Singapore focus: Diary of an entrepreneur
There are many cities an entrepreneur can choose to base themselves. None quite live up to the excitement, charm, and convenience of Singapore, writes Business World’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Shabir Momin.
I wake up as an entrepreneur and go to bed a businessman, but no matter what hat I wear, Singapore is the pulsating backdrop to my day.
Singapore is an international country with ties all over. Many like myself choose Singapore as a base from which we can manage multiple time zones – I may wake up a couple of hours later than the hoards that flood the MRT, but this is all to make my businesses run more smoothly.
I then do some internal meetings with the team, build strategies, plan new tech solutions, and discuss current live projects. On a weekly basis, I visit each of my companies to catch up and review strategies going forward. When the day is over, I relish the chance to get some time with my kids and end the day with a good dinner and a movie to drain out the cache my brain has collected during the day.
There is no grey area in Singapore about what’s allowed and what’s not, so you can embark on a journey here with confidence
I keep some of my month aside for working with new entrepreneurs who shouldn’t go through the same pain as I did starting up. They can learn from my mistakes, so I give them guidance and help them plan and strategise better. I get so charged up working with them as they are flowing with ideas but they usually don’t have focus. I do my best to try to get them there. With some, I invest time and money, with others I just help them reach the next stage.
Survival of the fittest
They, like most people in Singapore, are upfront, honest, and don’t beat around the bush. This is what I really appreciate about the country, and to my mind why it is has become a global hub of business and innovation.
Everywhere you look there is a very high sense of professionalism, no matter anyone’s walk of life. Unlike other cities where I have lived, there is an indefatigable hunger here: to build, create and make a difference. It might not be for everyone, but it is also a country which truly believes in the survival of the fittest, and a place where true genuine work is honoured and respected.
Singapore means business
For any entrepreneur and businessman, it’s very important to be in a pro-business environment, Singapore is a forward-thinking country that makes doing business easy, and there is no end to the support entrepreneurs like us can find.
In truth, there is not any one reason why entrepreneurs are drawn to the country. But integral is the simple regulations of setting up business, an accepting attitude towards foreigners, and an educated and hungry society. Taken together, these make the country a business magnet, where conducting a global, borderless, business is a breeze.
While the world is evolving and getting progressive, Singapore has already achieved most of it and got way ahead of the curve
The beauty is that Singapore can be your headquarters while the world can be your playground to explore tech-driven possibilities. Apart from augmented reality, virtual reality, and renewable energy, I get driven by data mining, artificial intelligence, contextual marketing. These are the core fields which excite me most, and Singapore is a crucible of innovation for them.
Before basing yourself here you do need to familiarise yourself with the business rules and processes. But there is no grey area in Singapore about what’s allowed and what’s not, so you can embark on a journey here with confidence. Long term it’s important to know if it can work for you and your family. It didn’t take me long to realise Singapore ticks all the boxes. It’s impossible to get bored, and having kids makes it that much more enjoyable. I encourage my kids to love Singapore every day, but they don’t need much encouragement.
Life of its own
Singapore never ceases to surprise us with something new. It is a paradise for food, culture, innovation and business. While the world is evolving and getting progressive, Singapore has already achieved most of it and got way ahead of the curve.