Not every entrepreneurial story starts off the same, with a successful start-up right after graduating from university. Some only realise their entrepreneurship aspiration and drive a little later than others. Meet these three entrepreneurs, who prove that change is the only constant and that with the right mindset nothing is impossible – Even if this means a mid-way career switch.
As part of our entrepreneurship series, we speak to three individuals who are brave enough to make the switch in their careers to become an entrepreneur much later in their lives.
Randy Tan, Red Dot Payment
Once a high flying Director at Visa Inc. where he spearheaded several projects across countries to streamline a bank’s business, Tan is now the proud founder of start-up, Red Dot Payment. Red Dot Payment is an online platform that helps facilitate payments for both consumers and businesses alike, and is the result of Tan’s fascination with credit cards and technology.
When asked how different it is managing his own start-up compared to being a Director at Visa Inc., Tan said, “It pushed me to further develop my strengths and improve on my weaknesses, at the same time, I had to maintain focus on flexibility and adaptability in order to ensure the company’s survival.”
With a lot of hard work and positive vibes, a big break came in the form of a buyer offer from one of Red Dot Payment’s competitors last year.
Even though being a start-up and changing his prospective career in the financial sector mid-way was tough, Tan wouldn’t change it for the world. ‘Starting my own business took a lot of courage but I think this journey has been very worthwhile and meaningful. Each step I took was made with great zeal, something that I would never have experienced had I stayed in my comfort zone,’ said Tan.
Alex Leong, 32, Founder of Rainmaker Labs
An insatiable itch for entrepreneurship lead Alex Leong, Founder of Rainmaker Labs to make his career switch. Rainmaker Labs is a one stop shop for any business looking to develop a mobile application and mobile marketing automation.
Prior to setting up Rainmaker Labs, “I was working in an investment bank as a Derivatives Salesperson. Investment Banking is tough but nowhere near the intensity of entrepreneurship,” said Leong.
Leong’s journey like many others before him is a tumultuous one, he recalls on two occasions where they only had less than four-digits in their accounts with a few days to a six-digit payday. “It was nerve wrecking, but we survived,” said Leong.
Leong attributes the success of Rainmaker Labs to his team members. “It is you and your team against the world every single day. You have to push yourself to the limits of your experience, intellect and capabilities in order to survive. All in the vision that one day our products and services will make a difference in the world,” said Leong.
Jim Ler, 26, Founder of CheckOuts.sg
CheckOuts.sg was recently founded by Ler who ditched his auditing career to be an entrepreneur in February this year, it is an online platform for businesses in Singapore, connecting business owners to the reliable business suppliers and service providers.
As challenging as a start-up is, Ler embraces the challenge head on. He confesses that as much as being a start-up is undeniably stressful, this stress converts itself into a motivation of sorts that spurs him to push forward even harder.
Ler went through quite a tough patch prior to setting up his own start-up. From dropping out of school for four years to work for a start-up, to juggling part-time ACCA classes while working as a full-time auditor and late nights spent mugging for his examinations. Unlike most who would rejoice after graduating from ACCA, Ler questioned if three years were even worth spent on a certification. “Graduation did not bring a sense of jubilation. I questioned if all that I has sacrificed during the three years were even worth it,” said Ler.
With CheckOuts.sg however, Ler feels a heightened sense of accomplishment and joy as he “can vividly see all the sacrifices made along the way would be worth the while.” .
By Geralyne Kaye Ong / July 7, 2015 4:20PM GMT+8
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