Having a headstrong character, Shelby Tee had picked up skills fast as the Head of Operations in her previous company InterVentures Asia, better known as ‘startup fixer’. She was then given an opportunity to start her first company BlackStorm Consulting, together with the other 2 co-founders, Paddy Tan and Jeslin Bay. Equipped with commendable skills, Shelby will share her journey as an entrepreneur, from the initiation of her business to the management of her personal life.
1. When did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I did not see myself as an entrepreneur or intended to be one.
But when it comes to work, I will always strive for the best. My work pace is fast, and I like challenges. As such, consultancy is suitable for me. I enjoy solving the issues of the clients and it fulfils the criteria on my regular lookout for challenges.
During my last course of work in InterVentures, I had been working closely with many executives from different backgrounds. They got me thinking on how I can better understand their frustrations and resolve the issues they faced. Paddy recognised the efforts and invited my co-worker Jeslin and me to co-found the spinoff to serve the SMEs in Southeast Asia.
Paddy has been mentoring both of us to look into all angles of the businesses. It is by no means an easy feat, but the results are rewarding. My thinking processes and overall soft skills are greatly honed. My experiences from executive to manager to director allows me to nurture the next batch and serve my clients better.
It is fruitful to witness how individuals and companies can benefit and grow with BlackStorm Consulting. And now being an entrepreneur, I will always put myself in clients’ situations to understand and help them better. I will usually use the experiences to advise and create values to involved stakeholders in every level.
2. Briefly share about the company
BlackStorm Consulting is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in scaling business, corporate innovation, and Merger & Acquisition.
We will want to be one of the top recognised firms focusing on Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan markets, and sets the exemplary standard in venture building, crisis management, and business transformation.
We will be the trusted advisors that provide tailored and result-oriented business solution in various stages of the business. Focusing on business growth by preparing the firm internally and building the company to support the expansion/market entry plan.
There are many ways one can grow the businesses. One can grow the business by (1) Market Penetration, (2) Improve & Expansion of offerings and (3) Breakthrough.
Different strokes for different folks. We will need to assess each client’s risk appetite, internal capabilities and gaps. We will then propose the strategies with the consideration on the internal structuring and support required. Sticking with our client can ensure higher chances of execution on the strategies.
In addition, we cover innovating programs for the support team and management training for the executives such as succession planning.
3. Do you face any challenges as a female entrepreneur?
I do not see female entrepreneur as a weakness. In fact, we are able to complement very well in the male dominant business world. With the right management and skillsets, I do not see much challenges as female entrepreneur. We can leverage on the partners and talents to reach the outcomes.
However, there are some challenges faced in developing countries such as Thailand. Females have always been as a nurturing and supporting role in these countries. Many of them are not given the opportunity to shine and discover their capabilities. I am fortunate to grow up in Singapore, the level of gender equality is much higher as compared to the neighbouring countries.
4. What are the benefits you receive as a female entrepreneur?
The world may deem female entrepreneurs or leaders to be of a lower level. However, females tend to see things differently from the males. This can spark new solutions and innovations.
We should not be too obsessed by how others view us, especially with the media going viral. Be yourself. You must earn respect and lead, demonstrating how a good example of female entrepreneur and leader to those personnel that you work with internally and externally. This is all that matters.
5. How do you manage a balance in your work and life?
I do not really believe in work-life balance. It is more about work-life integration. It is using the skillsets, knowledge and experience to integrate and cross-utilise in work and life.
I have this group of friends in which some are running family businesses while others are assuming directorial roles in the civil sectors and MNCs.
Usually we will share about our work when we meet up. It is a good opportunity for me to learn the problems they faced and give different viewpoints which they may overlook.
With different friends coming from various backgrounds, not all friends can understand my perspectives. What really matters is cherishing one another’s company.
About BlackStorm Consulting
BlackStorm Consulting is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We mainly serve clients in four sectors: FinTech, Gaming, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), and manufacturing.
Our clients and connections are internationally present and range from small and medium sized businesses, MNCs, to government agencies.