How Joyous Organic knew the Prince
This article aims at assisting you in understanding the vision and values of Joyous Organic (operated by Joyous Health Pte Ltd., Singapore) and Prince Chrisp (founded by New Winner International Ltd., Hong Kong). Back to the day we started Joyous Health Pte Ltd., we shared the same view that we should run a business not only focused on profit making but also shouldered certain extent of social responsibility. Therefore, we adopted the company name ‘Joyous Health’, bearing the meaning of bringing about joyfulness and good health to our customers.
In early 2017, the Joyous Health Team met with ‘Sir Haba’, the team leader of New Winner International and we were all enlightened by the vision and values of the Hong Kong Team. We deeply appreciated and commended the idea of Prince Chrisp, which was inspired by the French novella The Little Prince. Not only the meaningful values of the Team but also the lines of products (unique traditional Chinese Ching Dynasty Dietary Therapy of the vinegar-soaked black bean and the extremely healthy freeze-dried fruits) that turned the Joyous Health Team on as we found a perfect match of partnership in this Globe. We have then decided to operate Joyous Organic aiming at passing this feeling of passion and care as well as distributing one of the most healthy dietary therapies to our customers globally. Here comes with the touching story of Prince Chrisp…
My Little Prince
There have been a lot of doubts about our younger generation: why have the post-80’s become boomerang children? Why are they remaining idle, and are so used to things handed to them? Together, our society is becoming more and more concerned about the nation’s future. At the end of the day, one would question how young people in this generation can hold the country in place with the seemingly deteriorating personal qualities.
It’s an utmost duty to give a helping hand. As an old Chinese saying goes: “one can never discover talents without a good headhunter”. When I now look back to the journey which has put me into a managerial position now, my path along the way was paved with bumps, stones and rides. Without my teachers being my lifelong mentors, I might still be running around just to make ends meet, worrying about where my future will lie. They were the light in the dark, leading my way to a hopeful life, with immense encouragement and comfort. Without them, I will never be where I stand today.
For that reason, now when I notice young people are going the same paths as I did, experiencing various injustice in the society, it is perhaps time for us to stand up for them. And yes, I told myself it is the moment where I should contribute to the society in my ways. Just like my teachers and mentors, I found the utmost duty to assist young people. I want to offer a hand to those are vested with potential to achieve great things in life, but are unfortunately trying to break the wall against them. We should let them feel humanity and love, for our society to spread such kindness in succession.
Serve the community – realizing that helping others are just like helping yourselves
Beginning from 2006, I – whom they called “Sir Haba” – have started to serve the community outside of work, establishing the NAAC Special Dragon Boat Team and JPC Leaders Corps. The former is primarily responsible for arranging volunteers to accompany mentally incapacitated people in Dragon Boat training and races. At first, I wondered if taking part in Dragon Boat would be impossible for them to accomplish; but they have surprised me with resilience and concentration to train in the rain or under the sun. As tough as the training sessions may go, not a single complaint was uttered but only the sound when every last drop of sweat was squeezed with their hard work. For that, I admired them for being a hero in life and willing to accept challenges with immense strength. Their resilience put me into perspectives as a person with no disability. As a volunteering leader thinking that my work as a one-way help, I did not realize at first how much inspiration I could get from those in need. All of that made me reach out to more people, because you never know how much you can get from those experience.
Young people are unique in their own ways.
Stories behind our New Winner employees
Elvin is a high school graduate making every endeavor to find a job. But his effort has not paid off. While resumes and applications have been flying like pigeons in pond, not many pigeons have come back with good news. Meanwhile, he had to work as part-timers in random places. His desire to excel in his career was confronted by fierce competition in the job market, leaving him with no permanent jobs for years. Elvin had to seek non-skilled jobs, such as sales staff, retailing and waitering. There were times when he had to walk home after a busy night shift, as he had no pennies left in the pocket. While walking in the dark, and cold wind making him shiver, he could not help but asked, "where will my future lie in this big world?” Struggling to make ends meet, he still managed to go out with his friends once in a while. When conversations about jobs popped up across the dinner table, he always smiled to make sure his friends did not see his sadness and loneliness under his face. And more to that, he would even be generous enough to pay at parties whenever he could. But after that, he would then have to live on instant meals and bread to fill his stomach. During his lone time, with a cigarette in his hand and a couple of drinks down his throat, he could not feel anything but emptiness, making him eager to drink more just to drown the feelings within. Gradually losing the drive to work or live, and under great financial pressure, there seemed to be no future ahead. The dream of starting his own business was simply out of his reach. But it was during that pivotal moment where he came across the newly established New Winner. The company brought him back on track – a white-collar job which his friends were proud of - and an incentive to live a better life. As tough as work may get, Elvin is now given a bright future ahead, and also strong vitality and vibrance one young man should always have.
The next story is about Timary, a university gradutae with a degree in Information Technology. He felt rather insecure to step out of his comfort zone. He studied overseas and was lucky enough to major in a profession which could secure him a job after graduation. During spare time, he also volunteered to assist the JPC Fellows with publicity work. Working alongside Elvin, he made a staggering record of completing an online shopping platform in just three days. His outstanding performance had not only earned him reputation at work, but also across the wider business industry which attracted commercial ties. This led him to play a key role in founding NWSolution, the continuation of New Winner. Timary’s personal lifestyle, however, was not as admirable as his career. He could never be found during daytime, and was an avid nightlife person who spent a lot of time hanging around with friends in the dance floor. As much pride as he had got as a successful young person comparing to his peers, his ego was starting to affect his work ethics and efficiency during the day. He started to refuse contributing fully on new projects, and often pushed away work which mattered to him and the company before. This may be a reflection of his lack of self-confidence, and his fear to face challenges and fear. Without the courage to step out of his comfort zone, Timary may be just as a shut-in as how Elvin used to be.
Sam – our man in the third story – is a very responsible person who was brought up with little warmth from the family. His father left the family when he was little, leaving him with his mother. Growing up in a single-parent family may have brought him some drawbacks, as he had been rather shy, asocial, and lacking focus at work with an irregular lifestyle. With his mother's debt due to an unsuccessful investment, Sam had a lot put onto his shoulders. He undertook multiple jobs to support his mother; working almost all day and night feeding on caffeine just to keep himself awake. Upon his mother's suggestion, I offered Sam a job as a sales manager, which I hoped may improve his lifestyle and personality. Apparently, he had been bringing his mother to work over the past year, which had somehow made him a joke at the previous workplace. Nonetheless, Sam was not affected by others and managed his job very well being the best sales staff. He treated his work very seriously as I can recall the time he insisted to complete my dried fruit delivery in a day when a black rainstorm signal was issued. To save money for the company, Sam also took multiple transitions of public transport for the delivery, instead of catching a taxi under the storm. He eventually managed to deliver on time facing all these obstacles, even though the strom had made him soaked by the time he made it to the delivery location. However, unknown to him, the delivery was not necessary as the event had been cancelled because of the stormy weather. Soon after he disappointedly returned to his company, I became aware of his effort and was deeply touched by his dedication. I was truly thankful for this young man, and promised his ex-boss to use the products from his company since then to show my appreciation. This incident also made Sam a more confident person, and an applauded member at work.
David is a bright, aspiring business man, and is a sufferer of mental illness. David is my neighbor and a brother for life. He spent previous years studying abroad, and only returned in summers, when we would reunite to talk about everything. During our younger years, we would spend time beside a pool and plan our future. He had always wanted to open his own coffee shop. He was talkative and gentle to me, with a lot of positive energy and strong entrepreneuring desire. But after his sudden disappearance, I learned from his mother that David had been suffering from mental illness which led to his aggression and depression. He would get himself drunk and start crying in the middle of the night, and refuse to go out during the day. Since I had been a sufferer of emotional illness before, I turned to his parents to share my own experience. When I then invited David to our usual poolside talk, he told me that life did not make sense to him anymore. He said that the happiest time in life was perhaps lying on the grass, seeing the blue sky with blossoming white clouds, from which his life would be truly free. I then shared with him my experience in fighting despression over the past two years, and how one should establish their presence in life to make yourself valued. I invited him to join New Winner, where he had worked as a permanent employee since then. With his outstanding achievements in many outdoor fairs and functions, coupled with his previous business experience, he had turned New Winner into a systematic business. When he secured the first wholesale deal and had burst his joy into tears, I was pleased about how much he had changed along the way.
Pui-yee is gifted with her artistic talents, whilst lacking academic achievement in traditional education. As a member of the JPC Leader Corps, she has been under my coaching since Form One. Her academic performance was not satisfactory, and even the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) rejected her application. Her mother has been worried if she would fall into the wrong path. I encouraged her mother to understand that Pui-yee could excel in whatever career she chose if she put her mind into it, and that not being accepted into university was not the end of the world. I also invited Pui-yee to join New Winner. From that I discovered her artistic talent, when she spent three nights in completing a large mural painting for the company. Her parents and teachers encouraged her to enter an art competition, from which she was awarded a golden award from Austrian International Youth Painting Competition and was named as “National Class Ten Cartoonist”. She is now mainly responsible for the company's product packaging design and social media promotion page. If her mother insisted Pui-yee to go back to school, her talent may never be unveiled. Her story has told us that there are many ways leading to success, and that university should not be the only way out for young people. Young people's lives are full of possibilities, and they should be in control of their own.
Jessica is a sufferer from autism. We knew each other during an event organised by JPC Fellows, when I found her being alone all the time. After the event had finished, she was the only one tidying up the venue when everyone had left. Her kindness and helpful character made me wonder why was she not part of a crowd. When I started speaking to her, I learned that she was diagnosed with autism, and was therefore poor in reading social cues. She often misread social signs and languages, and had asked inappropriate questions, hence being labelled as an unfriendly person. Whenever she saw the distain in someones’s eyes, it was like salt scrubbing on the wounds, further driving her to close her hearts. And whenever she was blamed for something, she would just bend over and apologise. However within Jessica, I knew that she is a studious, responsible, initiative, humble and polite girl, and she has touched me deeply with her personality. I therefore invited her to work at New Winner. At first her prime job was to manage product packaging and poster design, but then she found her expertise in managing social media, including boosting “likes” on our Facebook page, uploading images and updating our work online. When I occasionally passed by her at work, she always had a confident smile on her face. It seems that she is now very happy to work in her field of expertise. When she once came to thank me and told me about her training at New Winner, she said she is now learning to socialise with others, and has found her position at work. This has somehow untied the knots in her heart and mind.
Our next story is about a junvenile ex-offender, Brian. He had a rebellious adolescent time when he ran away from home, and had even been to the Juvenile Home dozens of times. Under the suggestion of his social worker, he was admitted into a boarding school, but was then arrested for arson and robbery. He ended up studying at Christian Zheng Sheng College. He was a constant complainant when there was no air-conditioning or hot water in school. Moreover, he was unable to fit in with peers. His teacher therefore came up to him and said, “you are young and have a bright long future ahead of you with infinite possibilities. You have to seize your time, or you will turn out like me when time has passed! I think you have a strong character with leadership potential. Why don’t you try to explore your opportunities?" The teacher's encouraging words drove him to step out and find his talents, such as playing basketball. He started to coach younger ones, and gradually opened up to others. With his endeavours, he was able to earn a place to participate in an exchange programme to the United States.
Stepping out of his comfort zone, it was then he realised he had to move on from his past, and grasp opportunities in the present to achieve his goals.
After leaving Christian Zheng Sheng College, he had to face challenges at work and the stigma in the society. More to that, he had to resist temptations which may take him back to the old path. During his study at IVE, he has met a lot of like-minded friends, who enjoy playing guitar and singing every weekend. His encounters gave him a youthful vibrance, and helped rebuild trust with his family like never before. After completing the study, he was referred by a friend to work at New Winner, where he has learnt the difficulties in starting a business. Nonetheless, he was inspired to learn about start-ups, and is now determined to save for traveling around the world.
Growing up in a single-parent family, Jack is a story which tells us that life can still be difficult even you have worked your best. Jack's father died long time ago. He was steadying at a Band-One primary school but was admitted to a Band-Three secondary school when he did not do well in primary school. In his public exams, he only achieved five points in his HKCEE. Instead of surrendering to fate, he managed to complete his associate degree in Psychology while working part-time for four years, and was later accepted to a registered nursing programme. But life hit him hard again when his friend absconded after defrauding his money. Without the money, he was unable to finish his nursing degree. He then worked as a security guard and waiter to make ends meet. Despite the hardship, he devoted himself in volunteering as the coach of JPC Leaders Corps, and was selected as a volunteer for Olympic equestrian events and the East Asian Olympic Games. In 2008, after submitting a written recommendation as an anti-druguse volunteer, he was commended by the government. He was also an active member in Alumni Association in drafting letters and minutes, and has joined the JPC for almost 16 years. To me, Jack was undoubtedly the best candidate for the secretary position at the Association. Jack himself also seemed to see where his future may lie when serving the Association. But then he was challenged by a university graduate who also wanted to earn a place as secretary. As much as Jack wanted the place, he was put down by the fact that he was never a university graduate. All the hurdles in his life had therefore driven his confidence to an all-time low. Out of all, he has been now recognised for his amazing writing. His re-packaging skills can make anything dull to be an appealing object to all.
The aforementioned young people all faced some sort of obstacles in life: poor upbring; physical or mental disabilities or dysfunctional families. But should they be also facing discrimination and stigma in the society because of these? From the stories, it is seemingly clear that they can never earn a prominent position no matter how hard they have tried. Many of them are often confined in the bottom of social ladder, and it seems that they were doomed to fail as they were raised from poverty. But is it their only way-out? Should these young people be deprived of their right to be treated equally? Should their opportunities be snatched away by others simply because they did not graduate from a university? Those were the thoughts which made me set my heart on these young people, to give them an alternative way of life, and to support them through bumps and rides.
Put down your prejudice. Walk with young people
In order to help young people, I have founded New Winner International, run and operated by aspiring young people. As our recruitment does not base on qualifications or backgrounds, we are willing to bring marginalized young people into our workforce, offering them a platform to exploit their potential to the fullest. As we are named "New Winner", our hope is to let young people move on from their past, embrace new challenges ahead, and become new winners in their life. There are currently various departments under New Winner where staff will be put into their appropriate position according to their expertise and interests. For instance, David is now responsible for general operation, while Sam and Brian focus on developing new business markets for our online sales team; Pui-yee designs our packaging while Elvin and Timary are working alongside for online promotions; and Jack and Jessica are responsible for all editorial contents. With that regard, our staff is now becoming specialised in their respectives roles.
Prior joining New Winner, these young people have had little experience in commerce. They had to figure out how to sell the products to stranagers on the street, and even to invite people to “like” our Facebook Page by asking around in Central and to give out free samples to customers. At first they were very reluctant about promoting on the street, where I would tell them that “one who has never tasted bitterness can never know what is sweet”, to encourage them to push through hardship for success. After repeated attempts, they began to understand that actions speak more than words. Despite all the disarray, they had to stay hopeful and confident, and strive hard whenever they can. When our products such as the Prince Chrisp, become available in major retail points like Broadway cinemas, the airport and other chain stores, you know that their hard work has paid off. From those experience, they also learned to take initiatives in life and achieve their goals by actvely engaging in their work, instead of whining about negative things. Due to the success of promoting freeze-dried chips, I then founded the new brand Prince Chrisp, which is marketed alongside our homemade vinegar-soaked black beans, to broaden product variety.
The idea of Prince Chrisp was inspired by the French novella The Little Prince. At first the young people are like the rose on the planet, where I have been playing as the little prince who tirelessly waters the rose despite all difficulties. Eventually, the rose has grown and blossomed, knowing how to cherish the prince's effort.
Teaching them to strive under hardship and to reflect upon ourselves
As the old saying goes: “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. I have felt the same way towards these young people I have mentored, when I saw them changing their life along the way. I am glad they have understood that success does not come without conquering obstacles.
During the promotional period, our young staff had the chance to meet a lot of big-hearted people, including the general manager of Hyatt Hotel, who gave advice and introduced our products in their restaurants using our vinegar-soaked black bean recipes. The black bean sauce is now a popular dressing on their salads. Socialitte Crystal Ho also selflessly supplied her homemade Shrimp Egg Noodle in the hotel restaurant for free. These moves are touching our young staff, reminding them that your time will come when you focus on your work and excel it.
Learning entrepreneurship from experience
There are no shorcuts when it comes to starting a business, apart from experiencing it first-hand. To help New Winner staff comprehend the competition in the commercial world, I prompted them to join the International Food Festival, broadening their horizons. I never expected them to make money out of it, but only to hope that, through constant challenges from business activities, they could overcome difficulties as one. Helping them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams through practice - even if it failed at the end - would still be a valuable life experience.
Becoming stronger after pushing through adversity
Our young staff members are no longer retreating from hardship like they used to do. Now standing in front of me is a group of young people who do not let anything stand in their way when they put their mind into something. From New Winner, NWSolution to the launching of vinegar-soaked black beans and Prince Chrisp, our revenue has jumped from several thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands; our office has expanded to over 1,000 square-feet, and their aggregated annual income is now over three million dollars. Together it is the best proof to all and to themselves that they are able to achieve what they want!
Every person has a niche in life
Their stories have told us that everyone is born useful in their own ways, and that there are always way-out in difficult situations. The success of the three new companies is the best example to those sayings. If the society can be more patient to our younger generation with fewer doubts in their ability, I believe that we - as post-80’s - will be able to see fruitful results after tasting bitterness in life.
The final words I would like to add is that as unrelated as my life stories with New Winner, NAAC Special Dragon Boat Team, JPC Fellows, vinegar-soaked black beans and Prince Chrisp seem to be, they are complementary to one another. Through JPC, I met these young people and became aware of their frustrating situations, which led me to establish New Winner. When New Winner started doing well, our brands such as Prince Chrisp, NWSolution and the Black Beans came into being. When company operations became more stable, my contribution goes back to donating to the NAAC Special Dragon Boat Team and the NAAC itself, to support the lives of the disabled by offering jobs. Opportunities include packaging in our Prince Chrisp food factory, paying them higher than the market price so that they can support themselves in their own hands.
My expectations to New Winner staff
To be honest, there will be nothing I can possibly hold onto forever, and I only see the establishment of New Winner as a guiding lighthouse to their life temporarily. I hope they will never let things set in its way, or to go back to their old paths. If they can understand me, and turn the chance to work at New Winner into a life-changing stepping stone, I will be eternally pleased.
To bring love and care to succession
The only thing I want to see is that these young people can cherish the love and care they have now, and bring them to our future generations. I also hope that they can contribute to the society whenever they can, lighting up others lives by living theirs boldly.
I fervently wish that we can spread this kind of selfless encouragement and care towards our younger generation. And that in our years ahead, we would still be able to see the continuation of humanity and selfless affection in this world.