Nicholas Lim started Eatsy, a food and beverage app, with an old friend over a meal of sushi…
What’s your story?
After 4 years in Singtel serving corporate clients, and with the big three O (30 years old) looming, I could no longer hold back my desire to do something more challenging and meaningful. My passion has always been to make a difference in people’s lives, with technology as my preferred enabler. As fate would have it, I bumped into an old friend and caught up with him over some sushi. What ensued was an intense week of bouncing off ideas and mutual sharing, which resulted in me joining his F&B mobile app startup called Eatsy. Perhaps coincidence is just fate in masquerade.
What excites you most about your industry?
There are pressing circumstances threatening the F&B industry and the survival of its merchants – rising manpower costs being the no.1 concern. I find it really exciting and rewarding to be able to develop and provide a solution to their problems. Also, being part of a dining app like Eatsy gives me the opportunity to impact many people’s everyday lives. My dream is to see everyone using Eatsy and enjoying its benefits together!
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, though I did spend about a year in Hong Kong for work where I had the chance to enjoy all four seasons and pick up some Cantonese.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I tried not to be biased but I would still pick Singapore for its firm stance against corruption and conducive environment for startups. The number of grants and channels out there to support SMEs never fails to amaze me. Kudos to the Singapore government for making all this happen.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Always be inquisitive! Most people only enjoy learning what they find interesting. But once you cultivate a passion for learning, everything becomes interesting. The world is your oyster.
Who inspires you?
A tough choice between my dad and Elon Musk. My dad (MD of Delphi Automotive Systems Singapore) because of the way he leads and engages his staff. His fun-loving nature and humility in treating everyone with respect sets the example of the kind of leader I want to be. And Elon Musk for his absolute brilliance, visionary thinking, and master showmanship.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A 6-year-old kid called Ryan who unboxes toys on his Youtube channel called “Ryan ToysReview”, makes more than USD 10 million a year!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Probably read more and travel more to acquire more knowledge instead of bumming around. Then again, one must always have a purpose in life at all times? Food for thought.
How do you unwind?
I entertain and humour myself through Youtube – Vitaly’s pranks, Logan Paul’s vines, magic tricks, NBA and soccer highlights. And for some reason, I find it strangely therapeutic to watch Indian head massages and chiropractic adjustment videos. Am I bordering on weird yet?
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Hong Kong in Autumn. Nothing like a good hike in awesome weather. There are really nice beaches to chill and have BBQs at too!
Everyone in business should read this book:
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Businessmen are charged with making critical decisions all the time that could make or break a company. Therefore it is of paramount importance that we understand how we arrive at certain decisions. By examining how you think, the biases that cloud your judgement, and the eventual choices that you tend to make, you will be able to see the world in a clearer light and make better decisions.
Shameless plug for your business:
Eatsy is a collaborative dining app that allows diners to order, pay, split their bill, and get rewarded with cashback after every meal. Think of us as ‘UberEats x Shopback’ for in-dining.
No more flagging down busy wait staff, splitting cheques manually, or waiting to sign the bill. What’s there not to love?
We also connect restaurants to their diners and help them answer the age-old questions of: 1. Who are my diners? 2. What do they like to eat? 3. How can I get them back with the right promotions?
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @eatsyapp.co to find out more!
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’.