Angeline Tong – Chief Curator at HOL Experiences Pte Ltd

Angeline Tong is a self-described ‘architect of narratives’ and for 15 years has been curating numerous experiential spaces and experiences for brands, government agencies, NGOs, private individuals, museums and galleries

What’s your story? 
I’m generally a very curious person, and find that I remember best when I get to listen, see, touch and/or do things. Maybe because of the way I process information, I become very sensitive to people as I usually get more from their body language and expressions than from verbal communications or words. It also trains me to think from other people’s perspective and to connect dots together for them in a way they can understand best. 

What excites you most about your industry? 
Even though my industry is into spaces; be it physical or virtual spaces, fundamentally, these spaces are built for people. I enjoy understanding and learning about people – what motivates people, how people enjoy taking in information and why people behave the way they do. With big data, I can now put two and two together in a more structured and analytical manner to design even more personalised experiences. 

What is your connection to Asia? 
I live in Singapore and because of its connectivity to Asia, I have a lot of opportunities to travel, both for work and for leisure. I really enjoy this part of the world – its diversity, its people and its culture. 

Favourite city in Asia for business and why? 
Shenzhen. The people I met in SZ are very entrepreneurial and are always coming up with new business ideas and trying them out. The can-do spirit is very infectious. 

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 
“You will only go far if you do things that you believe in.” 

As an entrepreneur, you have a dream. But you wouldn’t know if your dream will eventually become a reality. You just have to trust your gut and work hard. You can only do so if you truly believe in your dream. 

Who inspires you? 
I enjoy listening to entrepreneurs share their journeys. Maybe because the entrepreneurial journey can get very tough at times, finding out how other entrepreneurs cope with their challenges helps me reconcile my own doubts. 

What have you learnt recently that blew you away? 
The median age of a successful entrepreneur is 45 years old. This gives me hope 🙂 

If you had your time again, what would you do differently? 
I would start my business with partners who share the same vision rather than going at it alone. 

How do you unwind? 
Tidying my house and making the place look neat gives me a sense of accomplishment. Actually, tidying my office table is the first and last thing I do every time I arrive and leave the office. 

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? 
I enjoy going to beach resorts in Thailand. Thai hospitality is so addictive and the ability to open your eyes to the ocean right in front of you is just amazing. I usually don’t leave the resort until it’s time to go to the airport. 

Everyone in business should read this book: 
Rather than a book, I would recommend listening to the commencement address given by Steven Jobs at Stanford University in 2005. 

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To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

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