Žan Strnad (Slovenia/ Business consulting) and Radhika Raj (Singapore/ Interior design and architecture)

New Entrepreneur:
Name & surname: Žan Strnad
Country: Slovenia
Age: 23 years
Sector of activity: Business consulting
Name of business: RADEGOST, ŽAN STRNAD S.P.

Host Entrepreneur:
Name & surname: Radhika Raj
Country: Singapore
Sector of activity: Interior design and architecture
Experience in running a business: 22 years
Name of business/website: ESO TORRA INDESIGNS / http://www.esotorraindesigns.com/

Period of relationship: 01/02/2020 – 01/05/2020
Duration of relationship: 3 months

How did Žan Strnad improve his skills in business management and marketing during his stay in Singapore?

How did it all happen?
I was participating in a weekend conference for volunteers who did a volunteering project within the European Voluntary Service (EVS) now known as European Solidarity Corps (ESC). We had some informal talks about the opportunities that the European Union is offering to us, one of them was the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.
After that weekend I looked for the EYE program online and I realized that it is just the thing I was looking for! I am still finishing my bachelor’s degree of Law, but my wish of starting a career was/is stronger than the reasonable thought of putting everything aside and finishing my studies.

I do not have my own company yet, but luckily a good business plan was enough to submit my application for the EYE programme. Believe it or not, I had a perfect business plan since my last year in high school when I wrote it for my final professional exam. The business plan explains how my future company of Business Consulting would function. The reason I chose this activity is because of its adaptability to almost any business sector. If I would see the future in an unknown business sector, I would learn about it, hire experts from that sector and reroute my business.

I wanted to experience how the business is done in Asia. This is why I concentrated my search on Host Entrepreneurs that are based in Singapore, which is one of the available locations offered by EYE Global. I started contacting HE’s from Singapore listed in the database and very soon after that I had a video call with (my future HE) Radhika Raj. We got along very well, and we already started talking how we could prepare for the possible upcoming EYE project. Within a month I was traveling to Singapore.

HE’s business is interior design and architecture, fields that were professionally unknown to me, but the plan was to join our knowledge and strengths in business management and marketing. During the first days in Singapore I was introduced to the company’s structure and way of work. Soon after that, the major task of the EYE exchange became the upgrade of the current management of HE’s future projects, with a goal to make the management tool more universal, clear, and easy. Besides that, we did good work with market research for possible new suppliers of material needed for HE’s new projects. The supply line and market research are also the most probable fields for our future cooperation.

Every day of the exchange brought me something new! I had an opportunity to learn from Radhika about design and architecture business, so I could understand the management part of it. I attended business meetings with her and learned the details how to plan and execute a project. During the exchange we were constantly following the local and global situation of COVID-19. During my time in Singapore I felt extremely safe, but I started to worry when more and more European airports closed. That is why I returned home one month before the planned end and continued my program with HE online. This gave me an additional benefit of controlling and continuing a project even in extreme situations. The business connection with HE was good. As soon as the global situation calms down, we are going to continue our business collaboration.

Concluding remarks

Radhika Raj (HE): “I was very satisfied with my Erasmus experience with Žan. We did good work with market research for possible new suppliers of material for my new projects and we also identified the most probable fields for our future cooperation. EYE is what Jim Rohn said: “Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you a fortune”.”

Žan Strnad (NE): “Erasmus business exchange in Singapore widened my view on the world and gave me a lifetime connection with people I consider as my second family. I can quote Anita Desai: “Where you go becomes a part of you somehow.”