Kevin Gantner, Owner of The Alaska Guys

It’s been great watching Kevin build his business up in Singapore and build so many raving fans for his fantastic seafood.
What’s your story?
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in Alaska.  Life has been a wonderful adventure taking me around the world a few times and I’ve had a few interesting jobs along the way.  Working on commercial fishing boats, teaching in international schools and trading chemical fertilizers globally, just to name a few.  I’ve been here in Singapore for 15+ years, broken into 2 stays that were separated by 5 years in Tokyo.
What excites you most about your industry?
I love meeting people and being able to share the food I grew up eating.  It’s also pretty cool to meet some of the top chefs in the region and watch them work their craft.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Growing up in Alaska and working in the fishing industry, I was fascinated with Japan – its people, cuisine and culture.  It took awhile to get over to Asia, but once I did I fell in love with it.
The Alaska Guys Pte Ltd FINAL copy
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It’s got to be Singapore, especially recently.  It’s no longer the quiet backwater town it was 10-15 years ago.  The vibe in Singapore is electric now and more and more decision makers are calling it home.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s a flip of a coin between learning how to say, “no” and “trust your instincts”
Who inspires you?
My mother.  She’s an amazing women.  While I was growing up she was firm but fair and taught me well.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I just read a bit about a laser procedure where a person could have the color of their eyes changed.  No contacts!  Laser procedure!  Not sure why but this seemed pretty intriguing to me.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Be my own boss at an earlier age.  I would have started my own business years ago, instead of sitting back and thinking about it for so long.
How do you unwind?
I love attending live sporting events.  NBA basketball, NHL hockey, World Cup soccer, F1 racing, MLB baseball, Aussie Rules football, UFC events, etc.  After I retire, I’ll try to land myself a stadium job and be an usher.  This will allow me to be able to meet people as well as catch the live action.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, as it has almost everything.  You can chillax at a top resort or find a villa on a secluded beach.  Only negative thing that comes to mind is the traffic, otherwise, it’s paradise.    
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Shameless plug for your business:
The Alaska Guys specialize in importing and supplying the world’s best seafood directly from Alaska.  We provide seafood from the fisherman to the dinner table.  Our products are 100% Alaskan, 100% wild-caught, 100% sustainable and 100% delicious.
How can people connect with you?
Twitter handle?

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
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