Ginnie Chin is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Culum Capital, a Singapore-based FinTech start-up that provides supply chain finance solution for companies. As a a veteran in trade fiance, she enjoys helping business owners to gain working capital funding and assisting investors to find alternative investments.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I have more than 15 years experience in Trade Finance. My previous roles include Vice President for Global Transaction Banking for ABN Amro, Vice President for Trade and Supply Chain Sales for HSBC, and Director of Transaction Banking for Standard Chartered Bank where I spearheaded Supply Chain Financing products. Most recently, I was a pioneer management member of one of the largest P2P financing platform in Singapore.
What is your business venture about?
Culum Capital Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based supply chain finance platform
What is your mission at the outset?
Our mission is to bridge the gaps faced by Singapore and Asia SMEs in accessing bank financing for working capital, by matching their requirement to our pool of accredited and institutional investors.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
When I was working in the bank, I met many SMEs who approached me to finance their working capital but faced with extreme difficulties in getting the bank to trust and finance them due to stringent process of the banks, although they were good and were long term suppliers to world-class MNCs.
What is unique about your business?
The unique thing about Culum is that we have a great team made up of experienced supply chain and ex-bankers. A lot of the funding platforms we have seen being set up are started by either technoprenuers or inexperienced commercial bankers. This gives our clients a stronger confidence in our ability to source good deals with acceptable risk appetite. We have designed and built our own risk grading model which cannot be easily replicated as it is based on our years of practical experience in this area of financing
Our business model is also designed to help suppliers/vendors of larger companies to obtain working capital funding in order for these company to fulfil their contractual obligation with their clients. Our business model is not restricted to domestic business but is also designed to help companies who have good product and services to venture outside of Singapore as our funding model caters for cross-border transactions as well.
Who do you sell to and how do you get customers?
Our funding business is targeted at Singapore corporate that has minimum 1 year of operation, 1 local director and with minimum turnover of S$500,000 equivalent while our investment business is targeted at accredited investors or institutional investors.
Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
Culum Capital operates with 3 main principles – Professionalism, Integrity and Reliability and we strongly believe inthe client experience.We have a team of professionals to provide consultancy for our clients, be it an investor or business owner:
– Easy onboarding procedure
– Stringent client selection criteria which leads to quality of our deals
– Competitive rates for business owners
– Attractive returns for investors
– Transparency in information sharing
What have been the biggest obstacles?
The biggest obstacle for Culum is to find the right technology solution partner that can provide us with the right solution that is sustainable and scalable.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Thorough planning and finding the right team members, having the long term goal in mind.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Culum Capital is set out with a big mission and vision to accomplish. We believe our company has the right model and team members to achieve our mission and vision and we chose Singapore as our based because we are formed by a team of experienced Singaporeans and with the government’s support in the FinTech arena, we believe we will be able to grow and raise our home flag high in the international scene.
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
Leveraging the trade finance experience from my banking career to assist business owners to gain working capital funding and to assist investors to find an alternative investment class to obtain attractive return, in a non-banking arena.
What’s next for you and for Culum?
Culum’s next focus is on our IT development to deliver our offering to our clients on online basis. In addition, we are also working closely with the regulators to obtain the necessary license and clearance for our near term product roll-outs.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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