Making Every Shot Count

Ivey Intouch magazine interviews entrepreneur Ashvinder Singh in Singapore

Recession? What Recession?

Ash Singh, HBA '04 - Owner, Singapore Slingers, CEO, Interactive SG,
and Interactive Director, Imagine OmniMedia, Singapore

Singh started his first business while on exchange in Hong Kong. It was acquired by a company in Singapore, so Singh moved there and started investing. Today he is co-owner of a professional basketball team and leads Interactive SG, which executes digital strategy for brands like Mattel, Skype and RIM Blackberry.

As Interactive Director at Imagine Omnimedia, he helps produce reality shows like Contender Asia and Biggest Loser Asia. He is also the founder of turbanizer.com (check it out!) He received the Canadian Centennial Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship in 2005 and was honored as the Yahoo! "Person of the Web" in 2007.

Branding sponorship has taken a bit of a hit, so getting a title sponsor to put in a couple of million dollars for a show would have been a lot easier three years ago. But I've always believed that digital media is going to be the way of the future, so while we have our TV business, we have noticed that sponsors are coming into the digital realm in a very big way. It has worked out really well because we have almost all the options in television and digital television.

Anyone who put money into the stock market over the past year or two has been hit hard. People in real estate have been hit moderately. In the venture capital space, this is almost a perfect storm. I've spent most of my money investing in businesses and startups in sectors where I saw a lot of growth, whether it be clean energy or digital media. We're being more agressive now because everyone is looking to get the momentum moving again, and we feel that venture capital is a catalyst for that.

It's all about looking at where business is going to be in the next five or ten years. You can come to a place like Singapore and get a business set up in less than a day using all digital tools. Your employees can be all over the world. People talked about this in textbooks and lectures over the last few years and now it's happening. People who are looking for opportunities have to start believing in this stuff.

The beauty of our business is that we're on the pulse of things. We're talking to major brands on a regular basis, so we get a sense of where the market is heading before anyone else does. If you have a system that can quickly react, you can take advantage of it.

For a company in the digital space, right now is the best time to start a business. Government support is at a high point and labour is available at a low price. If you want to do something, do it now and set yourself up so that when the upswing happens, you're right there and can take advantage of it. 

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