Mrs Carisa Mann realised her dreams of starting not one, but two companies
By Charlotte Kng
August 6, 2019
Former regional sales manager Carisa Mann contemplated a career switch for several years before a stint at the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific Programme convinced her to take a leap of faith and start her own business in 2018.She is now the founder and managing director of Place Solutions, a green building material trading company, as well as Magnetite Singapore, which manufactures and installs sound-proofing for existing windows.
The 41-year-old German, who moved to Singapore 11 years ago, shares her entrepreneurial journey.
I got an invite on LinkedIn for the programme’s trial lecture. At that time, I had been working at the same company for 16 years and was looking for a new challenge. But I wasn’t sure if I should look for a new job or start my own business.
The programme is known to cater to budding entrepreneurs so I decided to go for it. During the application process, a professor asked me to come up with a business idea. My answer was “green building materials” – and that sparked the idea for me to launch my first business venture, Place Solutions.
I liked that it was a very small, yet diverse class. There were only about 10 to 15 of us, encompassing executives from France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Switzerland. No two people were from the same industry and this offered a broad range of perspectives on the different types of real-life business experiences. It was enlightening for me as a business owner.
It definitely was. Running Place Solutions and setting up Magnetite Singapore while attending the programme provided me with the resources and opportunities to exchange ideas and advice with my peers and professors to improve my businesses.
I learnt how having different perspectives can really help build a business. It also made me realise the importance of hiring individuals who are able to challenge my viewpoints and broaden the way I look at things. Only then will we be able to break out of our own moulds and improve ourselves.
ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA ASIA – PACIFIC
ESSEC Business School
Part-time: 15 months