I went to HRDF Conference 2017 on 28-29 Nov at KLCC with a lot of ‘hunger’. I was hungry to learn. I wanted to learn how to improve the customer experience of SMC Trainers Malaysia, the company I founded a few years ago. While there were many prominent speakers, Bryan Loo gave me an amazing learning experience. Bryan owns the Tealive brand and captains his own stable of food and drinks brand. Bryan passionately shared his secrets on how to he developed his business for the last 7 years. These lessons captured my heart and mind.
Driven by Vision
Bryan started his presentation with this question, what do we do best, that our customers want most, that our competitors do least? Right after this question, Bryan shared his vision, Bringing Joy to people’s lives through tea’. For the next 60 minutes, Bryan clearly explained how he and his team live this vision. Unlike the common theoretical lectures, I felt very connected listening to Bryan. The description of the vision was coming from his heart. LOOB is not short form Loo Bryan but ‘Looking Out Of the Box’. LOOB Values are Passion, Teamwork, Entrepreneurial, and Honesty.
Ignited by Passion
While many self-help books talk about passion, I could sense the congruence in his words and the results he achieved. Bryan described his passion as ‘ it’s in our DNA to inject new culture and create revolutionary idea by changing and innovating the F&B industry through setting up big goals and achieving them. Bryan shared his revolutionary idea that resulted in rapid growth. Within 7 years this young man from the small town in Perlis developed 210 outlets and growing internationally. Yesterday (29 Jul 2018) was the opening of his Vietnam outlet. Bryan shared how he customized the outlet’s look and feel to suit customer’s taste. His explanation about why one size doesn’t fit all made perfect sense.
Powered by Teamwork
Bryan described teamwork as ‘Greatness doesn’t come solo. We run on good vibes, staff empowerment, and awesome relationship’. Bryan’s story about how his 10 childhood friends worked tirelessly as a team to transform Tealive into a major brand with a team of more than 1100 people and growing was truly inspiring. The Tealive team includes 850,000 customers who constantly provide data to improvise the tea drinking experience. Bryan’s team certainly work hard and smart to derive meaning from Big data to make wise business decisions. Tealive also developed their own version of social media channels to allow free expression of ideas by the young and vibrant workforce.
Energized by Entrepreneurship
Brian described his entrepreneurial values as: ‘We mould and empower talents and aspiring restaurant professionals to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit so that they can shake up the industry’. Bryan also shared how he developed his team to make sense of data to make business decisions. His team’s ability to understand the heartbeat of their business is one of their success secret. His team needs to constantly innovate to manage cost without compromising quality in this highly skilled worked force intensive business.
Guided by Honesty
‘Honesty is our hallmark of wholeness, personally and professionally. We will strictly abide by applicable laws, regulations, policies and best practices while conducting our day-to-day operations in a highly ethical manner based on strong sense of purpose and good faith’. Bryan described how he is guided by North Star in making an ethical decision. I could sense his higher purpose to bring joy to people’s lives through tea. When an audience asked about work-life balance, Bryan gave a very honest answer. There is no work-life balance for him. Bryan said, ‘I am blessed with a wonderful wife who supports me 100% to dedicate my life to my businesses.
Bryan’s story was very inspiring. It was a nutritious intellectual diet. I look forward to replace my Teh Tarik with bubble tea at Tealive to experience how Bryan and his team bringing joy to people’s lives through tea.