The Future of Work Conference | Singapore

I was asked to speak at The Future of Work Conference in Singapore that Microsoft and Questex put on at the Marriott Hotel the other day. The conference was dedicated to the future of; HR, offices, scheduling, sales, and marketing.

I was asked to speak on the topic of HR and how technology can be an enabler to maximize productivity as well as attract and retain talent. So, I spoke from our experience.

Here is a quick recap:

1. Reasons for Employee Turnover – most reasons employees leave are related to something the company has direct control over.

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2. Adventure Engineering – We talked about PayrollHero’s #AdventureEngineering program and why it came about. Basically, we were looking for ways to compete for talent in a highly competitive worldwide market. Here is the video that we made that explains the program:

3. We chatted about how we work to get feedback from our teams, how we have made some products to help our clients do the same and how transparency helps us build our company culture. Some of the tools we talked about were PayrollHero’s DailyPulse, Xray Insights and tools like 7Geese.

4. Finally, we talked about how our jobs page is laid out on our website. How it is very specific about each role, how the company works, the rhythms we follow as well as a few easter eggs that some applicants find and mention in their cover letters.

After I was joined on stage with a few HR professionals for a panel discussion about HR and the future of work.


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Recap: Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce SME Conference


I had the honour to speak at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce event the other day at Suntec City in the heart of Singapore. This annual event organized by the chamber is the largest conference for SMEs with over 5000 registered attendees.

Singapore Chinese Chamber of CommerceThe theme for the conference was “The new SME. Think Creatively. Act Innovatively”. The concept was all about helping Singapore’s small and medium enterprises think outside the box when it comes to their challenges. Singapore’s SME sector has challenges around finding and retaining talent, growing outside the country and using technology to take businesses to the next level.

The session I was a part of was broken down with four speakers and then a panel session with a question and answer period moderated by Mr. Stephen Lim the CEO of SQL View and involving questions from the audience.

The first speaker up was Dr. Christopher Holmes, the Managing Director of IDC Insights Asia Pacific. Christopher opened the day with his talk titled “Digitization: Disruptor and Transformer” that included stats about where SMEs are going and how technology is changing the face of business.

Next up was Jenny Jang, the Manager of International Business Development for Jiransoft. Jenny’s talk, “Internet of Things, Jiransoft’s Perspective” was all about the internet of things and how devices are getting smarter and smarter. Interestingly, her slides predicted that we are all on our way to carrying around 7 connected smart devices. (think Apple Watch, iPhone, Kindle, Laptop, etc)

Unlocking value through an Innovation EcosystemI was up next with the simple task of telling my story. Myself and my business partner Michael Stephenson has been in business together since 2000 and our journey has seen us start four businesses, selling two of them and brought us to the Philippines, Singapore and into the payroll space. The point of my story was to showcase how thinking outside the box can push you on unexpected journeys and I included a bit about my wife’s accidental business and how she has embraced change.

Wrapping up the speaking section of the day was Mr. Law Chee Keong, Director for Apigee. Chee Keong’s talk, titled “Unlocking value through an Innovation Ecosystem” wrapped up the 3 previous talks with more stats about the future, how the internet of things would continue to change our lives and how SMEs can and need to think about what their businesses will look like in the future.

To wrap up, Stephen Lim, myself and the three other speakers sat down on the stage to take some questions and chat about SMEs.

The day finished off with a VIP dinner at the Singapore flyer hosted by the owner of the flyer, Mr. Wu Hsioh Kwang and the President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commence Mr. Thomas Chua Kee Seng. As part of the dinner, we were treated to a showing of 47 Hill Street, “a show that brings SCCCI history to life, a true reflection on Singapore’s history”. It is worth checking out and gives some great background on the founding of Singapore and the chamber.

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Manila Food and Beverages Expo 2015

Today, I had a chance to take part in the Manila Food and Beverages Expo (MAFBEX) at the World Trade Center. Now on it’s 9th year, I must say that MAFBEX still doesn’t disappoint as one of the most sought after gatherings of the newcomers and pillars of the foodservice and hospitality industry. Whether you’re a company looking to showcase your products, a business owner looking to source out some decent supplies, or just a curious individual wanting to check out the latest trends…this is absolutely an event worth checking out!


For the purpose of this blog post, I have handpicked some of the brands (and items) that were of interest to me:

Malagos Chocolate ~ Did you know that 70% of the cacao beans produced in the Philippines are grown in the Davao region? Well, these guys should know as their cacao beans are produced in the foothills of Mt. Talomo in Davao, Philippines.

Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation have ventured into the cacao business since 2003. Aside from their cool booth design, I really enjoyed my quick chat with Rex as well since he made an effort to give me some cool information about cacao and how to best enjoy their product.


Shakey’s…on Wheels! ~ A clever strategy from Shakey’s by parking the bus inside the World Trade Center. Literally. Definitely a scene stealer!


McDonald’s ~ One of the most well-known brands in the country and the world. One thing that I like about McDonald’s (aside from their food, obviously) is that they are always making sure that their presence is felt. Whether in events or different advocacies, they never stop.


11721132_10153433475466136_1441160570_nCoffee brands ~ Really happy that I got to see some coffee brands present at MAFBEX! And guess what? They’re all franchise-ready! I had a trip to Bangkok recently and there were coffee kiosks in almost every street that I went to. Amazing! That would be a perfect dream.

There’s no doubt that the coffee culture in the Philippines has been improving, but I believe that there’s still some room for coffee kiosks and other players to come in.

One of those brands is Farron Cafe. They actually have 80 branches nationwide and growing! I watched the baristas make the drinks and their techniques for mixing the drinks are easy to learn. Not only that, they have a wide range of drinks and their prices are affordable too. Check out their cute mascot!

11787429_10153433475401136_105537773_nBaking supplies
~ There were several booths selling cake decorating tools, packaging materials, stencils, etc. But, I just had to take a photo of the materials below because they were really huge.

Booze On-line Inc. ~ Now, who doesn’t love some fine, imported beers? online!

Empanada de Norte  ~ A popular snack in the Ilocos region. Authentic, savory, and tasty…this definitely hits the spot!

Overall, it was a great experience for me and met lots of great people. If you’re interested to attend MAFBEX, the event will run until this Sunday, July 26th, so make sure to catch it this weekend while you can.

SME Business Conference: 19th and 20th of August

Singapore Chinese Chamber of CommerceThe Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry is organizing a 3 day bilingual SME Business Conference on the 19th and 20th of August in the Exhibition Halls of Suntec Singapore. The event is co-organized by iDA Singapore and Lianhe Zaobao. The theme of the event is “Think Creatively, Act Innovatively”.

The SME community in Singapore gathers every year to share ideas about how to boost productivity, cut down costs and more. This year, the conference caters towards transforming businesses in Singapore through innovations in productivity.

With that theme in mind, the event will feature speakers from all facets of the business world, from startups to large corporations. They will speak about why businesses need to be agile in order to keep up with ever-changing global trends. One of the interesting sessions is on integrating technology like cloud computing, business analytics, social media and customer relationship management so that small businesses can scale smartly.

Singapore SME Conference AugustNow here is the awesome part. In an event like this, you can’t expect PayrollHero to be left behind, can you? Steve Jagger from PayrollHero will be speaking in a forum on “Innovation and Value Creation from Buzzwords to Actions for Business”. Steve will be joined by a panel comprising Dr Christopher Holmes, managing director of IDC Insights Asia Pacific, Ms Jenny Jang, manager of Jiransoft, Mr Law Chee Keong, director of Asia Pacific Partner Sales in Apigee. The discussion will focus on how Singapore businesses can transform their business plan into a reality by adopting technology.

The forum will be between 2.15pm to 5pm. in Hall 404. Mr Stephen Lim, CEO of SQL View will be moderating the discussion. Mr. Lim has a wealth of experience behind him: he is a member of the board of SPRING Singapore and NTUC Fairprice. He has 25 years of experience in the IT industry and is the perfect person to host this forum.

We’re excited about the event and hope to see many business personalities participating and networking over the two days of the programme. It will be interesting to see academics, notable members of the government and business people discuss the way forward for small and medium enterprises in Singapore. We look forward to the event and wish the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry good luck for hosting the conference!

Canada B2B Networking Marketplace: The Post Event Write-up

Great turn out at the Canada B2B Networking Marketplace

The energy at the event was amazing as business owners are enthusiastic to share their product stories with others in attendance.

PayrollHero made a presence and shared our story- how we believe we can help businesses function better with our nifty HR and payroll management software in the cloud.

We would like to say a big Thank You to Guy Belanger for letting us take part in this great opportunity.

Thank you Guy!

Event Highlight

This year’s event also marks the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties between Singapore and Canada. In a speech by High Commissioner H.E Heather Grant, she expressed gratitude to be friends with Singapore and played a part during its formative years since 1965. (Read more about Singapore’s 50th anniversary of bilateral relationship with 13 other countries)

This event was a prelude to the main exhibition and networking events: CommunicAsia 2015 and BroadcastAsia 2015 held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore between 2- 5 June 2015.

If you’ve missed the opportunity to speak with the companies present at last night’s event, you can be sure to speak to them at these events. The Canadian pavilion at MBS Basement 2 (BH3-07) has meeting spaces to be used at your convenience on a first-come first-served basis.

If you’re looking to meet with PayrollHero, we are having a casual meetup at our office on 10th June 2015.

Details and Registration available here >>> 


5 Sure Wins When You Come To PayrollHero Meetups

This meetup is all about HR and payroll management in the cloud for businesses of any size. Today, more companies are getting smarter and are transforming the way they manage their time, attendance, scheduling, payroll and HRIS to a systematized cloud based solution. To make sure your company does not fall behind on this trend, you need to discover why choosing a better management system helps increase your bottomline.

During the meetup, we will be focusing on tips and tools you can use to better optimize HR and payroll processes, while cutting costs on time and creating a happier work culture.

Let’s solve those problems! We want to share our expertise together with you at our next PayrollHero Meetup!

We will have Steve Jagger, co-founder of PayrollHero!

Steve Jagger, PayrollHero

Hello there!

Sure Wins! 

  1. Know the tools that can increase productivity in your business by eliminating buddy punching and ghost employees.
  2. Gain new tactics to effectively improve scheduling, time and attendance, HR and payroll management for your employees.
  3. Business Intelligence tools to use for your business to make informed decisions on human resource.
  4. Get to learn about new tools that can help you gain insights and better understand your customer segment.
  5. Our event is free of charge with FREE wine and snacks!

10th June, 2015, 4pm- 5.30pm
Ocean Financial Centre


Pictures: Singapore Ruby Meeting @PayrollHero

The Singapore Ruby Meetup was held at PayrollHero’s Singapore office on Feb. 24th at 7pm. If was a packed house of ruby enthusiasts, wanting to learn more and meet other engineers.

The speakers consisted of:

1. Testing Shell Scripts – Bjorn Andersson / @gaqzi
2. Development to Devops – Justin Burris / @justinbburris
3. 5 Random Ruby Tips – Akira Hirakawa

Thanks to everyone for coming out. There will be more events to come!

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Startup DNA and How To Keep It

Amazon’s Pieter Kemps (Pieter Kemps – Principal, Business Development & Venture Capital, APAC, Amazon Web Services) spoke at the Echelon Conference the other day in Singapore on the topic of “Startup DNA and How To Keep it When You Build Your Company”. Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.30.43 PMHe focused his presentation around 3 companies; AirBnB, PayrollHero and Amazon.

Pieter spoke about how we use our culture as an asset when growing our team as well as how our Adventure Engineering concept came to be and why it has worked for us.  At the bottom of this post is a video about our #AdventureEngineering concept that explains more about why we do what we do.

One of the points Pieter made was how we are always hiring. Mike Stephenson has a slide deck on his phone that he uses to pitch prospective employees. It talks about what we are doing, our culture, adventure, living in the stretch as well as our need for A players.

Are you looking for a new challenge? Check out our video below and get in touch as we have opening in Southeast Asia and our Whistler, Canada office.

Recap: Happy at Work Conference (Makati, Philippines)


PayrollHero was represented well at the Happy at Work Conference in Makati, Philippines yesterday. David Bonifacio, the Director of New Leaf Ventures was on stage to deliver a talk about “Happiness of Meaning”.  His video will be posted below once we have it online.  In the meantime, here is his slide deck as well as a ton of photos from the event. (Be sure to tag yourself)


Recap: Singapore Management University Panel

unnamed-1I had the honour of being a part of a panel this morning for the Singapore Management University (SMU) Postgraduate Education and Career Forum at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati, Philippines.

The topic for the panel was “Shaping The Next Generation Business Leaders” and was well attended. SMU ran this event in Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines as part of their drive for next years students.  On the panel, I was joined by;

Moderator: Steven Burton
Deputy Director, Postgraduate Professional Programmes & Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre, Singapore Management University

Donna De Santos
Country Recruitment Head of Citi Philippines

Elisa Abalajon
HR Director, Mondelez International (SEA Business, APAC)

Rossana Javier
CEO & Partner, PwC Advisory

It was a great panel, with ranging views on hiring, recruiting, education, emerging markets, entrepreneurism and human resources (HR). We all did about 10 minute introductions and was followed by a 60 minute question and answer period with the attendees.


(Panel L – R: Rossana Javier CEO & Partner of PwC AdvisoryElisa Abalajon HR Director of Mondelez International (formally Kraft International), Moderator Steven Burton from SMU, Stephen Jagger Co-Founder of PayrollHero and Donna De Santos Country Recruitment Head of Citi Philippines)