In a time where the world is struggling to recover from the recent global financial crisis and facing yet another possible recession, Ryan Lee, Co-founder and CEO of Xmi Pte Ltd, has bucked the trend, silenced his critics and proved his naysayers wrong. Where many may have given up in the presence of seemingly insurmountable odds or merely succumbed to negative perceptions, Ryan has shown that with a little luck, a dash of ingenuity and an unwavering perseverance, one can find success in as little as a year.
A finance graduate with a Masters in Economics, and armed with a number of years in innovative companies such as Zircon (creators of the first Palm-based PDA phones) and Sony, he decided in August 2006, to realize his dream. S$50,000 in debt with all his credit cards maxed-out and working in his brother’s living room with one other employee, he proceeded to research, develop and build what is now colloquially known as “hamburger speakers”. It is a technology that delivers high quality audio in pocket sized speakers, a rechargeable battery and an expandable base. These capsule speakers are compatible with any electronic device, from iPods, to laptops, and mobile phones.
Today, X-mini is an often copied yet rarely matched device. A self-confessed tech geek, Ryan has since moved on from his original idea and tirelessly innovates. He intimately understands how fast-paced the technology market assimilates new ideas and also how ravenous the consumers can be for new products. He has since added functions such as Bluetooth, FM Radio, built-in microphones and Buddy-Jacking (the ability to “daisy-chain” several speakers together). He even decided to first sell his products in Europe rather than Asia, with no credentials nor past sales records, just to challenge himself. Today, it has led to Ryan producing and distributing his product to over 80 countries around the world, with a staff of more than 40 talented individuals,...