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The Asian Entrepreneur Magazine

Melvin Poh is the founder of The Asian Entrepreneur Magazine. This is the first prominent business magazine that solely focuses on, interviews and features entrepreneurs and startups based in Asia. We have conducted an interview with him.

In 60 seconds, can you summarize and tell us what The Asian Entrepreneur is all about?

Admittedly, that's a rather difficult challenge because I personally believe to truly understand the work we do and what The Asian Entrepreneur represents; one would have to intricately examine many aspects of our organization and particularly, the values that underlie them. However in short, I would say The Asian Entrepreneur is a magazine that seeks to supplement and facilitate entrepreneurship in Asia by enabling a direct and raw exchange of entrepreneurial insights. This is achieved through the active profiling of different entrepreneurs and businesses, that we encounter in Asia. With that being said, The Asian Entrepreneur represents not only a platform for Asian entrepreneurs to have their voices heard but also a codex of invaluable wisdom for the aspiring entrepreneur.

What is the reason for starting The Asian Entrepreneur?

I've been an entrepreneur my entire life. The major problem that I've encountered early on in my trials as an entrepreneur was an experential limit. There was never an actual manual on what to do; specifically, how to succeed as an entrepreneur. This is a problem that I believe, not only I face, but also a problem that I believe is faced by many entrepreneurstoday. So there was always a need for an actual solution that would address this. To me it was all really formless until 2012, when I started pursuing my studies in business at Harvard University. There I was all of a sudden introduced to a learning method quite unlike any I've seen before and that was the- business school method. Essentially, we, students, were regularly encouraged to contribute, share and exchange our own actual business insights and experience in open discussions. With that, I began to see that the very platform and method built by Harvard Business School, was in essence an effective key to overcoming the experential limits that I spoke of. It was the business school advantage and for me it was entirely unfair that it was something limited to top academic institutions of the world.

It was this realization and the associated sentiments that drove me to start working on a platform that was widely available and accessible to all. I decided to base and limit the main coverage of that platform to Asia because most of Asia is a comparatively young, economically speaking and not surprisingly, the startup scene is even younger. As such, Asia is an exciting place to cover because although developments are happening, the lack of established startup frameworks and cultures literally means that these entrepreneurs are faced with even more obstacles than those that we'd face in the West. This means that they would no doubt have incredibly worthy stories to tell. I strongly believed, as I still believe now, there is something to be learnt from Asian entrepreneurs.

What is your proudest moment in the life of The Asian Entrepreneur?

This is a very tough question because I am proud of everything my team has done today. The life of The Asian Entrepreneur is filled with proud moments, after proud moments for me. I remember the earliest celebration we had was surviving our first issue, then later on towards the successful launch of our website, the growth of the website, securing better distributing networks, securing big entrepreneurs, securing equity partners, launching our private equities programme, to name a few. Truly, I celebrate everything we've been blessed with so far and the hard work the men and women at The Asian Entrepreneur has put in.

Along your journey, what was a major challenge that you faced?

I think the major challenge that I faced at The Asian Entrepreneur was figuratively speaking, meeting the crossroad between choosing whether to go 'all-in' into what we were doing or maintaining the same level of consistency and approach, we've had at that point. The Asian Entrepreneur started as a project that I managed to get a few friends interested in. We were incredibly "zen" about it, it was truly a passion, but really a side project. Partly, because at that time, I was involved in and managing a demanding startup private equity company. It was not until we were getting the adequate reception for The Asian Entrepreneur that I began to realize that we really needed to take it to the next level, or it would have been doomed to be a pet project with its true potential forever unrealized. It was a tough decision to make, because it required substantial capital investments in business resources that we did not have at the time, but also substantial investments in time. Fortunately, we made the move but transitioning into an actual enterprise from what began as a personal project was the hardest challenge that I believe we faced.

To the aspiring entrepreneur out there, what is your advice to him?

The only advice I would give is a personal motto of mine, "difficulty does not equate to impossibility and persistence is the key to excellence." It is that we should realize that we are truly powerful in this life, and that any obstacles we encounter is never insurmountable unless we allow it to be. I truly believe if you persist hard enough in the face of difficulties and failures with a tenacious spirit, you will truly excel in anything you do.

For more information The Asian Entrepreneur is available on Facebook!

The Asian Entrepreneur Magazine Reviewed by JaamZIN on 12:27:00 PM Rating: 5
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