By SGN | 19 Feb 2021
Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from and why did you move to Singapore?
I am originally from Cardiff in Wales, with Northern European, Welsh, Irish & Asian heritage – quite a mix! I now call Singapore ‘‘home’’ after living & working in Bristol, Sydney, Bangalore, Toronto, New York, and Chicago.
My wife and partner, Shahana Hasan and I were living in Chicago & Miami, USA for 5 years when an opportunity presented itself to continue our careers in Singapore, which we took in October 2019 when I joined CloserStill Media as the Event Director of Data Centre World which is part of Cloud Expo Asia, Singapore’s largest business technology event.
The decision was easy having visited Singapore in 2006 and 2012; we had a strong sense of what to expect. Singapore is a wonderfully harmonious melting pot of different nationalities and races and rich in culture and heritage. What you have here is special and unique. As a cosmopolitan, urbanized Asian city-state, it offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultural influences. The food is so varied, and it is exciting to try out new dishes, whilst learning more about its origins.
We see that you’ve lived and worked in many cities–such as Bristol, Sydney and Toronto. What sets Singapore apart from other cities as a MICE destination?
Singapore is an ideal location as a MICE destination. I have over 18 years international hands-on experience in the B2B MICE sector. Over my career, I’ve been fortunate to lead big programmes and have responsibility for key client relationships in the information technology space. As a business hub in the Asia Pacific, Singapore is a regional base for most of the world’s top technology multinationals, including Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Google, and many local technology Start-up companies.
Singapore has an excellent reputation as a global business hub and being welcoming to foreign companies to expand their operations in Asia, thus making it a perfect destination for the MICE industry. The facilities are world class if you are running a huge trade show, conferences, or smaller, more custom events. All the facilities you require and auxiliary services are here.
When you arrived, what was your first impression of Singapore, and how has that changed after living here for some time?
Since we arrived in October 2019, COVID-19 has affected Singapore significantly. The excitement of being in a new place with an abundance of fantastic adventures ahead of us was short-lived. However, what has been more remarkable for us to witness and live through, has been the genuine sense of community and support to get through this time together successfully.
I’ve been super impressed by the Smart Nation initiative. Helping individuals become more digitally savvy has become imperative as the pandemic has accelerated digitization and digital transformation as individuals and companies are more reliant on tech to live, work, and play. I have recently signed up a Smart Nation Ambassador and I am looking forward to supporting this initiative hands on.
This is apparent in every avenue across all ages, too. Shahana volunteers as a support mentor at the Halogen Foundation, which is active in supporting young people in Singapore, achieve their goals by teaching them the skills they need to become entrepreneurs.
Pre COVID-19 all voluntary work occurred face to face, now this is all completed online. The ability for organizations to adapt effectively has been remarkable, while young people have gained valuable exposure to a new skill set pertaining to delivering their message and communicating formally through technology.
What’s your favourite food back in your hometown? Where is the best place to get a similar fix in Singapore?
My favourite food back in Cardiff, Wales is fish and chips. Fortunately, Lad & Dad in Duxton serves a range of British food. Their fish and chips are a world class meal with a perfectly poured a cold pint of Guinness! Highly recommended.
What do you do to destress on the weekends?
We were fortunate to have made good friends during my time here in 2006, and although I was only in Singapore for a brief period, in that time these friends have grown into lifelong family friends. We are all grown up now with families, so hanging out together is how we like to spend our weekends. We have also met new friends since we arrived in October 2019 so we count ourselves lucky to have a good mix of expat and local friends to spend time with. We follow the rules and can meet up with others, something that many people in other countries do not have right now because of COVID-19 situation. We of course all share a love of savouring so many tantalizing dishes on offer here, so the combination of amazing food and wonderful friends makes for a perfect de-stressing weekend.
Join us and meet others like Kash & Shahana.
About Kash and Shahana
Kash Hasan is from Cardiff, Wales, UK and Shahana Hasan is from Johannesburg, South Africa. Kash is the Event Director, Data Centre World Asia, & presents a weekly roundup of Tech industry news on LinkedIn & is Co-Host of the Uptime Punks Podcast where they discuss topics such as data centres, digital transformation, sustainability, & diversity in the industry. Kash recently signed up to become a Smart Nation Ambassador & is a passionate member of Singapore Spurs. Shahana is a Support Mentor at the Halogen Foundation. As a support mentor, Shahana’s role is to inspire and influence a generation of Singaporean young people to lead themselves and others well. Shahana is dedicated to transforming the lives of young people through leadership and entrepreneurship development.