Healthy and tasty food, what more could you want? Dionis Chiua started her business with this philosophy in mind. She and her partner enjoy helping improve the lives of others by providing healthy yet tasty and satisfying food.
What’s your story?
I started Lean Bento with my co-founder Mr. Charles Ng, because we were both sick and tired of trying to find clean and healthy food that aren’t salads and wraps. Both of us have battled with weight problems in the past and only managed to get past them when we overhauled our diet with nutritious and whole foods. The way to a sustainable diet is to make healthy food tasty and satisfying such that we do not crave anything else. This is our food philosophy at Lean Bento, where healthy can be tasty too.
What excites you most about your industry?
The opportunity to help improve people’s lives through providing wholesome and clean food. We enjoy hearing how our customers share that they can finally start eating healthily because we have helped debunk the myth that healthy food is tasteless and unpalatable. We even have customers telling us that their blood sugar level has improved after eating our food regularly. To know that what we do each day has some small part in making someone else’s life better, makes it all worthwhile, despite the challenges.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Born and raised in Singapore. I am third generation Singaporean, my grandfather travelled by boat in the early 1930s and started his business in Singapore. He taught me to always remember my roots, be grateful and not take for granted the opportunities that come my way.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. There may be a lot of rules and regulations to follow, but it is these regulations that help us easily systemize our processes and allow for growth. The availability of government grants to support businesses really help make running a business easier.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The best product doesn’t mean the best business, the best marketing does”.
This was shared with me by a mentor 10 years ago. His intention was to remind us that while we are focusing on building the best product, we must not neglect the marketing to get the word out.
Who inspires you?
My grandfather inspires me. Mostly because he is a very resilient man who survived the Japanese occupation and taught himself to read and write. He came to Singapore when he was 9 years old, only able to speak Mandarin and his native dialect. He picked up English, Malay and Dutch while working as a sailor and eventually started his own ship repair business. He also represented the Chinese during the times of racial riots and negotiations in Singapore. Despite his achievements, he always reminded me to stay grounded and use my heart to connect with people.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Nobody achieves anything by being negative. The people who always say that “they can’t”, will never be able to do it. I’ve always understood this, but never the essence of it until recently. It is all in the mind; you can do it, only if you believe that you can.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have been more proactive in my growing up years and volunteered to take on more responsibilities. It is only through doing work and taking on responsibilities that one experiences the most growth. I was quite reserved when I was younger, mostly attributing it to self doubt and poor self-esteem which made me shy away from work that required more from me. It was only towards my mid twenties that I started to realize that this cannot go on and I pushed myself to break past my own limitations.
How do you unwind?
I hit the gym to destress. I love carrying heavy weights, it makes me feel strong and empowered. I like how lifting helps me stay lean too and no, it does not make the ladies look like a man.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. Beautiful beaches, massages, manicures. What more can a girl ask for?
Everyone in business should read this book:
Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
How can people connect with you?
Connect with me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thimerosa
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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