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DB Entrepreneurs of the Month

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Neil Schonken and Ainslie Vosloo, founders of Lekker Laa
Photos Courtesy of Baljit Gidwani – www.evoqueportraits.com

Lekker Laa is a specialty online food and wine business. We import beef, lamb, chicken, salmon, bacon, cheese and wine, primarily from South Africa, and deliver it for free in DB.

Our business is a success because we are blessed to have the support of an amazing community that keeps us on our toes. Our special thanks go to the DB tennis community and the DBICC – your support gave us the opportunity to start up in May 2020.

The thing that interests us the most about our business is meeting new amazing people in DB every day. DB has given us a family, support and a home. In the pandemic when everything crashed around us, there was always someone with a smile, some encouragement and a coffee.

To succeed in business, you need good planning and hard work, at least that’s what we’d have said before the pandemic. These days, succeeding in business is about being able to get back up and accept help from the people around you.

Our advice for someone looking to start up a business is don’t do it! Not until your business idea totally consumes you. A new business will take 110% of your time and resources and you must weigh up the cost before you start. But hard work is not a punishment, it is a blessing. If you give anyone the opportunity to work hard, chances are they will take it.

To start up our business, we started selling. Don’t wait for business cards, flyers, specially printed invoice books. Just start selling.

The greatest challenge we faced was to get our street smarts back. What local entrepreneurs have forgotten about business we still have to learn. The challenge is that we still do not know what we do not know.

Our greatest achievement has been getting a rice import permit! Since rice is a staple food in Hong Kong, it’s subject to strict licensing requirements that protect public health, safety, security and the environment.

Our plan for the future is to expand our offering to our customers and always to sell quality, well-priced content. Great food and wine doesn’t need fancy packaging.

When hiring staff, we always ask what their spouse, dad, mum, or best friend do for a living. They are going to bring these life skills to the business for free. For example, if the spouse is an insurance broker, we get to hire someone who understands insurance tricks and jargon.

The entrepreneur we most admire is Peter J. Daniels, who overcame a disadvantaged background and dyslexia to become a successful businessman, author and philanthropist.

Our favourite social media platform is WhatsApp because it enables us to build direct relationships with our customers.

Our personal mottos are Lag vir Krag (Laughter gives you strength) and Never give up!

• Discovery Bay, 6857 1620, [email protected], www.lekker.hk

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