In line with Chivas Regal’s new global “I Rise, We Rise” tagline, we speak to Ronald Chew of NERDUNIT, Park-In, N.ice and Water The Plant on his road rising to success.
Ronald Chew is just as intimidating as he is charismatic. As a self-proclaimed workaholic, the multi-hyphenated creative who is fondly known as Ron by his peers is more than just the founder of streetwear label NERDUNIT. Besides his decade-long streetwear business, he has also ventured into F&B with outposts like N.ice (literally NerdUnit Ice selling ice cream), Lorong Huat (a hotpot restaurant), and Park-In (a live band restaurant and bar).
He describes himself as a lifestyle entrepreneur, a purveyor of all lifestyle ideals. In his mind, it is a medley of ideas and a blend of creative juices — all concocted into meticulously curated brands that jive with the moving times. Just like how the pandemic has taught him (and many of us) the power of self-love, Ron puts together a feel-good brand in collaboration with UK-based leading lifestyle brand Smiley — with a catchy name of ‘Water The Plant’.
Driven by passion and creativity, his mind works like the blending of whisky. It is layered with a variety of ideas with surprising results at the end — just like the Chivas Regal XV Gold Blended Scotch Whisky. At the end of the day, every success is a celebration of all the hard work being put into something one is passionate about.
He celebrates the art of collaboration. In fact, NERDUNIT is the only Malaysian brand that has collaborated with Bearbrick. He feels that it is something to celebrate when two different brands come together and work together as one — seeing something in the same way. The act of putting different DNAs together is super fun and it is also the ‘secret sauce’ many brands can look into to create something magically inspirational.
“Through every collection and collaboration, we want to tell a story. When you buy something from us, it is not just a piece of t-shirt but a piece of artwork that we put through meticulous hard work and creative processes,” he sums.
I Rise, We Rise
As an entrepreneur and preacher of work life balance, Ron stresses that balance will be achieve when work becomes part of everyday life. One should see work as a journey, and some thing that offers immense satisfaction and joy despite the many obstacles and tribulations. It is through these challenges that he rises up to the occasion as he manoeuvres through this ‘daily obstacle course’.
He believes in sheer hard work — the harder you work, and the more you put into your craft, the higher the chances of success. As a creative, he isn’t convinced on sitting still but to move at a pace that he is most comfortable at — high speed.
“I cannot be doing just one thing a day. I want to be doing seven things at the same time and that’s what keeps me going,” he shares.
As his business expands exponentially in the last five years, he helms the most pivotal role as group CEO of both his fashion and f&b businesses. He aims to merge all entities and hopes to be a public listed company in Hong Kong within the next three years. And when he dreams, he dreams big.
Rising up, he understands that it is more than just an act but a responsibility that he wears in his sleeve. He knows that he is responsible in paving the ways for his loved ones, industry players and the community.
Convincingly, he adds: “Show up and be present. You need to always remember the role you play in the community and for the people you love.”
Ron finds that responsibility also means the sharing of knowledge, experiences and resources. Collectively, it is for those who look up to you and everyone who is looking at you. He says: “Your presence matters and inherently you want to inspire others.”
Adapting to Change
It is important for him to work with people with the same mindset. He attributes a lot of his successes to his wife, and mother to his two beautiful kids, who has been working with him since the beginning. He endearingly admits that she is the backbone of the company and enjoys the chemistry they share.
“I also change very fast like how the world changes every day. We have to continuously adapt and embrace these changes — rising to every occasion no matter the curveballs,” says Ron.
When asked of his success secrets, he simply says that he is just one lucky man being at the right place at the right time. Of course, team work is a huge contributing factor but hard work is everything. He believes that everyone has the same 24 hours and it depends on how much you put your mind in to get to your goal.
“I have been working for the last ten years. I don’t see the end of the road yet. There’s still a lot more to do and I constantly ask myself what more can I do. For now, I will keep going for more and I don’t think it will ever stop at this point of time,” he concludes.
editor MARTIN TEO | creative ANDREW LOH | production DREAMBITIOUS | grooming ERANTHE LOO | location BAR TRIGONA at FOUR SEASONS KL
The post I Rise, We Rise: Ronald Chew of NERDUNIT details his rise to success appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.