In a world where the glitz and glamour of showbiz once reigned supreme, Singaporean celebrities are increasingly trading the spotlight for the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.
While some have struck gold with their business ventures, others have faced setbacks, reminding us that fame doesn’t guarantee success in the business world.
Celebrity F&B ventures
One shining example of a celebrity-turned-entrepreneur success story is Jeanette Aw. Known for her remarkable acting career, she ventured into the F&B industry with “What The Fudge” brownies.
Another celebrity who took the plunge into the food and beverage world is Taufik Batisah. Renowned for his singing career, Taufik ventured into the world of spice with “Chix Hot Chicken.”
His bold move paid off as the flavorsome venture became a hot topic in town, proving that a celebrity’s touch can sometimes turn an eatery into a sensation.
While tales of triumph abound, not all celebrities-turned-business owners find themselves in a fairy tale. Shane Pow, a familiar face in showbiz, embarked on a rather rocky journey into entrepreneurship with his Korean eatery, Gogiyo.
In late 2020, Shane Pow, along with five childhood friends, entered the competitive F&B scene by opening Gogiyo, a Korean stall. Shane is a part-shareholder in the venture, balancing it with his acting career. Initially, four Gogiyo outlets graced the food scene, but today, only one outlet is left.
Shane Pow had an innovative idea to engage his fans by offering them job opportunities at Gogiyo. The allure of working alongside their favorite actor while earning a salary seemed like a win-win situation. However, reality didn’t quite align with expectations.
Speaking on the KUNZversations podcast by YES933 DJ Zhong Kunhua, some fans did join as employees, but Shane’s hectic schedule made it challenging for him to interact with them as they had hoped. Disappointed by the lack of meet-and-greet opportunities, some fans decided to quit their jobs.
Shane Pow’s vision for Gogiyo didn’t quite materialize as planned. The restaurant struggled to generate the anticipated cash flow.
While Shane thought of serving dishes like chicken rice or bak chor mee, he also acknowledged the fierce competition in the market for these quintessentially Singaporean dishes.
Owning a restaurant had always been a dream for Shane, and investing in one seemed like a fun idea, especially for hosting gatherings with friends.
However, this aspiration led to the downfall of his business. Instead of attracting organic customers, Shane ended up becoming his own restaurant’s top spender instead, primarily due to him hosting lavish gatherings for his friends.
The stories of celebrities like Jeanette Aw and Taufik Batisah demonstrate that successful transitions from showbiz to entrepreneurship are indeed possible.
However, Shane Pow’s rollercoaster journey with Gogiyo reminds us that fame alone is not enough to guarantee business success. It’s a testament to the challenges and uncertainties that come with venturing into the competitive world of entrepreneurship.