Entrepreneurship and You: Chiang Joon Arn

In this interview feature of the series, let’s meet Mr Chiang Joon Arn, Board Director of ACE and Managing Partner at EY’s Asia-Pacific Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS).

Joon Arn’s extensive experience includes providing accounting advisory services to international and local clients, which include GAAP conversions, accounting for complex transactions in various sectors, tax restructurings and arbitrations between disputing companies. He features regularly at seminars, trainings and has been invited to speak at conferences organized by accounting bodies, relating to Singapore FRS, IFRS and U.S. GAAP.

While Joon Arn may not a start-up founder, the entrepreneurial spirit is certainly ingrained in him as we uncovered the entrepreneurial side of him in this exclusive interview.

Tell us more about the entrepreneurial side of you? How did you get acquainted with it before you decide to join ACE on the Board of Directors?

Being normal and following the norms hasn’t always being my cup of tea. Challenging the status quo, looking at the world in new ways and seeing how we can do things differently to help our clients has always been in my work DNA. Within my Firm, I have been charged with growing a new business within an established business. This presented different obstacles than perhaps what a traditional entrepreneur may face. Nonetheless, the energy and rush of doing something new is one which I find attractive and compelling.

The media covers the Singapore startup scene quite extensively and ACE is a core part of this scene. I volunteered first as part of the ACE audit committee, my personal area of forte, before joining the Board to provide a different perspective on the Board’s strategy and operations.

What is entrepreneurship to you?

It means risk. It means being bold. It means to look from the customers perspective today, but also to be able to climb into a time-machine and anticipate the client’s needs of tomorrow

If you were to embark on the startup journey now, what would it be? Why?

Personally, I would love to do something in the space of food technology and supply. If we could get higher quality and higher volume of food from the food source, directly onto our family’s tables, the quality of our health from what we eat would improve and food shortages could be mitigated.

What is one entrepreneurial quality that you think is the most important quality for startups in Singapore

To be able to dream big. Be ambitious and think beyond what you know, and imagine what you may not know today.

Why do you think this quality is important to them?

Because it means having a risk appetite to go try, to be bold, to be willing to fail, yet knowing the direction that you need to strive for.

As ACE’s Board Director, in what ways do you hope to help startups through ACE or other means?

To create a conducive environment for startups to plug into to get ‘juiced’.

What is your vision for the Singapore Startup Ecosystem?

To inspire 5 Unicorns within the next 5 years.

If there is one advice you need to give to our startups, what would that be?

Be bold.

The Entrepreneurship and You series is a collection of inspiring stories from people who have made a difference and played a part in the entrepreneurial scenes. In every feature, we will ask the person of interest a series of questions for him or her to share his/her success strategies and advice for fellow entrepreneurs or founders-to-be. We hope that through this series, we will be able to inspire more people to be part of the startup scene.


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