Thursday, May 13, 2021

Sorry Singapore ! Harsh Dalal is not the saviour you're looking for.


One of the lessons I learned in Dune ( thanks to my now amped up English Literature skills ) is that saviours can be a bad idea. In the Dune series, the Fremen, a desert faring race of nomads, longed for the appearance of the Mahdi, a messianic saviour from outer space, who will save them and then launch a Crusade to take revenge for all the Fremen's perceived grievances on the rest of the Universe. The supposed saviour Paul Atreides eventually took a massive U-Turn and then tried to erase the faith which grew around his persona.

If you think about, Harsh Dalal, until recently "30 under 30 in Asia" lister of Forbes magazine, was the kind of saviour Singapore desperately needed. 

Almost everything about this guy ticks all the right boxes :
  • A student of Singapore Polytechnic, not the usual elitist scum from an elite JC.
  • Business Administration diploma - Non-tech running a tech company! 
  • Moved to Singapore at age six from India, but now a Singapore Permanent Resident about to serve NS, so local xenophobes can't keep going "CECA CECA CECA" over his success. He will serve NS.
  • $25M startup with 70,000 users in the Xenon platform.
  • Even has someone from MIT working for him
  • $9.8M series A funding from Grand Canyon Capital
When I first read about this guy, even I wanted to believe that this guy is the saviour that Singapore needs to bolster the tech startup sector and the non-degree route to success. 

But sadly, thanks to the recent CSI from Tech In Asia, a lot of Dalal's claims are not true and have been retracted. The juicy details can be found here on Reddit.

Fortunately for us, we still have Sim Wong Hoo, the real Saviour from over 30+ years ago. Sadly these days, I won't even admit Creative Technologies into the screen for tech stocks and it seems to do better in litigation. 

As Mr Sim becomes older, I think the search for the next big startup founder has become more desperate. I imagine journalists will leap into the fray whenever a Singaporean with a diploma starts to gain traction over a business preferable before age 25. For this story to work, the rising star should come from an HDB background and cannot have the safety net of successful professional parents. 

The Startup Hero's Journey must remain intact. 

So Singapore needs to keep searching...

Interestingly, Tech In Asia just found the Philosopher's Stone to produce compelling journalism that I hope the mainstream media should adopt under a new business model. 

Instead of selling us propaganda, why not use your investigative skills to unmask all the so-called saviours we have today?

The public wants to be entertained and ever since the Harsh Dalal exposes came out, I was tempted to pay for a subscription because I want more!

There are a few guys in a crypto space (whom I shall not name) that may be deserving of such CSI. 



  1. There are a few guys in a crypto space (whom I shall not name) that may be deserving of such CSI.

    any hints? :P

  2. I'm pretty sure the experts know with some CSI. I don't know enough and may harm an innocent. That's why I'm quiet.