The road to success
Banking, law and medicine have historically been the three professions most coveted across Asia for their cultural association with ‘success’. This mentality has been pervasive in Singapore society and enforced from a young age. There’s a huge importance placed on academic achievement, from excelling at exams to outstanding performance at university.
The last decade has seen a significant rise in entrepreneurs and the start-up community in the city-state, which has promoted a shift in perception about what it means to be successful. This has had the positive knock-on effect of encouraging people to use their individual talents and passions to build unique and successful businesses.
FitLion and Gymm Boxx: Tse Yong’s story
Growing up, Tan Tse Yong did not fit the traditional mould of an aspiring academic. Instead, his skill lay in athletics. He was most at home when on the track. At school, Tse Yong was Track Captain and regularly took the title of Best Track Athlete. This earned him the honour of twice representing Singapore at the ASEAN Track Meet. Of the seven track records he set at National Junior College in 1997, none have been broken.
Tse Yong’s prowess in the sporting arena eventually helped him realise there were alternative pathways to success. Having struggled academically, he was unable to secure a place at University. However, he decided to turn this to his advantage and continues to believe that “failure is just a stepping stone”.
Tse Yong launched online sports and nutrition store FitLion.com in 2009 and Gymm Boxx, a neighbourhood gym, in 2010. The foundations of his business offering lie in his belief that keeping fit and healthy can be made easily accessible, even in fast-paced Singapore where people often find themselves short of time.
Tse Yong’s unerring commitment and commendable leadership helped FitLion, Singapore’s first e-commerce business, to achieve industry recognition. He secured a position as a top 14 finalist of the OCBC Emerging Enterprise Awards in 2015 and SME 1000 Award the following year, which honours the top 1% of over 180,000 local Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore. Gymm Boxx has enjoyed similar growth, going from a single gym to a chain on seven.
Tse Yong acknowledges that scaling the business from $600,000 to $13 million over the last seven years has been a challenge, but one he was able to overcome with the support of innovative technology and market-leading partners.
“Working with KPMG and Xero has been instrumental to my business growth” says Tse Yong. “We are always looking for ways to improve our business. Access to world-class advisory services and the latest in cloud accounting has propelled my business from a start-up to where it is today.”
All companies go through stages of growth, and each presents its own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Tse Yong points out that whatever your objectives, there is no ‘one-size fits-all’ approach. He says, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a savvy entrepreneur, Mom & Pop hawker or looking to take your business global — KPMG will help you jump the hurdles and claim the victories. I’ve never doubted that KPMG was the best professional adviser for my business.”
At first, Tse Yong had his concerns that a Big 4 Advisor like KPMG might not be willing to invest in a relationship with a smaller enterprise. He was quickly proven wrong when KPMG brought him on board and became invaluable counsel to the business. Through their Digital Marketplace they also helped his business find the software and tools he needed to run it efficiently.
“Life before Xero was tough,” he says. “Everything was done manually and accounts and financials were all kept in excel spreadsheets. This meant that it was difficult to scale. Cloud computing, Xero and the latest in e-commerce technology helped me to free up considerable resource and time, and concentrate on what I do best.”
The Next Chapter
When it comes to the future, Tse Yong believes that preparation is key.
With his sights set on global expansion, Tse Yong knows that mobility will be a crucial to his success. With the power of cloud computing, he can work on his business anywhere in the world at any time.
He believes that KPMG and Xero have been critical in enabling growth and innovation, and that the continued partnership is what will make his vision of taking his business global a reality.
To learn more about KPMG Singapore – Xero’s first Platinum partner in Asia – and their SME services, visit http://kpmg.com.sg/digitalmarketplace/sme
Alternatively, you may find a Xero-certified advisor through the Xero Advisor Directory: https://www.xero.com/sg/advisors/
The post Fitlion & Gymm Boxx: Achieving business success in Singapore with a Xero advisor appeared first on Xero Blog.