Growing up with a diverse background has lead this young entrepreneur to Singapore to start his own food and beverage business.
What’s your story?
I am originally from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, my father is from Lyon in France and my mother is Spanish. I grew up in a very diverse environment so I am always looking for a new culture.
I studied at business school in Paris and following that I worked for 3 years in a consulting firm. Then, I quit my job to go to Singapore and start my business.
I was not sure where I was going. I didn’t know Singapore, but I always believed in my capabilities. I came to Singapore after sourcing for many months, hundreds of products related to the food and beverage industry such as tableware, cutlery, silver plates, linen, and uniforms.
After 4 months exploring the Singapore market, I understood my target better and I started to build FuLuxe, an exclusive distributor for HoReCa supplies. Now, I work closely with some of the best chefs de cuisine in Singapore.
What excites you most about your industry?
The creativity of the chefs is limitless! But they need a good canvas to express themselves. I am trying to find the right canvas for each chef.
Competition is high in Singapore in every sector, so everyone in the industry needs to strive for excellence.
What’s your connection to Asia?
In 2007, I did an internship in Cambodia in a microfinance NGO for 3 months and I fell in love with the place. So, I decided to share my flat in France with two Chinese students and learn Mandarin. It was easier to live with them than to speak Mandarin with them.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Without a doubt, Singapore. You have the feeling that everything is possible. If you work hard and do it the right way, you will succeed. You have the ability to control your own destiny.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Probably something my father used to tell me, “you have to accept losing money before you want to earn some.” What my father meant by this statement is that you need to give to your customer before asking. I think that is true for many aspects of life. If you give to people, you shouldn’t need to ask. Both of my parents started their own businesses.
Who inspires you?
My family inspire me. I am living a similar life to what they did when they were young, living far away from France to start a life from scratch.
My wife inspires me because I feel stronger with her when I make new plans.
My friends from A-group in AIESEC inspire me because I get to know myself better when I think and share it with them.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That there is water on Mars. Haha, just kidding!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have started a business much younger! I would have started something, anything. Instead of looking for the best idea ever, I would have tested a lot more ideas.
How do you unwind?
I play soccer, I have a drink with friends and I watch TV series with my wife.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Gili Air!!! I spent one weekend there and I really enjoyed because it was very quiet.
Everyone in business should read this book:
La Prophétie des Andes.
Shameless plug for your business:
At FuLuxe, we believe that the only limit for a chef’s creativity should be his imagination. We always try to find the right plate, for the right dish, for the right chef.
How can people connect with you?
Email : Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Linkedin : Kevin Vuaillat
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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