Zeenath Kuraisha, Director of APACSMA

Always learning something new. For Zeenath, the sales and marketing training industry never has a dull moment.
What’s your story?
Having worked in the outsourcing industry since 1998,  my first few jobs involved sales and customer relations. I have since taken on consulting assignments and roles in helping organizations set up and, or improve their internal CRM, sales and go-to market efficiencies. I work closely with organizations to cultivate seamless and efficient operating systems supporting them to go to market in a fast, efficient and result oriented manner.
I have worked with various types of sales and marketing organizations and professionals and found organizations struggling or in fire-fighting mode almost all the time.
Professionals were limited with their training support and available resources. I also saw a lot of talented individuals who did not have the organizational support and self-monetary capacity to fund their personal development needs.
As an individual who self-funded my education, I found out the hard way that many training courses were too expensive and not that impactful.
With a passion for the job and to help individuals and organisations, I decided to create INSEAD level executive education. It focuses on business development, sales, marketing and CRM training.
Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Academy and Asia Pacific Sales Management Academy Pte Ltd [known as APAC SMA (www.apacsma.com)] has close to 50 hand-picked industry associates in Asia and 80 across the globe with close to 10 support team members.
What excites you most about your industry?
We fit into the training and education industry as well as the sales industry. The business environment is highly sophisticated and there are a lot of market disruptions and game changers emerging every day. This humbles me and makes me feel so young as I am learning on a daily basis. Our clients are all unique in their own way and so I am always learning something new.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a true blown Asian. Born and brought up in Singapore. I grew up in a Malay family with Indian roots, exposed to Singaporean lifestyle and culture.  
From a work perspective, I have taken on Asia Pacific RHQ roles for the last 17 years and my current organization is all about tailoring customer experiences across Asia.
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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Every city has an opportunity. I live in Singapore and feel Singapore is easy however I love emerging countries as I see lots of people hungry for success, who love to educate themselves and and who are looking forward to a bright future.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
‘The worst of all is death, when that is the ultimate, just keep going daringly. Nothing worse can happen, even if it does it will just be a good learning experience!’
‘Don’t sweat the small stuff!’
Who inspires you?
I meet lots of people every day and every one inspires me in a very unique way. I like people who don’t give up and who really try their best despite their limitations. In fact my husband who has been working for the last 30 years non-stop is a great inspiration. I’m amazed with his daily level of motivation, his energy and how he keeps going with a single goal in his mind – which is to see us smile!
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Cool inventions excite and inspire me. IBM Solar Collector magnifies sun by 2000x which could provide power for the entire planet. 3D printers that make human body parts. Life-saving wearable technology you use underwater. These are some of the things that are really mind blowing!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have gained this level of knowledge and experience without my past. Nevertheless if I had my chance again, I wish I had started investing bravely and developed more self-operating businesses!
Personally my entire life has been devoted to building my family, career and education. Breaking away and exploring the world in leisure (and not in business) would have been the best I could do for myself.
How do you unwind?
My family time is precious, I look forward to holidays, music, good food and pampering sessions to unwind.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I like cool mountains and serene crystal clear beaches. Connecting with nature and going back to basics is always the best!
India has lots of holiday spots. Ipoh Benjaran Hot Spring Resorts, Tioman, Redang and Perhentian Islands in Malaysia are among my favourites.
Everyone in business should read this book:
There are a lot of books. The recent one I found very good was ‘GameChangers’ and ‘From Selling to Co-Creating.’
Shameless plug for your business:
We are all about you! You achieving your ambition and goal. This is our ultimate success!
We are the only one in Asia with such a variety of specialized sales and marketing offerings with top notch lecturers, trainers and coaches. We have a highly profiled teaching faculty in various subject areas to dive deep into your issues and support you to address your business or professional gaps. We encourage our clients to leverage on our huge team of expertise and outsource their sales academy for a small monthly fee.
We pride in your success! We don’t rest until you are happy! For us, It’s always relationships first!
Our mission is to make APAC SMA the preferred one-stop sales education service provider across Asia Pacific.
Our vision is to make sales education affordable to individuals and organizations enabling us to share what matters, without having to burst your budget.                                                                    
How can people connect with you?
I’m available any time at zeena@apacsma.com.
LinkedIn: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/zeena
Website: www.apacsma.com
Twitter handle?

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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