Notwithstanding his love of golf, Manni Sidhu is driven by the belief that his new model for PR gives a voice to the 80% of businesses who are unable to afford conventional PR.
What’s your story?
I’m an entrepreneur who has lived and worked in 6 countries. Starting out in food and beverage as the master franchisee for Nandos Chicken in Alberta Canada, I quickly learnt about the discipline, hard work, problem solving, and patient mentality required to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Upon my successful exit, I decided to move to Asia in quest of a bigger challenge. After working in consulting, and fintech, I navigated my way into the PR industry and my current role as co-founder and CEO of Coleegs.
What excites you most about your industry?
80% of businesses can’t tell their story because they can’t afford PR services. Social media is overcrowded with 2 billion posts a day – earned media is the only vehicle to separate yourselves from the noise. I’m excited by the challenge of building a new model for PR that takes on the agencies and gives the 80% a voice.
Over the past four years, myself, our team of PR experts, journalists, and co-founder have worked tirelessly to build Coleegs – a tech powered PR company with a focus on media outreach, helping businesses across the globe get published in top tier media.
What is your connection to Asia?
I moved to Asia shortly after selling Nandos almost 8 years ago; it was a calling truth be told. I started out in Hong Kong where I did a little consulting work and completed my E-MBA. After several visits to Singapore I decided to move here and begin the next phase of my entrepreneurial journey.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore! Without a shadow of doubt. Singapore has all the elements that entrepreneurs look for when building a company, opportunity, ecosystem, support, funding and much more.
Most entrepreneurs will also have a personal attachment to where they live and work. For me Singapore is the perfect hub with proximity to beautiful countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia thus enabling me to hop on a plane and mix work with pleasure.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Constantly be on the hunt for who you have not become.”
Who inspires you?
Most don’t know, but when Michael Jordan started his NBA career, he walked into a terrible team, it took him 6 years to reach a championship final.
Constantly improving, learning from failure and never quitting. The same can be said if you want to succeed in entrepreneurship.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Trust your gut and listen to the signs. I think intuition is underrated; maybe it’s because I’ve entered my forties and have gained some worldly experience, but my gut decisions have helped me navigate out of some difficult situations. Life has a funny way of guiding you, but you have to listen to the signs.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Ask my high school crush out on a date 🙂
Growing up I was very reserved; I wish I had taken more chances in my personal life, as I did with my business life.
My advice to the young: just take a chance, it’s all about the learning.
How do you unwind?
Golf, Golf…oh and Golf. Couldn’t be more in love with the game.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok! Charm, food, people, music, lounges, and so much more. It’s Asia’s hidden gem.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma. My advice is to read it very slowly, and apply the lessons in each chapter one at a time.
Shameless plug for your business:
PR agencies are outdated.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
Manni Sidhu – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mannisidhu/
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’.