Being part of a vibrant team…. and a t-shirt revolution, is what Justin Khoo wakes up for everyday.
What’s your story?
Since I was young, I have always wanted to be part of something big.
When I was 11, I wanted to be part of the neighborhood football team. But the older boys wouldn’t let me join them. So I gathered 10 other kids in the field nearby and started my own team. We became pretty good and eventually beat all the other teams in the neighborhood.
And that’s where it all begun.
I loved being part of something that had the potential of becoming something great. Since then, I have been involved in various teams, crews, companies, movements, and many other things which have made a mark in their own way.
Now at Saltycustoms, I am part of a revolution and we’re making history every day. I work with a team that lives and breathes to ensure our purpose is fulfilled and the vision is realized. Through the ups and downs, we do life together.
That’s pretty much what I wake up for every day.
What excites you most about your industry?
The possibilities. The t-shirt industry is an age old industry which has been stagnant for many years. We’re breathing new life and revolutionizing the way companies buy apparel. Our clients say we’re a breath of fresh air and it excites me every day that we’re meeting a need and solving a problem.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Malaysia. However, I had a very western upbringing. I speak English at home and my Chinese is pretty bad. I probably can only say all my favorite foods in Chinese. Oh, and I speak to my Chinese grandmother by combining four languages.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Singapore is always open business. The infrastructure, the culture, the people. It’s the perfect combination of east meets west. And it’s very evident throughout the businesses here. It’s the perfect business climate.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”
Who inspires you?
Our regional MD, King Q. Every time we meet, he’s a different person. He’s always ‘leveling up.’ He’s always pushing the boundaries and fighting complacency. We share the same passion in people and growth. We both want to leave a legacy on this earth, change some lives and make some money along the way.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Knowledge is only potential power.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have met the right people faster.
How do you unwind?
By making a fool out of myself. I’m generally a fun loving person and I’m always up for a good laugh or some embarrassing escapades. The key is imbalance. Yes, imbalance. It has to be at least 20-80 or my team will never take me seriously.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. There’s something about the culture and the people that brings peace to the mind, body and soul.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Theil.
Shameless plug for your business:
Saltycustoms enables businesses around the world to spread their message through customized T-Shirts.
How can people connect with you?
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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