Of Soy Sauce and Corporate Fish
Updated: Apr 7
Ken Koh is a man who, on the onset, looks like he has lived two lives. Some know him as a third generation of soy sauce makers in Singapore, some know him as a team builder extraordinaire, and neither would be wrong. Funnily enough, both sides of him may just go well with a bit of fish.
Singaporean cuisine is one of the essential ties that bind a country that is so small, with so much ethnic diversity. Singaporean cuisine is also heavy on using sauces, especially in their iconic Hawker-style chicken rice. In the advent of factory processed sauces however, the heritage brand Nanyang Sauce stands out as not only a fine product, but one that’s steeped in history. For over 60 years, three generations of Ken’s family have kept traditional soya fermentation processes alive and well in their corner of the country. His grandmother and mother are still part of the day-to-day operations of the soy sauce business, and have been since the inception of Nanyang Sauce. It is however Ken’s vision that is modernizing the product since officially joining the family business in 2015. His efforts include modernizing their bottles, launching specialty gift bottles, opening up a boutique store, and holding soy sauce workshops in their store. These little touches have elevated the brand, making it more accessible with Nanyang Sauce now taking online orders, as well as their boutique on East Coast Road.
Before going all in on the sauce, Ken was already changing lives as a team builder, helping people realize their full potential through My School of Fish, a platform for Singaporean businesses to succeed. Founded in 2006, MSoF is a collection of team building specialists that, through a program that is designed to inspire, engage, and align the workforce. With unique methods that not only assess a company’s strengths and weakness, but also delves into team & individual motivations, MSoF has the ability to bring out the best in people.
The dynamic of the MSoF team allows for them to perform detailed analysis, as well as having some straightforward (and purposeful) fun. The list of Singaporean companies who have benefited from their services is filled with talented and diverse comapnies, with glowing reviews all around. The results that Ken’s group are generating are incredible as well as sustainable, giving him the grounding to become involved in grassroots efforts in Singapore. Ken himself has been an active member of EO Singapore since joining, as well as number of committees, start-up initiatives, and incubators to make a difference for up and coming talents in the region.
All of the dynamic environments that Ken has worked in are ideal for someone who is always looking to transform lives, especially as a Singaporean entrepreneurial superstar. The work has been put in to shape corporate culture, be it as a sauce master or as a culture shaper. So with a great number of good things cooking for Ken nowadays, wouldn't it be wonderful to get a taste of that sweet success too? Maybe it depends on the sauce, or the fish, or maybe on Ken himself.