CFA Society Singapore
Ashima Thomas and Abhi Kumar do not consider themselves unconventional, despite giving up secure, well-paying jobs to start their own media production firm. Thomas had worked for several years with multinational news organisations, while Kumar was a director at a global bank’s Singa pore headquarters. Three years ago, the husband-and-wife team took the plunge and started Warrior9 so that Kumar could make a short film. He majored in accountancy at university but has long had a passion for scriptwriting.
“I never thought I would be a business owner,” Thomas says. “I grew up thinking the only way to be successful was to climb the career ladder, like my parents and their friends did.” Still, she was inspired by the numerous entre preneurs she met at a co- working space in her previous job. Indeed, Thomas notes that more young graduates today are taking time to explore their options with start-ups, instead of rushing to secure a stable job.
“There is an increasing trend among millennials to create and run their own start-ups in Singapore,” says Toby Fowlston, managing director, Southeast Asia, of Robert Walters Singapore, a professional recruitment consultancy. Unsurprisingly, there is great interest in launching technology start-ups, such as those dealing with mobile app development or online retail sites, he adds. According to data from SPRING Singapore, the number of tech and “knowledge-intensive” start-ups in the city state has been growing fast, nearly doubling from 2,800 in 2004 to 5,400 in 2014, and counting.