8 Q’s With Our Founder & CEO
We sit down for a quick chat with Ashish Manchharam, the man behind 8M…
1. Tell us about the 8M brand name/identity
The number “8” is lucky in Asian culture and means prosperity and also infinity. The “M” is our representation of a set of opening doors – a symbol of opportunity. By putting them together we have “Infinitely seeking opportunities”. But if you say it very quick it also sounds like my initials!
2. How would you describe 8M in just 5 words?
Creating lifestyle destinations by curating
3. In your opinion, what makes the business stand out from the crowd?
We’re an investment company but with a focus on the readapting spaces to fit contemporary use. Our focus has been to identify well located real estate and bring in partners, tenants and operators who will add value to the location for the future. Our approach is to bold and creative in assess real estate potential and being an industry leader in what we do
4. There must have been many interesting moments / stories since founding 8M, can you share one…
There have been many interesting moments in our journey over the last 6 years. However I felt that the acquisition of 2 shophouse portfolios in 2016 and 2018 were the most pivotal in our journey; both growing out company significantly overnight. These properties have led our growth in different areas and uses; today providing us with significant long term value – this includes 21 Tanjong Pagar Road – Spotify Asia’s headquarters and 33 New Bridge Road – to be redeveloped by 2022 into a 48 unit boutique service apartment.
5. Do you have a life or business mantra you live by?
There is always room to learn and improve. In life, try new things to learn more and in business, also strive to improve what you have
6. What advice or key learning would you share with a budding entrepreneur?
Learn as much as you can about what you want to do before you take the leap. The learning process may time but the more knowledge you have, the more successful you will be in your decision making.
7. Is there a person (business or personal) that you aspire to, and why?
One of my biggest inspirations was my grandfather who moved at the age of 7 with his father to Singapore from India in early 1900s as textile traders. He built up a regional trading business over 50 years with his brothers spanning Japan, Hongkong, China, India, Singapore and parts of Europe. He had the foresight to own all the real estate the company occupied and ultimately when the textile trading business started to wane, was able to refocus the family company into real estate by late 1990s. He lived to the age of 92 but his mind was always working. He inspired me to take the chance of becoming an entrepreneur and building a business of my own.
8. What do you do outside of business?
Spend as much time with my kids since they are still young and will hang out with me! I love to eat out so I spend a lot of time dining at our tenants’ venues very regularly. My wife and I are also supporters of several charities.