Learn from past mistakes, entrepreneurs urged

|     Danial Norjidi     |

AS AN entrepreneur it is important to always be learning from other people as well as from previous mistakes, so that your business can evolve and grow.

These were some of the points highlighted during a panel discussion during the third session of the Local Business Development (LBD) Forum at the Radisson Hotel on September 27.

The session featured a panel comprising three emerging local entrepreneurs – Shy Nokman, the founder of Sparkle with Shy; Vanessa Teo, the founder of Agrome IQ; and Aizuddin Fakhri, the founder of KadaiRuncit.com.

Entitled ‘Beyond the old economy: Exploring new horizons for Brunei business’ the session was moderated by Andrew Dy, the General Manager of Regional Programmes for Asia Inc Forum.

One of the questions posed by the moderator to the panel pertained to personal habits that have contributed to their drive and success.

The session under way. – DANIAL NORJIDI

A qualified barrister at law by previous profession and a full-time business woman by choice, Shy Nokman runs an online business that provides online fitness, weight loss and food related programmes where her clients can eat food they love in moderation without feeling like they are on a diet, while still losing weight.

Responding to the question, Shy shared, “I have a fear of failure. It is a teacher, but I fear it quite a bit, so I actually do a lot of reading.”

“It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing as long as you’re trying to improve yourself, that’s the only thing that matters, because if you’re not improving yourself, your business isn’t going to grow.”

She also highlighted the importance of being mindful of whom you surround yourself with. “You are the average of the five people you hang out with, so make sure they’re five very good people, or else you’re not going to go far.”

Vanessa Teo is the founder of Agrome IQ, a venture that provides agricultural business intelligence and analytics to growers by supporting their decision-making processes. Their technology collects data from farm systems to create customised solutions and real-time monitoring to increase overall farm productivity.

“I’m always willing to learn, and I know that I don’t know everything. So I think that’s very important to always keep in mind,” she said, in response to the same question. “I think no matter how far your journey goes, to always know that there’s always something you don’t know.”

“There’s always someone that can contribute to your team, and I think that when you build an organisation, it is all about identifying who you can learn from, or who can contribute more than you, because sometimes, yes you started the company, but you may not know everything. So sometimes you have to work with people and you must know how to bring out talent as well.”

The third member of the panel was Aizuddin Fakhri, the founder of online e-commerce site KadaiRuncit.com and Naindah.com. After studying computer science specialising in information security in Royal Holloway, University of London from 2009-2012, Aizuddin began a career as a project coordinator. He started an IT consulting company in 2015 that expanded its portfolio into building up KadaiRuncit.com and Naindah.com.

“For me, failure is actually my friend,” he said, sharing that he keeps the lessons that he has learnt and makes sure not to repeat mistakes.

“I actually break down problems into smaller problems and make a to-do list to achieve what I want to achieve, so every day I’m always adding things to my to-do list to achieve the bigger picture.”

“So that’s how I keep tabs on how I’m progressing and how I’m getting closer to what I want to achieve as well,” he added.