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Striding towards new challenges

One of the fastest growing companies to be recognised for the Enterprise 50 (E50) award, GEX Ventures believes today's businesses need to resolve tomorrow's problems today

Business and investment consultancy firm GEX Ventures is committed to building the most diverse community of entrepreneurs and investors in the Asia-Pacific. Its chairman, Dr Patrick Liew, shares more.

Q: What would you say is the biggest selling point of your organisation?

A: We believe that great leaders and teamwork are at the heart of all great organisations. GEX Ventures is individually and collectively dedicated to continuous learning, improvement and empowerment.

We practice this by treating our staff as partners and providing them with opportunities to grow. Our staff take ownership of their work and often lead new initiatives to open new markets.

In just a few years, we have built a community of sophisticated investors and entrepreneurs. It is our priority to create wealth for them and impact their lives.

This growth has since led to countless lucrative business and partnership opportunities, making GEX Ventures “one of the fastest growing companies”.

Q: How does GEX build the most diverse community of entrepreneurs and investors in the Asia-Pacific?

A: We build genuine relationships between members of our community, ourselves and the community by leveraging both technology and offline services.

We do this by connecting closely with our community on digital platforms, and updating them with critical information and analyses daily through online groups.

We also design effective e-learning tools and curate offline events, where real connections are forged between future mentors, partners, co-investors, collaborators and friends.

As a result, our community has grown in a seamless, organic and global manner.

One member of our community is VeganBurg, the world’s first plant-based burger joint that launched here in 2010. We are helping it raise capital to fund its growth, so the company can get listed and become a home-grown global business.

Q: What factors do private companies today have to consider versus 10 years ago?

A: Traditional borders and boundaries are disappearing. Companies today need to be both local and global, competitive and collaborative, permanent and transient.

What has worked in the past may not work in the future. If they take the same road, they will reach the same destination. If they want to reach a more desirable destination, they will have to take a different road or create their own roads.

As the pace of change continues unabated, it is imperative that companies be opportunistic rather than reactive.

They will have to ask themselves: What are tomorrow’s problems that they should start resolving from today? What are tomorrow’s opportunities that they should start capitalising upon from today?

Q: What is your yardstick for success?

A: We call our model for success the “6Cs”. These factors drive us to constantly learn, improve and achieve better results.

#1 Cause: Are we serving a worthy and electrifying cause?

#2 Culture: Does our culture empower our people?

#3 Champions and Champion Teamwork: Are we building champions that will work together as a champion team?

#4 Coaching: Are we coaching each other so that we are effectively transferring knowledge? Are we learning from each other to improve results?

#5 Community: Are we building a community of stakeholders that support, love and care for each other? Are we bringing out the best from each other?

#6 Challenge: Are we constantly challenging ourselves to reach higher levels of success and results? Are we able to improve productivity by utilising fewer resources?

Q: What are some qualities that allow GEX to overcome business challenges?

A: We have open, digital and dynamic systems that help us evaluate the impact of new and emerging developments, interpret trends, and think systematically about the future.

To ensure we not only survive turbulence, but emerge stronger than before, we embark on multiple projects simultaneously — assessed and selected based on their potential for synergy.

Not putting all our eggs in the same basket means each project has the potential and resources required to function as a standalone business. When these projects are a success, we reap the benefits multi-fold.

To achieve this, we built an able and agile team that can research and pre-emptively prepare strategies to help our customers and ourselves react and succeed — even if the economy turns south and our market becomes bearish.

Q: How do you feel about your inaugural E50 award win, and the accolades you have received this year?

A: As a company that has been in operation for less than four years, we feel truly honoured to be recognised by our peers and the business community as one of the fastest growing companies.

We are motivated by this recognition to continue creating wealth and impacting lives for our colleagues, customers, communities and country.

Other than the E50 award, 2018 has brought us accolades such as a Champions of Good recognition from the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, and a “Preferred Financial Educator” Award from finance-focused media and technology company ShareInvestor.

We are honoured and humbled by the public recognition from experts and the larger business community for our game-changing model and architecture, as well as our efforts to make the world a better place.