When an individual has the passion to bring change, they should start from home. Entrepreneurship is one of the skills that has been one of the key factors for the better development of our world.
Because of the countless businesses and companies that started solely for the purpose of money making, numerous people are consuming chemical products & having health problems. This is one of the major issues that has not only degraded the lifestyle of humans but also caused multiple environmental problems.
For sustainable development and a better future, we need entrepreneurs who care about the well-being of people.
Meet Cheong Hon Hoong, one of the successful Singapore-based entrepreneurs making a positive impact. He is the founder and director of Healthy T Marketing Pte Ltd which provides affordable and best quality herbal tea.
Cheong Hon specializes in business planning, branding, and financial management. Because of his remarkable skill and work ethic, he has been able to build a global business within a short period.
Today we’re thrilled to welcome Cheong Hon to our media. This exclusive interview has some amazing insights for our audience who are thinking of pursuing entrepreneurship as a career.
1.Hello Cheong Hon, please tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing your field.
Since I graduated from university with a science degree, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur in the food and beverages industry. I started my career as a professional with Singapore Airlines and enjoyed flying around the world learning from the business experience of others. I made a major career move later to an industry I am passionate about while being close to my mother who is aging and in need of help with her herbal tea business. Although it is a modest business, it has been around since the 1930s and it is still going strong in Asia. My exposure to business all over the world got me thinking about the opportunities presented to me in my family business. With the wealth of experience, why not become an entrepreneur myself and make herbal tea accessible to the world.
2. What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Being an entrepreneur has always been my dream since young. It is a lonely journey but I always enjoy starting a new business that keeps customers happy and coming back for more. But I did not dare to do it at first as I was inexperienced, and had no network and no capital. But the entrepreneurial desire grew stronger as I developed new businesses for others based on real-life problems facing customers. That entrepreneurial fire drove me to try out even more new ideas. An example would be animal medicines that address persistent skin problems, probiotics for immunity, biomedical devices, and AI.
3. What were the biggest initial hurdles to the Herbal Tea Industry and how did you overcome them?
The biggest initial hurdle I have with the industry was the low productivity. The supply chain was so manual. Computers were almost non-existent. That’s where I spotted the opportunity.
Finding out what the customers want and how to be different was my other challenge. I lost count of how many times I did customer surveys, tested ideas, failed, and tried again. Now technology has made this process so easy.
4. What are 3 tips you can share with our readers as it relates to your industry?
(1) Listen to your customers. Through listening you find new ideas; (2) Test your ideas and pick the best winning idea. Try out in small steps and fail quickly if it does not work; (3) Differentiate your product and business model before scaling up. I did this through the years starting with perfecting the factory production with machines. Now I am injecting new food technologies and new business channels like eCommerce, data analytics, and even AI into the business model.
5. How do you personally define success? What does it mean to you?
That’s a very good question. My definition of success is not about the financial returns. I think that financial rewards would come if I have made my customers’ lives better, whether it is about happiness or health. Most importantly, you find joy in doing it as it will sustain you forever.
6. How do you differentiate yourself from others in your field?
I start differentiation with customers. Look at what my competitors are doing like a hawk. Assess what is lacking in the delivery of customer experience. In a low involvement tea category like Herbal Tea, most people would not be bothered about investing in new ideas beyond packaging. That’s where the gaps are. I went to great lengths in engaging food scientists, experts in processes, and advanced materials to make my herbal tea better, safer, and more convenient while preserving the natural benefits.
7. How do you think technology will affect the way we do business 10 years from now?
Technology will impact us in every aspect of our lives. From the molecules, we choose to be in our foods to availability. We now have alternative meats, cell-based or plant-based. The innovation will transform tastes, formats, and applications. With the pandemic, we now have technologies to convert bacteria and viruses to become our friends with health benefits that make us stronger. With eCommerce, blockchain, open API, cloud, fintech, and AI we now can shop wisely and more conveniently. But our privacy will increasingly become a public good. It’s a tradeoff we need to balance.
8. How can you be reached if someone is interested in your products or services?
Healthy T Marketing Pte Ltd; Whatsapp: +6586330081; [email protected]