A concern for the wellness of others took Larry Tang from digital marketing to SLOW food.
What’s your story?
Prior to founding my own investment and consultancy firm in food, sustainability and wellness, I was the Asia Pacific Managing Director for Digitas & Razorfish, the world’s two largest digital marketing agencies, servicing global Fortune 500 brands. Seeing plenty of chronic diseases destroying the lives of those around me back in 2011, I decided to devote my time to conscientious startups.
Our organic restaurant concepts – Locofama, Sohofama and Supafood, etc – have paved the way for a Sustainable, Local, Organic & Wellness (SLOW) movement, delivering premium yet affordable quality products to a growing community of health and eco-conscious communities.
Our latest cloud kitchen concept FAMA’s Kitchen was recently awarded the 2020 Innovative Entrepreneurship Award, and is ready to be expanded across the region.
What excites you most about your industry?
We are what we eat. Food is medicine, and it can also be poison.
Our planet is also a reflection of what we eat. As a planet, food is our problem, but it can also be our solution.
Never underestimate the power of conscientious consumers. Together, we are positively or negatively impacting billions of lives, one bite at a time.
If every dollar spent is a vote, with food, we get to vote 3 times a day.
What is your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and lived in Australia for 7 years.
My career in advertising has given me the opportunities to manage regional teams and to work on projects in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, India, Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, etc.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong. Uniquely located, longest history of east and west. Free economy. Efficient and hard working people.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Adapt what is useful
Reject what is useless
Add what’s uniquely your own.
Who inspires you?
Dr Sun Yat Sen
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Coronavirus has the potential to be seen as many different things, something to fear, a quarantine enforcer, and even a deadly killer. This is the reality we’re collectively experiencing. We must accept that we cannot always control the circumstances that befall us, but we can control how we respond to them.
If we were to take a look at Covid 19 from a higher perspective, we might just see this pandemic as a
wake-up call, a huge lesson for us and even an opportunity for massive change.
While the long-term results of the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be seen there’s no question that it’s transforming life on earth by bringing to the surface so many conversations that we need to have; conversations such as wet market treatment of life, quarantines, health hygiene and collective responsibility.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Work with people who share the same values and vision of our collective future.
How do you unwind?
Basketball & dog walking or training.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It used to be Koh Samui, a direct flight from HK and an island which is small enough that I can ride a scooter around town. However for the past 3 years, Wonderfruit Festival which happens every December in Pattaya is my go to place to recharge. It is a sustainable and wellness music festival, zero plastic used, but it is the people who attend who make it so incredible. Wonderfruit Festivals are a place for the souls from the wild wild country commune to reunite for 4 days, where serendipity happens and synchronicity is the norm.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Karmic Business Management.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Shameless plug for your business:
Before making a purchase, think about the S.L.O.W. pillars.
Is it Sustainable to our planet? Is it over packaged?
Is it Locally grown? Is there a local alternative?
Is it Organic? Does it have antibiotics? Growth hormones? Pesticides?
Is it Wholesome? Is it good or bad for my well-being?
Treat every dollar you spend as a vote towards the future you want for you and your children. With food, you get to vote 3 times a day.
To be a food hero, a food zombie, or a food villain, is a decision we need to make every meal.
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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’.
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Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com