29 May 2017
Poon Da Qian, Founder & CEO of Butler In Suits
Inspired by his parents and early introduction into managing a family business, Poon Da Qian set up Butler In Suits, a professional home management service for busy professionals.
What’s your story?
I started my entrepreneurship journey at the age of 15 helping my mum manage the daily affairs of the family F&B business. My father passed away from cancer when I was 15, leaving behind the family business. As the only elder son in the family, it was my duty to help. By the time I turned 18, I was managing over 10 outlets and over 40 employees. I then went on to start my own F&B business at 18 and expanded it to 3 outlets before ending the venture after receiving my letter for enlistment to the army.
During my time with the army I started a hotel review website as a hobby, and with its popularity combined with the referral programme of a last minute hotel booking app, I was able to visit over 200 luxury hotels in Asia and gain insightful knowledge on hospitality management.
After the army, my mum retired and started managing our house affairs. I had a domestic helper for most of my life and I never worried about finding clothes for example. However that all changed when my mum took over and often I had to visit the laundry basket to find the right clothing before leaving the house. It was then I had a ‘eureka moment’ and Butler In Suits, a home management service was born.
What excites you most about your industry?
We help our customers elevate their lifestyle by managing their homes better for them. It’s exciting to see our customers’ lifestyles improve after using Butler In Suits, home management service.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and grew up in Singapore, I am also a frequent traveller and often travel throughout Asia. My grandparents were immigrants who from China and moved to Hong Kong and my parents migrated from Hong Kong to Singapore. Having relatives in major economies in Asia, allowed me to better understand the culture and social behaviour of each society.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I believe Singapore is the best country to start a business. With a mature economy and well structured support and legislation, there is no better place in Asia to start a business.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A friend of mine once told me to do things that serve a purpose and can help people improve their lives or make an impact on their lives.
Who inspires you?
My mum inspired me to work hard, because the amount of blood, sweat and tears she went through managing the business after my dad’s passing is unimaginable and to still be able to be a strong woman and keep the business and family together is amazing. That is what keeps me motivated.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I was recently blown away by reading the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I grew up reading Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and being Asian, our history had been one’s and zero’s. It’s either winning, or losing. However, after reading Peter Thiel’s book, I became aware of how being cohesive can bring prosperity for all.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
No. I am very privileged to be working on things bigger than myself, and if I had the time again, I wouldn’t do things differently.
How do you unwind?
By watching shows such as “The Blacklist”, or heading to the museum to be inspired.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’d recommend Beijing for the history and culture. I always enjoy the “greatness” that the city has, now and in the past. If there’s a place that can expand your horizon, it’s Beijing.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Shameless plug for your business:
Butler In Suits is a professional home management service that helps home owners manage their home better by getting their mail, cleaning, laundry and groceries done conveniently and affordably.
How can people connect with you?
I can be reached on LinkedIn