Success can be a challenge but not for our most prominent Kiwi member at the Hive, Ben Agnew Ben Agnew, Managing Director of the Teeth. Having worked in Auckland, Singapore and Sydney before residing in Singapore to set up The Teeth in December 2015. We catch up with Ben to talk about life in Singapore and learn a tip or town on building a dynamic team.
First of all, congratulations on your new baby boy! Tell us your favourite thing about parenthood.
My favourite thing about parenthood would be the new perspective it gives you on life and focus on what’s important. All of a sudden your life is turned upside down, priorities change with everything centred around the newborn and the family. It takes some adjustment and major sleep deprivation but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.
How did you get started in the creative industry?
I have always had an interest in marketing and advertising so I first tried my hand in marketing when I left university. It gave me a chance to learn the fundamentals while traveling the region – working in Auckland, Singapore and Sydney. After the stint in Singapore, I wanted to get back to South East Asia so joined a creative agency in KL and then moved with them to London. After a couple of English winters, Zee and I decided that we wanted to be back closer to home so I found a job here in Singapore while Zee set up The Teeth.
What started as a small, one-person business – run from home! – slowly grew and I joined last year. Today, we’re loving life in The Hive with our growing team and portfolio of amazing clients.
The Teeth team is always so spirited and bubbly. What’s the key to building a dynamic team?
The Teeth has a family feel to it so that is definitely a key factor. And being a startup too means that everything is pretty fast paced, we’re working with a wide range of clients and everyone is continually learning on the go. You can’t get this type of diverse hands-on experience in bigger agencies.
For those who have never visited New Zealand, what would you say is the top must-do or must-experience?
I would recommend hiring a car or a campervan and doing a road trip around the South Island. It is incredible. Even though I’m a Kiwi I have only had a chance to do this once and would do it again in a heartbeat. We saw whales, penguins, seals, swam with wild dolphins, visited glaciers, jet boated rivers, toured vineyards and ate fresh barbecued crayfish and chips on the beach. And that’s only a taster of what is out there…
Any last words?
I just want to say a big thank you to the rest of the team at The Hive for making us feel so welcome here and supporting us as we take on the Singapore branding and advertising scene. More beer pong socials too!