Anna Chan Founded Tipico Italian Grocer To Bring The Best Authentic Products From Italy To You
What’s your story?
I knew that my life and business would always be related to food and customer experience in some way or another, I even married a very talented Italian chef, whether destiny or coincidence, I’m not sure! Together we founded “Tipico Italian Grocer” as we observed that there is a misrepresentation of authentic Italian ingredients and food in Hong Kong. We hope to bring the fine quality, true Italian experience with a cost- effective way and make the taste and essence of Italy available to anyone and everyone in Hong Kong and eventually across Asia.
What excites you most about your industry?
When I was studying in the US, I started working as a part-time hostess in this legend-like Chinese restaurant, House of Nanking. From 10am to 10pm, there was always a line of people trying to get in. The line went all the way to the next block! From the Lakers basketball team to Obama’s lawyer, you would often see many famous celebrities and politicians dining in this small, casual restaurant that had been open for over 40 years. People were squeezed and even had to sit on beer crates! I was fascinated with the synergy and many of the happiest moments in my life were spent in this restaurant.
What is your connection to Asia?
My mom is from Shanghai and my dad is from Hong Kong. I lived in Hong Kong until I finished primary school. I moved to Guangzhou at the age of 12. In the first year of living there, I must admit I felt fearful of travelling around the city. After 6 years of living in Guangzhou, I’m amazed at the city transformation speed and eventually fell in love with the city. I also travelled often to Shanghai to visit my grandpa. His house was in Pudong, an area that developed so fast that every time I visited him, I almost couldn’t recognise his house.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city in Asia for business is definitely Hong Kong. I travel around the world a lot and to me, Hong Kong is one of the most international cities. Foreign businesses are welcome, and exporting and importing goods are easy, without the need to go through long procedures. There are so many talented people in the city that you can build a great network to the world without actually having to travel anywhere else.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My mom is my role model and she told me that opportunity is only reserved for the ones who are prepared. Don’t stop sharpening yourself so that when it comes you can catch it.
Who inspires you?
I’ve been lucky enough to have met so many talented people that have assisted me and inspired me all throughout my journey. Growing up, I always looked up to my mom because she was a CEO for one to the top ten insurance companies in the world. I knew the ambitious side of my character definitely came from my mom and my Shanghainese gene. My husband, who is my soulmate, also inspires me. His philosophy really helps me stay focused whenever I start to feel over-pressured or like I’m losing track. He always offers a different perspective when dealing with, and solving, problems.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I always believe that you are in control of your own life. I get stressed when things are behind schedule. This year, we’ve all been through some tough times, for us, our store opening was delayed. With this, I actually learnt to slow down and use this time to seek new opportunities for a better and even more powerful start in the coming future.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Growing up as a single child with most of my time spent alone, and experiencing my parents divorce at the age of 14, I became a very rebellious teenager and definitely gave my parents a lot of tough times. If I could turn back time with the understanding that time is not unlimited, I would want to spend more time with my parents to truly show them the love I have for them and to make their life easier.
How do you unwind?
I like to do yoga and recently got my RYT 200 yoga teacher certification! I do at least 5 sessions of HIIT functional training a week. But then of course, eating good food is always the best way to unwind!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
JAPAN! Each part of this country is so different, there is so much to do and to experience. The food, culture, adventure, nature, technology…they have it all.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
Shameless plug for your business:
At Tipico, we ensure our customers are offered the finest and the most niche Italian ingredients at an affordable price. We also provide a great culture experience from online to offline where customers will feel like we are a part of their home whilst also getting the knowledge of Italian produce from us. https://www.tipicoitalian.com/
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.