At six years old, when other children were perfecting their ABCs, Wendy Chen was learning about data structures from her father. He wasn't intentionally grooming her into a tech wunderkind. Rather, it was his creative solution to help her learn English. (The family had just uprooted from China to Canada.) "He used to write computer programs to teach me things. So my relationship with computer programming and artificial intelligence has always been very personal," shares 33-year-old Wendy. "My dad (who has a PhD in computer science) always talked about coding in terms of algorithms and the design of the systems rather than as a language itself. That's something I now take for granted." The exposure paid off in spades. Wendy eventually took what she learnt at home, and later at university, to work on Wall Street as a quant trader dealing with complex algorithms and trading strategies (just like in the Billions TV series.) In 2013, she set up Omnistream, a retail data analytics start-up … [Read more...] about Tech entrepreneur Wendy Chen is a woman with a game plan
Family business succession planning
DECHA Siriphat, now in his 70s, could have had a good time taking a rest from his work, climbing up to the treehouse at his Khao Khwan Foundation in Suphan Buri, listening to Mozart’s Godspell melodies or reading good books including Dhamma as he had always done. Instead, the 71-year-old long-time sustainable agriculture advocate turned newly-endorsed traditional medicine practitioner, has taken on a new challenge to overcome: campaigning for a new round of legal amendments to the already newly amended Narcotics Law in order to free marijuana from any obstacles preventing its use for medical purposes. So, instead of reading Dhamma and listening to Mozart in his treehouse, the advocate is busy discussing plans with his colleagues and supporters, who will in the next few days launch the country’s first long-distance Cannabis Walk Thailand to raise public awareness on marijuana and surrounding issues. “If people looked at me from the lens of advocacy and were … [Read more...] about SPECIAL REPORT: A work life anchored in Dhamma
FAMILY businesses are “stronger financially, have higher stakeholders, live longer and are more trusted by the public, Harvard Business Review says, a finding endorsed by Credit Suisse and EY. Despite superior performance metrics compared with non-family companies, family businesses don’t enjoy corporate longevity. One of the oldest FOBs worldwide is Hoshi Ryokan, a Japanese inn, founded in 718 and run by the same family for 46 generations. Other family business centurions are US-owned Hallmark Cards Inc established in 1910 and Germany’s KASTO Maschinenbau, a global sawing and storage technology specialist which celebrated its 175th birthday this year. Transience is the norm, for most family businesses. Only 30% of family businesses last into a second generation, 12% reach the third and a niggardly 3% get to the fourth generation and beyond, data by the Family Business Institute shows. Family businesses face unique management issues: separating family and work … [Read more...] about Yin and yang of family businesses
As the first and only street venue in Thailand to be awarded a Michelin star, the queues outside Jay Fai’s shophouse are long as gourmets from around the world flock to taste her signature dishes. Since that win a little over a year ago, Supinya Junsuta, or Jay Fai as she is more commonly known, has been no stranger to the media but now she’s getting more exposure that she ever dreamt of with her inclusion in Netflix’ latest |documentary series “Street Food Asia”. Netflix worked with the creators of Chef’s Table on the series, which explores the rich culture of street food in Thailand, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, and goes beyond the famous dishes to the sweat and tears that has made the eateries so iconic. Thailand opens the series and takes viewers behind the scenes to listen to the lady herself. “I feel sorry for myself,” says Jay Fai after a long pause when asked … [Read more...] about The lady behind the wok
The beautiful, sun-kissed islands of our tourism paradise of the Philippines have the mixed blessings of abundant natural resources, fertile volcanic soil and also lots of natural disasters once in a while, such as earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, typhoons, and others. How can businesses — most especially the numerous micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) — be prepared for any natural or manmade disasters? How can small enterprises and professionals survive calamities and accidents? The following is not based just on textbook research or interviews, but I personally suffered a destructive accidental fire in one of my businesses and it was caused by the fire from a next-door neighbor’s business (which had mysteriously been allowed to operate by the fire department without any fire extinguishers, while my staff had to use up to 13 units of 10-kilo and 20-kilo fire extinguishers). Here are suggestions for all of us: Review and be sure to update your … [Read more...] about How can small businesses & professionals prepare for disasters?