Does age matter for entrepreneurial success? No, age in itself does not matter in trying to forecast entrepreneurial success. But, experience does matter, and often, that comes with age. —
Mr. Shaik Aziz at 74 has been a grassroots leader serving the Singapore community for over four decades and found success as an entrepreneur, notably in the food and beverage industry. He is a pioneer in adopting cook-chill and cook-freeze technologies in the mass production of food in the 1980s and ventured into the business of gourmet coffee, western lifestyle cafés, and more in the 1990s. Not one who rests on his laurels, Mr. Aziz embarked on yet another entrepreneurship journey, dealing with organic coffee, Barista Uno.
“Nothing affects people in the community as directly as F&B does, and naturally, that has been my key interest. My involvement in the F&B industry started decades ago, and I have been directly involved in leading the operations and advising many food-related companies and boards. My most notable involvement was probably bringing a western-style café concept, Dome Café, from Australia into Asia and introducing the cook-chill system for ready-to-eat convenience with a specific focus on retaining nutrients and taste of the chilled food upon regeneration,” Mr. Aziz elaborated.
Mr. Aziz, a proponent of community work, has been serving the community at the grassroots level and was also able to bring the voice and feedback of the people on the ground to the policymakers by sitting on multiple committees of government bodies and voluntary welfare organizations.
According to him, being able to make improvements in people's lives makes community work and business meaningful and rewarding. He is also passionate about helping seniors, at-risk elders, and the poor and is currently involved in several initiatives to help seniors age healthily, actively, and safely.
When asked about how his work with the community has been so far, Mr. Aziz said, “My younger self has always derived great pleasure and satisfaction in serving the community, and that has not changed over the years. Personally, having improved lives is rewarding enough. Achieving recognition from the community undeniably serves as great encouragement, especially when facing challenges and hurdles, but the friendly interactions with people from the community, offering my assistance wherever possible, and achieving favorable outcomes for all is the highest form of reward for me.”
Mr. Aziz believes that with Barista Uno coffee, he will create many good opportunities and jobs for the local community. In order to benefit the community speedily, Barista Uno coffee will be leveraging vending systems provided by established Korean and Japanese counterparts for its distribution to the masses.
Mr. Aziz stated that providing easy access to their coffee through vending systems allows for better reach and fast deployment while maintaining maximum savings through the economy of scale.
Barista Uno coffee's key objective is to allow the average person to enjoy premium coffee without paying premium pricing. In fact, the "Uno" in Barista Uno signifies the unified pricing of US$1 or its equivalent in the local currency wherever Barista Uno coffee is available.
Mr. Aziz disclosed that the machines on the vending system that Barista Uno coffee will be utilizing for distribution are vastly different from the traditional vending machines. These machines are IoT-enabled, allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to simultaneously promote their offers to the community in a cost-efficient manner besides dispensing barista-quality beverages.
“In my belief, this will benefit everyone in the community in the long run, with savings on every level getting passed down throughout the entire ecosystem. I hope that through this exercise, we can effectively create more opportunities and jobs for all,” Mr. Aziz emphasized.
Mr. Aziz’s example at a golden age of 74 could be the perfect showing that age is never a limitation in entrepreneurship for anyone with a passion.
About Mr. Shaik Aziz
Mr. Aziz has been serving the community for over four decades. He has received three national awards from three different Presidents of Singapore (The Public Service Medal (PBM), The Public Service Star (BBM) and The Public Service Star (Lintang) (BBM (L))). He is also a life-long entrepreneur playing critical roles in many start-ups and established businesses.
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