Cher Ng is in the entertainment industry, having launched one of the largest entertainment enclaves in Malaysia, TREC KL.
What’s your story?
I spearhead TREC KL, which is the first and largest purpose-built entertainment and food and beverage (F&B) enclave in Malaysia, at 7-acres. TREC was launched in late 2015 and now TREC has 30 entertainment and F&B brands. It is expected to see more foreign investments coming this year. Among the five zones or blocks of TREC is Zouk KL. I am the co-founder of Zouk KL. I began my career at Zouk Singapore in the early 1990s as a DJ and subsequently as a dance music promoter before co-founding Zouk KL in 2004 and TREC KL in 2012.
What excites you most about your industry?
The ever-evolving trends that rejuvenate the entertainment and food and beverage industry every few years. The trends also dictate consumer behaviour on their changing tastes, especially the younger audience in the age group, 18-32, where pop-culture influences their lives and is translated to what they want to see, do, buy and hear.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I love Asia. Exciting and fast-moving cities in Asia like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, Japan and Singapore, give you a dose of the adrenaline. That, coupled with a mix of new and old world charm, set against a background of rich culture, heritage and tradition make it all so intriguing.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is still one of the best places in Asia to do business. It operates on transparency and it is an economy with a business-friendly regulation. This is beneficial for businesses and entrepreneurs and for those who plan to start a firm locally, too. Singapore has an efficient infrastructure that also harnesses technology, providing a sound, solid framework for businesses in many aspects.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never give up pursuing your dreams. Your destiny lies in your perseverance.
Who inspires you?
My mentor, Lincoln Cheng, who is the brand founder of Zouk. He has been instrumental in my professional career from the time I joined Zouk in 1991 up till this day. Cheng is a visionary in his own right, an inspiration for many not just myself and for cultivating a culture that is Zouk – building a brand from what he believed in when no one else did, into a global brand made in Singapore.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A dear friend of mine who is in the Internet business told me the company was losing money every month, but because of the potential growth, managed to list the company on the Australian stock market and later sold the company for AUD$600 million! I’m definitely in the wrong industry!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change a thing I have done so far, in my career.
How do you unwind?
I hardly have time to unwind these days but if I do, one of my favourite past times is to just lie on the couch and watch cable news, catching up on the world and business bulletins.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It has got to be Bangkok for it’s authenticity. Amid the chaos and intensity of a big city, you find charm and above all, character. It has a great nightlife and the F&B scene, is one of the best in the region. The Thais are generally easy-going folk and that’s something you don’t see often in other countries.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. The book is about value investing and protecting investors against making errors and developing solid strategies to make the right decisions for success.
Shameless plug for your business:
Everyone should visit TREC and Zouk KL. The former features 30 entertainment and F&B brands and many are household names in Malaysia. The latter is Asia’s largest superclub with 11 rooms, playing a multi-genre of electronic music and it is ranked No.26 in the world by the cult UK DJ Mag.
How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn under Cher Ng
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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