Date: 5 November 2015 (Thursday)
Time: 6.30 – 9.30 pm
Venue: The Penny Black (Level 2) @ Boat Quay
Food for thought in Mind My Business
Informative, insightful and entertaining – the latest event in the Mind My Business series, ‘Salivating over ingredients for a food start-up’, was all that and more. It featured sharing sessions by three F&B alumni entrepreneurs, Lee Junxian (BBA 2008/MBA 2014), founding partner of Reedz Group of Restaurants; Jacinta Lee (BBA Hons 2011), co-founder of MSJ Gourmet Group; and Fu Yong Hong (BBA 2014), co-founder of GreenDot. A total of 88 alumni and guests turned up, eager to learn more about these young entrepreneurs’ journeys, uncover their motivations for diving into F&B and discover the recipe for success!
Diana Chai Choo (BBA 1997) liked that the event gave her the opportunity to learn from young entrepreneurs. “It takes a lot of hard work to succeed in the F&B industry yet graduates nowadays, like tonight’s speakers, chose to take that brave step and establish F&B start-ups. So it’ll be good to hear their thought processes,” she commented. Canice Teo (MBA 1992) agreed, adding: “Starting your own business is a good way to get experience and have a fulfilling career.”
Spirits were high as alumni and guests mingled over dinner and drinks, catching up with old friends and connecting with new ones. “Such events are a great way for me to update myself on the latest news and trends and widen my network,” said Clement Tan (BAcc 1983). Echoing similar sentiments was Benny Tan (BBA 1975), who was attending the Mind My Business series for the first time, and applauded the School’s efforts to initiate such networking initiatives. Tolmas (BBA 1984) added, “The event’s central venue also makes it convenient for those of us working in the area to pop by after work.” Recent graduate and host for the night Mark Thomas (BBA 2014) also appreciated the diverse age groups of the participants. “It’s a fantastic avenue to look for opportunities and create new connections,” he said.
For others such as F&B business owner Rehan (alumni guest NUS B.Eng 2012), the event provided a great platform to meet like-minded individuals and exchange perspectives. He was particularly keen on hearing the story behind Reedz. “It must have been a difficult decision to set up F&B outlets within school campuses, as its founders have done, so it’ll be interesting to learn about their experiences.”
Indeed, the three speakers delivered highly inspiring and engaging presentations. They outlined the challenges they faced while starting up their businesses, the strategies they adopted and the solutions they devised to overcome obstacles and accomplish what they have today. In the Q&A session that followed, questions from the audience ran the gamut from what the speakers define as success and their future plans to the qualities that aspiring entrepreneurs must possess.
Attendees stayed on to network with fellow alumni even after the sharing sessions came to a close. Several of the participants made a beeline for the speakers, eager for a tête-à-tête. David Tsai (BBA 2002) found the event to be an eye-opener, and, as an entrepreneur himself, highly relatable. “I was definitely able to identify with the challenges and struggles highlighted by the speakers,” he said. Aspiring entrepreneurs Farik (BBA 2008) and Shruti Dwivedi (BBA 2002) also found the event beneficial. “I’m looking to set up a seafood company,” Farik explained. “So tonight’s presentations provided a lot of inspiration and advice on what it takes to succeed in the F&B industry.”
If you’ve missed out on this event, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of the Mind My Business series!
Mind My Business, an initiative of the Global Alumni Network Office, is a networking platform for alumni of NUS Business School who are entrepreneurs or business owners or are aspiring to be. Through this collaborative platform, alumni are encouraged to support one another through the sharing of experiences, knowledge, contacts and opportunities.
You can find more information on our Bizalum portal.