November 20, 2009

blog: Qian Hu & GardenAsia Entrepreneurship Trip

Qian Hu

We attended a field trip to Qian Hu and GardenAsia on 18th November 2009 organised by SPRING Singapore. There were talks held at both places about entrepreneurship. Although one is dealing with fishes (Qian Hu) while the other in nature, both of them gave us a same answer to entrepreneurship:


Bam! Wet blankets came one after another, unlike what we expected to hear like “You can do it!” Instead, we heard “Behind those success, are many failures” However that’s the truth, and that’s why the saying goes, “It hurts to hear the truth”.

Both told us similar stories of their journeys, when it started so long back then when the government was making changes, causing Qian Hu that was originally a pig farm to change into a fish farm, and GardenAsia to shift to Lim Chu Kang. These are big changes to these companies.

Well you might say GardenAsia just moved to another location, what’s the big deal. Well… WHO THE HELL BUYS PLANTS IN LIM CHU KANG?!!

This shift caused GardenAsia to sell water features instead of plants and finally to their current agritainment. They have to cope with big shifts in the dynamic world, solving problems after problems.

Their biggest problem they faced (and still are, but not to a large extent) was the lack of LABOUR!

No Singaporean one wants to work in fish or plant farm, and the restrictions of the foreign workers are driving them up the wall. It’s true; my dad’s company is having the same problem – where no Singaporean wants to works and they aren’t giving us foreign workers.

When we want to learn about entrepreneurship, the response was that if you want to learn you have to get your hands dirty! It’s a practical skill not a theoretical. Do it, go through the tough times that they had gone through and you’ll learn.

So what does it take for them to go through all that shit? Mr Kenny Eng said it is PHD.




Passion; you need that love for it. So much so that you’ll sacrifices for it. Well, both entrepreneurs sacrificed their youth and family time for this.

Hunger; so let’s get some McDonald! No, it means hunger for let’s say success, to fulfill your dreams. You need to want it badly.

Drive; the Determination to achieve your goal! That never-say-die spirit! Going full force no matter what happens. Keep going until you get what you want.

Adding on to the list are 2 more factors, Network and Luck. Networking is essential, knowing more people will open more opportunities. If you remembered the VISA advertisement where the young brother is going on a journey and the sister wanted to buy a bird to release for his journey. The shopkeeper said, “More birds, more luck…” So, if you are going on a entrepreneur journey we’ll say to you “More contacts, more luck…”

Changes in the environment also affect a company greatly. Thanks to the Go Green campaign by the government, GardenAsia is able to bring about their agritainment much successfully. Luck really does play a part in entrepreneurship but hard work plays even more.

For us, the greatest take back is that we now know what we will be facing on our journey. For those reading this blog post, this is for you too if you intend to be an entrepreneur.

No Money

No Time

No People

These 3 things are affecting every company including us. We have no money. was started from being in debts; we are now trying means and methods to try to get money, cutting costs to continue our journey like getting iPhones & Macbooks. So “No Money, No Talk.” That’s reality.

No time; our time is limited too. We now have only 3 months left and we haven’t mastered the iPhone programming. Anytime now another developer could have developed the same idea we intend to build and create a barrier to entry for us.

No people; that doesn’t really apply to us much, as our team dynamic is fantastic. However, it is always good to have professionals helping us in developing so we can just concentrate on the business aspect of the company. Even if we have the people, we have to make sure that they have the same passion, same goals as ours otherwise they will be just another worker, rather than family.

In short, entrepreneurs will be facing with 3 obstacles almost everyday and that is No Money, No Time and No People. Without Passion, Hunger, Drive, Network and Luck, it is hard to sustain the business.

Mr Kenny Eng, CEO of GardenAsia

Mr Raymond Yip, HR senior Manager of Qian Hu

All the memories, left behind.


  1. We now have only 3 months left and we haven’t mastered the iPhone programming. Anytime now another developer could have developed the same idea we intend to build and create a barrier to entry for us.