“Empowerment gives you the freedom to choose what you want in life”, says Anthony Tan
Anthony Tan is a director of East Asia Research. East Asia Research (EAR) is established in Singapore to enhance productivity and reduce poverty in Asia. EAR strives to make continuous efforts to transform people’s lives in Asia through education, the application of research, and innovative ideas. This will be achieved through the dissemination of knowledge from Asia.
Continue reading to find out more about Anthony Tan as a gung-ho person.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your journey.
A: I come from a middle-class family with both my parents working as civil servants. They encouraged me to work hard and do well in school. I have taken their advice and earned my BSC. Statistics in 2004 from NUS and a Masters in Applied Finance from the University of Adelaide in 2006. I remember my 20s as a period in my life that is full of football and books. It was a simple and uneventful life then. I have always been interested in human behaviour and try to learn as much as possible. I am a conversational hypnotist and am taking an acting course currently.
Q: Let’s talk about your current occupation or business. What do you do?
A: In 2015 I started my own academic conference company, East Asia Research, in Singapore. East Asia Research works with universities to organise academic conferences in Singapore. We work with publishers to print the scientific papers presented at the conference. East Asia Research will organise four conferences annually. More details are available here.
Q: How did you come up with this concept and carry it out?
A: I realized that there is a lack of good Social Science conferences organized in Singapore. I thought I could contribute by organizing them.
Q: What about your line of work excites you the most?
A: This is a traditional industry that is being disrupted by new technology. Information technology is changing how information is being exchanged. In the past, information about a conference is through word of the mouth or mailers. Now we are using social media and emails. The scientific papers are now published in electronic books more. Hard copy versions are still available though. The industry is pushing over the technology tipping point and it is exciting.
Q: What has been your most challenging obstacle, and how did you overcome it?
A: In the beginning, it was hard to convince people of my company, East Asia Research’s ability to organise good scientific conferences. They want to see a good track record. It is impossible to establish that for a new company. It is impossible to run in-person conferences with the current COVID-19 and travel restrictions. We are organizing hybrid conferences in December since we are expecting just partial recovery from COVID-19.
Q: What would you do differently if you could go back in time and do things differently knowing what you know now?
A: I will still do this business, however, I should have diversified into adult training earlier. The business will be more resilient if it is diversified. I am currently looking at the possibility of organizing WSQ or Skillsfuture courses for Singaporeans.
Q: What are some of the most crucial aspects of establishing a successful company?
A: Money. An amply financed company can afford to make mistakes and lose more money before going bust. It buys you time and opportunities.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring and first-time entrepreneurs?
A: If you are gung-ho and have good financials, you are suitable for entrepreneurship.
Be a gung-ho person too, a person who is overly enthusiastic or energetic.
You can reach Anthony Tan on LinkedIn.