AGE OF DISRUPTION
How about this for a lesson in tenacity? Seventy-four nos.
Patrick Grove, the Co-Founder and CEO of Catcha Group, was hailed as a wunderkind in his 20s, a tech entrepreneurial upstart when he and a group of friends decided to kick down the decidedly aged doors of commerce in South-East Asia. A disruptor before the term was even coined.
Not everyone was in thrall with youth, however, something that Grove learnt very quickly. Then, the dot com bubble burst and everything went south. “It took eight years of stumbles and pivots before Catcha Group found some measure of success,” he says, insisting that, “that’s key – learning from your mistakes and not letting it bring you down.” In fact, it took Grove his 75th try before he finally got a yes when iProperty.com was looking for investors.
“Imagine if we had stopped after meeting 74?” he asks. “That 75th meeting was essentially worth MYR2.25 billion.”
March also sees an in-depth interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers and one of the real life inspirations for The Post directed by Steven Spielberg. Not surprisingly, Ellsberg has been taken by and lent support to younger whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, seeing not just himself in their actions but also recognising the sacrifices they’ve made in defence of their beliefs.
The mentors we’ve featured in the second of a continuing annual series no doubt feel a similar kinship with their protégés. They understand that the mantle must be passed on, and youth must be nurtured if we are to see continuing progress not just in the various industries we work in but, at the risk of sounding idealistic, also for a kind of greater good. As adults, we are just as responsible for the young man who opened fire at the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as we are for the heartfelt rallying call for legislative change in gun laws coming from the mouth of babes.
Generation Next is here. Are we ready?
MINDY TEH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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