Andeed Ma has been a cloud-business and risk management leader for more than 13 years in a large SaaS enterprise environment. These experiences have equipped him with practical knowledge, skills, and strategies to mentor and coach numerous early-stage start-ups in various industries. He is also an Angel Investor with an interest in AI/ML and Healthcare technologies. He sits on the Board of Advisors to NUS Alumni Ventures, supports the start-up ecosystem through regular judging, mentoring, and advising founders on areas relating to market, team, and technology risk management. Andeed is also the present elected President of a non-profit risk association in Singapore known as RIMAS (Risk and Insurance Management Association of Singapore), and he is presently involved in commercial operation and enablement works for an internet unicorn.
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Andeed Ma: My story begins way back in 2008 when I was still a business user in both the marine engineering field and healthcare field. It was where I began my journey into enterprise risk management and database management. As the market evolved, I found myself becoming more of a technologist who can understand and translate business requirements/problems into actual solutions. This allows me to play several roles in some of the large cloud B2B SaaS players in the market such as ServiceNow, Ivanti, and ByteDance (Lark). With the corporate experience, coupled with my intrapreneur growth, I was able to share deeper insights, pitfalls, and approaches with many of the early-stage startups that I have mentored. The journey has not ended, but it is just the beginning…
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Andeed Ma: Sure. The hardest part of my journey would perhaps be the uncertainty each time I am taking up a new role that no one has ever done before. It requires lots of trial and error, followed by a systematic way of staying disciplined and focusing on the objective that has been planned out to be hit. The path is never straight, unpredictable circumstances always require one to be ready to be adaptive or to change. There is always a point of giving up but it is at that point when you persevere, that there is always another path that will appear at the end of the tunnel to guide you.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Andeed Ma: When choosing a co-founder, many entrepreneurs have mistaken the fact that hiring a co-founder is the same as hiring an employee. This is not true. A co-founder is someone who can share the same North Star vision you are pursuing and that they walked the same path as you do. While an employee who can turn into a co-founder has many paths that they can choose from, and often it is for themselves more than for the company.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Andeed Ma: It has brought about more positive effects to us. We were able to be more productive at work and at home. The time that we used to spend on traveling can now be turned into a potential business opportunity or a partnership opportunity online. We are a knowledge business, hence online shopping is always an option that is available for our partners, members, and customers.
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values?
Andeed Ma: Vision. The ability to choose a lens and set a sight far enough to gel an organization is really critical in ensuring resiliency, especially in times of global crisis or turbulence. It helps people to stay on course.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Andeed Ma: The three character traits are listening, observing, and executing
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Andeed Ma: It is important, especially your digital branding. Your brand represents people’s trust in you, and that trust translates to your ability to drive a vision that charts the direction for any business.
How would you define “leadership”?
Andeed Ma: Servant leadership is a concept of leadership in which the leader’s primary objective is to serve others. This is in contrast to traditional leadership, in which the leader’s primary concern is the success of their firm or organization. Rather than the leader serving the people, the leader lives to serve the people.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Andeed Ma: Be very clear about what you are aiming for in life. Be very clear about what problem you are solving for who. Be very clear if the problem is painful enough for someone to be willing to pay you as part of their cost structure in the business. If you are clear on all of the above, go for it! But this is only just the beginning… much more to learn, to fail, and to succeed as an entrepreneur.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Andeed Ma: “The biggest risk a person can take is to do nothing.” – Robert Kiyosaki
In my life, it is all about taking calculated risks so as to ensure that you have a margin of safety in the path you have chosen. This quote has always been driving my outgoing attitude towards doing deals and making deals.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Andeed Ma for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Andeed Ma or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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