The FCCS Entrepreneurs Committee is the platform for entrepreneurs to meet and network. In order to share experiences and visions, the committee recently launched the ‘Entrepreneur Spotlight’ where a series of interviews with successful French Entrepreneurs in Singapore will be conducted every two weeks.
Interview with Christophe Ferreira Co-Founder, Survival Chic (SC), the Lifestyle Membership
A few words about your business
Survival Chic (SC), the Lifestyle Membership, was created in 2009 to help busy expats & executives get the best of the city in their precious leisure time. SC Members enjoy two main benefits: 30% off at 50 top Restaurants, including alcohol & guests, and Complimentary & VIP invites, every day, to the city’s most sought-after private events.
We are lucky to count a large number of the FCCS community who have come to trust Survival Chic, many of whom have been Members since SC began.
Over time, we discovered that many Members choose SC for corporate entertainment, as well as personal use (spouses love SC, too). SC’s many Events are also a unique way to meet interesting like-minded people and Network with targeted potential clients & business Partners.
What gave you the idea to build such a project?
After moving countries & continents a dozen times, my wife Virginia and I realized that savvy global cosmopolitans with demanding careers needed a “Chic Survival Kit” – an insider guide to a city’s best food, wine, art, culture, and branding experiences.
Here in Singapore, hectic work & travel schedules mean that busy professionals require a shortcut, rather than having to sift through hundreds of event offers, restaurant choices, and so-called “guides” or “forums” that are actually just advertising in disguise.
Survival Chic was the service we always wanted for ourselves, but never found… so we decided to create it! The input of hundreds of fellow expats was a huge part of the creative process, as was an MBA year at INSEAD.
How do you manage to attract your clients?
The SC strategy is simple: Word-of-Mouth, and Quality over Quantity. From the beginning, we decided to spend our money and time on the service we deliver, rather than on advertising. SC attracts a particular kind of discerning clientele through building trust, and we plan to keep it that way. We are a small community growing steadily over time, not a flash mob.
Most Members come through referral by existing Members. We also have Partnerships with a few select organizations, such as the FCCS. Members include owners of banks and funds, artists, CEO’s, restaurateurs, professors, entrepreneurs… In short, SC Members are trendsetters whose judgment people respect. They do our job for us by recommending SC.
What qualities an entrepreneur must have to be successful in Singapore?
Resilience, Humor, and Belief in what you do.
Belief in what you do because otherwise, what’s the point? We certainly didn’t get into entrepreneurship to make a fortune, or to work better hours. Take a normal job, you’ll earn a normal paycheck, and you won’t wake up at 5am (if you’re lucky enough to be in bed by then) obsessing about miniscule details to improve the service you deliver.
Resilience, because just when you think things are going smoothly, 3 new challenges will pop up. Those challenges are what makes entrepreneurship so stimulating; but you also need the stomach to deal with them and to keep rolling.
And humor. Recently, we received a frantic email from an enraged SC Member, concerned that several new services were “trying to copy SC, to plagiarize your ideas. They want to steal the clients & suppliers whose trust you’ve earned over 3 years!”. My wife and business partner laughed. “I always heard that having people try to copy your ideas was the first real sign of success. Shall we stop by the Maserati dealer after work?”
Christophe welcomes all comments or enquiries; firstname.lastname@example.org
|Christophe Ferreira, Co-Founder
Survival Chic (SC), the Lifestyle Membership
The views and opinions expressed in these columns do not necessarily reflect those of the FCCS members and management.