DELEGATE: Tell us more about yourself!
My name is Emile Leus from the Netherlands and born in Oud-Beyerland near Rotterdam. I am already 45 years but still young in mind and heart. Addicted to Asia and I like the way Asian people are living, the culture, friendliness and not to forget the food. You will find the best food in the world in Asia. Not married, single and no kids. Owner of TVworkshop Asia team building Singapore.
D: What is the vision/mission for your company?
The important thing in achieving whatever you want is to visualize it! I did the same with having a dream to start up TVworkshop team building activities in Singapore. I placed a picture of the Skyline of Singapore in the toilet of my apartment in Den Bosch, Netherlands already in 2014.
Now I’m in Asia and I’m very busy with TVworkshop Asia team bonding Singapore. My vision/mission is to operate with TVworkshop Asia team building events in all the Asian countries with Singapore as the base as a Singaporean/Dutch event company. Being a digital nomad travelling a lot with my digital friend, the Mac Book Air! Organizing beautiful customized corporate events for companies based on film making from Indonesia all the way to China. Share the success with friends and family!
D: Any trade secrets you can reveal?
For sure! If you start up in Singapore, Jakarta or other places in Asia, who are the best people to do business in Asia? The Asian people, the Singaporeans! So listen carefully to them and take time to learn the secrets of them. Get out of your comfort zone and eat in the hawker centres, meet people on the street and do not act as an expat in Singapore! Actually skip the whole expat scene in Singapore because they only stay for a few years, working under salary for 90% and leave within 2 to 3 years. I have the determination to stay a long time in Singapore! So my advice is to meet the locals and make friends!
D: How did you start your business? What were some adversities you faced when you first started out?
First of all, I learned a lot about doing business from the founder of the TVworkshop team building activities in the Netherlands, Marcel Ruijken (Cliqorange). We worked together from 2007 until 2014! Arriving in 2015 in Singapore, I wanted to start directly and as you know, we are all human, and I got distracted with other ideas! Thanks to motivational talks with Marcel Ruijken and Dan Wong, the real start was in October 2016.
Adversities, a lot of course! If you think starting your business is a romantic story in a smooth line going up then wake up because it isn’t! I already knew that you could read a lot online about the success stories. That’s only less than 1% of it. The other 99% has to work hard for it and has to deal with sleepless nights, stress, taking risks, having no money, dealing with MOM, ACRA, IRAS, and all the other government bodies of Singapore. And the list goes on. But I love it!!
D: Most memorable experience since starting your business?
For TVworkshop Asia corporate team building, I got featured in The Straits Times with my bicycle, which I purchased for SGD 50!
As well as organizing the TVworkshop team building activity for Dutch/English company Shell at their head office in Singapore.
D: What is one thing you would like your customers to know about your company?
We are the first in Singapore to conceptualize the combination of film making and team building.
D: What was your first job?
Picking beans when I was 13 years old together with my 2 brothers in Den Dungen, Netherlands. Our mother joined us and was helping to make some money. It was the time of the introduction of the compact disc player (1985) and I wanted to have one. My father said if you want to have it you have to work for it. So I did and got it 4 month’s later!
D: What aspects of your personality can we see in your work?
I like people and like to meet people. I have this personality from my mother as everybody in her home village knew who she was. Organizing events you have to love people and dealing with a great variety of people!
D: How would you describe your personal style?
Open minded, like to talk, creative thinker, love people, dedicated, never give up attitude, always positive and sometimes lazy!
D: What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
Nowadays my work and passion are starting to come together. My work involves part organizing events and part visual! I love to create visual end results in Adobe Premiere so this is also my hobby. I can spend hours on YouTube learning new methods/tricks for Adobe Premiere to get a better result.
I do a lot of sport (5 times a week). Doing boot camps at Fort Canning Park, running, cycling and I just started with yoga! I believe the process of starting up comes together with recharging and what better way to do it by doing sport!
D: Which habits of yours have gotten you to where you are today?
Passion, determination and having a vision, goal! I had to learn it by listening to people and realizing now that this is very important in achieving something. If it is successful or not, doesn’t matter. If it is not a success, just start again. We all make mistakes and sometimes do stupid things.
D: Any future plans in the pipeline?
Start the first team building company in Singapore for VR (virtual Reality) and 360 film making! Following the trend of what’s going on visually and try to create team building concepts on that.
D: Who was your biggest influence when you were starting out?
Marcel Ruijken (owner of Yellowroom AI, Cliqorange ), a friend of mine whom I’ve known for a long time and worked together with on the TVworkshop in the Netherlands. As the founder, he made a success of it together with me. He is still giving me advice in running the business and I appreciate this.
D: In your own words, starting your own business is..
A tough and bumpy road and if you can deal with it, do it and enjoy the ride, stay positive! If you cannot deal with it, stay under salary and in your comfort zone and no regrets when you are old!
A lifetime experience never to forget!
D: Top 4 things you would do with a friend who is visiting Singapore for the first time.
- Skip Marina Bay and Sentosa.
- Go to Mount Faber and watch the skyline.
- Get a bicycle and cycle all the way to East Coast, North and West of Singapore.
- Taste the best food of Singapore in Geylang and Katong.
D: One quote that you live by.
“Be patient” This quote comes from Dan Wong and Vivianne Then, friends of mine because sometimes I want to go fast!
D: Where else can we find you online?