Ermenegildo Zegna Special: Entrepreneur Bryan Loo On His Defining Moments
Every story begins with a moment, even for a successful entrepreneur. Bryan Loo, the man behind Tealive and many F&B related restaurants and outlets in and out of Malaysia, has his own defining moments.
From meeting the love of his life to sparking the first lightning bolt that ignited his entrepreneurial spirit, Loo reveals the moments that characterises and defines him.
When Bryan Met Sally
“When I was 13, a girl named Sally transferred over to our secondary school. Being the new girl from a different part of town, this created a big ‘hoo-ha’,” says Loo.
What started out as a friendship that very year soon blossomed into a romantic one, as what Loo describes as the beginning of his ‘real life’.
“When you find the right person, she tends to take care of the things that you may not be good at. When you have someone who complements your weaknesses so well, the only thing for you to do is to excel at the things you’re doing well,” Loo explains.
His earliest defining moment? When he stopped worrying about his flaws and instead gave a 110% at whatever he did, all with the help of his partner Sally.
Sowing The Seeds Of Entrepreneurship
Loo grew up in the sleepy town of Kangar, Perlis, where he learnt the ins and outs of business growing up and finding out that there is no substitution for hard work to be successful.
“When I was younger, I wanted to enjoy the things that I liked, so I worked hard. That was my first motivation; to buy the nice sportswear I saw at the popular mall in my hometown,” says Bryan Loo.
“My business sensibilities began that moment because I wanted to be able to afford the things I desire. I later realised that in life, you have to be motivated by something in order to have that drive to go the extra mile," he adds.
Today, Loo's motivation for his businesses has evolved into creating a lasting legacy with a postive impact on society instead of simply purchasing items that catches his fancy as he once did as a teenager.
The Turning Points
“The first turning point in my life was when I came to KL for my pre-university education. I decided to leave my past behind, move on and give it my all in my studies,” says Loo.
Given that KL served as the nexus for many Malaysian students from all over the country, Loo realised that he was now competing on a grander scale as compared to when he was studying back in Kangar.
The second turning point for this entrepreneurial ace soon came when he joined society’s working class ranks. He worked two jobs that in his own words, were “absolutely against his passions”.
While working under another’s wing for three and the half years until he became disillusioned and burnt out, Loo realised at that moment that he needed to take charge of his life and work for himself.
“I would rather start small and sell bubble tea, than work without passion. It was fine because it was something that I got to do for myself 100%,” says Loo.
The third turning point came during a big moment of crisis at the beginning of the year when Loo’s company underwent a radical shift after losing the rights to Chatime and subsequently rebranding his chain of beverage outlets to Tealive.
“God would never give you something you want without first letting you experience some hardship. I didn’t imagine we would own our brand one day but we made it happen,” Loo explains.
From his grit and determination, Loo is very much a success today and continues to shake up the F&B scene in the country.