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Cher Ng, Co-Founder of Zouk KL and TREC KL

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Cher Ng

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.

CHER2

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.

CHERZOUK2

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:

CallumConnectsCallum 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.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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