Special Feature

5 Things We Learned at AYFE 2015

by Edwan S. Photography Faris on Thu, November 26, 2015

AYFE 2015 was a great eye opener about food entrepreneurship. Here's what we learned at AYFE 2015.

Learning is a 2 way street...

The 1st ASEAN Young Food Entrepreneurs Conference was a rousing success. It was intended as a perfect platform for young and future food entrepreneurs to learn about the entire business from the big boys of food entrepreneurship. But as with everything when it comes to an education, learning often goes both ways. Here's 5 great things we found out during #AYFE2015, both from our speakers, and from you - our delegates!

1. There's Lots of Passion & Ideas Out There
With around 500 delegates coming in for the conference, we discovered great new ideas and met people with a burning passion to make it big in the business. A good majority of the delegates already had some sort of vision about what they wanted to do. Cucur udang truck? Indonesian food truck? Sushi truck? - yup, those were just some of the ideas we heard about during those two days. Good luck guys!


All of these folk had great ideas and dreams

2. Malaysians Do Ask Questions!
Malaysians are often painted as very shy especially when it comes to asking question. But at #AYFE2015, our delegates were curious, thoughtful and analytical- asking some really good questions to our panel of speakers. Stuff like: How does a fresh graduate begin a food operation? When is time to decide if a business is ready to expand? What are the challenges involved in opening a mobile food truck? That's only three out of a myriad of questions that were asked. Funniest one though: How do I know JPJ won't saman me when I drive my food truck? (LOL).


The Q&A sessions were very well received

3. MALAYSIANS REALLY WANT TO OPEN FOOD TRUCKS
We cannot emphasize this enough! We're guessing about 3/4 of the delegates want to open their own food truck. This even includes delegates who were already running a food business. Clearly the food truck scene is about to get hotter in the future. That's great news for us - more food trucks equal more amazing food, and it means the industry is only going to get better and better.


Big Hug was one of the trucks at AYFE 2015. Who knows? They might inspire a future generation of food truckers

4. Branding Is Super Duper Important
One of our speakers, Silmyi M. Sadek from Brand Geeks Inc., stressed on the issue of how important it is to get branding right. Most think it's just a matter of choosing a catchy name and a pretty logo. But Mr. Silmyi gave clear examples on how original branding is vital because it will become a crucial factor how viable a business - food or not - can grow in the future. Easy example? When a person just copies another brand's name or logo, this will work against him in the long run if he wants to expand (not to mention the legal implications). So think of branding carefully and plan for long-term even if it seems unlikely when you first start.


Adly with Dr. Ghaz from SME Bank, Danny of La Famiglia and Mr. Silmyi of Brand Geeks Inc.

5. Success Does Not Equal Smooth Sailing
We often aspire to emulate the success of people and entrepreneurs who have 'made it'. However, it actually takes as much (if not more) effort to stay on top as it is to get there. At #AYFE2015, our keynote speaker Ms. Nilamsari Setiono of Kebab Turki Baba Rafi detailed how despite successfully expanding her business empire, she and her business had to endure so many challenges: economic downturns, finding the right franchise partners, localizing her menu to suit regional tastes, getting the right supplies... and so on. Her story was echoed by virtually all the other speakers: Ren Yi (myBurgerLab), Nita (Kaw Kaw Burger), Nizar (Cowboys Food Truck) and the rest. It ain't easy being on top, yo.


Hope to see these guys again next year!

So there you go: 5 things we learned at the 1st ASEAN Young Food Entrepreneurs Conference. What about you? Share what you learned at #AYFE2015. Let's make the food business industry in this country awesome, together.

BONUS:

6. You guys love our FriedChillies t-shirts!

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