DELEGATE: Tell us more about yourself
I am a serial entrepreneur, author, and speaker now based in Singapore. I am the Founder and Managing Director of Rebel & Soul, an award winning international experience agency. Our vision is to create experiences that make long-lasting positive memories. We do this through our proprietary neuroscience based methodology called INVOLVE. As a socially conscious business, our purpose is also to create better memories for the people who need it most.
I am also the Co-Founder of an event technology company, Calyx and the Group MD of Quintessentially Singapore. I am both the rebel and the soul, an extrovert and a geek. I am passionate about designing experiences that encourage people to have fun and connect in unique ways.
I love to write and I co-authored Amazon bestseller, Better Business, Better Life, Better World with global entrepreneurs, a book with profits 100% directed to charities. Volume 2 is about to be released and I’m close to completing my first solo work.
D: What is your vision/ mission for your company?
Rebel & Soul:
Rebel & Soul does things a little differently in an innovative and creative way (rebel) in order to generate a deeper, meaningful connection (soul). As a socially-conscious business, we believe in doing business for good. Our mission is to drive live experiences to be the new frontier of marketing in Asia.
Calyx was founded to fill the gap in the APAC market for quality event technology solutions. We aim to deliver state-of-the-art, temporary and permanent event technology solutions that minimise set-up times while maximising productivity by expanding the depth and breadth of customer experiences.
D: How did you start your business? What were some adversities you faced when your first started out?
I started my marketing career in the brand world with Bacardi Global Brands, predominantly working on the brilliant Bombay Sapphire Gin: A rather fun way into the marketing world! I craved a little more of variety, working on more than one brand at one time so I moved agency-side and had a wonderful time working across multiple brands on some highly experiential campaigns. I think in the agency world it’s quite easy to hit a glass ceiling and at that point, I had a thirst to learn more.
So, I began freelancing in different roles at multiple agencies. Throwing myself in at the deep end almost every day for a few years was petrifying but taught me more than what I had learnt in the last 10 years. It gave me the confidence to start my own small business in London which I ran successfully for a few years. However, my entrepreneurial itch started setting in and teamed with a job offer in Singapore from a friend, I decided to trial a new city.
As soon as I touched down I knew I wanted to stay. So I went home, sold my flat and used the money to support myself whilst I set up Rebel & Soul.
Almost a year later, I was getting a lot of great feedback on my ideas from everyone I was pitching to but I hadn’t signed any clients. I think a lot was due to my lack of knowledge of the local market. I was down to my last pennies and literally living off credit cards and packet noodles when I landed my first project. I learnt the hard way on how to speak to the market but it’s given me a great grounding.
D: Any trade secrets you can reveal?
Always focus on the ROI of the experience. Every client has KPIs to hit and if you can maximise the ROI of an event you’re helping your client to reach their target.
D: Most memorable experience since starting your business?
It’s that magical moment when I’m at the events we’ve curated and I see consumers’ eyes light up and smile with childlike delight – that’s when I know we’ve created a memorable, long-lasting experience.
D: What is one thing you would like your customers to know about your company?
The methodology that we used called INVOLVE. INVOLVE is a bespoke 7-step neuroscience process used to design our experiences to ensure that we are making long lasting memories. We believe the purpose of marketing is to make memories. So, we focus on gaining our audience’s attention and their experience retention.
D: What was your first job?
There aren’t many jobs I haven’t done! I think the first proper pay rolled job was a data entry role. That was my ticket to a round the world trip on my gap year.
D: What aspects of your personality can we see in your work?
The innovation, the excitement and hopefully the beaming smiles
D: What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I’ve developed a range of alcoholic ice creams.
D: How would you describe your personal style?
Fun, engaging and a little out of the ordinary.
D: What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
I’m a voracious reader, especially of psychology and neuroscience and I’m a massive foodie. I love new food experiences.
D: Which habits of yours have gotten you to where you are today?
Believing that anything is possible and that being a positive person attracts positive elements to your life.
D: How do you spend your weekends/ free time?
I travel to unwind from my daily activities to places where I can be inspired by other cultural sights, sounds, tastes and smells.
D: Any future plans in the pipeline?
We’re doing some seriously exciting stuff in the neuroscience and technology space. I can’t tell you anything more than that just yet!
D: Who was your biggest influence when you were starting out?
Henry Ford and his ability to innovate. He saw technical horsepower where everyone else saw horses.
D: In your own words, starting your own business is…
One of the hardest things I have ever done, but also the most rewarding. It’s a constant learning curve but it’s made me a better, more understanding, more patient and more kick ass person.
D: Top 3 things you would do with a friend who is visiting Singapore for the first time.–
- Sitting with the uncles drinking Tiger Beer in a hawker centre – they have priceless stories.
- Take a trip to Ubin and see Singapore as it originally was
- Visit the second hand warehouses at the back of Turf City. It’s a treasure trove of goods that gives you a glimpse into people’s lives here, past and present.
D: One quote that you live by.
Where you think you can, or can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford
D: Where can we find out more about you and your business?
In need of a creative outlet for that particular marketing idea you envisioned? Let the genuine and innovative folks at Rebel & Soul work their magic. With their deft touch of experiential technologies, your event will be nothing short of engaging experiences and lasting impressions.