11 episodes

Hear real-life advice from entrepreneurs and leaders who’ve reached high, done it, and had egg on their face to prove it. “Ramen To Riches” presents a new podcast episode each week with lessons that will edge you closer to your success.

Our stories are local, featuring Asia’s best entrepreneurs, idealists and trendsetters, and how they overcame struggles to build brands, movements and companies that impact your daily life.

From the moments of sheer melt-your-heart ecstasy to those mornings where you want to curl your sleep-deprived body under a blanket, being an entrepreneur is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. This podcast is dedicated to telling it how it is. No sugar coating, no nonsense. This is how it is. And it’s all been created for you.

But what – apart from the obvious – do you need to do to get there? What happens along the way? And what the hell do you do when it all breaks down?

Fear not. We’ve got your back, by providing real-life experiences from real-life people. Not text book theory, not predictable stuff you can find anywhere, but reality – funny, heartbreaking and practical reality.

Ramen To Riches Chris Chong

    • Business

Hear real-life advice from entrepreneurs and leaders who’ve reached high, done it, and had egg on their face to prove it. “Ramen To Riches” presents a new podcast episode each week with lessons that will edge you closer to your success.

Our stories are local, featuring Asia’s best entrepreneurs, idealists and trendsetters, and how they overcame struggles to build brands, movements and companies that impact your daily life.

From the moments of sheer melt-your-heart ecstasy to those mornings where you want to curl your sleep-deprived body under a blanket, being an entrepreneur is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. This podcast is dedicated to telling it how it is. No sugar coating, no nonsense. This is how it is. And it’s all been created for you.

But what – apart from the obvious – do you need to do to get there? What happens along the way? And what the hell do you do when it all breaks down?

Fear not. We’ve got your back, by providing real-life experiences from real-life people. Not text book theory, not predictable stuff you can find anywhere, but reality – funny, heartbreaking and practical reality.

    How to Take Your Startup From Ramen to Riches – Interview by Alex Leung

    How to Take Your Startup From Ramen to Riches – Interview by Alex Leung

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    A huge thanks to Alex Leung for interviewing me on his podcast, here is his LinkedIn profile and his website, Fullstack Marketing Ninja.

    From his website:

    Chris Chong was just 21 years old when he sold his first startup to Groupon, achieving the entrepreneur’s goal of a million dollar exit.

    As a Groupon Singapore co-founder, he created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become one of the fastest growing company ever. He managed Groupon Singapore’s growth to become Singapore’s biggest e-commerce website from 2010 – 2014. His next startup failed, which humbled him and taught him important lessons along the way.

    Chris has had a storied career, with highlights including working at a Top 5 law firm in Australia, the SCMP – Hong Kong’s oldest newspaper – managing millions of users across multiple websites and social networks and working as a full-time Advisor for REAPRA, a $100M Japanese venture-builder and VC based in Singapore.

    After being covered on the front page of The Straits Times (2010), Channel NewsAsia filmed a TV documentary called “Millionaire Minds: Chris Chong” (2018). His goal now is to pay-it-forward by sharing knowledge through a semi-autobiographical podcast called “Ramen To Riches.”

    What’s covered in this episode:

    What Chris’ journey was like from starting as a young 21 year-old entrepreneur in Singapore to building Groupon SG, a company of over 200 people.
    Some reasons why if you’re an entrepreneur in Southeast Asia, Singapore is the place you have to be.
    How to know if you should continue moving forward with a startup idea or when you should kill it.
    How Singapore is becoming as good of a startup ecosystem as Silicon Valley.

    Podcast Transcription:
    (This transcription has been redacted for readability.)

    Alexander Leung: Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning into the Fullstack Marketing Ninja Podcast. We’re here today with Chris Chong, a person who wears many hats and is currently the founder and host of another Singapore-based podcast called Ramen to Riches. Chris is also a serial entrepreneur, having started several startups across Southeast Asia. In the public eye, he’s probably best known as the co-founder of Groupon in Singapore. Glad you could be with us today Chris. Can you give us a bit more info on your background?

    Chris Chong: Absolutely. Hey everyone listening. I grew up in Sydney, Australia. My parents are originally from Singapore and Malaysia. I am Australian born Chinese and basically, after high school, I got into a law degree at my local university in Sydney and I just really wanted to get good with girls. I was kind of nerdy back th

    • 21 min
    Making Millions From Memes: Karl Mak, Co-Founder of SGAG, MGAG and PGAG. Part 2/2

    Making Millions From Memes: Karl Mak, Co-Founder of SGAG, MGAG and PGAG. Part 2/2

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    Welcome back to part 2 of this 2 part series, if you haven’t checked out the first part, then I recommend listening to it first, where we explore the early days of Karl Mak’s journey building SGAG with his co-founder, Adrian. In this part, we discuss building relationships with clients, his future plans for SGAG and the Hepmil Group, and his experience raising SGD$1.3 million in pre-series A funding through angel investors

    Introducing Karl Mak, the very intelligent, measured, co-founder of Hepmil Group, best known as the holding company in Singapore of SGAG and other entities, whose content is now seen by over 10 million millennials across the region weekly.

    He talks about how important data and metrics are in order to discover strategies to create viral content, creating a proper content strategy for something as eclectic as comedy, and working with conservative clients to create buzz around issues that Singaporeans can relate to, even convincing their clients- big household brands- to make fun of themselves along the way in a pursuit to connect with millennials.

    After raising SGD$1.3 million in pre-series A funding through angel investors, I ask him whether he was literally scrolling through his phone to show investors his most popular recent memes.

    This is part 1 of a 2 part series, join us next week for next week’s instalment.

    Biography:

    SGAG is a Singaporean social media website and news media company based in Singapore. The company was founded by Karl Mak and Adrian Ang in February 2012, as a Singaporean spin-off of the popular social media website, 9GAG.

    Karl is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hepmil Media Group. Hepmil Media Group runs the popular digital content platforms such as SGAG, MGAG & PGAG, whose content is seen by over 10 million millennials across the region weekly.

     

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    • 26 min
    Making Millions From Memes: Karl Mak, Co-Founder of SGAG, MGAG and PGAG. Part 1/2

    Making Millions From Memes: Karl Mak, Co-Founder of SGAG, MGAG and PGAG. Part 1/2

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    Imagine you’re a pair of university students sharing jokes with each other, and eventually, you and your friend want to share a meme with a few of your classmates- a comedic picture that you easily design making fun of something you can all relate to- at that point it was that McDonald’s in Singapore had run out of curry sauce for its chicken nuggets.

    Ok, so you’ve released a few memes with your friend on Facebook, you create a page, you get a couple of your classmates to circulate these memes, and at some point, you think, maybe there’s a business here.

    Introducing Karl Mak, the very intelligent, measured, co-founder of Hepmil Group, best known as the holding company in Singapore of SGAG and other entities, whose content is now seen by over 10 million millennials across the region weekly.

    He talks about how important data and metrics are in order to discover strategies to create viral content, creating a proper content strategy for something as eclectic as comedy, and working with conservative clients to create buzz around issues that Singaporeans can relate to, even convincing their clients- big household brands- to make fun of themselves along the way in a pursuit to connect with millennials.

    He starts off by telling us about his startup, that essentially started off as a joke between two friends.

    After raising SGD$1.3 million in pre-series A funding through angel investors, I ask him whether he was literally scrolling through his phone to show investors his most popular recent memes.

    This is part 1 of a 2 part series, check out part 2 here.

    Biography:

    SGAG is a Singaporean social media website and news media company based in Singapore. The company was founded by Karl Mak and Adrian Ang in February 2012, as a Singaporean spin-off of the popular social media website, 9GAG.

    Karl is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hepmil Media Group. Hepmil Media Group runs the popular digital content platforms such as SGAG, MGAG & PGAG, whose content is seen by over 10 million millennials across the region weekly.

     

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    • 34 min
    Hey, Change The World You Live In

    Hey, Change The World You Live In

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    Do you want to hear something depressing? There are many reasons why you should not do anything. Just don’t do it, man. Don’t go out of your way to do anything special. Don’t get out of bed. Don’t go get coffee to get the burst of energy you need. Don’t be optimistic. Just show up to work, like barely show up to work even. Do the minimum. No seriously, do the very minimum you can do, with your family, your friends, don’t even call them or message them back.

    Don’t walk with a straight posture, dude, your spine is telling you to naturally slump forward, it’s the natural laws of physics. Why wait hours before you see yourself slumping forward, just start off by slumping forward.

    Are you on a bus right now? See that cute girl or guy over there on the bus, don’t talk to them. Keep to yourself.

    Are you listening to this before you’re about to go into an important work meeting or call? Don’t talk up, talk in a really monotonous, robotic voice. Talk really softly. Talk so that everyone in the room can’t really make out what you’re saying, but everyone hearing you are too polite to ask you to speak louder, so they nod their head in agreement.

    See that old lady in the train standing up. You know what I’m about to say. Keep your seat. Yeah, just sit down, it’s a long train ride, it’s at least another 30 minutes and no one else is standing for her, and you’ve been sitting all day long, so you’re kind of used to the feeling of sitting down anyway. Why use your legs? Save your energy.

    Of course, I’m joking. Of course, I am. Disregard anything that I’ve just said. In fact, you should definitely do the exact opposite of what I just said. The point I’m trying to make is, it’s so easy just to be average. It’s so easy to coast through life, you know, go through it on automatic pilot mode. It’s so easy to have one-word answers to everything, yes, or no.

    At the end of the day, that’s the point about life. It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s whatever lens you choose to see it through. Being average is so contagious it should be labelled by the medical industry as a communicable disease. That means it’s as easy as catching a cold. When you see someone else frown, those muscles around your mouth, they just start to naturally drop into a frown.

    I did an experiment the other week. I decided, one day, I was going to do everything and the next day I was going to do nothing. Ok, bear with me. I just want to call out the elephant in the room and say I’m extremely privileged that I even have the chance to be able to experiment with how I treat my day. Most people are barely holding on. Most people are fighting to survive, they operate from a feeling of desperation, that they have to keep up with those around them, they have to be on

    • 12 min
    How To Build A Top Digital Media Company: TheSmartLocal Founder Bryan Choo

    How To Build A Top Digital Media Company: TheSmartLocal Founder Bryan Choo

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    Imagine you’re 18 years old, and in your spare time, you hang out with your friends at an internet cafe to play computer games religiously. That’s the childhood that most of the kids from my generation grew up in. We’d spend hours in an internet cafe. But I was never the best at computer games. In fact, I was crushed in nearly every game, even my favourite game, Starcraft. But imagine being the kid who was so good he’d go on to represent your country in computer games. That was Bryan Choo, the founder of TheSmartLocal, one of the biggest local digital media companies in Singapore.

    Listen to how a computer game geek used his skills and strategy as a national champion to then build a culture and lifestyle website that now gets 3-4 m page views per month, a Facebook page with 360k followers, and a Youtube page with 230k subscribers. It took him 7 years, but Bryan now develops viral content for millennials on a daily basis, and if you’re under 35 or Youtube is the first page you go to on the internet, it’s likely you’ve seen a video that one of his over a hundred staff have created. He also talks about taking on traditional media giants SPH and Mediacorp, and how he got his first big break.

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    Thanks for listening to today’s episode with Bryan from TheSmartLocal, it’s an inspiration for anyone who is passionate about media, or a content creator, like myself, or an influencer, one of the biggest trends on the back of social media’s cultural explosion with millennials. Please share this episode with a friend, family or colleague. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google podcast app, Spotify.

    Bryan’s Bio:

    I help clients connect with a millennial audience that has become desensitised to traditional marketing.

    I started TSL fr

    • 31 min
    Groupon to Hard Times: The Darkness Of Early Success. Part 2

    Groupon to Hard Times: The Darkness Of Early Success. Part 2

    Due To A Surge In Traffic, For An Easier Experience, Listen On Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Podbean.

    This is part 2 of a series, check out the first part, if you haven’t done so, here. Thank you to Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook for guest-hosting this episode. Check out my interview with her here.

    My brother and I had a startup that had just been bought out by Groupon, the world’s biggest daily deal website, for an estimated $24 million according to the Straits Times. We made it on the front page of the national newspaper, I was busy representing Groupon on breakfast TV shows and on Channel NewsAsia, while my brother was busy moving our new offices to Harbourfront Centre.

    Bio:

    At 20, I took a break from my law degree to co-found my first startup, Beeconomic, which was fully acquired after 6 months by Groupon.

    As Groupon Singapore co-founder, we created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become “the fastest growing company ever” (-Forbes and CNBC). After Groupon, I worked on a startup that failed, which taught me important lessons along the way.

    After finishing my law degree, I joined a “Top 5” law firm in Australia as a legal intern that led to an offer in their M&A advisory practice.

    I then joined Hong Kong’s oldest English newspaper, the South China Morning Post, as social media editor focusing on content and marketing. After achieving strong digital growth, Jack Ma’s Alibaba acquired the newspaper. After the paper was successfully sold, I left to pursue my passion for cooking.

    After culinary school, I moved to Singapore to advise a $100M Japanese VC as a full-time advisor. A highlight is our $1M investment into a fast-growing, millennial-focused news platform.

    I have served as a consultant to 60+ startups and I also volunteer as a mentor at an incubator. My goal now is to pay-it-forward by sharing knowledge through my semi-autobiographical podcast. After being covered on the front page of The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia shot a 2018 TV documentary called a href="https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/video-on-demand/millionaire-minds/chris-chong-9444454

    • 25 min

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