This interview article was first published in Lianhe Zaobao on 05 March 2020.
Below is a translated version:
17 years ago, Patrick Cheo and Adam Khoo joined hands to build Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group (AKLTG), a local education & training organisation. From a humble 2-man company, the Group has transformed into a full-fledged enterprise with over 100 staff strength and more than 20 million annual revenue.
Patrick Cheo revealed, “Our greatest success is probably that ever since Adam and I ventured into this business in our NUS Business School days, we have never quarrelled. We are very clear of our own roles and responsibilities and we do them to our best abilities.”
Indeed, Patrick and Adam take on clearly defined responsibilities in this business, balancing between “internal” and “external” roles. Patrick oversees the company’s finance, human resource, sales and operations, and focuses on regional business expansion in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. On the flipside, Adam serves as the company’s namesake and icon, promoting the brand through seminars, books and videos.
To Patrick, delivering an inspirational learning experience is key to transforming the public’s perception towards “motivational speakers”. “Our programmes cover investing and trading strategies, study skills and personal development strategies. These topics can be taught in a theoretical or boring manner, but we choose to teach in a way that touches people’s heart and inspire our participants to take action.”
“As digitalization becomes integral to everybody’s lives, learning preferences are rapidly evolving,” says Patrick. AKLTG believes in lifelong learning and offers a suite of online courses to cater to these shifting needs.
In 2019, AKLTG achieved the Enterprise 50 (E50) Award. Winning the prestigious award for the first time has boosted Patrick’s confidence in forging the company’s future. “Looking back on our business journey, our secret to success has always been ‘doing whatever it takes’,” he says.
He also shared his belief in prioritising the welfare of his employees. “There were periods when we had a cash crunch, but Adam and I were clear that the staff must be paid on time even if it meant us taking on personal loans. This has helped us to retain a lot of capable and loyal staff, many whom have been with us for over 10 years and helped us to grow from strength to strength each year.”
According to Patrick, one of his main motivations for overseas expansion is to challenge his employees and give them opportunities to explore and grow with the company. “Expansion also allows the company to have economies of scale and helps to increase overall profitability.”
Enterprise 50 Award winner, Adam Khoo,
shares his lessons on business, education and life.
When he first shared his idea of teaching financial lessons to a worldwide audience on YouTube, his friends chuckled. “No one is going to listen to an Asian guy talk about the U.S. markets,” they quipped.
Fast-forward to 2019, Adam Khoo is one of YouTube’s most-watched investment mentors with over 16 million views on his videos. His online trading school, Piranha Profits™, caters to students from 122 countries.
“What made you decide to start your YouTube channel?”
I was enjoying great success teaching my stock investing live programme Wealth Academy™ in Southeast Asia. As I approached my 40th birthday, I wanted to make the most of my time and help more people achieve their financial dreams. I set a goal of touching one million lives worldwide and YouTube’s global reach allows me to do just that.
People think I’m crazy for sharing so much great content for free online when other “gurus” charge high fees for the same knowledge. To me it’s all about delivering value. I’ve received thank-you messages from as far as Kenya and Canada. When I see how my video lessons have transformed people’s financial destiny, it becomes all worthwhile.
“What is your advice to businesses who are trying to grow their sales and following?”
When you give real value, when you’re sincere about helping people, they will come to you. My online trading school is a testament to that. Every day I have loads of people wanting to enrol for my courses after watching my YouTube videos.
Businesses need to understand that the old model of placing pushy ads doesn’t work so well anymore. New-age customers want to make informed buying decisions. They want to be educated and entertained. Content is king.
“Your company, Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, just won the Enterprise 50 Award. What is the secret to your business success?”
Two things: Innovation and people.
The ability to innovate and adapt to changes has kept my business thriving for the past 17 years.
My company is a pioneer in running educational seminars in Singapore — we reach over 100,000 people a year through our live trainings, school-based programmes, tuition classes and business coaching. But nowadays, more people prefer to learn online through videos and apps. So my team created new programmes to meet their learning needs.
For example, my school training arm makes use of gamification and video learning extensively in our workshops and this has received a roaring response from students.
The other key ingredient is my amazing team.
We would never have made it this far without the talent and hard work of our teammates. To build a great company, you must first take care of your people.
We invest heavily in our people. Every employee is given a generous learning budget to enrol in professional courses of their choice. As part of our family culture, we give a bonus to every employee who gets married or has a baby during their tenure with us.
My business partner, Patrick Cheo, regularly cooks delicacies like wagyu beef and crab beehoon for our staff and all these little gestures of appreciation raise our people’s morale.
“There are people who question the effectiveness of the courses you teach. What are your thoughts on this?”
I don’t blame them; it’s human nature to be doubtful about things you’re unfamiliar with. I choose to focus my energy on helping people who believe in what I have to offer. I just keep going and let my students’ results do the talking.
When I started my YouTube channel 3 years ago, no one believed that a nobody from Singapore could attract the viewership of the Western world.
Today, more than 70% of my viewers are from the U.S. and Europe and my videos are ranked at the top globally for stock, forex and options trading. Last year, I received the YouTube Silver Creator Award for garnering more than 100,000 subscribers.
So, don’t ever let anyone tell you that something is impossible until you have done it yourself.
(A version of this interview was first published on The Business Times.)
Our company was named among the Top 50 SMEs in Singapore at the Enterprise 50 (E50) award ceremony held at Resorts World Sentosa.
The prestigious award honours outstanding local businesses for their accomplishments, spirit of innovation excellence and sustainable business models.
“It was our first time participating in this award and it was a pleasant surprise that we came in the 29th position. All this is only possible with our enterprising staff who continuously push the boundaries year after year. This award is for them,” says Patrick Cheo, our CEO.
Indeed, the E50 award affirms our vision of growing a people-centric company that puts transforming lives at the heart of our business.
For the past 17 years, we have risen above challenges to constantly innovate powerful learning programmes that help our customers achieve their academic, personal, professional and financial goals.
From an $8,000 start-up to the well-known education brand we’ve built today, this award is a testimony to the hard work and skills put in by all our past and present team members.
To our teammates, students and partners, thank you for making us the leading education provider in Singapore.
It has been a challenging and fulfilling 17 years and we look forward to transforming more lives together in the decades to come.
Hurrah! We're happy to announce that AKLTG has once again been voted "Most Preferred Financial Educator" at the ShareInvestor Awards 2018. Thank you to all our supporters for making this possible. 🙂
A heartfelt thank-you message from our Chief Master Trainer Adam Khoo:
We would like to extend our appreciation to ShareInvestor Pte Ltd for organising the annual INVEST Fair. Thank you for giving recognition to the hardworking contributors of the financial education industry. It was a pleasure participating in this year's INVEST Fair at Suntec City Convention!
Some event highlights:
Principal trainer of XSPY Trader, Alson Chew, delivering his presentation on "Trading Market Manipulation: Insights from a Top-Profiting Former Proprietary Trader" to a full-house crowd.
Principal trainer of Dividend Streams Builder, Kenny Loh, sharing about "To Ace the REITs Race: Comprehensive Market Review of S-REITs and its Risks & Opportunities Outlook for 2018" to an eager audience.
Enthusiastic participants taking part in a lucky draw and games at our booth.
Thank you once again for making us your preferred choice! We will work hard to continue bringing you high quality financial education programmes. Transforming lives every day! 🙂
In April this year, Adam Khoo announced on Facebook that Winning the Game of Stocks! is his last book and that he is retiring from writing books. Many of our AKLTG friends, who are avid readers and supporters of our self-published titles, were disappointed with the news. Fortunately, it turned out to be an April Fools' joke, and although Adam is indeed busy with local and overseas, it seems that his inspirations for writing isn't going to stop flowing any time soon. With that, AK Publications is pleased to introduce you to our latest title: Winning the 21st Century Game.
Written against the backdrop of our rapidly evolving 21st century economy, this book explores four key areas
The audience were then treated to a thought-provoking presentation by AKLTG corporate strategy director Mr. Jeremy Han, as he shared on the four keys to 21st century success: Creativity, Collaboration, Continuous Learning, Global Awareness.
If you are someone who cares and strives for your personal growth and excellence, the following news would be of great interest to you:
AKLTG has launched the Future Leaders Community (FLC) in partnership with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)!
The brand-new Community was introduced to 144 professionals, managers & executives (PMEs) at a cosy full-house event held at The Star Performing Arts Centre. Mr. Adam Khoo kick-started the event with an intriguing keynote on "Playing Up Your Life & Career Advantage in 2015", where he shared his personal tips and strategies for excelling in the 21st century.
"What's this Community about?" you ask.
Well, we designed this community specially to help professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) excel in the 21st century. Last year's Population White Paper projected that PMEs will make up two-thirds of Singapore's workforce by 2030. We're PMEs too, and we have all experienced the challenge of having to juggle the various needs in our lives. Do you find yourself constantly seeking answers to these questions?
- How can I lead a happy and fulfilling life?
- How can I become better at what I do, and make a mark in my career?
- How can I earn more for myself and my family, and be financially free?
- How can I realise my dream of owning a business?
As trailblazers in the training & education industry, we believe strongly that continuous learning plays a big part in helping us turn these challenges into opportunities. So we built the Future Leaders Community to serve as a holistic 21st century learning scape to put together all the knowledge, strategies, network and resources you will need to achieve the success you deserve.
Hop by to our FLC website at www.flcplay.sg to discover the myriad of training privileges and rewards we have in store for you!
Dear AKLTG friends, graduates and participants,
With effect from 31 October 2014, the AKLTG Centre for Personal & Professional Excellence at 991 Alexandra Road #01-05 Singapore 119964 will cease operations.
Yesterday concludes the last event held at our Alexandra training centre. We're letting it go in preparation for a more centralised and accessible location for the benefit of all of you who live in different areas in Singapore.
Moving forward, our programmes, seminars, workshops and other events will be held at external training venues. Of course, we still plan to have a training centre in the long run and we've already sourced out a few awesome central locations (we'll update you once we seal the deal).
Our headquarters remains at 107 Eunos Avenue 3, #03-02, Singapore 409837. So if you need to visit us for any matters (to sign up for a programme, to buy a book, etc.), our doors are open. Do email your AKLTG contact person/programme manager or call us at 6274 0105 before coming down!
Other than the change in venue, all our programmes will continue to run as per normal. Our respective teams in charge of the different programmes will update you about the training venues.
In case you have questions:
I Am Gifted!™: email@example.com
Wealth Academy™: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pattern Trader Tutorial™: email@example.com
Wealth Academy Forex™: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patterns of Excellence™: email@example.com
Corporate training: firstname.lastname@example.org
For other enquiries, please use the contact form here: www.akltg.com/contact
Thank you! 🙂
We had a pleasant surprise when we read the newspapers today... We've been voted "Most Preferred Financial Educator" by participants of the INVEST Fair 2014!
Thank you, ShareInvestor, for acknowledging and affirming us!
We want to give our heartfelt thanks to all our resident wealth trainers, who are the expert content specialists behind the quality financial education we offer. Special thanks to our Financial & Trading Master Trainer, Conrad Alvin Lim, Forex Master Trainer, Yeo Keong Hee, Wealth Trainer, Freddy Gomez, and all the past and present guest speakers at our Wealth Expo and Financial Mastery events for making a difference in our participants' lives.
Most importantly, we'd like to express our deepest appreciation to all our supporters who believe in the work we do. One of our visions is to transform people's financial lives by empowering them with wealth creation strategies, and we will continue to do so!
We had an incredibly empowering weekend at the Future Leaders Summit (FLS) 2014, organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Following its sold-out success in 2013, this year's theme was "Dream. Believe. Achieve." We were honoured to share the same stage with many inspirational industry leaders, such as Charles Wong of CHARLES & KEITH and award-winning director Anthony Chen.
Our Executive Chairman, Adam Khoo, opened the 2-day event with his keynote speech "Living the 'Impossible' Dream". Once labelled an underachiever, Adam told the story of how he pursued his book-writing dreams and went against the odds to top the best-sellers ranking at 24 years old. He shared his personal strategies and tips on how we can breakthrough our limiting beliefs and collaborate with people around us to fulfill our dreams and make the world a better place.
Says Adam on his involvement in the FLS 2014:
“I am honoured to be a part of the Future Leaders Summit. I believe that the audience has been inspired and enriched by the generous sharing of ideas and experiences by so many industry leaders. I am very happy to have received a lot of great feedback and kind compliments from the PMEs who attended."
Indeed, it has been a fulfilling experience and we look forward to our participation in the FLS 2015 to provide that special spark for more young professionals who want to make a difference to their lives.
Good news for students living in the southern part of Singapore — We have opened a brand new Adam Khoo Learning Centre at Telok Kurau! This marks our fifth centre in Singapore and eleventh centre in the region, following the opening of AKLC Vietnam in the same month. Located at the MDIS Building along Changi Road, we hope this new centre will encourage more students living in the vicinity to join us for our fun and educational English Mastery and Maths Mastery classes. AKLC Telok Kurau offers academic programmes suitable for Kindergarten 1 to Secondary 4 students. Many thanks to guest-of-honour, Mr. Seah Kian Peng, MP of Marine Parade GRC, for gracing our opening ceremony.