Marie Claire Nov 2007
FIONE TAN MAY YEE, 29,
PRESIDENT & CEO OF EONENET.COM
"I received my degree from Iowa, USA with double majors in management and marketing. I was raised in a working class family with two working parents. After my secondary school, I got a scholarship to further my studies overseas. My first job as a marketing executive gave me solid training in terms of committing to goals and how to deal with a variety of people. At the end of 1999, I quit my job and decided to team up with a partner to start an internet business called eOneNet.com.
I was only 21 years old. Setting up a conventional business would have required a big capital. Therefore, an internet business sounded like a good idea, because we could work anywhere, anytime, and the benefits of being able to earn US$ from selling worldwide were great motivations too," she says. Initially, Fione wrote a simple four pages business plan and attended events to meet more business people. Both she and her partner finally found their shareholders who paid them US$26,000 after reading the plan. eOneNet.com helps corporate customers increase sales online and runs regular internet internet marketing training across Asia to coach more entrepreneurs on how to start an Internet Business. It also sells IT products and software. "As we were non-technical people ourselves, we literally surfed the internet about and to further understand how customers were actually buying things online. After more than five years, with annual sales exceeding millions of dollars, eOneNet.com has been selected as the Top 50 IT companies in Asia for 2006 by ZDNetAsia Awards," she beams.
"Marie Claire magazine story - Fione Tan"
"We now have three offices- Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. I visit the offices each month to have meetings with the team and run regular internet marketing training. Over the years, I've learned to believe in myself and to take action. I realise that nothing will change unless I make changes," she says. "Rather than concentrating on how tough things can get, I began to visualise on the good points of the business such as being able to have more control of my time. Having a positive and committed mindset definitely helped me to pish myself further. However, if I had not taken the risk and made my first step, I will not be ale to enjoy what I have today."
Fione's lifestyle is definitely different from that of most people her age. "Last Sunday night, I received a call from my Hong Kong property agent who informed me about a great buy. So, I went to view the apertment. It was love at first sight, and I immediately purchased the HK$4 million dollar property." Although Fione is reaping the fruits of success now, it wasn't such a clear road for her all the way. There were a myriad of obstacles to deal wtih such as the shareholders being unimpressed with the decision of having a woman CEO- who was not only a young but one who had no proper business experience. However, through time and commitment, Fione has proved her worth.
As for the next steps, Fione looks forward to improving her company's brand online as well as offline. An internet marketing book is also on the way as well as he setup of a club for people interested in internet business, to act as a core support group.
TOP THREE TIPS
- Set goals and be as specific as possible about those goals.
- Research the ideas ou are interested in. Find out who your competitors are and how they sell.
- If you intend to succeed in a particular industry, find a role model of that industry who has achieved success and is living the lifestyle that you dream of. There's nothing worse than learning from the wrong person.
"Young successful women in business - Fione Tan"