How Staying in Touch with Core Values, Maintaining a Culture of Innovation, and Learning to Make the Most of Resources during Change is the Key to Success

Farrell Tan Orchan

Farrell Tan tells us how Orchan is an established one-stop shop for positive change.

First of all, how are you and your family doing? 

Farrell Tan: I’m doing well, thank you for asking. My family is also okay, and we’re all starting to get used to things getting back to normal, given that Covid restrictions have lifted. 

Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Orchan.

Farrell Tan: A communications practitioner turned EduTech co-founder, my professional journey has been anything but linear. Having started my career in advertising, I found my niche in communications after a short stint in brand and event management. My passion for the communications industry helped me found my specialist agency, Orchan Consulting Asia, in 2009, which has gone on to win numerous local and regional industry awards, as well as amassing an enviable list of Clientele.

Through Orchan, I have spearheaded campaigns for clients and brands such as PUMA, MEPS, Staedtler, Mayland Properties, Martell, Timberland, Forever 21, ARA Asset Management Ltd, Peugeot, Servcorp, Dyson, Kao, UNICEF, GARMIN, Red Bull of Europe, Sunway Medical Centre, RS Components, InstaPay and Deriv (among others). 

An entrepreneur at heart, I recently launched The Third Degree in September 2020, a B2B SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) education mentorship platform supporting post-graduate research students—designed to enable on-demand access to relevant resources and experts and give students further avenues for personal and professional growth and networking—which is part of an education ecosystem aimed at assisting and benefiting students, universities, and society.

How does Orchan market its product/services online? 

Farrell Tan: A lot of our business is via word-of-mouth, but we are very active on professional and social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, MediaSpace, and also Google My Business, where we share our thoughts on contemporary issues that affect, or are in relation to, our industry. I think this, coupled with word-of-mouth, lands us Clients and continues to land us Clients as we go along. 

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?

Farrell Tan: The pandemic affected not only our business but the industry at large. We were lucky in that we were quick to pivot, and we managed to pull through by changing parts of the business model and offerings while remaining true to our core proposition, that is, to ‘orchestrate change’ for our Clients. 

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Farrell Tan: Our competitors are agencies such as ours, big and small. I think Covid has leveled the game (even further), allowing us to pitch for businesses that were traditionally meant for ‘bigger’ or global/international agencies. I think Clients appreciate great ideas and the ability to not only bring those ideas to life but also to showcase that they can have an impact on their bottom lines. We’ve always been very hands-on, and we treat each of our Client’s brands as if they were ours — I think that has been our USP, and it continues to serve us well.

Your final thoughts?

Farrell Tan: The challenge in today’s organization is not in learning how to accept change but in how to orchestrate – the most efficient – change leading to organizational evolution. Staying in touch with core values, maintaining a culture of innovation, and learning to make the most of resources during change is the key to success.

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