Sandra Ernst on Fintech in Europe vs. SE Asia, Venture Studios & Builders and Working With Regulators - E46

· Executive,Women,Europe,Podcast Episodes English

Having this dialogue and having really people who are critical of the way regulations are done, the way compliance is done, is extremely important, because, otherwise, you're just building a second bank. Then that comes with all the frustrations of being a user of a bank. So you need to have that balance early where the one are there to make sure the business is protected and the other ones are there to question it and to make sure that it becomes a much better experience. - Sandra Ernst

Sandra has been working in C-level positions in Fintech companies in Singapore for the last 5+ years. Before that, she worked in private-equity real estate in Malaysia and started her career in a German bank belonging to Europe's biggest cooperative banking network in 2001.

She gets her energy from working with smart people towards a shared goal to create an impact and has expertise in founding and operating companies, pivoting when required in order to scale quickly, and hiring capable teams.

Sandra completed both her masters and bachelors on a full tuition and lodge scholarship from the Foundation of German Business. She holds a MSc in Arab World Studies (Minor in Islamic Finance and Arabic) from Durham University (of which the first year was spent at the University of Edinburgh). In her free time, she loves to hike in the mountains and read books - preferably both with a Weissbeer.

Jeremy Au: [00:00:00] Hey, Sandra. Good to have you on the show.

Sandra Ernst: [00:00:04] Hey, Jeremy. It's good to be here.

Jeremy Au: [00:00:07] I'm so excited to share your journey in fintech, and it's been quite a journey for you... I mean, all the around the world from Europe, to Malaysia, to Singapore and Southeast Asia, so it's quite a journey you have.

Sandra Ernst: [00:00:21] Thank you. Yeah. True. Happy to talk about it.

Jeremy Au: [00:00:25] So I remember interning a long time ago on a construction site in Brandenburg and eating a ton of sauerkraut and sausages, and it's a world away from Southeast Asia. So we've got to ask: How did you get from there to here?

Sandra Ernst: [00:00:43] Well, I finished my master's in early 2013, and my master's was an Arab world studies with a focus on Islamic finance, and, obviously, Malaysia is a very, very good place to be for Islamic finance. So I went there in 2013 initially to work for an Islamic REIT and then for a private equity real estate company dealing also in Islamic finance.

Before that, I was working in banking for a couple of years in Germany already. Then after Malaysia, I moved to Singapore about four and a half years ago in 2016 to work in the fintech sector. So I was hired to set up a fintech company, a peer-to-peer lending company, in Singapore when the fintech system was still relatively early stage compared to what it is now.

Jeremy Au: [00:01:35] And after that you went on to?

Sandra Ernst: [00:01:38] After that, I went on to work for CardUp, which I joined about three years ago. CardUp is a card enablement platform in Singapore, and we have also launched in Hong Kong and Malaysia. I think it's very similar to Plastiq in the U.S. in case some of your listeners also know that market very well.

Jeremy Au: [00:01:57] Oh Plastiq is doing really well in the U.S., so I am sure that if you're just localizing its core business model, I'm sure it is going to be a tremendously successful company because a lot of the similar dynamics are in terms of the consumer desires and the market. So we'll get it as soon .

So you've really been really focused on really this finance side of it, as a generalist, and across different functions, but definitely you have an interesting focus on not just the finance but the emerging trends like Islamic finance all the way to peer-to-peer invoice financing and now for card payments platforms. So what draws you to this finance and to be on the leading edge of it?

Sandra Ernst: [00:02:44] Well, having worked in the banking and finance sector for about 20 years, I think you start realizing the major pain points that you're dealing with. So a couple of years ago when I was deciding to move into the fintech sector, I was really intrigued by all the different solutions that different companies were working on to make the experience for consumers but also businesses much better. And when you think back like five six years ago or just five, six years ago, how we made cross-border transfers, how we paid smaller expenses and also bigger expenses, was very different to how it is now. And there's still a lot of changes going on. I think a lot of opportunities opening up now. So it's just a very exciting area and space to be in.

Jeremy Au: [00:03:32] I'm kind of curious about how you fell into finance as a role, as a passion or at least as a vocation, because so many people are like, "Oh, fintech and finance is hard. I need to do this. It's a surefire thing." Not a of people just can't get into it, because it's interesting enter the world of working at banks, working at finance offices. So I'm just kind of curious what brought you in there the first place on a personal level?

Sandra Ernst: [00:04:02] Yeah. So banking, that was a very early, early choice that I made. And it was just, I think, almost 20 years ago, it was just a steady solid job to have and you want to make your parents happy and you start working and event. But then, I also realized that if you work in a traditional bank, your career path gets very narrow and you become a specialist very soon, and, at least for my path, I wasn't interested in that. I never wanted to specialize too much in one specific area of a big bank or of a bank in general.

So when I worked Malaysia and it still had that Islamic finance component. Again, my aim was also to become much more of a generalist... really understand the broader area, and I think that's extremely important when you work in that sector in fintech. You need to be able to understand what's going on in the market, what is shaping the industries, what are the pain points that you are trying to solve. And if you're too much of a specialist there, that will hurt you, especially in the beginning of the... or especially when you come into an earlier stage company. Later on, when companies grow, they need to have certain structures in place again and specialists are obviously very relevant then. But especially in the beginning, try to make sure that you really understand as much as you can from how everything works.

Jeremy Au: [00:05:31] Were there any challenges in making that transition from what you just described, from joining the traditional banking side to becoming more of a specialist and a generalist at a leading group ?

Sandra Ernst: [00:05:41] Definitely. I think when you're when you have a couple of experience in an organization that is very much advanced and more stable already, you become very comfortable working on a very specific, a part of the overall of what the company does. So I think especially when I moved to Singapore and when I started working in fintech, that was really being thrown into the cold water and realizing every single decision [a] was mine to make. I had to decide what to do in the end. There was no one I could refer to. There was no one I could ask, "Is that okay? Would you make that decision, too?" But it was really, there are so many decisions to make every single day, and you just need to make them with the best knowledge you have and hope that most of them are turning out to be the right ones.

I think that was one of the major changes and one of the major challenges, really realizing that you will not always be right, but you just have to... You will not be able to have all the information always at hand that you would have potentially in a bigger corporation in a small corporation due to resource constraints and because of everything's changing so fast, take the information you have, make a decision and move one. And then, if a decision turns out to be not the right one, then just move on and make it better and fix it.

Jeremy Au: [00:07:15] What's interesting is that you've been also having a transition where, as a finance professional, you're raising funding and then you've become more and more of an operator in terms of leading people, managing, making operational decisions. So tell me more about what that transition is like.

Sandra Ernst: [00:07:35] I think as well moving away from being only responsible for your own work to being responsible for a team and also for motivating them, for understanding what drives them, for understanding what their weaknesses and strengths are, that's obviously a very, very big shift, even more though when you are not having that safety nets that you have in big corporations while you're being prepared for it and where you're being coached for it very, very closely. But that, I think, is a transition that for any leader is one of the most important ones, where you move away from being an individual contributor and being praised for what you're doing and to actually making sure that your individual contribution is a small part of the overall team's contribution, and you need to make sure that your team has everything they need in order to perform at their best. And I think that's a continuous journey, which for me is still ongoing and I'm still questioning my leadership style every single day, and I'm still trying to find out how I can get better at it.

Jeremy Au: [00:08:43] It sounds like you definitely had a lot of learning experience. Were there any personal experiences where you learn those lessons?

Sandra Ernst: [00:08:49] Yeah. I think the first time that I led a team, one of the biggest challenges I think I had was that I expected everyone to know the same or to start on the same level and with the same information that I had. So I remember there was this one employee and he was very junior, and I gave him the brief in a meeting, and he got back to me was something I didn't consider very good work. But instead of sitting down with him and really making sure that I understand where he is coming from, what gaps he had to close, how I can help him to close these gaps, I just got very frustrated and I just felt like there's so much going on, and I really don't have the time to additionally train the team and coach them and make them get better.

And looking back now, I think that was one of the things that I regret most in that personal leadership journey, because, unless the team has the information they require to really perform at their best, unless you as the leader... and I as the leader back then... unless I give them all the information they need and also help them close the gaps, I cannot possibly expect them to actually perform at their best, and it creates a lot of frustration, I think, within the team as well when they feel like there's work thrown at them and they are not sure how to pick it up or they don't know why it's important and why it's a new priority versus other things that they're already working on. So I think this realization that, as a leader, a lot of your time, a very big part of your time, even if you're swamped and even if there's so many things going on for you, a lot of the time you need to spend on just making sure that your team is actually doing the best work that they can.

Jeremy Au: [00:10:35] Yeah. I totally resonate with that. I think there are so many moments where I reflect, and I was like, "Oh, I could have done better," or the way I would lead today is very different from the way how I did lead 10 years ago. And I think that's something that we know a lot about, about how we change. I think also in retrospect, I think I was having a reflection that today I am kind of the leader that I used to respect as a new employee. I would come in, a new employee is like "Wow. This manager or this leader is so on top of it and so kind and thoughtful," and I'm like, "Wow. It's totally unfair, because I have now 10 years of experience." It's interesting to see that journey play out. So I guess I'm kind of curious, I think, do you feel like there's any differences in how fintech leaders lead differently from, say, other companies in different verticals?

Sandra Ernst: [00:11:31] Hmm. That's an interesting question. I'm not sure whether it's specifically for fintech, but I think a lot of the fintech companies are still relatively early stage, and we are in a time where a lot of the companies want to add fintech as a side business or as a niche to their actual business. So I think what fintechs particularly must do and are currently doing a lot is innovate and really find their purpose. Why are they there? How are they going to be better with other companies that are trying to add the fintech element, like Amazon, SEA here in Southeast Asia.

So the companies that have started a fintech, as fintechs, I think that the leadership is critical in terms of, "Okay. How do we position ourselves? How can we actually help other companies become fintech players, but maybe by offering something that they can use, like a plug-and-play option, like something they can use to become that fintech company without having to build everything from scratch themselves, and I think that fintech play... One of the key items about fintech is regulations and being in compliance with everything, like you're handling customer funds, you're handling the livelihood of people. So there are regulators that are very concerned about how you do that and what you do. So if you think that you can add fintech just as a side business, you need to hire a lot of people who manage it to take care of it.

Jeremy Au: [00:13:07] Yeah. That's so true. I never thought about it that way, which is you're saying that fintech is not this consumer play but also is very modular, and then there's the regulatory component that is often underrated. I think for me, from the outside looking in, I find that one big difference that fintech leaders and startups are different is that most of the employees are finance employees, which is very different. I mean, if you look at a lot direct-to-consumer brands, obviously, they're coming from marketers and so on and so forth . You work at logistics companies, a lot of them come from a background in e-commerce or in logistics.

But what's interesting about fintech companies, a lot then come from banks. They come from the big banks, the small banks. And then, everyone's also... There's a bunch of finance terminology that I find so interesting. I always like to say, "A million dollars is one buck." And I remember someone in finance say , "Oh, today we're deploying 50 bucks," and I'm like, "Okay. You don't mean $50 clearly in this context." My brain is like, "It's a larger sum." And someone explained to me is, "Oh, they meant $50 million" . There's a bunch of terminology of industry, insider language that happens a lot.

Sandra Ernst: [00:14:21] Yeah. I think it's... You're right. A lot of the people in fintech are from the finance industry, but I think it's incredibly important to have a balance, because people from the finance industry, while they bring very valuable experience for when you need to scale and when you need to become a serious licensed business; but, at the same time, the people who are not from the finance industry are the ones that are very critical of every single piece, and they will be the ones that are asking, "Do we really need to have to do that? It's a pain for the consumer. It's a pain for the user. Why are we doing it? Do we need to do it?" And then, a lot of cases, it's the people coming from the finance industry are like, "Yes. We need to do it, unless we do ABC and we change something."

But having this dialogue and having really people who are critical of the way regulations are done, the way compliance is done, is extremely important, because, otherwise, you're just building a second bank. Then that comes with all the frustrations of being a user of a bank. So you need to have that balance early where the one are there to make sure the business is protected and the other ones are there to question it and to make sure that it becomes a much better experience.

Jeremy Au: [00:15:35] So do you have any tips for how to process managers meetings between finance and non-finance people? How will you facilitate or moderate a conversation so that it doesn't become like, Oh, you're old and fuddy-duddy like a bank," and, "No. You're going to break the law," from the other side. How do you get that process going?

Sandra Ernst: [00:15:58] That's also something I think I'm still learning and I'm still really reminding myself every single week and trying to listen more and I'm trying to step back, note it down, try to see, "Are there any service providers already that we can use? What is the exact regulation saying?" Regulations are very often extremely vague. It says you need to do something, but it doesn't tell you exactly what you need to do. So taking something that you know from banking or from other fintech players doesn't necessarily mean that it's best practice, that you might actually be able to do something smarter.

So when you have these meetings, I think really that listen, take a step back, don't feel offended when they question you as a... when they question the people, coming from banking coming from the finance sector, but really take it as an amazing opportunity to figure out whether there's something you can really change, instead of just copying what's already there. And then push back when required, because there will be instances where you just cannot change it, there's no way around it. They need to get over it too. And that's within a team, you just need to have these conversations where it's, "I wish we could change it. We can't. Find me a better opportunity. Look into it again. But if you can't, let's not waste time going in circles."

Jeremy Au: [00:17:24] That's so true. And I think one thing is that I think people look at a law as a law, and I think people also forget that we also enact new laws, and the laws we're making today are often built for an industry and what's moving on over the past five to ten years. And so the reality of business is always moving ahead of the regulations in their cycle, and startups are even further ahead. They're planning than the next vision. So it's really interesting to deal with that dynamic for sure.

And I'm just kind of curious, because, for yourself as well, you've been a founding CEO at venture builder, and I think they're seeing a lot of growth of venture builders are now popping up in Southeast Asia and I think the migration of the idea from the U.S. And I'm just kind of curious, what advice would you have for people who are considering whether to join a venture builder, either to be the founding CEO or to be a co-founder? What should they be thinking about?

Sandra Ernst: [00:18:28] I think making sure that your visions aligned with the visions of the venture builder or the major shareholders is the first one. If your visions are not aligned, if you have different ideas of how the business should run, then it can be a very frustrating experience. So first of all, align your visions.

Secondly, make sure you have enough ownership in the company that keeps you motivated for the time it takes to set up a company; to run it; to bring it to a stage where you feel comfortable that if you had to hand over to someone else now, you could; but that ownership is really important [a] for making sure that the decisions that you need to do, you can make; [b] also, especially in the fintech space, if you are responsible for regulations, you need to make sure that you can actually influence how a company is set up. And then, just what I said earlier, general alignment on vision and what the company is meant to do.

Jeremy Au: [00:19:28] That's so true, which is I find that the more experienced venture builders are much more clear about this, and they are very much up front to be like, "We, too, also care about the alignment of visions, and we, too, also care about your ownership being significant, because it's much more expensive to spend half a year review and then we both realize not working out because we didn't construct it properly." So I think that is something I often tell people who are exploring those roles to also be mindful about the operating history of those venture builders and to definitely interview their past founders. They should be able to give references to people they worked with or ventures they've built, not just the ones that are successful, but also the ones that have not been successful, either because they fell sideways or they didn't scale the way they wanted to.

One question I have is that fintech, obviously, continues to be moving quickly and is also moving very quickly in Southeast Asia. What are the myths and misconceptions that you see in fintech in Southeast Asia?

Sandra Ernst: [00:20:29] So I think one, and not trying to be too critical and it's a bit of a thing to say, but fintech in Singapore is definitely, it's an amazing country to be in for fintech, but I think that the leading fintechs are still coming from places like the U.S., some of them in Europe (Revolut, Klarna). The U.S., obviously, has plenty of them. China is, obviously, an amazing country for fintech innovations. So I think for Singapore, in order to really grow that player that we have that, that other countries have, it's important to find a solution for making it easier for these companies to scale regionally, scale across the markets.

And I think that's one of the limitations in Southeast Asia is just all the different markets have so many different regulations. And if you are a fintech, and you want to open bank accounts in different markets, you want to set up and different markets, you have to apply for different licenses, you have to go through the bank account setup process and all the money laundering questionnaires every single time. It takes a lot of focus away from actually running the business.

I think that probably COVID has also shown us about how important is it to have people in one market and how much of it can we outsource to other markets. So I still strongly believe that it's incredibly important for Singapore to allow foreign talents in and to make sure that we attract them and to enable companies to hire them from outside if they are not available within Singapore, but I think at the same time, it's much easier now to have distributed teams and still have a functioning set up and still grow and still innovate. The last 10 months or so have changed that dramatically. So I think it's probably gotten a little bit less important to be able to hire people here locally, because companies have digitalized much, much faster than we thought they would.

Jeremy Au: [00:22:41] I think that's really underappreciated as insight, and I think this explore that further. I, too, also feel that for countries that have stronger immigration trends around their borders and letting foreign come in, like the U.S.and the U.K. and here in Singapore, I think obviously there's a conversation society around how to integrate and how to bring people in society we have. And meanwhile, I think businesses have to double down on this remote work, virtual locations, to really being able to scale talent at the same speed as the rest of the business needs them to be. And I think that's great for the business, and I think, to some extent, that may not be so great for the societies that we want to build.

So I'm just kind of curious that, as you been hiring and looking at regionally, I know that so many fintech startups are doing the same thing. They're looking at regional offices, they're hiring across the region now, because they just can't find that talent in Singapore. What best practices do you see in terms of hiring and onboarding do you see for that process?

Sandra Ernst: [00:23:47] Well, we have been incredibly lucky to have our CTO based in India, so he has built an office there. Initially, it was mostly for the tech team, but over time, we have added more people and other teams as well, like operations, finance, compliance sales as well. And I think that one big differentiator is really that a very, very critical team member is actually there with that team as well. So it's not like an office that is far away from where everything is happening, but it's actually a very important office with key members being there, which made a massive difference.

Besides that, we do hire a lot of roles in Singapore just because, I think, yes, it has changed a lot in the last couple of months. We have all become more comfortable with having conference calls. Now everyone knows how to switch on the microphone and make sure that it's in the middle of the conference table and that you can actually hear the people, which wasn't the case, even in the fintech company. I was very often... It's people were just not used to it. Now we know how to do that, and yet, these personal conversations and being able to easily talk about things also that are not always related to a very specific work topic, which, if you are based in different markets, you usually get on a call to talk about a very specific topic. So I think these informal conversations are still critical which is why we hire still a lot of people in Singapore, we are still trying to get them in.

However, I think what has become easier is having these people in the satellite offices that make very much sense to have as well, because if you operate in different markets, you need local talent, you need local content, you need to have that local understanding of the market, and I think that has been extremely valuable.

Jeremy Au: [00:25:40] Yeah. I think that's an interesting observation, which is that there is some serendipity that happens where people can just have that informal conversation, and I think firms that are better able to structure that virtually do better, because I think, like you said, the real reality is COVID exists and people are going to be remote. I think so many firms are now irreversibly hybrid from now on. The moment you start hiring people in satellite offices and every team has someone who's remote, I think it's about how to leverage the strengths and minimize, like you said, the painful points.

One thing I'm kind of curious as well is, what do you see in Southeast Asia? I mean, you made the move from Europe to Southeast Asia. What's the choice there? I think you have an interesting ability to obviously compare and contrast to geography. One is Europe and the other is Southeast Asia. So what do you think for the next 10 years? How would you compare and contrast the next 10 years for these two big regions?

Sandra Ernst: [00:26:40] Interesting one. I mean, I guess one of the big differences is Europe is largely banked versus Southeast Asia where you have this massive opportunity of the underbanked or unbanked population, which means you can offer solutions that are completely skipping the traditional financial services that we have probably grown up with and have gotten used to, and you can do things that are very different from that. You can offer credit to people that would never get it in the traditional financial industry, for example.

One thing, though, and every time I go back to Europe or now also I see the LinkedIn stories, I mean, there are a lot of fintech innovations going on in Europe, too, but being Bavarian, every time I go to the Oktoberfest, and I see these big signs where it's "Only cash," I'm like how different, just that willingness to try different or to pay for payment options probably and just use them in daily uses. If you can't pay your beer at an event like the Oktoberfest, where speed is important... Tapping your card is so much quicker than getting your cash and tipping the waitress and going through that financial transaction. If you can't use it there, my opinion is it shows you how different we are in terms of the advancement of fintech and how it penetrates daily life of people. Here, you go to the hawker center, and every hawker stall a couple of different payment options where you can just tap or just Paylah or all the different options.

So I think for the next 10 years, a lot of the solutions that are being developed in Europe are still either... a lot of different fintech solutions are for smaller amounts and offering more convenience, while here in Southeast Asia, I think it's that becoming the primary banking partner or becoming the primary... fintech's become the primary option that are banking a large part of the population that previously just couldn't get access to finance. But in Europe, it's like a nice add-on or you do it because it's nicer, it's a better user experience, but you still keep your old banking relationship. People usually still... I don't know a single person that has completely replaced the banking relationship. In Southeast Asia, I think a lot of people just didn't have a previous banking relationship, so they are just getting much more comfortable with using fintech companies for their primary banking needs.

So I think big difference, and I don't see that changing so much in Europe yet where people are very concerned about where the money is and who is handling it, and I think also scandals, like the recent Wirecard scandal, where a massive company regulated by the German government, a fintech darling and... I mean, I invested as well, because I would never have thought fraud could be so bad in a company that big and that was marketed by the German government and supervised by the BaFin, the German regulators. So I think that the trust in banks is still much more important in Europe than it is in other parts of Southeast Asia, where people just never had a banking relationship.

Jeremy Au: [00:30:08] Yeah. I mean, it's a funny thing, because Wirecard has been interesting to watch the fallout. I read some of the short seller reports about Wirecard, and it was kind of a big contrast, because you read a lot of short seller reports of Chinese companies who are, fortunately, not doing so well and even some high-profile issues, like Luckin Coffee. But I think nobody would expect the Wirecard to happen, because everybody has this archetype of the German regulators... big on rules, they're strict on everything, even in the EU. This clearly even passes the German regulators' test, everyone's just going to sign off on this. So how do you feel, I guess, about investing in it and obviously, it's been a huge champion for fintech going globally?

Sandra Ernst: [00:30:57] I don't believe so much in feeling embarrassed on behalf of a whole nation, but I did feel a bit embarrassed that all of that was going on and it was not picked up by anyone. There were auditors, there were the German regulators. And I just would never have thought that it would be so bad.

And Wirecard was everywhere in every store you or in a lot of the stores, you paid, when you looked at the receipt, it was Wirecard, in Southeast Asia, but also in Europe. So I think it showed again that regulations, even with what we are doing and even with the licenses that governments are handing out, they can just do so much supervising. For me, it showed even more the importance of, as a fintech company, understanding why you're being regulated, why these regulations are there in the first place. And I think the aim is to protect consumers, to protect the company, to make sure that it can continue to operate, that there's no excessive risk taking that you don't understand, protect the money of your customers and of the shareholders and everyone, and then, basically, act in the best interests for all these different stakeholders involved, because regulators will not be able to protect you from yourself. They might not even be aware of what you are doing, because for them, it's very often ticking off some boxes. Then also, different parties relying on each other, like probably the auditors relying on the regulators, the regulators relying also on the auditors, and employees not questioning it, because there might have also been a culture of secrecy potentially around these items.

And we have seen that in other companies. I mean, you mentioned Luckin, but then there's also one of the greatest books I've ever read was Theranos, the story about Theranos, because it read like a thriller. And it was like, "How can so many smart people not have picked up on it?" But it was because obviously there was always this assumption, "Okay. It's not for me to question. There are other people... If the regulators, if all these other great people don't see anything wrong with it, then it's probably all good, and it's just me worrying unnecessarily."

Jeremy Au: [00:33:20] All right. Last question, so tell me, obviously there's a lot of people who are looking to move to Southeast Asia. I recently got pinged from five different friends from US and Europe moving to Southeast Asia. Do you have any tips or advice for them about what they should be aware of?

Sandra Ernst: [00:33:37] Well, first of all, which country they would pick, because I think that the Asia-light country is Singapore. You have a lots of expats here. It's a very small country, so you can meet a lot of them. You never really feel out of place, you never stick out too much, and it's a very easy place to fit in. I previously lived in Malaysia, which was very different, because depending on how you look, you do stick out. You have people take pictures of you or asking for pictures of you and these situations where I feel like it's very, very different and also the business cultures is very, very different than in Singapore. Singapore is extremely transparent and especially in the fintech sector, you need a license, you a context like they need a license, you know what the process is. In other countries in the region, that might not be the case.

So I think if you want to move to this region, first question how much you actually want to go out of your comfort zone. If you want to get the experience, but with a very nice and easy lifestyle and also in a business environment that is set up very similar to other markets, then do it in Singapore. If you are in your 20s and you really want to get the full-on experience and you don't mind at all living in a city where you commute one and a half, two hours, three hours every day, then go to Jakarta or go to one of the places where a lot is happening in terms of tech, because you're just leapfrogging... or they're just skipping through innovations, and they're just doing things completely different. So personally, I think the younger you are, the more you should probably think about moving to Indonesia, to Thailand, to Malaysia, to whatever. The older you are, you might be more comfortable in Singapore.

Jeremy Au: [00:35:24] Awesome. Thank you so much for coming aboard.

Sandra Ernst: [00:35:27] Thank you, Jeremy. 

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