Who is he?
Rhombus Connexion’s co-founder, Kent Chua has successfully evolved the group into an F&B entrepreneur platform—one that boasts 19 brands and 51 outlets across four nations. His proudest achievement is establishing the Happiness Office, which serves as the guiding principle and foundation of the corporation. Chua, 32, hails from Kuching and is a certified accountant. His journey into entrepreneurship began when he met a colleague who shared his passion for diving. The pair came together to birth ‘The Beer Factory’, which has over 12 branches in Malaysia including Kota Kinabalu.
As one of Malaysia’s fastest-growing F&B conglomerate, RCX owns and operates more than 19 brands with over 50 outlets regionally. The Group’s footprints include Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Myanmar. In line with its mission to nurture talents and empower entrepreneurs, RCX’s sustainable ecosystem encompasses important pillars that contribute to the overall growth in the F&B industry. These pillars include Education (F+B Academy), Brand and Marketing and Food Production.
RCX completes the ecosystem for its F&B retail and pillars through its Shared Services of Corporate Strategy, Legal, Human Resource, Finance, and Technology department. All business units under the Group is entitled to these Services, which plays a vital role in brand expansion. RCX’s organic and inorganic growth strategy sees the organization moving towards greater partnerships with more F&B entrepreneurs as well as replicating its ecosystem regionally.
What inspired him to start his enterprise?
“The inspiration for me to take on a venture that was entirely unknown to me was to do more with the people around me. Previously, I was an auditor in one of the major accounting firms locally. While it was a promising career path, climbing the corporate ladder was just not for me, which I thought was just too rigid and restrictive. I had many ideas to materialize and most importantly, I strongly believe that we can’t be alive just to pay bills.
I wanted to do more and make a real difference. That led me to entrepreneurship, diving into the F&B industry without any experience. I found the industry alive and vibrant, very much a reflection of my personality as I cannot stand mundane and repetitive routines.
Looking back, with more than half a decade into the business, there is no doubting my decision to venturing out. It is equally rewarding to me, but most importantly, it enabled me to do so much more for the people around me. Whether it is for my loyal team members or my supportive family members, I always believe that the only way to achieve greatness is by having a purpose bigger than ourselves.”
What were the challenges he faced?
“It was extremely challenging! We emptied our life savings, took personal loans, borrowed from our families, maxed out all our credit cards and used installment financing for practically everything that we could! We negotiated a longer repayment term with our contractors which form the biggest bulk of the setup budget, reached out for sponsors from our key suppliers and squeezed to save on every corner to make ends meet. To save on staff cost, we had to do everything from marketing, managing, bartending, cooking and cleaning. It’s no wonder people define CEO as Cover Everything Officer!
It was an extremely stressful period and failure clearly wasn’t an option as we would lose everything. As the saying goes, “You do not know how strong you can be unless being strong is your only choice”. And that was precisely what happened, we fought hard and came up right on the top. Rhombus Group was recently recognized by Malaysia Book of Records as the group with the most number of home-grown F&B brands in Malaysia, totaling 19 brands strong! After all, smooth seas never made skilled sailors!”