Posted by in Food, Hypermarkets & Supermarkets on Apr 14, 2021 .

Meng Chui and his wife started young as pasar malam vendors. They had their dreams like other young people. She believed in him and he believed in himself that being a businessman was all he wanted to be. He wasn’t cut out for school. They could have been the typical obladi oblada couple and “life goes on” (The Beatles’ famous song) like the rest of the vendors. But that didn’t happen. They slogged together and probably did not envisage that more than 2 decades later, they would own the SegiFresh grocery chain with 50 outlets and a robust online shopping portal for their bulk buying customers which comprised hotels, caterers, restaurant...

Posted by in Family Biz, Non-listed Companies on Apr 15, 2021 .

It began with a family banana leaf restaurant in 1988 called the Lotus Family Restaurant at Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya. Tan Sri Datuk R. Doraisingam together with his brothers, Datuk R. Ramalingam Pillai and Datuk Nagasundaram Pillai, built up the Lotus Group over more than 30 years into a diversified family business with  

• 22 Lotus restaurants 
• a major distributor of Indian films and owning one of the largest cinema chains in the country under Lotus Five Star (13 outlets with 53 screens),  
• An expanding Lotus Care Premier Assisted Living business with the first custom-designed four-storey aged-care facility in Petaling Jaya...

Posted by in Food, Restaurant Groups on Apr 15, 2021 .

Many years ago we met up with the lady, Mdm Kwan Swee Lian, at her Madam Kwan’s restaurant at Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur. She was in her late 70s. Time passed by so quickly and Mdm Kwan is 86 now. She has her share of body aches and finds difficulty with walking so her customers do not get to see her much anymore at Madam Kwan’s Pavillion.  

“I didn’t know how to cook,” she told us with a chuckle and that began the start of an interesting afternoon chat. “I was a beautician and I wouldn’t be found getting my hands dirty in the kitchen.” Many people of her time remember her from the Sakura Café days in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. Sakura Café...

Posted by in Retail on Apr 19, 2021 .

Padini Holdings Berhad (Padini) a leading apparel company in Malaysia (listed on Bursa Malaysia) is controlled by founder, Yong Pang Chaun, his wife, Chong Chin Lin. Two of their three sons, Andrew Yong Tze How and Benjamin Yong Tze Jet, are Executive Directors. They joined the Padini Group about 10 years ago and were elevated to Executive Directors and the Board five years ago. Youngest son, Chris Yong, is also active in the operations of Brands Outlet in the Padini Group.

Founder Yong Pang Chaun, 69, Managing Director of Padini, joined a textile merchant in Singapore after his secondary education and learned the ropes of the textile...

Posted by in Food, Restaurant Groups on Apr 21, 2021 .

The Simple Life vegetarian restaurant chain was founded by Tracy Ngo and her husband, Lai Keun Ban, in 2011 and it has since expanded into 12 outlets. Tracy and Lai began with an Organic shop selling the popular Hakka Lei cha dish and other vegetarian offerings in 1992. The venture into the organic business was spurred when Tracy discovered a small tumour near her ear. She had it removed and then adopted a vegetarian and organic lifestyle. Tracy has written three organic recipe books to help those who would like to prepare delicious organic vegetarian dishes at home. Her aim is to dispel the general view that vegetarian dishes are bland...

Posted by in Food, International Food Franchises on Apr 21, 2021 .

US based Taco Bell, Mexican inspired American fast food chain, has opened its first franchised outlet in Malaysia at Cottage Walk Cyberjaya. The man behind the franchise operator for Taco Bell Malaysia and Singapore is Harris Beh, former Group CEO of KFC Holdings. Harris has over 45 years in executive management in QSR, casual restaurant chains, convenience stores, food & beverage manufacturing, integrated poultry operations and confectioneries. Harris was appointed to the Yum! Brands Franchise Partner Advisory Council during his tenure with KFC Holdings. 

Yum! Brands, Inc, based in Louisville, Kentucky USA, is the owner of the...

Posted by in Retail on Apr 23, 2021 .

Japan’s biggest discount chain retailer, Don Quijote Holdings Co.,Ltd (named after Miguel Cervantes’s Don Quijote of La Mancha) has come to town with its first outlet at YTL Corporation’s Lot 10, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. That corner at Jalan Bukit Bintang where the MRT station is located will never be the same again. The exit/ entrance to the MRT station directly faces Don Don Donki. The discount chain store occupies three floors of Lot 10.

 In Japan there are more 360 Don Quijote discount chain stores (including 138 Mega Don Quijote stores). The Japanese call it Donki in short – not “donkey” but “don ki” as an abbreviated...

Posted by in Food, Food Entrepreneurs on May 06, 2021 .

Inside Scoop, a popular Malaysian ice cream parlour, was founded by Edmund Tan and his wife, Lim Shiew Li in 2013. The couple noticed that the premium ice cream market was dominated by international brands with their imported flavours. They were convinced that there was a niche for a homegrown brand of premium local ice cream flavours waiting to be filled. Both are ice cream lovers. To fulfil their dreams, Shiew Li went to Bologna, Italy to study how to make the creamy Italian gelato. Upon her return, the couple started churning out different flavours of ice cream using premium ingredients. Delighted with the results of their experiments,...