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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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This ex-gangster is on a mission to create ripples in the dive industry

Jacki Ng aims to empower dive professionals through a cloud based dive management software.

Jacki Ng is the founder of Asia Dive Academy (ADA), a dive and travel organization offering a global approach to professional dive education and training for recreational and technical diving.

He is a serial entrepreneur that comes from the most unlikely of backgrounds. At age 13, Ng joined a local gang, and was later expelled from secondary school for fighting. Despite this huge setback, he was determined to turn over a new leaf, and now, with ADA, he has innovated his way to making waves in the dive industry after a series of failures.

ADA is an end-to-end company, and its entities include dive centres, a dive resort, a dive travel agency, a liveaboard dive boat, and a dive logistics company among many others.

The company focuses on using technology to disrupt and revolutionise the dive industry at the same time, carving a career for people in diving. All with the end goal of affecting positive change to the environment.

"The company is unique simply because it is situated in Singapore. In Singapore, the odds are stacked against any business in the dive industry," says Ng. "To succeed under such conditions and create an end-to-end dive organisation is a real daunting task. More importantly, it is one of the few dive organisations that created an IT platform to build the industry."

In his time in the industry, Ng recognised early on that the processes were incredibly manual, with very little people investing in technology-driven solutions. He saw the potential for a software-driven system to help scale the business, and potentially do more for the environment.

Because of this, ADA has introduced their own dive management software, a pioneering initiative which makes use of cloud-based technology to improve the operation and customer experience for dive centres.

According to ADA, the integrated platform allows business owners to manage customers, equipment and payment, while also bringing training online, rather than a physical classroom. Students can also chat with their instructors via the platform.

The platform has been received positively by users, with transactions done through their online platform growing by over 80% in the past 8 months. Ng hopes to make this software completely open source in the future, helping to make the whole industry more efficient.

"ADA was started because diving changed our lives. We wanted it to be less of a niche so that it can change many more. The business was also started as a vehicle and force to affect real change to the environment," shares Ng. "Our product greatly reduces the risk, complexities and cost of starting your own dive business hence empowering dive professionals and businesses worldwide."

Ng shares that future plans involve transforming the experience part of the dive industry. "We plan to focus on dive resorts and create more avenues for people and dive professionals to have a career in diving," he says.

Asia Dive Academy has partners all over Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives.

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