In Pictures: Roundtable Event On Fulfillment, Expansion And Growth During The Pandemic

By Heidi Yeung

We held a Mastermind event on August 17 centred on how entrepreneurs can evolve and grow through hard times

Tatler Asia
Tim Fu shared that PayPal employees are operating at 80 percent work from home, a pivot that came as a response to the pandemic (Photo: Anna Koustas)
Cover  Tim Fu, PayPal's market leader for Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, shared that his company's employees are operating at 80 percent work from home, a pivot that came as a response to the pandemic (Photo: Anna Koustas)

Gen.T hosted a Mastermind roundtable event in partnership with PayPal on August 17.

Tatler House provided the perfect venue for a lively discussion over a delicious three-course lunch, prepared by Salisterra head chef Tony Leung and his team, which gave Gen.T honourees the chance to share their experiences and insights with like-minded peers.

The theme of the day was “Evolve and Grow”, and conversations flowed from talking about reassessing business models and adapting to crises, to the importance of prioritising personal health and well-being.

Honourees in attendance hailed from the wellness, education, fashion, marketing and sports industries. They were Gianni Melwani of Ikigai, Mazing Lee of Lify Wellness, Candice Chan of LifeHub, Sarah Tong of Big Bang Academy, Vince Siu of Press Start Academy, Walden Lam of Unspun, Kelvin Kwong of XGD Media, and Milanie Becker and Snooky Wong of Madame Quad.

An added bonus was that it was Wong's birthday, and she and Becker lit up the room the moment they rolled up, literally, on their quad skates.

Joining the event from PayPal were Tim Fu, market leader for Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan; Syd Wong, head of acquisition for Large Enterprise and Marketplace in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan; and Sally Cheung, Market Development Manager for Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Read more: In Pictures: Expanding Into East Asia With PayPal’s Patrick Foo

As the co-founder of Ikigai, a yoga and meditation studio that opened amid the pandemic in Hong Kong, Melwani was severely impacted by the city’s response to Covid-19 and his biggest takeaway was to “keep your team lean and have foolproof systems in place”. 

One big topic that emerged organically was the need to adapt and pivot, with many honourees describing how the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn forced them to change tack in order to survive. 

Lam’s Unspun, which makes custom-fitted jeans, offered remote fittings when social restrictions prevented people from visiting its physical store, while LifeHub’s Chan docked her and her chairman’s payroll to ensure her staff stayed employed and paid throughout the pandemic. These were just some of the ways the honourees responded to crises, but even better than reacting to disaster is to prepare for it.

“The majority of us know offence, but hardly anyone knows defence,” said XGD Media’s Kwong, whose business of outdoor advertising took a hit when there were fewer people going outdoors.

The lunch wrapped up with a passionate dialogue on self-care, a constant struggle in the life of an entrepreneur, and the importance of respecting your own limits and well-being. 

“It’s so important to set boundaries,” said birthday girl, Wong from Madame Quad. “I want to do everything, but I can’t.”

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