Khoo Chong Siang (BSc (Hons) Finance, Accounting and Management, 2018), CFO and co-founder of Foodlab Venture, Kuala Lumpur shares his career journey with us.
Foodlab, a shared cloud kitchen that Khoo helped create. Foodlab operates as a social enterprise by providing kitchen space with basic commercial equipment for the local food entrepreneurs. They also play a proactive role in helping the food entrepreneurs connect to business clients and offer other forms of support such as marketing, accounting service and sales tracking. Khoo’s future plan for his company are to expand to a minimum of three shared kitchens and to be able to offer the services outside of the Klang Valley.
Of course, starting up a large project such as Foodlab had its fair share of challenges for Khoo such as navigating the business through the Movement Control Order (MCO), which didn’t allow for groundwork and extensive research - two factors that made it nearly impossible to operate smoothly. However, despite these setbacks, Khoo also details the more rewarding aspects of his career, such as creating strong networks despite the pandemic and all the knowledge of running a business that he gains everyday.
Inspired to start Foodlab as a means of combating youth unemployment and bettering the communities around him, Khoo’s role as the Chief Financial Officer helps him ensure the company’s practices are sustainable to fulfil its purpose, which is to enable as many local food businesses as possible to pull through and thrive during the pandemic.
Having started by building a food surplus reselling startup in the local community, Khoo was curious to learn more about the market and eventually discovered SEEd.Lab, a platform that connected him to individuals who had similar ambitions. Soon after connecting with them, the plan for Foodlab began to enter its initial stages.
Having learnt the essential skills he needed for his role at UNM, Khoo tells us his degree life was a memorable one and his fondest memories stem from his exchange year to the Ningbo campus as well as all the times he would sit at the outdoor cafeteria and study with his friends.
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Posted on 4th May 2021