This Q&A was with Jason Chen, Founder & Business Director at Dragon Boat Innovate (DBI)
He set up the said business venture after gaining his knowledge from producing big-scale sporting events like National marathons and International dragon boat events.
Let us get to know more about Jason, his upcoming Dragon Battle Beta 2015, and, how he transformed his sport/hobby into a successful career.
Q: You have immersed yourself in the dragon boating world at such a young age of 17, how does it make you feel doing what you love to do up until this day?
A: I should feel old, shouldn’t I? But ironically, whatever I am doing everyday makes me feel younger as the sport is constantly evolving. Like a kid, I am picking up new things to learn daily so as to be in pace with the growth. It’s very exciting as there are so many opportunities and the sport has so much to offer. I’m glad that after so many years, I am still fuelled by the same passion as I had when I started.
Q: What does your company mainly offer?
A: Our main business is in the service industry of offering our sport of dragon boating as a platform to corporate companies and organisations for their Human Resource, Marketing and Business needs. Our approach has always been aligning business objectives by bringing people together through our sport by organising dragon boat events for our clients.
Q: Is dragon boat still your most marketable product/package? Why do you think it’s popular?
A: Yes, dragon boating is our highest revenue generator in our business so far. It’s fun, unique, culturally rooted, easy to learn, close to nature, addictive, value for money and most importantly very beneficial to the organisation and the participants that take part in it. Over the years, DBI has designed a program that is nearly foolproof to achieve the above results.
Q: Why do you care so much about the importance of team building activities for companies?
A: I grew up as an athlete in many team sports and ultimately became a coach. I have a “thing” about seeing people of all sorts coming together to achieve something. I also love to see the process of someone’s learning and eventually gaining satisfaction towards the end of that process. People who are working for each other in a team, is a powerful force–more than skills, processes or even policies. Great teamwork makes things happen more than anything else in organisations.
Q: What will the companies mainly gain by engaging a team building supplier such as your company?
A: Team building activities help build teams, develop employee motivation and improve communications. If designed correctly, it can also enhance business projects, giving specific business outputs and organisational benefits. DBI provides the design and consultation to companies on how our sport can fulfil those objectives. “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” and what’s even better when you can play and achieve imminent results at the same time?
Q: There’s a number of competition which offers team building packages, why should companies choose DBI?
A: Though there are hundred and one team building agencies out there that probably offers the same or similar packages, no other company is the same as DBI that provides that wholesome, dedicated dragon boat team building and dragon boat event experience. DBI has been recognised for our passion to deliver innovative, sincere and professional events for our clients. Our work culture, which has been heavily complimented by our clients & partners, are all about understanding their needs before designing and implementation. In addition, DBI always ensures that our clients receive the best dragon boat experience from very enthusiastic and technically trained dBians (name for DBI staff).
Q: Describe what is the nature of your relationship with your clients? Why is it important having such kind?
A: You know that occasion where you could just text your buddy at 11pm at night to ask for supper, instead of getting shot at but the buddy joyfully agrees? DBI yearns to play that buddy role for every client. We never back down or ignore the needs of our clients at any time of the day. Even if we are delayed for any reasons, our clients would be the first to know. This builds trust and transparency mutually which helps a ton during discussions. One of our biggest business revenues also comes from returning clients or referrals. I guess this relationship helps too.
Q: On 28th March 2015, you will be organising Dragon Battle Beta, a unique dragon boat event to be held in Orchard Country Club, what shall we expect from the event?
A: For the first time in Asia, local dragon boaters will have the opportunity to compete against one another in a tug of war format on a dragon boat in a public swimming pool. We would have battles across 8 different categories, classified by weight, gender and organisation. Also for the first time in Singapore Dragon Boat history, paddlers will also experience the ease of getting event info off their mobile phones and the paperless RFID marshalling system. We will also be attempting to broadcast livestream battles on the internet. We will also encourage the mingling of participants through an outdoor BBQ Dinner and a closing celebration party by the pool.
Q: Why did you choose to organise this kind of event and not the traditional dragon boat race?
A: Traditional straight line races have been held for more than 3000 years in the world and about 30 years in our region. I personally believe that there are already enough race organisers out that that are doing a fairly good job in keeping the tradition going. However as a sports business enthusiast, I always ask myself, when will our sport be placed on the same podium like tennis, badminton or even squash. These sports are younger than dragon boat but have already received so much international recognition over a fraction of our time. There are so many elements that made the success of the mentioned young sports. I hope with Dragon Battle, we can give ourselves a shot to fulfil our overdue dream to its fullest potential.
Q: Tell us what you believe the impact of Dragon Battle in the dragon boat community in Singapore/Asia?
A: The strategy of Dragon Battle is to reach out to the community and having partners beyond the existing spectrum. In the mere two months since our inception, we have already obtained up to eleven corporate brand partners and a couple of social influencers that are keen to cover our event. Not to mention the main stream media that wishes to feature Dragon Battle in their editorial. These support and partnerships is a small step towards our objectives and I hope we can duplicate the same attention across the region, work together and promote our sport in an innovative way.
Q: Dragon Battle has gained a lot of interest, not just from dragon boat teams but from the general public, do you intend to bring this event in other Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and The Philippines?
A: Awesome markets to be involved in, surely in our pipeline.
Q: Finally, how optimistic are you about your company’s future endeavours in relation to the future of dragon boat sport?
A: The sport of dragon boating is always evolving and some say that it is evolving so fast that the people can’t even keep up to its growth. However, I believe that as long as the DBI team is constantly innovating and leveraging on every opportunity the sport provides, I am sure our company will ride its wave someday. Just be hungry, patient and keep paddling!
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