Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Wouter Duyck, Co-Founder and CEO of ZENKO Superfoods, located in Singapore, Singapore.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We source ancient superfoods from their place of heritage and pop them in a traditional way to maintain the nutrients of the seeds, bringing more diversity to your diet, which is also better for the planet, while connecting you with the source and empowering the people who make them, all brought together in a delicious and healthy snack.
Tell us about yourself
We discovered water lily pops on one of our travels in 2019. We had heard tales of the mysterious water lily seeds and decided to set out on an adventure in search of the prickly water lily flowers. After a long 48hr travel by plane, bus and train, we finally found the source close to the Himalayan foothills. Standing in front of the large natural ponds, we decided to start ZENKO.
We saw an opportunity to improve the supply chain by innovating the manual process and improving the product quality to make it export-ready. Doing something with agriculture was very natural because it’s what we know best, having both grown up on the farmlands of Belgium. Trained as a Bio-engineer in tropical crops, Jochim moved to India and set up our production facility, where he continues to share his knowledge with our local team. In the meantime, I have navigated the Covid situation that struck right after our launch and managed to list Zenko in more than 150 stores in Singapore in preparation to bring our products overseas.
Next to running ZENKO, I compete at triathlon competitions around Asia. Doing a long-distance sport teaches you a lot about how to grow a business and get through difficulties. It also helps that I can eat my healthy snacks every day for free, haha.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing the business through the difficult times of the pandemic, even doubling our sales every year in Singapore alone. I'm incredibly proud of the commitment of our team.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It's not easy to find people who can relate to the challenges you face as an entrepreneur. Organizing entrepreneur events has helped to connect with people who go through the same journey.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a friend to start the business with. It's possible to do it alone, but it makes it much harder.
- Focus on your own business, don't get distracted by what others are doing.
- Pace yourself. Running a business is just like doing an ironman - Don't forget you still have a marathon to run at the end.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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