The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
CEO of Swiss Bloc Capital which is the Swiss Holding company that owns SBC Travel Pte Ltd., and currently also interim CEO of SBC Travel.
Tell us about your company?
SBC Travel is a Singapore based travel agency which was set up to provide travel services and benefits to Swiss Bloc Capital’s digital currency membership community of which there are over 100,000 members and growing. Members receive access to heavily discounted travel provided by SBC Travel. SBC Travel is also one of the few travel agencies in the world which allows travellers to pay for their travel with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. We also accept WeChat Pay and Alipay as well as traditional forms of payment such as credit and debit cards.
What do you love most about your job?
Having both payments and hospitality experience, I love the fact I get to utilise my skills in both areas, working for an extremely innovative group creating next-generation travel and payment experiences for both leisure and corporate travellers.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We work in a very dynamic, fast-paced environment and industry. Something new happens, is discovered, or learned every day, so waking up and wondering what’s going to happen today is very energising.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
We adopt a “no idea is a bad idea” culture, so everyone contributes, and as a team, we decide which concepts we will invest time and effort into. I am always inspired by the ideas and deep thinking the team provides to keep us ahead of the game.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We stay light-hearted and don’t take ourselves too seriously, even when we face challenges and crisis. One thing I have learned is that things typically never turn out as bad as you think they will. Regular team lunches help serve as a distraction from the day to day tasks as well!
What are some of the challenges of your job?
While we are breaking new ground every day, our products, services, and thinking are either a little early for the market, OR we are at just the right time – we aren’t sure yet. This requires education to businesses and individuals about what’s possible, and to get them to change their way of doing a particular task, such as booking travel. Getting people to understand this, and trust our word being a new business sometimes has its challenges.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Communication is the number one thing that makes a project succeed or fail. Even when there is a crisis, or you fall behind, or costs blowout – as long as information is being communicated regularly and efficiently to all stakeholders then decisions can be made to best manage the situation.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
The usual advice. Do your homework, under forecast sales, and over budget on expenses. Don’t spend too much time on a business plan and do real-world tests as soon as you can so you have the option to fail fast or pivot if required.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: