We took different routes in life, Brian continued on to become a professional trader while I continued in freelance/semi-professional photography and established my commercial/professional photography in January 2017.

An investor myself, it’s like coming a full circle and back again to FOREX trading. I am going back to restart my FOREX trading after a hiatus, by attending Brian’s FOREX trading class.

This is not telling you that you have to do FOREX trading and investment. Any form of investment that you decide to take up and start is at your own personal decision after learning about the investment knowledge, techniques, careful thorough analysis and consideration. Investments are not for everybody, let alone, FOREX trading, a much more technical and complex form of financial investment tools.

If you would like to know and learn more about FOREX trading, sign up for ProTradersCode preview session and listen to Brian’s sharing before you make any decision whether you would like/want to sign up for his FOREX trading class.

The ProTradersCode website link is here, if you are keen, click on it, go to the website and more information is available there!

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Entering into the 40s band

The time now is 10:01 am or 10:01pm on the 10th January – 10/01.

Today marks the day, whereby I officially enter into the 40 age band. The last time I entered into a new age band was 10 years ago, entering the 30-39 age band. The thoughts and feelings were so different from then 30 years old and now 40 years old. I had mellowed down over the past 10 years, slowly getting myself away from nonsense and rubbish on the social media platforms.

There were times when you can see and feel, that you are getting older, just by looking at the people around you. My nephews and nieces have all grown bigger and older, my friends children had grown and some of them had more children in their family.

Entering into the 40s age band is like the new era of 30s, there are still many opportunities and great things to achieve ahead for me. Although I would not be as fast and energised like when I had the health and body energy of a 30 year old.

Age is truly a number, no doubt about that and you cannot run away from it! While I can never run away from getting old, my heart, mind and soul can still be forever young with a higher and increased level of maturity, thinking, experience from the life journeys. While I may not run as fast as before, I am still learning and growing, exploring and setting new goals and objectives. A person’s life learning journey must always be ongoing, no matter how big or small the lessons are.

Oh yes, in Singapore, when we reach 40 years old, we are automatically enrolled into this health insurance program known as ElderShield, you can read up more about this program here. I have a feeling my younger friends are going to give me the short end of the stick again for getting inside this program. Alright, this is also a huge and constant reminder to take good care of my health, keep and stay fit, exercise more!

While I am having mixed feelings of hitting the 40s, I am excited of the new journeys and adventures ahead that I embarked upon at the start of the year 2017.

Oh yes, welcome to the 40s club!

Busy start to Year 2017 and a difficult year ahead

6 days have passed into Year 2017. During this time, it was a busy start for me. On 01/01/2017, I took a huge leap of faith into a new hope, something that I had been planning, strategising, seeking advice and assistance from different people from all  walks of life.

In time to come, I will share what I have entered into for year 2017, some might already had known, some would have guessed it by now, upon reading my first two paragraphs or I have shared with you privately over the various messaging platforms. There are no guarantees in life except taxes and death.

During this period especially in the month of January 2017, there are quite a number of tasks and things to do, from administration setup, content generation, spring cleaning of my room and home. I would do my best to continue sharing and writing my articles, things might be a bit slower than usual . All of them are crucial to my content delivery, publicity, awareness, branding and marketing outreach.

The year 2017 ahead is going to be more difficult and slower than previous year 2016, in my personal humble opinion. We have to be ready for slower growth like this in the immediate future, considering our geography, land size, population size and resources, competition and changing trading patterns in a ever changing and disrupting world economy.

We may have the infrastructure and hardware, we need to upgrade and change our software inside our hearts, mind and soul. We need to remove complacency and self entitlement from our current DNA, if not, we are going to become worse and lagging behind others.

I still have two remembrance posts to write, once this is completed and uploaded here, I can safely close this chapter 2016 and archive them. The chapter for year 2017 has already been opened up and a landmark moment had been embarked upon.

Time to produce many outstanding chapters and achievements, moving ahead in another (more) difficult and challenging year 2017.

1st September 2016

Today is 1st September 2016, this also marks the beginning of a new Chinese Lunar Calendar month, the first day of the 8th Chinese Lunar month. It has been 6 months since 1st March 2016 when I started a new journey due to the unforeseen circumstances that took place prior to that.

These 6 months had been a period of rest and recovery from my situation, it was also a period of a lot of in-depth thinking, planning and strategising. I wasn’t planning to rush into executing actions due to a very volatile and uncertain market economy along with many changes to how the market economy is moving, transforming and changing.

To some people who always judge me, I am slow and procrastinate a lot. Being truthful to myself, my heart and soul, I am just being extra careful and cautious, taking into consideration the current economic slowdown/uncertainty, the huge potential massive headwinds and downturn ahead for the remaining months of 2016, potentially a bottoming of the economy in the year 2018 (I sincerely hope that is not the case)

The traditional business model that any industry is working on might not be able to handle and sustain moving forward into a new era and millennia. It has to change, on a personal level, business level, society and government level. I am not saying that I have the perfect solution and answer for the next business model for the business that I am embarking on. I just hope that my willingness to think beyond and change the current business model would help me to establish my foundation and grow a small business.

I was reading “How to Grow as a Photographer – Reinventing Your Career” by Tony Luna. There is a sentence inside the book ~

“If it is true that it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to write a book.”

Like my sacred Canon 1DX Mark II moleskine book, I am writing my own stories and adventures. It had been a pretty rough ride for the past 6 months, the new ride ahead is not going to be smooth, it might be even more rough and turbulent, no thanks to the volatility and uncertainty of the world economy.

IMG_0310

What are the key themes, changes and ideas? Strategic partnerships and collaboration, special project themes, personal projects, constantly adapting and preparing for changes to the world, social media 2.0 to 3.0, learning new skills across and beyond your generic specialisation. Think Win-Win.

Some of you folks know what I am going through, some don’t, some don’t care, some don’t seek to listen and understand first before passing judgement.

Today is 1st September 2016, new things will take place soon.

Echelon Asia Summit 2016

Echelon Asia Summit took place on 15th and 16 June 2016 at the Singapore Expo, I was invited by my friends from the public relations agency, SPRG, to attend the two days summit and I was glad that I attended this event. This post comes a bit late and I apologise for the delay in sharing my thoughts and feelings from attending Echelon Asia Summit 2016.

Echelon Asia Summit 2016 is a two-day summit that brings over 5,000 top-tier digital professionals and entrepreneurs, to create and expand their opportunities in the various fields such as technology, business and investments across Asia.

It was an eye-opener for me to know more about start ups from various industries and not just technology start ups. Although I am a photographer, I am also interested in financial industry, technology, small medium enterprise (SME), fin-tech, just to name a few of them. Having attended Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai, learning and understanding how a world famous brand brings their products and services across the world, I am able to learn and understand from the other end of the spectrum, the start ups and SME on how they plan to grow their business and growth. I visited Echelon Asia Summit 2016 as an attendee, my first time visiting an event of this nature.

The list of exhibitors present at Echelon Asia Summit 2016 were interesting and diverse, it’s not just technology start ups. There were a number of key speeches and sharing on the Future Stage, Build/Reach Stage, Create Stage and Community Lounge. The topics and agenda that I want to listen and relate a lot to were at the Future Stage. Over the two days, I had learned some great insights and knowledge from the sharing by the panel of speakers in their respective industry. Although I wasn’t able to visit all the exhibitors present there, I saw a few exhibitors that caught my attention –

FOMO Photo Booth by FOMO Digital Pte Ltd

Being a photographer myself, I can’t do and cover everything at major events if they are big scale and the requirements include photo booth. FOMO Photo Booth caught my attention and if the opportunity to collaborate together arises, I would have a chat with them!

Cafebond

A coffee lover myself, I saw their booth and went up to know more about their coffee business. They are bringing in Melbourne’s best coffee to Singapore and you can order coffee online and ship it over to your place. This is something that I would check out one day!

TripInsiders

This is something that suits me perfectly what I love to do, travel and photography. You can become an Insider to bring travelers from all around the world in your city and you can get paid too for your time! Becoming an Insider might just be the job that slots in between my photography assignments and marketing work for Wills & Wills.

Grab showcasing Grab For Work

Grab has a pretty big booth at Echelon Asia Summit 2016, you will see definitely see them when you are inside the Singapore Expo Hall. I read about their story and origins before on how they were founded, grown and transformed over time. I had a good chat with one of their guys there during Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Grab For Work is a great initiative for companies that have staff that are on the move and have to claim transport allowances. If I am currently working in a job that needs to do transport claims, I would use Grab For Work.

During the two days of Echelon Asia Summit 2016, the start ups are not just confined to technology industry, they have expanded into other industries such as F&B, travel, photography and financial. It was a great pleasure, a wonderful learning experience for me to attend Echelon Asia Summit 2016, there is always something new to learn from people from all walks of life and industries.

Thank you e27 and SPRG for the invitation to Echelon Asia Summit 2016!

Thoughts, feelings, ranting on 22nd June 2016

As the article title goes, it’s probably not going to get many readers to my article, read what the heck and hell am I writing again. This might be a TLDR (too long; didn’t read) article for some or many of us, with our human beings attention and reading span reduced to “I don’t know what quantity and levels you are at right now”.

There a number of topics, thoughts, feelings and ranting inside me, that I do not type it out on my Facebook wall or Twitter. It will really get too long winded and I just paste it together here into one article for all to read and know, for all my friends who make the time and effort to read.

Facebook

We need to get a life, beyond Facebook, that includes myself. It’s a constant, timely reminder and warning to myself too, there are just too much things on my Facebook feeds. I should take more concrete action soon, hide away some of the articles sharing from some portals,websites that are not my cup of tea. Yet, some of my friends on Facebook feed keeps sharing them.

I keep most of my photography posts on my Facebook Page, thus avoiding any fatigue in terms of oversharing too. That’s where I post most of my updates and I don’t write long winded stories and status/stories. Sometimes I do post some things on my personal Facebook wall, not really a lot at all.

Commenting on Facebook

Most recently, I finally realised why some of my friends felt so angry when people/strangers just spam comments on their posts, whether it is on their personal Facebook wall or Facebook Groups. It just doesn’t end there and it turned into a verbal battleground on social media sometimes.

A media sharing article posted on my Facebook wall triggered a small influx of comments that made me wonder if the person ever read the context and content of the article even though the points the person made were valid from another perspective. I just let it go and I am not planning to ask that person too. I have more meaningful business to work on, my personal leisure and recreational activities to do and enjoy.

Another incident was the person commenting on an article that I shared from other sources, I am fine with the person commenting and offering their strong alternative points of view, I just let it stay there. The worse part is the person’s friend (a total stranger) barged in and added their comment on post. From then on, I changed the settings to only allow my friends to comment and not a friend of theirs to do so.

Short fuse, Tension, Anger

Our rat race lifestyle, stress, relentless chase for material wealth and monetary wealth is probably causing more people to have a “short fuse”, filled with tensions and anger. The amount of bashing is quite substantial and loud voiced, from sensitive national/international topics to intolerance. Such news went viral, fast and furious like a big forest fire, feeding the frenzy social media channels and platforms.

Sometimes, I am also on a short fuse due to stress and pressure, therefore, I can blow my temper. I am seeking to relax and not get too deep into such situations above.

Economy

The SG economy is not in an ideal situation, with the recent revision of GDP 2016 forecast lowered again. The world is having some weak/poor climate conditions, thus everybody is affected. Ask any business owner for their views on business, industry, economy, there is a certain consensus that it is not in a good shape, things will only get tougher.

Ask the ordinary working class person on the street, their views, opinions and thoughts might be pretty diverse? I wonder if they really care about the economic situation?

Entitlement

There is a growing mindset and concern towards an entitlement mentality that is deeply worrying. I have encounters myself that people say to me, I should be getting this and that because it’s our entitlement. I strongly beg to differ, this a huge trap that once we fall and spiral into, we might never get out of, regardless of the type of products/services that we deemed to be “entitlement”.

Partnerships and collaborations

Juggling two jobs, a real balancing act, it’s really very tough and challenging. Finding and building partnerships, collaborations. Ups and downs, not smooth at all. Some potential partnerships doesn’t seem to be to take off for now, maybe it won’t take off, maybe it can be look into some years later.

Meanwhile, I have to seek and find new partnerships and collaborations with other different business entities, partners.

The progress is slow, economic climate is getting tougher, making it more crucial and essential that I go back to the drawing board, strategise again, relook at current industry business model and refine my own business model.

Some understand, some don’t. Some care, some don’t. Some judge, some don’t.

It’s a very long journey ahead.

Learning, Sharing, Networking, Biz Plan vs Biz Model

Networking, learning and sharing are key elements that I hold dearly upon. In the past 3 months, while I was doing a lot of business planning, there were a few things that were holding me back from officially registering and opening my small (probably one man operation) business. Inside my mind, there were a few stumbling blocks, I need to let it out and get them off.

In a recent networking session, I caught up with some business owner friends from other industries, it was great to catch up with them again! I knew that they were supportive, helpful and willing to share their knowledge and experiences from their entrepreneurship journeys in their business. I took the opportunity to meet my business owner friend, had a great chat, learning, sharing and networking.

I shared about my marketing role at Wills & Wills, an online legal services company offering –

(1) Make a Will Online

(2) Deed Poll

(3) Lasting Power of Attorney

(4) Advance Medical Directive 

They shared marketing tips with me especially on the part of guerrilla marketing/shock tactics marketing implemented in overseas markets such as USA, UK and Australia. I am now looking at how some of them could be possibly implemented here in Singapore. With their help and various alumni networks, holding seminars are now on the pipeline in the near future, partnering financial advisors / financial advisor representatives in an holistic estate planning seminars for alumnus friends or customers.

The real stumbling blocks inside my mind were pertaining to my photography business. I wanted to hear and listen to views from business owners outside the industry that might be able to give me insights and inputs from a neutral perspective since they are not inside the industry. Listening to their views and insights of the creative industry where photography is part of it, the creative industry has become a lot more fragmented and commoditised; the growth in social media and Internet played a big role in this. I have to handle it while I am navigating my way through my journeys in that area.

Another key concept that shook my mind was Business Plan versus Business Model, do you know the differences, and do you know the similarities? It was mind-boggling and I am glad that during our chat, I was enlightened to realise that I need to learn and know more about them, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur. Initially I have a business plan, now it is back to the drawing board to do my business model and business plan together.

During our lengthy discussion, sharing and networking session, there were more topics, ideas and thoughts that were brought up. It was a great sharing, learning and mentoring session that I really appreciate. I do and really hope that we can bring this form of networking, learning, sharing sessions to different alumni groups and business networking groups among my fellow alumnus. That would be very interesting and powerful with business owners, management level executives, entrepreneurs, start-ups and aspiring young business owners to sit down, get together and have such wonderful sessions.

Rounding up this article, this sharing might be the highlight for some of my readers and followers. The current economic climate in Singapore and worldwide is not ideal and it’s pretty bleak. The worse is yet to come, coupled it with FEAR, it just make things much more bleak, getting worse till 2017 (from some analysts, economists and industry views). My business owner friend shared something that a Fengshui Master predicted it would get worse till 2018 where it would hit rock bottom in 2018. The year 2016 is the year that people and businesses have to change to prepare for the upcoming round of market downturn and to change their business models, operations and practices for the future. Having seen the 2008 / 2009 global crisis and our complacency in life, we might be in for another big shock if measures by everybody from businesses, government and the people themselves make the changes and prepare for the future.

My life journey changes in 2016 started in Q1, I had to change due to the unforseen circumstances thrown upon me. There were some huge changes and I took a huge step to do something on my own. Ironically, the change that people and businesses needed to start in 2016, I had started and I am now still working on it, the journey is long and far, it’s only the first few steps.

Sometimes, you feel that you are walking alone. However, with a group of supporting friends, networks, partners and business, You’ll Never Walk Alone.