Kenneth Tan loved Japan. He never thought he would leave his post at DeNa Japan, where he was the product director, to return to Singapore. Even though he had been in the country for nearly five years, he felt empty. Part of him wanted to build his own business and add value to the people around him. Thus, he returned to Singapore, where he founded BeLive Technology with two friends.

(Related: Why lab-grown diamonds are better, according to The Better Diamond’s founders)

Small and large businesses can integrate live streaming solutions based on their needs through this start-up. Previously, it was an app and content creators and business owners could connect with their fans through engaging games and activities.

However, the team failed to gain traction in the market and Tan almost shut down BeLive in mid-2018. Ironically, the pandemic proved to be a lifesaver. Businesses approached Tan’s company for its live streaming software, and now it is on track to making $10 million this year.

(Related: “The key to happiness? Giving.” Mahesh Buxani wants more businesspeople to give back)

The 2018 setback taught him a lot. “It made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. While I was in my corporate job, I had a lot of people reporting to me. When many people compliment you, it is easy to lose track of the fact that you may not be as good as you think you are. So when you start on your own, no one knows who you are. You have to do everything on your own.”

Tan believes that there is still much to be done to connect companies with consumers. Many people feel more disconnected than ever due to little face- to-face interaction. Consumers want companies to listen to and understand them. That’s what Tan did, too – he started listening to himself.

(Related: Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin on driving growth in a post-pandemic future)