#Asia 5 Asian entrepreneurs with excellent personal branding


Behind every powerful personal brand is a compelling story

Personal branding is essential for every entrepreneur, because it puts a human face to his or her company.

Today’s post focuses on five entrepreneurs with excellent personal branding. For the purpose of this post, let’s define personal branding as “superior skills made aspirational”. These entrepreneurs have excellent personal branding because not only do they have superior skillsets, but they also inspire a sense of awe in their audience through their stories.

1. Tiffany Pham, founder of Mogul

In this video, Tiffany Pham recounts why and how she built Mogul, a digital publishing platform for women all by herself in the initial stages. The fact that she lacked previous experience in the tech field did not deter her at all — she simply taught herself how to code!

At that time, information sharing portals such as Reddit, which catered mainly to male millennials, and Wikipedia, were made of 91 per cent male editors. Spotting a market opportunity, Tiffany coded the initial stages of Mogul all by herself at her kitchen table at 3 AM, and the site launched to over 2 million users within its first week.

This sense of resourcefulness and never-say-die attitude is inspiring to every young entrepreneur, indeed! Tiffany’s excellent personal branding and story-telling is how she went on to bag the title of “The Queen of Millennials” and ELLE Magazine “30 Women Under 30 Who Are Changing the World”, just to name a few.

2. Benny Se Teo, Founder of Eighteen Chefs

In the above video, Benny Se Teo shares with us how his business almost faced bankruptcy until he learnt how to work on his personal branding — thereby shifting his marketing efforts from his restaurant to himself. This strategic shift paid off extremely well. “Just like how banks are remembered by their CEOs, restaurants can be better remembered by their chefs.”

And what a compelling story Benny has. Benny Se Teo used to be a high school dropout and a drug-addict who was in and out of rehabilitation centres. He decided to turn over a new leaf one day and started Eighteen Chefs, a chain of restaurants that not only has great food but also with close to half of its employees with difficult pasts.

Also read: 10 invaluable lessons every start up failure teaches us

And it is this story which inspires trust and loyalty in his customers. Benny Se Teo actually practises what he preaches!

3. Anna Vanessa Haotanto, founder of The New Savvy

As the founder of The New Savvy, Anna Haotanto saved her first million dollars at the age of 29. Today, Anna considers it her mission to help thousands of women become financially prudent after witnessing women stuck in unfaithful or violent marriages due to a lack of financial independence during her community service in Junior Colleges.

And this is why she started The New Savvy — a portal specially meant to increase the financial literacy of women. We love how she utilises her expertise for the greater good of society!

4. Kuik Shiao-yin, Nominated Member of Parliament, Singapore

Entrepreneurs can broadly be defined as “people who want to make a lasting difference in society”. In the above video, the NMP tells many heartfelt stories of the less advantaged in Singapore and encourages all of us to contribute to a kinder, more inclusive and compassionate Singapore.

Indeed, NMP Kuik Shiao-yin is one of the few member of parliment who comes across as grounded, of no-airs, a community person and approachable. This is probably due to her personal branding as a great storyteller for the people. Also the co-founder of an entity known as The Thought Collective, Shiao-yin does regard it as her personal mission to encourage community building in Singapore from the ground-up.

5. Derek Tan, Viddsee

Let’s end this post with the fifth entrepreneur: A storyteller for for storytellers. Derek Tan started Viddsee along with his co-founder Ho Jia Jian out of their love for film-making. They loved film so much that they decided to create a unique video hosting service built on curated high quality user-generated content for the Asian market, for independent film makers.

Isn’t Derek’s story encouraging? To see a gap in the industry related to your passion, and deciding to do something about it so that you can serve all parties in the industries. We respect this initiative a lot!

Inspired yet? It is nothing short of a pleasure to feature entrepreneurs with excellent personal branding. When we use our expertise to make a difference in society, the sky is the limit!


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The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

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