Kenneth Low launched his own business because he loves a good challenge!
What’s your story?
I am an investment banker turned entrepreneur. I started Club Alacarte with two co-founders in 2017. Club Alacarte is a new dining membership application offering buy-1-get-1 privileges in Indonesia.
I worked as a banker in New York and Hong Kong before settling down in Singapore. When the opportunity to launch Club Alacarte in Jakarta presented itself, I packed my bags and pounced on it. As a result, I am reliving my banking days – 100 hour work weeks and non-stop travelling between Singapore and Jakarta.
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s the B2C part I am excited by. I love the challenge of creating something meaningful for consumers and the challenges of dealing with various issues on a day-to-day basis. It’s been a steep learning experience and I love a good challenge.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Malaysian. I have also lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore for the past 15 years. When I was a banker in Singapore, I had a regional Southeast Asia role spanning Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. I may be slightly biased as Singapore is home now. It’s English-friendly, it provides investors with the comfort of a transparent legal framework and high governance standards, and has one of the world’s most efficient transport systems which eases my hectic travel schedule.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t try to conquer the world in one go. Life is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t burn yourself out too quick. Take gradual steps to achieve your ultimate goal.
Who inspires you?
Kobe Bryant. I have followed his basketball journey since I was 15. Love him or hate him, I am inspired by his sheer will, utter drive and the ”mamba mentality.”
“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, my back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill. We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” -Kobe Bryant
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Google Tag Manager. As geeky as it may sound, I was blown away by how easy it is to track the efficiency of our various advertising campaigns. For start-ups that haven’t implemented this yet, it’s highly recommended.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe, things happen for a reason and I don’t look back. But if I had my chance again, I would have paid more attention in computer science class.
How do you unwind?
On weekdays when I’m on the road, I would say a good HIIT workout at the gym. On weekends, I enjoy unwinding by spending time with my partner in crime, my wife.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Niseko. I’m an avid snowboarder. I love sitting on top of the mountain on a sunny day, soaking up the crisp, clean air in the mornings before riding the powder. It’s a great place to get away for a few days, to get your mind off things. It also holds a special place in my heart; it’s where my wife and I have gone the past few years to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Everyone in business should read this book:
‘Contagious: Why Things Catch On’ by Jonah Berger. Marketing is a key success factor for any business and this is a great book with tips on how to build successful marketing campaigns.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you’re a Jakartan and you want to explore new and trendy restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges while saving up to USD5,000 a year, why not join Club Alacarte? We offer buy-1-get-1 dining privileges across 130 different restaurant brands including Potato Head Group restaurants, Union Group restaurants, TWG, Valentino’s, Eric Kayser, Common Grounds Coffee, Fatburger and more. Here’s a screenshot of my app that shows my savings to date:
Our mission at Club Alacarte is to introduce a unique new concept through technology that can help restaurants increase traffic effectively while benefiting consumers through savings at the same time. Club Alacarte is currently only available in Jakarta but please stay tuned for a city near you!
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.